Below is my presentation from this year’s WordCamp US in Nashville, TN. In the spirit of democratising publishing I wanted to help non-developers and individuals/small business owners to have better performing websites with minimal effort.
It got me thinking about the WordPress Foundation and whether it could do more to help promote WordPress. With 18.9% of the web powered by WordPress you might think there is no need! You might be right.
As John points out, efforts from the likes of the WordPress.com VIP team and the Big Media & Enterprise WordPress meetups are great, but with much of that coming from Automattic and WordPress agencies, is there a case for pooling that effort to better promote WordPress more widely, and with more independence?
Already the Foundation gives enabling support to WordCamps and it’s fantastic that we have so many. Here are some quick ideas off the top of my head of other promotional efforts the Foundation could* do;
WordPress sector champions who would work on promoting the use of WordPress in specific sectors, producing case studies, networking in those sectors, generating connections and leads for agencies and freelancers and so on. Target sectors might include;
Core support staff who would help with organising IRC chats, trac tickets, helping new contributors get started, running/supporting contributor days. These could be either employed direct by the Foundation or seconded to it by agencies. (I have no idea if some of the work I’ve mentioned here is even required.)
Outreach people to help arrange things like Google Summer of Code and other as-yet-unspecified outreach projects aimed at getting folks engaged with WordPress.
A WordCamp team who would work with and support WordCamp organisers. Likely nothing/little needs to change on this point anyway.
Of course, all that would need funding, and I’m reminded here of the jQuery Foundation and it’s membership structure. Something similar for the WordPress Foundation may work, and help those involved in WordPress feel like not only are they contributing to WordPress the project, but also the WordPress ecosystem.
What do you think; does that sound like a good idea, is is necessary, is it a terrible idea, is it okay but could be done differently? Shout below!
* Not could as in could do now, but could do at some point, if the resource was available.
Obviously I’m a huge WordPress fan, but I’m not a blind believer. I can see it’s limitations, I’m well aware of it’s growing pains. That’s why, when John O’Nolan first presented his concept for Ghost I was excited.
While WordPress evolves into a CMS from a blogging platform (and it still has a long way to go!) it necessarily looses the simplicity it had as a pure blogging platform. John’s brainchild was to provide something that returned to those first principles.
One big thing that draws me in are the principles that John talks about in the introductory video. One of my constant bugbears around other open source project, WordPress included, is the ownership – structures that often do not reflect the spirit of open source, and we see the impact time and time again.
John is committed to making sure that Ghost is open source and non-profit and that that follows through to the entire eco-system that will surround Ghost.
I can’t wait!
Update: just two hours after this post was published (and a while after I actually wrote it!) I’ve had an e-mail from John O’Nolan along with all the other backers. Ghost is over 120% funded. Phenomenal! It’s got incredible backing – WooThemes, Envato, Seth Godin and many more influential tech folk. This could really be something…