It’s How I Give Back
WordPress. Open source and free. I use it everyday. I make money from it almost weekly. It’s a giant part of what I do.
Since it is open source, anyone that uses it should feel compelled to somehow give something back to the WordPress community. Many people think that you need to spend time squashing bugs in the core code, or developing sweet plugins and themes. Sure, those all work, but I’m not really good at either of those things.
What am I good at? Training, implementing and thinking so far out of the box you can barely see the box. That’s what I do to give back and part of the reason why I volunteer at my local Wordcamp in the Rockstar Bar. That’s just a fancy term to say that if you have a question about WordPress or a problem with your WordPress or you are looking to have a discussion about WordPress, this is the place with nerds that are available to help you out. And this year I did.
- I helped troubleshoot a widget problem.
- I helped set up a contact form that worked
- I showed someone how to properly configure their WordPress settings
- I helped someone hash out a way to provide piano lessons online.
Overall, it was a pretty great day of WordPress and I’m glad I was able to take the time to participate. As an added bonus, because I showed up, I received a free-for-life account at WP Engine, a premium, WordPress-only, web host. Expect a full review of that in the coming weeks.
If you have to use WordPress, are curious about WordPress or looking for a place to meet other WordPress users to swap stories and tips, I highly recommend hitting up a Wordcamp near you.
On WordCamp Phoenix
This past weekend I had the chance to attend my first WordCamp; Phoenix WordCamp. For those of you that are unfamiliar with WordCamp, it is.
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.
Friday started off with another first; my first #evfn (East Valley Friday Night). It’s a group of Internet folks that get together IRL to hang out at local pubs, have a few cold ones and catch up. This past Friday was held at the Whole Foods Market across the street from my house, so it was easy.
I met a bunch of these people at Podcamp last year, and it was neat to see familiar faces. Also nice was having a Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, on draught no less. Should you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.
For WordCamp, few of the sessions actually interested me and the ones that did happened in the afternoon, so I decided to work the genius bar in the morning. I was disappointed that not many people took advantage of the 10 of us that were doing this. I was able to help one guy who was trying to do 47 things at once, which was nice.
The sessions that I did sit in on were ok. One on CSS3, which I thought was a little weak, and one on Child theming, which is something I’ve been looking at lately for regular blog users. It was a great presentation and I walked away with more than a few tips.
That night was the afterparty. I was completely blown away at how that was pulled off. Sure it was a total nerdfest, but it was a very well catered nerdfest with an open bar, bbq and a rotating selection of DJs. I made a few new connections too, which is always nice.
WordCamp. If you are interested in WordPress, watch for the next one to happen near you. I highly recommend it!