WordCamp Spain 2021

A year and a half ago the first online WordCamp in Spain was held. I wrote about it in my old blog.

An event that filled us with hope at the height of the pandemic, where disillusionment and discouragement due to the cancellation of face-to-face events became very latent.

A year and a half later, the face-to-face event situation seems to be slowly starting to revive. Restrictions are being removed and the desire to see us grows.

However, a group of brave people, for whom I take off my hat, have persisted against all discouragement and tiredness of online events and have surprised us with creativity and enthusiasm giving us 4 incredible days.

Following the tradition after a WC, I write about it.

First of all? To thank from the bottom of my heart this cool organizing group:

Communicating creativity

WordPress has meant the democratization of content publishing on the Internet.

Its open source spirit and large international community has encouraged a movement that pushes its development.

Content and the Internet is synonymous with creativity, and this community has plenty of it!

How much leeway do you have behind the organization of an online event?

Well, just when you thought that everything had been invented, that there was no possibility of creating something new, the organizing team has left us speechless with a new, fresh and simply IMPRESSIVE format.

Surely the GIF of the year in the WordPress community.

Those Late Night Shows that they pulled out of the sleeve for the first day of WordCamp and for the last day on Friday, before the contributor day, have left no one indifferent.

With an international impact that once again leaves the WP community in Spain in a very prominent place thanks to the effort, love and creativity they put into making an entertaining, interesting and fun program.

Nora Ferreiros and Nahuai Badiola ‘s role as presenters has been simply fascinating, fun and natural. These freaks were born for the show!

And you can see the incredible work of the audiovisual part of the great Francesc Barbero.

There were two exceptions, two people who are behind every WC in Spain (and many in Latin America) Julio de la Iglesia, and Fernando Portomeñe of Desafío Digital, who as I always say, we owe them a lot.

Pablo Moratinos, the leader and promoter of this WC had a very nice detail in the opening to mention it when he talked about the organization. I’m sure they will be back very soon as they always have been 😇.

Within LateNight there are many valuable details, the interviews, the contests with the Wapuus and the meetups, but something that struck me as a stroke of reality and fun was the interview on the street in Barcelona that Adrián Cobo did.

From my point of view, it helps us to look outside the aquarium, to see ourselves as “niche” and better understand our ecosystem from a more distant position. Brilliant and fun.

The talks

One thing that fascinated me was to see many new faces at this WordCamp.

Many people who had never given a talk before and who share their experience with us. As always, we can now enjoy them on WordPress.TV.

I start by “going home”, to some presentations that I was very excited to see because they are about friends from the Galician community.

The story told by Monica Saavedra and Sonia Diaz in “Lo que WordPress unió, que lo no lo separe nadie” is super cool. 😉

It demonstrates the power of the community to unite people and projects, as in their case, which materialized with their initiative: Activas Digitales, where they found in collaboration, a way to grow professionally.

Bravo! Not only for telling the story, and making their debut as speakers, but for innovating in the way they do it. His video presentation was very original, narrating the story in small chapters.

The other one from the Galician family that I was excited to see: “Internacionalízate y localízate: Prepara tu tema o plugin para todo el mundo” by my friend Jesús Amieiro.

This phenomenon is an all-rounder and his talks are always a guarantee of quality and of learning a lot.

Another great friend and that his proposal flipped me from the beginning, for the originality of the title was Carlos Longarela with: “Why you should write your WordPress code well“.

Carlos used innovation and the breaking of standards to surprise. Not only with the title, but starting “head first”. If you watch the talk, you will understand 😉

Brilliant mate, you took a complicated subject to explain and turned it around (literally) to tell an interesting story and one that we can learn from if we want to get better at web development.

And from the Galician community (of those I was able to see) another one I was looking forward to was our friend: Xose Louzao with his talk: “Guerrilla eCommerce in times of Covid: EstrellaGalicia’s B2C Store“.

Good title to attract attention, eh? 😉 I think there were a few people waiting for beer coupons hehe…. these people are incorrigible!

Very curious strategy and all that was involved. Xose is a good friend of the Pontevedra community, he always supported us from the beginning, so I was very happy to see him in this program.

I also enjoyed a short development talk with the great Andros Fenollosa entitled: “Bash, the best non-plugin for backups and snapshots“.

I know Andros’ work from his participation in the podcast: República Web, which is great and I always recommend it.

One speaker who always brightens my day with her lively talks is Lidia Arroyo, from the WP community in Costa Rica, whom I have met thanks to these virtual WCs. His pure life phrase goes with his upbeat and fun personality.

He gave us an interesting talk with “7 tips to get the most out of your Contact Form 7 forms“. Undoubtedly, one of the most humble, powerful and versatile plugins in the ecosystem.

