WordPress Photo Festival 2024, A Five Part Retrospective, Part 5, What We Learned, Where We’re Going

WordPress Photo Festival 2024, A Five Part Retrospective, Part 5, What We Learned, Where We’re Going

In this last episode about the Kerala WPPhotos Festival I talk not only about the project, but also where this project is leading us. Next Gen events are a breath of fresh air for those of us who need something more than the classic WordCamp.

This article is available in video, audio, and transcribed text.

Audio version:


[00:00:00] Welcome to the fifth and final episode in my series on the WordPress Photos events that happened in early February. In this episode, we’re going to rewind just a little bit and look at the project itself. Then we’re going to cover some really cool information about the event. And then lastly, we’re going to talk about next gen events in general and some cool things that are coming in the future and some really, some things that I’m really, really excited about.

So let’s get started. We’re looking here at the photos page for the project itself. There are currently [00:01:00] 15, 306 photos on this page or on this site. I’m going to zoom in a little bit so you can see some of these better. Most are taken with cell phones. , some are taken with high-end cameras. There are approximately 30 moderators that, watch over the project and make sure that quality pictures are getting in.

And as a moderator, I can tell you that I’ve been very, very pleased that, an extraordinarily low number of people have been or attempted to be naughty. Um, photos that are rejected are almost always because the submitter missed a face or a license plate, or. Or maybe didn’t read the rules precisely, but, I can only think of two or three photos where obviously somebody was trying to game the system and out of 15, 000, that’s really impressive.

I’m really [00:02:00] happy with that. Uh, something very important to note about these photos is that they are all under creative common zero, which you can see right here,

creative common zero means no rights reserved. There are no rights reserved. You can do anything with the photo. Anyone can do anything with it. They can remix it. They can sell it. They can, they can use it for something you don’t agree with. So there’s good and there’s bad with it, but it provides an enormous amount of freedom.

And that’s what we wanted. We wanted to be able to provide images that you can put on your website without question, without having to wonder, Oh, is somebody going to come after me someday? So creative comm zero provides a lot of freedom, on this page. If you click. You can see the submitter. There’s an option to download in multiple [00:03:00] sizes.

There’s the photo itself. Alternate text. There are tags and categories and colors. Some information about the camera. Information about the image itself. And then you’re not required to provide attribution. That’s part of the CC zero thing, but if you want you can and I recommend it it it’s it’s polite Uh, and when people find their own image out on the internet It’s kind of exciting.

It’s pretty cool. So you can get it in rich text, HTML, or plain text.

So what about this event that happened? Bigul, who took this picture right here, his community did several photo walks over a couple of months and they were very successful. They got lots of pictures. People had a really good time. And somebody said, Hey, what if we, it is a global event. And so they started [00:04:00] in trying to make it a global event.

And they talked to the community team and made it a next gen event, which means they got support from the foundation and things like that. And they set up a website, which you can see right here. And a cool thing that happened during the event is that these cards were updated as photos were submitted.

I’m pretty sure Marcus Burnett had something to do with this because it looks like his work, but for observers, you could come here and watch this page change moment by moment, literally, I mean, it was one week and they got, 1, 500 photos or something. So that’s a lot of photos per day. And then, I wanted to show you the winners.

So one of the unique things about this event is that there was a contest involved. And there’s [00:05:00] money on the line, which has never happened at a WordPress event before the top five photographs got a hundred dollars each. And I have to say, I was a judge, so I should agree with what was selected, but, the number one photo was this one.

And that was my number one, amongst, there were several judges, but I picked this one as my number one. Guess those kids look so happy. In a glorious place. Um, it’s just cool. And one of the rules is no fit, no human faces, but this one makes it because this is an unidentifiable human face. And so to be able to get a human face in and have it still follow the rules.

Is quite a trick. And I’m impressed. Um, another one that really, really impressed me was this one from Ninesh. We go [00:06:00] look at the detail on that. And then if you click again and again, you’re looking at individual feathers in this photo, that is incredible to me. So these are the kinds of photos that are making it into.

The photo repository. They’re good. They’re really, really good. Um, consolation prizes. Um, the next five basically we’re here and then they gave a hundred dollars to contributors and it didn’t say how many this person gave. So, I think we want this one. Yes. We make this bigger. Uh, Benita got 82 photos in one week.

