1.jpgA series of day-long workshops around blogging and usability trends are popping up over the next two weeks in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in the form ofWordCamps. Domestic first-time WordPress users and experienced developers alike will be privy to conversations about monetizing blogging and managing content (not to mention the allure of microcelebrity) before similar events occur in Milan and San Paulo late this spring.

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg says the camps, which were created using a BarCamp model and now number in the hundreds annually, are a great example of the platform’s main goal of democratizing publishing. Users from Manila to Dallas have organized their own WordCamps worldwide and pulled in local resources for co-education. Mullenweg (pictured above), who is curating the San Francisco WordCamp at the end of May, says that product innovations have come out of the get-togethers (at which he’s been asked to sign more than a few laptops and iPhones). Not bad for someone who thought he’d never leave the Lone Star State.