WordCamp Portland Day 1: Why Am I Here?

I made it through the first day of WordCamp Portland 2009, not the type of conference I normally attend. But I learned a great way to help some of my less-technical customers develop continuously updated content on their web site by using Microsoft Live Writer to add to their WordPress based web site.

This may not seem like a major breakthrough to sophisticated web developers, but making it easy for non-technical people to add content to their web site has been difficult. Most non-technical people quickly choke and their eyes glaze over when presented with a typical CMS or blogging dashboard. Although there are millions of bloggers using similar tools on blog sites, most of these sites restrict the tools to a range of flexibility that meets the needs of the most basic author and avoid confusion.

I support a web site for a dance company, Dance West, where having dancer-created information would be an excellent addition to the site (this is a site built on WordPress using a variation of the K2 theme). The problem is that these dancers are not technically proficient and they already blanched when confronted with the dashboard.

Using Microsoft Live Writer allows them to work within a familiar user interface to “type” in their content, adding photos and videos as they go, in what looks like a simplified version of Microsoft Word, an application they are all familiar with. I’ll be starting them using Live Writer in the next couple of weeks and I think there may be another client or two who will be interested in using this same process to engage their employees and speak to their audience.

This post is my first using this method as a trial.

This is one of the valuable ideas I picked up on the first day at WordCamp Portland 2009. I also enjoyed the talk with Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, and a discussion on plugins used by WordPress designers to extend the capabilities of WordPress for different businesses. More to come tomorrow.

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2 Comments

Filed under Business Technology, Small Business, Social Media

2 responses to “WordCamp Portland Day 1: Why Am I Here?

  1. Windows Live Writer is great… it’s sad there were only a handful of folks in that session at WordCamp, I think a lot of folks don’t realize what a useful tool it can be for the less-than-technical folks like you mentioned.

    Glad you found it useful!

    • Mike

      Yes, Aaron, I was a bit disappointed by the attendance at the Live Writer session, but many WordCamp Portland attendees are experienced and consistent bloggers who are not intimidated by the WordPress dashboad. I intend to introduce using Windows Live Writer to a small group of new bloggers for one small business web site next week.

      Thanks for putting together another great WordCamp Portland.

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