WordCamp Maui Coming Next Month


As far as I know, Hawaii’s first — and last — WordCamp was back in 2008. And it was held in conjunction with Hawaii’s first — and last — PodCamp. (Securing the blessing of both organizations to hold a combined event was the first of many improbable hurdles.) They are great events, celebrating globe-spanning communities of creators and developers, but organizing them is a labor of love. And so for seven years, the Aloha State went without.

But next month brings WordCamp Maui, and once again Hawaii web developers, graphic designers, digital marketers and content creators will be able to get together and geek out over the world’s most popular website platform.

“On Maui many local small businesses, non-profit organizations, developers, consultants and bloggers use WordPress to support their organizations, conduct business online, and promote tourism on Maui,” the event site notes. “At WordCamp Maui, these groups will have the opportunity to participate in sessions designed to meet the needs of all levels of users.”

WordPress powers over 60 million websites, and is used in publishing nearly a quarter of the world’s top 10 million sites. It also powers Hawaii Blog, and most of the other sites I run, and there are a lot of geeks like me in Hawaii.

And you do have to love WordPress to attend WordCamp Maui, as it’s taking place over Valentine’s Day weekend.

The program looks great. The organizers are bringing in a lot of experts from out of state (though certainly a conference in Maui is a natural draw), as well as highlighting local pros like Arlen Nagata, Chris Norberg, and Ben Howard.

And I was surprised to discover new corners of the local WordPress community. For example, I didn’t know that there was a WordPress theme shop in Hawaii. (It would have been good to know this a week ago when I was looking for a new blog design.) Organic Themes has been around since 2009, and Lahaina-based founders David Morgan and Jeff Milone also run a WordPress hosting company called Kahuna Host.

WordCamp Maui is being held at the University of Hawaii Maui College beginning on Friday, Feb. 13 with workshops, then continuing with the main event on Valentine’s Day. If you stick around through Sunday, there’s a “Contributor Day” coming together.

Tickets are available online for $35, and include the Friday workshops, Saturday sessions, lunch both days. and “what’s sure to be the most coveted WordCamp t-shirt ever.” I’m thinking of registering just for the shirt, since it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to attend.

At least I’ll have my memories of that first PodCamp/WordCamp. The videos I posted are delightful flashbacks for local geeks:

2 Responses

  1. Jon Brown says:

    Thanks do much for this awesome post Ryan!

    On behalf of all the organizing I can say we are all very excited to be bringing the first WordCamp Maui. It’s been a long processes of building community through our monthly Maui WordPress Meetup (3 years next month!) and for the last year planning the actual event.

    We’ve got a few more local speakers Kimanzi Constable and Adelle Lennox. While most camps aim for 80/20 (local/non), we’ve tried to hit 50/50. That’s more a personal thing since I strongly feel WordCamps should focus more heavily on sharing knowledge between regions, rather than just showcasing local experts.

    I have a lofty goal of this tech conference cementing much of the growth and community connection we’ve achieved over the last few years, but I’ll be happy with just having an event that further inspires us all.

    Very sad to hear you won’t be making it, maybe next time ;)

  2. geewhy says:

    Thanks for the tip about Organic Themes. Taking a look at the Swell and Fresh themes. Possibilities… :)

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