It is now over a week since I attended my second WordCamp. The first one I attended in Mumbai, India – where I was slightly disappointed with the lack of WordPress related discussions. But I was not really complaining and looked forward to another one in the city of Baroda. The WordCamp in Baroda was better than the Mumbai event as it had more WordPress related content being discussed and shared.
I thought, I would sit down and write my views on WordCamps that I have attended. The idea of this post is to take stock of how things might be at WordCamps being hosted in India and how could they get better.
What I found lacking at WordCamps!
WordPress is not exactly very popular in India. It has a decent following but nowhere developed like it is say in western countries. I think there were some basic things that I found lacking at WordCamps I attended.
- Local meetups arranged prior to WordCamps seem to be few if not completely absent. Having meetups will be a good idea as this will give a good idea to organizers on how much local enthusiasm is there for the WordCamps. It will also help drum up support for WordCamps.
- People love to volunteer and get involved. But people who want to get involved need a platform to get involved. I think more work can be done to build better smaller local communities which can be more accessible.
- The talk sessions sometimes are more centered around social media and SEO tips. I personally find this a waste of time when social media marketing tips and SEO tutorials are shared which have nothing to do with WordPress.
- I did not come across any good sessions on basic introduction to WordPress. This I think is a must have session for any WordCamp.
- I was also a little disappointed that WordCamps I attended hardly saw a mention of how people should contribute to WordPress. It is important that as open-source community we think of making and adding to WordPress more than just taking from it.
I won’t be too harsh on the two WordCamps that I attended as I saw organizers themselves sharing their experiences with other organizers very freely. This is crucial as sharing their experiences will improve WordCamps a lot more in the future.
What I would like to see in India’s WordPress community
I am using the word ‘community’ instead of ‘WordCamp’ on purpose.
- I would love to see organizers write down a detailed list of difficulties they came across while arranging a WordCamp. This would be a great resource to future WordCamp organizers.
- Another idea is for organizers to help first time speakers. First time speakers are often unsure about their sessions and maybe a list of things to do, guides on how to go about presenting a session and what they should talk about might be of great use to them.
- Finally, I would love to see a session called ‘Basics of WordPress’ for people who simply have no idea of what WordPress is all about. This could be like a 10 minute session.
- Finally, I would like a lot local casual meetups. It would also be great if people who take part in such meetups write and share what they discussed during these gatherings.
India’s love affair with WordPress is simply beginning!
I suspect India does not have a very strong WordPress community. There is a lot of interest in it surely but most students are not exactly aware of it. There are many WordPress developers who work freelance in India. But many of them are not exactly organized as a community. Hopefully with more WordCamps all that will change slowly by surely.
As WordPress is open-source, it’s biggest supporters will always be college going kids who do not exactly have a lot of resources but have the adventurous spirit to learn new things.
Considering India will have a lot of young people who might not find fancy jobs in IT, I am sort of betting on them finding their true calling with WordPress.
Useful Links for WordCamp and WordPress Meetup Organizers
If you are interested in taking part in WordCamps or organizing them you might find some of these links useful.
- Complete WordCamp Schedule – Find WordCamps from around the world)
- Become a WordCamp Organizer – Useful if you are planning to become a organizer
- Make – WordPress.org Events – Useful link for people who are interested in reading up about best practices to follow while organizing WordPress related events. This also includes information on meetups.
Finally, as I was writing about WordCamps in India, let me inform you about the next one. WordCamp Pune 2013 will be held on the 23rd &24th February 2013.
Do drop in your comments and views about WordCamps and WordPress events in India.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of our TDIS ( Thank Devil It’s Sunday) feature, where we publish casual and personal posts.