PodCamp Pittsburgh Refresh

We are getting closer to PodCamp Pittsburgh 6 and the next step is the website refresh. We’ve been back and forth about how to handle the ever growing PCPGH website, but have settled on staying with WordPress.

Under the Hood

The update is really a theme refresh as all of the old content is still available. There are a lot of great features this theme gives us that our previous theme didn’t have. At the top of the list is the ability to showcase past PodCamp sessions in a cleaner way. Visit these pages under the “Shortcuts” menu.

There are many other content areas that give us the ability to showcase information and features. I’m excited about the flexibility we have as well as the modern design.

Recognition

This update comes from a lot of work from a lot of people. The back end and theme work was done by Cynthia Closkey and myself. Our current web content manager, Chachi, made sure the content is up-to-date and current. Mike Sorg our ever present video guru made sure all the past PodCamp videos are working properly and organized. Rob de la Cretaz designed the PCPGH6 logo and is working on the badges for this year. Missy Sorg kept us all on track managing content with Chachi. Everyone deserves a hand and extra high fives.

I hope everyone likes the site and is looking forward to a great event this year.

Reset Your Google Reader

How many people have about 1,000 unread items in the Google Reader? I know I’m close to that number. Over the weekend I was talking to Jami Broom about how we never check reader and everything just starts to pile up.

Well I’ve got an idea. What if we just reset our Google Readers. If you aren’t looking at the content anyway then there is nothing to loose. Now is the perfect time especially if you are planning on attending PodCamp Pittsburgh this weekend. Reset your reader and then as  you meet new friends, add them to Reader, you won’t be overwhelmed with contend you weren’t going to read in the first place. I bet you will also add a few sites you still love but you won’t have to sort through all the old content.

Pushing your Envelope with WordPress

Note: Originally Published on PodCamp Pittsburgh

Using the Modern Web

As the mainstream move to accept Web 2.0 (without being conscious of it) the tools for sharing have gotten more and more sophisticated. The lines between a website, blog, and social network are becoming blurred. Websites like Linkedin and Facebook are incorporating Twitter “like” functions. We have seen this for a long time in the realm of photo sharing and video sharing is not far behind. Sharing and creating content online is an expected aspect of “surfing” the web today.

The modern web provides us with excellent tools to create, share and build communities. From complex social networks to quick and dirty blog sites. These tools strive to giving users access to dynamic sharing with as few clicks as possible. I even have my mom using a blog, now that is progress. But my point is that sharing is now very simple and these simple sites are actually very powerful tools.

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague about using Tumblr as their main site for content. Now to be clear I don’t have anything against Tumblr, nor do I want to discourage people from using these tools. However in this situation I was surprised at how few hits the site was getting. Especially, because she is starting to attract advertisers and how often there is new content on the Tumblr.

When You Hit the Ceiling

Some Monsters Are Too Large To Fit

Flickr Photo by CarbonNYC

The more I thought about the situation the more I realized that the site probably started as a fun little hobby and has grown into a popular page. Applying basic SEO think to the situation I thought there had to be a reason the Tumblr isn’t getting more traffic. How can you maximize keywords, does creating keyword links help, naming photos, meta data, generating links to your site, etc are all questions that came to mind.

So my bigger question is when do you hit the ceiling with free web services? Even WordPress.com and Blogger have their limitations. The answer to that question ultimately lies in your goals and reason for publishing content in the first place. Perhaps your goal has changed or grown, maybe you see new potential, you are ready to monetize, or, perhaps, you are just so awesome you need more control over your content. Each site will have it’s own set of circumstances.

What WordPress.org Can Do For You

When you realize you have hit the proverbial ceiling you will know it. My content manager of choice is WordPress.org and I encourage everyone to give it a serious look. In WordPress 3.0 you have more options that ever before in how you can post, organize, and direct traffic on your site. Creating multiple blogs on one domain is a new dynamic tool that is still being realized by bloggers.

Currently I’m using WordPress 3.0 for a familiy blog where each family member can have their own site and pull content into one main feed. I’m also using it to power an online store to sell Magic: the Gathering cards. At AiP we are considering it to give the school unlimited sub domain sites for one off projects by faculty and students.

With a little tinkering, you’ll find that your basic functions are available on WordPress and then begin to realize how the sky is the limit.

PodCamp Pittsburgh 5

With that said this is why you need to come to PodCamp Pittsburgh. To learn more about what these tools can do for you. At PodCamp you will:

  • learn about how to use these tools, including WordPress
  • meet people who can help you
  • take your blog/podcast/Tumblr to the next level

Finally Not only is WordPress free, but so is PodCamp Pittsburgh! Technology is making our lives better.

Countdown to G-20 the Saga Continues

There is so much happening I hardly have time to share.

First off the Challenges for G-20 got this sweet radio spot on ESPN 1250 AM.

G-20

I’m adding this audio clip to an AiP site so why not here.

Also last night I participated in a G-20 round table discussion that is the first of many podcasts on the PodCamp Pittsburgh website. Below is a summery of the conversation.

In Pittsburgh, we are all preparing for the G20 Summit, one of the biggest international events to come to our fair city. We kick off our first Podcast-exclusive content this week with a round table featuring members of the city’s social media community. This week, we speak with Tim Hindes, Grants Manager and Creative Director with GSP Consulting, Elizebeth Perry, a sketch blogger and Technology Coordinator at the the Ellis School, Cynthia Closkey, President of Big Big Design, and Norm Huelsman, Assistant Director of Public Relations with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. We cover what the G20 is, what it means for Pittsburgh, what can we expect, and how can we stay connected and contribute over the course of the event.

A big thanks to Mike Sorg for pulling the whole thing together. It was his idea all the way through to production. Thanks Mike!

Thinking about PodCamp PGH

PodCamp PGH is quickly approaching. Here is the Bacn video that was made at PCPGH 2. I’m sure that new and exciting ideas will emerge out of PodCamp PGH this year. I’ll be presenting on a few topics including branding and blogging.

PodCamp PGH will be held at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh on October 18-19. On Saturday we start at 9a.m. and don’t stop until Sunday.