My Experience as an Organizer at WordCamp Asia 2024


Looking back, it was a lot of fun! I fell in love with Taiwan, not just because of the team but also because of the kind people I met in the city. I found hope in the WordPress community and had many wonderful encounters.

It’s the people that are interesting and the encounters that are wonderful.

Why I Became an Organizer

My followers, few as they may be, who have been reading my blog for a long time might know this, but I thought my time as an organizer ended with the Contributor Day team at WordCamp Japan in 2021.

I couldn’t find a reason to continue, both physically and motivationally. I thought I had retired. I felt I had repaid the benefits I received from WordPress. Moreover, I haven’t been working on WordPress projects much lately.

While I am still interested in committing to the work that goes into creating WordPress itself, I seemed to have lost interest in the WordCamp event. I realized this after helping with other events. It seems I’m not that interested in session-style events, whether they involve WordPress or not.

I never even considered attending WordCamp Asia, where English is the primary language. However, after more than three years of preparation, the long-awaited first WordCamp Asia was held in 2023. It seemed the organizing team for the second WordCamp Asia this year was struggling with the team composition. I guess there weren’t many members willing to continue. Being an organizer for WordCamp is a role that consumes a lot of energy and time.

I am sure there are many more suitable members than myself, but considerations such as being a local WordCamp committee member and having the time to dedicate to the organizer’s role led to me being approached by Junko(@nukaga) from the design team.

The design team, requiring expertise not only in WordPress but also in design and having relatively heavy tasks, seemed to have difficulty in selecting members.

Junko is not only a mentor in the WordPress community but also in my life. I agreed to help without much thought (I even thought it was okay if I couldn’t make it on the day) and found myself nodding yes. However, when I calmed down, I realized the impossibility of attending meetings in English. At the first meeting, I greeted everyone casually, thinking I had accepted an impossible task due to my admiration for Junko.

Not That Interested in WordPress Itself?

Mixing with the crazy folks who are trying to continue the impossible game of organizing WordCamp on such a large scale as Asia, I wondered what I could do. Observing for a while, it seemed that the phenomenon common in Japan was also present in Asia.

That is, the organizers might be not interested in WordPress itself very well. Many people valued aspects different from what I consider important in WordPress. This diversity is natural, yet it made me feel somewhat uncomfortable.

This could be one of the reasons I distanced myself from WordCamp. However, such biased views are probably unique to me.

Unlike the other members who volunteered as organizers, my motivation, which was solely based on being asked by Junko, easily waned. Having decided to do it, completing it was a given, but how to motivate myself was the question.

Fortunate Timing and Meeting with Members

Just at the right time, an overly fortunate series of events allowed me to attend WordCamp US on an invitation. This was also fortunate for me as an organizer. I was able to get close to the Asia team members I met for the first time face to face.

Seeing the wonderful members seriously working to make the second, challenging WordCamp Asia in Taiwan a success made me want to contribute to the team in areas of my interest.

One of those areas was the belief that since it’s a WordCamp site, it should be made with a block theme. And I wanted to take it further. This was outside the scope of the design team’s work, but I felt it was essential for the long-term continuity of WordCamp. It was also necessary for my motivation.

WordCamp is a Festival of WordPress, Right?

Initially, there was no dedicated site development team in our first team composition. This was both a little bit dissatisfaction and a concern for me.

Of course, you can build and operate a site without specialized development work if you compromise on design and UI/UX, both on WordPress and

It’s the beauty of WordPress that you can create easily!

…But is that really true?

This year’s team was aiming for something beyond that. That in itself is not a bad thing at all; it is a natural consequence of what is expected of WordCamp Asia.

But, hearing from organizers that you can easily make a WordPress site if you can write a bit of CSS was a bit hard for me.

From my perspective, working on the development of is much less desirable than building a huge site from scratch., like a giant multi-site filled with legacy, operates under strong restrictions where you canonly write CSS, with the sad option that all modern CSS specifications are cleaned up. You can’t even use CSS variables (though you can in Additional CSS). Moreover, is operated on a nightly version of WordPress. It’s a configuration that seems like madness, a nightmare to me, continuing to operate today.

The biggest problem is that these specifications (or rather established facts) are not officially documented anywhere (I apologize if there is and I missed it). From what I see in the Slack channel, it seems like screams of agony are raised every year as it is hosted around the world.

If dealing with such a troublesome site is considered easy because it’s just writing CSS, then it’s understandable for developers to be reluctant to touch it.

Even organizers seem to take the work of site development lightly, which feels frustrating to me, like a manifestation of a community drifting away from its essence. I feel a sense of crisis.

Ideally, building, developing, and operating the site should be a valuable opportunity for developers who usually work on WordPress itself or plugins and themes to stand on the side of using and operating WordPress. However, touching the reality of would only lead developers to be disappointed in the community.

In fact, my lack of interest in WordCamp is strongly related to the painful reality that is being operated as it is.

The community’s developers are aware of the problem but are too busy to address it. There should be thousands of contributors worldwide, but the workforce is always insufficient. Not just WordCamp, but also lacks hands, and inevitably, is put on the back burner.

