One of the trends I’ve noticed in these days of social media is that more and more people are actually taking new connections made in the digital sphere offline – you only need to have a look at meetup.com to see these kind of groups in action and I gotta say, I love it. Even if only to scoff at the naysayers who have been telling us all along that the internet is going to be the death of community.
Internet: absolute communication, absolute isolation. ~Paul Carvel
I’m utterly convinced that in most cases they’re wrong.
One of things I love the internet is that you can actually see community interact, see it learn and grow in online spaces like Twitter, the blogosphere, google+ and to some extent facebook and while you’re spectating you can also jump in and contribute to the conversation, to learn, and to teach, but above all to connect and to share.
But. I’ve got to say it – as awesome as all that is, it’s way better to see and feel those connections in person.
So, in this community of WordPress users I sincerely hope, gentle reader, that you know that all around the place there are regular real life meet-ups of people using WordPress… whether they’re bloggers publishing on it, designers making themes, developers getting all code nerdy and writing plugins and contributing to its core. Yes, in major centres in Australia, heck, all around the world, there are regular meetups in which you can participate. Better still, occasionally we get even so much more committed to gathering and conferring that we all go to camp. Wordcamp, that is (at which there is a lamentable amount of canvas and long-drop loos… sorry) where we meetup for a whole weekend.
A whole weekend of WordPress.
I know, right?
So, this post really is only meant to serve as an invitation, an invitation for anyone who has any kind of interest in WordPress, whether for fun on your personal blog, for business, to extend WordPress or just to celebrate it. Join us and meet other people who get as excited about this stuff as you do…
WordPress meetups are happening regularly, and there is a Wordcamp coming up on the Gold Coast in November, please come, so that we can meet, so you can teach me things I don’t know and so that we get to feel the warmth that melts fibre optic connections into that wild crazy sphere they call Real Life.
Here’s where to go…
Sydney – http://www.wpsydney.com.au/ – Meetups the last Tuesday of every month
Melbourne – http://www.meetup.com/WordPress-Melbourne – Meets 2nd Wednesday of the month
Brisbane – http://www.wpbrisbane.com.au/ – Next Meeting September 26th
Hobart – http://www.wptas.org/
Oh, and I would love to hear if there are other groups meeting that I don’t know about…
The next Wordcamp in Australia is in November on the Gold Coast (I know… good excuse to extend the trip into a week’s holiday…) and having been to the Wordcamp in Melbourne in February, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
One of the other cool things about these events is that everyone is welcome to contribute, regardless of what ‘branch’ of the community you’re in, we all have stuff to learn from each other, and everyone’s invited to participate, not just in listening to the conversation but generating it.
As such, I’m going along to a couple of the events as a speaker, not just a listener. And if you’ve got ideas to contribute I know the organisers of these events are keen to hear from you. Speak up! Contribute your ideas and be heard! And come along for the ride, if for no other reason than it really is a whole load of fun.
Hope to see you there!
“Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers.” Howard Thurman quotes (American Theologian, Clergyman and Activist. 1900-1981)