Thoughts about Southern California WordCamps

I was at the awesome WordPress Orange County all day yesterday and attended remotely via live stream for portions of today.

While I was there, my gut feeling after looking at the rest of this year’s calendar was confirmed. I heard from several people that WordCamp Los Angeles and WordCamp San Diego aren’t being planned for this year as they typically would be. Naturally I’m distraught at the thought, but I’m also wondering if part of the reason is that there are several smaller nearby regional camps that have popped up over the past year? Some of these newer camps include WordCamp Riverside, WordCamp Santa Clarita, and the upcoming WordCamp Long Beach.

This trend can be an interesting one in large part because it means that the community is growing in size and sophistication as well as leadership to be able to sustain these new area camps. It’s good to have been able to have gone to two camps within driving distance in the last two months and also know that there are two more camps within that same distance before the end of the year. Instead of having one or two major camps nearby, I’ve now got twice the amount.

Of course, with all the extra awesomeness that this provides, I also wonder about the ideas of community cohesion, leadership, continuity, and even burnout. Should we have better regional conversations about these camps, their timing, and their content? Are we possibly spreading ourselves too thin? Is there enough leadership and continuity to continue all these individual camps on an annual basis for the next 5 years? Are the benches deep enough that we’re not working toward burning ourselves (and our volunteer base) out? Would it be better to have a little less? Should we alternate having bigger camps in LA and San Diego with the smaller ones in nearby cities? What does that look like? Are we thinking about longer term sustainability?

I’m mulling over the idea of spearheading either a WordCamp Los Angeles, to keep the central continuity, but I’m also wondering about doing something like that with a slightly smaller Pasadena Camp. I also started a discussion yesterday about doing a kids’ WordCamp in the LA area when I found out that there is already some organization and institutional support for these in other cities. And of course this all comes with my pre-existing plans for doing a local area IndieWebCamp sometime within the next calendar year. All of these ideas are appealing to me, but I only have a finite amount of time for planning and executing them.

In the coming weeks, I’d like to reach out and touch base with all of these nearby camps to hear other’s ideas on the topic and their long term plans to see what the best way forward might look like. Has the central organization run across these rapid growth problems in other metropolitan areas in the past? What was were the near-term and longer-term results? Without some additional data, I feel like I’m operating in a bit of a vacuum. Is it possible that as a major market city that the LA area is the first to see potential effects like I’ve described?

This post mostly serves as an informal dump of some preliminary ideas and potential concerns for the future; I’d welcome ideas and additional thoughts.

❤️ WordCampRS tweet: Group activity in Fun with Fonts with Jessica Broctor

Liked a tweet by WordCamp Riverside (Twitter)

I could have sworn I still had some dark hair on the crown of my head. Apparently not anymore…

❤️ DawnHeuft tweet: Own your own content. Learning about IndieWeb.org at Chris Aldrich session.

Liked a tweet by Dawn HeuftDawn Heuft (Twitter)

❤️ genoq tweet: Great reminder that social platforms come and go and so does the content you put on there

Liked a tweet by Geno QuirozGeno Quiroz (Twitter)

❤️ WordCampRS tweet: Serious swag seekers at this morning’s WordCamp Riverside!

Liked a tweet by WordCamp Riverside (Twitter)

An IndieWeb talk at WordCamp Riverside in November 2018

I’ve submitted a talk for WordCamp Riverside 2018; it has been accepted.

My talk will help to kick off the day at 10am on Saturday morning in the “John Hughes High” room. The details for the camp and a link to purchase tickets can be found below.

WordCamp Riverside 2018

&
hosted at SolarMax, 3080 12th St., Riverside, CA 92507
Tickets are available now

Given that “Looking back to go forward” is the theme of the camp this year, I think I may have chosen the perfect topic. To some extent I’m going to look at how the nascent web has recently continued evolving from where it left off around 2006 before everyone abandoned it to let corporate silo services like Facebook and Twitter become responsible for how we use the web. We’ll talk about how WordPress can be leveraged to do a better job than “traditional” social media with much greater flexibility.

Here’s the outline:

The web is my social network: How I use WordPress to create the social platform I want (and you can too!)

Synopsis: Growing toxicity on Twitter, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, algorithmic feeds, and a myriad of other problems have opened our eyes to the ever-growing costs of social media. Walled gardens have trapped us with the promise of “free” while addicting us to their products at the cost of our happiness, sense of self, sanity, and privacy. Can we take back our fractured online identities, data, and privacy to regain what we’ve lost?

I’ll talk about how I’ve used IndieWeb philosophies and related technologies in conjunction with WordPress as a replacement for my social presence while still allowing easy interaction with friends, family, and colleagues online. I’ll show how everyone can easily use simple web standards to make WordPress a user-controlled, first-class social platform that works across domains and even other CMSes.

Let’s democratize social media using WordPress and the open web, the last social network you’ll ever need to join.

Intended Audience: The material is introductory in nature and targeted at beginner and intermediate WordPressers, but will provide a crash course on a variety of bleeding edge W3C specs and tools for developers and designers who want to delve into them at a deeper level. Applications for the concepts can be of valuable to bloggers, content creators, businesses, and those who are looking to better own their online content and identities online without allowing corporate interests out-sized influence of their online presence.

I look forward to seeing everyone there!

👓 I Overcame Glossophobia at WordCamp Riverside | WordCamp Riverside 2018

Read I Overcame Glossophobia at WordCamp Riverside by Joseph Dickson (WordCamp Riverside 2018)
After attending my first conference at WordCamp Orange County in 2014 and watching the volunteer speakers passion for design, business, and web development I craved sharing my own experiences, but my fear of public speaking always kept me from submitting a talk. I faced them head on at WordCamp Rive...

👓 Looking Back to Go Forward. | WordCamp Riverside 2018

Read Looking Back to Go Forward. by Verious B. Smith III (WordCamp Riverside 2018)
It’s been a “totally” hot summer in Southern California and here in The Inland Empire, we’re super ready to celebrate getting through the heat and looking forward to cooler days. We’re grateful for where we are currently and realize that we must also learn from the lessons of our past in o...

I like this theme.

I also notice that the Back to the Future “date” was November 5th, so Camp is on some apropos dates…

📅 RSVP to WordCamp Riverside 2018

RSVPed Attending WordCamp Riverside 2018

We are excited to announce Riverside’s second WordCamp,  happening at SolarMax Technologies on November 3rd and 4th,  2018. Camp will be from 8am – 5pm on both days.

As we focus on Building Our Local WordPress Community, we invite you to join in! Plan to attend, share the event and bring a friend! Tickets are available now and sessions will be offered for every level, from total beginner to advanced developer.

This is your chance to talk, share and learn from other Southern California bloggers, designers, developers,  and business owners. Our sponsors will be there to provide insight on their products, giving you the leading edge, as well.

Feel free to contact the organizers if you have any questions and make sure to subscribe to updates to stay in the loop.

I have to go now… I’m going to be giving a talk at the Camp! Can anyone guess the topic?

Checkin Solar Max

Checked into Solar Max

Spending the day at WordCamp Riverside