Being days away from the biggest WordCamp Europe ever, it’s now time to tell a final story about the European communities. We’ve travelled across Europe bringing you stories about both diverse and inspirational WordPress communities.
Our journey started with communities from Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia. Then we talked with the communities from Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia and shortly after that we presented the communities from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Hungary. A month ago we published article featuring communities from Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland and 10 days later, we talked with communities from United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Just last week we published the penultimate article about communities from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Greenland.
The time has come to tell the final story – let’s meet communities from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Portugal is, like Spain, Italy or Greece, one of the most visited countries in the world. Home to people like Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco da Gama, for centuries it has been a nation of explorers. Two major cities, Lisbon and Porto, are both popular tourist destinations and lovely places to visit and enjoy.
When we’re talking about the Portuguese community the first person that comes to mind is Zé Fontainhas. Zé is one of those people who had a huge impact not only on his local community but on the global community as well. He organized WordCamp Lisbon in 2011 and 2012 and was one of the founders of WordCamp Europe, which then evolved to become one of the (currently) two most important WordCamps in the world. We can only agree that he had a huge impact on building the Portuguese community to what it is today – a rock-solid community that is being lead by some extraordinary people.
José Freitas has been working as a journalist for more than 20 years and has been a WordPress user since 2008. He is also on the Portuguese translation team. Like José, Pedro Fonseca also has more than 20 years of experience working in the health industry and building websites as a hobby. He discovered WordPress in 2006, which gradually changed his life. He is now involved in organizing WordCamps and meetups.
Nuno Morgadinho and Ana Aires are husband and wife, and WordPressers who’ve been working on WordPress projects for years. They co-founded a development and consultancy shop, WidgiLabs, and created WP Conference Theme. Marco Pereirinha is a WordPress developer with 8 years of experience working on a wide range of projects, from small business to large governmental websites. He’s been working for the Norwegian company Knowit Experience for the last 3 years.
Nuno and Ana: The community is the big thing. Our involvement started around 6 years ago when together with Zé Fontainhas we wanted to bring the community together and started organizing meetups in Lisbon. After a while, the community took off and with a small team we’ve put together a two great WordCamp Lisbon in 2011 and 2012.
On the Contributor day at the second WordCamp Lisbon, Marco Pereirinha asked the organizers to bring the WordCamp to his city, Porto. But he didn’t expect the answer he got – to do that you have to have your own local community.
Marco: In return, I got the provocation to start locally that community. And so I did, later that year I cranked a meetup. In earlier 2013 we had another one and the latest was really important to this group. Great people took a step in front and help to bring to daylight WordCamp Porto 2013.
Although before the first WordCamp Porto they didn’t organize regular meetups, this changed afterward.
Pedro: When we organized the first WordCamp in Porto, a decision was taken: we had to organize regular local meetups. I had the opportunity to organize the first one and found a nice Motard bar that would let us gather there. Our meetups have about 20+ attendees, and we welcome everybody. We usually receive people from outside Porto – sometimes we receive people from cities more than 100 km away. We also have been promoting that other cities create their own meetup, and give them all our support (as the case of Aveiro Meetup).
To date, they’ve organized 24 consecutive uninterrupted meetups in Porto, which is a magnificent achievement.
José: It’s on the last Thursday of the each month. Usually, we have a talk about a subject with Q&A and maybe some debate. We end the meetup with some food for those who want to join. As you may know, Portuguese people love food.
The last WordCamp that happened in Portugal was WordCamp Porto in May. It was the largest WordCamp in Portugal so far, with around 300 attendees. Other than Porto, there are meetups in Lisbon, Aveiro, and Braga, although not on the regular basis.
José: The biggest problem is to convince people to leave their routine comfort and attend the meetups. Sometimes we have a hard time explaining that we need to give back some of the things we get from WordPress. Because WordPress cannot be taken for granted forever. People need to do something to help the software growth.
And WordPress is growing in Portugal as it is growing globally. Nowadays, people see a lot more potential in WordPress so they are stepping up and starting to volunteer, speak or organize meetups.
Pedro: We try to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everybody. As the meetups are so enjoyable, it’s not a problem to deal with the need for consistency and regularity.
It all starts with the right people. For Portugal, one of these people who is the foundation of the community is Zé, mentioned previously.
Nuno and Ana: Having Zé Fontainhas in the community also helped immensely because he brought the sense of how such a community can work together and make things happen even when people are distributed across the country and working remotely with no face contact for months. In more recent years I would say that our WordCamp team has become quite an event-organizing lean machine that could compete even with event professionals.
