WordCamp Nordic, a new regional WordCamp taking place in Helsinki, is just 23 days away. Organizers have published a list of 26 speakers and their sessions this week. Topics include content design, entrepreneurship, security, leveraging AMP, WooCommerce, internationalization, Gutenberg, and general WordPress development.
The event’s organizers are also embracing a growing trend of hosting a kids’ camp alongside the WordCamp to introduce younger attendees to the software. WordCamp Nordic is planning a free WordPress workshop for 20 kids aged 8-14 that will be held Thursday, March 7, from 13:00 to 17:00. It will run at the same time and in the same venue as the WordCamp’s Contributor Day. Attendees will learn how to set up their own WordPress websites, choose a theme, and learn how to add text, galleries, videos, and other elements to the their sites.
WordPress veteran Petya Raykovska is leading the kids’ workshop. She has led similar workshops all over the world, first in Bangkok 2017, followed by events in Belgrade, Sofia, Varna, and other locations. Demand for the kids’ workshops has grown in the past two years and Raykovska started receiving requests from other European WordCamp organizers to lead events at their camps. As a result, she has created an organizer kit for others wanting to host their own WordPress workshops for kids.
— Petya Raykovska (@petyeah) November 12, 2017
WordPress can be a gateway to the open web for the next generation
Workshops for kids are starting to become more common at WordCamps, as there is a growing demographic of WordPress users with children and technology is more accessible than ever before. WordCamp Miami and WordCamp Phoenix were some of the first camps to offer kids’ workshops and since then St. Louis, Cape Town, and many other WordPress communities have hosted their own.
These workshops are important events that will foster the next generation of bloggers, business owners, and contributors to WordPress. Facebook (and soon to be Snapchat) is widely regarded as an “app for old people” and its users under the age of 24 are rapidly declining. WordPress is in a better position, because an influx of older users doesn’t affect the overall experience of the app the same way. However, if WordPress usage isn’t growing among the school age population, it is in danger of suffering the same fate as Facebook – becoming an application that will live and die with its current generation of users. Onboarding new young WordPressers doesn’t just help to ensure the software’s future but it also gives kids a tool that can help them find their place on the open web, a home for their content that will outlast all the ephemeral social networking apps.