WordPress Transparency and Conspiracy Theories

I’m the type of guy that tries not to jump to conclusions or to prejudge people or situations. However sometimes I get it wrong.

I Stand Corrected
I Stand Corrected

Question everything

In my previous post I explained how I became suspicious of an e-mail from Meetup.com in regards to WordPress groups and creating an official Chapter. I had several reasons for my suspicions which I outlined in my previous post.

It wasn’t just the minimal formatting and lack of branding in this e-mail message that made me think something was awry. It was also because I had been riled up by an article and subsequent comment thread regarding WordPress’s stance on who exactly is allowed to speak at WordCamps.

It’s a great discussion for those interested in the GPL license and how that relates to actions taken by those in the WordPress community.

Retrospect has allowed me to see that I jumped to conclusions rather quickly.

WordPress Is Not an Evil Empire

The e-mail was sent to Meetup.com group organizers was an invite for them to become official Chapters under the WordPress brand. There are 2 immediate benefits to doing this:

  1. All Meetup.com group membership fees would be paid by the WordPress foundation.
  2. Group organizers would have access to resources to help them organize their WordPress meet up groups more efficiently. This of course, would only benefit group members by making sure each meeting was helpful.

In reality, I’m quite embarrassed to say that I didn’t trust the intention. This is an obvious move by the WordPress foundation to control the WordPress brand more closely. But that’s not a bad thing.

This is further explained by Andrew Nacin and Aaron Jorbin in the comments on that post. The mere fact that they took the time to offer a further explanation, and to correct my asumptions should be proof of the helpful nature of the WordPress community.

WordPress Wild West

Brand control is important. After giving it some thought, it’s now obvious to me why WordPress would want to bring all Meetup.com WordPress group organizers under one umbrella and set forth both resources and guidelines for each group.

If you’ve been in the WordPress world for even a short time, you know there is a lot of information out there by so-called WordPress “experts”. The problem is that there are those out there whose intentions are not pure and in the spirit of WordPress.

Unfortunately, there are people out there that may only have an agenda that furthers their own business or product, and the door is open for them to provide WordPress tools and/or resources and other information that may not present the facts about WordPress and the community as a whole.

This is a disservice to new users which many WordPress meet up groups are comprised of.

Group Organizer Accountability

By providing organizer resources and guidelines, the WordPress community becomes better. Better for developers. Better for power users. Better for individuals. Better for the publishing world as a whole.

Organizers who opt in to become an official WordPress Chapter now have a place to reach out for meeting ideas, meeting resources, and also to offer the opportunity to better connect WordPress users throughout the entire community.

Responsible WordPress Community Members

One of the main reasons for me writing this follow-up post was to correct my mistake in accusing anyone or any group of ill-intent.

It was also relieve me of the guilt I felt by providing wrong information to the WordPress community, and to new users. That’s not what I’m about.

I’ve been utilizing WordPress since 2004 and like many reading this, most of my livelihood is based around this software and the knowledge freely shared by my fellow members of the community.

I believe in the spirit of WordPress, and the community, and the Open Source and free software movement as a whole.

How do you feel about this?

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