Matt Mullenweg organized the first WordCamp ten years ago, in 2006. At that time, camps of all sorts were sweeping through the web dev community as a way to connect with others, share knowledge, and build community. Camps vs. Conferences What sets a camp apart from a more traditional conference? Camps are un-conferences: informal, attendee-run affairs. Speakers aren’t selected ahead of time, talks aren’t polished, everyone who attends can expect to participate in some way, whether that’s presenting a short talk or demo, volunteering, or voting for the speakers. Camps are kept simple – they’re organized quickly and easily and speakers are selected the morning of. Because they’re short on amenities and simple to plan, camps are often free or affordably priced and speakers and organizers aren’t paid. But the ad hoc nature of the events and the resulting camaraderie among the participants means that almost everyone walks away with a wealth of new knowledge, new friends, and new ideas. Lots of newbie speakers get their first chance at presenting at a camp. Impromptu after parties are held at nearby bars and restaurants as the attendees unwind from the day’s activities. The modern-day WordCamp
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