Probably the biggest success story was this year’s WordCamp in Porto. Apart from the talks, there were 2 very successful workshops for beginners, which have been attended by around 70 people (Create a website; Create an Online store). Demand for both workshops and the WordCamp was very high.
José: It’s was great to see that people were interested in the camp several weeks before the conference. Usually, people buy tickets in the two last weeks. In this case, we had a massive ticket sale in the first month. We sold out and had to change rooms in the venue to get more space and sell more tickets.
WordPress is a hot topic in Portugal and a story how a meetup organized within 2 days reached 35 attendees is also a nice one.
Nuno and Ana: As we work from Coworklisboa we get the chance to meet new people almost every month. One morning though someone at the space mentioned that we had a new coworker visiting and that he also worked with WordPress. Imagine my excitement when I found out it was Cory Miller, iThemes founder and long-time blogger! After talking for a while with him I realized this was the ideal opportunity to organize a local meetup and in 2-3 days we’ve put together an event with 30-35 people that culminated in a fantastic dinner that was a blast for everyone.
People from Portuguese community travel more and more to WordCamps outside Portugal. Although this is not that usual for the majority of the community, we can say that there are some regular volunteers and speakers on WordCamps across Europe.
Get in touch with the WordPress community in Portugal
- Fellow organizers: José Freitas, Pedro Fonseca, Vitor Silva, Carlos Silva, Ricardo Correia, Paulo Lima, Alvaro Gois, Zé Fontainhas, Ana Aires and Nuno Morgadinho
- WordPress Portugal
- WordCamp Porto
- WordPress Meetup Porto
- WordPress Meetup Aveiro
- WordPress Meetup Braga
Next to Portugal lies Spain. Explorer Amerigo Vespucci, painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, writer Miguel de Cervantes (who gave us the first modern novel Don Quixote); architect Antoni Gaudí (famous for his never-finished Sagrada Família in Barcelona) and tenors José Carreras and Plácido Domingo (⅔ of the Three tenors, the third being the Italian Luciano Pavarotti) – are all Spaniards.
In Barcelona, we talk with Joan Artés who has been using WordPress since 2010. He’s been a contributor for the past 4 years, mainly contributing by sending tickets to WordPress Trac and by testing and submitting patches to bundled themes, like Twenty Fourteen. He co-organizes WordCamp Barcelona and the Barcelona WordPress meetup.
Ibon Azkoitia served as lead organizer of the first WordCamp Bilbao that happened just a couple of weeks ago. He used to be competition mechanic but nowadays he’s helping companies with their online businesses. Darío Balbontín Fernández comes from Cantabria in the north of Spain. He’s a UX/UI designer and also WordCamp and meetup organizer.
Joan, Ibon and Darío represent one small part of the Spanish WordPress community, a community that plans to organize 8 different WordCamps in 2017. When asking about their motivation in the community, Ibon summarizes it pretty well.
Ibon: The WordPress community has helped me to learn, reach and evolve to what I am now, so I try to give back all I can to it.
A story about Spanish community begins 8 years ago. Back then, Barcelona hosted WordCamp Spain (in 2008, 2009 and 2010) but once the Foundation changed the rules so WordCamps should be named after cities, the community in Barcelona shut down. Sort of. The community “restarted itself” in December of 2013, Joan explains.
Joan: In December 2013, Raul Iliana, Javier Casares, Jose Conti and I re-started the Barcelona community. In this rerun, our intention was to organize a great WordCamp in Barcelona. We applied to Central and they said we needed some community before and this is why we started to organize monthly meetups. And the community started to grow, a lot. In April 2015 we got our first WordCamp with nearly 200 attendees. The result was very good. We’re planning to have the next WordCamp at the end of 2016.
Spain is quite a large country and a lot of local communities exist there. Bilbao, Barcelona, Asturias, Marbella, Madrid, Cadiz, Seville, Cantabria – and they are all connected on Spanish Slack. Cantabria is a small province in the north of Spain, with Santander being the largest city in the province. Darío tells us a bit about their local community.
Darío: Our community is the first one created in the north of Spain, in a small province called Cantabria. It has about 130 members and about 20 attendees per meetup organized. We do various types of meetups, such as WordPress&Beers, flash talks, workshops…
In 2015, the year that Seville hosted WordCamp Europe, Cantabria hosted its first WordCamp; and with 200 attendees – it was a giant success. The same year, 2015, was the year when the community in the nearby Bilbao started.
