When the words left my mouth earlier this evening during Jeremy‘s session talking about what’s next for BarCampBirmingham, I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. It’s been in my head since having a brief conversation about the idea with Matt Mullenweg during BlogWorld Expo in November. I had mentioned the fact that we were seriously thinking about organizing another BarCamp in Birmingham and he asked if we had ever considered doing a WordCamp in conjunction.
Those that attended BarCampBirmingham2 know that we did not do that this time, though the idea was well received by organizers and some of the attendees if they heard of it. There is a growing community of bloggers in The Magic City and the Southeastern United States in general (with many of them using WordPress, WordPress.com or WordPress MU), so the idea of hosting a WordCamp in town would seem to be a no-brainer. Plus the fact that Matt said during our conversation that he would most likely come out because of it being the first one in the Southeast (and as much fun as he had in Dallas, I’m pretty sure we could show him a great time in Birmingham).
The facilities exist to hold an event along the lines of recent WordCamps in San Fransisco and Dallas (including the one that we used for today’s event). We would also be able to provide a whole new set of folks an opportunity to see a different side of Birmingham, Alabama than what we think they’ve been led to expect. Finally, it is as always a great way to build a stronger community in the region (in this case, one that has the power to reach thousands).
The result of my mention at the end of the session? A promise from some of the folks in the room that they would be willing to assist if there was enough interest. I’ve created a page within the BarCampBirmingham Google Group and now I’ve written this post in the hopes of measuring that interest level.
We’d have to host it in August since if we waited until Fall we’d be competing with football and BlogWorld 2008, but I think it would be an invaluable opportunity and experience for all of us.
If you’re interested in seeing an event like this take place this summer, please comment on this post.