I just got back from WordCamp Seattle 2017, and it was the best I’ve attended so far. WordCamps are regional, annual gatherings of people with a shared interest in WordPress. This blog runs on WordPress software, and it’s in good company: Over 25% of the world’s web sites run on WordPress.
This year I was an attendee, a contributor, and a speaker. I enjoyed that four sessions were available to chose from every hour, and on Sunday one of those sessions was the Contributor Track.
The One-Man Focus Group
The Contributor Track ran all day, and folks could come for a short period or stay all day. They said they could use however much or little time we were able to contribute, so I jumped in for an hour. Several tasks were available to choose-from in support of the WordPress community.
My task was to try the WordPress Gutenberg plugin while I was observed. While attempting to use the new editor plugin I made lots of faces and noises. Every noise and weird face I made was logged, along with an explanation of what I was having trouble with. Sometimes a feature I was looking for just wasn’t there. Other times it was there, but it worked differently than I expected.
I’m glad I was able to play a small part in the development of the next WordPress editor.
I Break WordPress and Talk About It
My presentation was inspired by a previous post on How I repeatedly broke this WordPress Web Site. However, for my talk I took it to the next level by sharing how I also repeatedly fixed what was broken.
Here are the slides I shared:
Talking Like Lightning
The typical WordCamp presentation runs about 30 minutes, with time for Q&A at the end.
Lightning talks allow a group of five speakers to share for 8 minutes each about related topics. That doesn’t leave much time for Q&A. Our group talked about Blogging & Social Media. It did go like lightning, but there was still only time for a few questions.
Only two hours until the Lightning Talks at @WordCampSeattle!
I'll be there – will you? #WPSEA #WordPress #Seattle pic.twitter.com/z30sXgnkeK
— Steve Case (@JoeBugBuster) November 5, 2017
WordCamp’s Secret Weapons
Fortunately, WordCamp Seattle offers a Speakers Lounge. At the end of the presentations, speakers head to the lounge where the Q&A can continue. Discussions continued during breaks, at lunch, and generally all around the conference center.
WordCamp’s other secret weapons include organizers, volunteers, and sponsors. WordCamp is a labor of love, run by volunteers and funded in large part by sponsors so tickets can be dirt cheap. This year’s tickets cost only $40 for two days, including coffee in the morning and lunch both days.
The WordCamp Seattle might not exist without the Seattle WordPress Meetups. WordCamp only comes once a year to a given region, but you can attend a Meetup every month. What a great way to keep the fire burning.
Photo credit: Thanks to Michael Riffle Photography for sharing the Seattle skyline photo.