Reconnecting with the Community: Why We’re Here
Michelle and Kathy talk about the recent State of the Word that took place in New York City on December 15, 2022. Michelle attended and was able to spend time with some community members she hadn’t seen in a while, as well as a number of new faces who were welcomed into the community at this event. Kathy held the fort from home and watched online. There were a number of interesting announcements covered in this year’s presentation, including an observation that 2023 is the year WordPress turns 20. How many other software products have you used that have grown so much and been so useful after 20 years? We think we know the secret: it’s the vibrant and welcoming WordPress community.
Speaker 0 00:00:02 Happy Friday, Kathy.
Speaker 1 00:00:05 Happy Friday, Michelle. It’s also like,
Speaker 0 00:00:09 This
Speaker 1 00:00:10 Is my, this is as far as I’m going with this spirit of the season. Yeah. I’m wearing the hat that came in the box with the Christmas tree, but the Christmas tree still in the box. But I can do this
Speaker 0 00:00:23 , if
Speaker 1 00:00:24 You, if you listen, I got,
Speaker 0 00:00:25 If you’re listening and not watching, you’re missing Cathy in a Santa hat, which she looks freaking adorable. . Oh,
Speaker 1 00:00:32 Thank you.
Speaker 0 00:00:33 And
Speaker 1 00:00:34 I’ve got, this is it though. This is all I’m gonna do. There you go. I do have to, um, I did do some Christmas shopping and I was on the site and they had like games and toys and stuff, and they had this one toy and I’m, it was called, um, poop Bingo. . Oh my goodness. I started hauling and I was like, I wish I had this one. My kids were little because it was, you know, you know little kids? Yeah, yeah. Poop this. Poop that poop. And so I bought it and I’m like, do I give it to the person that I wanna give it to or not?
Speaker 0 00:01:04 Uh,
Speaker 1 00:01:04 Yeah. We’ve got little kids. And so I’m like, I have to do this. I would, but then I got like, really, like paranoid, like, do I, I’m giving somebody a poop thing for Christmas. Like, why do we always talk about poop? Why am I bringing this up? We always talk about compost and poop on this
Speaker 0 00:01:19 . I inspire. It apparently
Speaker 1 00:01:25 Must be all that, all that Jamie Lee Curtis yogurt you’ve had
Speaker 0 00:01:29 . Must be, must be, you know, I I forgot when you talked about that before you, you started with the Santa hat on. I’m starting with the Santa voice. I think I’ve got this really deep ho, ho, ho voice .
Speaker 1 00:01:42 It’s, it’s the post state of the word voice. I can, it’s
Speaker 0 00:01:45 The post state of the word voice. That’s right. Whenever I get in a crowd of WordPress people, we all talk so loud and my voice always takes a hit. Even though it was only, I was only gone Wednesday, Thursday, and now it’s Friday. My voice is completely shot. Somebody in, uh, a Zoom call earlier today and one of on my team, I said something about my voice being on and they said, oh, I think it sounds sexy. And I was like, I’m claiming that I am claiming I’m not claiming like raspy voice. I am claiming sexy voice. .
Speaker 1 00:02:14 There you go. Like bread de vaccaro, right?
Speaker 0 00:02:16 That’s right. Like these lemonade, these lemons made lemonade. This raspy voice made me sexy. I don’t know. I’m there. You, I’m just, there you go. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Speaker 1 00:02:27 sounds good to me. I think I know who said that I d I wasn’t in that meeting, but I can’t just hear this person saying that, so I’m gonna make a guess.
Speaker 0 00:02:35 I’ll, I’ll share it here later.
Speaker 1 00:02:38 Want them here. .
Speaker 0 00:02:39 Exactly. Too funny. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:02:44 So how was state of the word?
Speaker 0 00:02:46 State of the word was awesome. Yeah. You know, for me it’s always about the people. Of course, I love the technology. I’m not stupid. That’s why we’re all here.
