WordCamp US San Diego 2022 Experiences — Post Status Draft 124

There are always new people coming in, being embraced and accepted, and being shown the way.

Cory Miller

Cory and Michelle talk about their takeaways from WordCamp US. Highlights: The Post Status Huddle ahead of the conference. Areas to improve: Michelle explains her experience with some accessibility challenges. What everyone agrees on: we love getting together as a community!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

In this episode, Cory and Michelle talk about their takeaways from WordCamp US. The Post Status Huddle ahead of the conference was a great experience for them and many Post Status members. Michelle explains her experience with some accessibility challenges. Cory stresses the need for empathy and awareness about these issues. What everyone agrees on: we love getting together as a community! WordPress is an industry, and it is people. The people come first. Cory also talks about his and Post Status' interest in serving its agency-based and European members.

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Transcript

Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. My name is Corey Miller. I'm the publisher at post status. And I have one of our amazing team members, Michelle Frette, who leads our community engagement at Post Status as well.

And we wanted, we were talking yesterday. We've gotten back. I think, I think we're starting to recharge and recover, uh, cuz I thought to you yesterday and Michelle and I was like, oh, you had a full-blown experience at WordCamp US in San Diego. And we were talking yesterday and we. Let's share our experiences because only 650 people or tickets were sold.

Um, and then give some takeaways. So, uh, Michelle, it's good to see you again. How are you

Michelle Frechette: doing good to see you? Well, I don't, I'm not back to full voice yet, but, um, my boyfriend says I sound very sexy, so I guess there's a win when you have titis.

Cory Miller: Hey, you didn't tell me you had a boyfriend. That's awesome.

Well, you know,

Michelle Frechette: it's, it's an outta get off again, so it's all good, but it's all [00:01:00] good.

Cory Miller: well, that's awesome. Yes. Um, I know you had the experience like you do these events, um, in community, so well you squeeze, like if it was a lemon, you squeeze every drop. Out of it. and I'm I admire that. Um,

Michelle Frechette: well at least every selfie I got as many selfies with people as I could possibly

Cory Miller: get you did well.

Okay. So tell me a couple of the experiences that meant a lot to you, and I'll share some of mine too, but I'm, I'm curious about your highlights because I saw you a couple of times floating around. And, um, yes, but also we saw each other at the huddle, uh, for Post Status' in-person huddle on Wednesday before. But can you share a couple of things that come to mind when you think about your experience at word camp us?

Absolutely

Michelle Frechette: for me, this was the ultimate community experience. I love big word camps. Don't get me wrong. I love when there's 2 2500 3000 people there [00:02:00] because the more people that have opportunities at word camps, the better I love when people are learning. I love when people are meeting and connecting.

You know, I mean, I, I, you know, me, I'm, I'm all about community. So I love when many people get an opportunity to do this, this one wasn't small. Because people didn't wanna come. It was small because it had to be. And so there were also some benefits to that. So I saw the same people more often, which meant that I could make deeper connections than if I just saw 3000 people once.

So I had opportunities to actually sit down and talk to people. I had opportunities to take selfies with people and put them up on Twitter and make those connections that I might not have had if it was a bigger word camp. And so for me, that was super exciting. Now there was a little bit of a drawback and I am gonna write about this, um, this week.

So depending on when you hear this, it may already be in print on our, our website. Um, there [00:03:00] were some accessibility issues, which kept me from being able to do, um, everything I wanted to do. So for example, I went to the Pagely party. I loved it. I had a blast at the Pagely party, but on that yacht, there was no elevator that went to the top floor now to their credit.

Lily wanted, she wanted to try anything to get me up to the top floor. She's like, come on, we'll help you. We'll help you. And I'm not, this is not a. On Pagely at any way, shape or form, that party was amazing. And I had a hundred percent blast because I was kind of, I don't wanna say stuck, but I kind of was stuck on the main level when you go in, but I was never alone.

