One of the first events of its kind under the WordCamp umbrella, WordCamp for Publishers was slated to bring together ideas from those who use WordPress to share information in media. The website summed it up best:

WordCamp for Publishers is a community-organized event bringing together folks who use WordPress to manage publications, big or small. This event will empower participants by coaching them on best practices, and encourage collaboration in building open source tools for publishers.

Lead by a group of volunteers with a wealth of publishing, media, and WordPress experience between them, the schedule prompted a great deal of learning and discussion that extended well beyond the content typically found at a regional WordCamp.

Solution-based Discussions

One of the best aspects of this conference was chatting with other developers and leaders involved in media on the web. There were multiple sessions and hallway discussions that brought intriguing solutions to the table.

Some of the projects and subjects I couldn’t get enough of:

  • Tom Harrigan’s demo of the VoiceWP plugin for Amazon Alexa skills
  • The WPGraphQL plugin that brings GraphQL to WordPress
  • Multiple discussions on recommendation engines for working with related content
  • Tessa Kriesel’s session on Continuous Integration lent a helpful perspective to bringing a team into the CI fold seamlessly

WordPress and the FanSided Network

The WC Publishers team invited me to give a flash talk about how WordPress helped grow FanSided’s network, and I was happy to share some of my favorite aspects of the FanSided origin story.

Maura Teal speaking at WordCamp for Publishers
Speaking at #WCPUB, thank you Kevin Mckernan for the photo

Of course WordPress played a part in the way FanSided went from bootstrapped to a Time Inc. property, but there was certainly a huge amount of dedication and hard work from the Best brothers and the rest of the site contributors that made the network a success.

On to the Next One

I imagine the future of the conference is up in the air a bit: the organizing team made clear that they looked forward to guiding the next group of organizers. My primary takeaway was that there certainly needs to be more WordCamps of this kind… that is, focused on a niche but still rooted in community. I’ve got to give a huge shout out to those who led WordCamp for Publishers — thank you for your hospitality and a fantastic event!

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