Speaker 1 00:02:53 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:02:55 But for me, it’s the people and it’s the, the, the fact that software doesn’t happen, like by chance, it’s people that come together to create the software. And what I think a lot of people don’t realize. I mean, I, I know insiders know, right? So the people who might know us personally understand this. But if you’re listening to this and you’re not somebody who has a great understanding of how the open source project works, I promise you that everybody can contribute to it. Whether you are a developer or not. Every release squad has people who write documentation, has marketing people on. It has so many things more than just the, the actual code that becomes part of core. I, I’m not a developer. I do have a plugin in the repo, but it doesn’t make me a developer. It just makes me a p developer.
Speaker 0 00:03:46 But anyway, um, I contributed to core through my marketing expertise, um, at the all women non-binary release squad, which by the way, Laura Burn asked the question at state of the word saying, can we do that again? And Matt’s like, yeah, sure. And he’ll turn to Josepha like, yeah, you ready? And she’s like, sure, when do you wanna do it? ? And Laura’s like 2023. And we’re all like, oh shit. I mean, oh, um, oh, compost . That’s coming up pretty damn quick. . Yes it is. Yeah. But it was great. It was great. And, and uh, you know, I don’t remember, I have pictures that I took of the board. When you’re sitting there, it’s so different than watching it, uh, streaming because you’re taking in so much that like Yeah, a lot of it’s a blur. I’ve gotta go back. I’m gonna rewatch it. I’m gonna go back to my notes and things like that cuz I have to write about this for a couple different, um, organizations today.
Speaker 0 00:04:41 And I’m like, I was there, I asked a question . But, um, but it was really awesome and it was really cool too that like, there’s 50 people that get to be in the audience there. And some of them were people that I know personally, but there were more people in the room that I’d never met before than people that I had. Really Wow. That’s great. And I thought that was great because it, it shows that those kinds of events aren’t just for what people see as the elite or the influencers or the WordPress royalty. You know, I know some people that are considered WordPress royalty who put their name in and didn’t get a ticket. Wow. And yet people that are brand new to WordPress or in WordPress adjacent industries were in that room. And it was super cool to have conversations with people who aren’t the people that I run into all the time at Word Camps.
Speaker 0 00:05:36 Right? Yes. We had a dinner, a bunch of us, I think 13 of us got to together for dinner on Wednesday night. Um, you know, Bob, wp, me, rich Tabor, um, I can’t even think of everybody. Nev Harris was there. Um, Ryan Marks like a bunch of people that we all know. Um, Aaron Campbell, bud Krause was there. Uh, you know, know Bud and I’m forgetting people and I apologize. Robbie, Robbie Adair, I love her to pieces. She’s awesome. Anyway, bunch of us had dinner on Wednesday night. It was wonderful. It was so good to see people. We went to, um, Rockefeller Center and saw the tree. I was blown away by the magnificent of that tree. Like seeing it on TV does not do it justice. Yeah. And so we’re watch, we’re looking at the tree and Robbie is like pulling up on her phone. That tree is 82 feet tall.
Speaker 0 00:06:26 There are 50,000 bulbs on that tree. If you stretched all those bulbs end to end, it’s five miles of light bulbs. The topper is worth 1.5 million. I mean, she’s just like giving us all the details. It was so fun. We had so much fun. It was freezing in the city. It’s just so cold. But, um, but we had a lot of fun. But then the next day to, to show up and talk to people who, um, who aren’t necessarily like, like I said, those insiders that are, you know, in all the different places. And, uh, you know, uh, a protege of mine went to Word, uh, state of the word and she is brand new to WordPress. And so she got to be in the same room and hear about these things. S hear about where we’ve been, where we’re going take a selfie with Matt.
