Baltimore: the largest city in Maryland and the 26th largest city in the United States. It was also a city that on September 21st played host to a packed WordCamp event. Ask anyone at WordCamp Baltimore, and you’ll still hear the excitement in their voices as they relived the event. Who can blame them? It was a memorable day as people from both the Baltimore area and from other parts of the country gathered as a community to talk WordPress, web design, and other topics.
I had the joy of touching base again with Andy Stratton, who (along with Drew Poland and others) helped organize WordCamp Baltimore this year (and the previous). I asked him the usual question of why he helped start and continue WordCamps in Baltimore… as usual, it starts with the meetups. “The meetup has been active for years… It kind of made sense as the meetup organizers, we thought it’d be a fun and interesting challenge and great way to give back, foster and promote the WordPress community in this area.” Andy then talked about his goals for this particular WordCamp: “Just like our meetups, we like to make sure people have a few strong takeaways they can use to better their experience with WordPress or foster further ‘nuggets’ of knowledge/wisdom.”
Every WordCamp is unique, and Andy reminded me what ways WordCamp Baltimore stand out from the multiple of other WordPress events: “We’re in Baltimore! Home of The Wire!” Andy pauses here, and you can hear the small laughter as he quickly follows that up with: “Actually, Baltimore is much safer than that show makes it seem – and there’s some great locations that people visit when they come down. WordCamp Baltimore is at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center (same location as one of the first WordCamp Mid-Atlantic events). We have our after-party and attendee social right on the harbor in Fell’s Point.”
This year, WordCamp Baltimore brought in a bit over 200 attendees. Impressive, considering this is only Baltimore’s second official WordCamp. About a dozen volunteers were on hand to help. And good news – thanks to a local volunteer firm, it looks like videos from the event will be appearong on WordCamp.tv in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for them so you can watch (or relive) many of the presentations, and then maybe make sure you’re in Baltimore next year. :)