Thanks for checking out this page! Hopefully, you’re a WordPress user in the Derby, Ilkeston or Nottingham area of the East Midlands, UK.
Whether you’re a blogger, developer, business owner or hobbiest you’re possibly interested in meeting in person for informal, friendly discussion and learning opportunities.
- This page is a holding page until something more permanent is set up
- A couple of 302 redirects forward wpderby.co.uk and wpnottingham.co.uk here
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WordPress Meetup: Initial Thoughts
Existing Meet Up Groups
A search on MeetUp.com shows there are groups for programmers in the East Midlands but perhaps Derby/Nottingham people would like to stay more local and focus on WordPress only.
What I learned about MeetUp.com however, is that is costs money (a monthly fee) to create a group. It seems like EventBrite is a popular alternative because there’s no subscription – it’s free to post and promote events.
My Interest in WordPress
To clarify, I’m referring to the WordPress.org open source distribution, not WordPress.com.
Although both versions are developed by Automattic and were founded by Matt Mullenweg it is the self hosted .org version I’m interested in.
WAMP is now my preferred development environment.
WordPress is powerful, flexible and free. However, there are many mistakes easily made with the platform and out-of-the-box it’s susceptible to brute force attacks.
My goal is to learn and understand more about WordPress as well as help small businesses build their websites if they feel a consultant would benefit them.
On the tools page you’ll see I’ve mentioned a few of the WP plugins I use.
Meet Up Subject Matter, Topics & Discussions
There’s always plenty of discussion to be had around WordPress.
One of the best ways to keep up with WordPress news is to subscribe to a good podcast like Your Website Engineer, which is run by Automattic employee and developer Dustin Hartzler.
While these podcasts are great to listen to, the dialogue of an on demand delivered medium is sort of on a one way setting. There’s no real time interaction.
I’d like to informally network with others face to face and have actual conversations about WordPress topics.
I posted a topic on a website forum I visit a lot, asking for WordPress meetup ideas. I got a little feedback and some good tips. Someone on that thread mentioned a WordPress meetup in Derby.
Some WordPress users will be complete novices while others may be veteran developers. I had a conversation with my #SmallBizHour tweetchat co-host Steph and she said she couldn’t get to grips with the finer points of WordPress.
Have a listen to our conversation below. Maybe you’re currently in a similar position to Steph – frustrated. Perhaps a meetup would benefit you.
Maybe I’ll persuade Steph to come as well!
By the way, when I was talking about the author archive issues within the WordPress slug, I was referring to something from within the WordPress database, inside a table row called user_nicename. This is a potentially fatal weakness that I’ve written about here.
The question of skill level with WordPress will require some thought. My Spidey senses detect a survey! Google forms can be used as a questionnaire to solicit feedback.
Venues, Logistics & Overheads
Since I’m from Ilkeston, I could travel to either Derby or Nottingham quite easily.
There are some established events in both cities that have been open to the idea of using their venue, such as TechNottingham. I had a chat with them on Twitter in the early part of 2015 and they seemed receptive.
I did a little research using the Facebook audience insights tool and it looks as though the most people with “WordPress” listed as an interest in their Facebook profile are from Nottingham:
This tells me Nottingham is probably the best place to hold a meetup.
I met with someone from Heanor and we discussed putting on an initial session on the 16th September 2015.
The first meetup was interesting and was a demonstration of building a localhost server stack. We had a few people come along but the other organiser decided not to continue hosting in Heanor because of the initial low turnout.
Personally, numbers do not bother me since this is something you earn over time. Plus, it was the first meeting, so the early results should not be an indicator of the long term outcome.
It’s true that the research seems to indicate Nottingham has the most potential and a greater chance of attracting more attendees.
Whether this is a free or paid event remains to be seen. If there are rental overheads it would need to involve a fee to cover costs.
- It would be good to have laptops and WI-FI with a projector, for obvious reasons.
- Demoing frameworks, plugins, local hosts, themes, websites, code and more is going to be useful.
- To get started, a pub or function room might be the beginning but secure WI-FI access with decent bandwidth could be an issue here.
If you’re reading this and you believe you know a suitable venue it would be appreciated if you’d leave a comment or contact me.
For larger events it is possible to apply for official “WordCamp” status for a WordPress meetup. There are some good tips here about creating a WordCamp event.
Here’s episode of a WordPress podcast I listen to on the subject of creating a WordCamp event:
— WordPress Nottingham (@wpnottingham) March 21, 2016
So far, the venue used by Tech Nottingham is the most attractive. The venue is called Antenna and it is on Beck Street, near Huntington Street, Nottingham, about 5 minutes walk from the Victoria Center.
The bar and function room of Antenna is used by many existing technology, digital and software events every month.
Click the image below for a larger view of what is currently running:
The room is spacious and comfortable. The bar serves a selection of beers and coffee, including decaf, which I like!
You can’t see it here, but there is a large projector screen that pulls down on the far wall, and it is this that you can plug a laptop into. There is a tech guy and mixing board for sound.
Numerous TV screens are dotted around the room. I hope these are connected to the main screen.
Free Wi-Fi is included. You can log on and enter the password to use the internet on your device. The password can be obtained from the bar staff.
To start things off I am hoping we could run a weekly tweetchat hour.
Let’s use these Twitter hashtags:
By the way #WPDerby has previously been used for something in the United States having nothing to do with WordPress or Derby in the East Midlands. It was last used in 2012.
This is often the case with Twitter hashtags that have been abandoned, but anyone can claim a hashtag and give it a lease of life.
I’ll start promoting the two Twitter accounts by following anyone on Twitter interested in WordPress from Derby or Nottingham.
I’ve been using Followerwonk to help locate the kind of Twitter users interested in connecting.
LinkedIn Group: WordPress East Midlands
A LinkedIn group called WordPress East Midlands has been created. Feel free to join that.
The title of the group may be renamed in future depending on where exactly it is hosted.
Facebook has a group feature too which may be useful. I’ll see about setting one up.
WordPress Foundation: Trademark Policy
I’ve gotten in touch with the WordPress Foundation regarding the WordPress trademark policy.
The phrase “WordPress”, to my knowledge, may not be used in a company or brand name, although it can be used in a byline or description.
There are lots of stipulations that must be observed so I’ve contacted them asking for advice.
- WordPress social club for beginner to intermediate to advanced
- Monthly meetups, early evening
- Derby, Ilkeston or Nottingham
- Bloggers, developers, businesses, web consultants
- WordPress.org open source distribution
- Informal and friendly
- Topics similar to podcasts like Your Website Engineer
- Appropriate venue with required technology needed
- Will reach out to existing tech event venues to try to reach an arrangement
- Start off in a pub or coffee shop if no larger venue initially
- Get a Twitter weekly Hashtag chat
- Consider LinkedIn and Facebook groups
- Look into use of WordPress logo and trademark
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Leave a comment or get in touch if you want to help or attend.