Democratize Publishing Part Deux
I started out by first switching over my focus from self-hosted WordPress development to building and using sites with WordPress.com. Since I was initially coming from a self-hosted WordPress background, having the flexibility to customize a site as much as possible was an important point for me. So I decided to invest in a WordPress.com Premium plan to get set up with domain mapping, get access to their premium themes, as well as have access to CSS editing.
I also needed to get comfortable with the dashboard interface that WP.com uses — Calypso. Going from wp-admin to Calypso wasn’t such a big transition as I thought it would be, but there are some notable differences between the two that may take some extra adjusting for others.
My first project was to setup my personal site while exploring as many features as possible with WordPress.com. In the meantime, I decided I would also start volunteering in the WordPress.com public support forums. It’s been said to be a good starting place for getting practice with resolving issues and problems current users have with WordPress.com.
Advice for new volunteers, please kindly read:
- Best Practices & Community Standards: https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/best-practices-community-standards?replies=1
- WordPress.com Volunteers: https://en.support.wordpress.com/wordpress-com-volunteers/
- Getting Help in the Forums: https://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-help-in-the-forums/
Read those before diving in and you’ll be gold 🙂
I continued to contribute in the forums every day whenever I had a chance. I’d hop on in the mornings before work, sometimes during my breaks while at work, and then again in the evenings. I learned so much about the fundamentals of WordPress.com just from helping others in the forums, and it felt good to know whenever I’d get responses like these from the people I helped:
If you’re wondering by now if I had applied yet, well, I hadn’t. There were a couple reasons why.
First, I’m the type of person who goes all out whenever I have my sights on a goal. In this case, I was applying for a position in a field that I had very little experience in. All my technical knowledge of IT, programming, and web development up until this point were self-taught, so I felt that when applying I needed to have an extra edge to stand out.
My knowledge of the Japanese language & its culture, as well as my physical location of actually living in Japan might have played an important role.
In the following interview with Japanese web site, SV100, Matt Mullenweg talks about WordPress and the kind of presence he wants his company to have in Japan.
“For me, when I think about the future of our business in Japan, I’d really love to grow — [aside] so Naoko has more colleagues there — right now we have only one or two people in Japan. I’d love to have 10 or 20. The reason I want 10 or 20 people in Japan is because then they will be able to truly understand and create something tailored to the Japanese market better than I could in a whole lifetime — or any people not from Japan. So I do truly believe in that to really localize a service, you need the people who are embedded in the culture every day to be able to tailor it.” — Matt Mullenweg
*this interview was published when?*
*looks at Automattic employee map to see if there’s still 2 people in Japan.*
yup, still 2.
*Matt wants how many people in Japan?*
10 or 20??
It was time to start networking! I looked to see if there were any upcoming WordCamps in Japan on WordCamp Central.
Low and behold there were!
These were perfect opportunities to meet people in the industry and to learn about what the Japanese WordPress community is like. I was really excited to find out since I had never been to a WordCamp before. I’ve only read (HeroPress) and seen (WordPress.tv) so many good things 🙂
I won’t talk too much about my experiences that I had at both WordCamps since I already wrote separate blog posts for those. I welcome you to check them out if interested:
After writing up my post on WordCamp Tokyo, I decided it was time to finally apply!