Wellingtonian Dan Milward and myself got to WordCampSF back on May 1 in San Francisco. There were 750+ people there and for most of the day there were two streams running with more technical sessions downstairs and general – more road-map style sessions upstairs.

San Francisco WordCamp is always a bit more open ended than the other  60 WordCamps now held everywhere around the world which are more locally tuned. Half of the attendees are from out of town and there are quite a few connectors from all around the world including us.

The sessions for San Francisco included some forward thinking and a few surprises.

First up I went to Niall Kennedy‘s session on writing plugins. Niall is the VideoPress guy and made the excellent point that using VideoPress for running video on your website is much easier and better performance than you can get from your regular shared hosting package.

I’m hoping that Scott Berkun‘s session video will be up soon as I suspect it was also very good.

Live Jazz at WordCampSF lunchIt is always a balancing act programming a WordCamp since the actual projects are often more interesting than the platform but attendees expect elements of both and there are always a range of attendees skills and experience.

This can lead to too much tech and not enough project wow and vice versa.

The full schedule for SF 2010 is over here. One of the surprising things at WordCamp SF was the high profile of Microsoft who have clearly noticed WordPress usage over the past few years, as have Google and Salesforce.

Daniel Cook presented on how to turn Microsoft Office into a game. I opted for an alternative session from Vanessa Fox on audience engagement which truthfully wasn’t that engaging.

John Ford then gave a presentation on “Living with Our Computers… and Keeping it Healthy” which sure enough emptied the room. Who wants to hear the words healthy and computers in the same sentence. Point being that our modern lifestyle of sitting down most of the day is really tough on our physiology.

To be fair Jane Wells was talking on “User Experience the WordPress Way” at the same time which I would have been at if I hadn’t already seen a presentation by her on that.

After an excellent BBQ lunch we then filed in to a jam packed theatre for  the Matt Mullenweg keynote.

An extended version of this post is over at WordCamp NZ including Matt’s video …

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