Speaker 0 00:07:13 Like I remember my first selfie with Matt. I don’t know if you do, you know, those kinds of things. And uh, she was just like blown away by the people that make WordPress. You know, like you think about like, I use my, I use, I don’t anymore, but I used to use Microsoft products, right? Not once have I ever heard a name in Microsoft besides like the two or three at the very top of the Microsoft pyramid. But with WordPress being an open source project, that is not the case. We hear about the people that are part of the project. And I’ve said this before, we have an open source software, but we have an open source community and I think that’s what makes us special and that’s what makes it who we are as WordPress. So, um, so I’m exhausted because my flight was delayed and all those other things, but I’m also really psyched and really jazzed by the things that that were said and the people that I got to meet there. It was pretty cool.
Speaker 1 00:08:11 Yeah. That is so cool. Yeah, it was kind of cool cuz in our company Slack people were like, I see Michelle. You know, and everybody was like so excited to see that you were there and that Timothy who’s on the Ithe team, that he was there and Yep. That, you know, that there, that people that we know and love and of course, you know, I’m looking through the crowd and I’m like, and Seth good, that’s Seth good . Like, it was just like next to all of these people I know, it’s like this, you know? Yeah. Seth Gordon, who’s been around for decades as one of the leading thinkers in the world were world of marketing and writing and, and all of that mm-hmm. . So, um, it was, it was a really neat experience. Um, yeah. You know, obviously different than having it at Word Camp us and having, you know, this big event where everybody’s like sharing all of this and then Matt kind of caps the, the end of the weekend with mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 00:09:01 The state of the word. Very different. But I think, you know, given where we’ve been over the past couple of years, this is okay, this works really well. I was on the YouTube live stream and so like tons of people were popping in there as well. And so we were all like, Hey, how’s it going? And so there was even online community, even though it’s like people that you know, I know in real life and you know, in real life we were all just on, on chat and it was kind of cool. So, and, and of course, you know, the Cadence community, everybody there was watching as well. And so there’s been some discussions in the Cadence community mm-hmm. Uh, Facebook page about all of that. And we did a live stream earlier today Oh yeah. Um, and talked a little bit about our thoughts on what, what’s happening with, uh, with, uh, word for us in the state of Word.
Speaker 0 00:09:47 It’s, it’s not, you know, everything you hear doesn’t always make you happy. Right. When you hear, well, themes are going away and the block editor’s taking over everything and I’m thinking, oh, our, our cadence, people are gonna be like, oh my God, what does that mean for us? Right. Well, cadence works with blocks. Like Cadence is blocks, cadence is better Blocks. Right. So I was like, you
Speaker 1 00:10:09 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:10:10 You’re Cadence person, don’t worry. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:10:13 He built, he built the Cadence Blacks plugin before the theme and before Gutenberg was even a part of Core Cadence Blocks was in its infancy. Cuz Ben is such a visionary and can see where it was all going and was like, yeah, this is gonna be how WordPress builds. And, and, and it just keeps, keeps going. He just keeps innovating on that and it’s, it’s kind of cool to see. But yeah, no, no, I was really excited to hear about a lot of the things, especially with Gutenberg and how how fast that progression is, is really happening. I know when it first came into Core, a lot of people were concerned of like, oh, why is this abrupt change happening like this? And Gutenberg really isn’t ready, but it needed, it needed us in order to become ready. It needed users to play with it in order for it to become what it is today. We
Speaker 0 00:11:04 Needed to break it, we needed to break it, make it good. Right.
Speaker 1 00:11:07 Yeah, for sure. Right. Yeah. So in retrospect, I mean, I look back at, at the progression from, was it 2018 I think where they, it was in Nashville 2018 I believe, and mm-hmm. people were like on planes and hearing from clients that their websites were getting updated and Yeah, what’s this news? You know, because it was like very, very kind of abrupt, but in retrospect, you know, sometimes rip pin those band-aids off is, is the best thing in the long term. Yep.
