WordPress has always been open source. The software is open for anyone to use for free. You can fork the code for yourself, or use it as is. As a Content Management System (CMS) it’s amazing. And it’s widely used (over 35% of all websites are using WordPress).
But the “hidden gem” of WordPress is the community. And how open it is, too.
And now that in-person meetups are canceled and online meetups are taking over, it’s more open than ever.
Local meetups are awesome. Being able to get into a room together and work one-on-one or present to an in-person audience is always fun. But living in the time of COVID, quarantines/lockdowns/sheltering-in-place brings challenges that are being overcome in creative ways.
Many meetups are now moving online using tools like Zoom, Jitsi, and other online sharing platforms. This opens up the possibilities of attendance to those who can’t make in-person meetings or live anywhere else in the world. Local meetups can now include global attendees.
Many WordCamps were canceled once the Pandemic crisis hit. But some are also moving online. WordCamp San Antonio pivoted quickly from an in-person WordCamp to a completely online event, including speaker presentations, hallway tracks, and small-group discussion rooms. They set the bar for online camps…and opened up the possibility to other camps once they were able to see how successful they could be.
WordCamp US is now duel-planning their WordCamp so that they are prepared either way…even though they already planned online speaker presentations, adding the other elements of WordCamp in an online format is challenging.
WordPress in Social Media
WordPress Facebook Groups have always been popular, but the number of posts in the groups that we belong to have increased. And they’re not always about WordPress. People are sharing, checking in on one another, and caring about the community even more.
Twitter check-ins between people are also heart-warming. Checking in on each other, posting tips and ideas, and sharing struggles are common Twitter threads now.
WordPress Coffee Breaks
The WordPress Marketing Team (all volunteers) have organized weekly virtual Coffee Breaks over different platforms to bring people together and share socially, too.
Weekly breaks have been scheduled through April 2020 in many different time zones to reach as many people as possible.
WP&UP is an organization dedicated to helping those in the WordPress community with mental health. Times like these are difficult not only for those already experiencing mental health issues, but for anyone at all.
They have online meetings and an active Slack channel, too. Find out more on their website WPandUP.org.
How to Find Online WordPress Events
There are many ways to find WordPress events:
- Use meetup.com to find a meetup near you, then check for their next events.
- Follow the hashtag #OnlineWPMeetup on Twitter.
- Look for Facebook groups around WordPress.
- Join the WordPress Slack community.
However you’re managing, make sure that you’re connecting with other human beings. Human connection is important, and connecting with like-minded people with similar interests can help.
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