Back on July 3rd, I published an article about the first WordCamp event to take place on line giving it the name, Virtual WordCamp. I wasn’t the only one to take issue with the fact that the price to attend a Virtual WordCamp was higher than a physical event. Not only that, but some people argued that WordCamps are all about networking and getting together in a physical location and not virtually.
Fast forward to today, and VirtualWordCamp.com no longer loads. The site is gone. Instead, it’s been replaced with VirtualWordWeek.com. The new site removed the mention of WordCamp while also providing more details as to who the event is targeted for. But how did this come about? Was it a change of heart?
I have it on very good authority that higher ups in the WordPress community took note of VirtualWordCamp. They didn’t like what they saw and ended up with an email exchange with the organizer of the event. Because WordCamp has a fundamental meaning that is explained on WordCamp.org, on the surface, it looked like VirtualWordCamp was geared to take advantage of the WordCamp term and make a ton of money off of the event. If there is one thing WordCamp is not about, it’s money.
During WordCamp Montreal, Matt Mullenweg participated in a Q&A session. One of the questions came from me delivered via Brad Williams to Matt. The question was: Does Automattic have any plans on trademarking the term WordCamp as they have done for WordPress? Matt’s answer: There is probably going to be a trademark for WordCamp but it will be under the non profit side of things, under the WordPress Foundation. The Nascent foundation. However, Matt believes that the meanings of WordCamp and WordPress should be protected and upheld by the community. Via community pressure. However, Matt believes that trademarks should be used as a nuclear option.
Regarding the WordPress foundation, I have some info on that but I’ll be putting a post together that highlights the benefits of this foundation and what it’s possible purpose will be.