The WordPress community summit was an exciting event in 2012. For the first time ever, over one hundred core contributors, team leads, and community influencers were set to gather with the specific goal to “work together and discuss the vision for WordPress in the coming year.” And by all means, the summit day was quite successful.
Folks gathered in Tybee, a small island off the coast of southern Georgia. Twenty countries were represented for this one day event. Teams were created. Plans were made. Pictures were taken. A blog was added to manage event updates. A lot of good stuff happened, before and after the event. But from what I could gather, many longed for more time to put the groups to work right away versus rely on their availability to do so once they got home.
The summit didn’t happen in 2013, and it was up in the air this year too. But now dates have been announced, and now that it’s on the back of WordCamp San Francisco, it should be a more accessible and even more productive event this year.
A new format
WordCamp San Francisco is going to be a two-day event, Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25th. Monday, the 26th, will be the new version of the community summit, described like so:
An iteration on the 2012 WordPress Community Summit, this will be a day of group conversations between WordPress.org contributors and WordPress professionals to build bonds, identify issues, and plan upcoming projects. This event will have separate registration as the attendance is capped based on venue capacity, which will be the Automattic Lounge.
What really excites me is that Monday is not the end. WordCamp San Francisco will be five days in total this year. Tuesday and Wednesday, the 28-29th, will be a great opportunity to hit the ground running for the WordPress.org teams.
WordPress.org contributor teams will have two days to work on their projects together and make plans in a face-to-face real-time environment.
I’m very hopeful that this will be a great opportunity to take the energy that is WCSF and the community summit and turn it into productive time with teams spending time together.
Another thing I’m excited about for WordCamp San Francisco and the community summit is that there is a travel assistance program in place. If you or your company can’t afford to attend WordCamp, you can apply for assistance. Travel assistance is geared to helping volunteers, those that don’t work for a company that can send them, and teachers.
The travel assistance is exciting, because it opens up opportunity for valuable contributors to come and collaborate in person, who otherwise would likely not be able to do so. It’s an especially important step to take given the conference is in San Francisco, an incredibly expensive city to visit.
If you are in need of travel assistance, act fast. The deadline to apply for travel assistance is June 30th.
A more complete WordCamp San Francisco
There was some debate around whether or not the community summit should be the same time and place as WordCamp San Francisco. San Francisco is expensive, and it makes for a long event. But for people that are traveling very long distances to attend either event, this makes both WCSF and the community summit much more accessible.
My first WCSF was only one day, with a contributor day that I didn’t know if I should go to. I believe the conference is much more complete with a format like this year’s will have; all in all people will have up to five days — or six days if you count a variety of likely third party Friday events and the volunteer orientation — to potentially collaborate with other WordPress professionals and advocates.
I look forward to seeing many of you there!