Hi, this is my WordPress showcase page. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2005, and I’ve started to use WordPress professionally since 2006. Making me a WordPress veteran of sorts. The title here should probably say WordPress Community, or the WordPress Project, but since I couldn’t pick, I went with just WordPress as a title.
The TL;DR is: Came for the software, ended up with a family™
But yeah, I’m quite involved with this open-source project. Let me try and break it down.
Wanted to have a blog back in end of 2004 to play with, and found WordPress. Played around with it for about two years and then turned a hobby into work early 2006. Started getting involved with the Community in 2007 and was entrusted with the admin side of things for everything WordPress in the Netherlands (forum, translations, releases etc).
You can find this origin story on my WordPress.org profile as well.
WordPress Community Summit 2012
I’m also proud to have been invited to the invite only inaugural WordPress Community Summit in Tybee Island, Georgia. This event was organized for, what was deemed at the time the 100 most influential WordPress Community members, what the future of WordPress would be.
My contributions to WordPress are mostly happening in the Community side of the project. There are two main components within the WordPress Community. One is called WordPress Meetups and the other are WordCamps.
WordPress Meetups are generally small grouped events lasting only a couple of hours. It’s about learning more about WordPress, getting to know each other, and just chill around the topic of our favorite open-source software.
My contribution to the WordPress Community in the Netherlands started with attending and speaking at WordPress Meetups. From early 2008 until present day. Currently I’m a co-organizer of the WordPress Fryslân Meetup. I’ve lost count of how many meetups I’ve been to, but it’s been a lot.
WordCamps are conferences about WordPress. They are entirely volunteer driven and are generally organized per city, small country, or region.
After seeing the Dutch WordPress Community starting to become a thing in early 2008, the idea of organizing a larger full day event started to form in my mind. And luckily, not just with me, because about a year later I found myself organizing the first WordCamp Netherlands in 2009 together with some other enthusiastic WordPress people like Erno Hannink, Joost de Valk, Hiranthi Herlaar, Chantal Coolsma and Kaj Rietberg.
That first edition was received very well, and for the 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015 edition I acted as Team Lead WordCamp Netherlands. I’m happy to see that other’s have stepped to embrace the lead role as well.
I have been part of the #WCNL team from 2009 till present day. A total of 7 editions.
At the end of the last decennium, WordPress did not have an as active WordPress Community as it does now across Europe. I was going to quite a few WordCamps across the continent and I happened to bump into Zé Fontainhas pretty much everywhere. We started talking about organizing a European version of a WordCamp. Our hope was that it would both organize the European Community itself as well as kickstart the local communities in the various European countries.
This idea started to spread amongst a group of WordCamp visitors we would see at those European WordCamps as well.
At the time, regional WordCamps weren’t allowed by WordCamp Central, so when Zé, myself and some of those other friends found ourself in the presence of Matt Mullenweg and Jane Wells in Tybee Island, we started to make our case.
Matt ultimately gave us the approval and said: “Sure, let’s do it. If it doesn’t work we just won’t do it again”. I’m paraphrasing, but that was enough for us. We started to organize!
The first WordCamp Europe was organized in Leiden where Zé and I were Co-Leads. I was responsible for everything happening at the venue. The events was a huge success! We sold 832 tickets and less than 10% of no-shows. It was clear we had found a winning formula and quickly started organizing the next one. The idea was to organize every single next version of WordCamp Europe in a different city across Europe.
We picked the next city to be Sofia, Bulgaria. My role for that edition was Lead Organizer. We expanded to over 1100 tickets sold and the second edition was just as epic as the first one. The next editions were in Sevilla, Vienna, Paris, Belgrade, Berlin, Porto and the next one will be in Athens! I’ve been part of the organizing team in some capacity since and I couldn’t be prouder to see what the impact of WordCamp Europe has been on the community in Europe.
We have a period where WordCamp Central only wanted to see city based WordCamps. However, if you’re in the northern part of the Netherlands that really doesn’t make a lot of sense. So we got the WordPress Meetup Groningen en WordPress Meetup Fryslân to work together and started to organize a small regional WordCamp. WordCamp Noord-Nederland was most likely a one-time event, but I’m happy I got to lead that one together with a wonderful team in De Lawei in Drachten.
Polyglots Team Lead
From 2012 to 2014 I’ve been the Global Polyglots Team lead after taking over from my good friend Zé Fontainhas. Nowadays that role has changed a lot, but I was happy to contribute for as long as I did.
WordPress Rosetta sites a language sites. They’re commonly mistaken for country sites, but they are actually created around the construct of a locale.
Admin for Nederlands
Since 2008 I’ve been a lead for everything happening on the Dutch language site. This happened mostly out of frustration. You see, in the early days the Dutch translation of any given new WordPress release was lagging three months behind. I don’t like working with something with that much room of improvement, so I decided to step in and help out coordinating, translating and actually push out the translated version.
In the early days this meant I actually had to collect the .po and .mo files and commit them to SVN. A zipped version including the translations would then be made available on nl.wordpress.org. This process, fortunately, has since been improved upon heavily.
Right now all translations live in the Translate WordPress site, and all that is left to do is making sure we hit 100% right before any new WordPress major version is released.
I’m not as active in contributing to the forums as in the early days, but I still oversee everything happening in the Dutch support forums. Mostly spam removal and stopping chaos when I see it (almost) happening. We’re fortunate to have a few more enthusiastic moderators on the team as well.
Admin for Frisian
In where I can rely on all of my countrymen to help out translating WordPress to Dutch, when it comes to Frisian, my native language, I can’t rely on many. That didn’t stop me from translating WordPress to Frisian, though. When it comes to software, there’s nothing more pleasing than working with it in your own language. And if I’m close to the only one contributing, so be it.
My contributions to the WordPress project have many. I’ve even got two props for WordPress Core, but as you can see, my main focus is on the Community and Translations side of things.
I have spoken at many WordCamp conferences, but to highlight a few:
- WordCamp Netherlands
- WordCamp Sevilla
- WordCamp Norway
- WordCamp Transylvania
- WordCamp US
- WordCamp London
- WordCamp Vienna
My day-to-day work with WordPress is through my agency company Truer than North. As well as a WordPress related newsletter called Inside WordPress, and a WordPress podcast called Within WordPress, a free WordPress Fundamentals course, and last but not least, a WordPress YouTube channel.