WordPress Community Summit

This past week, Jake, Helen, and I were privileged to attend the inaugural WordPress Community Summit in Tybee Island, GA.  The Summit was a unique opportunity for many of the top contributors in the WP community to get together, share ideas, and – for many of us – meet in person for the first time.  You can cover much more ground in a 45-minute roundtable discussion than you can in an off-and-on discussion on Twitter.

The core of the event was a one-day “conference of conversations” – we broke out into 35 separate unconference sessions, each of which lasted just under an hour and covered a variety of topics.

In the morning, we discussed everything from internationalizing documentation to managed WordPress hosting to Codex improvements to strategies for theme/plugin dependencies.  Each session was a true roundtable discussion – there was no “leader” in any session, just a note-taker whose responsibility was to report back to the entire group about key points and action items.

After a fantastic BBQ lunch, we regrouped and began another round of discussion sessions.  I personally sat in on the Abandoned Plugins and WordPress Updates talks.  Keeping plugins alive in the community is a big deal as WordPress core continues to move forward with progressive updates.  Making those core update easy for the user – both individuals and enterprise level clients – is also very high on my radar.

The final scheduled discussion of the day was led by Matt Mullenweg – “Why WordPress Might Not be Around in 5 Years.”  Matt kicked it off with a presentation covering a few high-level statistics about WordPress use and the overall performance of the system over time.  Then we moved into a group discussion on how WordPress can stay relevant as the online world continues to move forward.

We finished the day at dinner, which turned out to be little more than several of us continuing ad hoc discussions over drinks.  I was able to connect with a few people regarding multi-language features of WordPress and others regarding optimizing WordPress for low-bandwidth devices.

In all, there were 136 individuals invited to the Summit; 108 were able to make it, and 3 of the attendees were from 10up.  That’s fantastic representation of the team among the WordPress community – and after the amazing discussions we were able to have at the Summit, I only expect that involvement to increase.

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