A week ago OC WordCamp happened in Irvine. I was there, present, in the moment with WordPress developers, web designers, back-end techies, front-end techies. I’m a blogger, not a techie. Would I want to attend an event where people use acronyms like FTP, API, PHP, ABC? Java is coffee, is it not? It was an awesome experience.
After pounding my head against various hand palms throughout the week, I finally asked my friend, Bridget, why I loved OC WordCamp so much. Bridget is the kind of human one holds onto. She’s a big part of Women Who WordPress, a bigger part of Carin’s world.
- Was it the speakers?
- Food trucks?
- Cool swag?
- Hipster location?
On Saturday I attended, Greg Taylor’s Content Development, Jen Miller’s Creating and Maintaining Sites While Mobile and Scott Buscemi’s Blogging Workshop: The 50 Day Blogging Challenge and Russell Arron’s A Problem with WordPress Theme Demonstrations. Next Sunday morning, Business Track with Jeff Turner, Chris Lema, Alex Vasquez, Tami Heaton, Greg Douglas. Each discussed anything and everything from their own personal stories of entrepreneurship, the importance of empathy and self-boundaries, why we need to listen to our clients and the value of mentorship.
This is when I began to understand why I loved WordCamp so much: turned out – people trumped the cool swag. Huh.
Bridget said it to me this way:
For you, I think you enjoyed listening to people tell their stories both on and off the stage, rooting for friends, and feeling the deep sense of belonging that is hard to describe in words.
Thanks for putting that into words, B. Exactly.
WordCamp is all about conversation, connection, learning, listening and sharing. The technology of WordPress, I’ll likely not master, but that’s cool with me. I walked away from camp with a sense of generosity among WP users of all kinds. They relish the opportunities to share, create, question, learn. Some might be coders, others, designers. Oh, hey, bloggers, too. Upon attending two camps thus far, I’m less frightful of tech acronyms and more inspired to simply write. One does better within a community surrounded by caring and passionate individuals. I believe I found a tribe I belong to.