How WordCamps are helping fuel WordPress’s global community.
By Michelle Oznowicz | July 24, 2013
It seems as if the business world is spinning faster and faster these days. Many companies have multiple locations in different parts of the world, and it’s not uncommon for colleagues to communicate across time zones, or even continents. Thanks to advancements in technology, the amount of time it takes to convey an idea to a faraway location – and get a response – has been minimized. This is a good thing, right?
In some ways, yes. We are able to do things so much more efficiently than prior generations. But, with all of this digital communication happening in lieu of face-to-face interactions, the importance of meeting In Real Life seems to have fallen by the wayside. Aside from the convenience, the time saved, and everything else we love about technology (and there’s a lot!), there are some negative repercussions to the shift in modes communication. Most people, whether they are customers, clients, or colleagues, yearn for more genuine relationships in their day-to-day interactions. It’s only natural to want to work with people that you know, trust and like.
While it is possible to form meaningful relationships online, there’s a lot to be said for getting to know someone in person. Smart companies like Apple and Google understand this, and even encourage it. Most major technology companies are investing in their community’s IRL experience though their conferences, retreats and events.
In the WordPress community there are staple events called WordCamps that occur on a continual basis all over the world. WordCamps take place in more than 36 countries, and on a yearly cycle there are about 207 of them total. Each WordCamp is as unique as the city that hosts it, and are all governed under a basic set of rules and principles where they cover things like how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security as well as design.
Beginners, advanced developers, and everyone in between can show up to network and socialize. WordCamp is open to anyone who is interested in WordPress and its community. The crowd is welcoming and people delight in helping each other out by asking questions, troubleshooting issues, and making valuable business connections.
Whatever your reasons for attending, you can’t go to a WordCamp and not come out feeling better about your WordPress skill set. The relationships with the people you meet will be able to be taken back online, but are more fruitful because of those memories you created at the WordCamp. So next time you’re in a Twitter conversation about what is the best plugin for x,y and z, you may find yourself the expert because you happened to hangout with the gal who designed your favorite plugin for it and now you are helping continue the wondrous cycle of the WordPress community.
Whether you use WordPress for your corporation’s website, your small business’s e-Commerce, or to showcase your photography portfolio, the user knowledge base does not rely on one person alone. What do you do when you’re stuck? Probably Google it. Or watch a Youtube video, right? Whatever your WordPress endeavor may be, you will most likely end up looking for advice or suggestions through forums, tutorials and how-to blogs. Why not go the extra step and meet these people IRL?
There is a ton of information awaiting anyone on the other side of Google’s search bar. But for many people, it’s not the easiest way to consume knowledge. Plus, you’re limited by what someone else has provided content for without actually getting the context. And when you’re at an event, you don’t have things in your day to day life pulling you away like your kids, your errands, or your to-do list. It’s just you and the event attendees and it’s an opportunity that lets you learn new techniques from a panel, the chance to grab coffee with a developer whose blog you’re following, or maybe you’ve gotten the courage to step up and give a talk at a WordCamp and we’re coming out to see you.
With so many cities hosting WordCamps, chances are there is one happening near you, with both a local and yet global community just waiting for you to tap into.
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