Speaker 0 00:11:36 Absolutely. And Matt’s headed on the head when he said something about not everybody was happy. Both Gutenberg, there are probably some people in this room who still aren’t happy with Gutenberg, you know, . So cuz there are some people who just don’t like change. Like I used to teach WordPress Yeah. Until Gutenberg came. And then I was like, I don’t know how to teach WordPress anymore because Yeah, it’s so different now. And then I just, of course now I know how to use it, but it’s like, I don’t teach it anymore. Not because it’s Gutenberg, but because my life went in a different direction. So there’s, there’s just so much and it’s, it’s, I don’t know, I think it’s still an amazing thing and um, yeah, I’m really excited about the future of it and uh, it was just so fun to be there. Of course, the other part of me wants to be like the head of Hopper that was there. I’m like, and Matt wore really nice Italian leather shoes and a beautiful suit, . And the food was amazing. Like, there was these little mini Keisha and like little mini, um, they called them baby, um, filet Mignons on like a little cini. I I’m telling you, the food was off the hook. It was amazing. .
Speaker 1 00:12:40 Yeah. When he ended the, the q and a, he’s like, okay, let’s go have some snacks. And I’m just like, looking over at my kitchen, I’m like, I bet my snacks are not gonna be as good as their snacks.
Speaker 0 00:12:50 I might have had a few glasses of snack.
Speaker 1 00:12:53 Did you? Good for you. Oh, it sounds amazing.
Speaker 0 00:12:57 It was really good. It was really well done. And you know, I wanna, I wanna give some shout outs too, like there, so I had brought Julia, right? She got a ticket. She entered the lottery to get a ticket. Um, she’s my neighbor upstairs and she is just such a help to me. Um, she helped me put up my Christmas tree, for example. And yeah, I, it’s hard for me to travel alone sometimes because I, um, you know, some of the disabilities that I deal with, I can, it’s so much easier if I don’t have to, let’s just say it that way. But, um, so she was, this was her first introduction, like she’s been to some meetups online, but this is like her first time being with people in the same room. And she was like, I, she’s had a very restricted diet and so she couldn’t have any of the alcohols, she couldn’t have any of the cider and those kinds of things.
Speaker 0 00:13:42 They there, she’s like, oh, I would just go for a cup of coffee. And I was just talking to, to Mo Carter, who is mm-hmm. , you know, higher up at Automatic. And I said to her, I said, oh, Julia just would love a cup of coffee. Do you know where we can get a cup of coffee? She’s like, oh, come with me Julia. She goes, I will make you a pot of coffee. And she did. She made her some coffee, she showed him where everything was so Julia could have a cup of coffee. And I thought it’s, it’s people like Moe talking to somebody who’s brand new and treating them like they’ve been part of the fabric of WordPress from day one because they are Right. New people coming in aren’t the fringe, they become the fabric of who we are as a community. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:14:23 That makes an impression on people who are new to the, to the community for sure. Yeah. And new to using the project, to using the, um, open source software. So, so a huge shout out to, I don’t know if she listens to us, but huge shout out to her. Um, and to just all of the other people that were just so freaking amazing. And Josepha, she’s awesome and she is, did a great introduction about what Opensourcing even means and the four laws and things like that. And yeah, it was just, it was phenomenal and totally. Um, so I’m there and Timothy from my themes is there and he’s getting a shout out from Matt for a project I didn’t even know he was working on called Engine Awesome. And I’m like, yeah, I have to write about you now, dude. How do I not know you were doing all of this? So, yeah. So it’s just, you know, I know Hillary Clinton like said it takes a village, it takes a whole community, a global community to make us who we are. And I am just still pleased that I get to be part of it.
Speaker 1 00:15:24 Yeah. Isn’t it exciting? He also mentioned that word process turning 20 and what gosh, software pa what software package have you used for 20 years?
Speaker 0 00:15:32 Exactly. Exactly.
