This post was contributed by guest author Taylor Lovett. Lovett is based in the Washington DC area, is the Director of Web Engineering at 10up, creator of ElasticPress, and general open source enthusiast.
In February 2016, the WordPress Foundation announced the WordCamp incubator program, focused on spreading WordPress and open source values to remote areas of the world through extra hands-on support to first time WordCamps. WordCamp Denpasar, which took place in Bali’s capital city, is the first of three camps to be supported as a part of the program — other WordCamps include Harare and Medellín. As Director of Web Engineering at 10up, I was sent to attend and speak at the inaugural event. Our company values open source projects and the WordPress community, so we’re proud to support emerging communities by attending events like this.
The incubator program supports WordCamps by providing them with an experienced organizer. In Denpasar’s case, Rocio Valdivia, a Community Wrangler for Automattic, was the WordCamp Incubator sponsored organizer. According to Ivan Kristianto, the lead organizer for WordCamp Denpasar, “Rocio was a hands-on consultant provided by the WordPress Foundation to help incubate the camp. She helped [us] in budgeting, managing the organizers, submission timelines, and more”.
WordCamp Denpasar attracted 180 attendees, twice the initial goal. Many attendees came from other parts of Indonesia to attend the Camp, which bubbled with an aura of excitement as Indonesia has not had a WordCamp in over three years. The venue, the Royal Beach Seminyak Hotel, was of ample size and served the crowd well. There was a single session track, mixed with user, business, and developer topics. Lunch included a nice buffet featuring local Balinese cuisine. Overall, the WordCamp attendance, venue, and amenities were quite impressive.
In the weeks after the Camp, I talked with Rocio about the overall success of the event and Incubator program as a whole. Rocio believed the WordCamp went extremely well. She cited some key events that followed the inaugural camp:
- The local Indonesian meetup group has grown to more than 50 new members across different groups.
- The existing WP Meetup Bekasi group in Indonesia has applied to join the Meetup chapter program.
- The non-active WP Meetup of Jakarta has now two members interested in re-activating the group and have applied to join the chapter program. They are also interested in organizing WordCamp Jakarta 2017.
- The WordPress Foundation has received an application for organizing WordCamp Ubud in 2017 (one hour from Denpasar) which is in pre-planning now.
- A WP Indonesia Slack channel is being created to connect the whole community in the country.
Clearly, WordCamp Denpasar has had a positive effect on the Indonesian WordPress community. As more areas of the world getting involved contributing to and using WordPress, the project’s internationalization and diversity improves. If Denpasar is any indication, expanding the incubator program to more areas of the world will have long-lasting benefits within the entire WordPress community.