How Wordpress Grew to 700+ Groups Hosting Events

How Wordpress Grew to 700+ Groups Hosting Events

Podcast to Blog

Episode 23

On the C2C Podcast, Episode 23, we welcome Andrea Middleton from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, about how her team helped grow the WordPress community and their in person events.

Today, WordPress powers over 60 million websites, and is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world. In fact, WordPress is used by one third of the internet. This has created a global community that includes business owners, developers, digital marketers, students, and more; and all of them contributing to its open source project one way or another.

Connected through locally organized, in-person community events such as meetups, presentations, hackathons, and workshops, participants connect with each other over one thing, and one thing only – their shared love of WordPress and open source.

On the C2C Podcast, we welcomed Andrea Middleton from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. Andrea is part of a 14 person team who help WordPress community organizers. They offer the organizers planning support for events, help to connect the global community, and contribute to the WordPress project. Andrea's role is specifically focused on in-person community events, meaning she is the best person to share with us how this all works.

Andrea gives us a complete walkthrough of how WordPress has grown to 700 groups across the world since their first community event in 2006, hosted by Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic. She traced back how Automattic ensured these communities were fostered by offering them support from full-time professionals dedicated towards these community events and gatherings.

The biggest challenge here is obvious: how do you bring together so many diverse communities together and ensure the events are engaging and interesting? Andrea shares with us how at WordPress.com and Automattic the goal is to offer guidance, training and freedom for anyone that wants to host these events in their local community, creating events expressive of their localities.

It’s a classic “bottom up” approach where organizers are supported by WordPress while given freedom to do what they want to do: bring WordPress enthusiasts together, inspire people to contribute to the Open source project, and encourage participants to do more with WordPress.

With over 2,000 volunteers and organizers all working independently, WordPress has achieved something truly wonderful: a community of individuals that not only love WordPress but love working to make it better.

Listen to the interview on the C2C Podcast!

What to read next

On the C2C Podcast, Episode 17, we welcomed Suzi Nelson, an expert and a veteran of the community industry. With a decade in the game, Suzi knows this industry, and shares with us how to align the community with sales. Don't have time to listen? Read the highlights on the Bevy Blog!

About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

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