What is a WordCamp? How do people in the WordPress community look like? What’s the magic behind the people that power 28 percent of the Web? What is so exciting about meeting contributors from around the world and end up translating strings of a content management software that a lot of tech people consider messy and somehow outdated?
I’ve attended my first European WordCamp along with other 1.900 people traveling from 79 countries to answer these questions and to present WordLift to partners and friends.
Long time WordPress ninjas agree that the WordCamp Europe 2017 edition was by far one of the best (article by WP Tavern).
Attending a WordCamp is not just about reviewing themes and discussing core developments of the WordPress platform but it is really about looking closely at the enthusiasm of a thriving and highly competitive eco-system.
Here is my short summary of the event and my five reasons to attend the next WordCamp:
- Accessibility and inclusivity matter. Enjoy it! If there is a single theme to describe WordPress’s core efforts nowadays this would be inclusivity. From presentation about the ongoing efforts to grow the platform, to marketing trends inside Automattic, everything is designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of technical skills and language barriers.
- Innovation as a side effect. Let’s catch up! WordPress easy-of-use remains the most important driver of adoption of WordPress. Never the less the community is there to show you that a lot of innovative and amazing work is still happening under the hood. We develop WordLift, our semantic SEO plugin, with a focus on digital marketing automation, so my attention was somehow biased by the presentation of Gutenberg (WordPress new web editor technology). Matt Mullenweg attended a casual Q&A session and showed us a demo of the editor that finally introduces true workflow capabilities on WordPress and can be already tested by downloading a plugin on WordPress.org. Now, while a good chunk of the presentations revolve around the industry, open source initiatives and testimonials, there is a great lot of innovation to catch up with (and this is, of course, a great sign)
- Competition is fierce and many-sided. It’s time to find your next partner. By attending this type of events you can finally understand and see that behind the enthusiastic open source community spirit there is a billion dollars economy that fights like crazy to remain ahead of the curve and to create consistent business value. If you’re making a living using WordPress, if you have spent nights coding themes or plugins, a WordCamp really is an event to attend. It’s not just a venue where platform’s users and blogging newbies gather every now and then, this is the event that represents an entire industry!
- Great products are made by people, so go and meet them. Products are never finished. This is true for digital products and now it is also true for things that exist in the real world like cars and airplanes. Kevin Kelly talks about ‘becoming‘ as one of his twelve technological forces that shape our future. The basic idea is that perfection does no longer exist and you as a maker shall keep on adapting your product to change what you’re building and to respond to the audience. This also means that people, still play a pivotal role in these ecosystems. Their product adapts over time but their vision is what you, as a prosumer (or consumer) are really buying. A WordCamp is a terrific place where you can go and showcase like we did, your plugin to WordPress’s living rockstars like Joost de Valk from Yoast or Syed Balkhi from WPBeginners and Optin Monster.
- Give back, always. It’s good for your karma and good for your business. Whether you are cheering up a thought leader speaking on the front stage or you decide to roll up your sleeves and join for the Contributor Day a WordCamp is the place where you have your chance to move your energy and intentions in favor of others. I don’t want to sound too mystical but this really is the life blood of these experiences.
Here is a timeline from our Twitter account and below, two real gems I picked for you!
Now two contributions that really deserve your attention:
1. John Maeda head of Design and Inclusion at Automattic presenting the three types of design: classical design, business design, and computational design (as during his talk for the WordCamp John explains in this video that inclusivity is the secret weapon of every successful design team).
2. Marina Pape – Marketing Wrangler at WooCommerce sharing her precious experience. Great stuff!
— Marina Pape (@marinapape) June 16, 2017
See you at the next WordCamp… in Rome ?