The WPCandy WordCamp Grand Rapids Liveblog

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Welcome to another fun-filled WPCandy WordCamp Liveblog. This weekend the main event is WordCamp Grand Rapids, specifically because I’m here and speaking. (There are also two other WordCamps going on this weekend — information about which can be found here.)

Throughout the two day event I’ll be shooting out my thoughts and capturing things like tweets, links, and presentations in the notes here. If you’re at the event and would like to take part in the liveblogging fun just let me know. Either way: the fun starts just after the jump!

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Recap: Matt Mullenweg’s 2012 State of the Word

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Matt Mullenweg gave his ninth State of the Word presentation at WordCamp San Francisco this weekend to a standing room only crowd at the Mission Bay Conference Center. He recapped the year’s highlights, reflected on projections from last year, and named a few challenges that WordPress faces at the moment.

A number of the things he covered won’t be news to many of you who read WPCandy often, but some of it well. Check out the full recap below (or the blow-by-blow from the weekend’s liveblog) for all the details.

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Making the most out of WordCamp

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People are descending on San Francisco from around the world as I type. I leave tomorrow morning earlier than I go to bed some nights. WordCamp is an excellent opportunity to meet a ton of people in the WordPress community. Most normal people (myself included) only get to attend one or two a year at best. Let’s make the best of it!

Here are some ways to make the most out of WordCamp:

Don’t be afraid

Introduce yourself to people around you. There’s a chance you use one of their themes or plugins. Maybe the person next to you wrote the code for your favorite WordPress feature. They’re right next to you! Talk to them.

Do you know someone you admire in the community will be at WordCamp? Track them down! Maybe not in a weird stalkerish way, but make sure you find them and let them know that you appreciate what they do, or let them know you use their stuff. I bet it’s hard for anyone to get sick of hearing that. Don’t be intimidated!

Here’s the attendees list for WordCamp San Francisco so you’ll know who’s going.

Get out of your personal boundaries

“I’m a designer.” Or, “I’m a developer.” Or, “I’m a marketer.” So what! Check out a couple of sessions that make your head spin.

You’re probably pretty good at what you do, and there’s likely a lot to of good subject matter on that at your WordCamp. But if you’re a developer, you don’t have to stay in the development track all day. Crawl over to a design session, or better yet, a user session. Sometimes seeing what’s important to other types of people will open your eyes to how you can do your own job better.

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Make WordPress Events blog gives WordCamp organizers a place to collaborate

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In addition to the WordPress development blog becoming Make WordPress Core this week, WordCamp and meetup organizers have a new blog to collaborate on at Make WordPress Events. Jane Wells announced the new blog over at WordPress.org, where she said she’s excited to see organizers get more recognition as important members of the community. She said:

I’m especially excited about the creation of this group because until now the role of community organizer, while one of the most important, has not gotten the same recognition as higher-profile contribution methods such as forum support or core code contribution. That is something I hope this group will change, and the local organizers can be recognized for the community leaders they are.

In the blog’s (pretty much obligatory) “Hello world!” post, Wells said she envisions the group to not only be a blog for sharing and discussion, but where mentorship can grow, regular IRC discussions can happen, and tasks like reviewing and processing WordCamp videos could become a shared responsibility. There are even talks of a regular IRC chat. The blog is already filling up with ideas from current and past organizers — jump right in if you’re one of them!

The new Make WordPress Events site follows suit with the other P2-driven contributor blogs: UI, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Accessibility, and Core.

As a meetup organizer I can say I’m looking forward to having a place to reach out to others and discuss what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve dabbled in WordPress event organization before, what do you think?

The WPCandy WordCamp Columbus Liveblog

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It’s been far too long since the last WPCandy Liveblog. Are you excited? I’m excited.

This weekend I’ll be spending the weekend in Columbus, Ohio, speaking about WordPress and spending time with other members of the community at WordCamp Columbus. Thing is, it’s just not possible for everyone who wants to be in Columbus to be in Columbus. That’s what this liveblog is for.

I’ll be sharing the events of the weekend here — photos, tweets, whatever — and hopefully it will end up as a helpful byproduct of the event. If you’re going to Columbus yourself and would like to partake of the liveblogging fun, just say so in the comments or on Twitter.

Liveblog begins just after the jump.

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Tickets for WordCamp Grand Rapids (Aug 18-19) are now available

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Tickets for WordCamp Grand Rapids, the first event in the Michigan city, are now available for $20 from the conference website. Brian Richards, who you might recognize as the person behind Startbox, is the organizer of the event and is working to assemble what looks to be an impressive first WordCamp.

The event will take place August 18 and 19 this year, and while there isn’t a full speaker list or schedule public yet I have heard through the grapevine[ref]The organizer Brian Richards being the proverbial grapevine, of course.[/ref] that attendees to the Grand Rapids can expect to hear from the likes of John James Jacoby, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Pippin Williamson, Jake Caputo and Matt Danner before it’s all said and done.

You can listen to a brief interview with Richards about WordCamp Grand Rapids on this week’s WP Late Night Aftertaste (around an hour and change in).

Just over 200 tickets are available for WordCamp Grand Rapids, and the event is only 5 weeks away so don’t dawdle if you want to attend!

Ryan Duff raises money to to attend WordCamp SF in less than 24 hours

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Yesterday Ryan Duff put up an Indiegogo campaign attempting to raise money so that he could attend WordCamp San Francisco. He sustained a back injury not long ago which put him behind his bills, so he took to the community. In just under 24 hours he has raised more than enough to cover his travel costs — $1,620 at the time of this writing. And there are still fifteen days left in the Indiegogo campain.

I can’t help but be reminded of Mika Epstein’s similar campaign or the Kickstarter campaign for the Jitterbug that Jane Wells ran. There’s some serious fundraising power within the WordPress community.

What do you think of Duff’s campaign success? Do you think we’ll see more campaigns like this one as long as they continue to be successful?

WPCandy will be at WordCamp Columbus this weekend

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WordCamp Columbus takes place this weekend — mere hours from now in fact. The conference sports four tracks this year over the course of two days. Speakers like Austin Gunter, Nile Flores, and Syed Bahlki will all be in attendance talking about what they know best.

And actually, if you take a close look at the Columbus speakers page, you’ll see that yours truly is speaking too. I’ll be giving my plugin presentation to the user track, and maybe even a new talk I’ve been nursing called “Every Theme Sucks, and Nobody Cares.” If you’re going to be attending the conference this weekend (or live nearby and can swing by) be sure to say hello!

There are still tickets available for the event for $40 if you’d like to attend. Sound off in the comments if you’re planning on attending.

More tickets for WordCamp San Francisco due tomorrow at 10am PST

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Speaking of WordCamp San Francisco, a new set of tickets is due out for the conference tomorrow morning. Rather than all of the tickets being available at one time, the San Francisco organizers released batches of tickets over the course of the last few weeks. Live stream tickets are still available in large numbers — it’s the in-the-flesh attendee tickets that some are still clamoring for.

The official schedule and list of speakers hasn’t yet been finalized, but at the very least it’s safe  to expect another keynote from Matt Mullenweg and a number of influential members of the WordPress community in attendance.

The last couple batches of tickets have sold out in only a couple of hours, so set your alarms for 10am PST tomorrow morning so you don’t miss out. If you’re already planning on attending WordCamp San Francisco this year, sound off in the comments.