WordCamp Kyoto 2017 swag: Wapuu Keychain & sticker

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 Photos

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 took place on June 24-25. Around 350 people gathered at Kyoto University and enjoyed the time togeter as WordPress enthusiasts.

Day 0: Travel & Speakers Dinner

On the day before the event, two of my colleagues and I took a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. We walked around Kiyomizudera Temple and Nineizaka, then went to the Speaker’s Dinner in Sijō.

Day 1: Session Day

Saturday was a session day. We arrived at the venue early to set up Automattic (Jetpack/WooCommerce) tables. All went by fast – I gave a talk about WordPress.com (video/sildes), attended a session about translation, and mostly talked to people at the sponsorship table.

The organizing team did a great job excecuting the event, closely focusing around session while keeping a relatively simple overall setup. They had beautiful and very original swag too!

I received some more Wapuu stickers and postcards from Tachibana-san, who went to WordCamp Europe in Paris.

At the after party, I talked some more people… For someone who work alone for most of the days and use typed words as the main means of communication, it felt as if I was intensely training my vocal cord during these WordCamp days.

Day 2: Contributor Day

Then on Sunday, about 100 people participated in the Contributor Day. I helped as a mentor for the documentation and polyglots teams.

It was a very well-organized setup and each team got a lot of things done in a day. There were many first-time contributors — it looked like they had a good time while learning how to get involved in many aspects of the WordPress project.

Day 3: Coworking

On the final day, some of us met up at Tenrō-in Bookstore (天狼院書店) for a little bit of coworking. It’s a renovated old house with two floors of coworking/café space.


This trip made me realize it again that the WordPress community in the Kansai region (= Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, etc.) is very strong. With multiple local leaders that have experience in organizing WordCamps and meetups, the team is diverse and giving good infulence to each other.

I’m sure they will put together a great WordCamp next year – you should come and see it yourself, and get to know this part of Japan too!

WordCamp Europe 2016 Slides & Photos

Last Friday, I presented a talk about the Japanese WordPress community at WordCamp Europe 2016 in Vienna.

The video will be published on WordPress.tv at some point. Meanwhile, here are some points for those who had missed it:

  • Japanese is the most widely used non-English WP locale (12.3% of non-English locales)
  • WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in Japan today (78.5% share – higher number compared to 59.5% for English sites)
  • Meetups are held almost every weekend somewhere in Japan. We make it easy to see events across Japan through the WordBench website and the event calendar. Many of the chapters create unique banners for each event.
  • The online community is also active, with many contributors on translation, documentation, support, bug fix & report, and Wapuu too!
  • Show others how to get involved, recognize their hard work, and help out.
  • Your own contribution can be multiplied if you help others to contribute. It’s necessary to grow the community for WordPress to succeed.

It was a pleasure to have had an opportunity to share what I’ve seen in the local community for the past 13 years. As I said in the talk, my goal is to help others contribute to WordPress so the “small steps” of more people can build up to form a long stride. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Day 0 (WCEU Picnic) Photos

Francesca and I hosted a picnic at Burggarten near the venue on Thursday.

#wceupicnic #wceu #wceu2016

A post shared by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on

Day 1 Photos

Day 2 Photos

The childcare support at WCEU this year was really great.

Thanks #wceu organizing team for arranging a visit to the children's museum. It was fun! 💕

A post shared by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on

Photos: Contributor Day

Having discussion face-to-face was the best part of the Contributor Day.

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Slides and Photos

Over the weekend, I had the privilege to visit India for the first time to attend WordCamp Mumbai. I had a great time and had yet another realization that going to a WordCamp is a great way to visit a new place.

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

I talked about how WordPress became popular in Japan over the years and shared some tips to grow community or business.

My talk was right before lunch on the second day, so I had an opportunity to chat with several people who were interested in translation and meetups. I felt that it was well worth the trip when I could talk to Hindi, Marathi, and Tibetan translators who wanted to get involved more.

…and I got to introduce Wappu to more WordPress users in a different part of the world. We may soon see Mumbai dabbawala wapuu stickers and shirts?

I also helped staff Automattic’s sponsor table (Jetpack + WooCommerce) along with my 5 of my coworkers. It sounded like WooCommerce is super popular and lots of people were asking Sam technical questions on Jetpack.

