One of the motos engrained in me growing up is that you finish what you started. Not meant for silly little things, but anything with consequence. So, writing out the decision I came to two weeks back doesn’t come easy to me. But it’s time.
Let me explain.
I’d been co-organizer of WordCamp Netherlands 2009 and been lead for the 2010 and 2012 version. I saw the same group of WordPress friends there as well as across different WordCamps across Europe. Köln, Sevilla, and Porthsmouth were few of those WordCamps I went to, to name but a few. It dawned on me that the communities in most of the European countries were scattered, unaware of eachother. Long story short, I found in Zé Fontainhas someone who thought the same and we wanted to fix that. We found additional friends, got permission at the inaugural WordPress Community Summit in Tybee Island, Georgia in October 2012.
And then we got to organizing. I am, of course talking about WordCamp Europe. We held the first edition in Leiden and it was life-changing. Not just for me, but if I’ve learned anything as a general feedback from that first event, it’s that it kick-started various communities across Europe into high-gear. Exactly our goal.
All the Editions*
From that first one, which I co-lead with Zé, we quickly realized this was wanted, needed. Necessary, even. So, we quickly planned the second edition in Sofia (which I lead). And after that, I’ve been part of the organizing team ever since. The only exception was the Porto edition in 2022. I’m also not counting the online versions as they, to me, *had very little to do with my original goal: uniting the European WordPress Community.
For the 2023 edition in Athens, I was part of the Community Team and responsible for the Contributor Day. It was during the conversations I had on this day with some of the other WordPress oldtimers, hat tip to you Dan Maby, that something dawned on me…
It was time for “me time”. It’s time for me to be a bit more selfish. I realised I’ve been giving a lot of time and energy for a little over 15 years into growing the WordPress Community. By organizing WordCamp Netherlands and WordCamp Europe. As well as a lot of stuff around that.
I came to the full conclusion that it’s time for me time. It’s time for me to focus on growing my business, my YouTube channel, my newsletter, and some other business ventures I’ve started like ScanFully.
There’s only so much time I have available, so something had to give. And as much as I want to continue to finish what I started, I’m also quite aware of the fact that I don’t control the direction of the WordCamp Europe project anymore. That in itself is fine. That means others have seen the intent, the movement, and jumped onboard.
So… all this to say, WordCamp Europe 2023 in Athens was the last WordCamp Europe I actively contributed to the organization. I am still organizing the 2023 WordCamp Netherlands edition. Not sure what I’ll do after that one, but yeah…
I’ll still be active in the realm of WordPress, in the community. Happy to MC or speak at WordCamps even, but yeah, pausing the time contribution.