Uh, Nilo got 79. It’s around 65. One of the reasons that’s impressive is that you can only [00:07:00] upload five at a time, and then they have to be moderated before you can upload more. And, it was an incredible high amount of traffic that overwhelmed the moderators. Uh, well here you can see there was 1, 544 approved.

Uh, there were about 400 not approved, so 2, 000 or so photos. We’re processed. That’s incredible. And so it’s not only impressive that they took 82 photos, but that they were managed to get them through the system that quickly, if you haven’t watched the Uh, episode with Nilo in it. He tells his secret about how he got to 79.

So if you want to know how to get photos through quickly, go watch that episode with Nilo.

So I want to talk for just a minute about, about the money because it’s different, it’s new. Um, and. [00:08:00] It was exciting and it was fun, but it was difficult. It was awkward. The WordCamp system is not built to, to give prize money to attendees. And so, things had to be fiddled with and tweaked and people had weird titles that they wouldn’t normally have just because they, other people couldn’t take money, et cetera.

It was, it was weird and it was awkward. So if we were to ever go down this road again, we were probably, we need something to read, we would probably need to build something. And my guess is that’s not going to happen. Uh, in this particular instance, there was a surplus of cash because they had some sponsors and they were going to spend some money on advertising to get more people to attend.

So many people attended, they didn’t need to spend that money. And so there was a surplus and it got distributed. Uh, I don’t [00:09:00] anticipate that happening in a, a large number of word camps. Uh, since Covid Word camps are much more expensive, they’re much more difficult to find venues to get good food at a reasonable rate.

And so I don’t expect to see, money available again as at a, as a prize at a, at a event. What do I know? It could happen. Weirder things have happened. This happened, and I wouldn’t have said this would happen. Uh, so I’m very happy for the people who won. That’s, it was a surprise treat, and that’s great.

But now I want to talk about next generation WordPress events, because, this was one of them. Since COVID, the community teams had a difficult time getting Word camps and meetups to reform to pick back up [00:10:00] and go again, especially in the U. S. And a lot of it had to do with money and a lot of it had to do with the mental Taxation it takes to have an event like this Um, doing a WordCamp is hard work.

It takes a lot of time and energy, a lot of focus, and often things in your life suffer, family time, work time, and people who’ve done it before are thinking, well, maybe I don’t need to do that again. And people who haven’t done it before are thinking, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t, is that, is it okay?

Can I do that? Um, and then there’s the financial aspect. Venues are outrageously more expensive than they used to be before COVID. Uh, venues now need insurance and so they have to pay for that. [00:11:00] And they need more staff to, to do things that the insurance requires. So they have to pay for staff and in many places, venues cost double what they did before.

And we, we just don’t have the budget for that. Uh, food is similar since COVID there are a lot of new rules about. Food in public places are being served to large groups and that requires insurance, requires new equipment, all that stuff. So the costs of events have gone way up. So one of the things that the community team wanted to come up with was a cheaper way to get it done.

Uh, what is, what is the goal of a WordCamp? What is its purpose? Uh, for me, personally, for a lot of years, it’s been to see my friends. And as much fun as that is, honestly, It’s not a good investment. Um, I can go see my friends, but much cheaper ways. Um, but if our, if our purpose is to, [00:12:00] to educate people, to further their careers, their knowledge, their wisdom to advance WordPress, then there might be better ways to do it.

And I’m not saying we’re going to get rid of work camps the way they’ve always been, we’ll keep those. But, there are some really, really great new ideas on how to do things in the future. Um, this photo festival costs almost nothing. That’s one of the reasons they had a few hundred dollars to give away.

Um, there was no venue, there was no food, there was no. Lighting people. There were no audio people. Um, and yet it was a huge success. People had a really good time. So I want to show you a few other events. So coming up in Switzerland is a community day, which is just like a, contributor day at a word camp.

It’s just there, [00:13:00] there aren’t talks. And it’s only one day. And so there doesn’t necessarily need to be food. Um, it’s quick, it’s focused and it gets things done. Uh, this one’s exciting. These next three are exciting to me because they’re all in Africa. The Misaka WordPress and education technology showcase gets, excuse me, gets local educators in Uganda to come together and look at what WordPress can do for them.

