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How the WordPress community is supported by Big Orange Heart – #028

How the WordPress community is supported by WP and UP - #028
How the WordPress community is supported by WP and UP - #028


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Podcast Guest: Barbara Saul

Today we hear from Barbara Saul. She’s been working with WordPress for quite a while, and recently has thrown herself into the wider WordPress community.

We talk about how she started to use WordPress to build her client websites, and how this kindled a desire in her to meet other people doing the same work as her. She was a little nervous about her level of knowledge, but after her first WordPress event she came to understand that the community was very welcoming.

Fast forward just a little while, and Barbara has become a linchpin of WordCamp London. She explains about what it takes to put on one of the largest WordCamps, how much organisation is required, and how people can get involved themselves, should they wish to.

Towards the end of the podcast we talk about her involvement with Big Orange Heart. She’s writing content about the Big Orange Heart mission… helpful content which I would urge you to consume. She’s deeply passionate about the work that Big Orange Heart is doing, but is also realistic about the need to raise money to keep it going.

Useful links:


https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ and join the ‘#community-events’ channel

Interviewed by Nathan Wrigley.

We hope you enjoy the show, please do subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. We’re always looking for feedback, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do reach out.

And remember… Together we can #PressForward

Podcast Details

Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 28 of the PressForward podcast. I’m Nathan Wrigley, and I’d like to thank you for joining us again, and if this is your first time with us, well, I hope that you like it and that you find something useful in it. We’d love it if you added us to your list of podcasts that you consume regularly, and you can do that by subscribing to us on your favorite podcast player. And this can be done by going to WP and UP.org forward slash podcast dash fi today we’re going to be talking with Barbara Saul, but before that, let me tell you a little bit about why we’re making this podcast. The PressForward podcast is created by WP and UP. We’re a nonprofit working in the WordPress space to help anyone who is in need. The work is important, and today I want to ask for your help. WP and UP helps and supports many people, but this work comes at a cost. It cannot be done for free. Thanks to the likes of green geeks and WPM UDEV. We’ve been able to get to where we are now. But if WP and UP is to continue offering support, we need more financial help. You can head to WP and aap.org forward slash never give up to find out more about exactly what an organization like WP and UP costs to maintain. And it’s quite enlightening from there. You might like to head to WP and aap.org forward slash donate and donate something yourself. It doesn’t need to be a lot. Just a few dollars will help to provide phone support or to keep our online support communities open. So please assist us so that we can continue to support our wonderful WordPress community. Those URLs, again, WP and UP.org forward slash never give up and WP and UP.org forward slash donate. Thank you very much. The PressForward podcast is brought to you today by green geeks, green geeks offers and awesome managed web hosting platform that’s built for speed, security and scalability whilst being environmentally friendly. Enjoy a better web hosting experience for your WordPress website, backed by 24 seven expert support, and we thank green geeks for helping us to put on the PressForward. Podcasts today we hear from Barbara Saul. She’s been working with WordPress for quite a while and recently has thrown herself into the wider WordPress community. We talk about how she started to use WordPress to build her client websites and how this kindled in her desire to meet other people doing the same work as her. She was a little nervous about her level of knowledge, but after her first WordPress event, she came to understand that the people were very welcoming. Fast forward just a little while, and Barbara has become a linchpin of WordCamp London. She explains about what it takes to put on one of the largest WordCamps, how much organization is required and how it’s all done. How people can get involved themselves should they wish to. Towards the end of the podcast, we talk about our involvement with WP and UP. She’s writing content about the WP and admission helpful content, which I would urge you to consume. She’s deeply passionate about the work that WP and UP is doing, but he’s also realistic about the need to raise money to keep it going. And so without further ado. Here’s Barbara Saul. Barbara Saul: [00:04:02] Hello I’m Barbara Saul. I live in or near to Maidstone in Kent, although I’m from the West country originally, which this recording may or may not pick up. I remember my accent suddenly discovering it when I was first talked at WordCamp Brighton through the microphone. Am I said hello, brought it. They’ll immediately, there was my accents and I said, Oh, there it is. Which was a bit weird, but anyway, I’m a strange speaker and emcee. It turns out I’m 55 at the moment, and although you don’t feel it, and age is a bit weird. I’ve worked with WordPress for, Oh, let me see, over 10 years now. I’m having made, started making websites at the turn of the century. I was like three turn of the century into any introduction because I’ve been around a long time having done it support before that and had to stop work. So I just bought myself a little laptop useful to Sony via that. I still have. It doesn’t work, but anyway, it still looks beautiful. And to cope, you have Dreamweaver and fireworks and started making websites because I thought if necessary, I can do that from bed because I’m disabled. And that’s just definitely got worse and worse over the years. So now I actually do work from bed most of the time, but that’s fine. I still got up in the back, so that’s great. Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:21] I’m always interested to hear how people who are deeply immersed in the WordPress community got to that point. Why spend so much time with WordPress and the people who have gathered around it? How did they get started? What turned their interest from using the WordPress software into wishing to meet other people who are also using it? You could quite easily be a WordPress user and never meet another person who shares that interest. Each story’s a little different and well worth listening to. Barbara Saul: [00:05:53] I think then back at back 10 years ago, it goes for blogging mostly, and people at only really just started using it for websites, and I kind of, you know, I started off using it for blogs and doing collaborative blogs with people and then realized, hang on a minute, a page is just a page. Why don’t we actually start using it for these websites? Because I always hated the idea that. My webdesign customers are to ask me to do the updates for them, and I always wanted something where they could do the updates themselves, but without having to be really tied to anybody. That’s when I started really falling in love with WordPress. When I realize that they don’t need me to do it for them, they can do it themselves. You know, I’ve incorporated a motto of showing people how to set up their own websites and things like that, and working on things themselves. Talk, worked through quite a few of the themes out there, the theme platforms and things. so I’ve used elegant themes and they were very lovely and worked well for awhile. And then there was another one on, I can’t remember the name of it now. I still actually have a couple of websites out there using it. But anyway, and that kind of, they totally changed it. Just a cycle to the point of really understanding how to work with it, which really annoyed me. And then I came across a studio press Genesis and started using that, bought the developer license, and. Always use that now. I’ve not used another one since, and then I discovered that there was a Slack channel and joined that and just sort of loops there for a while and then we just gently ask a question. It was so welcoming and so absolutely lovely. And it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what the hook was or anything. Lots of people there. If you could just ask any question, there was no such thing as a stupid question and everybody was really happy to try and help, even if you went back and said, no, I don’t understand that. They would then try and explain it in a different way. So anyway, that’s just the stress community is just amazing and it was all across the world. So there’s quite a strong UK community there as well. And if he does, you say there are thousands and thousands of people that don’t actually talk to another WordPress user or developer or something that quite can be quite isolated. But I love community. I think partly because I worked from home, because I am quite, I don’t get out much. It is quite isolated. To actually have these online communities is something that I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed. Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:29] So we just touched upon some of the WordPress sub-communities that Barbara has become a part of. And I wanted to know if these communities are really that actual places where you can go and make friends. Places where she felt that she could talk about things not related to WordPress. Barbara Saul: [00:08:48] Oh, yes, indeed. Because there are different channels, you know, so there’s social channels and random channels, all sorts of different things. And of course, as a UK channel and then wider one as well. And you kind of get to new people and chat to people. And you know, over the years they have set things up where you have a regular thing where you can kind of have a chat and, you know, not everybody can get out. And spent the time, you know, I mean, I’ve raised, I’ve been raising a couple of kids at the same time, so there’s not a lot of spare time to go out and networking and things. I used to do a lot of networking because of all I had to. But actually you don’t have to be either. You could do it online. It depends on the community. And then like I say, the Genesis one is especially friendly and they would say, they said to me, go home to work camp. Come to very compatible. No, I can’t do that. So this all sort of people who really know what they’re talking about. An I age, which I’m sure a lot of people feel. Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:47] I think that it’s quite common for people using WordPress to want to meet up with other people. For some, this might be easy. They just feel able to turn up and start talking, but then there are other people like Barbara who find it a little more difficult. She had the impression that her WordPress knowledge would not be sufficient for her to be able to participate. Of course, she later discovered that this was not in fact the case, but I asked her how she managed to overcome that imposter syndrome and get herself along to those initial events. Barbara Saul: [00:10:24] Well, I think the few of them, Joe, especially on Gary Jones, is, you know, was very active in the UK Genesis community and beyond. Of course. Is it, well, you know, you don’t do come along to work camp on thought or how can I go along and feel like I kind of have allowed to be there? Oh, I thought we thought volunteer. Then I’ve got a purpose. I’ve got a reason to be there, and I can go along and be friendly and helpful and do all the things I love doing, and that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Support. Yes, I can do that. So that’s what I did save in 2016 I went along to work camp London as a volunteer and ended up on the reception quite a bit, which I thoroughly enjoyed it when I was a teenager, which was back in the 70s pre proper feminism as I like to think. My dream was to be, or one of the w one of my dreams for awhile was to be a hotel receptionist, which was about as far as some of us girls. Imagine that we might get, which is quite ridiculous now, and younger, younger women will scoff at me for that. But anyway, I don’t care. So there I was, sat welcoming people to the WordCamp and saying hello. I realized that I’ve actually two equal, I thought, I think doing it my teens. there being a receptionist of sorts, but I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. So, you know, just being friendly and welcoming people, you know, helping out. I didn’t go to many of the talks because, you know, most of them were some stuff that I, any developer stuff I wouldn’t have what they were talking about really. Although I have since fans, that’s some of them. I was actually timekeeping. I would be in a timekeeper on a couple of talks and finds that, you know, you still learn something. You still pick something up from most of the talks you go to. So, but that was actually great. And I thought, actually, this is fine. You know, people are thinking, what are you doing here? The word press community is such that, you know, everybody is welcome and is specially wonderful and welcoming community. But I kind of just string myself into it. Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:30] So Barbara had a very positive experience volunteering at her first WordCamp, and she’s since gone on to help out at many more. She’s got a great understanding of what it takes to put on a large WordCamp where we’ve talked aboutWordCampps many times before on this podcast, but we’ve never really talked about what positions there are available to those who wish to attend as a volunteer. Barbara Saul: [00:12:53] Well, I can tell you all about those because the following year, Jenny, Jenny Wong actually said, would you like to be part of the organizing team next year? Yes, I’m still very excited about that, and I was so chuffed to be asked and so happy, and I led the volunteers. So, I thought, goodness, I get to look after the volunteers, which absolutely thrilled me to bits because you do need a pretty big team of people. So make sure that, you know, everything runs nice and smoothly when London is very well organized and has been set up that way. Because you need people to welcome people to hand out their tickets, which of course all living quite often needs to be done in a bit of a rush before the event. You’ve got to put up all the posters and signage. You’ve got to help the sponsors get staff set up. You have somebody looking after the speakers, then you’ve got the lunch monitors, make sure everybody, everything moves smoothly. There. Goodness. In the room you have the Mike runners and timekeepers and the MCs of course as well. Or they’ll contact more speakers than also volunteers. Let me see what else. Goodness. Somebody has to sit in the green room at all times to make sure that that’s safe. You know, you’re secure. That’s where the speakers go and it’s a space where the speakers can go and sit and chill and prepare themselves. Ready for varying out and speaking because you know, it’s nice quiet moment before and after a talk as well. So to have a space for that. Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:33] Some WordCamps like WordCamp London, which Barbara has been involved with a really large events, they require a lot of volunteers. When you attend though, it’s all very well managed and very well run. It feels very professional. Events like these take weeks and weeks of planning. So I wondered if there were any people who are paid to give up so much of their time. Barbara Saul: [00:15:00] Totally volunteer run. Nobody is paid. Some people, if they work for a larger agency, that agency may give them time to work on the WordCamp. But something that certainly this year when I was cold leads with done, maybe we’re both running small businesses ourselves or self employed. So we’re actually just giving our time. We’re absolutely relieving mass. And previous organizers have said, how can you do that if you’re not being paid? Basically, but we wanted to do it. So it’s something, you know, we feel quite strongly wants to give back and we enjoy. It’s a great feeling to actually bring everything together and continue. Certainly something like world cup London, which is quite an amazing word, camp, and actually build on it and keep honing it. Keep polishing it. And making it the best it can be. Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:55] So, although there are many volunteers helping out at a WordCamp, the event itself cannot have no cost attached to it as the venue, the tickets, the heating, the meals, the after party, all of this needs to be paid for. So where does that money come from? Barbara Saul: [00:16:15] Sponsorships. Basically, there are some global sponsors, so you know, you kind of know that you’re going to get certain amounts, but the rest of it, it does need a very strong sponsor team to bring in as much sponsorship as possible because that is what pays for everything. The tickets in the the ticket sales don’t cover much tall of what you actually get because you know, you always try to put on a good, good lunch. I’m an after party, you know the venue itself. Luckily with London it’s been, hasn’t been too expensive of venue, but if we want to grow that, that’s going to go significantly higher. We get at least 500 people. I think we always budget for about 750 with include, which includes all of the speakers, the sponsors, the volunteers, and everything of the organizers. So indeed, it is quite a big word, compact, believe in global terms. Something we find though is that the sponsors would quite like a little bit more for London. So we’re hoping to, to grow London as much as we can. So we’re working on that at the moment and to give us ourselves time. I think by the time this goes out, we can, you know, it is kind of out there that it’s going to be September next year. We’re moving. Obviously moving from March, April, because it’s November now. There’s no way we can get that done on time. We want to make sure there’s plenty of time to actually grow it and get a really strong team. Something we found with this year, with 2019 is it was quite a small organizing team and quite a few of us were self employed as well, but you know, we pulled it all together. Everybody works really, really hard. And it was, it was a great WordCamp again. So that was, that was a good feeling. But I know that both Dan and I would love to make it when it, I think when you organize something like that, you still look at all the things that you didn’t quite get right and you’d like to improve upon. That’s what we bought to do. Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:14] It sounds like a difficult but rewarding job regarding the sponsors. I wondered who has to deal with the actual money if all of the people are volunteers. I suppose that you have to be very mindful of where the sponsor money is going and of how it’s spent. So who actually has their hands on the purse strings for a WordCamp? Barbara Saul: [00:18:37] All payments go to the foundation and they actually meet the payments. So if you don’t understand, if you don’t know that, that’s what happens with the, actually, they do turn things around very quickly. Because that can be a bit of a worry. When you’re not controlling it yourself. You sort of think, Oh, you know what? If they don’t pay or what they, they’re pretty good at getting payments sorted out quite quickly and things like that, but you have to put the budget up in advance and say, this is the budget and you have to stick to that budget. I don’t know what happens if you suddenly go over or whatever. Anything that’s left over it. If there is, if there is anything left over, I think there was from London this year. That goes into the central pot basically to help other WordCamps who may be, can’t get the sponsorship and things like that, so that they can still run WordCamps and not worry about it so much. Nathan Wrigley: [00:19:32] So I imagine by now that you’re all fired up and want to get involved with your local WordCamp or meetup, where’s the best place to find out how you can get involved? Barbara Saul: [00:19:45] If you went on to the main Slack. I haven’t got it open at the moment, but we can provide, we can add a link to that perhaps. I think that would be good. And I think if you actually said there, whatever local. WordPress, Slack the walls, for instance, in the UK we have the UK Slack, which is actually quite active, and again, that’s great as well. Very supportive channels for all sorts of different things. You know, you could actually just mentioned it in there and you know, you will be immediately directed to whoever is working on something or there’s actually a WordCamp organizers channel. So you could go in there and say it’s, anybody wants some help. I mean, you’d be very, very welcome, I’m sure, because you know there’s never enough organizers. That’s never the problem. We have that there are too many people volunteering, unfortunately. Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:36] So let’s imagine that I’ve decided to take the plunge and volunteer my time to a WordCamp. Will I have any choice about what it is that I’m going to do on the day? Can I pick the jobs that I like. Well do I just have to do what the organizers need me to do? Barbara Saul: [00:20:54] When you sign up to volunteer, you can choose things that you’d prefer to do and you’ve got, you don’t just get told what you’re doing on the morning. The rotor, there is the rotor, which is this massive documents that says where everybody is all the time. And it’s a huge spreadsheets and it’s something that we always want to have prepared about two weeks in advance so everybody knows what they’re doing, but of course, people drop out and all kinds of changes happen, but yes, I can. I remember watching Jenny and Anna, who was Jenny’s, that pixie and then other went on to lead for a year working on the rotor. So try and fit in everybody. And you know, if people have site said that they want to be in a certain talk, think, okay, well can we get into then as a a micro door or something ideally, or you know, blank is actually quite a task actually getting that rater, so much work going on behind the scenes. So many things to be coordinated. So we’ve got sponsors who pay for most of it, and we’ve got volunteers who do most of the organization of the event. The sponsors, quite rightly get their banners and ads placed around the event. So we’re well aware that they have contributed. I wondered if the volunteers got the same sorts of attention, the recognition that they deserve for making the event possible. I’ll take that on board a bit actually, because yes, I agree with you. I mean, absolutely. We have to have the sponsors to pay for everything and there’s no way it would happen without them, but also it wouldn’t happen without all those volunteers as well, especially something on the scale of London that really does need to be organized quite Saturday and well. And it just wouldn’t be anything like as great as it was if it wasn’t the volunteers that turn up. Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:50] After the event is over. I suspect that most of the attendees leave and all the volunteers scurry about taking down all of the signage and return the building to the state that it was in when they arrived. Then it’s all over. It’s done. Is that a good feeling? Perhaps it’s a range of emotions, happiness. Barbara Saul: [00:23:15] Well, no, it’s not melancholic, really. I, I don’t find that anyway. It’s sort of like, how quickly can we get to the pub to have a pint or we, I don’t know. I don’t drink very much, but I did this year. I actually went to, I went to the pub afterwards. I thought I was going to do that because it’s part of it, you know? So everybody’s saying, yeah, that was actually great. You know, it just kind of keeps you just sit there with a big smile on your face. It can. Yes, we did that. And every, you know, it seems as though everybody’s had a brilliant time and you think, Oh wow, that was really wonderful. And you do just enjoy the CLO of that. And you feel a little bit empowered to a bit more, or I do anyway, the post WordCamp glow, as I call it, it just is wonderful and you feel you can do anything and you know that this community is all, you know, they all love you and all this kind of thing and had a great time. So I love it. I absolutely adore. We’ve come some time away feeling very honored. I just feel energized from a WordCamp and I know that other people do as well. So not just me being weird. Nathan Wrigley: [00:24:20] Barbara sounds like the perfect advert for WordCamps. She enjoys them and finds that they enrich her life. She gets to meet a whole raft of new people. I’m guessing that many of them are now her friends, almost like her family. Barbara Saul: [00:24:37] Absolutely. Definitely. You know, people from the studio, prestige who don’t have friends on Facebook. Although I’ve started adding more people on face, I tend to keep Facebook for friends, not, you know, just another platform. But I do find myself adding more and more individuals. I can remember with my first in back in 2016 the contributor day. And I really didn’t feel like I had anything to contribute, but there was a community table and I thought, well, that’s obviously for me. I thought I could set up a WordPress group in Maidstone, which hasn’t really happens, unfortunately. But anyway, I gave it again. But anyway, at the table there were just some Italians. and I love Italy and I love the language and everything. So I went to join them and there was Francesca Murano and Steph Matana and friends for, to li. I consider them friends, especially Steph and France, because I’ve worked with them over the years. And you know, if I could just say quickly. Congratulations to Steph and France for their baby who’s just four. And you know, it’s absolutely wonderful. It is part of the family. It really is. You know, it does feel very familial anyway. Yes, absolutely. Very good friends. I think the first year I worked with Dan, I wasn’t too sure, but then we sort of got to know each other a bit with the co-leading and it’s like, he’s my kid brother. Really? I absolutely adore him. And of course now, then he invited me to work on WP and UP as well. So, you know, I love that person so much. I think it was in 2016 that Joe Wathen said we should have crash. this was not, this was unheard of for where it comes, but I think only about one or two kids came along, but she made it happen. And. Now, word comes to include crash with what they can, because obviously it’s quite expensive to include that for the number of kids because we charge five pounds for the day, and that’s it. So that parents come along and you don’t have to worry about childcare. But also then a couple of years ago when I was leaving. In w in London, she invited a local school, which I suppose is perhaps, again, one of the first kids camps. And so, you know, these little kids walked in for enough to do Mike Little, showing them how to, how to make a website, which was absolutely amazing. And I just, I love that, you know, seeing these young youngsters wanting a range. And feeling that, and parents feeling that it is a place where the kids can come into a talk as well and things like that. Of course they can. It’s totally included. You know, everybody’s, again, is something about nuns and his, you know, started off, is looked to be fully accessible. So everybody can come no matter what, and we do. So that’s why there we make sure that it’s physically accessible as possible, that children can come, that there is a room. If you need to go and breastfeed somewhere, there is a quiet room. You go and do that. And also this year we livestream this as well. So actually putting it out there so you don’t have to be there, or you can be outside of the room or something, which actually own a few of the talks was useful because there wasn’t enough room for everybody. Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:53] Barbara, as you may know, is also very much involved with what we’re doing over at WP and UP. So I wanted to pivot and spend some time talking about that with her. Where did she first hear about WP and UP? Barbara Saul: [00:28:09] I first heard about WP and UP. It must be over a year ago now. So some are. Awesome. In 2018 and Dan talking about it as we were, started working together for co-leading would come London 2019 and I said, Oh, you know, kind of write some things. Can I be involved? Because the whole idea of looking after people and caring about each other and providing a resource where possible. where we can afford to absolutely appeals to me, the WordPress community, I have found to be so welcoming, and it’s meant a lot to feel that it’s made a huge difference to me, to my working to sort of have this channel there where I don’t get that involved too often with everything. But it’s there. And I know I could ask and I could pipe up and say help and somebody would, would try and help. But then the whole. Mental wellbeing of everybody as well. It’s such a big issue. I’ve got my own issues to handle and I know that having people available to talk with or whatever, it does make a difference. And I like making a difference as well. So I kind of see this. With the WordPress community. If we can kind of look after each other, then it will spread beyond, and I know, I know that other technologies have have things going on as well, but knowing within WordPress, we have an organization that cares, will listen to you, that you could put your hands up and say, help, and somebody will come and say, how can I help you? I think that’s what we’re really trying to do. And the more I though WP and UP the board, I want to be involved and actually do actually work on working on the cult, the content of the website. Now, Bridgette writes a couple of things a month for us and you know, we want to include the updates for the different projects. You know, I don’t have to write everything myself in each. I don’t. So yes, I will sometimes write things myself, although I had a bit of a problem recently actually doing the writing myself with a massive imposter syndrome thing going on. Because thankfully I’ve got over that a bit and I’m just writing encouraging other people’s rights as well. So we’ve had some guest articles as well. Ito’s part of that and encouraging other people and helping them to get involved and write something if they want to. So that’s, that’s really good. But also writing guest articles, that’s where my impulsive syndrome came in because I wasn’t very good at that. I just started a real blog, so I would write the basics and Dan finished them all. Hopefully I can do some do better in future with that, but it’s okay because you know, we’ll get on. We work together on things. Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:48] Barbara is writing content for WP and UP and she’s doing a great job, but I thought it might be instructive to let her explain the kinds of content that she’s producing. Barbara Saul: [00:31:01] It’s his different experiences, people’s individual stories, all kinds of things. It’s, you know, if somebody has something to share that they think, actually, if I say this out loud, if I write this down and somebody else reads it and they might think, Oh, it’s not just me. I think that can be incredibly powerful. You know, I very much write like that about my own experiences, but also about positive things as well. I’ve got a post coming out soon on just giving something and that can just be a smile. A total stranger who doesn’t, he just walking past or something, and it’s something my kids have noticed is that sometimes you can smile at somebody. Are they just being right back at you because guess if you’ve made their day and you think, wow, that’s just wonderful. You’re giving nothing, really. It’s just a smile. So if you go to WPN DUP dot or forward slash blog, you can read the different stories there. Bridget has been writing some things that speak to the soul bore of the blog. We actually include the podcasts as well. So. You can read all of the different content that we have. Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:12] Each week I start this podcast in a similar way. I tell you what WP and UP is about what it’s doing and why it’s important, but I thought that it might be good for Barbara to explain her own first hand experiences of how WP and UP is helping people about the impact that it’s having. Barbara Saul: [00:32:33] I learned why it’s necessary, not just from my own experience, but talking to other people and listening to other people more. Within the WPN duct Slack group we’ve set up, there’s a handful of us that have set up a life group and there’s half a dozen of us and we just meet up fortnightly and we can ask each other a question and. Very quickly. You just choose to trust each other. Some people know each other, but some don’t. That’s, you know, it gels very quickly and it’s become incredibly powerful and we’ve helped each other. I would say each one of us has been helped by that group on quite significant things, whether that’s to do with our mental wellbeing or professionally or with our business. You know, just being able to ask each other things. I’m having. That kind of group can be really quite useful and important. And certainly we found that and we want to encourage more of those. within the Slack. Obviously you can’t just keep growing one group. We just have other groups as well, which I’m sure that can work as well. But then you have the different channels where you can ask different things. Or you can ask for a companion, which is just somebody who you can talk to now and then and who’s, who’s kind of there for you. You know? That’s, that’s helping some people. And I know that some people are being mentored and finding that in hugely useful. And making a big difference to them. Yes. It’s something that I learned quite a few years ago that, I’m not afraid to be open about my own experiences. Cause I think if one person just hears that and thinks it’s not just me, then that just makes it absolutely worth it worth