Chris Lema recently published a great article that in my opinion, really shines a light on the positive aspects of the WordPress community as a whole. Chris calls it “Approachable WordPress”. In his story he describes how easy it is to approach anyone in the WordPress community, regardless of their popularity.
Chris’ story reminds me of my trip to Dallas in 2008 where I attended my first WordCamp. This event was a huge milestone. It’s where I met Mark Ghosh of Weblogtoolscollection.com, which at the time, was the most popular website dedicated to WordPress. It’s also the first opportunity I had to meet other people within the WordPress community face to face. Attending WordCamp Dallas was like going to a family reunion. All of the attendees were friendly and enjoyed being in each others company.
The highlight of that event was that it was the first time I had the chance to meet Matt Mullenweg, the co-creator of WordPress. It was such a surreal experience as I had placed Matt up on the pedestal of Hollywood celebrity. I didn’t think I’d be able to get anywhere close to the guy. After all, he helped create the software that was taking over the web. I remember when he showed up on Saturday afternoon as his family drove him to the event from Houston, TX. If I remember correctly, he had his wisdom teeth pulled and that’s why he wasn’t feeling well. After arriving, I introduced myself to him. Turns out, he knew exactly who I was because of my writing on Weblogtoolscollection.com. During the event, I conducted a one on one interview with him, dined with him, conversed with him as much as I could, without having to go through any bodyguards.
It’s this experience with Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp Dallas that really opened my eyes. Since then, I’ve attended a number of WordCamp events and have been able to recreate that experience with multiple people within the WordPress community. I wanted to share that story as well as Chris Lema’s because the message behind both is true. In fact, Chris says it better than I could.
Want to talk to the guy behind WordPress 101 – hit me up, I’ll introduce you.
Want to talk to the guy behind the Matt Report – hit me up, I’ll introduce you.
Want to talk to the dudes that are the baddest podcasters in town – hit me up, I’ll introduce you.
Who do you want to meet?
Here’s the amazing thing – you don’t even need my intro. Ping them directly on Twitter and watch – they’ll reply.
That’s Approachable WordPress
I enthusiastically agree with both perspectives. The WordPress community is second to none when it comes to personal relations. I have friends on nearly every continent because of my involvement in the community. It’s a bond unlike any other. Often I will look in the #wordpress hashtag stream just to see if anyone needs help. I’m not alone either. For every person that asks a question about WordPress, there are generally 3-4 people there to help, every time.