Innovator of the Week
Founder and Organizer of Seacoast NH WordPress Meetup Group
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
The Seacoast NH WordPress meetup is a group formed to help with all things WordPress. We started meeting monthly in 2011 and now host 2 meetups each month. One meetup is geared towards WordPress Users – these are folks who use WordPress for their blog or for their business website and just need a hand figuring it all out. Our other meetup each month is geared towards WordPress Developers – these are folks typically working for themselves or an agency who build WordPress themes and plugins.
We are a very user-driven group. Most of our talks or presentations are given by members of the group (sometimes just because they want to learn about the topic themselves). Members also drive the focus of our group by suggesting topics for future meetups. We are a smallish group which allows folks to get to know one another and feel comfortable asking questions.
What niche are you filling?
I started the group looking for a WordPress Developer community. And although some developers did come, a lot of regular users came looking to learn more too. Our group has been lucky to be able to expand such that we have meetings for both Users and Developers. Users have a useful resource in what we share each month, plus we make time for open questions and to discuss issues users are having. Likewise, the developers meetup provides a forum for developers to not only share technical knowledge with one another, but we also discuss issues around running a business and working successfully with clients. We get to share and learn from each other’s experiences. In both meetups, we provide community and support.
Who or what was your best resource in helping your program get off the ground?
Alpha Loft has been instrumental in our growth as they’ve provided a home base for our meetups. I’m also grateful to Carl Eric Johnson who from the very beginning urged me to hold meetups each month even when we didn’t have a specific topic to cover. He urged that it was important to just meet and that it would be enough, and he was right. Meeting regularly grew our base and I’m so happy I followed his advice. When we expanded our meetups to twice monthly, he took on the helm of leading our Users meetup. Since Carl Eric passed away, it’s now Kathi Hardy who serves as my co-organizer. People are the best resource in my mind. Let people help and trust that the container will be that much stronger for the community involvement.
What does the future look like?
More meetups and more connections! Seriously, as our group has grown in numbers so has our community. We have a small group of regulars and many others who float in or out depending on our topic and their own schedules. Friendships and even a business have formed out of this group and I expect those connections to both widen and deepen as time goes on.
How can people get involved?
Sign up to our group on Meetup.com and come to a meetup. Our group is free and is very welcoming. Our Users group meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month and the Developers on the 1st Wednesday. Folks are welcome to attend either meetup and many attend both. Meetups are held at Alpha Loft at 10 Vaughan Mall, Suite 205, Portsmouth, NH.