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How to Get Involved in the WordPress Community


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My presentation from WordCamp St. Louis 2014 on how to get involved in the WordPress community. Covers some tactical suggestions and the philosophical "why" of our need to have more diversity in the voices we hear.

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How to Get Involved in the WordPress Community

  1. 1. How to get Involved in the WordPress Community Chris Koerner @ckoerner 1 Hello, I’m Chris and I use WordPress. Start off tactical, get’s philosophical toward the end. talk about online ‘virtual’ resources then in-person opportunities
  2. 2. 2 is the home of wordpress and is a great starting point. Not just a place to download WordPress or grab a new plugin. Many opportunities on this one site to get involved.
  3. 3. 3 Learn about contributing to the code, UI, support, translation, everything that makes WordPress what it is today. (advance) Team Projects, IRC, wordcamps, meetup groups
  4. 4. 4 forums
  5. 5. Support Support 5 You can even make support better! So if you ever go “Ugh, I don’t like the support for WordPress” you can make it better. Maybe it’s better documentation, maybe it’s features of the forum. You don’t have to know a lick of WordPress to know how support could be improved. “If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.”
  6. 6. Themes & Plugins 6 Themes and Plugins on have support forums. Look for the green “View support forum” button on every theme or plugin. There is always someone starting out or asking for help figuring out how to do something and you may have the answer to that question. developers even often have their own support forums for their themes or extensions that offer even more opportunities to learn and share you own knowledge.
  7. 7. Ideas 7
  8. 8. Kvetch 8 Kvetch is great. Having some frustration with WP? Let off some steam here. A few of my favorites.
  9. 9. 9 Make videos and share them with people be a moderator help subtitle a video or two into the language of your choice
  10. 10. Codex 10 The codex is a giant repository of knowledge about WordPress. It’s an encyclopedia of everything. (advance)From how to get started with WordPress to every function, class, template - you name it. (advance) A secret - this is powered not by WordPress, but by MediaWiki
  11. 11. IRC 11 Chat rooms with people active from around the world at all times of day and night Automatticians, plugin developers, designers, people starting out.
  12. 12. WordPress Answers 12 build reputation interact with other developers and users get your questions answered and engage with a whole other group of people
  13. 13. GitHub 13 open-source your creations. GitHub allows you to keep a copy of your code online and make it easy for people to find, use, and improve. nearly 30,000 repositories related to WordPress You’ll get feedback and ideas to help improve whatever you built or contributed and you’ll likely learn something along the way.”
  14. 14. r/Wordpress 14 reddit is surprisingly not all reaction gifs cat memes (advance) I loved this quote from someone the other day. It’s a testament to the awesome community around WordPress Oh, bam your cat gif of the day.
  15. 15. Blogs 15 There is an abundance of great blogs that talk about WordPress. These blogs are a great opportunity to discover new opportunites to be engaged, even if it’s a simple comment or tweet to the blog author. Some even encourage ‘guest posts’ where you can write something - now run by Yoast of SEO WordPress fame - even Smashing Magazine has a section dedicated to wordpress
  16. 16. Meetup 16 physical world attend - we have two monthly meetings One is developer-focused, meets on the 1st monday of the month at Integrity in the Delmar Loop One is general-wordpress-focused, meets on the 3rd wednesday of the month at goBrandgo! near Cherokee St. free to join monthly topics suggest topics monthly present met Howard kaldi’s host or organize join a local one or start your own - can help Our group is about 3 and a half years old
  17. 17. Meetup 17 physical world attend - we have two monthly meetings One is developer-focused, meets on the 1st monday of the month at Integrity in the Delmar Loop One is general-wordpress-focused, meets on the 3rd wednesday of the month at goBrandgo! near Cherokee St. free to join monthly topics suggest topics monthly present met Howard kaldi’s host or organize join a local one or start your own - can help Our group is about 3 and a half years old
  18. 18. WordCamp 18 WordCamp St. Louis is the best, naturally, but did you know these happen all over the country (and the world) throughout the year? It’s an amazingly diverse group of people and I’ve never heard about a bad WordCamp. Great networking - the good kind where you make friends, not the sleezy kind where you get a bunch of random business cards and cold-calls the next day. They are entirely funded and operated by volunteers. Goobers like me can get together with some smart people and put one together. The most amazing thing is that we get people like you to show up! Man, that’s crazy!
  19. 19. Upcoming WordCamps Lancaster, PA Nashville, TN Dayton, OH Kansas City, MO Atlanta, GA Chicago, IL Mumbai, India Wellington, New Zeland 19 If you have a good time today (and I’m sure you will) then you should attend another one of the many WordCamps that are happening soon. (advance) That’s just March! (advance) Nashville in May Kansas City in June Chicago in June
