Today was WordCamp Minnesota. This is the local branch of an annual WordPress web development and design conference. I’ve been to two previous sessions of it in person and it’s been fun. This year, of course, is different and rather than cancelling they opted to do an online version.
Admission to this one was free and it only ran 1 day vs the usual 2 day conference. The staff are all volunteers so the costs are less being the online streaming and production and they get corporate sponsors for it. With enough money left over for souvenir mugs and stickers.
I volunteered to help out and my job was to moderate the YouTube comments on one of the live video streams for the morning. So I saw the first 3 morning presentations and copy/pasted any questions from the audience to the presenter so they could answer.
It was fun. The first talk was really interesting and then the next two less so but I was happy to help out. Hopefully next year it won’t have to be online.
Their online production was quite good, though. I think they contracted with a local video production company to run the online production with the presenter, MC, and I in a zoom conference “behind the scenes” and the presenter and MC video mixed into a live stream sent out via YouTube.
I was intrigued to see they were using video / internet production equipment from a company called NewTek. Some of my former business partners had left NewTek back in the early 90s because it was going in the wrong direction and was going to fail. I met my former business partners after that point and we were in a couple of businesses together that failed badly. Yet NewTek is still in business making products. I feel there is a lesson there somewhere 🙂