Revisiting WordCamp Pune 2015: The Schedule

What and Why this?

Beginning with this post, over the next few days, we revisit WordCamp Pune 2015. We have introspected and received feedback on various aspects of the WordCamp. Fortunately and this shows the awesomeness of the community, we’ve only received constructive feedback. That is, when people pointed out something that went wrong, they also offered their observations, advice and/ or help.

In the rapidly growing but very new WordPress community in India, we hope our experience helps. We also hope we can get more advice and help from the community.

In this part, we discuss the most controversial and debated part, the Schedule! 😉

The schedule could have been simpler

We gave custom room names based on the names of the nearby peaks. In our excitement, we took a bad UI decision. It was a confusing and difficult mental model to work with, for even us! 😉 Rooms have names or numbers that everybody in the institute knows them by, for years. We should’ve stuck to it!

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Because we scheduled sessions of different lengths alongside each other, the breaks were weird and haphazard. All sessions in all tracks should’ve started and ended at the same time.

4 tracks = 4 rooms is simple. 4 tracks = 5 rooms is confusing and troublesome.

We looked for a venue that had an auditorium for 500 people. The auditorium never had more than 200 people at any given moment. So, in hindsight, we ended up restricting our venue options. In a multi track event of 500 people, the largest room you need is for 200 – 250, if you have more than two tracks.

Multi-track sessions were a little difficult to navigate

4 tracks, 5 rooms was a bit too much. The names were confusing for everyone and the distance between the auditorium and the other rooms got people tired. Even though it was short, we had to walk multiple times during the day.

Although, we received some amount of criticism for having parallel tracks, we now know it was one of the good ideas. Parallel tracks helped us cover more knowledge and get enthusiastic speakers for an interested audience.

However, our mental models are going to be simpler. We’ll take out the separate local language tracks and mix them into the regular three tracks that we had and will have at the next WordCamp, user, business/ community and developer. 3 tracks = 3 rooms!

Too much for one day

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A person could end up attending 10 sessions in the 8-9 hours they were at the WordCamp  from 32 total sessions. That’s a lot of activity in one day and people did get exhausted!

Some of the extra activities we planned didn’t take of at all like the Buddy program and the Selfie/ Treasure Hunt. These are great ideas with potential and we’d still like to explore them.

Some other activities like the lounges didn’t have great participation. These are ideas that are new and will take time to fit into audience’s idea of a conference and we’d still like to give them a chance. It’s like a meetup – 2 people turn up the first time and soon, you have 20 people coming in! 🙂

Not enough time to socialise

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Some people felt that one day was not enough to socialise. Ideally, if it is a two day WordCamp, the first day people meet and get introduced. The whole day of WordCamp experience gets them get talking and interacting.

Also, with so many activities in one day, people are tired by the end of the day. We know that because the after-party turnout was quite low.

So, we are considering a two day WordCamp the next year with the first day similar to the conference pattern and the second day we explore more impromptu discussions, lounges and fun in a more casual location. Something like a day long afterparty. However, this is still just a thought that we’ll explore further when we start planning the next WordCamp.

You can have a say

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We met a lot of people who said they wanted to volunteer and help organise WordCamp Pune after we had finalised everything. If you are one of those, please get in touch with us to get your ideas in early and join the team.

 

Releasing videos from WordCamp Pune 2015

camera-497981_640We finally have most videos for WordCamp Pune 2015!

We have had these videos for a little while now but we’ve just been contemplating what to do with the situation we have with the videos. Finally, we decided to release everything as it is.

Unfortunately, partly because of our fault and partly because we couldn’t foresee the videographers’ mistakes, we only have low quality edited versions.

Second, due to some sort of miscommunication, they didn’t record any of the workshops and some other sessions. Four cameramen = three sessions. 🙁

Third, due to various reasons, we were unable to co-ordinate or supervise the process. So, we’d like to get some feedback and insight. If you have some expertise or experience with video recording and can give us useful advice, please get in touch with us.

One of the things that we will do is, start recording our meetups. We have learnt a lot of lessons and will be sharing those once we’re done wrapping up!

So, here’s the WordCamp Pune 2015 playlist, as it is:

चर्चा तर होणारच…

जगभरात सर्वात जास्त लोकप्रिय असलेले CMS म्हणजे WordPress आणि त्याचा वापर करणारी मंडळी म्हणजे WordPress Community चा सर्वात मोठा सण WordCamp यंदा पुण्यात साजरा होत आहे.