  20. 20. Write 20 That’s a bunch of tactical, no problem Chris I can do it tomorrow stuff. Now the philosophical. We need more people writing about WordPress. Write/Blog - We’re talking about one of the most popular content management systems in the world, Use it! Write about wordpress, write about starting your small design business, write about ideas you have. Help other folks, talk about something you did or are doing. be critical, thinking of ways of improving Wordpress the software and community will improve yourself. This is how you do it. You reach out and say hello We have deluge of developers working on all aspects, but there is never enough people talking and collaborating with ideas. We don’t want an echo chamber of people writing, we want a diverse group of people contributing. This diversity will make the software better, the experience better, and ultimately what is a pretty awesome community to begin with, better. Writing is scary. “Man, I don’t know what to write” or “I’m not a very good writer”. These are bad excuses. We live in a world where anyone can contribute their voice to the community and yet we don’t hear enough from people. How many people have watched a video on YouTube from someone not traditionally famous. How many people enjoyed it? They are people like you and me. We can do it.
  21. 21. Write 21 Even my 8 year old daugther blogs! Here’s an article from her blog where she talks about a new idea for a website that sells recycled stuff. There’s a great article I want to share with you on A List Apart called “Writing is Thinking” in it the author SALLY KERRIGAN does a much better job articulating how to get started.!(advance)
  22. 22. Write 22 To quote “But you’re not a writer, so this isn’t your problem, right? Well, the thing is, writing is not some mystic art. It’s a practical skill— particularly since most of our online communication is text-based to begin with. When you write about your work, it makes all of us smarter for the effort, including you—because it forces you to go beyond the polite cocktail-party line you use to describe what you do and really think about the impact your work has. Done well, it means you’re contributing signal, instead of noise.”
  23. 23. Be Brave 23 Wether it’s writing or design, or talking at a Meetup or WordCamp, don’t be afraid. Be Brave. don’t be fearful of what people will think we all have to start somewhere and I’d like to think that WordPress has one of the most accepting, generous, and open communities I have ever seen. I have a friend who recently showed one of his first sites and a Meetup. One of his first sites. It was beautiful. People were impressed, he blushed. I joked that I wouldn’t want to show anyone my first site.
  24. 24. Be Brave 24 So here it is, from the beautiful year of 2005. (advance) Its awesome. You can over of my body (why am I holding a Macbook like a waiter?) all drawn in Corel draw probably Mystery meat navigation and ITS ALL IN FLASH (advance) And for those who consider themselves seasoned, open up your arms, invite those questions in - even if you’ve heard them a thousand times. We all have to start somewhere and the scariest thing is being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. Helping people great way to network - talk to people who are new - they might lead to future collaborations. They might know more about a particular industry than you. be bold, be empathetic.
  25. 25. Say Hello 25 be excellent to each other Greg Hoy puts is thusly: We are in the business of facilitating communications. We stare at screens all day so we can make positive experiences for others who stare at their screens all day. We strive to make people feel comfortable, welcome, and wanted in an artificial reality. Yet, in real life, we dart to our computers, put on our headphones, and hide from each other. We input our conversations through keyboards, often when the person with which we are conversing is right next to us. When we get up because our legs are numb, we’ll pass by each other as if we said hello at some point, but never really did. We’re on coffee-fueled autopilot, blissfully unaware of our surroundings until we’re put into a situation where we need to be. Our perspective is skewed. thank the devleoper of a plugin, answer questions, say hello
  26. 26. Collaboration happens when the whole is greater than the sum. -Kevin M. Hoffman 26 Kevin M. Hoffman
  27. 27. How to get Involved in the WordPress Community Chris Koerner @ckoerner 27 That’s a little about how to get involved in the WordPress Community. My name is Chris. Thank you for your time.
  28. 28. References WordCamp Ranger & Automattic Happiness Engineer by Naoko Takano WordCamp Tokyo - Toru making pre-announcement for tentative WordCamp Tokyo date by Naoko Takano WordCamp Vancouver by Phillip Jeffrey WordCamp Europe 2013 by Florian Ziegler WordCamp SF 2011 Jeff Veen on How the Web Works by Naoko Takano WordCamp Europe 2013 - Matt Mullenweg by Patrick Andriessen WordCamp Sevilla 2012 by Rafael Poveda Double Hemisphere Map by George Louis Le Rouge Grease still image by Paramount Pictures Bill and Ted by Interscope Communications HD Typing Stock Video from shawn via http:/ / 28