15 hours… what I learned at WordCamPDX

Aside from the reaffirmation that the Portland Tech scene is all love and rainbows and pretty ponies I learned a thing or two at WordCamPDX.

First and foremost I learned that despite my know-it-all attitude I can sit in a room with a ton of other people and learn very very little because I had so little information to begin with that things went flying right over my head.


Which isn’t to say I’m not smart, it’s just that some people are so much SMARTER than I am that it takes me a few years to catch up.

With that being said I thought the best way for you to get a glimpse at what I learned was to give you a look at the lessons themselves.  Here are the talks I attended at WordCamPDX:

Changing Lives with WordPress by Lorelle VanFossen
FairyBlogMothers can scare the living shit out of people…  oh and WordPress is a community.

From Concept to Execution in Eight Days by Betsy Richter
During her session I learned, among other things, that Betsy can’t count and like me, she’s subject to the whim of her child’s artistic yearnings.

Ten Proven Plugins to Make Your Blog Pop by Chris O’Rourke
Where I learned what plugins I should be using, and that the tendrils of Missburrows and her treasurelicious empire are far reaching.

Then there was some chatting and chitting and maybe some eating of lunch while I handed out t-shirts and met some terribly interesting people.  I can’t possibly remember all of them at one time and not just because I have a horrible memory.  Not even because I’m a bad person.  Mostly it was because there were SO many of them and they were mixed in with people I already know and love…  So the lesson of the lunch and other times that were scheduled for eating and talking?  Socialization is Key.

WordPress 2.7 Sneak Peek by Jane Wells
All I can say here is, I want my batch edit and I want it now.

Considerations for Choosing a Theme by Kelly Guimont
Let’s be clear on one point: I talk to and at Kelly a whole lot and I rather enjoy picking her brain for information, but this session was about PEOPLE and not ME…  so what I learned?  Is that in an attempt to get HER husband to read her blog she has made it far more likely that MY husband will read her blog.  Oh, and how to pick a theme.

Feed Your Blog with RSS by Marshall Kirkpatrick
Yeah… this is the talk where I learned the following:  I need to know more about RSS before I listen to Marshall talk about RSS because I wanted to understand what he was saying but I could only comprehend things for 5 minutes at a time.  Also?  Sitting on the floor in a skirt and knee high boots… your left leg may fall asleep.  If that happens make sure you’re in the room with a lovely gentleman friend who will come to your rescue and help your broken down ass off the floor.

Ask the Experts Panel with Lorelle VanFossen, Rick Turoczy, Justin Kistner, Chris O’Rourke
There were some excellent questions and wonderful answers, but mostly I learned that in a pinch I can take pictures of OTHER people with my MacBook’s photo booth function just as well as I can take pictures of myself

Then there was dinner.  It was around that time that I remembered I can’t drink soda all day without falling victim to a massive stomachache.  I had to cut myself off.  The soda machine in the CubeSpace kitchen was just too tempting though so I had to ask my friend to keep me accountable.  I told her she could smack me if she saw another RC in my hand.  Oh and we ate, and drew on each other with sharpies. Next I must mention that Aaron Hockley?  Kick ass organizer.   And then?

Breakout sessions!  In our first breakout session we helped a woman migrate her blog from blogger to WordPress!  That felt great.  In the second we talked with Lorelle about the codex and I tried to contain my exhaustion and delight, but that’s easier said than done and I got a little chatty and a bit too tweety…

Just when I thought I was going to get in trouble for disrupting class Betsy came to the rescue and saved my day by making far too much noise with her iPhone lightsaber.  Thank you Betsy!

There were incredibly brief closing comments and then it was time for a lesson I learned as a child… when you’re done with a play date (or a conference) it’s not polite to leave until you’ve helped clean up…

And so we did.

And so we left.

And so a few of us met up for drinks and then I had to go home and put my husband to bed.

The final lesson for me?  I learned that a 15 hour day on only 4 hours of sleep is fun, but maybe not the best fit if I want to remain upright and seemingly sober.