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Tying Your Tubes with WordPress – My Session at WordCamp Portland

I’m giving a session at WordCamp Portland today on “Tying Your Tubes with WordPress“, all about integrating all the difference places you probably write, read, and discuss things on the web into your WordPress blog. This post is the reference for the session, with the slides (such as they are – most of it is going to be discussion) and links to the plugins I talk about.

Here are the few slides I put together, on Google Docs. I’m working on them as we speak, but by the time the session starts, they should be more or less final:


And here are links to the plugins/tools that I’m going to talk about:

  • Alex King’s Twitter Tools – to put daily tweet digests on your blog as posts (great for archiving them, since Twitter cut off access to tweets older than a few pages).
  • K2 Theme – besides the TON of other great things it can do, it’s great for putting tweets, etc. in a sidebar using “Asides”. The K2 Support Forum is a GREAT resource if you have questions or need help.
  • How to exclude a category (say, your tweet digest) from your site’s RSS feed. Either have people subscribe to the funky URL you get from this, or if you use FeedBurner, just tell it that the funky URL is your source feed.
  • FriendFeed Comments – show comments and likes that your post gets on FriendFeed right on the post itself.
  • FriendFeed Feed Widget – for showing your last 10 or so items that end up on FriendFeed right on your blog. There are some other cool badges on that page. Similar to Twitter badges, which I don’t use (I use Twitter Tools’ daily digests instead).
  • soup.io, for publishing blended feeds. I use this for my lifestream and my linkblog.

I’ll add any other info that comes up during the session, and if you have any questions, post them in the comments! Woo hoo WordCamp Portland! πŸ™‚

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Portland Ignites Gnomedex

Speaking of Ignite Portland, Chris and Ponzi Pirillo, and the other organizers of the best geek conference I’ve ever been to, Gnomedex, pinged me last week to see if any Ignite Portland alumni would be interested in giving their talks at Gnomedex 8.0 this year.

As a result, at Gnomedex on Saturday morning, there’s going to be a “mini-Ignite Portland” with selections of popular talks from past Ignite Portland events. (This isn’t an official Legion of Tech event.) There’s also going to be a similar “mini Ignite Seattle” on Friday afternoon, with Brady Forest and his cadre of Igniters.

I somehow got roped into being the “emcee’, introducing the talks, etc (I’m not crazy about getting up on stage), but I hope to get through the intro quickly and sit down fast. πŸ˜‰

Rick Turoczy over at Silicon Florist has a writeup, with a list of the talks that will be featured, and you can see the “speaker bio” page for the talks on the Gnomedex site.

Here are the talks that are migrating north to Seattle:

The coolest thing about all of this? The idea for Ignite Portland was hatched at last year’s Gnomedex. They highlighted some of the previous evening’s Ignite Seattle talks, and I loved them. The energy and excitement were off the charts, and I immediately started thinking (and Twitter-ing) about how awesome it would be to do an Ignite event in Portland. Connections and plans were made, venues were filled to capacity, Legion of Tech was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Besides the obvious coolness of these talks, there’s something poetic about Ignite Portland making an appearance at Gnomedex. It goes to show that a lot of really cool things can happen in the space of one year! πŸ™‚

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Thoughts and Photos from SXSW Interactive 2008, Day One

It’s Friday night, the end of Day One of SXSW Interactive. Or Day Zero. Or whatever it was. The first day. I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hilton hotel, after being thwarted on a late night search for something sweet (what I wouldn’t give for a 7-Eleven nearby!). Anyway.

Registration and badge pickup opened at 10 AM this morning, and I went over to the Austin Convention Center (conveniently across the street – lucky me booking this trip like six months ago, to get such a good hotel) around noon. I was hearing on Twitter that the line was bad, but it wasn’t (later, it would be massive). Got my badge (with my avatar photo on it), and picked up “the big bag”. Man, they weren’t kidding. It was FULL of crap. Flyers, ad cards, magazines, etc. It was really heavy, there was so much crap in it. Most people were emptying theirs out and dumping the unwanted stuff on tables right out side of the pickup room. At least it’s likely to get recycled that way. This year, Hugh McLeod, of gapingvoid and art-drawn-on-business-cards fame, did the artwork on the bag. It’s very cool!

Badge and Bag

After getting my stuff, I wandered around a bit. Played some Guitar Hero 3 with the guy who runs Northwestern University’s TV station (for whom “Welcome to the Jungle” on Expert was no problem – I muddled through on Medium). The place started to fill up, and I started to get an idea of the scale of this thing. Thousands and thousands of people!

For some reason, a young lady in a fancy dress and a “Homecoming Queen” ribbon was greeting people at the top of the escalators (and head of the long, long badge line) in her best parade style.

Homecoming Queen

Looking around me, I realize that I’ve never seen so many 1) MacBook Pros, 2) iPhones, and 3) DLSR cameras in one place before. It’s the standard uniform, apparently. I never got the memo, but luckily I fit right in!

