Episode 193: Talking Community With Michelle Frechette


Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down with Michelle Frechette to talk about community.

Show Highlights:

  1. How Michelle is involved in the community.
  2. Why Community matters.
  3. Diversity in the community.
  4. How to deal with issues in the community.

Show Notes

Hey everybody, Rob here today I’m here with Michelle Frechette.

How are you today, Michelle?

I’m good Rob, thanks for having me here.

Our pleasure I.

I thought we’d get into a really good chat about the community and how to build the communities.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re the one the best community builders out there in the.

Word press space.

All right, thank you.

Yeah, you’re welcome, I I, I know you try and sometimes I I joke and say, has Michelle cloned herself today or you?

I did try.

You seem to be in more places than I am, so that says something, yeah?

I I’ve heard that once or.

Twice I.

Think oh, I’m sure you.

Have so I have to see the question is something we’ve never talked about.

How did you find yourself into WordPress originally?

Sure, so I was working at a massage school.

I was the campus director of the massage school.

It was the last school I worked at.

I was in 20 years, 20 years in higher education.

And my best friend was a graduate of the school and she said to me, you know, The thing is that massage therapists graduate, and then they they’re just out on their own and they kind of flounder ’cause they understand how to do massage.

But they don’t really understand how to run a business.

And she said she’d like.

To start, a nonprofit that would help massage therapists in our area.

Continue and and grow and be in in a profitable and so she and I started first with the Rochester Massage Alliance.

And then we went statewide.

It was the.

New York massage alliance.

And her husband said, well, I’ll build you a website so that you can get started, but then you know you’ll take it over so he builds this.

This website and we start sending him the content and he’s like.

Here’s your password.

Here’s your login.

I’m not putting the content in your all putting the content and I just created the pages so it was.

My first time getting into a WordPress website and I I was a little intimidated at first.

’cause you know, I was convinced I was going to break something.

I’d never really, you know, been under the hood of a website before.

And so I started playing around and.

Discovered I really liked it.

And that maybe I would be able to.

Do some web stuff on the side.

And so I said to him, I understand how to purchase a domain name and I understand how to work within a website.

But how do I go from having a domain name to having the website?

And like how do I?

Put it on host.

How do I get WordPress there?

And so she worked nights.

She was massage therapist and he said, tell.

You what?

You come over Thursday and make dinner for my family ’cause they had four kids at the time.

You come over Thursday, make dinner for my family when the kids are cleaning up.

I’ll teach you how to do it.

And so I went over there I.

Made spaghetti.

And meatballs and salad and.

And we sat down, we all ate.

And then the kids cleaned up the.

Dishes and he and I sat down and he says, this is how you install WordPress and we he wouldn’t let me do one but but.

Install, he showed me how to download it, how to change the salt keys.

He showed me how to upload it.

Purchased hosting by the time I left there that night I had a WordPress website ready to work and I wrote down.

I wish I still had it. I had a piece of paper with just four things on it to do, and from that point on I’ve I’ve built over. I don’t know 300.

Or 300 WordPress websites.

Over the years, over five or six years.

Well, maybe we’ll learn that more closer to 10 years.

But yeah, so I for a while I had my own agency.

I ran kind of freelance agency and did a lot of WordPress websites for people locally and then I was doing a little more work globally and the local meet up wasn’t really working very well.

Same guy running it.

And he says.

You know it would be.

Like hey everybody free next.

Tuesday, let’s have a meet up.

I said you.

Can’t work there, but.

Things like that you absolutely have.

To have a little more.

Organization to build the local community.

So he said, tell you what I’m looking for, somebody to take this over and I said, I’ll do it.

And so I took over coordinating the Rochester meet.

Up for WordPress.

And set up like a regular meeting every month and started to have speakers.

And you know, and obviously always time to kind of go over people, questions and things that were going.

You know that they had questions about or they were troubleshooting.

And things like that.

And so now we just have a regular meet up.

Of course, the last few years we’ve meeting online, looking forward to getting back in person again or.

At least having a hybrid way to do that.

