Good Morning From WordCamp Jerusalem (Almost)

WordCamp JerusalemAfter an early morning ride with Lisa and two other fellow WordCamp attendees followed by an extra strong cup of coffee, WordCamp Jerusalem is underway. Miriam Schwab thanked the people arriving from Tel Aviv for their extra efforts in making their way to the conference (we were on the road at 07:15, before I normally even wake up).

And at that point yesterday, the WiFi at the Jerusalem College of Technology, a religious school, filtered access to WordPress.com, as well as to other sites apparently. As several people pointed out this was rather ironic given the driving idea behind WordPress. Fortunately, twitter continued to work and, besides the inevitable moaners and wailers, the twitter stream for #wcjeru was very active.

Overall my experience at WordCamp this year was on a completely different level from earlier WordCamps I attended and serious kudos to WordCamp Jerusalem for not only bringing in gifted and professional local WordPress developers/designers but also for tapping into the web design community as well. The most interesting session I attended during the day was “UX Cookbook: Creating Delicious WordPress Sites” where Barak Danin of UXI.org.il talked about how users experience your site and how you want them to experience your site. I came away with a lot of insights and more importantly, lots of questions that I will now try to answer.

Networking was an important and, thankfully, built-in part of the WordCamp Jerusalem program. There’s no question that when so many people who regularly see one another at conferences of this sort get together there will be networking involved. Having time to talk, swap information and brainstorm ideas with other WordPress enthusiasts acts as an incubator for further collaborations. One idea I chatted over the lunchtime break with Yoav Farhi was the possibility of a local WordPress.com meetup. Stay tuned! (And for those of you looking for the “How to go from zero to hero” learning site for WordPress.com that Matt mentioned, it’s there in my sidebar under Blogging Gurus.)

Needless-to-say, the Town Hall meeting at the end of the day  with Matt Mullenweg was the highlight of the day for me and many people. Matt talked about the development of WordPress, complimented the local community for being so active, was asked questions about WordPress usability and the future of WordPress and also said he liked the beaches in Tel Aviv.

So, Matt, here’s a small souvenir to take home from a beach a bit south of Tel Aviv, a lively reminder of why the beaches here are just so darn hot. ;)

(Back to the version posted after the original was removed due to copyright concerns.)

Again, kudos to Miriam Schwab and her team (and, of course, the sponsors) for putting together an event that set the standard for future WordCamps in Israel.

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