Team photo

Team Global Meetup 2016: Tokyo Edition

This week, my team at Automattic had a meetup in… Tokyo! 🗼🎌 I was so waiting for this to happen, and finally… my five teammates and the CFO all made it here.

(Last time was in Copenhagen, Denmark – March 2015)

One thing that didn’t go as planned was that I got a cold during the week 😓 But luckily I was able to join back with the team after seeing my doctor.

On Wednesday, we took a stroll around Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. It was a beautiful sunny day. We could see Mt. Fuji from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory.

We also got to see some plum and early-blossoming cherry flowers in Shinjuku Gyoen Park.

カンザクラ

A photo posted by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on

The last day was a combination of a productive morning clearing out a good number of todos & unresolved issues, 1-on-1 meeting with Alex, then a tasty dinner.

Even though it doesn’t feel like I only meet them (at most) twice a year because we work together every day online, it’s always nice to meet in person and say “Kanpai!” 🍻

Jenia’s series of meetup diary is on her blog.

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2015: The Year Of Gratitude

This fall, I wrote that I would pick the word “joy” to describe the past twelve months before my daughter turned one-year-old.

When I look back 2015, I feel very grateful for things that happened to my family and me. Some of them are:

One of my favorite moments this year: working along with other polyglots at WordCamp US Contributor Day.

So, if your life crossed mine (online or offline) this year, I thank you for making my 2015 what it was!

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Japanese WordPress Community Events in 2015

This is a translated version of my Japanese blog post.

As I was adding some end-of-year events to the WordPress Japan Official Event Calendar a few weeks ago, I noticed there have been between 1 to 5 WordPress events every week these past two months across the country. I took a closer look at the calendar to see what else I could find about local WordPress communities in Japan.

WordCamp Kansai 2015

Get Involved flyers in Japanese

WordBench Groups

WordBench is a network of Japanese WordPress local groups. 17 existing groups organized more than one meetup this year: Niigata, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, Fukui, Ehime, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. Also, three new groups got started this year: Hakodate, Akita, and Yamanashi.

Among those, seven groups held more than ten meetups in 2015 (WordBench Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, and Kagoshima)!

WordBench Tokyo 2015 August

WordBench Tokyo August 2015

Events at Coworking Spaces

WordBench groups are not the only ones that are building local communities of WordPress users. There are also several regular meetups and self-study groups hosted at coworking spaces.

Not on Meetup.com, Still Active

When I say “meetups,” I’m not always referring to events that are on the website Meetup.com. These local WordPress gatherings are usually called 勉強会 (“study meetings“) in Japanese, but their format is very similar to what’s called meetups in English-speaking countries.

Most of the groups use the Japanese event management service called Doorkeeper (EN) to organize attendees, primarily because Meetup.com’s Japanese localization was only recently made available.

WordCamp and Other Events

WordCamp Kansai took place in Osaka in July and WordCamp Tokyo in Oct./Nov. In August, 250 people gathered in Nagoya for “WordFes“. WordBench Fukui group recently organized another unique annual meetup called, “WordCrab,” where people got together to learn WordPress and eat fresh crab (!) from the area at the after-party.

Historically, major WordCamps in the Kansai and Tokyo areas draw hundreds of attendees. I think it would also be nice to see more local WordCamps in Japan with different flavors, on a smaller scale.

WordCamp Kansai! #wordcamp #wck2015 #osaka

A photo posted by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on

Future Meetups and Events in Japan

It’s great that so many local groups are getting together to talk about WordPress every week somewhere in Japan. I’m looking forward to new ideas and shared knowledge that come out of community events in 2016.