Volunteer Burnout

There have been a couple of excellent post about burnout by people who are working with or writing about WordPress on a full-time basis. I was interested in the other end of the WordPress spectrum. People like myself, whose full-time job is NOT working with WordPress (all day, every day) but who contribute a few hours during the week and weekend. In other words – Volunteer Burnout.

The first post I am referring to was actually the weekly podcasts on WPTavern. Jeff Chandler talked about suffering from burnout and how he dealt with it. The second was a post by Drew Jaynes on his website WerdWords.com.

I have been volunteering with WordPress.TV for about 2 years and have really enjoyed myself. The team is comprised of some great people, some of whom I have met in person. Everybody is always positive and upbeat which makes for great working relationship.

It seems like the feeling of being burned out first hit me in February. This can be a slow time as there is a lull in scheduled WordCamps after the beginning of the New Year and all of the videos from the previous year have been submitted and processed. This year was a little bit different as the team was making a push to get existing WPTV videos uploaded to the new WordPress TV YouTube channel. It just so happened that I had a couple of weeks and weekends free to help with this process and apparently I spent WAY too much time working at this.

Now, it was during this time that I felt a reluctance to working on videos. I dreaded the thought of editing, downloading, uploading, converting slides, creating intro / outro panels, etc.

After I had spent a couple of weeks in slowdown mode, I posted the following question on the Facebook group All About WordPress:

Looking for some feedback or advice. This is for people who contribute to the WordPress Community but do not work full time with WordPress. As an example: I am the IT Manager for an engineering firm and my WordPress duties take about 4 hours a week. I volunteer with WordPress TV a few hours a week, typically 2 to 8 hours evening and weekends. Trying to find out how people deal with burnout. Thanks in advance!

I got some great responses…..

Ivicc Delic: Walking, running, relaxing, going to movies,… usually enjoying in these activities with my best friend and my life partner – my “better half” smile emoticon

Craig Allen: I take Sundays off to recharge, which also helps me focus and not procrastinate on Saturday to be more productive then.

Dawn Blumetti Golden: I like a little TV Comedy at the end of the day. Before I go up to bed/sleep I watch some recorded comedy off the DVR. 2 half hour shows or one hour long show takes about 40 min if you zip past the commercials.

Rhiannon England: Balance! Unless it’s an emergency, weekends off. And vacations/holidays are actually GOOD for you!

Sionann Garcia: Set business hours and stick to them. No weekends. Get out and see/do something in nature. Floating in a pool helps me a lot.

Nile Flores: Like Shan, I’ve set business hours. Anything I decide to do outside of them… it’s on me. Other than that, I listen to loud music (rock n’ roll or heavy metal), and sometimes read online or an actual book (omg… those actually exist.) Sometimes I’ll watch a movie or go out instead.

If I know Nile, she has the volume jacked up to 11!!

I certainly appreciate everybody’s input and I have changed my habits. I did not stop working on videos completely, just a slowdown for a few weeks. Although I do feel bad that I did not contact my team members first to let them know what was going on. Oh well, live and learn. So, I am back to normal (or at least my version of normal) and plugging away at my duties with WordPress TV. Life is good. I have a couple of WordCamps I am planning to attend in the next few months. It will be good to get away.




Home is where the heart is.

Home sweet home.

Sweet home Alabama good grief, a chick flick….


I think I have found my niche or Home in WordPress.

About 2 years ago I contacted WordPress TV. I had been looking for a way to give back to the WordPress Community for a while. I had volunteered at various WordCamps. Helping out with registration, directions, setting up video cameras, etc. BUT it did not seem to be enough. I wanted (needed) to do more. Looking over the Get Involved page on the WordPress website, I read about several of groups that you can get involved with. Any coding skills that I had were lost in the mid 1980’s when I stopped working in a programming environment and started a business in the surveying field.

wptv page

I began helping out by moderating videos that had been submitted to the WordPress TV website. Team meetings were held weekly on an IRC channel (this was before Slack). Since then I have progressed to editing WordCamp videos, cutting in slides and actually creating videos such as How To’s.

There have been a lot of changes in the short time that I have been involved with the team. Improvements in camera kit instructions, better communication with various parts of the Community, contacting organizers about camera kits prior to WordCamps.


Most recently WordCamp videos are being uploaded to the Official WordPress TV YouTube Video Channel. This process is currently being done manually. Download a video from WPTV, upload to YouTube, add the title, meta data, tags, etc. A process to automate this process is being worked on.

Videos from WordCamps US, Berlin, Toronto, Krakow, Japan and Las Vegas are currently available.

Team communication is much improved with the use of Slack. Also the team’s Community page is being used more and more.

The WordPress TV Team is made up of a great bunch of people that are located around the world. The team leader is employed by Automattic.

Over the 2 years that I have been involved with WordPress TV, I am still eager to work on videos, create videos, speak at WordCamps.I have never felt like I was taking too much responsibility or getting burned out. Right now is a slow time for the team. Videos from 2015 have mostly been uploaded and WordCamps are just getting started for 2016.

One thing that I am thrilled about is the number of videos published on WPTV. For 2015, 1349 videos from WordCamps have been published. This is compared to 977 videos for 2014. I feel that this increase is a direct result in the improved documentation and communication efforts of the team.

So with WordCamps getting started for 2016, I have committed to one WordCamp to help out with the cameras. I was able to attend 6 WordCamps in 2015. I highly doubt if I will be able to attend that many this year but I am shooting for 4 WordCamps.


WordCamp US community Summit

I was very fortunate to receive an invitation to The Community Summit at WordCamp US. The event was attended by about 180 people and was held the Wednesday & Thursday before WordCamp US.

To say I was like a fish out of water is an understatement! I am a WordPress “user” and whatever coding skills I had disappeared in the late 80’s when I changed jobs. I like to say that “I kNOw code”. I arrived on Wednesday afternoon just in time to take part in the WordPress TV team discussion. Kyle Maurer of Real Big Marketing was our lead for the day and gave a great report when it was time for all of the make.wordpress.org to make reports about the status of their groups.

I was somewhat reluctant to attend the Community Summit as I had traveled to five WordCamps during 2015 BUT since I had received an invitation to go, I figured that I should take advantage of the offer and I am very  glad that I did.

I got to meet several people involved in the world of WordPress that I have heard about, chatted with on Slack or saw their videos on WordPress TV.

Thursday was the team work day. I was able to crank out some videos and did a lot of networking.

Because of previous commitments, I had to leave Friday but I was able to at least go to the first few sessions and spend some time in the sponsor area.

All in all, it was a great experience. If anybody is even considering going to the next WordCamp US, I would urge you to go.

WordCamp US Community Summit - Photo by Kathryn Presner
WordCamp US Community Summit