I attended my first WordCamp over the weekend. I also had the privilege of opening the event with the first talk.
WordCamp is an informal conference that brings together the WordPress community – developers, designers, consultants and users. It is organised locally and happens in 172 cities around the world, each one with its own unique flavour. I’ve attended BarCamps and hosted & helped organise BlogCamps. So I was intrigued by an event centered around WordPress, a service that has been my companion through most of my journey from blogger to Content Specialist.
I have always been technology-agnostic. Technology has powered much of what I do and I enjoy the perks of a digitally enhanced life. But I don’t like to concern myself with the how and why it works as much as what it can do for me. WordPress has been one of those tools that have let me play in the content space without needing to know the nuts-and-bolts of coding and other digitalia. As a power user of WordPress, I figured that the ways I wielded the tools would be of interest to the people instrumental in building them. So I refuse to pick a side in the raging debate between developers and users. Both groups are creators, one of content, one of the technology that makes it possible. The developers’ work facilitates users; users’ needs define the developers’ existence. Thus, my talk revolves around looking at the bigger picture – Digitalia, this parallel universe that we all inhabit and help each other navigate. It was called ‘An Analog in a Digital world’. The presentation is up here and you can view the video here. Or see them both together below:
This session segued naturally into Rina Chaddwa‘s talk on ‘WordPress for dummies’ and Karthik Magapu‘s session on GPL Licenses. Post that, the sessions got progressively more technical, ranging from coding nitty-gritty to theme acceptance to plugin development. Annkur completed the two-day event with a talk that brought it out of the strictly technical again – ‘No SEO‘.
I felt at sea with many of the terms being thrown about here (GitHub? GPL? Anchor text spam wot???). But I think it was an important weekend for me, in order to understand better what goes on under the hood of this service that houses my digital presence and work. That I believe, is the purpose of community events such as this, for the different factions to better relate to each other. I had a great time and I hope to be a bigger part of the WordPress community from now on. I would also love to see more bloggers/content users participate in future WordCamps.
Here are some other accounts of this session: