WordCamp: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

We're already putting what we learned at WordCamp Birmingham to work for our clients.

A graphic reading "WP Y'all" over downtown Birmingham

We at Infomedia love to sponsor causes and events that are important to our community. So, becoming a diamond sponsor for WordCamp Birmingham (affectionately known as WP Y’all) was perfect: It’s a benefit not only to the Birmingham community, but to the WordPress community as well. WordPress is the content management system we use to create almost all of our customer sites here at Infomedia, and WordCamp is a conference (held in different locations throughout the world) that encourages WordPress users to gather and learn from each other.

Most of us here at Infomedia attended WordCamp, but the real heroes were the three people who organized the event and made the conference possible for all of us. Sara Cannon, Brian Krogsgard and Andrew Searles put everything together — of course, you’ll recognize BK and Andrew as part of our Infomedia team. In addition to all the behind-the-scenes work these guys did, they also spoke at the conference. Andrew gave a great presentation on designing in-browser, and BK moderated two panels.

Our WordCamp sponsorship really is the gift that keeps on giving back — we all learned a lot at the conference, and we’re already putting that to work for our clients. We gathered lots of specific knowledge about development, but it’s also important to keep in mind some of the big-picture ideas that WP Y’all helped us refocus on — we think they’re important no matter the business endeavor.

Connect and learn

One of the greatest parts of WordCamp is meeting and networking with other people in the WordPress community. But this networking doesn’t stop with a handshake — we swap problems and solutions with each other. We bounce ideas off the new people we meet, and we listen to their ideas. WordPress fosters this give-and-take so well, and we think other fields would do well to learn the same. Instead of competing at WordCamp, we were connecting. Working in that spirit helps us all move forward.

Share your solutions

WordCamp attendees are encouraged to speak up when they have something to say. The presentations we saw were wonderful, but sometimes we learned just as much from people in the “audience” who answered questions, solved problems or shared what they’d learned from experience. This willingness to help someone else avoid a problem you’ve struggled with helps to build our relationships with each other, and it prevents people from having to “reinvent the wheel,” freeing them up for more creative problem solving. (It also makes it likely that they’ll share solutions with us when we’re struggling.) We love that the WordPress community is so willing to share solutions, and we think other businesses could benefit from adopting this model as well.

Have fun

Andrew, Sara and BK made sure WP Y’all had lots of time built in for getting to know the city — and each other — just a little bit more. We had drinks at 41st Street Pub and Carrigan’s Public House. We shared locally brewed Good People beer, and we had lunch at El Barrio, Urban Standard, Rolly Poly and Pita Stop. And the Harbert Center venue was great with an extremely accommodating staff. This was a great way to experience Birmingham, but it was also an important way to connect with each other. Taking breaks and having fun allows us to be more productive in our work — a fact that it’s all too easy to forget. Our thanks to WordPress and WordCamp Birmingham for reminding us.

Looking for a WordCamp near you? They happen all over the world. Click here for a schedule of upcoming WordCamps.


About Carrie

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.

See more articles from Carrie Rollwagen

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