WordPress did not create the concept of content management. Such systems have been around since before the internet was a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye. But true innovation rarely effects the greatest change. WordPress took an existing concept, made it highly useable, and introduced it to the masses (free of charge).
By Jeffro on January 16, 2012
By Jeffro on January 6, 2012
Jane Wells believes that 2012 will be the year of the WordPress Meetup. During her quest to put together two different meetups, she’ll be publishing her experiences that will hopefully turn into a Field Guide to Organizing a WordPress Meetup.
Thinking back to the days in which I helped co-organize a WordPress meetup group for North Eastern Ohio, I can give you my two cents on putting the group together. Back in 2009, I made the discovery that WordPress ninja, Brian Layman lived in my local area. At the time, he was employed with B5 Media doing some heavy development stuff. I managed to get in touch with him via Skype and discussed the idea of creating a WordPress meetup. After determining that this would be a good idea, we had to think of a location on where to host the event. He lived closer to Akron/Canton while I lived closer to Cleveland which prompted us to find a location that was inbetween. Previous to our discussion, Brian Layman had been working from a place called Office Space Coworking located within downtown Akron. Thanks to Brian’s connections, we were able to use this space to house our first meetup.
We decided to use Meetup.com as the place to house all of the information regarding the event because it was already well established. It was a third party site which didn’t require maintenance on our part and based on a couple of searches, there were already a number of WordPress meetups happening all over the country through the site. However, there were no results for North Eastern Ohio when it came to meetups which is another reason we chose Meetup.com.
Once the group was created, Brian and I used our Twitter accounts and our websites to promote the event. This helped to get the groups first set of registered users. After the success of our first event, attendees helped us to spread the word. Due to space limitations, we couldn’t seat more than 30 people but none of the meetups approached that number. Sometimes, the meetup had 7 attendees while others had 16. Attendance was based on weather as well as other factors.
Speaking of attendance, this was by far the most complicated issue since I worked weird shifts at work and Brian was not available during the times when I was. We decided to shoot for the last Thursday of every month at 7PM. This way, the meeting was predictable and 7PM is still early enough to not be considered late. Since the meetups were generally around an hour or less, this worked out great.
That’s the short version of my experience with regards to running a WordPress meetup. If I had any advice for you, the first thing I’d do is check and see if a local meetup event already occurs in your area.
If not, gauge the interest level of such a meetup with folks in your area that you know are somewhat technology savvy. In my opinion, it’s better to get a meetup started with a nucleus of people who already understand WordPress than to start with a group of people who know nothing about it.
Certainly do your research when it comes to finding a location to house the meetup. I’d say this step is quite possibly the most difficult if you don’t know of any places off-hand. Make sure they can comfortably deal with 10-20 people without disturbing normal business.
Host your meetup with regularity so that I can memorize when it will be. Having it at different times on different days makes it more difficult to remember that the event is going to happen in the first place.
We debated on charging for the meetup to cover the cost of the meetup account but because it was through Office Space Coworking, we were able to control the account through them and therefor, didn’t have to pay. We kept the meetups free. If there were any drinks or snacks during the meetup, they were an out of pocket cost for Brian and I. In future meetups, I told Brian that if people want snacks or something to drink, they should just bring their own. That’s what we ended up doing.
Don’t limit your event to strictly the region your catering to. For example, while we encouraged those from North East Ohio to attend, we were grateful to have Kim Parsell from Newcomerstown, Ohio join us on a regular basis. We’re talking about a 70 mile, hour long drive. We also had the pleasure of having Jeff Lee from Norwalk, Ohio which is inbetween Cleveland and Toledo. Allowing those from far away to attend your meetup and giving them a good time will perhaps give them the inspiration to put together one of their own within their own neighborhood.
All in all, WordPress meetups in my opinion are like mini WordCamps but in some ways, much better. You get one on one time with people, can talk about anything you want regarding the software, forge new connections and bonds with other members of the community and at the end of the day, feel good about yourself after you helped a noob setup their first WordPress powered website. It’s these feelings and experiences which prompted me to go through helping to put together the North East Ohio WordPress meetup group. Unfortunately, things came up and I had to step away from attending these events but I’m hoping that in 2012, after a couple of things fall in line for me, I’ll be able to create and join these meetups.
