If you’ve been to the front page of the site today, you’ve learned that we’re serving as an organizing sponsor for WordCamp Birmingham on September 27 & 28. A simple explanation of the event is it’s an unconference for fans, users and folks just interested in blogging in general and WordPress in particular. I’ll wait for you to check out the program’s website to learn more if you want to.
We know one question that may be running through your minds is “Why do this?”
This is my attempt to answer that question for you.
Some look at blogging as our new public access channels or a new form of talk radio. Blogging allows individuals to share of themselves (whether it’s their opinions, their photographs, or their favorite recipes) with anyone who cares to pay attention. Blogging is also social media, to me in its most visible form and tangible form. It is the sharing of ideas coupled with the ability to get feedback from those that either support or disagree with them. You can do it for the love of sharing your thoughts, a longing to change the world and to earn a living.
Selfishly, we here at The Terminal want more voices out there online. We want more people to share their thoughts and opinions about what’s going on in Birmingham and its metropolitan area in all of the ways available through social media. We want there to be a more complete virtual picture for folks who wonder just what’s going on in The Magic City. We want more folks comfortable with how blogging actually works. There’s no better way to do so than to bring together people from all over the region and potentially the world to learn from and share with each other. WordCamp Birmingham is a forum we believe that will allow us to do just that. It will give folks a peek into the world of social media in all of its forms, including ways to integrate many of these tools into a WordPress blog and finally answer that nagging question for many, regardless of what software you choose to use, “Why blog in the first place?”.
There have already been more than 20 of the unconferences held throughout the world, including San Francisco, CA (WordPress parent company Automattic‘s hometown); Birmingham, England; Cape Town, South Africa; and Dallas, Texas. All of these locations allowed for conversations to be held and collaboration and cooperation to be fostered. For those that may need to look at this more competitively, the week following our event, Raleigh-Durham, NC is scheduled to host one. We’ll also be slightly ahead of my hometown as New York’s first WordCamp will be held the day after RDU’s.
It is also a great weekend to showcase Birmingham to its visitors. The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary while the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival enjoys its fifth year of providing a musical interlude to jazz aficionados of the region. Folks that want to enjoy more music on Sunday can make their way up to Vulcan Park and enjoy the Vulcan After Tunes series in addition to breathtaking views of the city. This is not to forget that two incredible exhibits will be opening at the Birmingham Museum of Art that weekend, including the one featuring Leonardo Da Vinci.
For others we plan to give our visitors a chance to wander the city via a scavenger hunt and invite folks to talk about other ways that Birmingham in particular and the South in general can continue to connect and share their voices with each other and the rest of the world.
Registration is scheduled to open on Wednesday Thursday morning and space will be limited.
What can you do? We hope a few things – that you’ll join us for what we hope is the first of many ways that we can contribute to our community’s technological goals; that some of you will consider contacting me about sponsorship opportunities; that you’ll consider volunteering and help us publicize the conference. That you’ll consider presenting at the conference.
Have I at least made you interested in what’s going on? Good…
André Natta is the managing editor of The Terminal and one of the organizers for WordCamp Birmingham.