WordCamp Malaysia

I’ve been reading a few reports by some bloggers who attended the first WordCamp Malaysia at Cititel MidValley last week, and here’s my version, which I guess will be the only report by a non-geek regarding the conference :P Yeah, who would you expect to attend WordCamp if not bunch of geeks – who each and every of them owns at least an iPhone and a MacBook, or an iPad and iPhone, if not all three. And they tweet. And I mean tweet all times. So to define a geek from my observation should be a person who owns Apple gadgets and tweets. Okay. And they blog about tech, codes, design and such. Only those stuff.

I have a Twitter account but hardly tweet. I only realized I had Twitter when I had to tweet for Project Alpha blog contest, otherwise it would have still been left unused. And I dont own any Apple gadgets. And I blog about my sappy life and love. Only these stuff. Thank you.

I came to WordCamp merely because of my interest in WordPress. Although it means I’ve used only the free and feature-limited WordPress.com for over 2 years and only got exposed to the PHP and CSS codes of WordPress.org barely since 3 months ago after I got my own domain in March. I still dont know zillions of things WordPress has to offer, though I have to be thankful that I didnt go total clueless when they were talking about plugins and some technical stuff. And WordPress 3.0 is out now, but I’m still so pessimist to go checking it, given that I’m still far from finishing learning my current version and afraid the 3.0 may get me confused even more. Well, maybe later.

Matt Mullenweg in San Francisco saying hello to WordCamp Malaysia attendees. In case you dont know, Matt is the co-founder of WordPress and he released the first WordPress back in 2003. Or to be precise, on 27 May 2003, and therefore, there was a post-WordCamp event happening in KL the other day to celebrate WordPress 7th birthday by a group of Malaysian WordPress users (I said this coz I received the invitation via FB) which I was not able to attend obviously, coz I came home right away after WordCamp ended.

The attendees. I wasn’t in a good mood of taking photos during the sessions, and I realized I didnt take a good one showing the audience, except these views of empty chairs when everyone was out during some tea break =.= and even the environment outside during the tea wasn’t captured very neat either, I was lazy okay. And I was rather bit upset coz I couldnt make myself socialized with those people for some unknown reasons, I was rather feeling left out to be honest. I didnt manage to on my laptop to tweet. Yeah, everyone was tweeting throughout the session and a number of lucky winners to get free web hosting subscriptions were chosen from their tweets. People who came without lappies were tweeting using their iPhones and whatever gadgets. And I was like, “hm, am I really supposed to tweet too??” It seems that way works to get to know people who were in the hall with you instantly. Perhaps that’s the reason I was feeling left out, coz I didnt tweet! :( Let alone to talk outside Twitter, during the tea break. I knew it’s pointless and I should not expect people to approach me but I was the one who should go and say hi to them. But the groups looked too geeky to me for some weird reason. If only I had come along with a group myself, like most of them did. Instead, I was all alone and lost. Part of me said I shouldnt have been here.

The speakers. There were a number of them talking about various topics one after another, from WordPress history and development, intro to WP 3.0, theme framework, to SEO, BuddyPress, social media, plugins, bla bla bla.. and speeches by sponsors reps like Microsoft and some others I cant remember. The forum session was pretty nice, with 3 Malaysian top bloggers talking about how they earn pretty well only with blogging (and again, they blog about tech stuff and designs of course, what else do you think a blog that gets 100 thousands hits a day is about?). And Naoko of Automattic who came all the way from SF was surprised to get her WordPress cake for her birthday in KL :) I managed to take a photo with Aizat Faiz who was speaking about plugins which sounds a bit too techy for me, but he managed to convince the audience that simple plugins development isn’t that complicated like one would think. BTW I learned that he’s the first Malaysian employee of Facebook. Cool.

