I joined the Seattle WordPress Meetup group in 2011 after attending my first ever WordCamp. I instantly knew I was going to love this community. The WordPress community as a whole had given a lot to me over prior years and I was eager to begin giving back in a more tangible way. I began to get more involved and in December of 2011 Bryan Witherwax and I started a developer meetup which met on a different night and have grown it from the initial nine attendees to nearly thirty on a regular basis, with nearly fifty in attendance at times. I also help organize the Meetup as a whole and Seattle WordCamp for two years running.
Over my two years in attendance growth of the group has exploded to over 1,200 members! Along with amazing growth comes an abundance of diversity and interest in the group. As an organizer I have always had two primary goals in mind. This first is to empower the local community to make this Meetup their own. As an organizer I do not ever want to control this amazing community, but rather help facilitate the community in activities and education that they want to see. The second goal is to build a strong cohesive community that wants to give back to the WordPress community at large.
2013 has been a fascinating year as it has unfolded. The Meetup is truly beginning to embrace its potential. Just a few of the events have included:
- EditFlow plugin dev day with Daniel Bachhuber
- Multiple Codex documentation days
- WordCamp with 500 tickets sold!
- Spontaneous co-working days
- #BeachPress – A co-working week in Oregon where Seattle was 53% representation of all attendees!
- Many members asked to speak at various WordCamp and other web related conferences around the US and Canada
And that is not even half the list!
With all the new members and activities the organizers took a poll of the community and have announced significant changes (More pic here) to the Meetup format that I am very excited about. These changes include:
- New venue with breakout rooms including full A/V
- Large networking space
- mini-WordCamp style Meetups with three topic tracks simultaneously
- Bringing all Meetup times under one day and roof
With all the new interests in this group I am very excited to see the Meetup reaching out to each of the three main interest groups every month. I believe this is going to bring us much tighter as a group and will help encourage greater attendance and participation.
I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of this already amazing year has in store and hope to see even more contributions to the WordPress community worldwide!
I humbly thank every member of this Meetup for allowing me to serve as an organizer for this community. WordPress for the win!