Ibon: We started as a community in 2016 – January. We try to do things quite different with 3 meetups each month and with a variety of presentations, workshops, roundtables, contributor days and more.
The Spanish community has grown over time. The Slack channel helped a lot and organizing WordCamp Europe in Seville was another boost for the community. Joan recalls that around 15 people from Barcelona went to WordCamp Europe in Seville, and for other WordCamps in Spain 3 to 5 people will usually go. Communities are in contact with one another and they are even talking about the WordCamp schedule for 2017/2018 – so they don’t overlap with one another. The Community from Bilbao goes to other WordCamps as well, and they do so wearing specially made t-shirts so they are recognizable. In general, the biggest community problems are finding a venue and finding speakers for the events. Where finding a venue isn’t so much a problem for the Spanish community, finding speakers is.
Darío: The biggest problem in our community is that people are hard to persuade in order to join as a speaker or “teacher”. Fortunately, this is changing and there are some people who are actively sharing knowledge with the community.
Ibon: We have had good luck, we had none-few problems. From the first day, we had a place to make the meetups and volunteers appeared for helping and working together. In WPBilbao, we have our own Slack, Twitter, Facebook and Website. This gives a very important sense of belonging that helps to go further.
The Meetup in Barcelona takes place at the Mobile World Center, which is situated in the very heart of Barcelona, at Plaza Catalunya. Regarding speakers: they try to encourage people to talk.
Joan: In the beginning the speakers were always the same (us, the organizers). Now, sometimes, someone from the community reaches us because they want to talk, but it happened two or three times. In each meetup, we always say that we need speakers but they never come.
Get in touch with the WordPress community in Spain
- Fellow organizers: (Barcelona) Javier Casares, José Conti, Joan Boluda, Joan Artés; (Bilbao) Ibon Azkoitia, Fernan Díez, Juan Carlos Alonso; (Cantabria) Darío Balbontín Fernández, Ignacio Ara, Nadia Prida, Esther del Prado, Luis Ángel Montoya y Zoraida Mediavilla
- WordPress Spain + Get involved
- WordCamp Barcelona
- WordCamp Bilbao
- WordCamp Cantabria
Italy is, globally, the fifth most visited tourist destination. With such beautiful cities as Rome, Florence or Venice, Italy has a lot to offer to tourists coming all over the world. Italians have of course had a strong impact as well. From explorers like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, renaissance geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Donatello, to modern-day Italians like Umberto Eco, Enzo Ferrari, Dino de Laurentis or Andrea Bocelli – Italians have had a huge impact on the world’s exploration, culture and science.
But Italians have a problem and it’s called fragmentation. Although Italy is densely populated country (with over 60 million people), Italians have retained a strong regional attachment. A couple of years without a WordCamp and even without locally-organized meetups was the Italian reality. But then everything changed in the last years. The turning point was WordCamp Europe in Sofia, and then the one last year in Seville.
To get a glimpse into the Italian community we talked with a couple of people. Luca Sartoni, Italian living in Vienna and working for Automattic as growthketeer is one of the key figures in this story. The other one is Francesca Marano, a WordPress specialist, community junkie, business explorer, author and speaker.
Francesca: I am a natural born evangelist and organizer: when I am not planning website strategies for my clients or organizing local WordPress Meetups and WordCamp, I organize elaborate dinner parties with friends.
Luca explains how the Italian community “restarted” itself thanks to WordCamp Europe.
Luca: I cannot emphasize more how WCEU, which was started with the idea of getting local communities together, it also ended up reinvigorating those communities. The current Italian community was reborn out of WCEU.
We try to understand what held back the Italian community. What is the reason why Italians had this community pause?
Luca: The ultimate goal is democratizing publishing. This is the mission of WordPress and it’s the mission of the community too. I simply could not believe that a country with 60M people was not able to find the right recipe to contribute to this mission in a significant way. There are excellent engineers, designers, developers, and professionals of any sort in Italy, however, they are often limiting themselves because of a language barrier and cultural rejection to international collaboration. What we wanted to do was to build bridges to the international community and tear down the imaginary wall that was limiting the Italian community. It’s a long process, but it’s happening right now.
So, at some point, Italians were starting to talk to one another at WordCamps outside Italy.
