It was a brilliant day on Saturday at University of Baltimore where Jimmy Gardner and I kicked off the inaugural WordCamp Mid-Atlantic. I have been to half a dozen or more WordCamps since the first one in San Francisco in July of 2006. Without being at all conceited, because it had nothing really to do with me, this was the best one yet.
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WordCamp Mid-Atlantic is five days away (May 16) and things are beginning to fall into place. This is my first attempt at event organizing and I definitely have learned some tough lessons along the way. It’s also been tremendously helpful and rewarding for me. I’m looking forward to this thing coming in to land though.
Along the way, people have been asking me, “What the heck is WordCamp?” If you’ve never experienced an unconference, it might be hard to explain. In essence, it’s a loosely organized event put together to draw the WordPress community out, share experiences, instruct, learn, network and connect. WordCamp is a one day event that will have a variety of speakers, a technical and basic track, plenty of open space to launch into small groups if people felt inclined and basically learn from each other.
WordCamps are typically geared toward a particular city. I chose to lead a new regional-based event that is focused on Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The event is held in Baltimore because it’s centrally located, and the blogging/social media/technical scene is least developed there out of the three cities. Baltimore has significant potential and has some great leaders in the community. I hope our event will spur that forward.
I’m excited about this opportunity and grateful to my co-organizer, Jimmy Gardner, all the sponsors and speakers and the attendees who, with very little marketing, sold this thing out. It’s awesome to see such a great engagement.
Mark your calendars for May 16, 2009. This is the date for the first WordCamp Mid-Atlantic, a regional WordCamp organized for WordPress users in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.
We have locked down the venue as University of Baltimore Thumel Business Center, which has also been the facility for a variety of other events – most notably, SocialDevCampEast. It is in proximity to major transportation hubs, including Amtrak.
We are launching the website and information about the event with the announcement that WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, will be attending (and speaking). Subscribe to the RSS feed to stay up to date on speakers and other information you’re going to need and I look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!
Update: We’ve announced that Matt Mullenweg and Anil Dash of SixApart will be the Keynotes.