Not exactly the weather for camping this weekend, but then the camping I had in mind didn’t depend on clear skies. No, not ‘camp’ as in Right Said Fred dancing on a doily, but as in WordCamp UK which is where I am off too shortly for day two.
I’ve ended up there by happy accident. As a WordPress newbie, I’ve been blundering around for the last couple of months not really knowing what I was doing. Then I clicked WordCamp UK link out of idle interest and discovered it was here in Manchester, so I thought why not?
Nearly everyone of the 150-ish people in the auditorium had fired up laptops in front of them which made me and my Notepad (Tesco, not PC) look pretty lame. I’m not quite sure what it was they found so wi-fi interesting during the presentations, or maybe the coder and developer brain is able to concentrate on two or three separate things at the same time.
I don’t know what I expected to get out of the weekend — it was a twenty quid punt — but you could see that WP has tremendous potential to make money for people. The delegates looked to fall into three camps:
- People who already make a living from WP, coders and designers.
- People who would quite like to make money out of WP.
- Those who want to harness the power of WP for nonprofits etc.
And there’s no value judgement implied. There is a real sense of community among them all that is more geeky than nerdy and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you want to make money or a difference. Each learns from the other.
But if there was one group missing, it would be you, the end-user. It’s all very well to measure success by hits and traffic, but that only goes to show that the developer, designer and content makers got it more or less right when they presented you with their site and said take it or leave it. Personally, I’d hand over far more control to the viewer, like shutting off plugins, or rearranging them, so the emphasis is on subjective, rather than interactive.
On which note I will shut up and see what Sunday has to bring.