James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

For the first time in five or six years, I finally met James Huff in person at WordCamp LA. I’ve known him for about seven years. In addition to being a talented musician and all-around helpful guy, he’s a Happiness Engineer with Automattic.

Since his Gravatar is from his wedding three years ago, I demanded politely asked for a portrait. 😉

Thanks for the good times, James!

Edit: Thanks, Amy, for suggesting that I reword my post. To clarify, this was my first time meeting James.

My thoughts on WordCamp LA 2010

WordCamp LA

I’ve had a few days to let WordCamp Los Angeles 2010 simmer in my mind.

The following are a few things I learned:

Attendees

Don’t complain. You only paid $25, and the organizer(s) can’t please everyone.

I overheard a complaint about not having intermediate speakers. That was last year.[1. Attendee feedback from WordCamp LA 2009 indicated that people wanted beginner and advanced speakers.]

Don’t be scared – interact with others! You’ll get more out of the experience and feel much better at the end of the day.

WordCamp LA

Alana Joy talking with WordCampers

WordCamp LA

Bring pen and paper. It’s good practice. If you have questions, write them down and save them for the end. (Maybe the speaker might answer your question, and you won’t break his/her train of thought.)

Ask questions pertinent to the speaker. I found myself glancing at the schedule a few times, wondering why the speaker or audience weren’t staying on topic.

Do you have a lot of knowledge you’d like to share? Write it all down and ask to speak next year. Or, write a series of blog posts about it. If it’s solid, it’ll get shared.

I heard that scheduling speakers was a difficult task this year. In a few panels, I remember some folks sharing a substantial amount of information.

Most importantly, if a speaker is talking or fielding a question, be quiet. I was annoyed at times because people kept talking and making comments to their friends, and I couldn’t hear what was going on.

Really, “adults?” Go outside, have your discussion, then come back.

Speakers

Make your talk, slideshow, and/or notes available online. State its availability at the beginning, and it should reduce questions if someone misheard a website or plugin.

*****

This was the second year I’ve attended and volunteered. (View Austin Passy’s and my photos from this year)

Although I view myself as a wallflower, I did my best to talk to people I haven’t met before. For the most part, I had a good time and felt that most of the speakers did a great job.

Especially after Luke Pilon’s speech, I’m inspired to get back into WordPress (especially helping in the forums), gain purpose for my website/blog, and write more.

If you attended WordCampLA, what were your thoughts? If you blogged about it already, please share a link to it in the comments.