Some of the things I noticed that were different from Japanese WordCamps:

  • I saw a huge interest in business and marketing side of things around WordPress.
  • Many of the attendees were super friendly and weren’t shy about coming to say hi.
  • Code/programming-focused sessions outnumbered design/theme dev sessions.
  • Curry and sweets for lunch, and chai for tea break 🍛

Thank you everyone for having me a part of this wonderful event. I can now say for sure that the WordPress community in Mumbai is really strong! Big shout out to the organizing team’s Alex, Aditya, Vachan, Thomson, Ajay, Sahil, Ratnesh, Meher, Amit, Niket, Raj, and Vishal!

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

WordCamp Tokyo 2014 Design Team’s Showcase Site on GitHub

WordCamp Tokyo 2014 had a very creative and local-friendly website, custom Wapuu logo, and various swags and branding materials — thanks to the awesome design team.

Today, they launched a GitHub Pages site showcasing their creations all in one location.

WordCamp Tokyo 2014 GitHub Repositry List

Wordcam Tokyo 2014 Design Team's Github Repos

In the past years, these kinds of design data used to just sit somewhere in a shared folder of the project management web service we used to organize the event. We then had to dig around and give the right permission to the right people, as members of the design team change from year to year.

They still need to add some resources and tweak it a little, but it’s a great step forward in making it easy to share their work!

Props to Yutaro, Yasushi, and Mayuko for making this happen.

And here are some photos of the event:

Learnings from Growing Local WordPress Communities #wceu

Today I gave a talk about WordPress communities in Japan at WordCamp Europe at Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden in Netherlands. Here’s my slides:


Learnings from Growing Local WordPress Communities

It was great to get feedbacks from community organizers all over Europe – Netherlands, German, Finland, Switzerland, France… This WordCamp has been one of a kind where I got to meet so many WordPress users who are passionate about i18n, translation, and helping local communities from so many different countries.

I thought it was cool that my conclusion on why WordPress community (in Japan and elsewehere) had grown so much coincided some of the comments by other speakers; the answer was enabling continuous small efforts by many contributors.

The video will be posted on WordPress.tv later, but please feel to contact me (or tweet to @naokomc) if you have more comments and/or questions about the slides.

WordCamp Kobe 2013 and WordPress Meetup at 709ch Kyoto

Last weekend, I went to the Kansai area with my coworker Karim for 2 WordPress events.

WordCamp Kobe 2013

This was the second WordCamp in Kobe since 2011. Many of organizers / volunteers from previous WordCamps in the area (Osaka & Kyoto) also attended and helped out. The greatest thing about the Kobe WordPress community is that they are so enthusiasic about learning together and sharing their knowledge. The concept of WordCamp Kobe this year is “One day school”, and they wanted to make sure that attendees can learn as much as possible during this all-day event. The 300 tickets were sold out and they did an awesome job fulfilling their set goal to have a WordCamp focused on learning.

I spoke about how WordPress is doing in Japan with a few stats and use cases (my slides here). I’m seeing a flood of new, non-techie users for WordPress software in Japan from the kind of books published here, questions asked in the forums, and search keywords to ja.wordpress.org. I think it’s great but this also means we need to try harder to help them learn the right way and grow the community without creating divisions based on skills or background. I am really looking forward to what could happen, and WordCamp Kobe certainly gave me the inspiration & motivation to work toward the goal.

WordPress Meetup at 709ch Kyoto

On Sunday after WordCamp, Karim, @khoshino, @miya0001 and I headed to Kyoto together for another WordPress event (thanks for the ride, Miya-san!!). The venue 709ch is located inside Kyoto Research Park, where WordCamp Kyoto was held in 2009. It brought back a lot of good and funny (!) memories to be back there after 4 years – we talked about how much has changed for all of us since then!


709ch is a really nice event space that’s owned by the company Hiro (the event organizer) works for. This was a very informal event Hiro & co. invited us to speak about WordPress as well as how we work at Automattic. Their company is now growing fast and has an office in Singapore, so we discussed how team members who are away from each other can work effectively. While seeing how volunteers are working at WordCamp Kobe, I was reminded that it’s so important to have a shared high-level goal to feel motivated to do your best. Tools and methods are created and refined as a result of that, not the other way around.

It was great to get to meet some of the people who are really involved in WordPress community in Kyoto. They also have been holding local meetups regularly and are focused on making it a place where anyone can ask anything to each other. Both of communities in Kobe and Kyoto really showed me the importance of building up small pieces to create a strong community. I think the power of these kind of people is the building block of WordPress’ success in Japan more than anything else.