Thank you to the WordCamp community and to Jane for the warm welcome! Working with WordPress community leaders all over the world is an amazing experience.
WordCamps are energizing, inspirational events – true labors of love – and each is unique. When Aaron Hockley and I organized WordCamp Portland this summer, I learned how the frustration of too many little details can evaporate when an attendee tells you how much they’ve learned that day, or how they’re now inspired to write a patch or volunteer on the forums. My goal is to give every WordCamp organizing team the support it needs and the attention it deserves, so that everyone’s WordCamp experience – attendees as well as organizers – is reliably positive.
My highest priorities right now include making sure that every WordCamp is community-driven and provides the highest possible quality content. We’re working hard to help organizers flush out their local experts and encourage them to speak. I’d like to close the gap that occasionally exists between the local WordPress meetups and local WordCamps. I’m also really excited about getting all WordCamp sessions onto WordPress.tv, thus expanding the educational influence of WordCamps exponentially.
Since coming on this summer, I’ve worked with nine different teams of brand-new WordCamp organizers. Before 2011 is over, nine additional WordCamps will be organized by new community leaders. It’s intriguing to consider how many more successful WordCamps we can have if we can make the process of organizing less daunting for newcomers. Now that organizing teams can run event finances through the WordPress Foundation, there are even fewer barriers to organizing a WordCamp. I’m working on making that part of the program run even more smoothly.
I’ve also had the honor of working with multiple teams of repeat organizers and learning from their experience. I’d love to create more collaboration between WordCamp organizers everywhere. The guidelines at plan.wordcamp.org contain a lot of valuable insights gathered from repeat organizers and attendee feedback, but I want to make sure we’re taking full advantage of the experience out there so every team isn’t reinventing the wheel. I welcome organizers to comment on plan.wordcamp.org with ideas or advice that you think might benefit other teams: what lessons did you learn the hard way? What bullets did you narrowly dodge? What’s the secret to your awesomesauce?
I’ll be posting a weekly wrap-up of WordCamp Central news every Friday. Stay tuned – we have great things in store!