Macs and iPhones

I went to a couple of panels in the afternoon. First was Amy Hoy and John Arysomething (I’ll look it up later) on basically how to stay a “n00b”, and retain an open mind and develop your talents. I first met Amy at OSCON 2006 in Portland. The talk was fun – lots of jokes. Kind of scattered, but I got a few good quotes out of it (check my Twitter stream).

After that, I went to the “Battledecks” session. The premise was a competition style session, where the presenters had never seen the (random) slides that they got, until they got up to present. Afterwords, they were judged on how well they thought on their feet, kept the whole thing together, integrated buzzwords and lingo, etc. What a cool idea! I imagined it would be something like an Ignite event, but with all the presentations mixed up, so no one had their own. πŸ™‚ It was very, very fun. Lots of laughs. Much credit goes to Mike, the guy who crafted the slides, for including just about every current Internet meme I can think of (and even some that were new to me). The competitors included Jon Armstrong (yes, that Jon Armstrong) and SixApart’s Anil Dash. In the end, Anil KILLED his presentation, in a very good way. He owned the room. It was awesome. πŸ™‚

Oh, and just like Ignite Portland got started from something cool I saw at a conference and tweeted about, I fully expect us to have some version of BattleDecks, perhaps attached to Ignite, sometime in the future in Portland. You heard it here first. πŸ˜‰

When dinnertime rolled around, I checked with my Twitter peeps to see where everyone was going. Dawn Foster and Adam Duvander headed over to the Iron Cactus, and kindly invited me to join them. Matt Beck was there too – a mini PDX meetup in Austin! Dinner was yummy (the guacamole was terrific – they make it fresh at your table), and the company was great.

Matt Beck, Dawn Foster, and Adam Duvander at the Iron Cactus

Dawn and I were messing around, taking pictures of each other taking pictures, and I lucked out and got this shot of her camera, right as the flash fired. I love how the colors turned out!

Flash Duel

There are who knows how many parties going on right now. Laughing Squid is throwing a big one at a place called Six, and that’s where all the cool kids are right now (Clint and Jacqui from Ars, Scoble, etc.). Me? I’m a party pansy. A wimp. I stayed in my room for a while, History Channel on in the background, called and talked to Rachel and the kids, worked on photos, and read some feeds.

The desire for some kind of dessert finally propelled me downstairs. Of course, I brought my laptop. How else could I be writing this blog post? I’m not about to put a few hundred words out on my iPhone! πŸ™‚ But since everything is closed, I think I’m going to hunt down a vending machine or SOMETHING. Then go to bed. Tomorrow is the first “full” day of panels, activities, etc., and I have a feeling it’s going to be insane.

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I’m in Austin, Texas, for SXSW Interactive

I arrived last night in Austin, Texas, for the SXSW Interactive conference. I’ve watched this event from afar for a couple of years, and it always seems to be an awesome mix of fun, cool web technologies, and community. So this year, I decided to come.

Slightly off topic, I had an amazing view of Mt. Hood as we flew out of Portland yesterday. Sadly, my D40 was stowed, and I couldn’t get to it in time, but I did have the little Aiptek Go-HD, so I shot some HD video and a couple of the 5MP stills that it can do. Not the greatest quality, but hope it communicates how amazing the view was:

Mt. Hood from the air

The actual SXSW event hasn’t even started yet – I’ll head over to the Austin Convention Center across the street in a little bit to pick up my badge, and attend one or two of the opening panels. There’s so much stuff going on at any given time that it’s kind of intimidating to decide where I should be at any given time. Not only are there actually three components to the SXSW festival going on at the same time (Interactive, Film, and Music), but each timeslot has like ten panels, all of them sound great, and there are tons of “extracurricular” events going on, like the Screenburn gaming festival, film premiers and screenings (I want to go see “Nerdcore Rising” and MC Frontalot!). Oh, and BarCampAustin. And lots and lots of friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. And tons of parties (which I probably won’t go to – I’m not much of a party person. Downside of being a true geek, I guess.) It’s so hard to plan ahead that I simply decided not to. There are a few things that I want to be sure to see, but I’m mostly playing it by ear.

I’ll be taking photos and shooting video, and posting real blog posts, but mainly, you can expect to keep up with what I’m doing via my Twitter microposts. You’ll find a daily summary posted here to the blog (but not in the feed), or you can see it all as it happens in my lifestream at www.joshbancroft.com, or follow me on Twitter. And if you’re in Austin and want to get together, just D me on Twitter, or email me (jabancroft@gmail.com). You can call me at 503-334-1889, but you’ll probably get my voicemail.

I’m going to head out, get some lunch, then go over and pick up my badge, check the place out, and sit in on a panel or two. Catch you later! πŸ™‚

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