WordCamp पुणे २०१५ च्या निमित्ताने संजोयक Pune WordPress Knowledge Exchange (Wordex) यांनी सर्व सहभागींना एक अत्यंत सुखद, उपयोगी आणि अविस्मरणीय अनुभव देण्यासाठी खूप नियोजन व काम केले आहे. सहा सप्टेंबर रोजी हा दिवस भराचा कार्यक्रम Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce येथे संपन्न होणार आहे.

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दिवसभरात चार वेगवेगळ्या Tracks मध्ये एकूण ३२ सत्र पैकी २० Talks, ६ Workshops, ३ Panel Discussions, २ Q&As व १ Critique अशी रूपरेषा आहे. विशेष म्हणजे यात ६ सत्र मराठी किंवा अर्ध-मराठीत तर १० सत्र हिंदी किंवा अर्ध-हिंदीत होणार आहेत. ६ देशातली एकूण ४० Speakers या सत्रात आपलं ज्ञान व मते मांडणार आहेत. २ Fun Lounge (WordPress Lounge व Word Lounge) सुद्धा आयोजित करण्यात आलेल्या आहेत. शिवाय २ Fun Contests (Photography Contest व  Selfie Hunt) ही आहेत. पूर्ण दिवसात networking साठी ३ मोठ्या breaks व ११ छोट्या breaks आहेत व प्रयोगात्मक Buddy Program पण असणार आहे. या वेळी सर्वांना नक्कीच नवीन मित्र व सहयोगी भेटावेत या साठी आम्ही  प्रयत्नशील आहोत. त्यामुळे पूर्ण दिवस शिकण्या बरोबर मज्जा ही सुरूच राहणार यात काही वाद नाही.

WordPress Community ला कायम समर्थन देणारे २१ दिलदार sponsors नी ‘ होऊ दे खर्च ‘ म्हणत आर्थिक सहभाग नोंदवला आहे. प्रत्येक सहभागीला आमच्या व प्रायोजकां कडून खूप सारा swag ही मिळणार आहे ज्यात T-shirt, sipper, mug आदी चा समावेश आहे. इतकच नव्हे तर भारतात होणाऱ्या WordCamps मध्ये पहिल्यांदा After-Party सुद्धा आयोजित करण्यात आली आहे…

हाउस फुल झालेल्या या event बदल हे सगळ वाचून आपल्याला कळून चुकल असेल की WordCamp पुणे २०१५ ची
“चर्चा तर होणारच… !”


Pimpari Gavali Gramsabha” by Yogeshmanage09Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

What to do if you didn’t get a WordCamp Pune ticket

You don’t need a ticket for everything

Even if you don’t have a ticket, you can still come and meet the community at the following events. Entry is free and open to everyone! So, come and experience the awesome feeling of being part of a vibrant community!

Beginners Workshop

Foundation Day: Introduction to WordPress for Beginners

Saturday, Sep 5, 2015, 10:00 AM

Thought Works
6th Floor, Binarius Building, Deepak Complex, National Games Road, Shastrinagar, Yerawada Pune, IN

63 Exchangers Attending

A collaborative workshop in which everyone helps everyone else learn WordPress guided by experts.

Check out this Meetup →

Buildathon

Foundation Day: WordPress Buildathon

Saturday, Sep 5, 2015, 2:00 PM

Thought Works
6th Floor, Binarius Building, Deepak Complex, National Games Road, Shastrinagar, Yerawada Pune, IN

10 Exchangers Attending

Sorry, this got cancelled. We couldn’t find NGOs that don’t have a website. Every NGO seems to have their own website the first thing when they start! Which is good news for society!Instead we will build dummy websites for hands-on experience and training. Maybe build something else, or just chill out!You don’t need a WordCamp ticket or pay anyth…

Check out this Meetup →

After-Party

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The After Party is going to rock at WordCamp Pune

After a hard day of fun and networking and intense learning, all we need is good music, a drink or two and the company of friends to relax and chill out!

Performances

The after party starts at 7:00 pm and will go on till the venue shuts down. We have live performances by the in house DJ and a retro music performance by inhouse artist WIlly Russo.