Francesca: It started out as a “Hey, you are from Italy and you are here too?” but in my mind Franz Vitulli, Francesco Di Candia and Luca Sartoni are the ones that after so much talk at various Camps decided to go from dreams and ideas to plan: they actively reached out to people they thought could be interested in getting involved. We are now bringing more faces to this amazing story about the rebirth of the Italian community (and we also recommend to go and listen to it yourself since Francesca will be talking about it in Halle G on Saturday).
Franz Vitulli, originally from Bari, works for Human Made and lives in London. He’s passionate about WordPress and tries to contribute to it any way he can.
Franz: Between autumn 2014 (WCEU in Sofia) and spring 2015 (a couple of months before WCEU in Seville), there has been some discussion on Facebook regarding re-creating a community in Italy. At some point, in spring 2015, after having seen how the Slack team for the UK works, I arranged a Skype call with Francesco Di Candia, and told him I wanted to create a Slack team for Italy that worked just like the UK one. I invited him to sign up to the UK Slack team, he liked it, and I chose him as my partner to start building the Italian WordPress community on Slack. Francesco and I started to invite our Italian friends who worked with WordPress, they started inviting their friends etc. I think that my experience in the UK, as well as Luca Sartoni’s experience with the Vienna meetup & his WCEU commitments, was somehow instrumental because we brought a winning community model to Italy, a community model that keeps being successful because it’s simple, informal, where people can not just network in the driest business sense, but connect, create friendships, and grow together along with WordPress as a platform.
The eventual success of the Italian WordPress community, wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiasm of all the people involved and Francesco Di Candia is one of them. A computer programmer and a WordPress enthusiast living in a small town of Barletta on the Adriatic coast, near Bari.
Francesco: The Italian local community started thanks to some people passion with WordPress. The need to organize programmers and/or simple WordPress lovers evolved in local meetups that actually are the best way in order to stay in touch with each other.
On the other side of Italy, there is a triangle of big industrial cities – Torino, Milano and Genova. In Genova, we talk with Andrea Gandino. Andrea is the organizer of meetup in Genova and one of the most active members of the Italian community.
Andrea: The main problem we’ve had in the past is that our community didn’t have a primary reference point, and the discussion was, and in part still is today, scattered among various Facebook groups. Meetups naturally began forming thanks to the simple fact of having established that reference point.
Andrea says that a lot of people contacted them privately saying, “it’s about time we had a WordPress meetup in Genova”.
Andrea: this clearly underlines the fact that, even in a city historically reluctant to anything new, there was plenty of demand, yet no supply. We want to intercept this desire of contributing to the WordPress project, ride this enthusiasm and create a platform for more and more people to get on board in our community.
And this is already paying off. After years without official WordCamp in Italy, Francesca stepped up to organize WordCamp Torino which took place on the 1st and 2nd of April this year. A year has passed from the first idea of organizing a local meetup to WordCamp Torino.
Francesca: I even have a date in mind! On May 14th, 2015 I met Luca at an event and he talked me into starting a Meetup in Torino and put me in contact with other people that were interested. He helped us with the application and he spent countless hours telling me all about the different ways I could contribute.
The whole story of Francesca and the Italian WordPress community is a story of passion, involvement and persistence.
Francesco: Our local communities started with one or two people organizing by themselves a meetup or a meeting in structures or offices. Now, all our communities are strong in organizing meetups and WordCamps because more and more people are involved.
Luca: Italy has a historic attitude in fragmentation. This is the reason why people are now trying to start their local meetups in every city. It’s a good thing because it matches perfectly the strategy of the Foundation. It needs, however, to be kept a little under control because an excessive fragmentation can harm the overall strength of the community. I don’t see any problem at the moment, but we need to be aware of this possibility and always encourage people to contaminate and be contaminated by their neighboring communities.
We first got in touch with Francesca couple of months ago as we were preparing this series. It was before the first WordCamp Torino. And today there are 15 meetups in Italy and 11 of them joined the official chapter. Some of them are more active having regular monthly meetups and others are less frequent, getting together every few months. Francesca believes that WordCamp Torino was crucial in creating new meetups – 4 of them (Bari, Verona, Genova and Catania) started after the inspirational community talk by Taco Verdonschot titled, “Your local meetup is only a few steps away”.
The community in Italy is diverse. Half of them are developers and half of them are end-users with lots of freelancers. In attendance, there are at least ¼ or even ⅓ of women who attend various events. One of the crucial parts in the increase of the Italian community is the Italian forum on WordPress.org.
Francesca: Personally I would like to give a shout out to one of the most active and quiet people in the whole Community: Cristiano Zanca who is leading the Italian Forum team and working tirelessly to help people out, both online and offline at local events.
