I’m a longtime organizer of local events, from happy hours to educational gatherings, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a crowd making connections and learning new things. As an unapologetic extrovert, I find every event I attend invigorating and joyful.
But I know that the world also has introverts and shy, but friendly people. For those people, things like Meetups are scary.
Meetups are great in theory. They gather people together based on nothing more than proximity and a shared interest with the sole intention of making friends out of strangers. It can be an ideal alternative for anyone who dislikes the advice “join a church” or “meet people at the gym”.
The hard part is making yourself attend these group events so you can meet people in real life.
- Bring along a friend. They don’t have to use or know about WordPress. Friends for moral support are welcome at all events.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll hear, a lot, that WordPress is easy. I’m here to dispel that rumor – it’s the easiest of CMSs, all of which are hard. WordPress is the easiest difficult tool you’ll use to manage your content, so don’t worry when you get things wrong sometimes.
- Ask specific questions if you’ve got them. Once you have become an expert in anything, it’s hard to know what non-experts need to know. If you’re new, bravely ask your questions even if you think they are dumb.
- If WordPress is new to you, then take notes. You’ll need them later.
- If WordPress isn’t new to you, then be prepared to hear new things. Flint sharpens flint.
- Don’t let highly-skilled people scare you. WordPress was and always will be a brilliant blogging platform. Embrace it. Everyone started at zero. If you find a person who was born knowing WordPress, you let me know straight away!
- Be brave enough to come back.
And I’d like to share my personal WP Meetup manifesto:
- I will always greet you so you know you’re in the right place.
- I will not condescend to you when I’m explaining things.
- I will make room for vulnerability; admitting you don’t know something is hard.
- I will make sure you’re invited to the table.
- I will shed light, not heat.