This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend WishList live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unlike the event last year this one ran over a two day period. The first day was devoted to marketing and publicizing your membership site. The second day had two tracks that ran concurrently. One had to do with developing content, the other with development issues. I had the chance to attend the latter.
Overall I think the event was extremely well run. Every class started almost on time and the staff did an excellent job of herding cats and making sure everyone was at least moving to their seats when the classes were starting.
The first day was not as productive as I had hoped because many of the things covered in the morning were topics I have heard covered before. The afternoon sessions were better but I think the meat of the conference, for me at least, was contained in the second day. The list of speakers was pretty impressive on the that day and covered a lot of material that would be beneficial to anyone who was writing plugins or add ons for WishList Member.
There were a couple of interesting announcements. The first had to deal with the new API 2.0 that will be released in the coming months. I did not work with version 1.0 of the API, however those who had seemed to be looking forward to the new version. This will open up a great deal of the insides of WishList Member to developers. What this means in the long run is that more of the plugins developed to work with WishList Member will work more consistently and have less chance of conflicting with either WishList Member or other plugins. This will provide a much better user experience and broaden the base of WishList Member.
The second announcement had to deal with the developer’s program and was probably the more exciting of the two for me. WishList Products will be running the a new certification program in 2011. The cost for this will stay around $1000, but for those of us who were already certified the price will only be around $300. We will get access to the new training and this will include more technical training on WishList. This in itself will be worth the $300!
The main code ninjas for WishList were present at the conference and gave a couple of the presentations. Michael Lopez is the main programmer and is based in the Philippines. He covered both version one of the API and highlighted the differences between that and the version 2.0 API. John Morris the main U.S. programmer was also there and was on a couple of the panels. They talked about how a lot of the code for WishList had been rewritten over the past year in an effort to make it more reliable and faster. The code is still protected in many places but the release of the new API will assist developers even more than opening up the code (because we all know how programmers like to tinker with the guts of any program to which they can gain access!)
The owners of the company felt very good about the long-term viability of WishList and its place in the market. Although there is some competition it does not seem too concern them unduly. I will try to post more of the specifics from the WishList conference as I review my notes.