I took this pic of the WordPress founder on my Nokia N95 8GB at full zoom from my spot at the far end of the meeting room. Not too bad under those circumstances, although more a testament to Nokia’s technology and 5-megapixel camera than my skills as a mobile-phone photographer.
Still, it’s a good photo that, to me, epitomizes the embracing community nature that surrounds WordPress, driven in large part by Mullenweg’s easy-going style, enthusiasm, openness and approachability, and infectious optimism.
Effervescent and quotable, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, lends a huge feel good factor to the occasion. He wears a trilby hat and a handkerchief in the breast pocket of his jacket. He speaks with animated gestures and a twinkle in his eye.
He talks with enthusiasm about the next stage of WordPress – “Facebook in a box.” WordPress will bundle its multi-blog platform (WordPress MU) into WordPress, and with that comes the potential to plug-in BuddyPress and transform a WordPress installation into a social media site. His aim is to “connect all the WordPresses together” via this ecosystem. Anyone who contributes to WordPress – say a plugin – can be ranked by their peers.
Read the full post including lots of direct quotes from Matt over on Hugh’s blog.
Although I took part in WordCamp UK for only one of the two days of the event – it continues today – I’m very glad indeed that I made the 240-miles round trip to Cardiff.
I estimate there were well over 100 people there yesterday, considerably more than at the first WordCamp UK last year.
There were some excellent sessions that I sat in on, starting with Chi-chi Ekweozor‘s on “Building Audience and Community.” That one got some great discussion going that to’d and fro’d on defining community, what people felt a blog required to enable a community, and much more.
I used this session as my further experiment with the Twitter LiveBlog plugin for WordPress that I discovered in May, tweeting comments during Ch-chi’s session that were captured into a blog post by the plugin.
I like the concept of this plugin when used for specific purposes like this – your Twitter followers see the tweets while your blog readers see a complete post in chronological order – although it’s got a few kinks to iron out, not the least being that the timestamp of each tweet added to the blog post was out by 8 hours (I edited the post to correct that). Time to drop a note to the developer.
Speaking of developers, I enjoyed Dan Milward‘s session on plugins which while obviously aimed at developers – and I’m not one – he covered in ways anyone could understand. And he came all the way from New Zealand.
Equally the case with Jonny Allbut‘s session on “The WordPress client/developer process from start to finish.” I learned some useful information from Jonny, notably about two rather good plugins – WP-DBManager (by Lester Chan, the prolific WordPress plugin developer) and Maintenance Mode.
The drive to Cardiff and back along the M4 was enjoyable as I was listening to the audiobook version of Chris Anderson‘s new book, Free (we talked about it in FIR on Thursday). He narrates it, adding to the listening pleasure.
And of course, I recorded an Audioboo with some initial impressions.
Yes, a nice day out yesterday.