WordCamp Israel happened yesterday. It was all videotaped and is supposed to be put online at some point, but it’s all in Hebrew (except for Lorelle’s lecture), so here is a quick overview of what was said and done:

  • Lorelle was great. Her lecture was similar to the one she gave in San Francisco, which I had seen on-line, but she personalized it for an Israeli audience with some great jokes about Israel and Israelis. For example, she said that she lived here for five years, and tells people that she can speak Hebrew fluently, even though she knows only two words. So they say, “That’s not fluent,” and she explains that these two words cover all situations in Israel: “Beseder,” which means “ok,” and “balagan,” which means “chaos/messy/crazy.” Very true. Also, she said that since WordCamp China was a bit of a non-starter, from the perspective of the WordPress people this was the first international WordCamp event! Pretty cool.
  • The waiting list for the event had over 400 people, yet the room was not filled to capacity. Why? Because entrance was free, so a lot of people who said they were coming just didn’t show up. They didn’t feel obligated since it didn’t hurt their wallet. This meant that a lot of people who really wanted to come didn’t. I suggested to the organizers that they charge entrance next year, not to make money necessarily (although that doesn’t hurt), but to make sure that people who say they are coming, do.
  • I moderated the panel on Business and Blogging. There were good and less good things about it. We each gave a short talk on a different subject related to business blogging, but some people really rambled on. That meant that the Q&A part of it was shortened, which was a shame. I should have kept them on a shorter leash. You live and learn. I think my presentation went ok. I got good feedback from people, but most importantly – I got the audience to laugh, and more than once. That is the greatest feeling, so I may consider ditching all this business stuff and going in to stand-up comedy. Did you hear the one about the Jew, the Moslem and the Pope?
  • The venue was really quite decent (thanks Michlelet Afeka for donating it!). The room was comfortable, the projector and sound worked well. The only problem was that the bandwidth wasn’t big enough for all of us, and I had really wanted to live blog just so I could say I did it. But I couldn’t even get my blog’s login page to open. My wireless connection said my speed was 1.0 Mbps.
  • The name tags were really nice! I know that’s weird to say, but this whole thing was put together thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, and these tags were nicer than ones I’ve seen at really expensive conferences.
  • Great people! The crowd was nice, enthusiastic and interesting.
  • You can see all the flickr photos here: http://flickr.com/photos/tags/wordcamp2007israel/. I’m the woman with the black hat, in case you want to know.

I got there a bit late (got lost on the way) and had to leave early (was up all night preparing my presentation so I couldn’t keep my eyes open) and passed up on the post-event dinner party, which I was a bit sad about. But it was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to the next event!