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Wow, we’re already near the end of the first week of this PressPause podcast mini series.
It’s been great working with Micah Dailey from WPMU Dev, and getting his ideas about how we can encourage you to get yourself to a WordCamp in the near future.
Today we hear from Tina Todorovic and her story about who she feels is a good fit for a WordCamp. Spoiler alert – it’s everyone!
We talk about the fact that she’s been trying to encourage more women to attend the WordCamps close to where she lives; trying to let them know that it’s not intimidating, but is inclusive.
We also get onto the topic of age and the fact that people of all ages are welcome. She tells the story of an inspirational young man, who she wishes were her son as well as a story about how older people can take part too.
So now that you know that it’s for all people, whoever you are, whatever you do, whatever age you are… what are you waiting for?
And remember… Together we can #PressForward
Featured on this podcast:
Nathan Wrigley: 00:02 Hello again. This is the fourth episode in our mini series called press pause. This is a collaboration between WP and up and WPMU Dev. My name is Nathan Wrigley and I’ll be your host for the next 15 minutes or so, just in case you didn’t know. We’re putting out episodes every working day in the run up to WordCamp Europe. So you might’ve missed Micah Dailey talking to test yesterday. If you did. Just go to WP and UP dot org forward slash podcasts and you find them all there. But can I persuade you to stick around and listen to this one first?
Nathan Wrigley: 00:48 So what’s the big deal about WordCamps? Why are these podcasts all about them? We’re hoping that these stories from WordPress is like you and I will offer up some inspiration to you. Perhaps you’re a serial WordCamp attender, in which case just sit back, listen and nod your head from time to time. But maybe you’ve thought about attending a WordCamp, but never quite made it. Well, these podcasts have you at their heart. We’re hoping that you listened to as many as you can and realize that WordCamps are for you too. There are people just like you, they write the code, they blog, they create contents, they’re into marketing. It’s all there WordCamps and not about one thing there about many, but perhaps most importantly there about people connecting people and building up partnerships, learning on friendships. So listen to this podcast, ruminate upon it. Then maybe go and get a ticket for the next one. The next one near you.
Nathan Wrigley: 02:09 This edition of press pause is brought to you by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers an awesome managed web hosting platform that it’s built for speed, security and scalability whilst being environmentally friendly. Enjoy a better web hosting experience for your WordPress website with Green Geeks. So let’s get to it. Who Do we have on the show today?
Tina Todorvic: 02:39 Okay, so, uh, my name is Tina Todorovic and I am the cofounder of Social Web Suite. Social marketing dashboard for WordPress. While I had been involved three years, organizing WordCamp Toronto. So local WordCamp in Toronto, Ontario from 2013 2016 I have been volunteering and helping with organizing with a bunch of stuff that needs to be done. Oh, actually 2014, 15 and 16. Right.
Nathan Wrigley: 03:09 Tina has been involved with WordCamps in her area for many years. She’s been trying to encourage all sorts of people with different backgrounds to attend.
Tina Todorvic: 03:20 I have been involved with diversity outreach training program as well last year. Basically it was, it started to be like a program for a woman. My getting more women into it, but then, they ended up this year, well last year as well. We were talking about it and it wasn’t really, it started as a woman, but then it’s not really relevant only to women. It’s relevant to anybody who is like introvert or who, who thinks that they are not, they did, their story’s not relevant to anybody. They or things that they are not at, because we had the, like when we were organizing the meetups and WordCamps here, we spend a lot of people coming in. Like when we were trying to find speakers for WordCamp, they’re like, oh, I don’t know what I’m supposed to speak and I’m not, you know, well versed in one area or another area.
Tina Todorvic: 04:12 And then they always thought that you have to be, you know, the specialist or now it’s called guru or whatever, but you don’t have to right, you just share in how I explained to people is you just share your experiences. So basically you made the site for yourself. You don’t have to be like a developer or designer or whatever. You go to WordPress, you made your first website for yourself and it can be on WordPress.com. It doesn’t have to be, you know, self hosted or whatever. But you still made an effort to still um, you know, change a few things, add content or wrote a few blog posts or something like, you know, change the logo. So you still did something or you came to your WordCamp and what are your experiences? So those are the best stories actually that you can provide people because you are sharing your experiences and you’re making sure that, nobody repeats your mistakes. Right.
Nathan Wrigley: 05:04 So Tina has a nice story about her experiences at a WordCamp in Ottawa, Canada. It centers around a quote unquote women in WordPress panel.
Tina Todorvic: 05:16 Okay. So then that’s like a little bit of funny story. So cause I am a member of a bunch of group, on Facebook, right? Like the WordPress Canada group than WordPress, sorry, Montreal and Ottowa with Toronto obviously. So the Miriam Goldman, she became involved in organizing WordCamp bottom up a few years back and she’s still involved in organizing it and I haven’t met her before. Right. And in 2017 before what can bottom, I already bought a ticket, so I, I was like already planning to go. She posted that she wanted to have some kind of woman in WordPress panel when she wants to gather a few woman like, but completely different backgrounds. So the designer, developer user, a content marketer, like, you know, completely different backgrounds, can basically just gather a few of us and talk about our experiences with WordPress, with WordPress community, how we can help more while it started more woman.
