OpenCamp: Death of WordCamp Dallas

Dallas WordCamp has died an untimely and utterly unnecessary death. Instead of the annual event devoted exclusively to WordPress, this year’s event will be OpenCamp. At OpenCamp, Joomla and Drupal will also be covered.

Frankly, I’m concerned that OpenCamp isn’t inclusive enough.

Why isn’t OpenCamp covering Frog CMS, Umbraco, Mambo, ocPortal, Magnolia, XOOPS, etc. If open source content management systems are now the theme, let’s include everyone.

Why not broaden the camp to include open source operating systems too?

Yes, I’m yanking your chain.

OpenCamp is a bad concept based upon the false premise that it is too costly to run the annual two-day event as WordCamp exclusively for WordPress bloggers and designers.

I understand and appreciate the work involved with coordinating and setting up such an event. Yet there are two fundamentally mistaken assumptions made by the organizers when they made their decision to turn this into a techie Kum ba yah fest.

First, the organizers mistakenly assumed that jacking up ticket prices was the way to raise revenue to meet expenses. In reality, the costs could have easily been met (and exceeded) by sponsorships and running the event like Ken McCarthy’s System Seminar. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, System Seminar speakers must deliver valuable content to the attendees and at the end are permitted a couple of minutes to make a pitch (some don’t). The event organizer takes a cut of each sale made. This is not a pitchfest. Deliver value. Sell something at the end. Split the profits.

Secondly, there is a mistaken belief that all prior WordCamp expenses were necessary. A speaker’s dinner, bowling party, ASL interpreters, funding for speaker travel, etc. are all nice things to have but they can be cut if it means keeping the event as a WordCamp rather than EverythingCamp.

I’d like to thank the WordCamp organizers for the past two years for providing value to attendees. Your hard work was appreciated. Killing WordCamp and replacing it with this atrocity is nuts. Let the other CMS groupies have their own separate events rather than bastardizing this one.

Let’s hope that Matt Mullenweg and his new WordPress Foundation will host a WordCamp Dallas in the future. If you want to attend a WordCamp in another location, here’s a link to the WordCamp schedule.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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