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Cameron Barrett

SchoolPresser – WordPress for Schools

Solving Design/Tech problems at Newark Public Schools. Blog Pioneer. Veteran of open source and Presidential campaigns. Formerly at World Economic Forum, U.S. Army and Teach for America. Member of the WordPress Enterprise Growth Council.

WordPress Origin Story

The year was 2003 and I was working for a company in the Bay Area called CollabNet, which was founded by Brian Behlendorf, the guy who also founded the Apache Software Foundation. At CollabNet we were at the forefront of bring Open Source Software Development methodologies into the enterprise.

So, in July of 2002 I was at the O’Reilly Open Source Software Convention in Portland, OR. Anybody and everyone working on open source software was there. After the daily sessions, there were these breakout groups called “Birds of a Feather” which could be set up and run by anyone. All you had to do was write your BOF session title and description on a whiteboard outside an empty conference room and people interested in talking about that topic would gather.

Anyway, I was studying a relatively new concept of software called Content Management Systems. At the time, there were very few good ones and the market was dominated by large vendors like Documentum and Vignette Storyserver (spun out of CNet), and they were absolutely horrible and very, very very expensive.

A friend and I decided to run a BOF (Bords of a Feather) session called “CMS’s and Open Source” and were shocked when nearly 50 people showed up. Clearly, the market was growing like crazy and open source CMS’s were a very hot topic. At this BOF, we collected email addresses and turned that into a mailing list called the CMS List, which we ran for about 5 years. It grew to nearly 50,000 subscribers before we shut it down because it was too much work.

A year later (July 2003), we are once again at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland and this bright, fresh-faced kid comes up to me, very eager to meet me. In a Texas drawl he asks, “Oh wow, are you Cameron Barrett? I just wanted to meet you and shake your hand. I’m on your CMS mailing list. My name is Matt. Matt Mullenweg.”

It took me several years to get into WordPress, because back in 2003-2004, everything I was developing could be done better with Drupal, but I eventually abandoned all of that knowledge and adopted WordPress about 10-12 years ago as the only CMS I routinely work in.

Additional topics: Non-profits, government agencies

Cameron Barrett

My working hours are in the following time zone: America/New_York

My region is: New Jersey, USA

Topics I speak about include:

  • Accessibility
  • Blogging
  • Business
  • Community
  • Content
  • Customer Success
  • Design
  • Hosting
  • Product Management
  • Project Management
  • Tech Support
  • UX/UI

Language(s) I can present in:

  • English


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