being open. And I know not everybody finds that easy. I appreciate that. I don’t know, maybe being older, I find it easier. But as soon as I know, you know, I can remember knowing that’s eye to eye to something. When you watch some of these shows, some of the shows where they talk about things, you think, Oh goodness, you know, there’s so much going on in the world, and there’s so much, so many dysfunctional things as well going on that, you know, I think it just puts it out there. That’s. It’s his everywhere that many of us are having problems and issues. We don’t need to be alone. We can actually, we have places such as WP ends up now where we can actually say help, or can I just run this by somebody and you can, with absolute confidence, you know, nobody’s going to go share it and say, Oh, this person doesn’t know what they’re talking about. It’s all the case. It’s all, there’s just, we have different experiences. And can apply those experiences in different ways. Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:37] I’ve said it many times, WP and UP, although free at the point of use is not free to run. It actually takes many people’s time to keep it all going more than you might imagine. For that reason, we do need people to support WP and UP in order that it might continue its work. Barbara Saul: [00:35:58] I can see that there is a place for it. It is very gently and gradually, but firmly being helpful for people and the more people that we can reach, the more people that we can, you know, let them know that we’re here and that. It really isn’t going to go away. That could make quite a difference. A few of us, Giles and Dan and I did the mental health first stages course the other week. they both came down to meet stones, the wonderful and MK mines to actually have the two day training there. So, you know, it’d be great if more people can have that training. We would love to be able to do the training ourselves for people for larger organizations perhaps, or something like that. Yeah. We want to be a resource that can be tapped into by anybody that whatever level. We’ve got our partnership team and Dan working incredibly hard to bring in some more sponsorship, which is absolutely vital because you know, there’s a lot of costs involved. We can’t all just volunteer all of our time. I mean, I could quite happily work for WP and UP full time, but I can’t afford to do that. And WP up comes forth for me to do that. So, you know, at the moment there’s an awful lot of volunteering involved, but we can’t expect people to do that so much. It does need to be paid for. We’ve got the page WP and UP.org/donate and it’s really much, very much a case of every little helps. yes, we want some larger donations that also we, there’s a lot of people who are giving just a few pounds or a certain percentage of the turnover, which is actually wonderful. I think there’s quite a few people who are giving what they can, and that’s great because all makes difference. I’m going to actually write a few blog posts on what happens to the donations on how you can give in different ways, things like that. So that. It should hopefully make it easier for people to understand why we need donations and you know what we actually do with it so that people know what’s actually going to happen. But it’s a there. I think it’s a real privilege to be involved because I do see the good that’s happening, the positive things that are happening, and I’m getting some of that myself. I was. You know, struggling a bit the other week and that actually helped me a bit with something and maybe realize that no, I wasn’t an impostor. I’m not rubbish at my job. I’m actually really quite awesome. So. Which sounds really strange to say, but you know what? Most of us are pretty darned awesome. One of the Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:51] purposes of the PressForward podcast is to lift the lid on topics that don’t get talked about enough to allow people to share their stories so that other people might listen. And by listening, they may gain an understanding that they’re not alone. There are other people out there who have faced the same situation that you are facing. They have found a way through and can offer support to you on your journey. Maybe that person is already in your life, but they might not be. And that’s what WP and UP is here for. To connect you with the support that you need. So if you are able to please help us so that we can continue to support the WordPress community, you can donate@wpandaarp.org forward slash donate. The PressForward podcast is brought to you today by green geeks. Green geeks offers a specially engineered platform that gives WordPress users web hosting that is designed to be the fastest, most secure and scalable hosting in multiple data centers. There. WordPress hosting makes deploying and managing WordPress websites easy with automatic one click install managed updates, real time security protection, SSD raid 10 storage arrays, power casher and expert support, 24 seven to make for the best web hosting experience. And we thank green geeks for their support of the PressForward podcast. that’s it for this week. Please let us know if you’re enjoying the podcast. If you’re finding it useful or helpful, you can reach out to us@wpandopg.org forward slash contact. There’s a serious point to all of this though, and that is the WP and UP is here to provide help and support. That help is available to you or to people that you know and can be easily accessed@thewpandopt.org website. Please spread the word about this podcast. Tell your friends and subscribe on your favorite podcast player and remember that together we can hashtag. PressForward . .

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