Ding! Session is Ready!

WordCamp Milwaukee

Even though I’ve been attending BarCamp like events since 2006, and hosted Web414 for many years, I still hit these periods where I think that I have no right being in front of a crowd talking about something. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk, and I love sharing my knowledge, but I occasionally question my own credentials.

That brings us to WordCamp which happened this past weekend. I wasn’t very involved in the event (though I did help sponsor it) but during the planning I was asked to do a session, and I said “Sure! I can do a session on blogging with WordPress” which was the most generic thing I could think of at the time.

So about a week before the event, Dusty asked me for description of my session. I wrote a rambling paragraph and emailed it off, still not sure what the focus would be. I then got busy, as I often do, and didn’t prepare anything before the event. I got there Sunday about an hour before my session, and cobbled together 6 slides, of which I only showed about 4. None of that really matters though…

How did it go? It went well. It went fine. It went… good. Yeah, it went good.

I need to take my own advice. The thing I’ve told people time and time again at BarCamp events is “You are an expert at your own experience” and damn, that’s the truth. Seriously, that may be the smartest thing I’ve ever said. If someone is more of an expert at your experiences than you are, well, you may have a stalker, and hey, then you have experience being stalked!

Here’s the thing… I just rambled on about my experiences blogging, and showed some of the blogs I write for, and some of the tools I use. There were questions I couldn’t answer. That’s OK. I asked other people in the room. I’ll never assume I’m the smartest person in the room, even if it’s just me and the cats. All I can do is share my own experiences. I can tell you what I’ve done, or what I think, and occasionally I can tell you the right way to do it, but even then, it’s going to come from my point of view.

Also, it helps to yell and swear. I tend to do this when I talk to a large group. Someone from Chicago invited me to do a session at their WordCamp in the fall, and I had to confirm they actually saw my session. You know, the session where I told people interested in making money to get the hell out! I guess yelling and swearing works sometimes.

So the good news is, you may not have to prepare for your BarCampMilwaukee session this year. Just show up and talk about your own experiences. If it doesn’t work, feel free to yell (and swear) at me. You’re welcome!


PHP Hacking

The Milwaukee PHP User Group invited me to speak at their January 2011 meeting, so I talked about PHP Hacking, or at least my perspective on it, with a talk titled: PHP Hacking: The battle between great ideas and not-so-great code.

I recorded the audio from the talk, and since I felt the slides themselves didn’t say much, I thought about syncing the audio to the slides and making a video, but since SlideShare has these things called SlideCasts, I thought I’d give that a try…

John Boutelle has a great intro called Slidecasting 101 which explains it all. I found the SlideCast tool pretty easy to use, my only complaint would be that I’d like to not publish my slides until the audio is synced. If there’s a way to do that, I must have missed it.

As for the talk itself, it pokes a lot of fun at Java, .NET, Ruby (on Rails) and a few other things… Don’t take it too seriously… much of this talk was for entertainment purposes. Also, I mentioned a few people in this talk, or if I didn’t mention them, I mentioned things that they’ve done. Here’s a few: Dave Winer, Rogers Cadenhead, Kellan Elliott-McCrea, Phil Wilson, Vinny Carpenter, Steve Minutillo, Matt Gauger, Tom Henrich, and probably a few more I’ve forgotten…

If you’d like me to come speak at your user group or meeting, let me know… I’d be happy to come and insult whatever technology you’d like, even your own. :)

This presentation is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. You can also see it at SlideShare.


What is a PhotoCamp?

PhotoCampMilwaukee is happening happened May 2, 2009 at Bucketworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin…

Hopefully this brief presentation will explain a few things…


Positive Complaining

John Resig shows us the right way to complain about something… by not even making it appear you are complaining, and offering solutions.

His post on Easy PDF Sharing nails it by saying he loves something (SlideShare) but then asking how it could be improved, and and offering a solution as well (with working code.)

To SlideShare’s credit, they are pretty open to people’s suggestions. When I mentioned them last year, they commented on my post right away, which is always great to see.

I’m really liking what John did, and I’ll see if I can tie into it with my workflow of using S5.


MilwaukeeDevHouse, FTW?

MilwaukeeDevHouse, FTW? Presentation

I gave a presentation at Web414 last night about MilwaukeeDevHouse.

Because I am FAIL! at using office suites, I did the presentation in S5, and it’s called MilwaukeeDevHouse, FTW?

MilwaukeeDevHouse1 will be taking place Friday, March 14th, 2008 at Bucketworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Get there around 7PM, stay until you fall over.

Photos in the presentation provided by Scott Beale aka Laughing Squid. Inspiration for MilwaukeeDevHouse courtesy of SuperHappyDevHouse… Thanks yo!