If you have used WordPress, you may have heard people talk about the WordPress “community.” Or maybe you haven’t. But if you have gone to a WordCamp, attended a WordPress meetup, or gotten involved in some other way, you probably know what I’m talking about.
But wherever you are in the space, you’ll want to listen to this podcast.
I invited Andre Middleton, who works on the Global Community Team at WordPress and is deeply immersed in the WordPress community, to join us here in the BobWP Neighborhood. My goal with this podcast was not to simply skim the surface of community, but to dig deeper into it so those who wonder about the WordPress community could walk away with a clearer understanding and those of us who are immersed in it are reminded that we are not the “chosen few,” but rather part of a very large, inclusive circle.
So listen in. I guarantee you it will be well worth your time.
The conversation started with a question that isn’t easy to answer. How do we define the WordPress community? Because everyone has a different perspective. Andrea offered some great insights into the many facets of this community.
Then we looked at the concept of free, or technically, open-source. From my experience, many people who choose to use WordPress have the concept of free ingrained in their head. And that doesn’t help the community who struggles with the concept that anything in any way related to WordPress should also be free. I don’t think we can blame the actual software for this, but members of the WordPress community are certainly open and giving with their knowledge and expertise. We talked about those of us who are making a living with WordPress and where we draw the line when it comes to free.
The WordPress community is in many ways no different than any other online or open-source community. It has its dramas, its egos, etc.
I then asked Andrea what she personally feels is the biggest thing that makes the WordPress community unique.
Next, I played devil’s advocate, diving into topic of WordCamp sessions and meetups where often there is a focus on getting involved in the community. Sometimes I hear from first-time attendees that they have come to learn about the tools of WordPress. To them it’s just something that runs their business sites and they don’t consider it a lifestyle. Some of them feel that they are pushed into becoming involved. I asked Andrea how we make those people feel welcome while making it clear that contributing is optional.
Lastly, knowing it wouldn’t be easy for Andrea to pick just one, I asked her to share a personal story of a special moment she has experienced since assuming her leadership role at Automattic.
Where you can find Andrea:
Slack at chat.WordPress.org (join or sign into WordPress.org, Andrea spends most of her time there)
Also find here in the Community Events and Team room there.