Everyone who attended will agree that #WCMIA was another great success in 2015! The speakers inspired great new thoughts in their audiences; the picturesque venue absorbed the crowds with ease; the delicious BBQ was followed by unlimited pieces of pie Saturday afternoon; and the swag broke new grounds on interesting (glow-in-the-dark shot glasses and miniature drones, for example). Even the after-party ROCKED as Dave and Busters served up unlimited mini-burgers and chicken skewers on Saturday night! Kudos to David Bisset and the rest of the organizers, volunteers, sponsors and attendees for creating another epic weekend in Miami!
And let me tell you about several revolutions that occurred there:
1) FIU‘s emergence as the premier public university in South Florida. 15 years ago, if you had asked anyone outside of Miami (and many people in Miami) “where is FIU?” they would have looked at you and asked right back: “What is FIU?” Florida International University was an unknown school on the outskirts of Miami with little recognition outside of the local community back then. Today it is emerging as one of the premier universities in Florida. The fact that FIU stole WordCamp Miami away from the University of Miami (and handled the transition well) is a testament to the top-notch faculty, staff, and facilities being built up there. The FIU of today is “Worlds Ahead” of what it used to be!
2) Livestreaming WordCamps. Not many people logged into WordCamp via Livestream over the weekend, but those of us who did were impressed. Sessions were streamed successfully and simultaneously, and pains were made to make sure that the Livestream went off without a hitch. A/V experts were called in when audio problems arose at the Content/Design track on Saturday, and Livestream mics took precedence over room mics when a choice had to be made during the Business Panels on Sunday. Personally, I was very happy that I could watch Michelle Schulp‘s purple unicorns in the Content/Design track while serving as room monitor in the “How-To” track. Needless to say, future WordCamps will be well-attended on Livestream, if the quality of those transmissions are as good as they were this weekend.
3) A website design revolution incited by Morten Rand-Hendriksen. @mor10 incited at least one revolution in his talk on website design on Saturday. The cause of the revolution is best described by the thumb pain zone graphic by Scott Hurff shown below. @mor10 asks: why are website menus so often in the top-left corner of the page, when this is the area most difficult to reach when browsing with your thumb? The answer is that there is no good reason; we should all start designing our themes to put the menu in a more appropriate location. (Note that the WCMIA mobile website did NOT have the menu in the top left.) For a more complete explanation, see his talk on Livestream .
4) WordCampers’ Revolt. So this was more of a misunderstanding than a revolution, but it was so amusing that I had to write about it. If you want to see how it all went down, click on the Livestream link, open up Morten’s session, and scroll to about minute 30. This is where David Bisset came in to give Morten the customary 5-minute warning before the end of his talk. Morten had prepared a 45-minute workshop presentation, however, and he was not aware that he was supposed to finish after 30 minutes. Apparently sensing that Morten still had many more mind-blowing things to tell them, the crowd protested loudly against the 5-minute time limit. David, being the gracious host that he is, quietly acquiesced. He explained that closing remarks would be held in a few minutes, but amid such vociferous requests for an extension, he allowed Morten to continue. In fact, his reply to the crowd was priceless: “Well, just lock up when you leave, then.” And with that, he left the beloved speaker to his audience and went off to hold Closing Remarks at the regularly scheduled time.
All told, a brilliant weekend! Many thanks again to David and everyone else involved!!! See you at WordCamp Tampa!
Glow-in-the-dark shot glass from ServerPress!