WordCamp NZ – 8th and 9th of August 2009

Mt Vic Bowling Club

After spending the weekend at the Mt Victoria Bowling Club attending the first New Zealand WordCamp I feel a bit anxious about all the things I could be doing to this site that I haven’t done yet. I should have a store! I should have better menus! I should be pitching to the media! But I’m a terribly lazy girl and I probably wont do anything to improve until I feel like it’s worth my while.

Being away from my computer for two days while surrounded by geeks and technology gave me some withdrawals and I don’t know how to feel about them. I always consider myself a bit of a fraud when I claim to be a geek, I don’t know how to program or put a computer together, I just like the internet a lot and can follow instructions. If this weekend was anything to go by I’ve got nothing to be ashamed about, sure there were plenty of uber geeks running businesses dealing primarily with code but there were many like me as well. I felt welcome and comfortable.

Matt Mullenweg speaks

I went in to WordCamp unsure how much I would get out of it. I was keen to hear more about the WP e-commerce plugin, and listening to Matt Mullenweg (one of the founders of WordPress) talk was bound to be good, but apart from that I had no expectations. I got more than I could have hoped for. For a taste of WordCamp I suggest you watch Matt’s Q&A session where he talks about the future of WordPress, his thoughts on opensource, and how he got to where he is now. It’s great, there is a reference to bunnies on crack.

Hearing everyone speak in such an organised yet informal setting confirmed I was in the right place. Not once did I feel like an unworthy imposter, almost all of the talks were relevant and interesting, with the exception of WordPress for iPhone and one or two others purely because I’m not interested in hardware and I don’t have an iPhone. Talks on keeping out of trouble with the law, being a media darling, and doing business were interesting to me as a blogger and business owner (it sounds so fancy saying I’m a business owner, I feel like a fraud again!).

The bonus came when my name was drawn out of a bag by Matt to win a 250Gb shock resistant hard drive. It came with NTI shadow backup software so I can backup my files automatically! Now I can be quite secure in the knowledge my photos and music are backed up in approximately 4 hard drives, all of them in the same room.
The best thing is that it doesn’t need an external power source. The Boy and I recently bought a one terabyte HD deciding to choose quantity over quality we got one that needs an external power source. I’m very stoked by this win. Look how tiny it is!

Freecom Hard drive

The two days were filled with geeky learning, sheep jokes, sunny weather, and free (sponsored) coffee (hot chocolates for me and Chickie Little). I would attend again in a heartbeat. And I encourage anyone trying to decide on a platform for their site to choose WordPress. Both the .com and .org options are fabulous and can handle amazing sites of all kinds, it’s not just a blogging tool.

If you get a chance to attend a WordCamp I suggest you do it. And for those of you still on blogger, make the move already!