This year, I decided I should attend some conference that would expand my horizons and I selected WordCamp. The Ann Arbor version was held this past Saturday.
My business blog is run off of WordPress and I decided I would like to learn more about the tool and how to use it. It’s a tool that is more and more frequently being used as the web-site for some businesses, as well. For those of you looking to start using this tool, I would encourage using this tool over some of the others, partly because you’ll more easily find people who can help you and answer questions, also because there are events such as WordCamp and WordPress local meetings where you can get ideas and assistance.
Also, I find we become too insulated from what’s going on elsewhere when we don’t occasionally venture into different areas. This event was my effort to keep myself from being too siloed.
WordCamp was extremely informative. It had several tracks available, for developers, users and business people. For my $12 admission, I learned quite a lot and got some direction on what is possible. The bottom line is that your admission and effort in attending conferences has to be reflected in the outcome. If you don’t learn enough to make it worthwhile or get enough business leads or whatever the reason to attend, then it’s not worth it. In this case, I can easily justify the $12 (plus $3.50 for parking) and the day of my life spent at the event versus what I learned. That’s the first time in a long time I can say that about a conference.
I’ll admit tha WordCamp turned out to be what I’d hoped the LIMS/Laboratory Informatics group meetings would turn into. I’d hoped we could build them into annual one-day events where people could share their expertise and learn from each other. While I wasn’t able to make that happen, I still hope that some day, it could. Maybe our industry has moved past wanting that kind of exchange or maybe we’re just waiting for the right person to lead us to that. We’ll all have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, maybe I’ll run into you at WordCamp 2015. I’m already planning to attend. 🙂