News. Announcements. Stuff.

Dashboard Improvements For WCUS

nov-29-2016-10-15-49For a long time, the dashboard page for conferencia has been merely a placeholder. Not worth anyone’s time of day.

That changes this week and weekend, as WordCamp US (and other conferences/meetups around it) happens. You can now watch the dashboard live as certain events play over the next few days. The most trending events will be on the dashboard – so if you want to see media for a concluded event you might have to check out that event’s actual page (check out the event page for the links).

So far, we are hoping to monitor:

– Tweet photos
– Tweet videos
– Periscopes
– Instagram Photos
– Instagram Videos

Another special feature – we are including photos from photographers that post directly to conferencia! That means hopefully there will be interesting photos and ANIMATED GIFS (yippie!) that you won’t see anywhere else.

We are expecting a “wrapping up” update tomorrow, but wanted to get this out today to make our friends aware!

Note: Dashboard page will likely be tweaked up through Wednesday. But should be good to go Thursday morning.

WordCamp US 2016 Check-In

screenshot-2016-11-28-12-25-58We’ve been quiet for a while, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! WordCamp US 2016 is happening this week and along with it events orbiting it like Post Status Publish and varies parties and meetups. Therefore we are throwing out a beta “checkin” page devoted to make checking into these with your conferencia account as quick as a few seconds. Even if you don’t have an account, you can just tap a social network (or you can register the old fashion way by clicking on our register link).

Here’s the customized register link:

Why checkin? Let people know you showed up – and you can find that person you met (but didn’t get a name for). This is all beta on our side because we are just beginning to expand monitoring conferences to include the meetups/parties of those conferences as well. It’s going to be fun!

We are also going to be updating shortly on some other polished items… so another update in the next 24 hours!

Feel free to contact us with questions or if you see a bug.

Private Beta Testers Needed

If you’ve been looking at blog posts on conferencia, things have been quiet. If you knew about what’s being currently worked on, it’s been ANYTHING but quiet. any times development of new features or expansion of current features has to be kept quiet. But at some point you have to start to come out of your shell. Private beta testing is the start of that.

If you are speaking at any events in October (such as the wonderful LoopConf and the amazing WordCamp Orlando) and would like to try out our new method of speaker feedback, please reach out as soon as possible.

This feedback allows you to not only get positive reactions from attendees (physical and online via livestream) but also get a general idea WHEN the audience feels via emoji. You can read about the first initial test of this, which happened at WPCampus earlier this summer.

As a private beta tester you’ll be able to:

  1. Select your own emoji for your talk.
  2. Get a unique url.
  3. If things go well, be able to see a performance chart (similar to what I show here).

In order for this to work, audience will need to know about the URL in advance (although announcing at the start of a talk is awesome, you might want to let attendees know a few days in advance too).

Remember that unless you decide otherwise, everything about the experience is meant to give you positive feedback to some degree.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Click here to fill out our super-brief private beta form.

Edit: I am focusing on LoopConf and WordCamp Orlando because I plan to be physically there. If you are attending any other WordPress or event, let me know and we might be able to work something out.

Deciding on Emoji Icons

emoji_choicesWe are going to be offering a short list of emojis for speakers as we start to build upon our speaker app. The speakers can add up to three additional emoji (the heart emoji is the one emoji that comes standard for all speakers).

We believe most choices should reflect a clear positive or neutral message. However some feedback we got suggested some speakers might want to choose on their own a potential “negative” emoji (like 💩) or a few silly options (maybe to show BIG appreciation someone in the audience throws some 🍩 at the speaker).

In any case, if you want to give any feedback or suggestions you can leave a comment here or bug @dimensionmedia on Twitter.


Conferencia Now Has It’s Own Slack App!


Screenshot 2016-08-02 13.18.23We are proud to announce that Conferencia has it’s own Slack app. Yes – you can now do searches and get details on WordCamps and events… from the comfort of your own Slack channels! I would love see people install this for their own Slack teams and let us know what they think!

You can download the app and see a screenshot or two from our Slack information page:

Remember that we are just starting out with WordCamps, and we are already reaching out to other conferences to add them to Conferencia’s growing database.

Proud to say that this app has been running on PostStatus Slack (if you don’t know what PostStatus is and you deal with WordPress, then definitely check them out) and while it needs a little polish it works like a charm. We’ve even added some easter eggs and jokes to make it more fun to abuse… er, use.

Please reach out to us with feedback or to report bugs on our Slack app!

Updating Ticket Dates and Speaker Call Windows via @ConferenciaBot

Screenshot 2016-08-01 10.20.20One of the first things built on was the main event page where all current events (and some recently ended ones) are listed. There’s even a tab called “my events” (it’s a third tab if you’re logged in). In these listings for each event, conferencia attempts to tell you when tickets are available and when speaker applications are being accepted.

If an event is not being manually managed by a conference organizer or representative, conferencia attempts to find out on it’s own regarding ticket and speaker calls. And while we are gradually tweaking the formula, speaker calls are still the hardest to figure out automatically.

Wait… we are getting to the point… I promise.