But I went from that to meeting Andrea Middleton at the first word camp US in Philadelphia, and said, we think we might like to have a work camp in Rochester someday, and she said why?

Someday, why not this year and so actually within the year we had word.

Camp Rochester I

Started speaking at word camps all over the place and.

As they say, the rest is history.

Yeah, word word camps are an amazing place to get involved. Toronto’s got a pretty vibrant WordPress community in the year.

Uhm, you know you were just at state of the world, stated the word back in December and had the pleasure meeting Matt.

I had the pleasure meeting Matt.

He was in Toronto.

That was probably six or seven years ago.

He came in for a specifically for a word camp meeting greet to meet to Toronto group.

Somebody had him up.

And and that was an amazing experience.

I think one of the reasons many of us stayed with WordPress is because of the community and you’ve kind of been able to continue that with your roles.

With stellar WP and post status and those two roles.

Why did you get into those two roles besides it’s steady income and and that side of it?

Yeah, so a couple years back I you know, I’ve been speaking at camps.

I’ve been organizing camps and become a mentor for word camps and so I was already, you know, within the community I was volunteering.

With a lot of stuff on the marketing team and a big.

Orange heart was.

Looking for some volunteers to help with fund raising?

And you know, I was working at give WP at the time and I’m like, well, I mean, fund raising is my thing.

So I joined the fund raising team.

Over there and became.

An integral part of the Big Orange heart community.

I’m not the president of the bigger a bigger chart board and do a lot with wordfest.

There one of the organizers and you know, it’s just kind of.

It’s like you don’t just say one day I’m going.

To be in the community, I’m going to be a community builder.

It really does build over time because people you.

You know, I I didn’t set out to do it and it wasn’t something that I had a strategy.

About it first.

But I think part of it is gaining the trust of people that you work with people seeing that you’re somebody that they can ask questions of and and also being a do gooder in the community so you know I have all these projects that I’ve done for free.

You know, I tweet out jobs on Wednesdays, Ali nimmons that I started.

Underrepresented in tech. Com we do a podcast about other representation and technology. Uh, you know, I I just I volunteered for the World Cup US. I’m on the.

Work Camp Europe team this year.

You just you you.

Start to build a body of good works and two things happen.

One is people.

See that you’re doing good work and they want to work with you and they want to do things with you and and sometimes even just ride your coattails.

I get a lot of.

DM’s asking me if I will, you know, read somebody book and write something for the cover.

And things like that.

But also you become a big target in some places too, right?

So I mean, I’ve had my fair share of attacks over the years and people, you know, not believing that I’m.

Altruistic and really out to help people and not just in it for myself who have tried to, you know cut me off of the knees and things like that.

But you know, I think if you just continue.

To do good in.

The world that those those are.

Fewer and further between.

And those people you know, they feel like they’re throwing a boulder, but it’s.

Really just a Pebble because.

I have the ability to withstand the slings and arrows.

As they say.

Yeah, and I and I would agree with you.

There’s a couple of things you know.

The minute you get involved, whether it’s with an online community or an offline community, and you you gain any type of profile.

Unfortunately you become.

An attack for what I call the trolls of the.

Community in.

And it’s a pain.

I mean, I know, you know, since I’ve taken on this LinkedIn group with Courtney Robertson.

I I get attacks and DMS do more than I used to, so I can.

I can certainly sympathize with that and and I truly believe Michelle honestly you’re out there doing.

Good work and you are and I.

I really believe it comes from inside Gerard.

I mean your paper dot ally paper is called the kindness paper if I recall so.

You know that that says a lot of who you are and what you believe in, and I think honestly you should be commended for that for.

Trying so hard.

Take care, thanks.

You’re welcome and I think you know.

I think we’ve got some issues in our community right now, I know.

Well, I know I’ve spoken to, uh, numerous people I I did a.

An earlier podcast, flasher with Paul Lacey and we were talking about mergers and acquisitions and Paul and I got into a very heavy community discussion.

I’ve had discussions with people like Brian Gardner over the last couple of years of the community and Untruly.

I think we just need to keep working at it and we need to keep.

