Well, it’s been over a month now, and I’m just starting to recover from the madness. The burden of organizing an event for 200+ attendees is heavy – but the reward is sleep, good sleep. And some satisfaction for a job (more or less) well-done. First, some numbers:
- 3 days, 4 tracks + a contributor day
- 223 attendees
- 22 sponsors
- 31 speakers
- 18 volunteers
- 5 organizers
- 2 food trucks for lunch!
The talks (the ones I saw or gave, at least)
It would be remiss of me to forget mentioning my fellow 11 Onliner Eric’s talk on using React.js with the WordPress REST API. He put together an excellent primer on how to use the power of React to make a complex frontend really sing:
We were honored to have John Maeda do our keynote speech. I first met John at WordCamp US 2016 – in my mind, he stole the show with his presentation (in fact, I was so impressed that since then, I’ve jacked bits of his style for my own talks). John is truly a force for radical inclusivity in technology. “Good design for all,” indeed.
Sakin Shrestha came all the way from Nepal to tell us how he built his WordPress theme business from scratch, and how he dealt with the challenges of scaling:
Ashleigh Axios told her inspiring story and shared her ideas around authenticity in branding and communication:
Coming from Las Vegas, Kitty Lusby talked about strategies to bring more traffic to blogs. I really liked her honest, straightforward style – and the tips she shared added a lot of value to our camp:
I had the honor of being on the stage twice. For the first talk of Foundation Friday, I wanted to cover the basics of WordPress for a newbie. Sharing my experience of building a website in four hours – for a good friend in a time of need, to boot – was a highlight:
Being interviewed by the great Chris Lema was a professional highlight. Having admired Chris from afar for several years, I have to admit I felt a bit nervous. To his credit, he was able to keep it loose and fun, even when he asked some tough questions I don’t think I had great answers for:
Sometime in early 2017, Sam Hotchkiss laid out a vision for the next WordCamp ABQ – bigger, badder, more ambitious, and the beginning of the revitalization of our WordPress community. Needless to say, without his vision (and connections), we wouldn’t have gotten very far. Thanks Sam – you’re a real mensch!
Elaine Thomas, a fellow 11 Onliner, took charge of most of the organizing logistics. She pitched in with email communications, the camp website, social media … jeez, just about everything. I’m truly indebted to her and the hard work she put in to make this camp go. Thanks Elaine!
Jamii Corley wrangled our volunteers, helped promote the camp, and even pitched in as a sponsor (through her company, Southwest Cyberport). Jamii’s past experience as an organizer was invaluable – thanks a million Jamii!
Ray Gulick designed our logo, badges, and t-shirts – he was our design guru. And if only for this super cool t-shirt, he has my deep gratitude. Thanks Ray!
And finally, Hailey Patrick designed our Wapuu!
Thanks Hailey – best Wapuu ever IMHO.
Sure, there are things we would do differently if we could: the after party probably should have been in the same venue as the camp. And maybe we could have put my interview in a smaller room – my fame (or lack of it) didn’t justify such a venue. And we didn’t get lanyards in time, so we had to scramble and buy paracord … but all that said, we landed the plane. And that’s all that mattered.
I firmly believe WordPress is the crux of software and democracy. WordPress is the people’s technology! And I’m very honored and excited to have been part of our WordCamp – I think we did good.