By Jeffro on January 5, 2012
Contributing to the development of WordPress looks like it will be completely different than in the past. According to the dev chat notes published on January 4th on the developer blog, the team has come up with an experimental method to not only create more accountability for everyone involved, but to also try and keep things on track when it comes to schedules. Aside from the team approach, the post also highlights the overall theme for WordPress 3.4, Making it easier to make your site look how you want it to look. Those of you hoping to make a splash in contributing to the development of WordPress 3.4 should read that post and consider filling out the survey attached to it.
This process is an experiment. It’s either going to work out wonderfully or turn into a ball of flames. I hope it works out for the best.
By Jeffro on January 4, 2012
WordPress 3.3.1 was released last night and it addresses an important security issue discovered in WordPress 3.3. Along with the security fix, the release also fixes 15 issues that are outlined here. After I upgraded the Tavern website, I was a bit confused to see a number of things that were listed under the What’s New section. Most of the features outlined were introduced in WordPress 3.3, not 3.3.1.
When questioning this move on Twitter, Evansolomon responded with the following:
evansolomon @wptavern Full feature list is more useful for anyone using < 3.3. As 3.3 is still very new, good case that less accurate = more useful here
I guess that makes sense but it still throws me for a loop a little bit because it looks like those features were added with 3.3.1, not with 3.3. So the question I have for you is, do you think the What’s New section should be strict in only listing what’s new with that specific version or should other features from previous versions be shown as well?
By Jeffro on January 3, 2012
To celebrate the launch of a new WordPress course that will be offered by Grumo Media, Miguel has produced a song specifically for the course with his guitar. Not a bad tune.
By Jeffro on December 30, 2011
The independent web is growing quite a bit. Although we have these great cloud servers for WordPress, the software that people run and install themselves is still as popular as ever. Our services are bringing more people online, but they’re also bringing more people who want to own their own space on the web–they want to own a house instead of rent an apartment. When we were first starting out, I thought, “Downloading and uploading software, managing databases, no one wants to do that.” But it turns out, a lot of people do.
Posts like these from Matt Mullenweg are always fun to read. Via Open Web FTW on GigaOm.
By Jeffro on December 29, 2011
Yesterday, I received an email from a freelancer who wanted to know if I had any places I could point him to to get more WordPress gigs. The economy is still bad, people are still collecting unemployment, looking for work, but the one constant I’ve noticed is that there is always a need for a WordPress developer either through an established firm or helping out with a specific project. I reached out to those who follow me on Twitter and requested that if they were currently hiring WordPress developers to send me a reply back along with a link to the job offering. Here are the folks that replied back to me.
Page.ly – A dedicated WordPress specific hosting company
While not available on the site just yet, Marshall Oram responded that they are looking to fill a full-time position at their office located in Phoenixville, PA. If interested, contact him via his email address.
Metaltoad – Metal Toad Media is a digital strategy agency looking hard for Drupal and WordPress developers.
B5Media – Full-time position located in Toronto, Canada. These guys manage some popular websites!
Ravidreams – WordPress services company looking for dedicated individuals who eat, sleep, and breath WordPress.
10Up – Jake Goldman mentioned on Twitter that they have recently hired employee #7 and are looking for #8 which could be you!.
I can guarantee you that there are definitely more WordPress gigs out there to be had. I see requests for them all the time on Twitter. If you’re a company that needs WordPress freelancers or looking to fulfill a position, feel free to publish a link to your job offering within the comments. Links to jobs that require bidding will not be published.
By Jeffro on December 28, 2011
Looks like Drearmeda who is one of the guys behind Sucuri.net has placed some WordPress ink on his arm. He’s certainly not the first to get a WordPress logo as a tattoo and probably won’t be the last. While it’s cool to see this kind of enthusiasm for the software, some people might look at this as going over the top. I don’t think something like this symbolizes the community as turning into a cult around WordPress. It’s just a persons unique way of showing their enthusiasm for the software, which doesn’t bother me a bit. Does it bother or worry you to see a software logo tattooed on someone’s body?