Working at it hard, Robbie Adair said it really best on doodle, ooh, a couple weeks ago on Bob Dunn Podcast and Robbie said, you know, outside of our community, our clients in the rest of the world don’t see any of the drama or the OR the garbage that’s going on.

Do you have any thoughts on that or?

You know, of course they don’t, right?

So there’s WordPress users and there’s WordPress community and most of the people in the WordPress community are WordPress users, right?

But not every WordPress user is part of the community, and it’s not that they can’t be part of the community, but a lot of people, just they build a website, they have no idea that meetups exist.

They’ve never heard of word camps I.

Mean I, I know.

In the four years that I almost four years, I was working at give.

You know, I would talk to customers all the time.

Who are building their WordPress websites for their nonprofits or their political whatever.

And none of them had any idea like be like how can I?

Find out but.

I’d be like when you check with your local meet up.

What’s the meet up, you know and I tried say hey, there’s a word camp coming up in your area soon.

What’s a word camp?

You know so clearly?

There’s it’s on the dashboard, but people don’t read their dashboard, especially if they’re just trying to survive and, you know, go get in there and make changes to their website.

Et cetera.

And so I think that a lot of what happens is that a lot of the the you know the the users.

You haven’t joined the community per southeast.

Have no clue any of the drama or anything that comes out.

They just know that an update happens.

They update their websites.

Sometimes there’s a learning curve to what’s been added or updated.

Sometimes it’s easy to make those changes and to roll with it, and they really are unaware of any of the interpersonal issues that happened.

Any of the struggles that happen between companies between people or just you know, on the the teams themselves in WordPress.

And I don’t mean in a personal.

Struggles between people on the teams as much as you know. For example, we we had the delay in 5.9.

You know, from December to January, and you know some of those kinds of things, they just.

They’re just happy, little clams.

No, I agree.

Something happens on their dashboard and they update it.

You know, kind of thing.

And I and I agree with you and and I think the the outreaching of our our community is in many cases like if you look at the worst press community in post status or you look at.

The community on Twitter.

A lot of it is really developers, designers and people make a living and not necessarily the end users in their community and it would be nice to to kind of reach some more of those people, don’t you think?

Yeah, you know for sure, I think there’s lots of ways that we can pull people into the fold, but there’s just.

There’s always going to be people who aren’t interested as well.

That’s OK.

Right?

Yeah, if it’s not their thing.

Personally, instead of listening to negativity all the time, I’d rather them not be interested.

To be honest with you ’cause I.

Yeah for sure.

I think I think you know you’re pretty positive.

I’m generally pretty positive and we have our ups and downs, but we’ve gotta keep going.

And you know it’s funny, Michelle, somebody said to me the other day.

Oh for sure.

You know, and it kind of started when they announced Gutenberg.

It’s got to be three years ago and and and three years is a four.

Now wow.

Yeah, it was it. It was. Well, almost part was it was at a work camp US 2018 Yep.

2018, and the reason I remember the date was Wordcamp Toronto was the weekend before and that’s when the announcement hit the Saturday that Gutenberg was officially going to be announced the following weekend. So, and I think you know, there’s a lot of people that say all well.

You know that’s what fraction the community?

I don’t.

I don’t agree with that thinking.

I’ve played with Gutenberg.

You’ve played with Gutenberg.

You’re you’re you’ve made a couple sites using Cadence and Cadence box correct?

I’ve moved my agency site to Cadence and Cadence box I I did it.

As an experiment and I and and I’ve said this.

To many people I’ve I did it on a live site over time and so please don’t folks don’t do what I did because don’t.

It’s a bad idea. The reason I did it on the live site was I had 200 blog posts I wasn’t touching and I had a I have an active blog that posts couple.

Podcasts a week, so it was the only way to do it.

Uhm, one of the reasons I I did that truthfully was to see what the speed increase would be when I got a page.

Builder and I will tell you, I added ten points in speed to my GT metrics color, so I did that.

But yeah, I went from 89 to 99% like overnight. It was unreal. So awesome.

It is and it it’s.

It’s interesting, but I don’t think Gutenberg problem I don’t think reacts the problem.