Yet, Design Tasks Are Piling Up

So, with a specific goal to improve set, my motivation increased after attending WCUS. However, the design team’s work did not wait. Since I started working on the site, I didn’t want to do things by halves, but I was called upon because the design team was short-handed, so I couldn’t just abandon that… I’m experiencing firsthand why updates to itself have been put off.

Even though it’s a WordCamp for all of Asia, we wanted to show the colors of the host land, Taiwan. Then, I counted myself as a support member from the beginning since I didn’t see what WordCamp Asia aimed for. I assumed I’d be helping with technical aspects of Figma and GitHub, minor tasks, and so on. But in the end, WordCamp is about those who can do what they can when they can to get through.

The Design Team Mixed with English, Chinese, and Japanese

It was tough, but I don’t dislike the pre-festival night-like state.

And then, local members were reinforced, and towards the end, the design team meetings, conducted in English, Chinese, and Japanese, maintained a lively pre-festival atmosphere under the leadership of Ms. Junko, who I deeply respect for her courage. In front of conviction and will, language is just a tool. A realization that was an honor to witness by her side.

I’m also grateful for the fortunate members.

Corey, who squeezed us into his busy schedule to present a fantastic grand design and handled negotiations with the vendor. Spencer, whose participation from the beginning would have made my presence unnecessary, joked around while displaying tremendous versatility. The meetings were always supported by these two incredibly kind and charming people.

Hend, who juggled the Communication team, seemed to have created the most. Thanks for reading my long docs for web site design. I wish we had more time to talk!

Hui, Chelsea, and Mike, who joined from the local area in the latter half, responded to all the unreasonable demands flying at them. I think it was really full of unreasonable demands.

Writing this, I wonder what I was doing, but even here, I mostly just made noise and was allowed to do various tasks. In particular, working with the Sponsor team’s Green and finishing up was thrilling, even if it was last minute.

Design communication is very difficult even in Japanese, so switching to English doesn’t change the difficulty much, which was a good discovery.

Only by being careful and cautious, repeating the process, can something good be created.

Youthful Power on Contributor Day

The careful work was possible thanks to Candy and Ren, who joined in the latter half and took charge of the website.

Touching the excellence and personality of these two young people working at Automattic almost moved me to tears. Maybe I actually cried. Youth seems to give me strength. I apologize if I inadvertently sucked out your vitality, and I’m now worried if I acted like an old fogey.

And impulsively, I dragged them into the issue of adding theme.json to, which seems to be moving forward thanks to them.

Those interested, check here:

A meeting to “fix” seems likely to start, so if you’re interested, check out the Slack channel #meta-wordcamp.

Yuli Was Too Amazing

Yuli was responsible for gathering the wonderful local members, handling the difficult visa issues, and even taking care of members who couldn’t speak English in her spare time. It’s no exaggeration to say that this year’s Asia was able to rotate because of Yuli.Of course, other leads worked hard too, but they would surely agree with the praise for her greatness.

The earnestness of Yuli, a mother of two small children, who never cut corners, was the most touching for me. She was one of the wonderful members I met at WCUS.

Declaration of Being a “Multilingual Wannabe Wannabe”

Running and improving while doing what we can was the theme of the days leading up to the event, and it was thanks to everyone that we managed to reach the day. I spent the day in a daze, thinking about how thankful I was for everyone who got us there, probably more relaxed than most. But everyone else was running around till the last minutes.

Being a part of a large team, there were organizers I only spoke to on the day, some I finally managed to greet mid-way, and others I never really got to have a proper conversation with. This diversity in the languages spoken in the organizer room is perhaps unique to Asia, including the variety of English accents.

The fact that the design team was carrying tasks on the day meant we weren’t working efficiently, but having no fixed tasks (though I ended up battling with the printer till DAY2) was one reason, but I never wore a walkie-talkie from the start because I thought it was impossible for me to listen to the radio while understanding conversations happening on the spot. Sorry.

With limited time and a mistake in instructions potentially leading to serious consequences, I was afraid of causing confusion with my inadequate English. Writing this now, I recall moments where I might have inadvertently caused confusion or wasted time, making me facepalm.

As mentioned earlier, language is a tool, but I want to train myself to use it properly when needed. I hope to have more conversations with my new friends.

I will become more proficient in English and Chinese by the next time we meet!

It’s a fortunate time to be a Multilingual Wannabe because, in an era where AI can translate, it’s easier than ever to access raw resources in various languages. But since I’m not even a Wannabe yet, let’s start with declaring myself a “Multilingual Wannabe Wannabe”.

The Experience of WCA After WCUS

It was a very happy experience to reunite with everyone who was kind to me at WCUS. I understand why WordPressers travel through WordCamps throughout the year. Although there’s hardly enough time to talk deeply (and my English isn’t great), being able to reunite and hug in an unfamiliar land asking “How are you doing?” is a joyous experience. Maybe it’s because I’m a hugger.

Especially, I was really happy to meet again with a young American I had lunch with at WCUS, who also came to Asia. I regret not exchanging Facebook or something to stay in touch. Will we ever meet again?

I may not be very interested in WordCamp sessions, but I find it wonderful as a place where I can reunite with people I usually interact with online and meet new friends.

The only downside is the cost, but I sincerely wish to meet everyone again.

See you again!