I returned from Tokyo yesterday after attending (and speaking at) the very first WordCamp in Japan, WordCamp Tokyo 2008. The event was booked out within a day of being announced, and I had the chance to meet a great cross section of Japanese bloggers, developers, business people and the awesome folks behind WordPress localization for Japan.
WordCamp Tokyo 2008 - Calm before the storm
The event was smack in the middle of Tokyo’s Shibuya (this pic from my hotel room across the way):
Shibuya crossing, taken from my hotel window
In addition to some great presentations, on everything from Firefox + WordPress, to WordPress MU case studies, to the Sandbox theme, it was a really interesting opportunity to see the “state of the Word” Japan-side. I can’t thank the localization team enough for putting the event together, and I’m looking forward to the next meetup.
Naoko speaking at the after party
I particularly enjoyed speaking to the nice range of hardcore WordPress users in attendance – it was amazing to see the variety of applications people are finding for WordPress in Japan. These ranged from representatives of larger businesses (Adobe, Firefox, Paperboy & co. to name but three) through to web developers, students and freelancers. We had some food and drinks after the main event, and I was bowled over by the friendly atmosphere and hi-octane exchange of business cards.
Folks get stuck into the food and beer
This also gave me an excellent opportunity to gather feedback, ideas, criticisms and requests from Japanese WordPress users, which I’m now compiling and hope to share here, soon.
Japanese WordPress (& Firefox) books
Thanks to everyone that made it, and particularly to Naoko McCracken & the localization team for making it happen! And thanks so much to the very kind Honda-San and Morita-San who walked me right to the door of my hotel (my Tokyo navigation skills aren’t what they were since I moved to Sapporo).