WordCamp for WordPress San Fransisco 2007

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

About 400 people will be gathering at the Swedish-American Hall on Market Street in San Francisco on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 to reinforce community involvement around one of the world’s fastest growing open-source software platforms, known as WordPress. The meeting is known as WordCamp, and it’s the second annual event of its kind. The foundation behind WordPress is not a big corporate behemoth holding a conference in a swanky hotel for selected press and Internet celebrities. It’s more of a community event, with coffee, sandwiches, a barbecue, and a bunch of bloggers, gathered together to discuss something they are all passionate about.

WordPress, the popular blogging platform, now in over four years of development and use, is increasingly becoming the standard in what some in the mainstream media may call Web 2.0 blog engines.

word campThis is not a story of cookie-cutter software used to make web sites. It’s a story of people from all over the world supporting something they benefit from using everyday. There’s no single company that wins as a result of the event. Rather, companies, groups, organizations, and individuals are independently adopting and backing this open-source platform for no other reason than its easy to use, features lickity split installs (typically under five minutes, especially on Linux), is easy to maintain, and is loaded with options (meaning you can do all all kinds of things with it you couldn’t do with an ordinary website).

The founders describe WordPress as a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. It’s everything that they say it is and more. I am representing Planet Chiropractic at the event as WordPress is the engine that powers the blog section of our site (known as Chiropractic Blogs). I’ve done hundreds of installs of WordPress software and I’ve been championing it amongst small and medium business circles as a way to build a more efficient and effective web presence.

Rather than be cheeky and call it a Web 2.0 platform lets say it’s a more efficient way to do things when it comes to getting your message out. Isn’t that what we are looking for in our eco-friendly drive to do more and waste less? People are increasingly becoming more concerned about carbon footprints and how they can be more energy-efficient. WordPress is a way to be more efficient in building Web platforms and saving one of our most valuable resources, time.

Many people don’t know it yet and many more don’t want to admit it, the old way of doing business on the Web is dead (or at least dying). While the initial popularity of WordPress use was from the blog community, individuals who had something to say, the numbers of small-business owners, medium size business owners, and corporate entities, are increasingly seeking involvement, and the platform is evolving as a result.

Service industries are loaded with companies that have created website templates focusing on any number of niche markets (such as attorney websites, chiropractic, medicine, acupuncture, and dentistry), and selling those templates as packages typically through trade journals and at business conferences.

While some of these companies claim they are creating unique websites with hundreds of pages of content, what they are in reality creating are hundreds of pages of search engine content penalties (such as duplicate content and interlinking schemes) that often result in only a mere handful of pages that include unique data. Business consumers are paying anywhere from $49 a month to $179 a month for these types of services and the great majority are scratching their heads wondering why their web sites don’t appear in search engines. I know this because I receive e-mails everyday from business owners seeking to improve the performance of their websites and these types of sites are the typical culprits.

In my opinion, WordPress is changing the entire landscape and there will be a major shakeup of the old model in the not-too-distant future. Unlike the old model, WordPress invites community, it gets people engaged in the conversation, it’s non-static, it’s invigorating, and it’s one of the most exciting things out there.

Platforms like WordPress solve one of the dilemmas of new businesses by lowering the bar considerably in building a successful business presence online. The world wants to see your business, they want to engage in conversation with you and your employees, they’re interested in what your thoughts are as they research doing business with you. Providing that information in a lively interactive format offers them better opportunities to choose your business when the opportunity arises.

If you’re using WordPress to drive your website or blog, send me an e-mail so I can check it out.

planetc1.com-news @ 2:21 pm | Article ID: 1184880091