Barcamp Brisbane IV Wrapup

Barcamp BrisbaneLast weekend I got along to Barcamp Brisbane IV (held at the East Brisbane Bowls Club), and once again it was a worthwhile meetup of locals willing to share their skills with others.

From the lightning talks that I attended:

Speed Networking

One minute to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. Worked well, although I knew more people this time around (after last BarCamp and other meetups).

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Michael Smale led this discussion on SEO (unfortunately it started a little late and lost a bunch of attendees, including myself, at the end due to a Google Wave presentation following it!). My notes from the session:

  • SEO is optimising for Google (& Yahoo!)
  • 9 out of 10 people search for content, very few click the sponsored search
  • keywords – on page (to help Google index) and off page
  • stem analysis – trunk and branches (eg. golf and balls, clubs, shoes) then leaves (buy golf shoes and Brisbane) – before SEO, find out what target audience is looking for
  • tools to analyse keywords – Google Adwords Keyword Tool (slightly out of date, monthly), worldwide but narrowed down to regions
  • to know backlinks, etc – Traffic Travis, Market Samurai (free and paid version)
  • not your trunk and branches, but for your leaves you may want to buy keywords, you can optimise different landing pages (separate URL but not a duplicate of pages as Google will drop prioritisation)
  • car rental very competitive for SEO
  • Google Trends for search – can see if things are trending up and down or compare
  • on page optimisation – Firebug for Firefox – drill down and inspect code, JavaScript debugger
  • YSlow – tell you how page is loaded and report on how to optimise page loading
  • each page needs to be optimised with its own title – what’s in the title is what the link on Google says
  • meta description after link is the blurb on Google – not visible to users on site, Firebug will help you see competitors meta tags are, but will not get you up in the ranking
  • meta keywords – does not mean anything anymore
  • care about content on site using LSI (Latent Semantic Index)
  • link text important, add href no follow so Google will ignore

Google Wave

Paul O’Keeffe and Steve Dalton led a live demonstration of Google Wave.

  • collaborative tool, still in preview, crashes, interface still weak
  • proliferated from developers in Google sandpit, only give 8 invites to each user
  • a wave is a single collaboration / conversation
  • has Gmail feel, add and save searches, folders, etc…
  • have a wave inbox
  • with:public – see any waves that are public
  • search with:public gardening
  • new wave by default is not public, add
  • to start, drag contact in, give wave a name
  • drag and drop seems to depend on Google Gears, works out of box with Chrome
  • bots and plugins eg. pirate speak or add a Google Map / Twitter in
  • open source version of Chrome – Chromium
  • Sweepy bot – remove the empty conversations
  • can mute conversation and replay, has version control so you can see how it was and then fork it off

Business Structures

Malcolm Burrows from Rostron Caryle gave this presentation. I hope the slides are made available, as this was a large topic for a 20 minute slot. These are my notes but should not be relied upon an advice or for accuracy!

  • sole trader – liable for own debts, etc, house on the line, no protection freom risks, okay if you have little risk
  • partnership – not sure why anybody would do this now, agreement and governed by those terms, in Queensland partners are liable for acts of the other, everything has to be tailored, risks
  • company structure Pty Ltd – level of risk reduction such as corporate veil, shareholders only liable for the capital put in as long as you don’t do stupid stuff like trading insolvent, as directors do not profit from position of power, need to disclose, 12/20 rule can’t make more than 20 offers in 12 month period, no more than 50 shareholders, replaceable rules (eg. regulate by ASIC or regulate yourself in your constitution)
  • company structures – Limited – Public – all of baggage of public company without the good stuff, horrible!
  • trust – discretionary and unit
  • joint ventures – used a lot in mining, in IT where people agree to do stuff, like a trust is a feature of contract, rights of joint ventures can get very long
  • income distribution structure and IP protection structures
  • options for IP – spin out trading company, spin out company owned by trusts, spin out company licences another

Smile! Say Cheese!

DJ Paine from Studio Promise dropped by, and offered attendees a free portrait, which I certainly took advantage of. Just wished I had of known, and I would have had a shave and worn a nicer shirt!

All of the shots from the day are here and if you need professional photography, support those that support BarCamp!

Symphony – Open Source Content Management

Allen Chang and Alisair Kearney led this session on Symphony:

  • originally called TypeWorks
  • 2.0.6 out now, 2.1 on the way
  • uses XML as data format, output format standards compliant
  • Drupal and Joomla! cores are huge, they wanted a small footprint and control over data structure
  • use XSLT to transform XML to any format you like (eg. HTML, CSV, JSON, etc..)
  • native intergration REST API for Twitter, RSS, etc…)
  • uses open standard templating language, as per all CMS systems
  • a number of data sources for which you can apply rules
  • around 8,000 members, 10% of these contribute
  • users include Australian Museum of Democracy, Heineken and City of Westminster (London) amongst many others
  • ensemble – fully functional website package, Symphony itself is an ensemble

Agile Overview – The Three T’s

It occurred to me in the speed networking session that a number of attendees did not know what this agile hype was about, so I decided to on short notice to propose the talk I gave at Agile Australia 2009 to try and give that overview. Not sure if I succeeded, but got some questions afterwards nonetheless.

Had to laugh at one of the tweets from @funkygorilla (Simon Griffiths): “Agile web development in a 10 min presentation. That’s agile!”

Overview of Agile 2009 / Agile Australia 2009 / AAFTT Workshop

A couple of people decided they wanted to chat about some of the learnings and trends from the conferences I had recently, so a couple of us sat around and chatted about agile testing mainly.

New Hotness

Greg Luck led this discussion as he mentioned to me he came to Barcamp to hear about the new hotness. He has written the notes, but here were the notes I was taking at the discussion:


Paul and Steve reminded everybody about the Queensland Legion of Tech and Greg Luck announced the inaugural Brisbane Jelly (adhoc working together at a location)


3 thoughts on “Barcamp Brisbane IV Wrapup

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