People were aware of the fact that I was. At one level on the, on the boat and came down constantly to check in on me. I felt like I was holding court. I had this table mm-hmm people came down and said, I was never for two seconds alone. And I had deep conversations with people because I could actually hear them vibe upstairs with the music.

I might not have been able to have [00:04:00] had that same experience. So. I had a different experience than a lot of people did at the ley party. But for me, it was a better experience because I could hear people, I could have, um, rich conversations. I introduced people to one another that didn't know each other.

And the food was amazing by the way. And, and the swag was amazing and I often call style a swag. Um, it's a w board, so I won't say it on the show, but , uh, I love swag. So we'll just say that. But yeah, that, that experience was amazing.

Cory Miller: Yeah, I, I think one thing we were talking about some of these, um, issues yesterday and the value behind it is one I've always loved about WordPress, which is to be inclusive of all.

Yeah. And, um, I, you know, as we've talked and I've heard your story, it's made, helped me understand better that if we really want to be inclusive, we need to think about. Everybody we can, everybody that we want to come, which is all. And, um, right. That, [00:05:00] that principle, I think is one thing that helps WordPress state set apart.

Like it's, it's incredible because I've seen things. In WordPress, then I go, I wish we could have that in our broader culture, in my community, in my own life. And it, I, I told the people many times that WordPress leads the way in so many things. And you think about it, we're all over the globe doing these cool things.

We rally around the code, but it's really the humans. And yeah, we're doing these things that I think are pushing the limits. Our culture that are there, we're blowing past those. And we're a great reflection as we go into our live in our local communities, across the world to make a huge impact globally.

That's what inspires me about WordPress. And particularly this, this topic is if we can do this right here, then I do it. And I think about it. I think, you know, yesterday you mentioned. You know, the buttons on the doors that come close. [00:06:00] Yeah. Yeah. And, um, I just pulled a handle for myself, but you mentioned to me, you said buttons didn't work in certain places.

And I go, well, well, there was the only, there,

Michelle Frechette: there were only buttons on one door and the entire venue, and that was to get into the actual conference hall. And one of them didn't work. The other, I think, did. But most often I was with somebody who had just opened a door for me, but I was keenly aware of the fact that that was the only time in the entire weekend that I was someplace where I could actually access a building by myself.

And I got stuck in the bathrooms, I guess I couldn't get out of the bathroom, uh, without help because of the way the door opened in and the way that my mobility device is, you know, situated to be able to reach in front of me and open a door and back up. And, and I was, I have a motorized, um, Mobility device, but people who are in wheelchairs might have had even more of a difficulty because you're trying to maneuver your chair by [00:07:00] yourself and open a door at the same time.

And so I became keenly aware of the fact and there I was not the only person using mobility devices there. I saw at least two other people in wheelchairs and. It made me keenly aware of the fact that we were, we had a more difficult time participating fully because if we wanted to access a space, we needed assistance to actually open the door, to get into the space.

And opening doors is something that should be so simple. It should be easy. We shouldn't have that kind of di.

Cory Miller: Well, one thing I took away from that is, um, now I'm aware of it, which I think is a, a good first step for all of us. And now I'm gonna be testing buttons and looking for those work , which I probably won't hit a, hit another door now thinking where's the button and secondarily does the button work so right.

But I, I think. Something we, you have in particular championed at post and in the WordPress community is diversity, [00:08:00] equity and inclusion. And, um, it's something that I've become increasingly more aware of. And I think all of us out there want to make the difference. So next word can't be seen or next anywhere you see, Hey, Is there a way for someone to access that building, uh, in a mobile device and second is, does the button work and that's something that right.

You know, we can share and be a part of and make a difference in. So thank you for sharing that yesterday and today.

Michelle Frechette: Absolutely. Absolutely. Uh, it was other, I mean, other than that, yeah, those were speed bumps, if you will. Um, but other than that, the, the, the event was phenomenal. Uh, The rows were wide enough for people to roll through, uh, the sponsor sometimes in a, in the sponsor area.

