What Do You Get Out of It?

“What do you get out of it?”

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It was Sunday afternoon at WordCamp Columbus. During one of the sessions someone ask how many people had to pay their own way to WordCamps. I was one of a few that raised my hand. Afterward I was standing outside when I was  asked this question by a well respected member of the WordPress community.

My quick answer was this: to meet people and learn more about WordPress. Now, I am not the sharpest tack in the box. I probably could have given a much better answer if I had taken a moment to think about it.

As we all know, WordCamps are low cost conferences that can be 1, 2 or even 3 day events. To me, the cost of a hotel room and a tank of gas make these a very attractive learning opportunity. I am lucky that there are 3 WordCamps in Ohio and I can actually make this a one day trip.

I read this post written by Marina Pape on the WooThemes website after WordCamp Norway and these 2 sentences caught my attention:

“It’s not only for the content. Slide decks are up before talks are over and WordPress TV shares everything if you wait long enough. Business leads and sponsorship opportunities? Maybe for some. But my suspicion is most people do it for the unlikely friendships that form.

Everyone’s heard it, but the best thing you can do at WordCamps is talk to people, because you will definitely learn some things and might just meet a kindred spirit to add to your collection.”

In one way of thinking WordCamps “could” be viewed as a live Knowledge Base. Several sessions are offered, most have a Happiness Bar and you always approach someone with a question.

The Community is mentioned often and is a vital part of WordPress. I really haven’t found anything else that compares. Where else can a WordPress user like myself sit at the same table as some of the top experts in the world and feel comfortable & welcome.

So, when I answered that question with “To meet people and learn more about WordPress” , it may not have been the best answer but  it was good enough.

 

WordPress versus Drupal

I just ran across something that hit me right between the eyes and I wanted to get this published while these thoughts are racing through my mind. This not really a post about WordPress versus Drupal. I was doing some research for a presentation I am putting together and ran across this article in the search results.
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The article is located at this URL: https://groups.drupal.org/node/136294

The author painted a dismal picture of the Drupal community and it is very evident that it pains him to do so. Read the entire article AND the comments! This article gave me some insight into what is happening in the Drupal world.

I had tried Drupal several years ago but it just didn’t click for me. The same thing with Joomla. The first time I tried WordPress, I had a local install and was able to see right away how quickly I could get a website up and running.

I did a quick search about the website market share of content management systems and found out that 62% of websites do not use any type of CMS. As we have heard before, WordPress powers 23% of the web. Joomla comes in at 3% and Drupal sits at 2%

Last Sunday I watched the video of Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp San Fransisco

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You can view the video on WordPress TV using this link: https://wordpress.tv

I was very impressed with what is happening at WordPress on a global basis.

I have given a handful of presentations at WordCamps and have always made a statement that I am a ‘user’ and not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. If WordPress was a mountain and people were climbing to the top, learning as the went, I would be ten feet from the bottom (undoubtedly gasping for breath and smoking a cigarette).

The video of the State of the Word 2014 combined with the above mentioned Drupal article, has made me very aware that WordPress is about to see an explosion of growth.