WordCamp Jerusalem 2013: A Belated Wrap-up

wcjeru-2013WordCamp Jerusalem this year has come and gone. Presentation slides have since been added to the event website (video soon?) and some of slide packs are in English although the presentation itself may have been given in Hebrew.

Here are the talks I attended; With the exception of “Getting to Know WordPress”, all presentations were in the General Track (non-techy):

צילום: שלשה עקרונות, שלשה יישומים באתר שלך (Photography: Three principles and 3 implementations on your site)
This was the first talk of the morning that I arrived late to (see below) and was immediately sorry that I was late. Yael gave some excellent tips on how to best photograph portraits, apartments and products for the web. As with most things photography, lighting is the key.

היכרות עם וורדפרס ועוד… (Getting to Know WordPress and more)
My first real encounter with getting under the WP hood and into the engine. Geared for beginners Chen’s talk gave me an insight into what I’m gladly getting myself into, just don’t ask me yet to use a stick shift.

משנים את העולם – וורדפרס לעמותות וארגונים חברתיים (Changing the World with WordPress for Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations)
I wrote earlier about this talk and my disappointment that WordPress.com was not mentioned as an option for budget-strapped NPOs and other charitable organizations. If you look at this particular developer’s slides from WordCamp (in Hebrew), you’ll understand why Omer would not suggest it to his clients, but it’s still an option for the vast majority.

The Business of WordPress: tips for managing your WordPress business
Not just for WordPress businesses, Miriam gave excellent advice for anyone setting up and running a service-based business, the need to clearly spell out client/service provider expectations and how to get there with your sanity intact.

WordPress Website Planning – Sitemaps, Wireframes and more
Even though this was not a “technical” talk, Deena gave us a nuts and bolts look at planning, designing and developing a client site while, yep, maintaining one’s sanity. (Starting to notice a trend here?)

The Power of Your Story Through WordPress
WordCamp was excited to host Kimanzi Constable, blogger and writer from Wisconsin. Kimanzi shared his insights on how to market your passion, personal or business, through storytelling. Make sure to check out his website and, Kimanzi, it was great meeting you.

“יציאה אל העולם הגדול” – כיצד מקימים ומנהלים ביעילות אתר רב לשוני? (Going out to the World at Large-How to effectively set up and run a multi-language site)
Less a talk and more of a plug for the speaker’s multi-language, commercial plugin (WPML). It was an interesting look at how one can provide a site tailored to a visitor’s language needs. Eyal also gave attendees a sneak preview to a new site developed by his company  which creates the most basic WP-based sites (with templates) on the fly.

מה היה קורה אם וורדפרס לא הייתה קוד פתוח? (What would happen if WordPress weren’t Open Source)
Probably the only talk that didn’t teach me something new. If the point of his talk was to convince attendees that open source software is a good thing, I think Ofer had his work cut out for him speaking to a room full of WordPress users.

There’s no doubt that 3 year’s worth of experience putting together WordCamps reflected on Illuminea’s polished presentation this year. (We should have ice cream! <-inside joke) Kudos to Illumenia’s  team and the speakers for an informative event. The only real oddity was not having any Internet or cellular access, as the event took place in conference rooms underground. As a result, we actually had to concentrate on the conference. Hm!

I arrived a little late to the event, Jerusalem’s roads being unfamiliar territory. Not having GPS made getting there more than a little challenging and in serendipitous fashion, I found the place because only a week earlier we had been on a walking tour in the same approximate area and I recognized one of the corners where our group turned and walked by the hotel. Sadly, my fears about the traffic to and from Jerusalem were entirely justified to their fullest, near nightmare scenarios. Should the next WordCamp take place in Jerusalem, I will try much harder to find a way to stay overnight the night before and maybe the night after.

On a personal note, I was very happy to be able to sponsor even a small part of this year’s WordCamp Jerusalem. For me it was the launch of “WPcomMaven” in order to help local Israeli WordPress.com users learn to effectively and efficiently use their sites. More information on the “Learn” page.