Although significantly different in a number of ways to it’s predecessor, WordUp Glasgow was a really great step-up on the evolution of WPScotland, and frankly a wonderful event that.
While it was disappointing that a small percentage who had bought tickets were unable to attend, what was exceptionally pleasing was just how many NEW people were there. WPScotland is growing as a community, and events like WordUp Glasgow continue to drive growth.
We’ll now sing Hymn 174: “Don’t fear the Reaper”
The real success though is in the way that WPScotland continue to attract a wide range of WordPress users; designers developers, bloggers, account managers, CTOs, project managers, writers, and NGOs were all in attendance.
Although a “WordPress” focussed gathering, none of the main presentations were solely about WordPress. Instead each weaved a story about our industry, best practices, and problem solving that spoke to WordPress fans and novices alike. Truly, it’s one of the only events that I would recommend to the Drupal/Joomla community in Scotland to attend as well, as there were so much amazing platform agnostic information going around. Kimb even lead a 15 discussion on the positives of other CMSs – drinking from the Kool-Aid this was not.
Open Source needs more events that aim to educate and facilitate conversation, rather than preaching to the choir. WPScotland have started something wonderful.
Heather and Kimb both wrote wonderful reviews of both John and Jim’s presentations, and I don’t think I could do either justice.
- WordPress for Family History by John Adams
- Hand Drawing WordPress by Jim Convey
- EU cookie legislation by Heather Burns
- Site Doctors: improve the WPScotland websites by Taryn Wallis and Martin Young
- The Emperor’s New Clothes by Kevinjohn Gallagher
- How WordPress Won! by Kimb Jones
How did they do that.
- Dan Frydman: Cenotre and Custom Fields
- Allen Wallis: Twitter Sanctuary
- John Adams: Spreading the Google Spreadsheet love
- John and Ian Rankin: Buddypress as a central communications system and file repository
- Steve: Using Excel as a processor for large WordPress Databases.
- Dan Roundhill from Automattic: Beautiful tablet and mobile WordPress interfaces.
- Kimb: A professional WordPress website in 4 hours.
- Kevinjohn Gallagher: Kev loves Blood
WordUp Women in the Workplace
I almost feel like this shouldn’t be something we have to bring up, as it should be the norm, but I am so proud to be part of a community that ensures that it was at least 2 women on the stage presenting during the day.
I know from #oss2012, and speaking to Michael Kimb Jones about Digital Barn, that finding women to speak is far from easy; so I hope other people in the WordPress & Open Source communities take note of people like Heather Burns, Taryn Wallis, and Marianna Raszkowska who were exceptionally import parts of yesterdays event.
Lessons to Learn
Very little actually, but I do think we can take some lessons from the 2 previous WordUps in Scotland and make some tweaks for the next event.
The how “did I do that” at the end of the day was very informative, but also at the wrong time. I know that when I went to give my example, the room felt very flat and tired (plus, a few non-developers left after the Keynote talk). Yet many people asked afterwards for the commented source code, so I’m sure it was of interest.
I suggest that in future these 10 minute sessions come after a 30 minute presentation. Effectively alternating between the two.
As cheeky as this is, I also suggest that everyone prepares a PowerPoint presentation for their 5-10 minute talk. Even if it’s just contact details and screenshots. e.g. Stevie’s talk on using Excel instead of PHPmyAdmin was brilliant, and I would have loved to have seen the difference in the use of the two. Instead, it was hard to visualise (and I don’t have his contact details to get in touch). Compared with John’s quick fire about using GoogleDocs > ZEND import > WordPress; it was much easier to get your head round.
Also, charge more. Seriously, £10-£20. Its still affordable and absolutely worth it.
Finally, and this is an odd one, I’d really like it if we could do a name check at some stage. 5 minutes in the morning to ask everyone to stand up, give their name, company, what they do.
The Night out
Clarke Duncan, of main WordUp Glasgow sponsor, Paid On Results continued his support of the community by purchasing a good few round of drinks to kick start the social part of the event at 5pm.
The intimate room at Waxy O’Conners was great for mingling and meeting many of the new faces in the community; and for the most part everyone was well behaved.
4 hours later, we found ourselves in the loudest bar in Scotland, dancing with a hen party to Relight my Fire (not the Take That version). Poor Allen was being fed Red Bull for the drive home, when we were deciding on where to go next:
After an impromptu karaoke rendition of Elton John & Kiki Dee’s “Don’t go breaking my heart” by Kimb and yours truly; the final 3 entered the Merchant City.
After a meeting with Fabio Capello in a gay bar, some dancing to 2 Unlimited with some teens, and a 30 minute tour of Glasgow looking for a combo Bathroom/ATM; we entered the Rock/Indie wonderland that was Maggie Mays around midnight.
The rest is a bit of a blur, but when the hotel cleaner woke me this morning in the bath, I was cuddling a bag of Chicken McNuggets. And… I was the sober one!
If that’s not a community, I don’t know what is.
Well Done WPScotland, I had a blast from start to finish.