The very first WordCamp Salvador is set to take place in Brazil this weekend on December 6th, bringing together approximately 160 attendees who are excited about connecting through WordPress. The more developed south and southeast regions of Brazil have had WordCamps in the past, but WordCamp Salvador will be the first in the northeast.
Co-organizer Leo Baiano is the founder of Salvador’s first WordPress meetup group and has been instrumental in growing the local community over the past year. He discovered WordPress nine years ago, which led him to get involved in fostering his local community.
“The idea of holding WordCamp Salvador was born in early 2014. Many people have left the city to work in more technologically advanced cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where there are many events happening and more companies value employees,” he said. Baiano became determined to bring WordCamp to Salvador. “I did not want to leave the city that I love to participate in important events and be valued as a professional; I prefer to fight to make things better here,” he said.
When Baiano started the WP Salvador/Bahia meetup group, he focused on bringing people together for small events with lectures on basic topics, as well as social gatherings. They hosted approximately 10 meetups before sending in an application to start organizing a WordCamp.
“Without the meetups and the local community support, it would be almost impossible to make this WordCamp happen,” he said. “Now I have a team of five local co-organizers and lots of others willing to volunteer at the event.” Baiano also received help from friends who organized previous WordCamps as well as support from the WordPress Brazil User Group.
WP Salvador Meetup Group Helps Seniors Learn WordPress
One of the unique things about the local WordPress community in Salvador is its desire to work together to help more people benefit from the software.
“Local Brazilian communities are all similar in essence, but what differentiates the Salvador community from others is the willingness we all have to get the group together and work on related projects,” Baiano said.
“An example of that is this work we just started with this elderly group. Other group members already showed interest in running some workshops for them, without any financial return, just for the pleasure of working together.” The meetup group partnered with UNEB (State University of Bahia) and the UATI, a support unit for seniors.
“We are teaching seniors how to create blogs with WordPress, and update and promote their blogs. This is a wonderful initiative because these seniors are looking for an occupation, something to pass the time, and they are very smart and interested in the lecture,” Baiano said.
“I was surprised by their enthusiasm, all the time asking questions and wanting to learn more about it. In 2015 we will begin a series of workshops where this group of seniors will learn how to create a WordPress blog, how to produce content, basic SEO techniques such as promoting posts on social networks, how to increase the audience of the blog by interacting with readers and other blogs in the same niche.”
WordCamp Salvador Signifies an Important Milestone for the Local Community
The local WordPress community in Salvador is just starting to take off, as meetup members gather around collaborative projects like the initiative to help seniors with WordPress. WordCamp Salvador will be an important milestone for solidifying the community.
“My hope for this WordCamp is that it allows the community to grow even more, resulting in more people attending our future meetups and inspiring new collaborative projects,” Baiano said.
“The event happening this year is very important if you take into account the momentum of the digital market in the city of Salvador right now. It’s a special moment, where many other groups have begun to organize and get together. The WordCamp will help foster future debates and help the market grow as a whole.”
Baiano reports that current registered attendees are comprised of 75% locals and 24% from other regions in Brazil. He hopes that the WordCamp will connect local members to the wider WordPress community.
“We are here to stay and we are available to help the WordPress community,” he said. “We hope to encourage our members to start contributing and engaging more in the global community, by helping on the official forums, translations, and on WordPress core.”