Idontthink.com or.org is the problem. I think it’s.

Some of the individuals who just look at everything kind of from a bad perspective is the problem, not the good perspective.

Yeah, I mean.

You know change is hard, change is hard for people.

In general, right?

And you know, the more you’ve bought into something emotionally, not even I don’t even mean financially, but emotionally bought into something.

The harder it is to watch it change, right?

So like you, you’re all in on WordPress and then suddenly you feel like the rug got pulled out from under you ’cause you don’t know what this Gutenberg thing is.

You know at the time that Gutenberg came.

Along I used.

To teach WordPress classes suddenly.

I didn’t know enough about.

WordPress anymore to be able.

To teach those classes and honestly, I haven’t taught class since because my.

Life went in a different direction.

By the time I figured out Gutenberg like that ship had sailed for me, not that I couldn’t probably figure out how to teach a class, but they just do different things now.

So I think you get so invested in something that you think every change is a person.

Front and and that it’s difficult, right?

No, I agree.

The thing is like the people who decide today that they’re going to use WordPress that’s native to them, right?

They jump in, they learn it the way it is.

They don’t have to relearn anything that have to change it under pivot.

And so I think that it’s some of the people that dig their feet in.

It’s like I don’t want to change.

I don’t want to have to learn.

Something new if I’m a developer.

I don’t want to have to learn react or I don’t want to have to, you know, learn new programming languages and figure out how it goes together or even.

If I’m just.

A you know a end user.

I don’t want to have to learn how to do something different like what is this pattern saying?

What is this block thing you know?

Kind of thing, so I think it’s just change is hard and and when there’s a change, there’s a learning curve.

Learning curve slows down your workflow, slows down your workflow, impacts your your ability to earn money, and so I think it’s just kind of a trickle down that way.

But once people embrace it and learn it, most people that I’ve talked to.

They’ve either found a great way to work around it that makes them happy, or they embrace it and they work within it and they’re just as happy.

Yeah no, no kidding Courtney Robertson, who does a lot of work for the WordPress learning team she posted in the slack today that every time she plays with.

Blocks or gootenberg she learned something new and I I I would agree with Courtney like I know I’m pretty well versed in box ’cause I’ve dived into it and every time I do something different I learn something new.

So, but I I’ve also had the mentality over the years where I’m kind of a life on long learner who puts things.

Into practice.

So when I learn something, I’m always learning and that’s just kind of the way I roll.

So this week so.

Yeah for sure.

Now you were up in New York in December.

Wish I could have been there, but with everything going on, how was that experience from a Community perspective?

There were some amazing people there.

There were some amazing people there it was I I think.

I mean it was amazing in and of itself.

The fact that I hadn’t been anywhere with a WordPress community since I work at Miami in 2020 made it even that much more amazing. It was. It was a small group of people. You know, I didn’t see everybody.

Before I got there, but there were a core group of us.

But I don’t see a core group.

There was a bunch of us that were staying at the same hotel and you know, eating our meals kind of together and that kind of thing and just being in the presence of other people who like get me to understand what my day today is.

Like you know my my daughter, she doesn’t get it.

My ex husband.

He didn’t get it.

You know those kinds of things like my mother?

Is like like I oh, I published a new website.

Oh that’s nice dear?

I mean you know those the people that just don’t understand.

The things that you.

Do on that day today.

And being in this and the presidents of all these people is amazing.

And then to be able to go to this very selective app because and and that select because they were being, you know.

I don’t know elitist, but select because they there’s a limited.

Number of people that they could include.

Uh to that event because of the COVID issues that we were that we’re facing.

Yeah, so true.

It’s so true.

As a world.

And so I got an invitation to join other people, you know, applied to join.

I was just like blown away that I was invited to be there.

And stellar said, absolutely, we will pay for, you know, pay your your logic.

Will pay for.

You to be.

There we want you to be there too.

And so I flew out on Monday for deck on Wednesday, spent all day Tuesday talking to people, you know.

I had a meeting with Corey in the morning.

