I had the pleasure of attending two events this week in Atlanta, both centered around how to use WordPress as a marketing platform. The first event was a roundtable discussion organized by Mike Schinkel and hosted by Matter in their gorgeous Midtown studio. In attendance were the following WordPress experts:
- Ash Arnett of Matter (Principal and owner)
- Jarrod Skeggs of studiod.tv
- Barb Prebble of Moonstone Media
- Marna Friedman of Writefully Inviting
- Chris Jordan of Atlanta Insurance Live
- Jeremy Dost of Sharpdot
- Carol Shepherd of Tech Zest Advisors
- Christopher Altman of Matter (Lead Developer and Designer)
- Joshua Chase and Nick Ali of Run Level Media
This was my first time meeting a few of the people listed above, and I was thrilled to be in the presence of such accomplished local talent. We all came from varying backgrounds and disciplines, which made for well-rounded discussions and viewpoints. It was interesting hearing different reasons for why WordPress was the platform of choice, particularly coming from the developers. I learned about a few neat plugins of which I was previously unaware, and came across several sites using WordPress in ways that were both interesting and innovative.
The followup event was an Atlanta Web Marketers Meetup at the Georgia Tech ATDC focused on the same topic. This time, panelists (most of the people from the list above) spoke for 10-15 minutes on a particular topic before opening things up for Q&A. I enjoyed the event quite a bit, and many of the attendees expressed positive feedback. The most rewarding part for me was hearing how people happened upon the Meetup information and why they decided to come. Some had never used WordPress before. Jacqui Chew moderated the event, and I was glad to finally meet her in person. Jacqui runs iFusion Marketing and was instrumental in generating quite a bit of local press coverage for Startup Riot.
The next big WordPress event in Atlanta is the Business of WordPress Conference: How Professionals Leverage WordPress for Outstanding Business Results. This is being co-organized by Mike Schinkel and Marna Friedman, and I’ve been asked to present. I’ll be speaking on how to leverage WordPress in building your personal brand online. Are you coming?