Aaron Jorbin recently posted Random Thoughts on… Travel and WordCamps. I’d like to add a few.
‘It’s important for people who can be considered “Names” to make space for the next group of contributors and this includes not speaking all the time.’
Exactly. Responsible leaders lead towards their own obsolescence. The tricky part can be to notice when you’ve become a leader, or ‘name’ within your community. If you’re too busy rejecting your own popularity (on whatever scale) because being regarded a key contributor, a great organiser, or an inspiring public speaker makes you feel uncomfortable, you might wind up missing a chance to support the very people who are looking to you as a role model for taking their own next steps in the project.
‘I was chatting with another core committer recently and we noted “We are not the future of WordPress”. I don’t intend to go anywhere, but I also recognize that my strength for the project today isn’t to be the loudest voice.’
I’m counting myself roughly into the same generation in WordPress as Aaron, and OMG, am I not the future of it. It actually feels like I’m less and less part of its present. I feel I just can’t keep up, and frankly, in many regards I don’t want to. If there’s anything I can give WordPress today, it’s probably to move out of the way, mind my own business, and nurture and enjoy the friendships I’ve made through the project. And hack the heck out of wp-admin, for as long as it’s still around.
‘I’m not at all convinced that “Names” sell tickets for local WordCamps. I am convinced that developing and nurturing a quality community sells tickets to WordCamps.’
So much this. And when I’m hearing from friends who are a long-time organisers in their local communities that they’re struggling to put together a diverse speaker list because applications have dropped dramatically, I can’t help but wonder: did we miss anything?
Don’t forget to read Aaron’s full article.