WordCamp San Francisco 2012 Sponsorship: Kettle meet Pot

Ok, this has me a bit perturbed.

Today I get an email about the WCSF 2012 sponsorship packages and low and behold I am shocked, again, at the packages. Last year this happened, and not many folks said anything, this year I’m not sure I can go without saying something.

Having been part of the organizing team for two very successful camps, WordCamp San Diego 2011 and 2012, I can’t help recall long conversations with the WordPress foundation, whom “govern” the WordCamps world-wide, around sponsorship packages.

One very specific conversation was around the level of sponsorships and the response I got:

We assume that there are a set number of companies willing to sponsor and want to distribute that money across as many camps as possible whilst not using it all on one camp.

Foundation (not word for word)

Ok, I guess I can get it, don’t have to agree but I get their stance. I will not even get into the discussion around how much a camp should start, I’d like to see what the budget for WCSF is and how that is acceptable compared to events in places like New York, Boston, and San Diego.

My bigger issue is with the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality. I fail to see how this camp is any different than any other. I have heard the rumors yes, the plan is to change the name and make it the one true WordPress conference. Great, then change the name and differentiate it, don’t hold it under the same name, hold everyone to one standard, and yourself to another.

It is this kind of stuff that builds wedges in the community and gives off that perception of division and fractions. I personally don’t like it one bit.

These are the packages released this morning:

The Conclusion

Ok ok ok, I was told that this needed a conclusion, that the experience was like:

Climbing up the hill to never reach climax


So let’s see if I can’t do a better job of pulling it all together in two points:

First, this “do as a I say and not as I do” mentality has to change. Its not healthy for the community and its not healthy for the Foundation.

Second, the sponsorship packages proposed for “WordCamp San Francisco” is just ridiculous. It goes contrary to any guidance the foundation has given around budgeting and sponsorships for WordCamps.

This should not be taken as a personal attack, but rather a professional critique.