Building a Community with WordPress

I got to join a bunch of awesome ladies for the Learn WordPress Webinar Summit this week. It was fantastic, if embarrassing. (I shared my very first WordPress website. :P)

I rattled off a bunch of resources over the course of my chat and promised to tweet about them later. For the sake of easy bookmarking, I’ve compiled them here!

 

Community

The tech industry is not known for it’s welcoming and inclusive nature but WordPress is an exception to the rule. Look no further than WordCamp, some of the most affordable conferences you’ll find in any industry.

WordCamp tickets usually cost $20-40, compared to the $500+ price tag you see at most tech conferences. They all have sessions geared towards a diverse group of WordPress users (including bloggers, marketers, and designers), and sessions on accessibility.

Most WordCamps also have a help desk staffed with knowledgeable volunteers where you can stop by and get help with your website.

You can see a schedule of all events at WordCamp Central.

Once you’ve bought a ticket, I recommend Alex King’s blog post about getting the most out of WordCamp. And if you’re new to WordPress and nervous to go alone, consider volunteering.

Other places…

Meetup.com: I recommend setting the radius as far as you’d be willing to travel for a great event. Even if you can’t find a WordPress group, most tech meetups will have a general hack/work night. These usually start with a round-robin of intros and there’s almost always at least one WordPress developer.

Twitter: Track down the hashtag for awesome-looking WordCamps you can’t attend in person and keep an eye on the feed during the conference. It’s a great way to learn stuff AND find cool WordPress folks to follow.

Slack Channels: The WordPress open source project has an active Slack community, and many local WordPress communities have their own as well, e.g. WordPress Orlando and WordPress Minneapolis.

 

Passive Learning

I’m a big fan of passive learning. I’m also lazy. I’d much prefer to subscribe to a few newsletters and rely on those weekly emails to keep me in the loop than to have to actively go looking for news.

Bonus: I’ve turned my inbox into a resource in and of itself. When a student asks me about something we don’t cover in our WordPress Blueprint, I can usually find a few good articles to share by searching my own inbox.

I encourage you to pick a few newsletters to follow yourself. Better yet, subscribe to them all for a few weeks and then unsubscribe from the ones that aren’t your style. Either way, you’ll learn a lot and find cool people, projects, and blogs.

My favorites are WP Post StatusWP Mail, and A List Apart.

 

Miscellaneous

Now, for a couple of resources that aren’t specific to WordPress but came up during Q&A…

 

Questions

Feel free to get in touch if you’re new to WordPress and have questions about any of the above. Same goes if you have resources I should check out. Comments are open below and my email is carotoe(at)gmail.com. 🙂