When you have thousands of people crammed in it's impossible to even walk through. This was open an airy. There was plenty of space for people to get two [00:09:00] tables to talk to vendors. And sponsors. And I thought that, um, that that part was done incredibly well. The speakers, uh, seemed to have everything they needed on stage to be able to present.

I know that people were watching from home because I got pinged from people saying, you know, oh, I just listened to so and so, and they were awesome. Um, and so I think that overall. I mean, I would say this event was a win for sure. Um, but we do have some things we still need to work on going forward, but you know, nothing's ever perfect.

So let's work on those things and make it even better. Next time.

Cory Miller: It's just like software, you know, when I was a part of teams that were building software, you go, I, I remember one of the best developers I've ever worked with Christine. You said there's, there's no software without a. And that's that's with life too.

There's something out there that we need be talking. And I think this is a great way for us to put it on our community roadmap, so to speak mm-hmm and our next versions to start asking the questions and making [00:10:00] sure it is inclusive for all. And so this is a, a great way for me to understand that. And I think that's a part of empathy.

Empathy is I have not had, I have not had to use a mobile device. I have not had to use those button. but now I know somebody that I love and care about that has, and my awareness shifts totally into, okay. Awareness. I want Michelle to one be with me. If I'm, if I'm there, she, I want her with me or I wanna be with her.

So yeah. That's great. One thing, you know, one thing that really stuck out to me is, um, it's we have this amazing community, but there's these dichotomies or duality to it. It's a community, but it's also an industry. It's ministry, but it's also, uh, community it's code, but it's also humans. And the code mm-hmm is cool.

Don't get me wrong. I'm so thankful for the code. It's changed my life. Absolutely. Without the humans. [00:11:00] It's just code sitting on a server somewhere without humans using the code without humans traveling to San Diego. I met someone, one of our members all the way from Romania. I mean, taking time away from their families, their businesses, um, their lives to be here at this special event.

And, um, it rekindled and me Michelle, this what it's all about, and this isn't for anybody external it's for me. Is, uh, I think some, at some point I I've, I lost sight that in all of the things that go on around WordPress, which is so much, we just try to capture some of it for our members. Mm-hmm but. That I can get so wrapped up in these things and forget like it's about human experiences.

Uh, I know we're gonna talk about the huddle in just a second. Mm-hmm but I'll to save that for a second, I'll say that, you know, yeah. I didn't look at the attendee list. I had things that I wanted to accomplish. People I wanted to meet and [00:12:00] talk with building those relationships, deepening those relationships, like you said, but, um, so I got there on Wednesday and I thought I'm just gonna rest up.

And I got a text from a dear friend, Kareem who runs crowd favorite, great enterprise agency and member of Posto too. Hey, you have dinner plans on Friday. And I was like with you and he's been a long time friend of mine, but I didn't think about cream and all the dear friends that I've had over the years.

And we got to have dinner and with about 10 of us and just good people. I've long known for a long time. And it lit the fire back in me of what this thing is all about. And, and, you know, honestly, Michelle, I needed a reminder. I needed the rekindling. Gosh, everything I've done in and around WordPress has always been about the people.

The amazing, absolutely that are a part of this community and your experience reflects it too. You know, seeing that you're like, right. You, you were the social [00:13:00] butterfly, you you're everywhere. You never met a stranger in your life. I am more introverted and I'm. Okay. This O this is overwhelming sometimes even at 650 people mm-hmm

Um, but that little spark for me was a great reminder of it's really not just about the code, the code's awesome. Um, but right, but it's really about the humans, the people, the experiences with those people. I often

Michelle Frechette: refer to the WordPress community as an open source community. So we have open source software.

It's an open source project, but the community is open to, right. So we're open to each other. Um, do I love every single person in the WordPress community? There are some, I love more than others, right? Because we're all human beings and I'm sure there are people who look at me and go, I don't even care to know her.

And I'm okay with that too. Right. I've always said I'm not everybody's cup of tea. And that's okay. But we always just, even, even, so even if there's somebody who just like greats you the wrong way, it's [00:14:00] like pet the cat the wrong direction. Right. Even if there's a person that we still treat each other with respect and we give each other the room to be, um, successful in the space.

