In my last post, I told you that I have more exciting news coming up. Well, here is my big revelation… Before that, I want to let you know that this is like realizing a dream for me. And probably for so many others in my part of the world.
When in Paris, while attending WordCamp Europe 2017, I got an opportunity to meet up with many WordPressers from Asia. We discussed something that had been brewing for a really long time and the potion is now almost ready.
I’m talking about WordCamp Asia!
Yes, after over a year of speculating, planning and discussing we have finally come to a confirmation. WordCamp Asia is on its tracks and we’re very motivated to make it happen.
The WordPress community from Asia had a meeting (Office Hour) with the WordCamp Central. Community members from India, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Nepal sat down with WordCamp Central community members and we had a discussion on all aspects of WordCamp Asia. We, that is, Mahangu, Nok, Rahul, Bigul, Mayuko, Akira, and so many names I’m forgetting, and I met up with Andrea Middleton and Jenny Joseph and put our heads together about the best viable date and venue and things of the sort.
There will surely be a lot of challenges as this will be the first WordCamp Asia and we did try to discuss the shortcomings as well. We had to know about the problems that we need to take care of so the event is a success. Nevertheless, all of us are very optimistic about it. Even Matt was very positive about WordCamp Asia as it is going to be the next big continental WordCamp in the world.
We came around to highlight four major complications that could be possible –
- Travel visa – In Asia, we’re not all joined by land and we need visas to travel even within Asia. There also exist political problems between nations. So we need to put a lot of thought before we decide a venue. We could do it in India as it has the infrastructures but it could be difficult for WordPressers from Pakistan and Bangladesh to get visas. Similarly, Japan has a strong community base but the visa processings are tiresome for those of us from Southeast Asia.
- Currency and financial transfers – Unlike America or Europe, here, each country has its own currency. That creates a problem as to how we should handle the funding that comes from sponsors.
- Community still progressing – We think it would be much easier if at least 10-15 countries had a strong WordPress community. A continental WordCamp will have to rotate every 2 years. So, it could be much easier if at least 2-3 countries stayed ready for the next turn. So, we need to work on making our local community strong and more stable.
- Language issues – Asia’s rich culture also comes with a vast array of languages. Each country has its own language, some even more than one. We need to come up with a way to be inclusive of most of it, as we can’t do all of them; even if we keep the base language English.
Apart from these, there are also many other miscellaneous problems we need to deal with. Many nations in Asia are politically unstable. We have to work on finding a place people won’t feel apprehensive to visit. There are weather issues to keep in mind as well, as the weather in Asia is highly variable.
We also must work on providing travel assistance. WordCamps are not just for the rich. The primary motive of WordCamps is to grow the local community. So, WordCamp Asia’s mission will be to influence the community of WordPress Asia and help it to grow. That is why, instead of planning for a grand and pompous event, we need to make sure it is affordable and reachable to people of all financial backgrounds.
To overcome all that, our community base needs to grow and become stronger. We’ll need to conduct regional trainings, deputy training, and the like. Existing organizers should come together to help in expanding the WordPress Asia community.
To make it work, we decided we need to work on our coordination and teamwork. For that, we think a WordSesh would be a perfect choice. So we are planning for a WordSesh Asia 2018, where speakers from different countries in Asia will have their sessions. This could be like a mock session that could help us practice for the first ever WC Asia.
“So, when is it, when is WC Asia?” you may be wondering. We’re not too far away. We do not want the first WordCamp Asia to go beyond 2020. 2018 is too near and we want to be properly prepared.
So, folks, we are hoping, vying actually, for a WordCamp Asia 2019. More specifically, keeping the seasons in mind we aim for the second month, that is February 2019. Do you want to know about the venue? Nothing is confirmed yet, but we think Thailand is a good choice. What do you think?
Let me know your views and suggestions. We need as many opinions, views and help as we can get. As I said earlier, we must join hands and work together so we can make the first WordCamp Asia successful.
Here are a few snaps from the meeting (Office Hour) we had on WordCamp Asia: