Every year, around the world, groups of like-minded people gather together to celebrate their involvement in the number-one website creation platform – WordPress.
These ‘WordCamps’ are held to bring together ‘the community’ that has built up around the former blogging tool, now used largely as a content management system..
But we love WordPress north of the border just as much as anyone, and thanks to a couple of developers in the Central Belt, WordCamp-style events are now happening in Scotland.
Monthly meetings have been held for a few months, but the vision was to host a larger event in the hope of building up to a full WordPress-authorised ‘unconference‘.
The first such event was WordUp, and held this month (October 2011) – the nation’s first major meet specifically for WordPress users, designers and developers
And Canary Dwarf was amongst the 50 who attended at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.
Organised by Taryn Wallis of Phenomenoodle and Martin Young from Digital My Way, the event ‘starred’ WordPress co-founder Mike Little, who came all the way from Manchester to share his expertise and insights on the publishing platform. Mike was the ‘resident’ expert, but it soon became clear that there was quite significant expertise all around him, as web designers have adopted the big W as their CMS (content management system) of choice.
The audience was made up of largely developers and designers, and between the speakers, the event covered a wide gamut of subjects including: Responsive web design, WordPress in the Enterprise, WordPress in the voluntary sector, theme building, vertical development and much more. We also heard from a selection of developers who had used WordPress to build some pretty cool sites.
While meets like this are nothing new for WordPress and other widely-used content management systems, none have ventured to make Scotland a finite group.
What the event proved was that WordPress not only has a very active, vibrant and passionate community in Scotland, but that the community is strong enough to form its own identity, which can only be good for the end users.
The popularity of the software is now so evident that customers are actively seeking to have their sites built on WordPress, and events like this serve to strengthen the community that supports it, nurtures ideas, and ultimately making it a ‘safer’ choice for business owners to have a WordPress site.
Here’s to the next one.