And I think that's one of the beautiful things about WordPress. There was, um, Uh, Mark West guard from Ws forum. My Travis tots from gravity form took a picture arm wrestling, like who's got the vendor for. Right. And what I love about it is they're posed with their arms straight. In the picture and they just like, who do you think won?

And the answer is they both win, right? Because they don't tell you like, oh, somebody was stronger than the other because let's face it. Everybody exists in this space. And even though Ws form and gravity form, technically are competitors. They both want each other to be successful because that's who we are.

In the space. We don't have just one form plugin. We don't just have one host. We don't just have one donation software. Like there are, um, competitors, but they all cheer for each other too. And I think that that's [00:15:00] truly amazing part of our community.

Cory Miller: And I I've told people so many times I have the best job because when Brian approached me and we started talking about becoming a partner and eventually, um, buying post status, the biggest thing that stuck out to me is together.

It's, it's the people that, that do WordPress, professionally that have been my dearest friends for 15, 10, 15 years, whatever it's been. And I go. Wow. I get to cheer lead and encourage everyone so that everyone does win. I think sometimes that that's a good reminder. I think for all of us is sometimes we get locked into the arm wrestling in my mind.

I go, I think I know who won no offense to the other, but that. Example is perfect, is that we don't have to beat someone else in order to win that there are ways to collaborate, cooperate. And at the very minimum, the word you said was respect. [00:16:00] And I think that is such a thing that we need to anchor back to.

It's really about the people and that not there doesn't have to be a loser in all of this that we can win together. I count some of my dearest friends over the years as being technical competitors to me. And, uh, it was amazing because we could share life together. And share, maybe share some things around business too, but if anything enrich each other's lives and going, you serve a different part that I don't serve and maybe we have overlap and that's cool, but, um, it's the apple IBM to me, or, uh, apple and windows.

There's some people that love windows. And I respect that. Um, and there's some people that love apple and I respect that and that they serve different people because we're all kind of different. We have our unique perspective on life and that's the spirit though. All of this, I want anchor this back, not just as a promotional item, but to post it what we do here.

Mm-hmm, why you spend your seemingly AB [00:17:00] you know, not available spare time, helping build. And rally this community together to win together instead of trying to beat each other. And, and that's the spirit it's so helpful in the slack. And I saw it in person, is people willing to share their experiences, um, and just kind of be good humans to each other.

And here's the thing I wanna mention too, Michelle. I feel like , we've been two years in seclusion as a species and rightly so, it was the thing we needed to do as a planet. Mm-hmm to survive what happened, but I go, wow. It was just so fun to see the high fives, the hugs, the things that go like we've missed each other we've needed.

Yeah. This cool. This is cool. Zoom is cool, but there's nothing like being able to give you a hug at right. You know, in San Diego, it's just that elbow to elbow time, um, is so vital in connection. And we need that as humans.

Michelle Frechette: There were some people I said, when I see you, I'm going to give you [00:18:00] an uncomfortably long hug.

So be prepared.

Cory Miller: I'm notoriously, I I'd self-identify as a half hugger, but I'm starting to warm up and go, okay, let's let's do the uncomfortable hug. So even the half hug sometimes are me for me or uncomfortable, but I go, that's the human spirit. We, we need a touch. We need each other, even if it's a high.

You know, and then I'm little

Michelle Frechette: say that I respect people's distance. I did not hug anybody that didn't wanna be hugged just for the record. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But Nick, but Nick Adams got an uncomfortably love long hug and he practically tackled me for it. So it was all consenting. Just

Cory Miller: let's talk about the post huddle.

Um, oh my

Michelle Frechette: gosh. That was so fun.

Cory Miller: We've been doing huddles. In fact, we have one going on as we record this and we have one later today. This is a Wednesday, Wednesday is huddle day for us. And we're working on different days and times of week to serve our global cult, uh, community. Um, but this was [00:19:00] a blast because even before I got there, cuz I go, it's come and go.

