Since 2006, WordCamps have served as a means for WordPress users to meet and share ideas worldwide. Over that past six-plus years, there have been a total of 207 WordCamps held in 38 countries across all continents except Antarctica. WordCamp Central Coordinator Andrea Middleton posted last week that the current Guidelines (published in April 2011) are up for revision. So far, The group formed to review the procedures surrounding WordCamps has come up with a survey draft which has been distributed to past organizers for feedback. The deadline for submitting replies to the survey is at the end of this month.
As of February 15th, the Review WordCamp Guidelines subcommittee had received 48 replies to its survey. Preliminary data shows that 46% of the answered forms came from new respondents while 29% of the organizers queries continue to participate in event planning. Upon analyzing the data, the subcommittee will aim to identify “pain points” and categorize topics in order to go over open-ended solutions and innovate where necessary. The final results of the survey are scheduled to be posted on March 1st.
Survey Responses Needed
Andrea Middleton of WordCamp Central (pictured) asked current and past event organizers to take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire last week, stating that “if you are a WordCamp organizer and have NOT received an invitation to take the Review Guidelines Survey, please comment on this post, and [the subcommittee] will send you the link. All members of a WordCamp organizing team can take the survey, but the survey is restricted to past or present WordCamp organizers. It’s not required, but at the end of the survey, the group does ask for an email address so they can contact respondents directly with further questions.”
There are 11 WordCamps programmed to take place between now and the end of April, with the next one set for February 20th in Jerusalem, Israel (see details here). Other cities include Pune (India), Atlanta, Copenhagen, San Diego, Miami, Seoul, Nashville, Melbourne, Ottawa, and Reno.
Automattic Founder Matt Mullenweg organized the inaugural WordCamp in San Francisco back in 2006, and now there are more than 60 events annually. There is also a meeting set for July 13th-14th in the United Kingdom (Windsor).
Importance Of Constant Feedback
Due to the globalized nature of WordCamps, it is often essential that organizers provide feedback as consistently as possible. Some attendees are only able to show up at one event per year; meaning that a uniformed presentation process can often result in the highest quality of audio-visual brainstorming/idea sharing. This allows those who make the meetings to improvise on new template designs, mobile device focus, and programming and take what they’ve learned back to their home office or company.
Because of its open source status, anyone can collaborate on a WordPress project and share progress via the cloud through spreadsheets and applications with real-time storage capabilities.
WordCamps: What To Expect
If you’ve never attended a WordCamp before, there is an entire page dedicated to letting new attendees know what to expect. “The content of sessions is firmly focused on using and developing for WordPress. Issues around blogging, business, and social media that are related to WordPress use may be included, but the bulk of the program (at least 80%) is specifically about WordPress. The use of the WordCamp name indicates that it is a standalone event dedicated to WordPress, and to prevent confusion, WordPress ‘tracks’ within larger events such as BarCamp or other conferences are no longer called WordCamps,” reads one excerpt from the official explanation page.
Tickets to events generally cost $40 or less for two-day access thanks to corporate sponsors and donations. To find out more about how to participate in an official WordCamp in your area, visit the upcoming schedule page.