It’s safe to say that the Italians are living their own new renaissance, centuries away from the great painters or sculptors that once occupied the same land. And like these artists who had a tremendous influence in the past, a flourishing Italian community has the same sort of inspirational influence to people within the community – but also to people from communities outside Italy.
Get in touch with the WordPress community in Italy
- Fellow organizers: Francesca Marano, Andrea Gandino, Francesco Di Candia, Oleg Belousov, Alessandro Munaro, Luca Tumedei, Giuseppe Mamone, Giustino Borzacchiello, Ljuba Daviè, Ivan Rachieli, Maurizio Pelizzone, Cristiano Zanca, Dennis Ploetner…
- WordPress Italy
And our last stop in this article series is Greece. Commonly named the cradle of (western) civilization and democracy, Greece is also a home to the ancient (and modern) Olympic movement. It is only fair to finish this series in such a place where modern ideas started to take shape, in minds of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.
In Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world, we talk with Takis Bouyouris, organizer of local WordPress meetup. Takis is a software engineer and web developer running his own agency called Nevma. He’s been developing websites with WordPress since 2007. On the beautiful island of Crete is Konstantinos Kouratoras, a WordPress lover, user and developer for the last 8 years. He’s currently a tester at OnTheGoSystems, creators of WPML and a WordPress contributor.
In Larissa, there is Evagelos Athanasiadis. He’s been involved with WordPress from 2005, has been General Translation Editor for the Greek language since 2006 and organizes the Larissa WordPress meetup. Panagiotis Koukoulis comes from Thessaloniki where he works as a web and graphic designer. When he’s not working he organizes the Thessaloniki meetup together with George Ilidis, a civil engineering student and WordPress enthusiast.
The Athens Meetup is the largest one. Regularly it attracts around 100 people, but this can peak to as much as 200. The community organizes seminars and workshops and sometimes they’re travelling to other cities to meet WordPressers from around the country and speak there. The meetup started out of the need to change things.
Takis: It all started with a single meetup! One day we thought to ourselves, “Enough is enough, we need to become more active and more organized as a community”. We already knew that a great number of people were using WordPress as a development and blogging platform. But everybody was on their own. Our topics are quite diverse and they depend on the audience and speakers we have each time. We try to organize thematic meetups whenever possible. So we have had security focused meetups, theme coding meetups, startup environment meetups, and so on. There is also great interest for introductory seminars and workshops for bloggers, journalists, students, etc.
While Athens is the biggest city in Greece and it’s easier to get 100 people to show up for each meetup, the situation in other cities is different. Crete’s community started a year ago when a group of around 10 people sat together and started to organize a meetup.
Konstantinos: So far, we have organized 5 meetups and 2 workshops. It’s very encouraging to see that our audience is getting bigger from time to time and that people are very interested in WordPress as a software, community and spirit. Our goal is to organize at least one event per month, expand the community and inform people what they can do with WordPress.
The meetup in Crete is not regular, but this didn’t stop people from attending. In Larissa, half way from Athens and Thessaloniki, the local community organizes a regular monthly meetup where around 30 people show up each time.
Evagelos: We have a regular monthly meetup. We also organized workshops at a technical institution for information and technology with almost 100 participants.
The group in Thessaloniki started with the simple idea to connect WordPress enthusiasts so they can share their experience, passion and love for the WordPress platform.
George: It all started at October 2015 with a post at WordPress Greek Community Facebook page. Back then, we were 4 motivated guys who managed to bring together about 150 different people in the city (and we keep going). The Athens community helped us a lot during our first attempt to have a WordPress meetup in the city of Thessaloniki. By now, we organize a meetup every month (or 40 days) currently focusing on workshops (from installing WordPress locally, to explaining how to use a child-theme or configure plugins like W3 Total Cache etc.). There are plenty of newbies willing to learn, so workshops work really well for them and of course for us!
Panagiotis: We currently have 128 members in our community in Thessaloniki and we organized the 5th WordPress meetup at the end of April.
In May, the Thessaloniki community organized its 6th meetup.
Like some other national communities we mentioned in our article series, the Greek community too has people speaking at various local events. Organizers of local meetups communicate regularly and speakers are travelling to speak at events outside of their home towns. Although local groups started on their own, they had a great support from the biggest of them, Athens.
Takis: We do pride ourselves for having spread the word there and having motivated the guys to start their own meetups and get organized. And we do have regular communication with each other via Facebook and Slack. Travelling to distant places for a meetup, and the dinners and beers that follow is probably one of most fun parts of the community. It’s also interesting to note that the Greek translation team is also part of the meetups organizing team.
