I attended this really cool local event this weekend. You’re going to think it’s really geeky when I tell you about it. OK, and the geekiness saturation level was at about an 8, I have to admit. But did you see Mark Zuckerberg in all his iterations on SNL this weekend? Geek is the new black. Hmm, that sounded racist. Geek is the new chic. That’s a little better.
Anyway. The event was called WordCamp. Do you know what WordPress is? Yeah, I only sort of do also. It’s software (don’t quote me on that actually… I’m relatively sure it’s not hardware. It could be medium-densityware) that allows (nay, empowers) the general public to build their own websites and blogs.
I guess the story goes that long, long ago the websites and blogs were controlled by the fascist programmers and code builders. None of the simple-minded regular folk could have a website without shelling out big bucks to the big-brained rulers of the Webiverse or using some kind of template with extremely constrictive structure and lack of freedom. The people were sad and felt oppressed. But then, WordPress was invented! WordPress allowed for some basic back-end structure that you don’t have to be a technology genius to manipulate and apply to the many front-end themes people have developed to work with it. You buy your own domain name, arrange for your own hosting and then plug WordPress in to create your very own website/blog. And the people rejoiced! Then the people gathered up all of the fascist programmers and code builders and made them stand on platforms in their underwear so we could throw baloney and water balloons at them. But then the people realized it was the developers and code builders who created and maintained WordPress, so we let them come down and dried them off and apologized.
And then we all had a WordCamp together! WordCamp is a not for profit seminar that hosted 28 different 30 minute classes on everything you could ever possibly want to know about WordPress, blogging and websites. This year they had a Real Estate track, so I went to those classes. I learned about how to write my blog (which I promptly ignored because I do it my own way and that is that), how to take photos for my blog, what tools to use to learn if I’m optimizing my conversion rate on my blog, that there are things called ‘multisites’ that are over my head and how to basically start from the very beginning in creating my blog (in a way that doesn’t involve making my husband’s favorite dinner 87 times in a row and then begging him to make me a blog right this very minute).
I paid $35 to attend and not only did I get to go to all of these awesome classes, I also got breakfast and lunch and a t-shirt and I won a bag from the .TV people. AND I got all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings from meeting people in real life who I only know from twitter (which was only slightly awkward when they tried to hug me, without realizing I don’t even hug family, much less people I meet online) and seeing how awesome the community of volunteers around this event was. They really seemed to have thought of everything. There was a live Mariachi Band onstage at the opening remarks for goodness sake! And it was a zero waste event! And there was an after-party with an ice sculpture/shot luge (which I only got to see in pictures because we have the many children who ruin things like after-parties and shots, but make up for it with their cuteness and hilarity)!
It was really rad and well-run is all I’m saying. If you have a chance and would like to know more about websites and WordPress, I highly recommend attending next year. But don’t lynch the developers. We’re all friends now.