Speaker 1 00:15:34 Like there’s not many that are able to like shift with the times to be able to meet people where they’re at. The fact that, that Matt, you know, love him or hate him. , I personally have so much respect for this man who is such a visionary and seeing what needs to happen in WordPress and is able to take big butts and able to capitalize on opportunities and to be a visionary in a leader. It’s not to, to steer a project and automatic, like to be able to steer all of this stuff mm-hmm. . Um, and to be able to set that kind of vision is uh, an immense challenge. And I think maybe some people are um, you know, want him to make different decisions sometimes and maybe might be a little judgey about that and stuff. But you know, if you’re not in those shoes, those fine Italian shoes, ,
Speaker 0 00:16:28 , I don’t really know if they’re Italian leather cuz I’ve not had a
Speaker 1 00:16:32 Hot, let’s just say they’re, they
Speaker 0 00:16:34 Look nice to me.
Speaker 1 00:16:35 , let’s just say they are. Um, I’d like to, that’s the picture I’d like to paint, um, that, you know, his hard work has earned him fine Italian shoes. Absolutely. , you know, he’s, he’s had, you know, I think he’s had, but, but he’s smart enough to know when he doesn’t know and he’s smart enough to bring in the bright, biggest and brightest minds in order mm-hmm. to help, um, you know, get the right vision. And I am, I’m grateful to ’em that, you know, WordPress is what it is today and I’m able to compete in a marketplace where you have all of these other like closed source systems where they can just do whatever they want and mm-hmm. , nobody, you know, you don’t own your platform, you know, review, they just shut down. If you were writing all of your newsletters on review and you wanted an archive of ’em, well I hope you can download them. Yeah. But you have to make a different decision for your platform now. Whereas WordPress, wordpress.org you download, you install it on whatever server you want. You have your backups, you have, you own your site, you own the code because you’re building with it, you know, I mean it’s, it’s yours because of the open source nature of the product Yeah. Or project. And you don’t get that with all of these other, they may be able to move much faster and do um, do different things, but it’ll never be WordPress.
Speaker 0 00:17:52 Right. Exactly.
Speaker 1 00:17:54 Take that Squarespace,
Speaker 0 00:17:55 Take
Speaker 1 00:17:56 That mix
Speaker 0 00:17:57
Speaker 0 00:17:59 And there’s no, there isn’t community built around those products. Like there is, you know, um, right, Julia that I talked about, she has a website that she built in, um, Shopify because that’s what she knew to be easy and to do it. And now she’s like wanting to have a career in WordPress like that is impressive. Right. It is. That that a that a community can show it’s good and bad and still be, and still like have people wanting to be part of it. I think that’s awesome. For sure. Absolutely. Did you notice the check marks on his lapel?
Speaker 1 00:18:34 I did. double verified double dollars for that, right? Or or is that $8? But you get double the checks. That’s what it
Speaker 0 00:18:42 Is, right? I, I don’t remember, but I feel like I have to go buy checks now. I want checks, I want check marks. I don’t want not Twitter tech marks, Tumblr check marks. It’s something else.
Speaker 1 00:18:52 For sure. It’s funny. And a couple of my slacks, I just put a check mark next to my name and I said I verify myself
Speaker 0 00:18:58
Speaker 1 00:18:58 Some of my, you know, my fun slacks. I don’t do that kind of stuff at work. Yeah. But like the fun word pro slacks. I’m like, check mark. I I check mark myself. I don’t need any, uh, I don’t need any, uh, crazy, uh, billionaires telling me what I can and can’t check Mark. So
Speaker 0 00:19:12 , as a matter of fact, I’m inspired now. Um, I, I am an a admit admin of the post status slack. I’m going to go make a check mark what’s gonna be an orange check mark because you know, our color is orange and make it an emoji. So if you wanna verify yourself in Slack as a, as a uh, post status word presser, you’ll have the ability to do that for the low, low price of free .
Speaker 1 00:19:35 There you go.
Speaker 0 00:19:37 We’re gonna roll it out soon after I write my
Speaker 1 00:19:39 I love it . I love It’s so fun. It’s
Speaker 0 00:19:44 Funny. It is fun for sure. Oh my goodness. So the la the we’re on the, the, if you’re somebody who celebrates Christmas, we are absolutely on the countdown towards Christmas. Um, everybody has a new year rollover in just two weeks. So we’re on the, you know, if you’re spending on your budget or you’re trying to figure out how to get everything done through the end of the year, our hearts are with you. Cuz we’re right there too .
