Last month I wrote about the WordCamp culture in India. In it I mentioned briefly about WordCamp Mumbai. WordCamps are basically WordPress informal conferences. The idea is for WordPress enthusiasts from a particular city meet-up and interact with the other WordPress enthusiasts and experts from all over the country. It is ideally an annual event.
Mumbai will host it’s second WordCamp (first one was in 2012) this weekend (15-16 March, 2014). I have attended a few WordCamps and they usually end up being informative and a lot of fun. It is always a lot of fun to see interesting new ways WordPress is used.
I am personally involved in WordCamp Mumbai 2014 as an organizer. For DW’s parent company rtCamp too, this WordCamp will be a very special one as EasyEngine – a CLI tool that helps users to easily manage their WordPress sites on Nginx will be introduced to the community. Rahul Bansal will be speaking on it in a session.
Google owned Motorola has finally announced an event where the new phone “Moto X” is expected to be announced. Motorola has been struggling to become profitable over the past few years when Google acquired it. It was expected that someday Motorola will churn out a Google phone now that it is part of Google. The event will be held in New York.
Google does announce Nexus phones which gives the pure Android experience every year but with Nexus phones they are basically working with a company with their own limitations and agendas. With Motorola, Google has complete control of the device so expectations from this phone will be high.
What to expect from “Moto X”?
Just about everything related to Moto X has been secret. Google has done a very good job on keeping things secret (which makes me wonder if phone leaks are done on purpose).
The phone is expected to have some features like listening to voice command at all times even when the phone is idle or showing icon based notifications when the phone is idle. These features were leaked by Canada based mobile operator Roger Wireless (Check out the leaked video).
Sundar Pichai the man who heads Android and Chrome at Google, is also hosting an event on the 24th July. So we should be expecting a new version of Android very soon. This new version of Android will most probably be shipped with “Moto X”.
Motorola’s success is important to Google
Google recently has been investing a lot of money into Motorola and also writing off losses. That is sustainable in the short run but for an increasing mobile and tablet world, advertising revenues might soon stagnate for Google. Google needs Motorola to basically pay for itself if not earn it handsome profits. Will it work out? Only time will tell.
WordPress users around the world will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first WordPress edition by organizing several meet-ups across the world. The anniversary falls on May 27, 2013.
The meetups will take place on 27th May in many cities. If you are interested in meeting up with local WordPress enthusiasts then look up this list of meetups being planned.
If you find none in your city, you can even plan create your own meetup for your city or town.
Why are meetups important?
Meetups are very important for WordPress communities. Especially in India, where a lot of WordCamps have started to take place but very few small WordPress meetups are happenings. Being an open-source project no company is going to put a lot of resources in marketing events to get local developers and bloggers together Hence such meetups organized from ground up are very important.
I will be attending the meetup in Mumbai and hopefully will meet some fascinating people from the WordPress community in the city.
Facebook has sent out invites to the Press for an event on March 7, 2013. The invite has a simple message, which is announcing a new look for the ‘news feed’.
One place where people spend most of their time on Facebook is looking through their news feeds. The design of the current News Feed is based on how it best looks on a desktop/laptop browser. But with Facebook being increasingly consumed on mobile and tablet screens, a new design was more or less expected.
Compared to say Google+ or even Flipboard (which is an app not a social network), the main news feed design of Facebook is boring, especially on mobile platforms.
News Feed design of Google+
News Feed design of Facebook
‘News Feed’ is the Money Earner for Facebook
Though one might wonder what is the big deal about a redesigned ‘News Feed’ for Facebook. It is actually a very big deal because it is also where Facebook will be displaying some of its ads or sponsored updates.
It will be interesting to see whether Facebook gets it right or wrong.
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.
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.
Facebook will be hosting an event at their corporate headquarters. The invite they sent out toThe Verge indicates that something big will be unveiled on the 15th of January. The invite suggests they have been building something for a while.
What could Facebook be building?
Conspiracy theorist in me could go wild thinking that they might be announcing a new Facebook phone or a Facebook browser. Maybe even a new overhaul of the design (very unlikely) as I am not a fan of the Facebook’s current design.
But the saner voice in me suggests it would me something related to making revenues and doing that on mobile phones. So they might be rolling out new services which allow them to make money from their Facebook app across various mobile platforms. It has only in recently started pushing better designed native apps for Android and iPhone users.
At the time of writing this post the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics is only a few hours away.
The summer Olympics take place every four years and the current edition seems to be the most connected games ever.
The official website for the event (london2012.com) is very resourceful for looking up quick updates and also buying tickets if you are in and around London during the games.
But there is more to the online presence of the Olympics than just the official website. So I thought of creating a quick guide on how to follow all the official apps, pages, social media profiles and more.
Watch Events from London Olympics Live
The official Olympic Channel on YouTube will be have a live feed from various events streamed. The events can be toggled for timings and date based on preferences like country and sport. For instance if I select “India” and “Hockey”, it shows me the all the dates of the hockey team’s matches.
One might say we are currently living in the golden age of social media. Sports and social media are a perfect match, as it allows people to show their support, discuss, praise and even criticize the performances of their favourite athletes.
The official Facebook page for London 2012, has videos, photos and updates on various events. The page can be “Liked” or simply “Subscribed” into a feed list. This could be useful to follow the updates in a more organized manner.
The official Twitter account for the Olympics can be followed, but it also has a events page dedicated to the Olympics, which will show you prominent tweets on Olympics from the world over. The events page is basically an official hashtag for the event.
Google+ too has a official page for the London Olympics. The page has similar updates, photos and videos from the event. The advantage of using Google+ are Hangouts hosted with some famous athletes like Usain Bolt.
IndiBlogger the community website for bloggers in India has arranged for a Blogger meet. It will be held in the city of Pune, India on 7th July.
You can register for the meet here. It is free to register though participants might have to shell out INR 200/- for food.
Details of Blogger Meet in Pune
Vijay Commercial Complex, Kumbare Heights, Near Guru Ganesh Nagar
Survey No. 82/9/10, New D.P. road, Kothrud
Pune – 411038
Landmark: Opposite Spencer’s. 1.5 KM from Karve Putla towards Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagrah
Timings:11.00 am to 5.00.
Do check out the Event Link for complete information and contact numbers.
Even though I have been blogging for over 3 years, a lot of my interaction with bloggers has been online. I have hardly meet many bloggers face to face. So I am really looking forward to catching up with some interesting bloggers and discovering their interesting blogs.
If you are around Pune and like blogging, you might want take part in the the blogger meet.
All computer students and programming geeks might like to look up CodeChef and maybe even take part in a competition they have for programmers. 😉 CodeChef hosts competitions for programmers with cash prizes for people residing in India and the US. Currently they have two upcoming contests the CodeChef Campus SnackDown on November 21st and another one called CodeChef December Challenge which is from Dec 1st to Dec 11th. Registration for SnackDown contest is already over but you can still look up the contest at the CodeChef website.
First prize winner for winner from India is Rs 22,000/- and for the US is $440/-.
CodeChef’s December challenge will consist of 6-8 problems of varying difficulty.
The contest website has problems visible on the website on 1st December, 15.00 IST.
Visit CodeChef website for registering your entry.
If you solve the problem you get one point regardless of the level of difficulty.
You can submit your solutions as many times as you would like as there are no penalties for incorrect submissions.
Code Chef is a competition started by Directi as a way to engage the developer community and give them a forum. CodeChef hosts monthly online competitions for programmers in 35 programming languages. The winner gets a prize and also recognition. The winner is also then eligable to take part in CodeChef Cup which is a live event held yearly. 🙂