Oct 19, 2010

The WordCamp Story

*This is 2 weeks late but still I wanna share my WordCamp experience :)*

I rarely get to meet-ups on time. Even in the office, since we're on flexi sched, I come in when most are already having their lunch. So for me to get to the venue at exactly 8AM despite the fact that I only got half an hour of sleep, WordCamp must really be an event extraordinaire! :D

Rocking the chic stilettos that I don't usually wear because I prefer slippers over high heels, I entered the theater and got myself a seat. I admit I kept looking around hoping I would see bro-in-law-to be (BIL2B) and in no more than 15 minutes I succeeded. There he was, near the stage, chit-chatting with fellow organizers. Of course I didn't approach him. I actually tried hard not to get his attention because I don't know what to say to him first. But as I was staring at the empty stage, a light pat on my shoulder brought me back to reality. He said, "Bakit hindi mo kasama si Jhay?" and while trying to keep my composure I answered, "Ay, may sakit eh." He knows that too so he just agreed and with a smile that seemed to be conveying See you around, he walked back to his peer group. And that, my friends, was my very first encounter with BIL2B. Hahaha.

It took almost an hour of waiting before the event finally started. And when it did, I was surprised because Kuya Migs wasn't simply an organizer, he was the host! And I must say his skills was nothing short of impressive. He handled the audience well with his witty and humorous remarks.

As scheduled, the morning session comprised of 3 breakaway talks that we chose weeks before the event. Being a blogging newbie, it was a wrong move that I enlisted for talks on the "Advanced" track because they were more technical than I thought.

The first one that I attended was SEO, Optimizing Ads and Blog Flipping. It got me interested because I wanna know how to effectively increase my page rank and be on top of Google results but I almost fainted due to excessive nosebleeding as I listened to the interaction of the speaker and the other attendees. Boy, it was like alien language to me! LOL

Stats, Hits and Likes: Semantics and Sentiments in Wordpress was my next session. I was able to comprehend here better than the first one because the speaker (who looked more like a rockstar) discussed how important measurements are for a blog. And thank you so much he used English. Haha. Seriously though, even if it's for the experienced blogger still, I learned a thing or two. Let me share with you my takeaway for this talk:

Statistics teaches you the discipline to write quality articles.

Short yet says it all. Agree or agree? :)

The last talk that I signed up for was Photoblogging with Wordpress. I love taking pictures thus I wanna know if it's easier to create a photoblog with the said platform. However, much to my surprise, it had not been the core of the discussion. It focused on famous photographers, their masterpieces and what type of cameras were used to capture them. It got me a bit sleepy but the speaker amused me everytime he takes one vintage camera after another out of his pockets. He has around 8 but this one stood out for me because it doesn't look like a camera at all!

We were still having Q&A but an event marshall had to cut it short because it's time for lunch (oh I remember how my sleepy eyes twinkled upon hearing that! haha). The registration fee is inclusive of coffee, snacks and this:

The food was okay, although it could have been better if it were served hot. Chicken cordon bleu is one of my favorite dishes but the cream that came with this one I didn't like much. Beef with gravy, on the other hand, was tender and yummy :) The dessert tasted good too, but I was already too stuffed to finish it. My overall verdict? 3.5 out of 5 :)

After the meal, we went back to the main theater for the plenary session. To start off, we were asked to look under our seats for stickers. The prize is no less than 1 year Basic Web Hosting Plan courtesy of solidhosting.ph. Oh how I want one but I wasn't lucky enough. Other freebies included Microsoft shirts, Wordpress pencils and the most coveted... Krispy Kreme GCs! Sadly though, I wasn't able to get any because I was too shy to do something as simple as stating my name and my URL. Hahaha.

And then the major talks started. Among the hour-long discussions that I found very substantial was "A Blogger's Obligation (Notes on Blogging Ethics) by UP Journalism Professor Danny Arao. He reiterated on how bloggers should be responsible for the content that they post online and how bloggers, just like journalists, should help in raising discourse to a higher level.

Succeeding Prof. Arao was one of my blogging inspirations, Google Country Consultant for the Philippines, Ms. Aileen Apolo-de Jesus. She is as bubbly in person as she is in her writing :-) She tackled various Google apps, most of them I didn't know existed even if I am Ms. Google-It. Looks like I have been missing on a lot of helpful tools on the web!

To keep the audience active and in high spirits, prizes were given in between talks to those who have creative URLs. Mine was so plain so I still remained in my seat but let me share with you some of the well-applauded ones:

(yes, the person behind the awesome blog was there! :))
and the runaway winner...

The organizers indeed saved the best for last because WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg was the final speaker. He was so cool, not a hint of geekiness when you look at him. And I admire him for being honest and straightforward in answering the crowd's questions. Well, yes, he is good-looking too! ^_^

 Photo opp with Mr. WordPress

After Matt's open forum, it was time for wrap-up. That moment I was already texting Jhay that the event was about to end and that I hope it's okay with him that I wasn't able to take home any prize (because he insisted on paying for my registration fee). At just about the same time, BIL2B asked 9 people to come up to him - no criteria, no URLs needed, not even an introduction! So without thinking twice, I walked ran to the front and I was successful! Just when I thought I won't get anything, I got this:

Ain't it just the sweetest finale? :D Now I have been stressing myself out for a unique and catchy URL for an upcoming blog. I'd appreciate suggestions :)

Wordcamp Items :)

 Of course a souvenir shot with Kuya :)

Me sporting the shirt, beside it was the camper's badge
 A few minutes later, all the prizes were given out, sponsors were thanked and WordCamp Philippines 2010 was officially brought to a close. For a first-time camper like me, it was one hell of an experience. Not only did I get to rub elbows with the Philippine blogosphere's finest, I also gained a lot of blogging know-how straight from the experts. Till WordCamp 2011!


  1. great experience! have something for you sweetie..


  2. thanks much mei! :)

    i'll be doing the post as soon as i get home.. blogging is getting more and more fun with nice people like you around ^_^

  3. WOW! I really like your post about WordCamp Ph. :) Very thorough and well-written.

    Migs is a very nice guy. :)

    Thank you for attending WC Ph! Hope to see you in our future events. HAPPY BLOGGING! ;)

  4. hi ria! your comment made my morning, thanks a lot! ^_^

    yeah, he really is. see you around! :)


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