Rested up from the holidays? I hope so, because the new year has begun and a lot is going to be happening with WordPress in 2010, and you definitely want to be a part of it. Later this week the scope for version 3.0 (featuring the addition of MU functionality to the WordPress codebase) will be decided in the IRC developer chat*, based on feedback provided by users like you. But it’s no fun to live by IRC alone, which is why we love WordCamps. Attending a WordCamp gives you a chance to meet people in your local community who are working with WordPress, as well as core contributors, theme designers, plugin developers, Codex writers, support forum moderators and other WordPress volunteers who’ve made WordPress what it is today. Add this New Year’s Resolution to your 2010 list if it’s not on there already: Attend a WordCamp, meet at least 5 new local people, learn something new, and if you have the chance, buy a drink for someone who’s volunteered their time and expertise to the WordPress open source project. To help you keep your resolution, here is a list of the upcoming WordCamps for the next three months, followed by what I know so far about each one.
January 8–9: WordCamp Atlanta
January 23: WordCamp Boston
January 30: WordCamp Greece in Thessaloniki
January 30: WordCamp Indonesia in Jakarta
February 27: WordCamp Fukuoka
March 6–7: WordCamp Ireland in Kilkenny
March 27–28: WordCamp Toronto
January 8–9: WordCamp Atlanta. First WordCamp of the year, and it’s already sold out — twice! They changed to a bigger venue based on demand, from Georgia Tech to the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). They’re still letting people onto the waitlist, if you’re interested. A guaranteed way to get in would be to sponsor the event, and they’re taking last-minute sponsors right now. Atlanta will have sessions on Friday evening and all day Saturday. I’ll be opening the Saturday program with WordPress Resolutions: What to Expect in 2010. After a day of design, development and content track sessions, Lead Developer Mark Jaquith will take the closing slot for a Town Hall-style Q&A. The attendee list (follow link, scroll down) includes a number of WordPress core contributors, theme/plugin developers, and support providers as well as proof that Atlanta has a strong WordPress user base.
January 23: WordCamp Boston. I think WordCamp Boston is trying to one-up every WordCamp the organizers have been to, including the awesome NYC from November, and it looks like they might succeed. From Doc Searls and David Weinberger as keynote speakers to the multiple-track, unconference and Ignite sessions to the sweet-looking venue and the party plans, this one has got it going on. I credit it in part to the fact that they are one of the few WordCamps to follow the advice of having an organizing team of more than just 2 or 3 people, so the work is better distributed. I see a number of familiar names on the attendee list, but even more that I don’t know, so I’m looking forward to meeting the Boston WordPress community. They’re still selling tickets, so if you’re in the northeast, you should try to make it. I’ll be at this one also, talking about how the merge with MU will affect the WordPress admin (by then we should have started figuring it out!).
March 27–28: WordCamp Toronto. The last two Toronto WordCamps have been really good. I heard there would be one in March, but their site right now is just taking emails for notification. I’ve contacted the organizer to see what’s up, and he says the site will likely go live this week. They’re looking for volunteers to help organize this year’s event, so if you’re interested, it would be a great opportunity to get involved. Believe me, volunteering at a WordCamp is one of the best ways to make sure you meet a lot of other attendees.
January 30: WordCamp Indonesia. WordCamp Indonesia will be in Jakarta again this year. I love how they worded the beginning of their sessions page. “Come in, we’ll get you breakfast and coffee, you’ll register, there’ll be networking. It’ll be great.” There will be a single track of sessions, but there are several time slots set aside for ad-hoc discussion and breakout sessions.
February 27: WordCamp Fukuoka. WordCamp Fukuoka is just getting its site up, too, so check back periodically a little later for more information. One of their visiting speakers will be Noel Jackson, developer of the Press This bookmarklet as well as themes like P2 and Monotone/Duotone.
January 30: WordCamp Greece. WordCamp Greece will be held in Thessaloniki, and they expect about 100-150 people to attend.The program includes regular sessions on the usual topics (how-to, programming, SEO, multi-language sites, etc) as well as “QuickRounds,” which will showcase Greek projects based on WordPress. I’m especially intrigued by the “WordPress vs. Expression Engine” session. Whenever people compare different publishing platforms, it’s interesting to see which features they highlight. I hope someone gets video from this one and posts it to the WordCamp section of WordPress.tv.
March 6–7: WordCamp Ireland. WordCamp Ireland will be in Kilkenny, and for such a geographically small country, it’s got an impressive list of speakers, including Donncha O Caoimh, lead developer of WordPress MU. The program includes three tracks: Intro, Blogger, and Developer, and I think this will be the first WordCamp I’ve heard of that is deliberately family-friendly, with on-site child care. They’re also going to have a charging station for mobile devices, which is clever. It’s not confirmed yet, but I think I’ll be at this one, too.
If you want to attend a WordCamp but don’t know of one near you, check out WordCamp.org for the official list (updated frequently). That’s also where you would start if you wanted to organize a WordCamp in your area.
*Developer chats are held Thursdays at 21:00 UTC in the #wordpress-dev channel at irc.freenode.com.