WordCamp London – A great experience

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WordCamp London BadgeThe first ever WordCamp London took place on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at the Bishopsgate Institute near Liverpool Street station. It was a fabulous day – informative and great fun, due in no small part to the efforts of the group of people who organised the event. It can’t be easy organising an event like this but as far as I could see, everything happened exactly as planned.

I’d offered to be a volunteer to help out on the day, and my duties on the registration desk meant I couldn’t attend all of the presentations that I wanted to go to earlier in the day. But I did get to see some.

The presentations I did see

Responsive design

Before the morning coffee break I saw some of Rachel McCollin’s talk. Rachel always has a lot of interesting things to say about responsive design and she covered how developing for different devices has moved on, now that there are so many different screen sizes.

Accessibility

Graham Armfield presenting at WordCamp London

Presenting at WordCamp London

I was allowed time off from the desk to deliver a presentation myself. My presentation was titled ‘So, how do I know if my WordPress site is accessible?’. I’d distilled some common accessibility issues down into a series of yes/no questions that anyone could ask about their own website. Get these questions right and your website would be more accessible than many. You can view my slides on Slideshare.

WordPress history

Next up I caught most of Mike Little’s autobiographical history of the early days of WordPress. Mike worked with Matt Mullenweg to launch WordPress – a platform that in just ten years has become the most popular web CMS and is now used by over 20% of the world’s websites. I enjoyed the way that Mike was able to breathe the human element into his story. Mike also cares a lot about the accessibility of WordPress and I was pleased he mentioned the need to improve the accessibility of the admin area so that everyone can use WordPress to run their site.

Lightning talks

After an excellent lunch I managed to see some of the lightning talks. I love the format – speakers have just 5 minutes to get their ideas across.

Content marketing

WordCamp London wasn’t just Alex Denning’s first WordCamp – it was his first presentation ever. He did well, and shared some ideas on how to focus your blogging and social media for maximum effect.

From blog to book

Simon Dickson introduces Jessica Jones and Ben Arogundade

Simon Dickson introduces Jessica Jones and Ben Arogundade

Following on from Alex’s session, author Jessica Jones (interviewed by Ben Arogundade) talked about how blogging her experiences of dealing with breast cancer secured her a publishing deal in Australia and the UK.

WordPress and the publishing industry

Dave Coveney finished off the day with a view of the readiness of the publishing industry to deal with the relentless advance of digital publishing.

Afterwards

Once we’d left the venue we all trooped round the corner to the Kings Stores – a large pub (fortunately) – for the WordCamp after party. It was a chance to relax and chat with the great WordPress community – and to enjoy some great food and beers.

Contributor day

I also attended the WordCamp London Contributor Day on the Sunday. I’ll be writing more about that amazing experience shortly.

Thanks

Once again I want to thank the organisers for doing a great job and helping to make the event so special – a great venue, great food, great social. I look forward to the next one.

Ready for more? Try this

WordPress 3.5 Accessibility Update – November 2012 - Nov 19th, 2012
In summer 2012 I presented to WordCamp UK about WordPress and Web Accessibility and flagged many accessibility deficiencies in the admin screens. But what has actually happened since then, and what changes are in the upcoming release of WordPress 3.5?

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One Response to “WordCamp London – A great experience”

  1. From: WordCamp London 2013 – Lee Willis’ Blog | Lee Willis on November 29th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    [...] splot at WordCamp London 2013. I’ll leave it to others who have already done a great job rounding up what was an excellent conference. The organisers and volunteers all did an outstanding job and [...]

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