Walking around WordCamp Portland today it was completely evident not only how much work has gone into it, but just how big the WordPress community is here in Portland. I knew this would be a good event, and have been pleasantly surprised with the number of people randomly coming up to me and saying hi, or just passively making WordPress conversation.
I commented during my talk today that other web events have tickets with prices that can range up to $700 or so. Most WordCamps, due largely in part to help from sponsors, have prices that average around $25 or so. As a result, anyone who wants to come to the event typically can, and the events are the better for it.
When I crossed the border on my way down here, the border guard gave me a hard time because I was speaking at the conference. He asked how much I was getting paid, to which I replied that I wasn’t getting paid anything. In his mind, he couldn’t fathom why anyone would spend time and effort to go speak at a conference where they weren’t getting any compensation. But having organized a WordCamp before, I know full well that these events only are successful due to the time and resources that most people and companies dedicate to WordPress. So I was glad to participate, much the same way I was thankful for everyone that made the trek up to Whistler to make our event successful.
I spent the better part of my evenings in the last two weeks getting ready for this event, so I’m thankful at least my presentation is over. I had a great time, and was glad to make the trip and present, but I’m also looking forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy back home, something I haven’t had in well over a month now. Given that I haven’t been behind a microphone in about a year and a bit, I was a bit nervous coming down here. Thankfully things went out, and none of the tweeter feedback on my presentation was negative (which was a relief, since I’ve seen some fairly brutal feedback at a few conferences before). Without a doubt, the coolest part of my presentation was the video and information provided by Andrew Sampson and Stephen Fry, and I’m definitely thankful to both of them for taking the time out to help pull that off.
I’m currently just lying in this massively awesome king sized bed, honestly debating calling it a night. I’ve been pretty bagged this last week or so, and I’d love to wake up tomorrow fully rested again. There’s another full day of talks tomorrow, but I’ll probably only catch one or two, if I make it in at all. I’m probably going to meet up with an old friend of mine who’s down here, and then afterwards will be hitting the airport and making the trek back home. Once again I’ll be going Portland->Seattle->Bellingham->Chilliwack, and will probably get home sometime around 1am if memory serves me.
Dale’s in town next week, so that’ll be a fun time. We’ll probably just take it easy and chill out around my place, and hopefully just kick our feet up and relax. After that, it’ll be fall, and I’ll start making a few deliberate treks outside with my camera and a travel mug or two full of coffee.