Another successful WordPress Meetup

Attending a Danish WordPress Meetup in the company of nice people is a pleasant way for a geek to recover from jetlag!

René blogged about it (in Danish, of course). I look forward to seeing pictures when the photographers upload their photos somewhere.

Podcasts and blogs

I was bit late, but caught the majority of Karin Høegh’s little talk about podcast blogs. She is working on a new tool here in Denmark for publishing podcasts called Podhandle. She feels there are usability issues with publishing methods and hopes that podhandle can provide good solutions. Not being a podcaster myself, I couldn’t really use that information, but I enjoyed listening to Karin’s talk and the discussion that followed. The atmosphere is always charged with energy and inspiration at times like these.

Statistics and your blog

Our talk soon switched to statistics programs. Several were mentioned, but the best summary can be found on Knut’s site. The content is in Danish, but anyone can figure out the links! I am not at the point where I need stats just yet. 🙂 I was curious about whether the stats you could find were truly usable by “ordinary” people. I never took statistics in school, but I am aware that they can be misinterpreted very easily. If anyone has any insight on that, I’d be interested to hear about it.

I posted that question at the meetup, and Knut responded by saying he felt statcounter was simple, but understandable. René mentioned slimstat and scribefire, a plug-in for Firefox. Maybe I garbled something in my few notes from today, but I am sure René said scribefire could be used for stats, but it looks more like a WYSIWYG editor. Comments, anyone? In this same discussion, René talked about feedburner feedsmith, a really easy name to remember! As the name suggests, it deals with feeds, but you can get some stats from it.

Photos

We discussed plug-ins for photos. René mentions a few in his blog entry, but I’ll just add 23hq and tabblo as some other links that were mentioned. The Lightbox2 plug-in got a mention. I had seen this effect before, but I didn’t know what it was. What does it do? You click on a thumbnail image. The lightbox javascript displays the large version of that image in your browser and the page you were on remains in the background, but appears faded or veiled by a transparent layer.

This, of course, got someone asking for sites that have free (or very inexpensive) photos to use on a blog. The following sites were mentioned:

Odds and Ends

The rest of the meeting – and the continuation at a local café – was random chit-chat, but very interesting chit-chat.

Peter Brodersen, the creator of findvej.dk, attended, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him and listening to him talk about the thoughts he had and has about wedding some Danish data with the Google API to make a very intelligent and very usable map tool. The name says it all – “find vej” is Danish for “find [the] street”. Even cooler is his Wikipedia project, which I hadn’t noticed. I have often just popped in, found a location, and popped out again. Well, what if you are curious about that old building that you pass every day on the bus to work? You know where it is located, so you use the wikipedia page to locate the building. You click on the wikipedia icon at that location, and a pop-up tells you the name of the building and includes a link to its wikipedia article. Of course, the idea depends on articles being available. The Danish wikipedia project is growing so more icons will appear over time. I can see that major landmarks are indeed included here, so the concept is off to a good start. Geeky Danes can follow Peter’s plans on his blog. As he mentioned, findvej.dk needs to be kept free of clutter, so where else do you record all the background info? A blog, of course.

I had a nice chat with Lars about tags. Now that I am on WordPress 2.2, I want those tags to work. He gave me a recipe for tweaking my Ultimate Tag Warrior plug-in. I will share the recipe when I have tried it myself. No need to embarrass myself unnecessarily from a misinterpretation of my scribbles from our chat! When I saw his site, I was curious about his method for displaying his del.icio.us tags. He uses feedroll, which uses a javascript for displaying the tags. He had tried magpie rss, but he found that feedroll was better (why, I don’t remember!). He also had an interesting feature on his blog called coComment. coComment allows you to collect on one page all the comments that you make on other blogs. Very convenient if you are an active commenter. You are also notified when someone adds a comment to the thread where you left comments. I don’t know whether I’ll use this, but it was just interesting and inspiring to see how other people set up their blogs and what features they found useful or necessary for what they are doing.

In other conversations, I learned about WordPressMU, the multi-user version of WordPress, discussed copyrights and creative commons, and oh, I can hardly remember it all now. Forums, emails, and blogs are all wonderful tools, but a face-to-face meeting always adds an extra something.

I look forward to the next meetup after summer! Thanks again to Peter for providing a place to meet up.

5 replies on “Another successful WordPress Meetup”

  1. Thanks for a great read and for your enthusiastic participation in our meetups. Great to have you there!

    During the stats discussions I mainly proposed to use Google Analytics, and I have definitely never said that Scribefire could be used for stats. But I do remember that we got to talk about Scribefire because I couldn’t remember the name of a stats tool I used a while ago. Scribefire is made by the same people and therefore I mentioned that to get people to tell me what I couldn’t remember. I was of course thinking of Performancing Metrics. Failing to sell it the guys initially discontinued the service, but then made it open source (a fork can be found at OpenMetrics. I really did enjoy the ease of use and just might start using it again sometime soon.

    And just for clarification: Feedburner deals with the feed stats – the Feedburner Feedsmith is a WP plugin that redirects your built-in WP feeds to your Feedburner feeds.

  2. Thanks for the clarification, René. Sorry I got the scribefire thing mixed up. Everyone’s enthusiasm does that 🙂 Tips are flying non-stop through the air while we talk. Great!

  3. Cool. The first pictures have been posted. And look at this one.
    It shows typical WordPress bloggers – with a podcast session taking place in the background! Are we new media, or what? 🙂

  4. I can’t believe you have a WordPress meetup in Denmark but here in the U.S. there’s not one anyone near me. I’m so jealous!

    Re the Podhandle tool, I wish it were in English so I could understand it. Has your friend experimented with Gigavox’s Audio Lite CMS? I started looking into it and think it would be a great tool to manage podcasts. Mainly, it allows you to chunk the audio and manage it in parts, so that you can swap in and out ads without having to rerecord the podcast.

  5. Hi Tom

    It is maybe a little premature to announce this to an international audience, but now you ask. PODHANDLE (still in beta) is a webbased publishing tool for website- and blogowners – who can upload, host (optional) create feed, fill out all info tags and (note this) create a script to (once anfd for all) embed on their site (chose background colour, text, and font) – and is automatically and dynamically updated by each new episode.

    Gigavox Lite is different, it manages the files itself and has no influence on the publishing, really.

    PODHANDLE is unique, because it has the publishing (embedded) possibility, and we are very excited about it – will launch at the Newmediaexpo.com in September – and right now we are testing and marketing it for use in Denmark.

    Everybody who would like to know more about the launch is welcome to send an email to karin@podhandle.com – and I will let you know, how it progresses, prices and all.

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