All posts by judiknight

Recap of an Amazing Event

wordcamp atl 2014

After so much planning and anticipation, WordCamp Atlanta 2014 is now over. And what a WordCamp it was.

Some highlights this year were: selling out in just 48 hours, tremendous support from 18 sponsors, a beginner’s workshop by Georgia State  University, our first  KidsCamp,  forty-four presentations over two days in four tracks, over 20% of the speakers were women, a kickass organizing committee,  free parking, the special french fries at Noni’s after Camp, the happiness flowing from the happiness room. What else can I say?  It was an all around great time and fun to watch people get more than they ever thought possible.

The Loudermilk Center and the staff that run it are exceptional and we are so fortunate to have found them. It is a beautiful venue with feng shui that facilitates the creation of collaboration and community plus their food is incredible.  Their team really rolls out the red carpet for us.  One thing is, no matter how we try and explain to conference centers the bandwidth needed for this group of 500 wired attendees most venues just can’t wrap their heads around it. What I know for sure is that I will never believe the wifi is enough for any WordCamp anywhere and I will always have a plan B!

Thanks to each and everyone of you for making WordCamp Atlanta rock this year.  We’d love to hear from you about your experience. So leave your comments below.

We have a Flickr group with over 400 photos so far. It is an open group and you can add your images to it. Here are a just a few:

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Get Ready for Camp

Are you looking forward to WordCamp? I know we are. We have a quite a list of things to tell you about your Camp experience.


Registration starts at 8:00 AM in the lobby of the Loudermilk Center ( directions). Please don’t get there before 8:00.  We have to have time to set-up and have plenty of help.


On Friday, right after you register, be sure you get your parking ticket validated to get a free parking coupon. Otherwise parking will be a hefty $12.00. We’re picking up the tab on Friday, and the lot doesn’t charge for parking on Saturday. So not to worry about parking expenses.

Morning Snack

When you get there Friday morning you will have an hour to register, get muffins, yogurt and coffee and get ready for the Opening Remarks and Keynote at 9:00 AM.


Don’t linger too long over muffins and coffee. The Ballroom holds just over 400 people so you may want to get your seat early. We will be streaming into the the Happiness Room so you can get a seat there too. This will be the only time so many of us will be in the Ballroom at one time.

Lunch and Afternoon Snacks

We will have lunch for you at noon, and snacks in the afternoon. You are welcomed to eat in the Ballroom, the Happiness room, at the tables behind the lobby and even outside on the steps if the weather is nice.


You won’t need to bring a computer, but we will have free WiFi and the Loudermilk Center upgraded their Internet capability since last year.

Social Media

We hope you will Tweet all during the conference and please use  #WCATL so that we can track tall of the conference related Tweets. You can check the latest news on our Twitter feed.  Also be sure to take lots of photos on Instagram and if you use  #WCATL on your Instagram photos they will automatically be posted on our Facebook Page. Pretty cool huh? Tweet and take pics of our sponsors and speakers to show them some WordCamp love.


The schedule will be located in the ballroom. You will also be able to access it from your mobile devices.

On Friday, the schedule in three of the rooms is mostly non-technical, with the topics in the area of learn and earn. The Paul Duke Room is more for the WordPress developers. Then on Saturday, the presentations are more about Build and Make and are organized by tracks. The very beginner sessions will be mostly in the Ballroom. Be sure you see the schedule. Two people wrote to us that they couldn’t find it in the Nav bar.


If you are a Volunteer to Emcee or to assist in the Happiness Bar, please check in at the registration table and get a Volunteer sticker for your badge. And check the time and location of where you are helping. Please be on time to keep things running smoothly.  We appreciate your help!


We have stickers for your badges to help identify you as a Sponsor. Be sure to pick one up at registration.

Camp After Hours

Mark it down in your calendar that after camp each day from 5-7, we will be meeting at Noni’s Deli at 357 Edgewood Ave. Noni’s will have some of their delicious appetizers out for us, all brought to you by our amazing sponsors.

Thanks to GSU for a Stellar Beginner’s Workshop

GGSU Computer Training roomCody Benson,directory of Digital Strategy at Georgia State University and Stacey Martin, one of Cody’s esteemed team members, did a very thorough  job this weekend, getting the beginners up to speed and ready for WordCamp Atlanta. Team members, Dan Stevens and Monaco Jones were also on hand to lend support.

The training was held at GSU in a gorgeous room with two huge projector screens on either side of the room which were clearly visible despite the room having a wall of windows on each side.

photo(12)Mickey Mellen, coordinated the Workshop along with GSU representative Colleen Geary. Kathy Drewien, Will Reece and Judi Knight were on hand to welcome the beginners and help field questions.

Cody was our WordCamp Keynote speaker last year when he talked about how Georgia State was in the process of moving all of their web presence to WordPress which was a massive migration challenge which has now won awards and has them featured on the Showcase. We are lucky to have Ga State  University play a role with us in making Atlanta

If you missed the workshop or want to have some extra reinforcement on what you learned but using, rather than, you can get free access to a seven video beginner series, Getting Started with WordPress.

KidsCamp Atlanta

WordPress Kids CampThis year, if you have a ticket to WordCamp yourself,  you can bring your kid to Camp for free to attend  a Kid’s Camp workshop on Saturday,  March 15th.
Space is limited so get your kid a  free ticket today.
We’ll be offering a half day of programming  from 9-12 specifically for kids Jr Hi and up ( or younger upon request with demonstrated interest and experience) who are interested in learning more about WordPress. After the workshop, they can stay for lunch, and if they are up for it they are welcomed to go to the other sessions in the afternoon if you are supervising them.
Syed Balkhi, Sara Cannon, Micah Wood and Russell Fair will present several shortened sessions in a simple and easy to understand format geared specifically for kids who are interested in the basics of a WordPress site as well as an introduction to how a site is created from HTML, PHP and CSS.
The sessions will cover:

  1. Introduction to blogging, what it is and why you should care
  2. Coding Katas, learning to code takes practice
  3. Designing for WordPress, how we use themes to create amazing websites
  4. Next Steps with WordPress

The first session starts at 9 am Saturday and will conclude at lunchtime. Some of the sessions will be hands on;  bringing a laptop  with WordPress installed is encouraged.
Send your questions to Russell Fair through the contact form.