HeroPress is a new WordPress community initiative with a Kickstarter campaign, created by Topher DeRosia, a developer for XWP. Its mission is to “develop the WordPress heroes of the world by sharing the accumulated wisdom of the community.”
While looking for a way to give back to the WordPress community, DeRosia spoke with hundreds of people, many of whom live in different time zones around the world.
“I began to notice a common problem,” he said. “Many of them felt disconnected from the greater WordPress community – the Western WordPress community. For some it was a language issue, for others location, and still others simply not understanding culture.”
The initiative’s $60K AUD (~$48,000 USD) Kickstarter goal is intended to fund video production, branding, and marketing for DeRosia and his team to film six episodes, spotlighting WordPress developers.
“These presentations will share the wisdom these WordPress Heroes have acquired through their successes and failures with one goal in mind: to provide information, insight, and inspiration to WordPress developers all around the world that will help them become WordPress Heroes,” DeRosia writes in the campaign description.
Turning developers into “WordPress heroes” is a rather nebulous goal that may not easily catch on with the general community. However, the fact that international WordPress developers feel disconnected is a real issue that could use more attention.
Many WordPress professionals who would like to attend some of the larger community events are denied visas or unable to afford the expense. Cultural misunderstandings across borders are quite common in the community, which is growing fastest in the non-English speaking world.
This initiative recognizes a real problem, but the marketing and approach could use some additional refining. HeroPress has already received sharp criticism from one of WordPress’ lead developers for its male-only speaker lineup and use of the term “hero:”
@pippinsplugins unambiguous hero worship in an open source community (and of six males) doesn't seem like much of an achievement.
— Andrew Nacin (@nacin) January 22, 2015
DeRosia has a passion for mentoring people and hopes to encourage developers around the world by highlighting their work and expertise. It’s not yet clear whether video production to highlight “heroes” will resonate with the WordPress community, but the campaign has already received $8,565 AUD of its $60K goal. DeRosia has 24 days remaining to get HeroPress fully funded.