About seven months ago, I began my journey at Schipul â€“ The Web Marketing Company.
Coming from a Journalism background, analyzing keywords and writing HTML code wasnâ€™t really my thing, but I saw the value of it toward my ultimate goal of being in Public Relations. With the help and patience of 30 employees (Schipul has grown tremendously since then) and a plethora of tools and resources, I was able to enhance my understanding of a whole other side of marketing and confidently integrate into the Schipul processes.
Now, going back to the topic of discussion, SchipulCon was a two-day event and officially blew my mind. Where else can you talk to Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress), Dries Buytaert (founder of Drupal) and Liza Kindred of Lullabot in the same day? Let me warn you, though I have submersed myself in the realm of coding and open source technology, I still am an amateur and have a lot more to learn. However, hearing these amazing speakers talk about their backgrounds, how they got to where they are now and where they want their brand to go, was immensely inspiring.It wasnâ€™t just the speakers I learned from, but also the attendees. Discussing the panels, expressing our perspectives of the material and debating, all enhanced our experience at the conference.
Aerial Photography Thanks to Ed Schipul’s RC Helicopter – SchipulCon 2011
John Michael Oswalt (JMO)
James Crossman was interesting and a bit creepy when talking about some of the tactics people use for social engineering. My favorite part was the discussion with Matt and Dries. There was a perfect balance of friendliness and competitiveness from their answers that we actually got a ton of great information out of them.
My favorite session was definitely Scooterâ€™s Real Cost of Social Media/ROI session. Â All of the sessions were really awesome – Katrinaâ€™s gave me tools that I didnâ€™t have before to better communicate to prospects and clients the value of social media marketing.
My favorite part of SchipulCon was having the privilege of processing all of the photos our volunteer photographers took. Â I was the first to see so many amazing moments, people laughing, learning, sharing, hugging, hoola-hooping! Â Oh – and I got to photograph Dries hoola-hooping and Ed flying his helicopter over people lying on the floor with an iPhone taped to the bottom with Titoâ€™s vodka stickers.
This is the only conference I have ever attended, (Iâ€™m including SXSW), that offered so much value, fun, chance to experience new things, plus Robots. Â Thank you for inviting me!
I only got to attend three panels, Chookooloonks, Dries and Matt, and Iron Plaid. I loved Chookoolonksâ€™ panel and appreciated how she told her story. My 2nd favourite part was the Matt and Dries Battle to the Death. In spite of the technical difficulties with sound, David did an amazing job with moderating and their conversation was genuine and insightful.
My absolute all time favourite part was the IRON PLAID ROBOT grrls. Those girls are amazing and strong and inspiring to other women. Iâ€™m really glad that they were included in the conference and wish that more people had a chance to hear them speak. I missed out on a lot of the other panels as I was supporting our clients, which I love, and am looking forward to see the vids.
Funny anecdote — we got a support request from the Norris Conference Centers while we weâ€™re having Schipulcon at the Norris Conference Centers.
Schipul Support Team Hard at Work Supporting Clients at SchipulCon
How do I name my favorite part? There was so much awesome happening all the time. I felt like a giddy tween when Dries Buytaert and Matt Mullenweg spoke. Tons of great info from two amazing minds. James Crossman absolutely opened my eyes about the dangers of social engineering. I actually left my office for a moment the other day with an interviewee in there, and I couldnâ€™t help but wonder if the interviewee could be someone else just engineering me.
Probably best of all was just the atmosphere and excitement throughout the conference. Seeing people between and after sessions having in depth conversations because they were so eager to either gain or share knowledge. I learned so much.
I think I’m still geeking out about all that I saw, heard and experienced at SchipulCon 2011; it was amazing. Â I’d have to say that my favorite sessions (out of the ones I could attend) were Nick Skytland from Nasa: Â The social web meets outer space and Kelsey Ruger’s Mobile Strategy session. Kelsey definitely has his strategy down to a science; one that not only provides a great service, but really gets down to what a client wants, needs and what can realistically work for them and their business model.
The NASA Presentation: Participatory Space Exploration – the Social Web Meets Outer Space, was also absolutely amazing and blew my mind. Â There is so much more to NASA, the NASA community and their open government programs than I ever dreamed. Â There is more potential for leaning, participating and innovation than many people know about and I’m so glad that there are programs, websites and groups dedicated to furthering NASA’s reach and influence among the world. Â I also got to meet tons of amazing and inspirational folks that have really added to my knowledge base & curiosity about new subjects; theyâ€™re also all just rad all around and cool to hang with. And…of course, the Dries and Matt lunch session was awesome (eeeeek!).
Goes without saying that being in the same room with Dries and Matt got me really excited all over again about making it easy for anyone, anywhere to publish on the web. It was full of moments that made me realize that we are incredibly lucky to be living in an age of more and more innovation and more and more connectedness.
One of my favorite sessions was Courtney and Toddâ€™s presentation on the few pros and many cons of RFPs (for clients and vendors). They proved that everybody wins when we treat each other like humans, even in business. And finally, the award for session I missed but canâ€™t wait to watch on video goes to Katrina for her presentation on the real costs and ROI of social media. That chick rocks.
