WordCamp Tokyo 2009 Report

It’s been over a week after the event and I’m finally catching up to write on my blog!
I’ve written on ja.wordpress.org, WordCamp Japan blog and detlog.org (my Japanese blog) but I figured I still need to write here since there won’t be many reports in English.

Naoko & Koga-san (by odysseygate)

WordCamp Tokyo 2009 took place on Sunday, April 12th at Kasai Kumin Kaikan in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo. We had reserved the venue because it was one of a few affordable choices we had for 100+ seats hall. Last year, all 80 tickets were sold out in a little more than 24 hours. We didn’t want that to happen again, so we picked a place where we didn’t have to worry about the same situation.

This year we had about 180 registrants; 150 attendees showed up (excluding about 20 staff + speakers). Although we didn’t fill the 450-seat room, we were very pleased with the growing interests. The length of the event was also extend to full-day from only having afternoon sessions last year.

The sessions consisted of 8 regular (10-30 minutes) speakers and 4 lightening talk (5 minutes) speakers. Matt Mullenweg came to Japan for the first time to speak. Michael Pick from Automattic, who spoke last year in Tokyo, talked about WordPress.tv. Other speakers’ topics included tips on plugin & theme development, dissection of Japanese language support plugin, Ktai (cell phone/mobile) blogging, and advantage of using WordPress in web dev businesses.

Matt & Toru (by odysseygate)

I thought it was interesting that there were so many questions submitted (we asked people to turn in written questions after the lunch break) for Matt’s Q & A time. We ended up adding some more time for him to answer questions on stage because of it. Some of the questions made me realize that we as a localization team need to be communicating better with Japanese users. That is, some things we take for granted are not necessariy well understood among other users. I hope to make an improvement on that through blogs and documentation in the future.

After-party was literally packed! Seemed like people had a lot of fun meeting old friends & new acquaintances. It’s a rare occasion for us Japanese localization team to get together all at once, so that was nice as well.

Now a week after the whole thing, WordBench.org (local WordPress fan community site using BuddyPress) added about 100 more users. I hope it’s an indication that people at WordCamp realized how fun it is to meet others in person to talk & learn about WordPress.

I want to thank everyone who came, spoke, and helped this WordCamp Tokyo. I also want to say thanks to all those who have been contributing to WordPress project; WordCamp will not exist without everyone who is making WordPress an awesome software.

Photo credit: odysseygate. You can find more WordCamp Tokyo 2009 photos on Flickr.