Disclaimer: Dreams may come true, but sometimes only in part. Said dream fulfillment may at first appear greater than it truly is. Neither WordPress nor Meetup guarantees the complete fulfillment of any dream.
Meetup is an app that allows any random person to form a club on any topic. There are meet-ups for role-playing games, yoga, Spanish speakers, and thousands of groups for singles who want to mingle. Ever since I started blogging a year ago, I have yearned for two things: to attend an official WordPress WordCamp and to join a WordPress meet-up. Well, my second wish came true via the WordPress Naperville Meetup Group (Illinois). I attended my first time on 21 April 2015 from 6:00-9:00 pm.
The first exciting surprise about the meet-up was that it took place at a satellite campus of NIU, Northern Illinois University. You know how classrooms and school supplies get me frisky. Plus, the setting offered many opportunities to learn about earning my Master’s degree and started me thinking (salivating, really) about going back to college. I wish there were some way to sit in classes forever and somehow make a paying job out of it. “And what do you do for a living, Ms. Rivka?”
Me? I take classes.
“Oooh, that sounds so interesting. Do tell me more!”
Sure, let’s discuss it over sex.
Back to reality, there was a larger crowd than I expected or was emotionally prepared to deal with: about 37 people. We each took a minute to introduce ourselves and I learned that 35 members of the group were in marketing, business development, sales, website development, graphic design or information technologies (computers). Then there was me and one young man who blogs about fashion. Frankly, this is not the best WP meet-up group for me or my needs; but I am going to keep attending anyhow because there is strength and safety in numbers. A WP group this large can attract speakers and schedule events. Who knows how far they will be able to take my writing? For example, if I finish a book… when I finish a book, they can certainly help me to make a paying business out of it. I just have to sit it out until other authors emerge. Maybe I can start a future sub-group of WP users who only write recovery blogs?
Some of the members had as many as 8 WP blogs, but they were all business or marketing blogs meant to sell their product or their services as a business developer. “Look what I made! I can build an empire for you, too!” I do not consider that to be the same use of WordPress as my recovery blog. Please enlighten me if you see it differently.
The presentation was in two parts: websites that offer WP tutorials and troubleshooting. The troubleshooting presentation was over-the-top technical about FTP and other acronyms that mean zero to me, but it made me think that I should move my blog over to WordPress.org because dotorg is a larger universe that offers more customization and plug-ins than dotcom does. Plus dotcom is moving towards stupidifying blogging for newbies and I resent that much hand-holding. When I get started on moving my blog from dotcom to dotorg, I’ll document it in a blog post or two.
The pay-off of the night came not from the presentations, but from the random lady who sat next to me. She gave me internet links to all of the writers’ groups near my new home, people who are challenging themselves to write, publish, and sell novels. She told me about one group that commits to writing a novel in one year; 40,000 words. That’s where I want to be. So I finally got to be a part of a larger WordPress group, but it turned out to be business-oriented. As for a WordCamp, they informed me that the presentations are all filmed and available online to watch. It’s not the same as attending, but it’s a good place to start. For me, the WP meet-up was a half-win and I feel good about joining the group. Gamzu l’tovah.
“Dreams Do Come True: WordPress Meet-Ups.” is copyright © 2015 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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