Even the Food Was Awesome at SchipulCon
Keith Casey fed my brain on how Search is not just finding a document or reference in a browser, but using multiple tools to gather and correlate sets of data to learn more about individual people. Totally creepy and terribly fascinating.
Karen Walrond aka â€œChookooloonksâ€ continues to inspire by being a self described â€˜accidental activistâ€™ who just makes the right choice and then follows through with actions. Most of us know what to do in life and what is right and wrong, the hard part is taking the next step and doing something given the tools you have at hand. She rocks it by doing.
My favorite thing about SchipulCon was the merging of disciplines. Â Most conferences stay on the straight and narrow for the most part, focusing on a single industry and small range of topics. Â SchipulCon had web developers, street artists, photographers, social media gurus, drummers, robots…you name it. Exposing people to completely new ways of thinking sews the seeds for innovation, and SchipulCon did a great job of pulling very disparate ideas together without seeming scattered or disorganized.
I really enjoyed the conference. Itâ€™s a great one. The Dries + Matt – a discussion of tech with David as moderator is probably one of my favorites. I also liked a lot of sessions I attended. I think two of them are especially helpful. One is Austin Goveliaâ€™s â€œuser experiene and the power of great designâ€.Â He explained how to improve effectiveness by understanding the context.
The other is the â€œopen source collaboration + toolsâ€ from Todd Ross Nienkerk (For Kitchens). Todd compiled a list of tools that other developers are using for the open source projects. The robot presentation from the Iron Plaid robot girls was very interesting.
Matt Mullenweg with some Schipul Ladies
I loved seeing the common thread of Passion throughout the conference. Whether it was Dries Buytaert, Matt Mullenweg, Kurt Podeszwa, Ed, or any of the other speakers – I heard the theme of Passion over and over again. It’s inspiring to see people talking about what they love, and how technology enables them to connect to an audience, recruit, and change the world.
I was also thrilled by our Schipul speakers. I’ll admit I may be a tiny bit biased… but nonetheless, I am inspired by these people every single day, and I loved seeing them share their point of view with the SchipulCon attendees.
There were so many moments during SchipulCon when I felt inspired. Â My absolute favorite session was by Kurt Podeswa from Camp For All on passion and purpose. I was touched by his work, his passion, and his stories of courage in the face of adversity by his campers. Dries and Matt speaking together for the first time on our stage (let alone anywhere) was a momentous occasion that was the frosting on the cake! It was an all-around good time and my head was spinning from all the brain candy.
Don Vaughnâ€™s Arduino presentation was probably the coolest thing I experienced at SchipulCon. Katie suggested we go to a â€œWTFâ€ panel to explore something we otherwise wouldnâ€™t. That was my â€œWTFâ€ panel. While the flash and bang of Arduino is cool (turning laser beams into a harp), I found the practical and life-changing applications of Arduino inspiring.
An example of a major application: providing a supplemental sense for people who are visually impaired by programing a small device to detect the distance of objects like walls and doors and alert the individual through a programmed sound or vibration.
Along the same lines, our keynote Steven GonzÃ¡lez painted the big picture when he talked about how Texas Childrenâ€™s Hospital and NASA worked together on finding a way to safely transport premature infants by using vibration resistant technology similar to whatâ€™s used on shuttles. These types of applications are important in two industries which people donâ€™t always connect with in their everyday lives.
Tito’s Vodka & St. Arnold’s Brewery on Building Community – At SchipulCon 2011
Eloy Zuniga Jr.
I enjoyed both talks by Dries and Matt with Dries. These guys are the CMS business and it’s wonderful to see their visions illustrated in ways that only they know how to frame. It’s also wonderful to hear their predictions of the future. They have a very natural way of fighting each other with compliments that could entertain for days. You can tell they’ve been in the game longer than most and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
Aside from all that is Matt and Dries I got to spend some quality time with our clients and it feels great. One client Iâ€™d like to point out was Tony Brock from Think LA. Â Learning more about their business and their vision only makes it easier for me to provide more value. Value not just for Think LA but others who are in the same industry. There’s nothing like insight from someone who’s been in the business for a while. Â There’s nothing like talking to a person in real life.
Itâ€™s hard to pick out only a few favorite highlights, but the first one that comes to mind is Liza Kindredâ€™s session on The New E-Commerce. I had never heard anyone speak about the web as it relates to the growing fashion industry. I was able to relate on a personal level due to my intense love for shopping and of course, I have new resources to spend my money online.
In addition, seeing some of our awesome clients like Tony Chachere’s, ThinkLA, Advance and so many others, was one of the biggest highlights for me. Itâ€™s always great to meet your clientâ€™s in person and tell them thank you for all of their support. It only made me appreciate my job so much more.
Dries and Matt Mullenweg jumping for joy at how awesome SchipulCon was!
What was your favorite moment of SchipulCon 2011? Share with us in the comments below!