My Summer Vacation at WordCamp Asheville • New Tricks
 In General

Keep Your head down and keep movingShort doesn’t always mean simple or easy. I learned that (again) at WordCamp Asheville last weekend.

Asheville is a fairly short (less than four hour) drive from my home in Atlanta and I needed to do a short video for my conference presentation, “See One Do One Teach One: How to Make a Promo Video for Your WordPress site with iMovie for iPad.”

The slides for my presentation were all ready before I left Atlanta. My script for showing how to edit a video with iMovie for iPad was written and the only thing I had left was to do was record a 12-minute tutorial on editing on an iPad for the end of my presentation. This meant I had to use the iPad to edit, and then, in order for my audience to see what I was doing, I had to and mirror the screen of my iPad onto my laptop and then record that whole thing with yet another program on my laptop so I could show people how to do the actual editing process. Yeah, complicated is an understatement. But hey, I had tried it before and it worked just fine. All I needed to do when I got to Asheville was find a quiet place for 15 minutes with a good Internet connection. So I wasn’t thinking this would be a long process.

The first inkling that things weren’t going to be easy is that I hadn’t actually checked my reservation at the bed and breakfast. Yes, even though I own a B&B and you would think this would be second nature, I had pored over the B&B and had picked out the room I wanted. When I showed up, I discovered I hadn’t actually pulled the trigger and booked it or they lost my reservation since they didn’t have a record of us registering. So my short check-in got delayed as we found another B&B that thankfully had a late cancellation. (The traveler had just had knee surgery and couldn’t handle the steps, so good for me that my knee now works fine!) I checked and they had Internet so I expected to knock out my short video, before dinner – easy.

Think again, Judi.

The wifi at the Bed and Breakfast kept dropping in and out. Ok, I’ll wait until everyone was out at dinner to do my recording. No luck. That time there was a five second lag before what I was doing and saying on the iPad showed up on the laptop screen. What a fail.

My next plan was to find a quiet room at WordCamp Asheville, staged at a beautiful campus building on the University of North Carolina at Asheville campus.

At lunch on Saturday, I found a quite space on the third floor to set up my equipment. When I tried to connect my iPad to show up on the laptop, the University had some sort of block on the app I was using and I was thwarted again! By this time I felt like I was in some nightmare sequence in a Fellini movie and worried I was not going to be able to pull off the most important part of my presentation, which was showing people how to actually do the editing.

But if I am anything, it is persistent. The good thing about being at a tech conference is that there are technical people around. One of my Asheville organizing team buddies, Julien Melissas, jumped in with a solution. He showed me how to bypass the UNCA network and create my own on the laptop. I could then connect to my laptop network with my iPad, which finally did the trick.

I was scheduled to give my presentation at 3:00 pm, which gave me plenty of time to catch a couple of workshops and still have time to record my editing session before lunch. Finally, it worked. Well the audio and video were slightly out of sync but that didn’t matter. I was able to show people how to start and end a project, add film clips, create transitions to edit the clips together, import still images, detach the audio from a film clip and drag it over to play while a still image was being shown, how to add music and how to save the whole thing and send it to Vimeo.

Even with this presentation hanging over my head all week, I had a great time at Camp. I met Carrie Dils who was this year’s Keynote speaker. Carrie has a popular WordPress podcast called Office Hours that I listen to.It is fun to meet people in person that you only know online.

There were many good presentations but two stood out as things that I know you all will be interested in. Melissa Eggleston presented research on Website User Experience  and Rich Owings, an expert on Local SEO, enlightened us with the latest on what local businesses can do to rank better in Google Local Listings. I will write up what I got from them and post one each of the next two weeks.

In the meantime, please go now and read my  post, Making Promo Videos with iMovie for iPad the Easy Way. If even one of you actually tries to make a video using my tutorial, I will feel that the effort I went to, while on my “vacation” in Asheville, was worth it! Come on. Let me know it mattered.

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