I’m a bit behind with this post because there’s so much that’s been going on in the past three days as I’ve been in the city, and I’ve been getting back exhausted each night.

One of the problems of coming to where something is always happening means that there have to be tradeoffs and decisions on what to try attending and what to miss. Last night for instance I missed meeting both Lawrence Lessig and Tim Ferriss since we caught a performance from Chris Gethard, though I’m ok with the trade as it was a great show.
A few random highlights:

  • All the Nintendo. All of the stuff.
  • Waitress on Broadway, which was pretty good for knowing nothing about it beforehand.
  • Chris Gethard: Career Suicide off Broadway, which was a brilliant display of the humor that can come from the depths of depression.
  • The many great talks at Future.Today including the panel with Manoush Zomorodi and Jon Ronson, the  IBM Watson CTO Rob High, Amy Webb’s keynotes, and the panel on the Internet and the First Amendment.
  • The weather clearing up in time to take a walk around Central Park.

I’m heading home tomorrow evening.while I’ve enjoyed the trip it’s true what they say: there’s no place like home.

Contributor Day was pretty comfortable at the end of WordCamp US. I worked with the community team a bit, reminding myself of the many things that I want to work on. 

When I get back home this is part of my list of projects that get more of my attention. It becomes hard to make time when being overly busy becomes an everyday occurrence. I have to make myself make time, and that’s what I’m going to do.

This afternoon starts our trip to NYC, with a train ride into the city and a subway ride to BedStuy. Tomorrow is going to be pretty free form before future.today on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The second day of WordCamp US was just as strong as day one. Fairly often this isn’t the case, as attendance at the average camp falls off sharply. This speaks to the strength of the schedule, and the dedication of the attendees.

The day started with pumpkin pancakes and bacon, ended with Italian small plates and gelato from an international award winning gelatier (which I think is a word).

Some of the great talks that I got to today included a discussion on the dark side of democratization with Dennis Hong and the ethics of software development with Nacin. The State of the Word was revealing as usual, with a celebration of the past year, a few special announcements (no more set release dates, focus on independent development of three key core components, a surprisingly candid reason for the separation of WordCamps from the WordPress foundation).

Tomorrow is contributor day, which will be interesting to attempt without a laptop. At the very least I can take notes for a few projects. 

Two things that I’m not very comfortable with are doing heavy work from my phone and being in large parties. I’m trying to learn to deal with the first at least, starting with doing all of my travel posts without my laptop.

The first day of WordCamp US was a standard blur of bumping into hundreds of friendly faces and having dozens of conversations. The number of people is at times overwhelming, but there are plenty of ways to take a quick breather. Overall it’s nice to have moments of connection, big or small, with people that I get to see once or twice per year, or have known only online and can finally put a name with a face.

A few highlights from the day:

  • Walking in Center City and seeing dozens of other WordPress folks before even arriving at the venue
  • Seeing former Orlando folks like David Parsons and Zac Gordon and catching up with their lives
  • Trying out Holo Lens, and getting embarrassing pictures of Lisa trying it out
  • Hearing Cory Miller talk about the emotional iceberg of an entrepreneur and how to handle mental health around life and work
  • Going to Reading Terminal and walking the booths, plus getting a brisket sandwich on challah
  • Swag, so much swag
  • Taking a walk in the brisk cold to La Colombe and trying some coffee that half a dozen separate people suggested independently
  • Learning even more to keep my mind spinning from sponsors, speakers, and acquaintances throghout the hallway track

I intend on taking tomorrow a bit easier and focusing on fewer, deeper conversations. It’s an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by talent on all sides and to be able to get business questions answered by people who have gone through the same things I am or am considering. 

While I still plan on taking a break when I return, I’ve got things that can benefit from seeing what other people are doing and adjusting my work accordingly.

I’m trying something that is a little crazy for me. Ten days, two cities, zero laptop. I’m also trying to get back into blogging and I figure I’ll go the easy route: photo blogging!

This trip started out with a 6 am flight from Orlando to Philadelphia. We were surprisingly awake upon arrival, and headed a few blocks from our Airbnb to get breakfast/dessert crêpes, which were incredible. They also allowed us to be lazy the whole day and stay in from the rain, napping and reading to relax before a long weekend.

Today was Post Status Publish, a side event capitalizing on the attendance of Post Status members in town for WordCamp US. It’s always great to catch up with folks that I don’t get to see too often, and to hear them share what they’re working on and their journeys over the past year.

I took copious notes during the event, which I am ready to start implementing now, but will wait until I’m done with my soft reset from work and back home. Attending conferences and having conversations at them always puts my mind into overdrive. I always overestimate my ability to quickly get things done, ignore all of the talk of “focus on one thing at a time”, and plan for a dozen projects to set aside when I get back into the real world.

Some of the highlights of the talks for me today:

  • Paul Sieminski talking about GPL and takedown notices at WordPress.com
  • Christina Warren on Gizmodo, the tech blogging industry, and WordPress’ place in it.
  • Bryce Adams showing off Metorik and talking about the dev process
  • Tina Kesova sharing how to authentically break into a community with your product
  • Tom Willmot and Scott Basgaard answering VIP agency questions

From there I walked past city hall to the Volunteer Orientation. The party following was at an art museum, which was a great setting to check out sculptures, modern art, and WWII era works while spending more time with some pretty awesome folks.

The first full day of camp is tomorrow, and I’m ready to rock it!