Category Archives: Community

The WordPress Melbourne User Group: a 1200 day history and a look into the future

The History

In June 2010, Andrew Davis, Anthony Cole and myself met with the idea of reinvigorating the (then defunct) WordPress Melbourne User Group.

The discussions went well, and the following month we hosted the first meeting (which had 8 people in attendance).

1202 days later, I’m immensely proud to say that we have organised 47 WordPress Melbourne User Group meetup events (an average of 1.2 events per month), all of which have helped WordPress users learn and share their knowledge about WordPress and related topics.

The Thank You’s

I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to the following people and companies, who have all played a big part in making WPmelb a success.

The sponsors (past and present):

The venues (past and present):

The organisers (past, present and future):

The regular volunteers (past and present):

The speakers:

  • There have been in excess of 60 volunteer speakers (too many to list unfortunately).

The members and community:

  • Countless people have come along to our events to expand or contribute their knowledge
  • These people have also helped spread the word about the group, and encouraged their friends to join and attend.

As of today, we are lucky enough to have almost 1000 members.

Without all of you the user group would be meaningless.

Thank you.

The Future

With my impending move to Perth, tonight will be the last WPmelb event I attend for a while.

I’ve also stepped down as lead organiser, and I feel confident knowing that a talented and awesome team of volunteer organisers will be ensuring that the group grows and prospers into the future!

It’s been fantastic being a part of the WordPress Melbourne User Group over the last 3 and a half years.

I’ve met so many great people, learnt so many things, and had countless opportunities to share some of my knowledge with others.

If you live in or near Melbourne, and are interested in WordPress, I strongly recommend that you join the friendly group and come along to an event.

The Inaugural BeachPress Australia – August 2013 – Phillip Island, Victoria

A weekend where WordPress developers and/or businesses owners get together to write code, share ideas, collaborate on projects, and maybe even relax.

Do you like WordPress?

Do you like sharing ideas, stories and (GPL) code with like minded people?

Do you have an idea for a new plugin, and want to team up with someone to get it finished and published?

Do you have a WordPress project that you’ve been wanting to finish, but haven’t been able to find the time?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of those questions, then this weekend is for you!

When?
Arrive Friday 16 August 2013 after 3pm.
Depart Monday 19 August 2013 by 9am.

Where?
A deluxe 5 star holiday house (including ocean views) in Phillip Island, Victoria:


(Photos courtesy of the holiday house’s owner)

What’s included?

  • 3 nights accommodation in Rhyll, Phillip Island, Victoria.
  • 7 meals (Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, Sunday lunch, Sunday dinner).
  • your own bed (including linen).
  • the opportunity to collaborate and have fun with some great Australian WordPress people!

How much?
$250 AUD per person (paid in advance).
Note: we are not going to profit from this event – any extra money will be spent on additional food/drinks/snacks for everyone.

What do I need to bring?

  • your laptop and charger
  • mobile phone (with mobile data) – wifi is not available, so we’ll need to use our phones for internet access
  • any alcoholic drinks
  • any specialist snacks/food
  • your wetsuit (if you’re crazy enough to swim during a Melbourne winter!)

Who is organising this?
James Collins and Aaron Rutley.
(Two WordPress developers from Melbourne, and organisers of the WordPress Melbourne User Group).

Can I come?
We are keeping the numbers small – places are limited to 10-12 people.
If you’re willing to sleep on the floor (instead of in a bed), it is more likely we’ll be able to squeeze you in.
So if you’re interested in coming, please contact me.

This event is now sold out. Please keep an eye on the blog if/when we organise another one of these events.

I can’t make it on those dates. Will there be another one?
No promises, but we’re really excited about this concept, and we’re hoping to make them a (semi) regular event in different locations around Australia.

Full disclosure: this event wasn’t my idea – recently in Portland, Justin Sainton organised an event called BeachPress, and he’s been kind enough to give me some advice and let me run a similar event in Australia.

Happy 10th Anniversary WordPress!

Today (May 27) is WordPress’ 10th anniversary!

(Technically speaking, today marks 10 years since the first WordPress release).

In that time, there have been 79 WordPress releases (19 of which were major releases that were named in honour of a jazz musician).

To celebrate, there are over 650 WordPress 10th Anniversary parties around the globe. So be sure to get along to one of them and spread the WordPress love.

WordPress' 10th Anniversary Parties

Also, be sure to check out the anniversary posts from WordPress co-founders Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg.

How to Get Involved in the WordPress Project

Recently at WordCamp Melbourne, Ryan McCue said the following to all attendees:

If everyone simply contributed just one thing to the WordPress project, then WordPress would be infinitely better.
Ryan McCue

Please pause, and think about that for a second.

Going back a few years, there seemed to be a heavy focus on core code being the primary way to contribute to the WordPress open source project.

However in recent times, I’ve noticed a lot of effort has been put into helping the community contribute to the project in other ways (such as documentation, events, or support).

The WordPress Foundation has recently posted a great summary on how you can get involved in the WordPress project.

Regardless of whether you’re using WordPress for business or personal reasons, I strongly suggest you have a read of the article, which lists these teams/areas that you can get involved in:

  • Accessibility
  • Community
  • Core (testing, bug reporting, code wrangling)
  • Documentation
  • Events (WordCamps, meetups, etc)
  • Meta (wordpress.org)
  • Mobile ((iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry apps)
  • Polygots (translations)
  • Plugins
  • Support
  • Themes
  • UI (user interface design & development)
  • Updates (news / blog posts)

In my case, so far I have helped out with WordPress core (bug reporting & fixing), documentation, events, plugins, suport and updates.

However I haven’t been contributing as much as I would like to. I’ve only used six of the thirteen ways that I could be contributing, so there’s definitely still room for improvement!

How are you planning on contributing to the WordPress project?