About two months ago, I was invited by Basilis Kanonidis of creativeg.gr to speak in the second greek WordCamp, which would take place in Thessaloniki in early June.
At first, I reacted as I always react to new challenges: I won’t be good at it. I won’t know what to talk about. I will stutter and lose my train of thought. An ACME anvil will fall from the sky right on top of my head. You know, it’s a cruel thing, sabotaging yourself, but I’m trying to get over it.
Then I realised, there is something I want to talk about, something that disturbed me every time I checked the WordPress premium themes marketplace. So I forced myself to steer clear of procrastination and work on this idea, and soon realised I really, really liked working on it after all. Plus, I’d get to visit beautiful Thessaloniki again after 11 years and have fun with some dear friends! What more to ask for?
Skip to 4th June morning.
Mild pre-presentation stress. Rehearsing the slides in my mind while brushing my teeth. Arrived early with Thanos, so we had the chance to
break some glasses socialise a bit more. Marveled at the weird Thessaloniki weather – scorching heat, cloudy and then, pouring rain? Wow.
Then the event started, Basilis gave us an intro and Dimitris hopped on stage to talk about what he loves more, blogging. Since I was second in the speaking schedule, I tried to focus on what Dimitris was saying without worrying about that ACME anvil – I think I succeeded.
Then, it was my turn. And I talked about this:
(I hope it makes sense without my presenter notes. If not, leave a comment and we can discuss it over e-mail.)
Phew, done! I think it went well. Worry-free now, I sit comfortably to watch the next presentations.
Apostolos gave us some hints on good theme design practices from a blogger’s viewpoint. Thanos talked to us about typography (and his project WireframePlus – do YOU know what WireframePlus does?), Vasilis gave a very informative presentation on using WordPress as an advanced CMS, Gerasimos introduced us to the pros and cons of WordPress frameworks, Fotis decided that merging CodeIgniter and WordPress would be fun so he told us to go for it, Basilis showed us how easy it’d be to setup a mini social network using BuddyPress, while George Kanellopoulos from Microsoft gave two presentations, on WordPress & Microsoft Web Platform and on HTML 5 that I’m sure many found interesting.
It was excellent.
I love the vibe of this kind of events – many savvy people in a room, talking about what they like best and socializing, networking, having plain stupid fun. If I changed one thing, it’d be the fact that I didn’t talk with as many people as I wanted to, as I’m kinda shy – next time, if you see me around drop by and say hi!
These two days were such a welcome break from my routine – walking around the city discovering places (and ruining my feet – damn you, strappy sandals), having good food, being lazy in Navarinou Square, gazing at the lovely Roman Forum view from our hotel window, walking by the sea, all lovely and a great start to my summer.
Thanks to everyone involved and special thanks to Thanos, Yiannis, Gerasimos and Eleni for showing us around the city. You rock, peeps.
Here’s to a great third WordCamp next year!