So we want it to be easier for organizers to control these things so that the event list is more accurate. So one way to make this faster and easier is to bypass logged in and manually updating these variables. Hence, @conferenciabot is born.

@conferenciabot is simply a twitter account that you can send requests to. Right now, an authorized twitter account can request the bot to update the starting or ending dates of the tickets and speaker call windows.

Here’s how it works:

  1. @conferenciabot only responds to Twitter accounts that are associated with conferencia events. For WordCamps this is usually the official Twitter account for that WordCamp.
  2. Screenshot 2016-08-01 10.15.31A flip must be switched for each event by the event organizer that permits @conferenciabot to make changes on request.
  3. A tweet is sent. The tweet must have the hashtag for the event (#wcmia for example) and either a #tickets or #speakercalls hashtag. The tweet should also be similar to “@conferenciabot tickets available today #wcmia #tickets” or “@conferenciabot speaker calls open 6/13 #wcmia #speakercalls” or “@conferenciabot tickets available tomorrow #wcmia #tickets”. Screenshot 2016-08-01 10.16.57
  4. Eventually our bot will look at Twitter and process the requests.
  5. If the process is successful, @conferenciabot will reply back to the Twitter account.Screenshot 2016-08-01 10.17.15

We beta tested this over the weekend and so far it’s been working nicely. However it still needs alot more testing, and we still need to document this so new conference organizers to conferencia can get up to speed quickly.

Hopefully this feature will allow at the very least conference organizers to keep the list more accurate and therefore more valuable to everyone.

Speakers Can Now Add Talks!

After some great feedback from early beta testers, we decided to add a new feature and see where it takes us. Read below to see how you can add and a talk, and how this feature might grow.

Ground Rules

Here’s some ground rules to start:

– You do not have to classify yourself as a “speaker” to add talks. This was done on purpose because some people might have done talks or been on panels but not officially call themselves a “speaker”.
– However, in order to add a talk you need to associate it with a conference… which means you need to choose the “i am/was a speaker” on a conference page.
– We’re still in the early stages of this feature. UI is going to be improved but for now we’ve kept it simple – just need to tell us the talk title, the conference, and where the slides are located. You also have the ability to tell us if the talk was actually a panel.

Where To Claim You Are Speaking
Where To Claim You Are Speaking

Ok that sounds great… what’s the first step?

Screenshot 2016-07-29 20.17.55

Choose “My Talks” from the “events” menu in your profile.

Screenshot 2016-07-29 20.19.17

Go to the “Edit” section and add a talk. At this time, you can create as many talks as you need. Each talk needs to be associated with a conference YOU ARE ALREADY MARKED AS A SPEAKER WITH (see above). If the event is not in the dropdown, go to the event page and make sure you are attending and marked as a speaker.

Screenshot 2016-07-29 20.19.28

You can view the talks on the “public” tab.

Help Us Test!

It should be clear that we are NOT expecting you to HOST slides at In fact, you can’t. And we don’t think this will ever be an option. You should be comfortable hosting slides where you want.

We would love your feedback and a few minutes of your time adding some talks. We already have some great potential features and tools tied into speaker talks.

New Speaker Tool?

IMG_4713About two weeks ago, we tested a “proof of concept” app during WPCampus. The web app was designed to take a talk you’ve logged in Conferencia and allow people to rate you (via positive emoji) live as you’re giving the talk.

Afterwards, data was taken and a graph was formed during David Bisset’s “BuddyPress and Higher Education” talk.

Check out the post. We would love your feedback… would this be an app you would like to use (end data would be completely private, unless you make it public).

Event Broadcasts / Videos

This past weekend, we were able to put up the proof of concept of monitoring the following from a conference (thanks to a little outside help during the WordCamp Northeast Ohio conference):

– Official livestreams
– Periscope Videos
– Vine Videos

The “official livestream” is actually something the event organizer enteres and provides information for. For example, WordCamp Europe 2016 has a live video stream and there’s information on it’s conferencia page about this.

Perioscope and Vine videos are found if they are posted on Twitter with the event hashtags.

Admittingly, at least with WordCamps (which conferencia is starting off with), not alot of either Periscope or Vine videos are made during conferences. But it does happen. Now that we can catch these, we’ll be able parse them and alert users (if they want this information) via notifications. These videos might be nice for someone virtually monitoring the conference.

Screenshot 2016-06-12 11.37.19

Emoji and Mentioning Users

Two nice additions to event “update” pages, which attendees and organizers are meant to watch for and add updates (some of the updates are sent to users who opt-in for notifications).

1. Thanks to iMath’s BuddyPress Reactions plugin, you now have the ability to add emojis to updates (just start typing a colon – “:” – to start the list of emojis). Better than that, you can add “reactions” to updates people make! See the screenshot below – currently there are about seven or eight reactions. These reactions include star, heart (favorite), wave, smiling, microphone (in case someone gave a great talk). All positive emotions/reactions. It’s really cool to play with.

2. You can now mention users in an event update and get a special “autosuggest” box. Just start the mention with the “@” symbol. See the below screenshot.

Screenshot 2016-06-10 11.22.11