The food and goodies. Everyone was eagerly waiting to see what types of food and gifts we were to get with the expensive RM150 fees. I have to admit the food veriety was great, from the morning tea break to buffet lunch to afternoon tea. I helped myself some fresh raw oyster-lookalikes for the first time, I mean, they looked like oysters but they werent ones. And I ate ALOT of it hahaha, with few dishes I guess I could only get from a hotel buffet. Cakes and pastries were great too. Still, I dont think they’re really worth RM150 =.= at least to a poor kid like me.

WordCamp goodie bag was a bit disappointment. I was expecting more great freebies rather than pamphlets from the sponsors to sell their products. WordPress schwags are neat, I wish I could get more. And WordCamp Malaysia black t-shirt, which is, um, just okay.

Photo credit. I didnt have a chance to take a group photo like this coz Az was two minutes too late to reach this place when everyone was gathering for the mass group photo, otherwise I would have had him to take one for me. So I just stole this pic off another blog. Now can you spot me from those bunch? :)

Flickr to Picasaweb

Finally I decided to migrate all 2600+ my photos from Flickr to Picasa, as much as I love my Flickr which I joined since 2005 (and even more after I upgraded to Pro 2 years ago) I have this thinking that I may have something more crucial to spend USD25 for than to renew its subscription next time.. seeing that I dont practically use it much apart of storing thousands of my postcards pictures… so I guess a free Picasaweb will just do for hosting my photos which most of them are the postcards scans… and only a small proportion are normal photos. And poor Ilyani has to go cheap now.

Have to admit I dont really like Picasaweb interface, its gallery, the album views etc.. they’re ugly :( I love Flickr and it’s pretty. But one great thing I found Picasaweb better than Flickr is how fast the image loads. And you can dowload the image right away on the image page. Unlike Flickr, now I realize I can no longer “save as” the picture  on its page, rather have to go deeper to All Size > Download Original Size. I mean, it wastes one click already.

Oh kay, and Picasaweb is free for now (up to 1Gb only, but thats helluva space already if I only want it to host image to embed on the blogs and stuff). And Flickr Pro will only be worth your RM80+ per year if you use it on common basis, or do high resolution professional photography.

I still have half a year to go with my Flickr Pro (which I now a little tiny bit regret for renewing its subscription last time knowing that I no longer upload postcards to it already.. sigh.. wasted) but until then, whoever wish to see my Postcrossing collection.. (especially to Nay ;-) eh… did you receive any postcard yet??) here is the collection I have been so proud of :P

I’m a Happy Client of Exabytes!!

Whee! It’s been weeks since I wanted to make a post about this, but *ahem* I was busy with exam and stuff I decided to wait until I really have a good peace of time and mood to write a good review about Exabytes hoping that they will give me Starbucks voucher if my post is good enough *grins* Hehe.. oh wait, last time I checked, it’s no more Starbucks lah (why..?) but replaced by KFC.. hmm it’s better than nothing anyways ;-)

So! Remember the first post I wrote on ilyani.net right after I moved my ass from ilyani.wordpress.com out of the blue? It was really a quick decision, really, and with totally no knowledge about web hosting (Geocities from the good old days doesnt count), I was only getting help from Google to know some Malaysia’s good hosting company, and of course, Exabytes was among the first results I got ;-) if not the first itself. I was comparing price between Exabytes & a couple of other web hosting companies, and hey, they’re offering rather similar price more or less, but I was convinced more by Exabytes since it offers 24/7 support, and needless to say Exabytes website is full of helpful articles and video tutorials with step by step instructions, which makes a newbie like me feel less dumb when it comes to getting your first web hosting. I mean, seriously, before that I had been reluctant about having a hosted website coz one of the reasons I thought it was too technical and only deserved by skillful webmasters and not some sappy blogger like me who’s been relying only on readymade themes of WordPress.com ever since without any slight exposure of coding. Let alone to the knowledge of where my site is physically located and get online from. But I was proven wrong! It was hassle free for noobies with Exabytes! ^_^

And I chose Xtudent package from Exabytes coz:

  1. I am *still* a poor student regardless of my age.
  2. It’s cheapest package with free domain!
  3. I can always upgrade my package should I needed extra features, but I dont think so.

