When WordCamp Detroit opened with the rousing chords of Europe’s “Final Countdown”, punctuated with a generous blast of fog from a smoke machine, I knew I was in the right place.
I’m happy to report that my first web design conference was a rousing success. WordCamp Detroit 2011 was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of great bloggers, social media experts, designers, and developers, and learned a bit more about my CMS of choice in the process. The organizers put together a nice variety of lecturers, who covered a diverse array of subjects, from technical issues with WordPress, to the various ways you can expand the core product, and even discussions of how to do a business analysis on the potential marketplace for plugin development.
I was particularly impressed with two of the speakers: Matt Russell and Douglas Hanna, who spoke about community building and customer service, respectively. While all of the speakers did a fantastic job, I really felt these two gentlemen took things to the next level.
I think it’s because both of their lectures were only tangentially related to WordPress. While building a community and improving your relationship with your customers (aka your readers) is certainly important to bloggers, both of their lectures were applicable in a variety of ways outside the scope of blogging, designing, and developing in WordPress.
Of course it helps that they were both exuberant and well spoken.
Prior to attending the conference, I must admit I was worried that, because it focused solely on WordPress, it was going to be one of those events where everyone simply sung the praises of the tool, rather than discussed different ways it could be used, deployed, and expanded. While there were definitely a lot of evangelistic WordPress users in attendance, it never devolved into shameless fanboyism.
I’m really glad I got the opportunity to attend this event and meet so many cool, creative people. I can’t wait for WordCamp Detroit 2012.