It was noon to four, somewhere around there. Um, it was at a, an adjacent golf course where you could walk. I walked at least. Um, but it was close enough to be like, okay, we're not going too far off. And the, the people organized, I'm not sure. I told you this, Michelle, the, the golf club people, cuz we just found this conference, you know, big room that overlooked the gorgeous golf course.

Um, they kept saying they came up to me and they go, are you sure you don't want music? I mean, we got Spotify, we've got all these playlists. And I said, no, I don't want any music. I said, I promise you in about 30 minutes, it's gonna be a dull roar without the music. And now this is my own need too. But I feel like it was reflected too, is like, you're gonna get enough music the rest of the week.

We want to talk and connect. And the purpose of the huddle was just. Being able to see each other, meet each other in person, perhaps for the first time. And [00:20:00] then when you get out into this huge conference for me, at least, um, to go that's my people, that's, that's my post status community. That's who I belong to.

And it was so cool. It's like, it just crescendo over time. I like, I didn't do a head count, but I go judging by the, the noise in the room. Um, it was such a warm time of connection and camaraderie and just happy to see each other. What were

Michelle Frechette: you there were, there were, well there, I would say, you know, I think we had about 80 people, our CP, and I think we had 90 people show up.

I mean, I think at some point during, I didn't count either, but just from the sheer volume of people coming and going, making those connections, sitting down at tables and talking to people, it was. Phenomenal. Um, I was watching people connect. I, I was taking official phone. Oh. Official with my phone. I was taking pictures of groups of people and getting them to, you know, pose for me [00:21:00] so that we could see faces.

That's one of my biggest pet peeves about conferences. Cause people take pictures of groups, but half the group has their back to you. So I'm like, Nope. Open up. Look at me, take a picture. Cuz we wanna see your smiling faces while you're here at our post status huddle. And it was just. Okay. I'm not a quiet person.

We all know that, but I did actually sit back for a minute or two and just watch and listen to other people, connecting with one another. In some cases they were old friends that hadn't seen each other since pre pandemic. In other cases, there were people meeting for the first time and really getting to know one another.

So yeah, I mean, it was phenomenal and the hats were a really big hit by the way.

Cory Miller: Yeah. Everybody liked the hats so if you don't know, I brought about a hundred hit hits everyone, uh, hats, excuse me. And, and they were a hit. I, I love hats personally. So I geek out with the things I like, but, um, we gave away, I think I only brought a back 15 of those hats and, uh, it was neat.

It was just one, you know, I'm a swag [00:22:00] thing from the other side. I love when people want to wear the community brand, um, and seeing the hats around. But you know, some of the takeaways for me about the huddle, uh, were just the cycle and seasons of life. And. Um, I saw a lot of old friends, friends I've known for years, but then I got to meet a lot of new friends.

And that's the great thing about WordPress. There's always people coming new people coming in, being embraced and accepted, shown the way. Hey, here's, here's where you can find that here's where you can find this. Here's how you troubleshoot that, whatever it is. Um, I got to meet a couple that have a marketing agency and, um, Just hearing their story.

They started during the pandemic, this is their first word camp. They wanted to come and just kind of experience the community for themselves. And I said, what, what is your, what is your outcome? What do you want to get? And when you take away and get back in your flight and go back to your family, [00:23:00] what do you want from that?

And it was just awesome. They just wanted to. I just wanna connect with likeminded people on the same or similar path. Um, and that's, that's what the beauty and magic of WordPress in general, but also word, uh, post status. We are trying to say you're doing these cool things. You're working in WordPress all day, every day.

You're building a company in or around WordPress all day, every day. And the magic is that. That's why I. It is an industry, but it's, mm-hmm, so much more the people that first time come in to WordPress, particularly business people that have been in other industries, they kind of like, look a little shell shocked.

And I just smile. I go welcome because , it's messy sometimes. Um, because we still are humans, but the, the deep sense is just that there's really good people just wanting to do good things in their worlds. Um, and. But I just see the seasonality of it. Some people leave. [00:24:00] I say, don't say goodbye to the community.

