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PodCamp Pittsburgh 4: Day 2

I attended the second and last day of PodCamp here in Pittsburgh today. It started out with the garage across the street being closed and me parking in Station Square and walking across the bridge in 40 degree weather without a coat. I saw one garage said something about parking for a movie set and was tempted to try to sneak in and see if I could see Russell Crowe or someone else, but then he might have thrown a phone at me.

10 AM: Panel Discussion: Content Management Systems

This panel was moderated by Anthony Closkey (@anthonycloskey) and the panel members included David Wheeler (@davidwheeler), Danielle Nicol (@onedamnthing), and Cynthia Closkey (@cynthiacloskey). David is a leader of a Drupal group here in Pittsburgh, Danielle is works with online content for the law firm she works for and uses Sharepoint, while Cynthia is a web designer and has used WordPress and Joomla! among other CMS systems. The panel discussed some of the strengths and weaknesses of each CMS such as WordPress only having four levels of access and no way to be over just certain people where Sharepoint has some of this functionality, and Drupal has allows the creation inifinite roles and permissions. Also, David mentioned that coming in the spring is Drupal Gardens which will be sort of like the free version of WordPress where it’s hosted by WordPress rather than you setting up your own thing like with the current version? iteration? of Drupal and WordPress.org

11 AM: Kevin Gennuso, “Security Awareness: Concerns past, present, and future.”

This session was my favorite of the two morning sessions I attended. Kevin (@kevvyg) has 15 years experience in the information security field and talked about security on the web in regards to not only what information you put out there, but the responsibility (or lack of in some cases) of coders to make their code secure and government concerns. He also mentioned various tools which are trustworthy such as 1Password for Macs and PassKey for Windows. He also recommended Malwarebytes for anti virus. Security concerns with social engineering (where people pretend to be you after getting your information) was discussed along with security risks associated with clicking on things such as Flash updates links on a site other than Adobe that aren’t really Flash updates and the risks associated with clicking on shortened URLs and not knowing where they are really taking you. Brizzly! (a URL shortener for Twitter) however has a new feature where you can preview a site so you can see where it is taking you, and bit.ly has new feature which flags known malicious sites.

1 PM: Vasco Pedro, “Smarter Media: Semantics in user-generated content.”

I must admit that this session went a bit above my head. It wasn’t quite what I expected and was a bit too high-level for me and I zoned out a bit at times so all I really know to say is that he talked about XML, URI, RDF, OWL, and other things that go with the semantic web. He also mentioned tools such as: Zemanta, Open Calaid, TWINE, Peer 39, and bing.

2 PM: Trish Bower, “Your Brand: Join the Conversation

Trish Bower (@pntbtrjelee)  came in from Austin to talk with us about our brand and social media. Her talk was my favorite of the afternoon.  Some of the statistics she provided included the fact that is Facebook were a country they would be fourth largest in the world between the US and Indonesia. Also, that the iPhone already has 2 billion apps when it took TV and radio 13 and 38 years to reach 50 million people. Her talk included case studies on Starbucks and Dell and how they interact with their customers. Starbucks and Dell both have sites allowing their customers to post ideas that they think would improve the companies products. Starbucks’ new cup lid plug which keeps your drink from sloshing out of the hole while driving came from their idea site. Also, these companies and others are following what people say about them on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter often resulting in a response to the consumer when a negative comment is posted. They don’t criticize the consumer, but ask what they could do better or take steps to solve the problem or make up for a bad experience.

See y’all next year!

Once again I did not go to the 3:00 sessions. I’m not sure why none of those really piqued my interest. Maybe because I needed caffeine (I’m not a coffee drinker) and this was my fourth full day of meetings/conference-type stuff this week.

Overall PodCamp was a good experience for me having met many interesting people and hopefully made some good business connections as well whether as clients, mentors, or fellow web design colleagues to keep in touch with.

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