Ideas Of March

Posted by Stuart Herbert on March 15th, 2011 in Community, Opinion.

Chris has made a timely call for everyone (especially the Twitterati) to start blogging about PHP once more. Much of our community’s interaction has moved to Twitter and conferences, and we’re simply not leaving enough longform content out there any more.

There’s a key reason why I blog less about PHP these days, though, and it has nothing to do with Twitter. Our wider community simply doesn’t read blogs any more (if they ever did). They’ve already moved on to StackOverflow, and other similar places.

This is just my experience, and we can all put it to the test:

  • Go along to your next PHP User Group, and ask for a quick show of hands for how many people there are subscribers to Planet PHP, where we’ve aggregated blogs about PHP for many years now.
  • Then, the next time you’re at a large conference, ask everyone you meet the same question.

Over the years, I’ve found that our wider community doesn’t have the time to keep up with the blogs; but when they get stuck and the excellent PHP Manual can’t help them, they hit Google (and latterly StackOverflow) for quick answers. I’m always stunned by how few people have ever heard of Planet PHP.

This is also reflected in pageview and feed analytic stats, where nearly all the traffic comes from search engine queries. Planet PHP sadly ranks at #10 in my stats; I get more views from an ajax development site, even though I’m assuredly a backend engineer.

These are just my experiences. I would welcome you sharing yours!

What does this all mean to me?

  • We all need to do much more to promote Planet PHP (offline!) as the hub for proactive developers to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world of PHP. Why Planet PHP? My apologies to those who put a lot of fantastic work into other community sites, but they don’t seem to generate any measurable traffic at all.
  • Our community values hands-on, targeted articles that describe and solve specific problems that they encounter. They go looking for such content every day, and when that fails, they resort to StackOverflow et al.
  • We need to encourage our fellow developers to make time to develop their own skills, so that they don’t have to be hitting Google to react to an avoidable problem in the first place. Encourage your friends and colleagues to create and share reading lists, or to give a talk or demonstration at their local PHP user group. Get involved with community education projects like PHP Fundamentals, so that we can create a self-educating profession.

And, above all (irony intended …) use Twitter for the opinion pieces, where the world can forget them after 4 days 🙂

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March’s meeting of the PHP SouthWest User Group will be at The Golden Guinea in Redcliffe, Bristol, from 7pm on Wednesday 9th March.

What Is Planned

We might be getting a testing talk from Ade Slade, and we’ll also do a PHPUK 2011 round-up to share what we learned at the conference.

How To Get There

We’ll be at The Golden Guinea, 19 Guinea Street, Bristol BS1 6SX. It’s a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station if you’re coming by train.

How To Get Involved

Please join the PHPSW Google Group and say hello!

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February’s meeting of the PHP SouthWest User Group will be at The Golden Guinea in Redcliffe, Bristol, from 7pm on Wednesday 9th February.

What Is Planned

I’m speaking at the PHP UK conference later in February, and will be practising my talk. No guarantees, but I think Rob Allen might be practicing his talk too.

How To Get There

We’ll be at The Golden Guinea, 19 Guinea Street, Bristol BS1 6SX. It’s a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station if you’re coming by train.

How To Get Involved

Please join the PHPSW Google Group and say hello!

Be the first to leave a comment »

PHPNW10: Conference Audience

Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 21st, 2010 in #phpnw, Conferences.

Another year, another great PHP North West conference organised by Jeremy Coates and his team at Magma Digital and the PHP North West User Group.

This year, I went along with my camera to try my hand at conference photography for the first time, in between attending plenty of great talks. These are my best shots of the audience from Track 1 (there were three tracks in total) in the main auditorium.

Conference Audience

Conference Audience

Conference Audience

Conference Audience

Conference Audience

These are my last shots from the conference. I hope you’ve enjoyed them. I’ve also posted my thoughts on being a first-time conference photographer over on my photography blog.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.

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Another year, another great PHP North West conference organised by Jeremy Coates and his team at Magma Digital and the PHP North West User Group.

This year, I went along with my camera to try my hand at conference photography for the first time, in between attending plenty of great talks. These are my best shots of the speakers from Track 1 (there were three tracks in total) in the main auditorium.

Lorna Mitchell

Rob Allen

Rob Allen

Ian Barber

Ian Barber

Marco Tabini

Harrie Verveer

Derick Rethans & Rob Allen

Marcus Deglos

Marcus Deglos & David Zuelke

David Zuelke

I’ll post my last shots from the conference tomorrow. I’ve also posted my thoughts on being a first-time conference photographer over on my photography blog.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.

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PHPNW10: Jeremy Coates

Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 19th, 2010 in #phpnw, Conferences.

Another year, another great PHP North West conference organised by Jeremy Coates and his team at Magma Digital and the PHP North West User Group.

This year, I went along with my camera to try my hand at conference photography for the first time, in between attending plenty of great talks. These are my best shots of Jeremy Coates, who led the organising effort for the conference.

Jeremy Coates

Jeremy Coates

Jeremy Coates

There’ll be more shots from the conference tomorrow. I’ve also posted my thoughts on being a first-time conference photographer over on my photography blog.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.

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PHPNW10: Friday Social

Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 18th, 2010 in #phpnw, Conferences.

Another year, another great PHP North West conference organised by Jeremy Coates and his team at Magma Digital and the PHP North West User Group.

This year, I went along with my camera to try my hand at conference photography for the first time, in between attending plenty of great talks. These are the best of my shots from the pre-conference socials on the Friday night before the conference.

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

PHPNW10 Friday Social

There’ll be more shots from the conference tomorrow. I’ve also posted my thoughts on being a first-time conference photographer over on my photography blog.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.

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Tonight’s meeting of the PHP SouthWest User Group will be at The Third Floor, Bush House, Bristol from 7pm. We’ll be in the conference room for an hour, and then from 8pm downstairs in the bar at the Arnolfini.

What Is Planned

There were quite a few of us at last weekend’s excellent PHP North West 2010 conference. Tonight, we’ll discuss the talks we attended and share what we liked and what we learned.

How To Get There

We’ll be at Bush House, 72 Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QD. This Google Map has directions if you’re walking from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station.

When you get to the entrance for Bush House, you’ll need to press the bottom buzzer (marked ‘The Hub’) to gain access.

How To Get Involved

Please join the PHPSW Google Group and say hello!

Be the first to leave a comment »

The first meeting of the PHP SouthWest User Group will be at The Third Floor, Bush House, Bristol from 7pm. The room is booked (big thanks to Del for that), and we have a projector sorted too; now we just need our first speakers 🙂

What Is Planned

As this is the very first meeting, our agenda is still being pulled together, but I’m hoping that Bitterman will treat us all to a rehearsal of his upcoming talk for the PHPNW10 conference in Manchester in early October. I’m looking for backup speakers just in case, and of course for anyone who wants to speak at next month’s meetup.

We’ll be at The Third Floor until 8pm, after which we’ll move into one of the local pubs (probably the Watershed) for the social half of the meet-up.

How To Get There

We’ll be at Bush House, 72 Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QD. This Google Map has directions if you’re walking from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station.

When you get to the entrance for Bush House, you’ll need to press the bottom buzzer (marked ‘The Hub’) to gain access.

If we like the place, I can get a discount (thanks to Del) for a regular booking.

How To Get Involved

Please join the PHPSW Google Group and say hello!

Be the first to leave a comment »
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