You might say I'm using another tool, but don't say goodbye to the people in the community. That was my thing. When I left, I themes is I said, I, I never wanna say I'm leaving WordPress. Cause I don't want anybody to feel like in that I was leaving my friendships, those end. Um, but then I found myself right back around my season went and I came back around.

So I came back in new I'm the new new person here. And, um, but that seasons of life thing, and I talked to one of our members too about that is just it, you know, it's starting to become fall here in Oklahoma and then it'll be winter. And then it'll be spring and summer again. And just those cycles and seasons of life really, really matter in that there's always a new set of people coming in with bright eyes, a little bit shell shock and going mm-hmm all right.

This is, this is my people right here, so, and that that's magical.

Michelle Frechette: It absolutely is. Well, let me ask you a question about, about your time at, at word camp. If [00:25:00] you could say one moment. That really made a difference for you or that was exciting or fun or funny? What would that one moment be

Cory Miller: funny? Um, deep and memorable moment is just every contact where you just get to hear the excitement in someone's voice and love and warmth and care about what they do to other people.

Um, One thing I didn't get to do. Um, and I wish I had is I believe his name is Alex. He's part of our membership. I saw him walking in the, in the, uh, sponsor hallway and I didn't get to meet him in person. And then I saw in our slack channel, he was there and I thought, I, I. I had the great desire to meet him, to talk to him.

And, uh, and I didn't get that chance, but I hope I, I do soon and others, um, in our community that I just haven't got the chance to meet. But one, what did I laugh about? That's a good question. I I'll have to think on that. I'm sorry. I'm trying to think. What, what did I laugh about? It's [00:26:00] okay.

Michelle Frechette: So I I'll tell you mine what you think.

So, yeah, yeah, yeah. There I, there were a lot of fun experiences there. Of course. But my absolute, if I had to say there was one ultimate made me laugh, had a blast with it experience was when Matt Mullen, we called me the busiest woman in WordPress.

Cory Miller: you laugh because it's true. I laugh because it's true.

Michelle Frechette: So well, so, so the funny thing is like, it caught me so off guard.

I didn't know how to respond. And at first I said, well, maybe, and then I was like, but you have met Josepha. Right. And so I threw it back in his, threw it back to him, but that was a lot of, that was a lot of fun. And, uh, when he came through the, the vendor hall, he, I gave him one of my stickers. I don't know.

I think I gave you one, it's a little love who that looks like B, right? Oh yeah. And, uh, and so he took his camera out and took his, took his phone and took his selfie with me and my sticker and, and him, and then he left and I. I didn't get that picture. [00:27:00] it's on this phone, not on mine. So that was my own little boneheaded moment.

Like I should have pulled out my phone too, but, but it was a lot of fun. That was great. This is and meeting with my

Cory Miller: team. Of course. Yeah. Um, it was so interesting. I guess my last moment was probably a little, a little different in the sense of. In Oklahoma, it's hot and humid. I thought, oh, I can't wait to get out until I had shorts ready to go and get out to San Diego.

And I thought, hold on. Something's messed up. Oklahoma. When I came back to Oklahoma, I was like San Diego and Oklahoma. Didn't realize they swapped weathers. Um, but it was raining the whole time and most of the time, and it caused potential for disruption, but that's what it was also reflected in the spirit of just being able to be together and making the most of the moment.

So if anything, I was walking to the conference hall vendor, whatever you call the, the main place where word camp was held. And it was just [00:28:00] raining and I did laugh cuz I'm like, I wanna be soaked by the time I get there, but it's worth it. It's worth it. Yeah. Little bit of rain's not gonna, or a hurricane evidently is not gonna deter us from that.

And you know, even though it did rain and it was not typical San Diego weather, um, it, it didn't deter us as a community. No, it,

Michelle Frechette: it blew over quickly enough that on Saturday we were a actually able to eat outside for, for the lunchtime. So that was nice. Yeah, but yeah, but it was funny. I thought, are we gonna have to rename this word camp hurricane instead of word camp us, but it didn't get that bad.

