If there is an event that recharges me with energy, good vibes and open-mindedness, it is a WordCamp.
It has been one of the things I miss the most since this pandemic started, not being able to travel to different WCs and share with amazing people you meet in these spaces.
Local meetups have that same feeling for me, albeit on a smaller scale. A break from everyday life, the chance to learn interesting things, soak up the experience of others and share with people who have the same interests and hobbies as you.
For me the daily routine of a monthly meetup and a WC from time to time represented something as natural as the passing of the seasons, or the times of filing the quarterly tax return (but in a fun way) 😉
Therefore, with the pandemic, the union of the Galician WordPress groups for talks by Zoom, represented a possibility to keep the spirit, generating the union with other groups and it has been great.
I told the story in the WC post: Galicia e WordPress.
However, as much as I like technology, to be honest, digital events already make me tired.
Being connected all day in front of a computer, video conference meetings, video reports, Discord, Slack, Telegram. They are good, but I need more.
For that reason, since the health crisis began, I have been steadily declining in participation in digital events.
No matter how hard the organization tries, replacing the social gathering, the laughter, the sharing of drinks and food, the hugs, is not something I consider “viable” nowadays.
Add to that the increase of work in the digital sector that we are increasingly busy with new projects that limit your time.
It all starts with an idea
When the great Jose Luis Losada raised in the chat group of WordPress organizers in Galicia the possibility of creating a Galician WC online, I was not very receptive.
I gave him my honest opinion:
— I know it’s a unique opportunity, WCs have a local vocation, not regional, I think it will be allowed by the current conditions of pandemic and virtuality, but I’m sick to death of digital events. — I added that, being Jose Luis (who knows what I’m talking about):
— If you want to ride it, count on me, even though I won’t be able to be even 50% of the way there because of my personal situation — You can’t say no to this man.
Jose Luis, true to his principles and ideas, started something, organized a group and took on a responsibility that few of us are willing to assume. Hats off my friend. 😉
The role of organizing
Assuming an organizational role seems simple, but it is very complex. Much more in this virtuality.
In Pontevedra we know each other, there is a previous friendship of the group. Everything is going smoothly. Everyone knows what they have to do.
In this case, there are people who do not know each other personally. The digital event has certain aspects that involve more coordination and accuracy than in the face-to-face event, which is generated in a more fluid way. At least, that is my impression.
In this case, moreover, the vocation of making it in Galician implied more translation work, the issue of making a website in two languages, without having a multi-language technology, creating a graphic image from scratch, etc.
I take my hat off to what that team did and the result obtained.
I was very excited about all the work of the Ferrolterra team. Sonia Díaz with the creation of the Wapuu Peregrino and the design of all the visual part of the web and Mónica Saavedra who have been a fundamental nucleus for this event to go ahead.
David Viña was another protagonist of this WC. An amazing developer who carries the theme of collaboration in his veins and took on almost every possible role.
Four great friends: Carlos Longarela, Juan Hernando, Jorge Gonzales(one person) and Jesús Amieiro. I guarantee that if they are involved in the project, everything will be fine because they are amazing professionals, but above all, great people who enjoy everything they do.
Ana Gavilán, who I knew through references and I was delighted to see how she works, also in an area that I admire a lot because the whole social media thing is beyond me and I was delighted to see a professional role in that department. In Pontevedra we do it “aquella maneira“.
Daniel Pereyra, a web developer that we have had the opportunity to share in some face-to-face events and whom I have been able to know better thanks to this union of Galician groups in the different meetups.
Luis Miguel Climent, whom I met at last year’s WC Spain, and thanks to this virtuality I have been able to get to know him better in different meetups and WCs we have met, always collaborating and giving the best of himself.
And volunteers, you can’t miss the great Carlos Macías, Anxo Sánchez, Rubén Dópico and the great Vicent Sanchis, a web accessibility consultant who gives fantastic talks and who made an important contribution at the contributor day.
And I end with the multimedia part (sounds old-fashioned, doesn’t it?).
Fernando and Julio from Desafío Digital. Two good friends, collaborators in the Pontevedra organization who are magicians at what they do.
I honestly believe that the high quality in the recording and broadcasting of face-to-face and virtual WC in Spain is due to the work of these two phenomena who also provide in record time all the videos to upload to WP.tv.
And last but not least, to the team of: CEGA audiovisuals, contact Monica and Sonia who did a splendid job in video montages and presentations that allowed that high quality both in the promotion, as in all the visual montage.
Talks and Galician
As always, you can watch the talks already uploaded thanks to the WP.tv team at: WC Galicia 2021.
Being halfway between Zoom, YouTube chat it is difficult to listen to a lot of chats. Overall and from what I could see, I was thrilled that the team made such a good selection, not only because of the overall quality, but also because of the variation.
There were many new speakers who had never spoken at a WC before. I love that, that it’s not always the same people, but that we find variability.
This is an incredible richness contribution to the event.
Of course, with so many friends (Marita, Jose Ramón, Lúa, Sabela) giving such good talks, I cannot be objective, but I was very excited to listen to them and enjoy their presentations.
For me the choice of one day of talks in Galician (subtitled) + one day of talks in Spanish is a super important value to that cultural and linguistic richness so relevant within the WordPress ecosystem.
It is nice to see that Galician is starting to be represented on WP TV and in large part thanks to the efforts of this team.
What does the future hold?
No idea ¯ (ツ)_/¯
All I know is that what Jose Luis and David (on whom most of the responsibility fell) did, plus the rest of the team is to take off your hat.
I know that expressing oneself about friends is complex without seeming to “throw flowers” at them, but ideas are not the only thing that is needed, they are just the beginning.
What makes things happen is that impeccable will to work, to insist even when the tide seems to take you in a different direction.
I am looking forward to face-to-face events again.
I will work on my commitment for the Pontevedra community to be able to resume that frustrated WordCamp of 2020, but next year, when health conditions seem to allow it.
However, that milestone marked as the first Galician WC will not be forgotten. I think it will mark a future possibility of re-uniting the Galician groups in a virtual or face-to-face way, we will not know yet.
Having some self-criticism, I think we still have a very big challenge to attract people far away from the community to be part of it and get involved.
In online events it is very complicated to help this integration, it is normal that new people are shy to connect with a group of people unknown to Zoom. It’s already complicated in the classroom!
As Thais, a participant I did not know at the contributor day, told me. You’re just going too fast for new people. And he is absolutely right. We must learn to better manage these collaboration and networking flows in online environments.
But if from this path the local groups are strengthened and with a small group of people who “pull the cart” it is already a great achievement so that the spirit of collaboration, networking and above all friendship, prevails in our lives.
Thank you WordPress community for allowing all these new possibilities. Live long and prosper!
NOTE: Don’t forget that WordCamp Spain online is coming soon. What are you waiting for to sign up?