The San Francisco Wordcamp 2013 last week was the first wordcamp I went to. Ever since I became interested and then involved in WordPress I was told that this one would be the ultimate pilgrimage for each and every WP acolyte. However, I did not really have any expectations apart from gaining the latest news and announcements of the industry in a geeky kind of setting.
The Mission Bay Conference Center where the event was held is part of the UCSF (University of California San Francisco) and everything had that distinct campus-feel to it. I don’t know whether it was down to the relaxed attitude in California in general or to the WordPress folk in general, but the atmosphere was very laid-back and welcoming. For the first time I got a real feel for the community and all the different characters it was made of. Be it newbies, seasoned developers, entrepreneurs or established industry figures, it felt that everybody held an equal share in the community and played a part to drive it forward, make it relevant and engaging.
There were many highlights for me, too many for just one blog post. Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2013 speech, Beau Lebens’ presentation of P2 and O2 (more in another blog), the announcement of the developer platform make.wordpress or Yuri Victor’s speech why the Washington Post loves WordPress (before it was known that Jeff Bezos of Amazon would snap it up) just to name a few.
The nice food being served for lunch accompanied by live jazz music certainly helped to enhance the whole experience. And as I am still digesting my impressions I am already looking forward to the next Wordcamp, hopefully again in San Francisco.