The year is off to a great start for WordPress fans with WordCamp Las Vegas, WordCamp Indonesia 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia, a snow-filled skiing and photography WordCamp Whistler, two WordCampED educational WordCamp events in Worcester, Massachusetts and Vancouver, BC, Canada, WordCamp Jena in Germany, a warm WordCamp Miami, followed by a wintery WordCamp Denver.
In between the conference style WordPress events called WordCamps, intensive one to two day events with top notch WordPress and blogging experts, are a bunch of WordPress Meetups, community social gatherings to talk about WordPress and blog related issues.
WordCamps began in 2006 after Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, attended some of the earliest BarCamp events which were the start of the “unconference conference,” an informal gathering of like-minded folks who let the natural course of a gathering happen, where experts share what they know with anyone interested and willing to listen and learn.
While WordCamps were meant to follow an unstructured format, they quickly evolved into serious conferences, ranging from a couple dozen to hundreds of participants with workshops, special sessions, multi-track sessions, and a lot of events in and around the WordCamp program.
In 2008 Year-End Wrap-Up, Matt Mullenweg said there were 29 official WordCamp events in 2008. There are expected to be almost double that number this year.
From those reporting in to the WordPress staff, approximately 3,400 people attended the various international events, and Matt Mullenweg was there for most of them giving his famous “State of the Word” address on where WordPress was, is, and the future of WordPress. That’s an average of 117 people per event, and while I don’t have the specific numbers for all the WordCamps, Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii in October had more than 600 registrants at the Hawaii Convention Center, WordCamp Israel 2008 (English) in Tel Aviv had over 500 for their second WordCamp event.
Hosting a WordCamp
WordCamps were held as far away as China, Australia, Israel, Germany, the Philippines, and more, with even more planned for this year, along with repeats from previous years, making 2009 a big year for WordCamp events. Many WordCamps come out of the fun and energy created by WordPress Meetups, regularly scheduled social events for WordPress fans. Other times, a WordCamp can encourage the growth of local WordPress Meetups to continue meeting other WordPress fans and learning from each other, as well as supporting WordPress experts within your community.
Hosting a WordCamp event isn’t hard, depending upon how you do it. If you want to do a small event, to test your community to see if what the interest level is, find a location and set a date, then promote it through the official WordCamp site called WordCamp Central, the The WordCamp Report, Blog Herald, other WordPress fan blogs, and me. Get the event listed on Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress and WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events, tagging them “WordPress Events” and “WordCamp.”
Find out who in your community would like to present a short program on their speciality or use of WordPress, or just bring people together to share their WordPress passions and see what happens.
If you want to create a more serious WordCamp event, with invited WordPress experts, sponsors, and professional presentations, check out the guidelines for running a WordCamp from WordCamp Central and the tips and techniques at the WordCamp Report.
Keep your WordCamp free or inexpensive to attend, and open it up to the world by having live stream and/or recorded videos of the presentation and encouraging live blogging. And have fun! These are meant to be social events, not just educational.
Here is an overview of the WordCamps coming up soon.
WordCamp Las Vegas – January 10-11
- Matt Mullenweg
- Joseph Scott
- Aaron Hockley
- Lorelle VanFossen
- Jim Kukral
- Geoff Kleinman
- Liz Strauss
- Michael Dorausch
- Micah Baldwin
- Dave Taylor
- Micah Baldwin
- Shayne Sanderson
WordCamp Whistler – January 24
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, will be the site for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, as well as WordCamp Whistler on January 24, 2009. This is a unique WordCamp event as it combines WordPress with skiing and photography, bringing together WordPress experts and fans with photo bloggers and video bloggers.
- Lorelle VanFossen – WordPress Power Blogging Tips
- Andy Peatling of BuddyPress
- Dave Olson of uncleweed – Are you Worthy?
- Dale Mugford of BraveNewCode – WordPress On The Go
- John Biehler – How To Sex Up Your Blog With Photos And Video
WordCamp Indonesia – January 17-18
On the other side of the world on January 17-18, 2009, you will find WordPress fans at WordCamp Indonesia 2009 at Erasmus Huis, Kuningan, Jakarta, Indonesia. This is the first WordCamp in Southeast Asia.
The two-day event features several seminars by Matt Mullenweg, along with some top WordPress bloggers in Indonesia. Highlights of the conference include:
- Romi Satria Wahono – Education Using WordPress
- hosted by Agus Setiawan Basuni – WordPress Open Forum Panel Host
- Matt Mullenweg – State of the Word, Getting Involved With WordPress, WordPress 2.7 Walkthrough, and WordPress Showcase
- with Nukman Luthfie, CEO Virtual Consulting – WordPress for Corporate Blog
- Nanda Ivens, Digital Director IndoPacific Edelman – Digital Life, Digital Influence
WordCampED for Educators in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Vancouver, BC
After the first successful WordCampED for educators was held in Washington, DC, in November, two more WordCampED events were scheduled. The next education WordCamp is WordCamp Higher Ed North East in Worcester, Massachusetts, on February 2, 2009, followed by WordCamp Education Vancouver 2009 in Vancouver, BC, for February 19, 2009, on the UBC Main Campus in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
More WordCampED events are in the works at educational institutions around North America, and hopefully abroad, bringing educators together with WordPress experts to explore the various methods teachers and educational facilities can use WordPress.
WordCamps Coming Soon
Here are some WordPress-related dates and events to put on your calendar for the next few months.
- Toronto WordPress Meetup – January 3, 2009
- Atlanta WordPress 2.7 Party – Installing and Upgrading – January 6, 2009
- The New Jersey WordPress January Meetup – January 7, 2009
- WordCamp Las Vegas 2009 – Las Vegas, Nevada – January 10-11, 2009
- Happy Hour after WordCamp Las Vegas – January 10, 2009
- Los Angeles WordPress Users Group – January 11, 2009
- South Florida WordPress Meetup Group – Pompano Beach – Search Engine Optimization for WordPress – January 15, 2009
- WordCamp Indonesia 2009 – Jakarta, Indonesia – January 17-18, 2009
- Boston WordPress Meetup – Boston, Massachusetts – January 19, 2009
- New York WordPress Meetup Group – WordPress as a CMS: The Strategy of Content Publishing – January 20, 2009
- WordCamp Whistler 2009 – Whistler, BC, Canada – January 24, 2009 (Facebook)
- Toronto WordPress Meetup – January 24, 2009
- Chicago WordPress January Meetup – January 24, 2009
- The Dallas/Ft. Worth Area WordPress January Meetup – Texas – January 24, 2009
- WordCamp Higher Ed North East – Worcester, Massachusetts – February 2, 2009
- WordCamp Jena Germany – February 14, 2009
- WordCamp Education Vancouver 2009 – Vancouver, BC – February 19, 2009
- 2009 Northern Voice – Vancouver, BC – February 20-21, 2009
- WordCamp Miami 2009 – Miami, Florida – February 22, 2009
- WordCamp Denver 2009 – February 28, 2009 (Facebook)
- WordCamp Columbus – Ohio – May 16, 2009
- WordCamp Mid-Atlantic – Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia – May 16, 2009
- WordCamp Milan 2009 – Milan, Italy – May 22-23, 2009
- WordCamp San Francisco 2009 – May 30, 2009
- WordCamp Chicago – June 6-7, 2009
- WordCamp Dallas 2009 – Dallas, Texas – June 27-28, 2009
Make time this year to get to know your fellow WordPress fans – WordPressers, as some call them. And I hope to see you at an upcoming WordPress event very soon!