It’s been a long time since I attended any blogger’s thing — the last time I attended one was during the Philippine Blog Awards 2007. After that I really meant to attend other events, but my schedule just got so jampacked with work and other stuff that I disappeared from the “social blogging scene”, if there was any.
Well yesterday I decided to break my streak of non-attendance and headed over to the first ever WordCamp in the Philippines (and in Southeast Asia), held at College of Saint Benilde, in Taft. I was kind of excited to go there the day before but then I realized that since I have disappeared from online meet-ups, I don’t really have anyone to go with at WordCamp. Oh, I know people are going, but I wasn’t sure if I could tag along with them, you know?
But anyway, I also realized that this is one day where I could meet new people, so off I go to Taft — late, of course haha — with Aslan in tow. :D
First funny moment of the day was while I was at the CSB gate. I was waiting for my turn to be entertained by the guard who was inspecting our IDs (I never knew if the girl in front of me got in), some people arrived behind me and started talking to the guard, saying, “We’re with the guest.” I glanced behind me, and behold, Matt Mullenweg was there. Well, at least I assumed it was him because I had no idea what he looked like. ^^; He had a bit of trouble going in because his DSLR wasn’t a registered gadget, I think. How ironic. I wanted to blurt out to the guard, “Don’t you know who this is? He’s the reason why there’s even an event like this here.” Hee.
Anyway, I got in just in time for the opening remarks. I said hi to Gail and Shari who were the first people I saw, and then I spotted Ganns and headed to him as people were going to the first few sessions and saw that he was with Joni and Mae. Yay for familiar faces! :)
We attended Gail’s talk on WordPress Themes and CSS, Plurking to each other occasionally (haha). After that, Joni, Mae and I headed over to Markku‘s plugin talk, where Sarah saw me. I honestly was too hungry to really focus on Markku’s talk (sorry!). Later on, the four of us headed over to Karla‘s talk, about using WordPress as a CME/CMS. This is where I met Rory (who added me through Plurk first before introducing herself — hi!). The talk was very interesting, it made me think of how I can use WP for Pinoywrimos (long overdue!) and for Godchicks (hopefully). :) After that, it was lunch time! YESSSS.
Lunch was Chowking Shanghai lauriat, and we had lunch together, where Ganns followed us there and explained a bit of his new fitness program. The classroom was unusually quiet for bloggers, but then again maybe everyone was just hungry? Later on, Marc, who sat in front of us, introduced himself and joined us as we trekked to the canteen four floors below to get some drinks. After that, we headed back to the auditorium, where we saw Carlo, LA and Jeric. Ganns had to leave early (but not while entertaining us for a bit haha — peace, Ganns!), and then it was time for the plenary sessions.
I guess the most notable part of the plenary sessions was the talk of THE Matt Mullenweg, the State of the Word, as he called it. :D He talked about stats, and then previewed the WordPress 2.7 — now let me wipe the drool off my face for a moment. Hee! It was awesome, and that’s saying much since my WordPress version is still…well, it’s kind of embarrassing to reveal, but for sure it’s an old one. ^^; Talk about being motivated to upgrade just to be ready for 2.7!
After that there was a series of raffles and other talks, such as Aileen‘s Demystifying Google Analytics talk, Regnard‘s Web Standards (KILL IE6!!!), I.PH‘s product demo, Performancing Ads…and if I missed anything, please forgive me. Then came powwow time with Matt, where he sat onstage looking very relaxed and trying to answer all the questions asked to him (and marveling at how talkative we are, haha).
Then it was over, and it was picture taking time. There was supposed to be an orderly type of line for photos, but then someone called “CLASS PICTURE!” and everyone crowded to the front. Although our position is not very ideal for raffles and prizes, it was very ideal for the photo opp since we got to stand beside Matt. ^^; Hee! Then there were no more lines — we just had our photos taken with him. Sarah took my photo with Matt, and there were two other people with me, but I love how he was focused on my cam and I can crop out the people. Haha:
With Matt Mullenweg, Mr. WordPress
He’s a really nice guy. A geek celebrity, if you will, but really nice. :D Yes, I’m starstruck. :P
Joni, Mae, Sarah and I headed to Bonifacio High Street to have dinner and to go to the after party (where an officemate’s farewell party is going to be held too, conveniently). Dinner at Brother’s Burger, still talking about geek stuff and movies and music and all that. We headed to Mag:Net cafe a bit early for the after party. Mike and Hans arrived a little while later, as well as some guys who asked us about the UAAP game that day. My other officemates arrived a little while later so I flittled from one table to another — feeling birthday. :P
It was a bit disappointing that the people we were waiting for to arrive (aka the WordCampers) got there a little bit too late that we didn’t get to join the after party anymore since we had to go. :( We did see Matt one more time and we met Ria, and we did have a lot of fun conversations so it wasn’t that much of a waste, I guess. I feel kind of sad that we didn’t get any WordPress/WordCamp Punch, if there was some that night.
Joni, Tina, Mae and Sarah at Mag:Net
But all in all, it was a really fun and geeky day. :) I loved every minute of it. :D It was a nice break. I mean, all the techie stuff I’ve been doing has been all for work, and I missed being able to do geeky stuff outside of work. If you would look at my layout which has been here for 9 months (and counting), plus the fact that my WordPress has been stuck at version 2._ since…I can’t remember when, it’s definitely a sign that I haven’t been doing/working on these stuff anymore. And I missed it. I mean, I really missed this, playing with WordPress and my blogs and making designs and all that. And this WordCamp is the perfect thing to rekindle my love of all things web (and WordPress). :D
Congratulations to the organizers! :) Till WordCamp 2009! :D Thanks again to Matt for gracing the WordCamp, for developing WordPress, and for inspiring me to make productive use of my boredom haha). And shout outs to everyone I hung out with and met yesterday — Gail, Shari, Ganns, Joni, Mae, Sarah, Rory, Marc, Carlo, LA, Jeric (and others I didn’t get to mention — I’m sorry!). Most especially to the girls I hung out with all day: let’s do this again. :)
Oh, and you know what else is really interesting yesterday? Everyone was Plurking. WordCamp is also Plurkfiesta? :))
So, moving forward after this event, here are the things I plan to do before the year ends:
- Upgrade my WordPress. Thinking of upgrading to the newest version (2.6.1) first before going for 2.7 just so it would be easier for me to upgrade from 2.6.1 to 2.7…or should I just wait for 2.7 and save myself the trouble?
- Create a new theme. Yes, as much as I love how what this theme means, it’s time to say goodbye to this. I also want to try and optimize this blog (because I know this loads oh-so-slow), and make sure the theme validates correctly. :D
- Work on Pinoywrimos. Before November. So this will probably come first. :P
Good luck with my busy schedule. But I will make time, promise. :D
So how about you? What was your WordCamp experience? :)