When I initially published information regarding the virtual WordCamp, I was a bit miffed at the price tag as well as a few other things. However, after putting together some information that I discovered through an anonymous source and from what has been added to the Virtual WordCamp website, I’ve come to the conclusion that the event is being put on for an entirely different audience than what we would see at a typical WordCamp.
Thanks to the information that Chip Bennett has put together in a forum thread regarding this event, I now realize that VirtualWordCamp is meant to be a week long event where those who want to be trained on how to use WordPress can sign up and attend these daily webinars. During my first go around with VC, I thought it would be an online equivalent of a physical WordCamp which is why the price tag and such sent me off my rocker.
Most of us in the WordPress community know that a WordCamp means the following:
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.
I just don’t see VirtualWordCamp in its current state matching most of this criteria. Who knows, maybe after the agenda has been published online, it will look like an awesome event but I’m not seeing it right now.
I’ve spoken with a number of people in the WordPress community regarding this event and most don’t seem to be taking it to well. For most of us, WordCamps are all about getting together in a physical location, networking, meeting face to face and establishing connections that otherwise would have never happened. I tend to agree which is why I will not be doing a TavernCamp or a Virtual WordCamp event of my own. I enjoy the physical interactions at these events and I feel that any virtual WordCamp event whether it be created through me or anyone else simply wouldn’t fit the bill for what a WordCamp is supposed to be about.
If that is the case, they could have avoided a lot of confusion and teeth gnashing by simply not calling it a WordCamp ;)