Uhm met with Mark Westgaard from WS form, uh Muno talked to people from do.

The woo and.

Just I mean.

The whole just there’s just a whole.

Group of people there.

Together and had we like I said we.

Had some meals and things like that.

And then you you get to that place and like OK so I I I don’t walk into any.

Place I ride in.

’cause I have a scooter so I ride.

Into the to the van.

Yeah, and like immediately, somebody puts a glass of sparkling water in my hand.

Angela and Josepha walk up and they’re like, oh, we saved you a seat in the front.

Good to see you.

You know.

Matt Mullenweg walks over, shakes my hand.

I’m so glad you could make it.

And I felt like Cinderella just arrived at the ball.

It was amazing.

And then.

To be present to take pictures to tweet.

The pictures live from being in the front row there to ask questions, to get answers and listen to other people.

Ask questions to get answers and then afterwards there was a reception with you.

Know great food and the opportunity to really just talk to one another.

When I left there that night, I was sure I was going.

To turn into a pumpkin.

Because it really did feel like one of those.

Not in top experiences.

Uhm, just from everything there I I asked Matt for an exclusive interview for post dentist.

We walked to the other end.

Of the room.

He gave me a 7 1/2 minute interview which is on the post status blog. You could listen to that if you’re interested.

It was about the status of jobs in WordPress and.

Acquisitions and so you know.

One of those things where I just.

I got to talk to a lot of people.

I got to feel like I was really part of the community again and not just from.

The other side of the screen.

Yeah, it it’s so true.

I mean, there’s there’s people in that room.

I know really well.

I mean, we were talking before we went to record Corey Miller, who who runs post status.

Corey is and I have to give a shout out to Corey.

He’s been a long time friend and I mean going back.

Over 10 years and frankly, Corey understands what communities are all about.

And here’s somebody who’s had his struggles and he shares them quite openly.

And then in that room was my good friend Bob Dunn Bobs.

Probably one of my longest friends in the WordPress space, so I’ve stayed in touch with year after year after year and that goes back 12 or 13 years now.

And you know, people like that and people like you I, I mean, I honestly I’m lucky.

To have the community we have, I mean, Topher and Kate were in that room and and Kate has now moved onto a position with automatic, which is absolutely amazing because we need truly we need people like Kate working for automatic.

You know so.

Actually, I’m so I’m so happy for her.

Yeah, so I’m still online very much I I haven’t had chance to catch up with her, but I will because, uh, I’m looking at getting tougher and Kate on in down the road in the future, so.

That will be good.

Not perfect.

Since we’re kind of talking one of the things you do with communities, you talk about jobs, and I’ve I’ve been in many of the Twitter space chats that you put on on Wednesdays, which is really great.

Not inside there.

You do that.

Last week she had to even manage to conjure up some guests.

So poor Michelle didn’t have to do all the talking for change.

That is true, I mean and and, and you’ve got a, uh, basically a job fair or a job event coming up do.

It is.

You want to talk a little bit about that.

Yeah yeah, absolutely.

April 8th is the WP Career Summit and that is an event through post.

Status that I’m coordinating and it’ll have two tracks.

It’ll have a track for job seekers and a track for employers.

And I’m getting.

It’s getting some amazing speaker applications.

It’s going to be hard to narrow them down.

I know every every person who ever you know, puts together an event says that, but it really is true to how do you do?

How do you tell somebody know when you only have so many spots but some really great speakers?

So the job secret part of things will be about.

How to find?

A job you know.

Maybe we’ll have somebody talking about.

And putting together your portfolio, things like that and then the employer side will have you know best practices for recruiting and how to recruit for underrepresented groups and how to do good onboarding and manage teams and things like that.

The whole thing is going to be sponsored by different companies and it’s going to be run on the same platform that we use for wordfest.

If you’ve been to.

Word Fest before through big orange harp.

We’ve hired the.

Same team to run the event through that.

So Dan maybe and Nathan Wrigley and I can’t remember who the third person is.

Forgive me whoever you are are going to be running the technical side of things for me and then I’ll have some mix as well as every session will be recorded and then we’ll have live Q&A.