There you go. It didn't get that bad.

Cory Miller: yeah. I was like hurricane, they have these over here, but the I'm not crazy. Um, okay. Was there a talk that you were able to go to, um, that stood out to.

Michelle Frechette: Um, I was photographing, I was officially there as a photographer and of course, as a sponsor, so I didn't get to sit through any of the talks, but, um, so the Q [00:29:00] and a was where I was actually there and listened through the whole thing.

Yeah. What, what stood to you with

Cory Miller: that? So what,

Michelle Frechette: well, what stood up to me was that no question is, is forbidden, right? So it didn't matter what question people came with, whether they felt satisfied with the answer or not. I can't really say, but. The one thing I did say to somebody who said, well, that wasn't really a very deep answer was he didn't know you were gonna ask the question.

So like, when you are the person being asked questions, you have to think of the response quickly because you don't know what's coming. And so if somebody has, you know, submitted questions in advance, like the year that we all kinda submitted questions in advance, that it was online, I think that was 20, 20, the state of the word, you have a much better opportunity to answer more deeply and answer, um, you know, more thorough.

But when somebody's just like rapid firing questions out of the audience, you know, I, I think that he does a pretty good job of being able to respond to those. But, um, the question I asked was about mergers and acquisitions because, [00:30:00] uh, I, I work for a company that has acquired quite a few plugins over the last few years.

And then I also work at post status where we talk about those and we report on those two. So I asked whether he thought that that was something that was, um, healthy for the WordPress ecosystem or not. Um, I have my own opinion. You know, my own opinion is that we are almost 20 years old next year. We have to, by the way, we have to come up with a, uh, um, a post status birthday party for WordPress next year.

But WordPress is an ecosystem to, as a product is 20 years, 20 years old next year. And it. A growth pattern that we see in any new industry at a certain point, small businesses will grow large enough that they either have to pivot into, you know, hiring HR and having, becoming these big conglomerates or.

They die or they become acquired, they merge with somebody else. And so I, I think that that's where we are at as an ecosystem now is that we see these people that grew like, Hey, I, [00:31:00] I think I could build a plugin. And then a couple of their friends join them. And then they start hiring more people before, you know, it, you go from two or three people to 20 people and then it grows and grows and grows.

And so you look at yourself and you're like, Now I'm running a business where I just wanted to be a developer. I just wanted to build a plugin, but I have all these people that rely on me for their livelihoods. And so I either have to pivot to be a business owner and not be as much in the code and in the weeds and in those kinds of things and, and learn how to do that and do it well because these people rely on me or.

Take on a partner or VC capital funding or whatever it is, or look for somebody who can buy you, you can merge and become acquired. And so I think that that's where we are in our ecosystem now. And it, and it looks to me like the people who are successful are the ones that find the way to navigate that growth, that pivot point, if you will, that tipping point where they have to do something to continue to be successful.

And so I think that's where we are. And I think that that's pretty much what Matt said as well. It's that, it's how you do it. That really. [00:32:00] Becomes the success of failure, but that we have mergers of acquisitions as a normal part of the growth of

Cory Miller: our ecosystem. I see. AB absolutely. It's the evolution. Um, and we might not always like it at all times, but it's part of the, again, the nature of life.

Um, absolutely. You know, so many people, uh, I talked to asked, what are we doing? The. Event with postes. And I said, event is a big word for me, huddle something where we get together, do human together. Talk about what we do in the world. As a vocation profession. I talked to a lot of agency owners and there was, uh, a fair amount of agency owners there.

And Dan, our editor talked to them. I know you did too. And many others, and I. it's tough if you love and are really passionate about WordPress and trying to contribute in some way, you're probably gonna end up if you can at a word camp. Um, but it's tough. You know, our agency, uh, members are out there [00:33:00] building sites, serving clients, trying to make all of this life viable for them and their teams that you mentioned by the way you just shared, uh, previously like my story with I themes and my, our evolution where we eventually sold two.

