WordCamp Jerusalem

After a nearly two-year hiatus, WordCamp returns to Israel. Color me excited! Earlier WordCamps IL were in 2007 and 2008 and you can click on those links to read about my previous experiences.

Raanan Bar Cohen-2008

Illuminea (the only Israeli company listed in Automattic‘s “CodePoet“) is organizing #wordcampjeru this year and as they pointed out, setting up and running a WordCamp is more work than they first expected. Regardless, the announcement  came less than a month before camp date and things have been moving along at quite a brisk pace. With less than two weeks to go, there are already over 200 people who have RSVP’ed their attendance, planned speakers from abroad include Automattic’s Barry Abrahamson and Raanan Bar-Cohen, local speakers include Yoav Farhi, one of two local Happiness Engineers (the other being Ran Yaniv Hartstein, the person responsible for WordPress_HE), Hannit Cohen, Jonathan Klinger, Ma’ayan Alexander, who are familiar names from previous WordCamps IL and quite a few names new to me.

Did I say I was excited?

Like most WordCamps, the self-hosted Org version takes center stage and while the event is open to both WordPress.com and WordPress.org users, the last two WordCamps have made me feel like we’re the poor relation. I’m not sure why that should be given that the number of blogs on WordPress.com now being mentioned is 15 million (click on that photo of Raanan to see where we were in 2008). Granted that we don’t have the sheer number of options available to us that Org users do, especially on the developer end of things (all that is done for us), but there are a lot of tricks up the Com sleeve that many users don’t know about and those that do aren’t sure how to use (like Jabber, Twitter API, webhooks, and other esoterica).

But, I’m still excited.

The three tracks offered this year are: Beginning Developers, Advanced Developers and Publishers. I think you can guess which track I’ll be in. :) So here’s what I’ll be learning this year, according to the WordCamp Jerusalem website (and, of course, subject to change):

Tools and techniques for building accessible websites

In this lecture we will learn techniques for developing more accessible websites according to WCAG 2.0, the guidelines for creating accessible online content. We will get to know tools that help you learn the rules for accessibility and to uphold them – as part of the design and development process.An accessible website improves user experience and can help increase traffic. When a site is more accessible, a wider range of people can use its content. In some cases, an accessible site will be more useful for users without disabilities.Lecturer: Eyal Sela. Track: Publishers. Language: Hebrew

UX Cookbook: Creating Delicious WordPress Sites

You’re using WordPress for your site. You’ve got a great theme, and an excellent programmer. But what do you ask that programmer to do? How do you create a WordPress site that people want to read and will be able to find what they’re looking for? Who are these people anyways? In this lecture Barak will explain how to plan a successful site by looking through the eyes of the user. He will show some examples using WordPress, and give you practical tools that you can use when planning your own site.
Lecturer: Barak Danin. Track: Publishers. Language: Hebrew

Panel: How are you using WP to revolutionize your industry? Non-profit, Politics, and Education

This panel will look at how WordPress is used in each of their industries in unique ways to achieve their non-profit, political and educational goals.
Panelists: Ma’ayan Alexander, Nir Hirshman, Sharon Greenberg. Track: Publishers. Language: Hebrew

Optimizing WordPress to be your social media & SEO hub

WordPress is a social platform. In terms of SEO, most WP themes are pretty optimized out of the box. However, there’s more you can do to take your WordPress site to the next level. This lecture will show you plugins and simple hacks that you can use to help your site reach its full social media and SEO potential.
Lecturer: Miriam Schwab. Track: Publishers. Language: English

GPL and how it affects WordPress theme and plugin development

Since GPL began to evolve, there have been many debates (and Jonathan has had the pleasure of taking part in at least one of them) about the virtues of free software. However, the recent events and announcements about WordPress and GPL show that the basic freedoms of the GPL are not what the Free Software Movement has in mind when they interpret the license, and sometimes their interpretation may harm the community rather than help it.
Lecturer: Jonathan Klinger. Track: Publishers. Language: English

Panel: Do we still need blogs in the age of facebook?

The elephant in the room: with most of the world on facebook, and twitter growing like crazy, do we still really need blogs and websites? Aren’t blogs so 2009? Or do we still need our own place on the web? This panel will discuss current internet trends and how they see them as affecting the future.
Panelists: To be announced. Track: Closing Session. Language: To be announced.

Quite an ambitious outing! I don’t know how much will be applicable to the various sites I host on WordPress.com, but I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than to be with people that eat, sleep and breath WordPress.

If you’re another WordPress.com enthusiast attending WordCamp Jerusalem and would like to meet and discuss our favorite blogging platform, leave a note in the comments (publicly visible) or use the contact form on my *About page (private message). Look for the gray, spiky-haired woman, but I’ll be coming without my kite.

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