So the short story is, yay, I got ilyani.net online! :) Only within a few hours!

But whooooooopps! I messed up something with my first WordPress installation to the server! Coz I didnt have main page of my blog on the URL so I was acting like expert adjusting something on cPanel, only to find out I had totally blown it! T_T What to do? What to do? Email the Exabytes Customer Support!

But, at 2 am? Are you sure they’re staying up at this hour only to hear you cry over your clumsiness?

  • Yes, they are! I was totally surprised that the 24/7 service support was not mere sweet talks to attract customers, but they do have staff ready to help you anytime you want – whatever hour it is. Hmm, so after a few emails, my problems (after problems) were solved.. and needless to say, I slept on 5am on that day >.<

But it was worth it, ever since I got my own ilyani.net I have been so excited I wanna tell the whole world about it hehe and spending hours to get the prettiest theme ever, and extra hours to modify it to my taste. It was AMAZING!

There came alot of things afterward: regarding subdomains, especially how I can make redirect from my postcards blog on WordPress.com to postcrossing.ilyani.net .. it was not easy, even though I had to browse around finding its solution, but I was glad Exabytes people were still willing to help even on a particular matter like redirecting a WP.com site to a subdomain page (notice I wrote subdomain – coz it’s not the same if you want to redirect to ilyani.net compared to subdomain.ilyani.net, mind you) and I have learned a lot of things. And even though there could be complete tutorials on the website, sometimes you have to admit you’re too lazy for that and only need a quick help :P so turst me, Exabytes people never complain even though I ask them things I should already find out myself! (sorry, now you know I’m lazy..)

  • Exabytes has a Facebook page itself, where they interact with their happy customers like friends.. and it’s where I spot this guy named Marccus who said I could claim a mystery prize from Exabytes for my web hosting subscription – which I have yet to get (!) coz they want me to come over self pick up at their office lah.. tsk.. and I’m so far away even though my address is Penang.. I mean.. almost Perak border already.. why can’t just pos ekspress one? :/

Hmm and my service needs from Exabytes didnt end even though my sites have been going stable afterward. You can never be too sure! One 20th of last month I woke up and opened my site to see an error message in horror. BANDWIDTH LIMIT EXCEEDED!! What’s going on?? Who’s eating my bandwidth that fast? Wait, the last time I checked my cPanel it was like it hadnt been used at all! Now it’s 7 gigabytes! Over 2 gigabytes exceeding! T_T

This print screen was emailed by Az (with a funny subject: Bumper 2 bumper traffic on your site?) and he had no idea I was having hard time figuring out what was happening.. and I was in panic some more coz I had Project Alpha contest post to be viewed at that time and they could come check my post anytime and I dont want to miss RM20 just because my site was down at this critical time and I was rushing to go library coz my AI exam was approaching in a few days and I was not supposed to stay online in the first place and I was supposed to be studying and and and… !!!!!!!!

Help me already! >.<

Impatient waiting for Exabytes CS email reply, I rushed into the Facebook page and flooded some messages on their wall, and some more, I had to flood messages to poor Marccus‘ inbox just as well – so he could notify the technical people quick! Hehe, sorry again ya Marccus, I was really crazily impatient at that time :P

  • Lalalala.. guess what? They let me purchase extra bandwidth or upgrade to bigger bandwidth package.. BUT! After a few emails back and forth, they gave me extra bandwidth in advanced while I was deciding!!!!!!  So in the end the ‘purchase of extra bandwidth’ idea seemed to disappear just like that :P That’s so kind of Exabytes, which saved my life alot, so I could just go to library and continue studying in peace without having to panic no more since my site got online again instantly afterwards. That’s just a really great service! They didnt even force me to upgrade right away.. and I only did the upgrade after a couple of days when I was free. I have to admit it was my ignorance in the first place for using the bandwidth not in smart way – I should have used third party image hosting in order to save up server bandwidth consumption – but then again, I had no idea that my sappy blog would attract that many visitors then.. sigh.

