Thoughts on WordCamp San Francisco 2013Posted on August 1, 2013
Have to say this was my best WC yet. First the bad:
- I left my phone on the beach the first day. Thankfully someone found it and called my hotel, but I spent the whole evening trekking it across SF getting it back.
- I wanted soo bad to take SouthWestern up on a delay for travel voucher, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Next time!
- I forgot my business cards.
- I forgot my laptop power cord.
- I brought shorts.
- I totally screwed up my travel plans by not extending my stay through Sunday, and thus missing out on contributor day. What is wrong with me? This was by far the biggest screw-up of the trip.
Now the good:
- I met some really great people: Brad Thomason, Robert Rusnack and Vincent Burkhead, Vijay Vasu, K. Adam White, and many more; got to see Matt Mullenweg and too many Automatticians to list, and generally be around the most awesome people in the world.
- I was happy to see that Yuri Victor uses timeline.js and the JSON API to convert WP posts to a timeline for the Washington Post. I did an entire project on this last summer (password there is 123fh321)
- I thoroughly enjoyed Siobhan McKeown and Mika Epstein’s talks.
- I got to do a lot of sketching.
- I ate really good Mexican almost every day.
- The flight was absolute cake, and I got halfway through World War Z.
- I got a shout-out from the grand wizard himself, Matt Mullenweg (jump ahead to around 36:00)
A few thoughts:
- It was really well organized.
- The amount of love for and pride in people’s connection with WP was everywhere. It’s just amazing to see a piece of technology have such a strong connection with the people who use it.
- The sponsors were almost all hosting companies. Not that I have anything against it, but I would like to see more premium plugins sponsoring. Gravity Forms, iThemes, you heard me!
- The Mosser Hotel is a great little place to stay, and half the price of anything around. Yeah, you have to share a bath and toilet with your floor, but c’mon people, stop being so pampered!
- Matt Mullenweg is truly an amazing speaker. The challenge of putting a year’s worth of full-throttle development of one of the fastest growing technologies on the planet into a one hour presentation must be daunting. But he pulls it off every time. It’s fun to try and read into some of the stuff he says.
Maybe the most loaded topic was on WordPress as an app framework. WP as a foundation to build on is a controversial topic, and faces a ton of skepticism and criticism. WordPress will outgrow itself, it’s getting too big, it’s losing touch with the simplicity of just writing, etc. are all sentiments that seem to be all the rage these days, but it’s hard to go to one of these giant WordCamps and not feel confident that the WP world will always remain a truly user-focused, community-driven, open source, and free.