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WordCamp UK 2011 reflections

This weekend saw my WordCamp virginity broken with WordCamp UK. I’m still trying to sift through the awesome and filter the amazing conversations I had. The first thoughts though I’m having are really of a warm fuzzy kind at being part of such a community.

Before I go much further I will add in to me WordPress is also about BuddyPress which is where my heart is community wise also along with WordPress. My soft spot for BuddyPress has done nothing but grow thanks to WordCamp UK and I’ll write more about that at some other time soon.

WordPress is about community

It’s a simple and bit of a no-brainer statement right? How often though in day to day work with WordPress have I and probably many others forgotten this? A design carries you away, a client drains you and a project engulfs you. You get so wrapped up without a thought for the community that when is all said and done puts food on your table.

What would you be without WordPress?

After the social fun (I now know how many WordPressers it takes to get a stereo to not play Christmas tunes which probably aren’t the best party music in July) of Saturday night I found myself far too awake for 1am and my thoughts turned to what if this community and WordPress didn’t exist? Sure I’d be a designer still… But doing what? Another community? Another blogging platform? A CMS? What if no open source existed it was all from a paid platform?

No matter which way I looked at it my life, work and experience was better because of WordPress. The bottom line thought though was what am I doing to ensure that not only do I get to experience this great community and platform but that also future others get to do the same?

Every drop counts

I’ve had the feeling before of how can I make a difference. It’s a daunting thing to get involved in WordPress no matter how much those in the community say that first step even if a first forum post, first trac, first theme review… it’s still the first and that’s a big step. Thing is it’s also easy to forget that every step after counts just as much. Every single thing you do towards the community counts no matter how small or big.

Making time and finding gaps

The major thing I’ve left WordCamp feeling is that no matter what the small ways I give back to the community through a few tickets, forum posts and theme reviews – that has to continue and if I can increase it even better. I’ve found so many times if you look for a gap one comes up with WordPress and BuddyPress so I’m sure I can always find some way to give back.

Community karma is the way to say thank you

I’m fully aware that thanks isn’t about just saying it and that I guess is my main point. All those that arranged WordCamp UK and all those I met and broke verbal and literal bread with… I thank you and will continue to thank you hopefully by my actions in the community this year. If community is about the people in it then surely WordPress is stronger than an ox and perhaps we need to remember that all year around.

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