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WordPress WordCamp 2009–here I come, SF!!

May 12, 2009

2768089557_25b4c94889-1 by Randy StewartIn this economy, it seems those who have are reaching out toward those who have not.

This has always been a trait of Burning Man; in a recent post I provided info and links on ways they help people attend their event which prides itself on having a gift economy–that is after you pay your entrance ticket, your travel and camp expenses, and deck yourself out in fun playa finery. Burning Man offers arts grants for projects on and off the playa as well as staggered ticket prices, scholarships, and low income tickets.

WordPress is offering scholarships to WordCamp San Francisco and the Wine Bloggers Convention is also; I’ll post about the WBC scholarship later this week.

Mr WordPress Matt warns “Be sure to register soon. We’ve got a great speaker line-up, free WordPress schwag to give away, and, of course, a BBQ lunch.” And you get in to the 6th year anniversary party for WordPress that night!

WordCamp scene

WordCamp San Francisco is a conference organized by the creators of WordPress for everyone from casual users to core developers to participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. The event is open to & users alike.  Here’s a Facebook event page, travel info, and badges.

SF too far for you? WordCamps are held around the world and all year too: WordCamp Toronto, WordCamp Richmond, WordCamp Mid-Atlantic, WordCamp Columbus, WordCamp Ed CUNY, WordCamp Milan all happen this May.

So how do you apply? What do you need to do to get a WordCamp scholarship? According to WordPress, “There are a few scholarships available. Contact us if you think you are a good candidate.”

Here’s my letter of application:

Hi there!

I’d like to apply for one of the scholarships. Not sure how much you want to know but here’s the basics of my story and why I’d like to have a scholarship when it only costs $25 to attend.

I’ve been on unemployment this year. I’m an adjunct (pt) community college teacher in English but I gave up my assignment last year since I had a blogging job lined up. Unfortunately, it fell through after school started and the economy was starting its freefall. (Lesson learned: Never quit a job until you’ve re’d and signed and had the job offer accepted and processed!!)

Since I haven’t been working, I’ve used this past year while on unemployment to learn more about social media. I spend hours each week writing and developing my audience for my blogs, mostly Art Predator which has averaged 300 readers a day in 2009; I probably spend more time working on blogging and learning about social media than I would with a full-time job! I also have a wine blog and attended the Wine Bloggers Conference last October.

I’ve been exploring ways to monetize my blog but at this point, I don’t like the options that are available (not affiliates or adsense etc). I think there are ways to make a living from my writing and for doing all the good work that I do in my community like organizing First Friday ArtRides (critical mass style rides in costume for family where we ride from gallery to gallery together and raise consciousness about riding and actions about climate change). I just haven’t figured out how I want to do it yet. In the meantime, I work hard at not making any money!!

Spring 2008 I used WP blogs with a class of developmental college writers; within 30 minutes they all had blogs and were published writers! What a thrill. I’m scheduled to teach a lit class this summer, and for fall, a developmental writing class and a college comp class. I intend to integrate social media and blogs in these classes. Attending WordCamp gives me more credibility when it comes to teaching this.

So why should you give me a scholarship?

–I’m a dedicated WordPress blogger who encourages people to take up blogging and teaches college students how to blog using WordPress; my 5 year old son even has a WP blog (

–I’m unemployed currently, can drive there from SoCal and will sleep in my VW camper van and stay with a friend in SF so my expenses are low

–I learned a lot at WordCamp last year and blogged while I was there; you’ll see lots of posts on my blog including one of my leg with a WordPress tattoo! (Do you know people thought it was real??)

–I need another WP Moleskin journal and will do just about anything to get one!

–WordCamp will help me develop the tools and skills to make the leap to making a living as a blogger

–I do a lot for our community and our planet using WordPress blogs

–I really want to ride with Chris Carlsson and the SF critical mass that Friday night (oh, hmmn, you probably don’t care about that one!)

–I’d love to organize a WP wine bloggers tasting Fri or Sat night in SF! and there’s still time!!

–I’m a poet who publishes a lot of poetry on WordPress, and participates in several poetry on-line communities, and if you want, I’d be glad to gather some other WP poets to come read between speakers or ?? at WordCamp

–Finally, WordCamp has too many guys. Give a gal a ticket! Or give me a press pass!

That’s probably enough. Hmmn, maybe I’ll turn this into a blog post and tell people about WordCamp! I think I’ll scan my awesome t-shirt from last year (I found a woman’s one laying around–I registered late last year and they said there weren’t enough t-shirts so you can imagine how thrilled I was to find one!)

Sincerely, Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

So watch for updates here and a picture of last year’s t-shirt and links to last year’s posts! If you can’t wait that long, do a search for WordCamp on my blog and you’ll see why I’m so excited to attend.

By the way, the top photo is by Randy Stewart who took it last year at WordCamp while the other photos here came from WordPress. One of them is of the after party and I’m smack dab in the middle of the picture. I know, it’s small, but that’s me facing the bar with pig tails in my hair. HIt refresh and eventually this picture will turn up!

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 12, 2009 8:42 pm

    Matt, you have to give her one of your scholarships. Art Predator’s posts never fail to brighten up my days! That’s a pretty valuable gift.

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