I seemed to have come to Melbourne at a great time – Priscilla the Musical is still on going, one of my favorite travel writer Peter Moore is launching his latest book in Australia, and the event I attended last Saturday, WordCamp Melbourne.
WordCamp is a gathering of WordPress users talking about (you guessed it) WordPress and blogging. Among the speakers were Alex Shiels of Automattic (who quite succinctly told us how big WordPress is), James Farmer of Edublogs (who organized WCM07 and quite a jolly person), Darren Rowse of Problogger.net (how can this be a blogging event without Mr. Rowse? He’s a very nice, down to earth guy, by the way, and he even granted my odd request of posing with my Pinky St doll), Christine Davis of Neato.co.nz (developer of the Ultimate Tag Warrior, which I’m currently using), and Alister Cameron, the self-proclaimed blogologist (who was wearing a TinTin in Vietnam t-shirt, which had me racking my brains whether TinTin ever went to Vietnam).
Darren Rowse mentioned in passing that Melbourne bloggers have been talking about having one of these gatherings for a long time, and this is the first time it has pushed through. Also, when I asked him if he gives talks on blogging a lot, he said he gets invited to talk overseas, but hardly in Australia.
Apart from the talks given by the speakers, there were also round table discussions, where in participants get to talk among themselves regarding a topics pertaining to WordPress or blogging. Topics like choosing a blogging platform, selling plugins, online reputation management, themes, and blogging as new media. I joined the plugins table, reputation management and new media.
The online reputation management discussion was facilitated by Gerry McCusker, a Public Relations Analyst. We discussed how organizations can optimize blogs for better public relations. I found myself drifting off at certain points, thinking of how certain individuals can hurt their reputation through online self-publishing.
When the time came for the last round table, I eagerly headed to the table set for the new media discussion. Disappointingly, there were only three of us there. Hmmm, as I told Gerry, who was also at the table, this table would’ve been full had it been in Manila.
Overall, it was a great, enlightening event. I was able to see the “blog culture” in Melbourne, and how people are utilizing it. It was great to meet people with such passion for blogging. Oh, and Lucio, too bad you left early…you could’ve won a WordPress shirt :P
Pictures from WordCamp Melbourne
Darren Rowse talking about how to make money by blogging