With the speaker so super excited about it because it’s really going to give an opportunity for people.

Two, if I see people all the time looking for jobs and I see people all the time posting jobs and I just want to be somebody that conduit that helps these people find each other so that we have good people working in good places.

Yeah, that that is so true and you’ve got a good team to help you out.

The event should be.

Great and then.

Correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t you also working on an online summit that’s on Twitter only as well?

I am so there’s a.

I guess I’m just in a bunch of things right now, but we’re.

Having our first.

Ever post status, Twitter conference and so we will have people presenting online through Twitter.

So it’s not the same as going onstage that same as recording yourself, unless that’s how you choose to do your tweets, but it’ll be a series of 15 tweets per Twitter per presenter, every half hour.

So the 1st 15 minutes of the half hour will be the tweets themselves. Second half will be Q&A through Twitter. Everything will be tagged with our.

Hashtag so that we can put them into moments afterwards and have those.

To share out.

But also so that people could kind of follow along and figure out the different topics they were interested in and follow those different presenters.

So we’ve got some great people already applying to be in that. That’s not until May. That’s May 24th. So if you’re interested in applying to be a presenter.

On Twitter, go ahead and go to the post status.

Of the post status blog, you’ll find it there, and there’s a blog post called announcing post status Twitter conference.

So if you just search our blog for Twitter conference, you’ll find it and write on.

There is a place to be able to apply to present.

Yeah, a couple another couple good community initiatives going on.

Michelle in the future.

Where would you like to see our community go and grow?

And I think one of the things we have to do is.

Recognize the diversity of our community and start to build that side of it.

How do you feel about that?

Yeah, so so underrepresentedin-tech.com was A is A is a project that Allie Demons and I created because people were coming to both of us.

Saying I need more diversity.

And at this event or at work.

Do you know somebody you could recommend and rather than us recommending people ’cause I can’t think of everybody, we decided to create a database where people could opt into the database and put themselves out there.

Kind of, you know, hireable for either speaking, blogging, podcasts, part time or full time work.

And so underrepresented in tech.

If you go there, you’re an underrepresented person.

It’s free to join the database.

We do vet people so it’s you know we do double check every application that we approve in there and then anybody can search the database for free and it’ll just it’ll serve you up.

Results that people that might be interested.

You might be interested in having as a podcast guest, for example.

Sport to speak at a conference.

Things like that and so out of that, you know, kind of.

Ali and I are being asked to talk a lot about under representation and diversity within excuser within WordPress and within technology.

And so you know, you asked me what do I want to see things grow.

I really want to see.

People from underrepresented groups having a bigger, you know more places at the table, so to speak so that people who normally aren’t.

Viewed as people.

Who might be hireable or come to speak at their event?

Or, you know, like I said, podcast guests blogging guest things like that would be able to contribute in meaningful ways without having to scream and shout to be heard.

But to be invited to those places and some of that, you know, North America and.

Europe tend to be like the bigger places where word press bigwigs are.

If you want to call it that, you know some of the people who are a little bit more.

Celebrated in the community.

But WordPress is ubiquitous, you know, through Asia and in South America and Africa and Australia, and so there’s more to WordPress than just North America and Europe and so reaching out to communities.

You know I’ve worked with.

I’ve actually presented at communities in Africa, for example.

At their meetups to talk about what underrepresentedtech.com does and we need to make sure that we are inviting more people and to do those things and giving them the means by.

Which to contribute?

It’s not enough to say we want contributors.

Because some people don’t have the the means to be able to do those things.

They have the skill sets, but they don’t necessarily have the Internet and they don’t have, you know, the the time and the locations and things like that to be able to participate.

Unless somebody is sponsoring them into those kinds of positions, and that’s been a big conversation.

Right in the last.

Month maybe?

About the community and about open source is, you know it’s a lot and and when Ali and I talk about it, it’s a lot of privileged people that get to participate because their companies support them, or because they make enough money in their day jobs that giving some time on the side doesn’t cut into their ability to raise money for their family and.

Their livelihoods and so we really want to see people sponsored in so that they don’t have to worry about.

