Let the countdown begin!
There’s less than 24 hours left until the third annual WordSesh, a much anticipated online event that live-streams WordPress presentations for 24 consecutive hours. And, best of all, you can watch it free from anywhere in the world.
This article broadly discusses the accessibility issue with WordCamps, Meetups, etc., and talks about the future of online conferences and WordSesh, in particular.
There are various reasons why one may be unable to attend a WordCamp, Meetup, or other WordPress event. WordSesh eliminates many of these barriers, because it is both free and easily accessible, with one basic requirement: an internet connection. You don’t even need to wear pants.
The initial inspiration for WordSesh actually came about when Scott Basgaard — co-organizer of WordSesh — experienced the geographic constraint from relocating to Norway from the United States.
“Having lived in the USA where WordCamps and Meetups where easily accessible and moving to a remote area in Norway, I needed a way to fill that urge to meet awesome people in WordPress,” Basgaard told Torque in an interview.
. . .I’m passionate about our community and building relationships. WordPress, amazing people, a lot of knowledge and a lot of fun is what WordSesh is all about. “
The geographic barrier for attending WordPress events is likely to become more prominent as WordPress continues to globalize. For events like WordSesh, this may increase the pressure for them to reach a non-English speaking audience.
“I’d love for WordSesh to be more global,” Basgaard said.
“We reach an incredible amount of people but I still think it can go farther in terms of a non-English and non-US / Europe audience. If there was a time, or a way, where multiple WordSesh(es)? ran in different languages that would be incredible. Just not sure how to make that happen…”
Perhaps this is something that deserves further contemplation, considering non-English downloads of WordPress surpassed English downloads in 2014, as noted by Matt Mullenweg in this year’s State of the Word.
The future is full of possibilities
The online format of WordSesh is relatively new, but is something that has gained popularity over the years. It’s likely that we will see even more online conferences pop up in the future.
“I totally think there will be more online conferences in the future. Tools like Google Hangout and now Crowdcast.io it’s really easy to spin up something that can have incredible reach without any overhead of running a conference in “real life.”
I also see more similar smaller events, etc. popping up — like WP Think Tank by Troy Dean and WP Sessions by Brian Richards, which are really neat!”
Free events like WordSesh afford the unique opportunity to harness the power of the WordPress community, despite geographic barriers.
“I don’t think we’ll get to it this time, but I think the community coming together over the 24 hours of WordSesh and having some kind of donation sprint for a good cause would be really great to see. Maybe something like John James Jacoby’s Indiegogo campaign or similar. It’s a great opportunity for us to come together and greatly impact what we love that is WordPress.”