Speaker 1 00:20:07 Yeah, definitely. And if, you know, you have extra budget and you need to burn it, otherwise your budget decreases next year. You could always sponsor this podcast. Buy us a copy. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:20:16 See that. That’s right. We won’t say no. And we are now, um, uh, available through Apple Podcasts and Spotify and I think Amazon too, but I’m not a hundred percent on that one. So we’ve been submitting amazing. You could hear us in more than one place now.
Speaker 1 00:20:33 Amazing. That’s exciting.
Speaker 0 00:20:35 It is exciting. We’re
Speaker 1 00:20:36 So, we’re real. We’re verified.
Speaker 0 00:20:38 we’re verified. We should, we should just have a um, we should change the name of the podcast to Blue Check Mark
Speaker 1 00:20:44 .
Speaker 0 00:20:47 We talk about you. You’re verified too. . Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:20:50 There you go. , we’ll verify you, we’ll tell you whether or not you’re verified or not. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:20:56 And now we’re getting to the part of the podcast where Michelle’s just punchy cuz she survived on little sleep. So I’m gonna let Kathy wrap it up.
Speaker 1 00:21:02 All right. Yeah. Well I am grateful. I’m really grateful that you not only got to go, but were invited to go that the WordPress community, that the community leaders realize what you give to this project in terms of community and the all of the people that you uplift and support and the WordPress community I think is amazing. So I was so glad that you got an invitation. You are special. It was special and I’m glad you get Yeah,
Speaker 0 00:21:30 Thank
Speaker 1 00:21:30 You. Very cool. And I’m glad you got to go. I’m glad you got to see everyone and I hope you get some rest this weekend. Oh,
Speaker 0 00:21:36 I’m sleeping all day tomorrow. I’m never taking off my pajamas .
Speaker 1 00:21:41 Ooh, that sounds really nice.
Speaker 0 00:21:42 Right? I know. Oh my gosh. For sure. .
Speaker 1 00:21:46 Yeah. Cool. Well thank you everyone for listening. Thank you for watching. If you’re watching on YouTube, give us a, like, if you’re on Apple podcast, give us a review. We like the five star ones bust. If you wanna get us that for Christmas. Five stars look goods on both of us. Absolutely. You don’t even need to ask us what our favorite color is or anything or
Speaker 0 00:22:05 Our size. Five stars always fits. Five stars
Speaker 1 00:22:08 Always fits. Give us that on Apple podcast. If you are on YouTube, thumbs up are always nice. Subscribe, um, whatever podcast platform you’re on, just, you know, say hi. Absolutely. Drop us a comment on our blog. Let us know you’re listening. Let us know that we entertain you on Monday mornings and give us fodder for discussion. If you want us to talk about something, if you want us to talk about your product, send us your product. We’d love to play with it and give it a review. Absolutely. Happen to anything that’s Yeah,
Speaker 0 00:22:37 We’re right cause it’s all motivational. It’s all fun,
Speaker 1 00:22:40 . It is. It is. Thank you guys for listening. Um, and we will be back next time. Although, are we gonna do this over the holidays or are we gonna take a break till next year? What’s our plan?
Speaker 0 00:22:49 I mean, I’m working fri I’m working Fridays. If you’re working Fridays, we can still keep motivating. It’s
Speaker 1 00:22:54 Let, let’s do it. Let’s do it. This is the best part of, we’re
Speaker 0 00:22:57 Here for the people. Best part of, oh Kathy, we are here for the people. Woo .
Speaker 1 00:23:00 We sure are.
Speaker 0 00:23:02 . I hope you’re laughing
Speaker 1 00:23:03 Along. All right everyone.
Speaker 0 00:23:05 Yeah. Bye. That’s
Speaker 1 00:23:08 What we’re here to do. Have fun. Thanks so much. Bye.