Baltimore-area bloggers and companies that rely on WordPress software on the Web are in luck.
This Saturday, Baltimore will be the site of the city's first "WordCamp" - a conference dedicated to users of one of the Web's most popular blogging applications.
WordCamp Mid-Atlantic has attracted bloggers and companies from Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia, according to organizers, and will be geared toward helping them learn more about the Web-based program and network with each other. The software isn't used only by bloggers, but major media companies, including The New York Times and CNN, also use it to build sites because of its ease and flexibility.
Such conferences have sprouted up all over the world, as WordPress' popularity has skyrocketed. But the Baltimore region had never been the site of a WordCamp conference, according to its lead organizer, Aaron Brazell.
Brazell, who lives in Washington, writes a blog called TechnoSailor (www.tech nosailor.com) and operates a WordPress consulting firm, said he wanted to hold the conference in Baltimore to give a boost to the city's bloggers.
"I see Baltimore as one of those places where there's a lot of people with personal blogs, but not a lot of people talking to each other about their blogging," said Brazell, who's been to five WordCamp events across the country. "There are some things starting to happen in Baltimore that show good signs and good life."
Jayvie Canono, who works as a sales agent for a medical equipment company and who's been blogging since 2003 at OneFineJay.com, said he's been using WordPress for years but never had the chance to attend a WordCamp event.
The 29-year-old Severn resident said he'll be attending the Saturday conference, where he looks forward to meeting people he knows only from his online ventures.
He's also eager to listen to speakers such as Mark Jaquith, a WordPress software developer, and Anil Dash, a developer known for his work on a competing blogging program called TypePad.
"You don't get to rub elbows with people like that everyday," Canono said. "It's one of the things that motivates me to go."
The event has sold out. About 160 people are expected to attend at the University of Baltimore on Saturday, where it will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details about the conference - including a list of topics and speakers - can be found at wordcampmid atlantic.com. People can follow comments about the conference at twitter.com by searching for the phrase: #wordcampmidatl.