Getting a better Northern Voice

Come the afternoon, come more sessions.

Although I’m fairly well read in some areas, wiki’s are still an area that, if not a black art, are still unfamiliar. What better way to start to plug the gap than by checking out wiki101 with Stewart Mader. This was a really useful session as it opened up a new ways for me to consider how or why I would use wiki’s in the future.
Again, for the uninitiated a wiki is a website or page that can be edited anyone, or protected if that’s what you want. The biggest challenge for someone just entering business i, if I was to use a wiki, how much would I put ‘out there’. There’s the chance that allowing collaboration will create a better end result, however, I wouldn’t want to give away the crown jewels either. One to think about.

Next up was a session on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It wasn’t what I was expecting but still dead useful as Linda Bustos provided some great examples of how sites, using the power of keywords, tags and titles could rate really highly in the cherished search engine front page stakes. I think the gem for me was, in my words, go viral, get noticed.

Towards the end of the afternoon I finally bumped in to John and Rebecca. We haven’t seen each other since first meeting in June 07, so it was great to at least say hi. The bonus was some top tips from John on dissecting WordPress.
John’s pulled WordPress around a number of times and his work for a friend traveling the world is top quality, check out John’s post and move on the NoBoundaries.

Last session of the day was an inspiring walk through what can be done with WordPress as a Content Management System [wiki]. Alan Levine of CogDogBlog took us on a tour of “really cool sites that don’t look like blogs, but run on blog software”. I use WordPress to power this site and even though I’ve hardly touched the theme, it’s really encouraging to see what can be done using the platform. Both John and Alan have fired me up to use WordPress as the engine for my next business website.

Final thanks of an enjoyable first day must go to Rahel of Intentional Design Inc who kindly gave me a lift home and is also providing a lift on Saturday.

When I take in to consideration the facilities, lunch being provided, the quality of speakers and the sense of community, day one of Northern Voice 08 was worth the $60 conference fee alone, and day 2, the ‘real’ conference is still to come.

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