You can feel the enthusiasm of the Greek community simply by talking with them.
Panagiotis: We already have an actual community all over Greece, supported by 2200+ members and organizing meetups all over Greece. We communicate with WP organizers from Athens, Crete, Larisa, Veroia and many other cities.
Having a well-connected and enthusiastic community resulted in Athens being given a green light to organize the very first WordCamp Athens in November of this year which is a proof that the community is doing a good job.
When talking about challenges, they are pretty similar to those of other communities – meetup venues and lack of speakers. In Larissa, they ask local clubs for a place to meet (like photography clubs) and in Thessaloniki the main problem is the absence of speakers. For Crete’s community, the real challenge is to organize regular meetups.
Konstantinos: Organizing events on a regular basis is more difficult that we initially thought. Until now, we have managed to overcome this, due to the great teamwork and the effort from each member of the organization team.
George: Our first goal was to get people connected, so we talked about the meaning of a community. I feel that it worked, seeing people acting as real members of a community. Right now we have to overcome the problem of speakers/presentations. Workshops are good, but there are people waiting to watch a presentation and get something new. What’s the problem? Well, the speakers. We can cover some meetups (and we did), but we would like to see more and more people willing to talk to us too. Don’t ask me what we did for this! This problem just came up and we have to find a solution.
And for people in Athens, the challenge is how to satisfy everybody.
Takis: Well, the diversity of the members is a blessing and a curse at the same time. We wouldn’t want it any other way, but it keeps you on your toes trying to find new ways to satisfy everybody’s needs. Also, keeping the community united and dealing with people’s problems proved to be the most challenging aspect. Thankfully, by now, there has formed a core team that we can all rely on. I also have to admit that we did have a lot of support from the startup and open source community in Greece, who helped us find venues and sponsors in the beginning and supported us all the way up to now.
Get in touch with the WordPress community in Greece
- Fellow organizers: (Athens) Takis Bouyouris, Kostas Vrouvas, Kostas Fryganiotis; (Crete) Konstantinos Kouratoras, Alexandra Karapidaki, Anastasis Manoloudis, Chrysanthi Skoula, Dimitris Geromichalos, Frank Maounis, Giorgos Georgopoulos, Giorgos Kaftakis, Marianna Siouti, Michalis Velonakis; (Thessaloniki) Christos Bacharakis, Konstantinos Eustathiou, Panagiotis Koukoulis, Konstantinos Spiliakos, Anastasios Lamprianidis, George Ilidis; (Larissa) Evagelos Athanasiadis;
- WordPress Greece
- WordCamp Athens
- WordPress Meetup Athens
- WordPress Meetup Thessaloniki
- WordPress Meetup Larissa
- WordPress Meetup Crete
All good things…
In the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, captain Jean-Luc Picard finds his mind jumping between the present and the past just prior to the USS Enterprise-D’s first mission six years earlier (the episode that was the beginning of the Entreprise-D’s journey).
The WordPress community shares a lot of similarities with Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. Both worlds are open and inclusive. Both communities want a better world, a futuristic world. WordCamps, like WordCamp Europe, pave new grounds for accessibility. We try to make a WordCamp that is accessible to everyone – to families, people with disabilities, people who live in smaller and in larger countries. At WordCamp Europe, all people are equal as we try to be as inclusive as possible. WordPress is also inclusive to everyone, with its own mission to democratize publishing.
But to do that, to make the world a better place for everyone, it is important that we build on solid grounds and these solid grounds are local communities.
We have been working on this article series for a couple of months. Talking to people, getting to know people and their stories, so we could share them with the audience that will visit Vienna in just a few days. We wanted to give you an idea of what can be done within Europe, if we work together and help each other. This is why these stories about all these countries are important. People within countries found a way to work together to build communities that thrive. We have seen meetups the size of a WordCamp, we have seen how people cross borders to visit local or national events. We have even seen a meetup being organized in Greenland. On top of the world.
And as the name of the last TNG episode suggests, all good things come to an end. It has been our privilege to share these stories with you. Thank you, thank you our dear attendees for sharing these stories and a big thank you to all who participated, one way or another, in building these articles.
In just a few days, the biggest WordCamp to date will begin, connecting people from all over the world. And as Gene Roddenberry imagined a better world, we will also imagine it for ourselves. Thanks to the amazing WordPress communities.