And that’s amazing because we all know that WordPress does well in. lower income communities where they need to be looking at tools and software that they can get and use that work really well without spending a ton of money. Uh, the Kampala Online Payments and Delivery Summit. I just laughed when I saw that one because online payments and delivery in Africa is a completely different animal than anywhere else.

Uh, it’s hard. [00:14:00] Online payments. Just aren’t there for a lot of Africa. And so having a day focused on, on only that getting it done is brilliant. Um, Rome core days. If you weren’t here for my talk yesterday with Julia, I was, I told her I have been to contributor days to the core team, half a dozen times, maybe more.

And we’re always promised where you’re going to be a core contributor by the end of the day. And we spent all day long getting half the room set up with half of Docker. And at the end of the day, maybe one person has contributed and it’s frustrating because I feel like I’m doing it over and over again.

We never make progress, but what if there was a time where it was two days long and it’s completely focused on just that, and they have enough staff to help everybody rather than one person running around trying [00:15:00] to get everybody set up, that’s brilliant. Uh, I wanted to do this in my own city a couple of years ago.

And it never happened, but it might because now we have precedence. Uh, so this is great. Um, looking at some of the past ones, these are, these are great. The Kolkata career camp. Uh, I was just thinking about this today. Ever been to a college career day where there’s just a room full of employers? Um, the Kolkata one also had workshops and panel discussions, which I think are brilliant because, young people need to know how to find jobs.

They need the wisdom when they’re approaching an employer to get a good, a good pay rate, a good vacation system, good compensation system. Um, having it wrapped around work camp. It’s absolutely brilliant. Um, then there’s, let’s see. I had one more down here.[00:16:00]

Oh, there’s, there’s community day in Rome. That’s a different one. Here we go. Japan community building workshop. It’s all about building community. Um, it says the group will have a six month learning period. That’s way beyond a WordCamp. That’s, that’s a class, that’s a college level class. And to be able to learn all of that through WordPress is amazing.

So all these different kinds of events are, well these, these all happened already. Then these are coming up. But one of the keys to this is the community team wants new ideas very much. So if you have an idea, Hey, I could do this thing in my town. Um, they want to hear about it. When I was talking to Julia, I suggested in grand [00:17:00] Rapids, my city, we have, kind of a career day, but more about talking about WordPress as a career.

So we put up flyers and universities and around the city and say things like. Is web development for you? Come find out and we have, a room full of people hiring. We have the, well, just like, just like in Kolkata, we have those room, those talks panels about what does it mean to have a job in web development, in WordPress, maybe just, maybe not only WordPress, maybe we talk about Web dev in general, just working in tech, just all those things.

If so, they very much want ideas for new kinds of events and you are the one who’s going to come up with that great idea, somebody has to, it’s like winning the lottery, you can’t come up [00:18:00] with a great idea if you don’t throw it out there and say, Hey, What do you think of my idea? So if you would put stuff in the comments here about some ideas for events, it doesn’t have to be made by you.

You don’t have to do the event to say, this is an event I would like to go to. That would be great. Um, if you’re interested in signing up and actually doing an event, you can go to events. wordpress. org.

And you can see all the events that are going on here, WordCamps and the next gen ones. Here are, upcoming events. But then if you want to do one, up in the top right, there’s Organize an Event. And here’s all the information about different kinds of events and what it means to organize. Uh, there are meetups, WordCamps, contributor days, virtual events.

Do action hackathons are great. You [00:19:00] get a room full of WordPress nerds building things for people that need it. And it’s very exciting and fun. Uh, the looks on people’s faces when you, when you give them a finished product and one weekend it’s priceless. Um, so the frequently asked questions, things like that.

Um, but this is where you can go to sign up to, to lead any one of these or to become a member of any one of them. So, if you’re interested, go for it.

And that is the end of this episode. It’s been a, an exciting week for me doing this. I appreciate those that have watched. I appreciate those that have commented. It’s been, it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve talked to some really interesting people, more than, you know, because some interviews didn’t survive, but, it’s been a lot of fun and I [00:20:00] appreciate you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep reading the article at WP Tavern. The article was originally written by Topher DeRosia on 2024-03-01 16:12:01.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

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