If I contribute to an open source project or I contribute to, you know, a nonprofit organization or whatever it is.

That they’re contributing to.

That they’re not disadvantaging themselves by using time that would that should be spent raising money you know through through work to support their livelihoods and their families.

And so there’s gotta be a way that we can do that.

Then we can sponsor people in.

I’m not sure I I’m not.

I’m one person.

I can’t solve the whole problem.

But definitely the key to getting more underrepresented folks in is going to be to find ways to help them be able to contribute through resources.

And the way to sponsor people in and I know we’ve.

Talked about it on.

It’s been talked about on this week in WordPress.

I’ve talked about it a number of other big people in the community have talked about.

I don’t think it always translates in the dollars per say.

It could be just.

You know we’re having word camp USUS, who are having word camp Europe and we’re going to sponsor some underrepresented people to go to that word camp for what they do for the community. And I think things like that are just as important as the dollar.

Actually sure, but dollars still come into play, right?

Because if you’re going to get somebody there, there’s airline tickets.

There’s hotel space.

There’s meals that that some people just wouldn’t.

Be able to afford on.

Their own until I until I worked for a company when I was on my own, I drove to every word camp so I I live in Rochester, NY. I drove.

To Nashville to go to work camp US 15 hours in the car straight down to 15 hours. Yeah, right and and had to figure out how I was going to pay and I was bootstrapping myself.

That’s a good drive.

There, like I was shoestring budget right and so like for Christmas that year my dad gave me the hotel and I had $300 in my bank and I laid off to get gas down there.

But I was like eating out of the vending machine kind of thing because I just had to deal with what I had right and so I was one of the people that it.

Would have been awesome.

Somebody had sponsored me to go someplace like that.

Yeah, I, I mean I, I get that I’m I’m in the same boat.

I’m not a minority but I you know if I take time to give to the LinkedIn and group or time, they get it.

Give back to the community.

In my case, that is, uh, that comes out of my working time and that’s just the way it falls right now.

And you know.

So that leads me to my next topic, since we’re talking about community fight for the future.

How how do you feel about that initiative that WordPress has got that more and more the the bigger company should actually give back to the community?

You know, I guess I can look at it either way I’ve I’ve seen both sides of the argument and I’m I’m.

I don’t put a lot of weight in Zodiac, but I’m a Libra and I I.

Really do try.

To find the balance of things and I do see both sides of of things there a lot, and I think that it there’s a multiple things that come into play.

So 5 for the future is a great idea.

Not every company wants to, and that’s fine.

Nobody should be forced or made to feel bad that that they don’t want to or can’t contribute.

That way there are some people that want to be able to contribute, and they find ways you know whether it’s sponsored by their company or not.

If they’re freelance, things like that.

I think it’s a great idea in theory, but I think again in.

Order to be fully.

Uhm, inclusive, you need to find ways that you can.

Could include those people who are either freelance or are underrepresented in ways or are.

Uhm, unable to contribute again because of resources so.

I think that there’s a lot more.

Work that can.

Be done there, but I think that at it’s at its heart I think it’s a great idea.

No, I I agree there’s always circumstances and people just don’t ever look into those circumstances.

They just say, oh, they’re not contributing.

There’s a problem, not realizing there’s a.

There’s a lot of circumstances that go on there.

You know, Michelle.

I’ve really enjoyed the chat.

Thank you for chatting about the community and WordPress.

If somebody wants to get.

Ahold of you.

Besides the million and one slack channels your own, where’s the most where they get you?

Meet Michelle dot online.

If you go to.

meetmichelle.online  that’ll get you linked.

Up to me in all the different places.

And that that’s your new website you’ve done, which is basically a linktree clone if I recall right.

It is yeah I used.

I used Kadence, the Kadence theme cadence blocks to do that and I made my only treat ’cause I’m not giving linktree my traffic.

I wanted to come to me.

Of course he did.

I’m not a branded.

Yeah, thank you very much, Michelle.

And thanks for all you do for the community.

Have an amazing day.

It’s my pleasure.

Thanks so much for having me.


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