Last week, I was talking with someone about ‘the WordPress community’. ‘Before my first WordCamp,’ she said, ‘ people told me that the WordPress community is so open and the people are so very nice. But in fact, I did not feel that welcome.’
‘Everybody seemed to know each other,’ she continued, ‘they all hugged each other and immediately wanted to catch up and I felt a bit ignored. I felt left out. It’s nice that everybody is friends, but for an outsider, that makes it very hard to step in.’
We’re a weird bunch of people – the WordPress community. We want people to get involved and participate, but we also like our own crowd. That made me wonder. How open are we? And how open should we be?
People who have been long-term contributors to the WordPress project often feel unappreciated. Unseen even. They’re definitely part of the community, but they can feel like they’re outsiders too.
We have to nurture and value our long-term contributors to the WordPress project and, at the same time, welcome potential newcomers to our community. And let’s face it: that’s hard.
Because these two things often need completely different strategies. Should you spend your time talking to newcomers at a WordCamp, or should you pay attention to those hardworking core contributors who are struggling?
I think it all starts with some awareness. And perhaps with some celebration (I just love parties). People and companies that contribute to the WordPress community should be celebrated more. Much more. By all of us. They deserve a place in the spotlight and should feel appreciated.
As for the newcomers that enter the WordPress community, perhaps they should be celebrated as well. By all of us. This means: we need to party more…