Sunday, May 17, 2009

WordCamp MidAtlantic

WordCamp MidAtlantic, originally uploaded by caseymultimedia.

I spent Yesterday at WordCamp MidAtlantic in Baltimore Maryland. Though I have attended a number of BarCamps (ad hoc full day technology events) , this was my first full day WordPress themed event.

The idea of attending WordCamp was a little intimidating to me, since my skills (such as they are) are more centered around writing with Wordpress than with the variations available on the back end of the application. Though I had always been able to turn to friends for information on tweaking the Wordpress blogs write on (like this one), I sort of though this was an event for programmers and really hard core tech folks- after all , the whole day centered around an application that was one of the most poularbloggin platforms around.

I hedged my bets by going to the event with two local social media folks, Gloria Bell and Marilyn Moran. Gloria I had met briefly at a Jeff Pulver breakfast, but this was the first time we had all spent time together. By the time we arrived at the Thule Building at the University of Baltimore, I was anxiously anticipating the days speakers, and from the moment we walked in, any anxiety was completely gone.

Unlike BarCamps, WordCamps are neither free nor "ad hoc". They are more organized, with speakers on specific topics scheduled as part of the event well in advance. However like BarCams, notable participants and speakers donate their time and travel at their own expense to share their experience and expertise.

Aaron Brazell a well known blogger was the host for the day, and was completely open and friendly. One of the senior Vice Presidents of Typad, possibly the largest WordPress competitor in the world was present and spoke on the need to contribute to the community and a new suite of products that they have developed for the WordPress platform.

I would list all of the other terrific speakers, and share with you the great presentations from Ignite Baltimore except I can;t write as well as they spoke, or share with you the wonder of learning about sites like What I can share with you is the feeling of community and camaraderie that pervaded this event as it pervades every barcamp I have been to, and indeed permeates the entire social media space.

On May 27, I'm privileged to attend the first REBarCamp in Philadelphia, a type of event created by my friends Andy Kaufman, Todd Caprenter, and Brad Coy. With Kim Wood, John Lauber, and Judy Moriarty, we will also be trying to share the knowledge and the sense of community that we all benefit from every day. So far we have 325 folks registered, and I'm hoping you may be one of them. Hope to see you there.

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2 comments: said...

I so would love to swoop into bar camp in Philly. Maybe next year. :)

Lisa Sanderson said...

I wondered what WordCamp was...thought maybe it was a meetup for English teachers. But that didn't seem to fit :p Looking forward to seeing you at the thang next week!!