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In addition, the friendly folks at the Classic Rock Coffee Co have invited the Sufi Band, Malang for some soulful performance only for us!

Venue

The Classic Rock Coffee Co, is in Kalyani Nagar and is a massive place that can accomodate about 800 people. With an amphitheater, cafetaria and plenty of open space, it is the ideal location to mingle and have discussions, just chillout or shake a leg to the awesome music that’ll be playing all the time. It’s rated high on Zomato. See their Facebook page.

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The Offer

Free Welcome Drink: Flash your WordCamp Pune name badge to get one free drink (any domestic beer, IMFL, coffee, etc). The only things not included are mocktails and imported beer and liquor.

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15-20% Off: Depending on the number of WordCamp Pune Attendees at the venue, we get 15% off on all food and drinks (if we are 200 of us) or 20% off (if we are 300). In short, the more, the merrier.

Getting there

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Use the autowale.in offer or any other cab service. It is about half an hour away from the venue.

Venue: Classic Rock Coffee Co., Kalyani Nagar
Timings: 7 pm onwards
Get: Your WordCamp Pune name badge and your friends

Register for the Blogger Gym to be in the Lucky Ten

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The blogger gym is an awesome workshop for bloggers and writers to take their skills to the next level. Conducted by the ace expert Ramya Pandyan, you can be sure you’ll go back home a far more confident and better writer than before the WordCamp. However, there’s a slight catch.

The Lucky Ten

Writing is intensive; anyone can testify to that. It’d be impossible to work with everyone participating and give them feedback, etc. So, instead, we are going to have 10 live participants, whose posts will be used as the work in progress material and will actively participate under direct supervision of Ramya.

Others will still participate and interact but won’t work under direct supervision. If you wish to be one of the lucky ten, register now (before the 31st)! If you still haven’t bought your ticket, do so now!

The not-so-lucky rest needn’t worry

Oh, and don’t hit the blues if you aren’t one of the ten (but you can feel bad, you poor thing, you!). We have a whole day of activities at the Word Lounge by Alphabet Sambar for writers and bloggers. In a way, those will supplement the workshop!

Register for the Blogger Gym | Get your WordCamp Pune Ticket

The Business of WordPress is worth discussing!

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WordPress is awesome for business, all of us know that. It is one of the primary reasons it has become the number one CMS! Apart from the business of creating websites and applications with WordPress, the business of creating plugins and themes for WordPress has also seen a definite rise in India. We get the leading businessmen from Pune and the rest of India to discuss the Business of WordPress and get you insights of how it all works and what it takes for a business to become successful in the WordPress world.

Karthikraj Magapu

HBWSL

(Moderator)

Rahul Bansal

rtCamp

Sathish Nagarajan

SNR Technologies

Amit Singh

WPoets

Preetinder Sehgal

CityIT

Premanshu Manghirmalani

SunnyZ World

and many other experts in the audience right beside you! Read more about our panelists on the speakers’ page.

Atlas SoftWeb is our final hero

AtlasSoftWebAtlas SoftWeb is located in Ahmedabad, India. We are an Open Source based web development company undertaking projects based on WordPress. We build websites and themes to help our customers solve their business problems using cutting edge web systems that are built upon WordPress. Our projects help our customers promote and brand their business and help them get higher ROI.

At Atlas SoftWeb, we are a team of web professionals including developers, front-end designers and website testers with extensive WordPress experience. We specialize in building responsive WordPress themes and have been the choicest offshore dedicated developers for clients in US, Canada and UK.

For more details visit us on www.atlassoftweb.com

 

Presenting the Word Lounge by Alphabet Sambar

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Word Lounge?

Just as the WordPress Lounge is a space for WordPress users to discuss WordPress,the Word Lounge is a space for writers and other content creators to meet, mingle and talk about the craft of writing. The Word Lounge will be open through the entire day and will have flash exercises, discussions on writing and peer feedback sessions.

Alphabet Sambar

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The Word Lounge will be conducted and moderated by Alphabet Sambar. Alphabet Sambar is an experimental writing project that nurtures and supports writers. The community has weekly meets for peer reviews and feedback. It has also hosted special writing-based events on collaborative Twitter fiction, flash novel writing, erotica writing etc.

Alphabet Sambar has members all over the world and has had offline events in Mumbai and Pune. Alphabet Sambar is on Twitter (@AlphabetSambar) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/712233018804033/).