The year is off to a great start for WordPress fans with WordCamp Las Vegas, WordCamp Indonesia 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia, a snow-filled skiing and photography WordCamp Whistler, two WordCampED educational WordCamp events in Worcester, Massachusetts and Vancouver, BC, Canada, WordCamp Jena in Germany, a warm WordCamp Miami, followed by a wintery WordCamp Denver.
In between the conference style WordPress events called WordCamps, intensive one to two day events with top notch WordPress and blogging experts, are a bunch of WordPress Meetups, community social gatherings to talk about WordPress and blog related issues.
WordCamps began in 2006 after Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, attended some of the earliest BarCamp events which were the start of the “unconference conference,” an informal gathering of like-minded folks who let the natural course of a gathering happen, where experts share what they know with anyone interested and willing to listen and learn.
While WordCamps were meant to follow an unstructured format, they quickly evolved into serious conferences, ranging from a couple dozen to hundreds of participants with workshops, special sessions, multi-track sessions, and a lot of events in and around the WordCamp program.
In 2008 Year-End Wrap-Up, Matt Mullenweg said there were 29 official WordCamp events in 2008. There are expected to be almost double that number this year.
From those reporting in to the WordPress staff, approximately 3,400 people attended the various international events, and Matt Mullenweg was there for most of them giving his famous “State of the Word” address on where WordPress was, is, and the future of WordPress. That’s an average of 117 people per event, and while I don’t have the specific numbers for all the WordCamps, Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii in October had more than 600 registrants at the Hawaii Convention Center, WordCamp Israel 2008 (English) in Tel Aviv had over 500 for their second WordCamp event. [Read more…]