Lavacon is a yearly conference Jack Molisani puts together on professional development for technical communicators. This year's conference focuses on social media. You can't run a conference on social media without having a cool-looking social media driven website, right? So Jack contacted me to help make the Lavacon conference site more of a web 2.0 / social-media-driven experience.
Working on the Lavacon conference website has been the most interesting WordPress project I've ever done. Here are the main features on the Lavacon conference website that make it social:
Lots of pictures of presenters. Every presenter has a headshot, and when you group these headshots together, the result is that you see . .. a lot of people. It's a social looking experience. You don't just have presentation titles. You have actual people grouped together. I forefronted the speaker's images to centralize this idea.
You can comment on each speaker's session. Because each session description is its own post, you can add your own comments, questions, or feedback on each session. Prior to the session, you can ask questions; during the session, you can add comments; and afterwards, you can ask follow-up questions all through the session's page. Here's an example.
You can like or dislike other people's comments. If you want to second someone's comment, you can express your like or dislike by clicking the thumbs-up or thumbs-down icon next to the person's comment The most liked comments are aggregated on the Program page, but they also receive a count next to the thumb icon for the number of likes.
Rate your interest in the session. Through the stars below each presenter's name, you can rate the session. You can use the ratings in a variety of ways. Jack is using the rating system to gauge interest in the topics to determine room sizes (to start with). The highest rated sessions are grouped together on the program page.
View current activity on the Live page. The Live page shows a map of the latest visitors for the past month. It also collects the latest tweets that have the word lavacon, and it shows all mentions of the word lavacon conference in the blogsophere.
I'm interested to see how this conference plays out as people start adding comments and ratings and other information. In other words, the site isn't finished -- it has only begun.
I'd Rather Be Writing Newsletter
Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.