WordCamp U.S. 2017 – Nashville

WordCamp U.S.

This year WordCamp U.S. was held in Nashville, Tennessee. The event happened at the Music City Center, an enormous conference center that dominates the center of downtown Nashville. As the second destination for the traveling WordCamp, Nashville was an amazing choice.

Some of the Sites in Nashville

Nashville is all about two things: music and food. While we didn’t have a lot of time for the former, we took full advantage of the latter. Even though it was a short trip, we did take a little time to visit the well-advertised Johnny Cash Museum, a fun stop for a busy traveler. Our eating extravaganza included Biscuit Love, Martin’s BBQ Joint, Diner, and the amazing Husk.

If you have more time to explore, Nashville has a number of great locations. Highlights include the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Jack White’s Thirdman Records.

Back to WordCamp

But we weren’t in Nashville just for fun, we had big ol’ WordCamp to attend. For those of you who haven’t attended a WordCamp, they’re two (or more) days of talks, workshops, and all things WordPress. A local WordCamp like Orange County has between 300 and 450 attendees. WordCamp U.S. has upwards of 3,000 convention-goers.

Highlights for the show were abound. We always attend some sessions to continue our learning. We saw sessions on accessibility (Rian Rietveld), media and media handling (Mike Schroeder, Tammie Lister, and Joe McGill), AWS (Nathaniel Schweinberg), and WordPress in journalism (RC Lations). There were so many sessions we barely got to scratch the surface. WordPress TV will have many of the sessions from WordCamp U.S. for people who weren’t able to attend.

It wouldn’t be WordCamp U.S. without the State of the Word. This year, much of Matt’s talk was dedicated to Gutenberg. He presented the origins and growth plan, had Matías Ventura present a rather impressive live demonstration, and laid out the timeline for integration into WordPress core. Most of the questions posed by the audience were also focused on Gutenberg as well and Matt fielded them with his normal skill.

The after party was held in The Adventure Science Center just a little south of town. This was a huge space with a ton of fun activities from karaoke to a planetarium. We got to see folks simulate a moon walk and got expelled from a giant-sized model of the human colon – good times!

Friends and Trends

Even with a pool of almost 3,000 WordPress enthusiasts, there were plenty of long-time friends to catch up with. We love the socializing that happens at a WordCamp and got to spend some time with many of our local WordPress community. We also got to meet a lot of new people from places as diverse as New York, Mississippi, and even Germany. Our shared involvement with WordPress presents an instant ice breaker.

There are several overall trends that we saw at WordCamp U.S. First is Gutenberg. We’ve been talking about this locally quite a bit, but the ramifications are going to be far-reaching. Not all of the impacts will be evident until WordPress 5.0 releases. Next is media. Similar to the way Gutenberg is reenvisioning content, media handling is going to need a good hard look. Accessibility continues to be a focus, and until we have native tools that simplify the adoption of standards, it should be. Finally, the GDPR was mentioned more than a few times. We recently wrote about this new regulation and you should familiarize yourself with it.

With another WordCamp U.S. in the books, we can’t help but to look forward to next year. If you have the opportunity to attend we heartily recommend it.

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