Two WordCamps – Eight Days

The month of March not only brought a break in the weather but also an opportunity for me to attend two WordCamps in the span of eight days. On March 14th I attended WordCamp St. Louis and on March 20th and 21st found me at WordCamp Dayton.

WordCamp St. Louis

WordCamp St. :ouis
WordCamp St. :ouis

I had received a personal invitation to attend WordCamp St. Louis by Nile Flores. Initially I thought that an eight hour drive from eastern Ohio to St. Louis was going to be a bit much but after thinking about it I decided to go for it.  Boy, am I glad I did!

I drove to within a few miles of the site and stayed overnight in Troy. Saturday morning was a short drive to the event which was being held at Washington University. BIG surprise! Parking was directly across the street from the entrance and WordCamp volunteer Bob Barker was standing outside with a sign directing attendees to the correct locations.

The morning kicked off with Cain & Obenland in the Morning. This was the first time I had heard these two guys and it was great! As you can see on the schedule, there were 4 tracks to choose from. The sessions were varied and informative. I know that well over 300 people registered for the event and I am guessing that 280 to 300 were in attendance.

WordCamp Dayton

The next Friday found me arriving at the Dayton Convention Center around IMG_0762noon. Traveling with me to WordCamp Dayton was my son Michael. He was excited to come with me for the weekend. I will have more about Michael later.

The Dayton Convention Center was a great venue! All of the rooms and lounge area used for the WordCamp were within 100 feet of each other.

The schedule provided sessions for all skill levels. Saturday kicked of with a panel discussion about something called The Imposter Syndrome. Very interesting thoughts and comments. After lunch was the keynote speaker John James Jacoby. I have heard John speak before but this day seemed different. He gave some background on his work experiences but something that struck me was his comments about keeping healthy. Eating right, exercise, walking away from work and doing something completely different was the message.

I attended sessions throughout the day and even spent time in the Happiness Bar talking with people. Mike and I meet some great people and had a great time!

Both WordCamps were well worth the trip. About 1,400 miles of driving, 3 nights stay in hotels. Yep, worth it. AND I got to have BBQ both weekends! Yum Yum!

Michael

This past weekend was a good opportunity for Michael and I to spend some together. With his work schedule, it has been difficult to try to spend time with him so WordCamp Dayton was a good opportunity for us. He had a FANTASTIC time! He met so many people that made an impression on him. And I am truly thankful to all who took time to talk with him! To find out more about Michael, you can read about this on my personal website.

WordPressTV

In the few months that I have been volunteering time to WordPressTV, I have certainly learned a lot about videos and met some fantastic people. A few days before WordCamp Dayton, I read the speaker interview for John James Jacoby. During the interview John stated that he recommended WordPressTV as a resource for WordPress users. I checked with John before I went very far with this idea. I thought that the WordCamp might be a good opportunity to do a video interview with him and this is the result: http://wordpress.tv/2015/03/21/john-james-jacoby-interview-at-wordcamp-dayton-2015/

jjj

 

 

‘Tis The Season

Wait! What? ‘Tis The Season….well not in the regular sense of the word. No, what I mean is that we are back in WordCamp season after a slight slowdown for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Just after the beginning of the year WordCamps picked up again and have been held in Maui, Norway, Birmingham, San Antonio and Paris. Looking at the schedule on http://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/ it looks like one or two WordCamps are taking place every weekend for the next few months.

My first WordCamp was in 2010 in Columbus and that was the only WordCamp I attended in 2011. I decided to stretch out a little in 2012 and I went to WordCamp Nashville and had a fantastic time.

After that trip, I made up my mind to travel to a least one long distance  (well, long distance for me) WordCamp each year. 2013 found me in Buffalo and 2014 I was able to go to Ann Arbor.

This year, after some prodding by a certain lady in the St. Louis area, I will be heading west on March 13th for WordCamp St. Louis! It looks like they have a great lineup and I am really looking forward to the trip.

Now, if a trip to St. Louis in mid March isn’t enough, the next weekend will find me at WordCamp Dayton on March 20th and 21st. I don’t think I made the cut for a speaker presentation but I am looking forward to their second WordCamp.

There is a little bit of a break built in until WordCamp North Canton which will be held May 8th and 9th. I have submitted a presentation and am waiting to hear about that.

Sometime in August will be WordCamp Columbus. Angie Meeker has some additional help and I am sure that they will host another great camp this year.

I am very fortunate that there are 3 WordCamps in the State of Ohio within 2 or 3 hours driving. I have met some great people, heard some fantastic sessions and made new friends!

 

 

 

Community

It seems much longer ago than September 2014 that Matt Mullenweg wrote about the WordPress Community and giving 5 percent.

five percent

I had been volunteering as a moderator with WordPress.tv for a few months. When I read Matt’s article, I suddenly realized that I was a part of something so much bigger than I originally thought. The WordPress Community is truly global. Through my involvement with WordPress TV, I have chatted with people not only in North America but in Asia and Europe too.

A few days ago there was an article on the Torque website called “11 Ways To Contribute To WordPress” This is a very good read on several different ways that people can contribute to WordPress.

In mid January there was a posting by Jen on the Make WordPress Community which included a flyer that can be printed out and used at WordPress event.

wp-get-involved

Here is the link to the flyer: https://make.wordpress.org/community/files/2015/01/getinvolved-flyer-2015-v001jm.pdf

I plan to attend WordCamps in St. Louis and Dayton next month. Back to back weekends of WordPress awesomeness for sure! I am going to check with the organizers about bringing the flyers to hand out.