From Costa Rica, we go to Medellin, Colombia with Catalina Zapata, with an interesting talk on: “Green Hosting: The cornerstone of sustainability on the Internet“.

He shared very interesting facts about sustainability in our ecosystem that I was completely unaware of.

In the SEO sector, I didn’t want to miss the talk of Lucía and SEO, real name: Lucía Rico, with a talk titled: “Business model, SEO strategy and marketing strategy“.

A full-fledged master class on SEO strategy and marketing, taught by a leading professional in Spain within the sector.

I particularly enjoy when SEO professionals do their bit for the WP community. In addition, Lucia has a very particular style and knows how to transmit her knowledge very well.

I enjoyed your proposal very much. 🙂

I met Itziar San Vicente from Muak Studio by email thanks to my friend Daniel Arenillas. So when I saw it on the show it was one of the first ones I bookmarked to listen to.

His proposal: a brilliant talk on “10 heuristic keys to design with WordPress“.

Full of references to good books, methodologies and very clear examples to improve design and solve usability problems.

He gave us a template in notion so that we can duplicate and apply it to our projects. Thank you very much Itziar! I learned a lot with your talk.

Finally, another short talk that I could enjoy and that I did not know the speaker: Marina Febles Trigo with her proposal: “Strategies to attract subscribers for your project“.

A talk on copywriting and marketing. I liked the simple way of explaining with a good methodology and steps to improve your subscriber acquisition strategy.

Laughter by Zoom

As always, the event encourages networking and laughter for Zoom.

I did not have many opportunities to be there, but the little I did enjoy, as always, the pleasure of seeing friendships that we have not been able to embrace for a long time.

A certain nostalgia with the hope that things are beginning to change and we are getting closer and closer to being able to see each other again in WC.

With the one in Seville to be held in December, making it the first on-site event since the beginning of the pandemic.

We hope this is the beginning of that “return” to normality. WordCamps that allow us to step away from the laptop to reconnect on a personal level. This is so necessary in these times of over-stimulation, fear and uncertainty.

However, virtuality does not limit the fun and frolic that can be had on Zoom. I refer to the evidence:

It is worth mentioning that the organizing group did something very nice. They wanted to give prominence to local WP groups.

Connecting with local WordPress groups in Spain

To this end, they prepared a live connection with the great Pablo Moratinos, and recorded many interviews with local groups to publicize what is being done in different places. Always exciting for the photos, videos.

In addition, in an indirect way, I believe that it provides an incentive to resume the activities of local groups that have been paralyzed in the last year and a half.

In Galicia we have been fortunate to maintain a certain unity thanks to digital events, but undoubtedly some cohesion has been lost, which must be recovered little by little.

The big surprise and contributor day

The organization played a very nice trick from the beginning. The possibility or not of interviewing Matt Mullenweg, creator of our beloved CMS.

I think there was some disbelief (I had my suspicions). So the surprise of the interview on the farewell LateNight was very nice.

I leave you with episode two, so you can enjoy it if you couldn’t until now:

On Saturday, as always, we were there at the contributor day.

I always say it, one of my favorite days of all WC. With more peace of mind and with the possibility of sitting down to talk and collaborate with the project.

I was at the WP TV table and helped by uploading talks as usual. We started at 10:00 and it was 14:30 and we were still there partying (and I know a few people were still there in the afternoon).

I know I cannot be objective. I have great friendships and my opinions on this will always be biased.

But I honestly believe that any outsider who witnesses and enjoys this event cannot remain indifferent.

Much more, when you realize that it is a product of the selfless collaboration of volunteers who do it with love, creativity and desire to create. For that alone, it deserves our highest praise.

What would I improve? The same as I commented in the post about the WordCamp in Galicia. Integrating new people into the WP project is very complex in this format.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of a new person walking into a Zoom room full of people who know each other and are recounting their battles.

It is more difficult to integrate, although it is not impossible.

In face-to-face events, this relationship is established on a one-to-one basis. And therefore the incorporation is “softer” and more natural.

In digital it is more complex. But beware, I have many new friendships in Latin America for example, and I am currently collaborating with professionals of the Colombian community (Hi Camilo!) thanks to having met us in the WC of Venezuela, for example.

So it all depends on your openness and willingness to go further.

Camilo Alvarez for example is an excellent Ecommerce SEO consultant, who I was lucky enough to meet virtually, and months later we found ourselves collaborating on joint projects.

A face-to-face WC was not necessary to establish a bond of friendship and collaboration.

Be that as it may, as Pablo Moratinos said at the opening, the community grows in the face of difficulties.

Faced with the fatigue of digital events, we are surprised with new formats and incredible narratives that make us feel very close, and get excited with photos, videos and memories.

I hope that the next review I do on this blog about WP can be with a photo hugging friendships that I miss and that make me grow personally and professionally.

Long live and prosper WordPress!

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