Lakewood web now St. WP. And it was really fun to see the brand there, but I said, We, we need something for the people that do client services. We talk a lot cuz you and I are in the product space or I have been in the product space and I go, there's so many people out there that don't have time maybe for other things that are part of the community.

And that's one thing I talked to a lot of people about and said, it's our intention focus is to find a space for those that do client services and agencies and freelancers to, um, come together, talk shop and it's it's. Important part of what we do at postes that we want to serve better. And so I'm talking to a couple of our agency members about specific huddle, just for agencies, [00:34:00] um, agency owners, and, uh, to, to better serve them too, because I've been thinking about this, Michelle, you know, so much of our vibrancy and growth as an ecosystem is really those on the frontier and on the edge building.

For themselves, or I'm sorry, building sites for clients, building word websites or block, whatever it is, membership sites for themselves and their members. And that's what I'm focusing and driving our, our team and post status to do is to better serve that. In addition to the rest of the globe, that's not, not able to be in our time.

And, uh, to go to them as best we can. And if you're interested in all that, please P me slack or email Corey at post status. We're, we're really trying to serve that community better. Um, because I see it's an opportunity. I'm not saying it's a detriment, it's just an opportunity, um, for us to really serve the people that are helping build that 40, whatever, the percent of the web, [00:35:00] every time I hear it, it's bigger.

And I love it. Because of those people out there doing the work on the front lines of building, um, the web, the open web. Okay. Michelle, what's one thing, one word, one thing you wanna leave us with about word camp, us in the experience. Oh,

Michelle Frechette: my one word. Um, we're just, I'm gonna go with thought that we didn't have.

I'm gonna, my word is community, because for me, that's what it is. That's what it was about. And it's that connection. So, um, and you don't have to go to someplace in person to feel that community in connection. So, you know, if you were of the people that didn't get one of those 650 tickets and you had the, the FOMO for not being there.

You still have the opportunity within our slack channel on Twitter, um, direct outreach to people. You still have an opportunity to feel and be an integral part of our community.

Cory Miller: I I'm gonna plus one that, and then add my another one. I thought of, um, that I didn't share in this whole [00:36:00] episode, but is I had a fantastic breakfast with Bette who is the WordPress developer advocate and, uh, works with automatic, but for the community and the H highlight was contribution.

And she said it so elegantly, like so many people have the desire. To say, I, my life has been changed because the code and the humans here, I want to give back meaningfully, we had such a fantastic conversation around that to really say, I think there's a gap here. How this exists over there. It, all of this contribution, it's not just about the code.

And there's so many people over here that go, I just wanna help, but I, I, I gotta, I gotta figure out how, how to make a meaningful contribution that might not look like some, what somebody else says is that, that manner of contribution, I love Josephus work, leading our community there too. And the things she's put out, Angela G and others in baguette.

There's [00:37:00] there's a bridge there that I want post status to help lead the way cuz our members want to contribute meaningfully. And it doesn't just mean the code. Um, I'm not a coder, so, but there's so many other ways and she opened my world to possibilities. It's conversations. You and I have been having, but I've been having with specifically people.

That lead the community is I want Posto to help bridge that, to say here's a hundred bridges because they all exist. Right. We just need to say mm-hmm, , that's it right here. And she laid out some steps that how she would do it. And I was like, I didn't even know that I didn't even know that I didn't even know that, but she just illuminated my mind.

I said, we've gotta share this with their members because I know our community has the desire. It just might not mean I get to, I I'm gonna do a patch or something like that. So much more in the community for overall division is a healthy, vibrant growing WordPress that truly democratizes publishing as we know it in our modern age.

Okay. Michelle, thanks so much for this [00:38:00] for, for the time. I can't wait till our next conversations. I know we've got some brewing coming up that we're gonna talk about mm-hmm and just share our perspectives. And as always, we'd love to hear what you all. Too. And what you're thinking about, how you think about it and, um, how close that is gonna be a help in supporting that.

So thanks Michelle. Hope yours rest recharge.

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