Wow this post is sure long, hehe but no, I didnt write this only to get the KFC voucher :P, but really I was happy to share my experience with Exabytes.. even though probably I found out later a few web hosting companies offering cheaper price with the same hosting I got from Exabytes, I know when it comes to Exabytes’ customer support and newbie-friendly.. it’s incomparable!

So.. if you happen to be a total newbie regarding getting your first web hosting, and you are clueless where to turn to, just consider Exabytes, coz I’m sure their services and help will be worth your money :)  Please do click the banner below to get your subscription under my referral *wink* (and there are loads of other package options, dont worry.) Hmm notice also the banner on my sidebar! Whee! I’m an Exabytes Angel! ^_^

See you! And to Exabytes, now give me KFC voucher already!!! :P (again the question, why no more Starbucks??)

WordCamp Malaysia: Who’s attending?

I woke up this morning and found an email from Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress in my inbox. He says something about Coming to a WordCamp near you…

To avoid writing a long post about this (since I need to go back study for exam), let me put WordCamp in easy and short definition: it is an event where WordPress users gather (be it WP.com or WP software) to spread around the WordPress goodness. It’s been organized in the US and everywhere since 2006, and this year WordCamp will be happening for the first time in Kuala Lumpur! For details please check www.wordcamp.my and it’s Twitter as well as Facebook page.

Date: 22nd of May 2010, 9am – 5PM.

Venue: Cititel Mid Valley, Mid Valley City, KL

Quoted from the website;

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.comand WordPress.org users alike.

So, who’s joining? Come say hello to me, and probably give me good reasons why I should attend too. From Twitter they told me early bird fee will be RM150, but it’s by today =.= Though there will be another chance to get the same rate by registering online this Wednesday quickly – coz it’s for first 50 registration only! Adoi, early price is already RM150, the real price must cost a bomb. Isn’t there any discounted price for poor student like me? :(

Well, I know that I’m so very new in WordPress software and its CSS coding (almost 2 months since I got my own domain) regardless I have been using WodPress.com since 2007. Therefore, though my site is unknown and I am no way a socializing blogger but for my love for WordPress all this time I’M SO MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO ATTEND THIS!

Can anyone sponsor me please?  *regrets being a poor student without monthly salary* >.<

New theme

Lalala.. I’m so bored and still dont feel like studying for next paper after the AI paper yesterday which I dont want to talk about. I was browsing sites with loads WordPress themes and couldnt resist myself to change my blog layout now! Wheeee ^_^

As much as LOVED this theme that I’ve been using since past 2 months (well, it wouldn’t be ilyani.net’s very first theme for nothing, right?) I have been thinking to change it, or at least, to change the header, since a while, but didnt feel necessary still, but anyway, I couldnt wait anymore, and I’m falling in love with my new theme now, which makes me feel so bright. And girlish, heh.

I had never liked 2-columns sidebar before, but now I started to prefer it as I could add skyscraper ads unit on top without having to sacrifice other sections that I think also deserve to be on top: about, pages, etc. And as it has navigation at the header, I could just links other blogs of mine on it and they’re still noticeable, unlike before when I had to make small banners for them to put on top of the sidebar. Anyways.

Another thing I like about the new theme that it has this cool dynamic section showing 5 featured posts excerpt, sliding one after anoter.. though by now I can’t decide what post will be ‘featured posts’  so now it displays latest posts by default.

However. It needed a few alters before it looks like this. Change the background image, change the font, change the size, delete unnecessary stuff, change meta tags position, add page numbers,… it doesnt even come with time stamp and comment count. Will have to fix it later. It has ready made threaded comment system and with avatars which I have been searching the add on since long! The comment plugins I came across were usually useless and werent exactly the ones I wanted. And I was trying out this third party comment called Disqus but it was so much fuss to load. Now I am happy with this theme comment it has without extra plugins :)) Oh well but I still have to find a way to resize its oversized gravatars. Hmmph.