Tina Todorvic: 06:14 But we ended up talking about everything, more people actually coming to the WordCamp and sharing their stories, right. And helping get involved with the community. So she posted that and she was asking for a woman to join then, uh, and I don’t remember if Katherine Pressner from Montreal was already in or I saw her comment and I know her and I love her. Uh, so I’m like, oh, okay, I want to be involved there as well. So I reached out to Miriam and I told her, I don’t know you, I’m from Toronto or whatever and on Facebook. And she was like, yeah, perfect. So basically it was like I think six of us and uh, I only knew a Katherine before and Megan Hayes, she was enrolled in WordCamp auto for like, I don’t know from the beginning, I believe in organizing it. She was the moderator and the other ladies at the panel.
Tina Todorvic: 07:08 I didn’t know. Right. But then we ended up exchanging our stories on Facebook. I reached out to a bunch of women that I know in a WordPress world and ask them, what do you think that we should talk about it did you had any issues that we, we would like to address maybe and you know, help people there how to be better. And basically that’s the first panel that Miriam organized in 2017 and WordCamp Ottowa afterwards she a, because it was a huge success, she ended up like organization. There are a bunch of other WordCamps afterwards. I like it simply because we had a bunch of men in audience and we ended up talking like about imposter syndrome introverts, how people can, you know, reach out to other people. So it wasn’t, yes, it was women in WordPress and only woman who was in the panel, but we that we ended up helping and talking about other stuff as well.
Tina Todorvic: 07:58 So it’s not completely 100% relevant to like just women. The other thing is like after the panel, uh, one lady a from the audience, she reached out to me and she says, oh, I live in Kingston, Ontario. We don’t have a, a local WordPress meetup. Like, how can I start one, how about that? And I’m like, oh, that’s a great idea. And uh, my friend and the ex co-organizer from Toronto, he actually moved like a month before, uh, to, to Kingston, Ontario. So I reached out to him and I’m like, Paul, are you interested? Maybe so you too can organize a Kingston meetup. Lo and behold, the meetup is still there two years later and they are really successful. They can like, um, uh, sharing the WordPress loving like the local community there. Then couple actually also approach to uh, to me and said that they have a girl and sees now in 13 years and she is now deciding Google like you know what you want to do when she grow up, grow up in those types of things. And they didn’t want her in yet. It simply because they thought that only men are going there and it be really hard for her to go that route. But when they thought they heard us talking about it and how we all had like really great experiences with the WordPress community, how everybody’s really so welcoming, they decided to calculate to go to Ip and now so, and I think that’s really great stories.
Nathan Wrigley: 09:30 So off the back of this panel in Ottawa, someone started another meetup, someone decided that a career in it might be a good fit for them. We’re trying to get more people to go to WordCamps and having listened to Tina, we heard that a family, you were worried that a career and it might not suit their daughter. We know that this is a dreadful stereotype, but I wanted Tina to speak to this point about how WordCamps are for women like her.
Tina Todorvic: 10:03 So from my experience from all the world’s games that I went to, and you know that island coke, no a lot over the cancer. I always used to be like equally, so you have man, you have woman. But like, even if, if some woman is listening to this and you go to somewhere and you’ll, uh, you’ll, you’ll see that there is a lot of men there, so you don’t have to be intimidated or anything. I remember my first WordCamp that was in Montreal, actually not in Toronto, and that’s why I still go to Montreal every year. A lot of it. So like I was talking down to everybody and I didn’t know anybody, like my husband and me. We went there for the first time and while actually he, uh, he was in, uh, Toronto before. Uh, so we went there. We didn’t know anybody.
Tina Todorvic: 10:48 Like we didn’t know anybody from the WordPress community. We didn’t know anybody, uh, in Montreal and, but we went to the after party. So, and that’s why like, it’s really important to go to the after party because that’s where you can actually talk to a bunch of people. Everybody that you talk to is super nice and friendly. So, and everybody wants to talk to you. That’s why they, uh, they actually came to the after party, not just the party thing. It just like more talking and meeting other people. So, and uh, that’s why how I got into the WordPress actually because like everybody, when I saw this, uh, like the community hall, everybody’s so friendly and everybody wants truly and genuinely to help you with whatever you want to do a with like completely free advices. I think that’s something that, uh, I don’t think that that exist in any other communities.
Nathan Wrigley: 11:38 What camps are for all people. Literally, whatever your background, whatever you think there’s a place for you. It’s also increasingly a place where you can take your entire family, including your kids and some of the young people who attend. I’m a reckless.
Tina Todorvic: 11:58 Yes. I actually, uh, went for, so last year, yeah, last year. So we went to the a WordCamp Ann Arbor, Michigan and then we went afterwards, the word Cam Detroit. And uh, so the guy that while I haven’t attended his session and there aren’t Ann Arbor, I, you know, because you, you you’re only one and there like so many sessions so you can really on them all of them. Right. But then I saw him in Detroit and uh, he’s not even like he, I don’t think that he has like AP and maybe now last year he was like maybe 16 or 17. So I went to his session. Oh my goodness. I was blown away. I like the kid is awesome and he’s like marketing and the kid is so talented that you wouldn’t believe. Like I swear to God, I was at the session and I was looking at a human level like, oh my goodness, I want this, get to be my kid. It was like, you’re so talented and so intelligent that it’s crazy. And I started talking to him to him later and took his parents obviously in different, they are as well. So we started talking and um, he was always like, you know, outspoken. And he got into the WordPress like maybe two years before and also coming to the WordCamps and he saw that and he’s always opportunity through, like talk about it. And now he, he even like sort of advise people on marketing strategies for WordPress and those types of things like,
Nathan Wrigley: 13:24 you know, it’s not just the young heaven miraculous. What camp is open to older people too.
Tina Todorvic: 13:33 I know a lady from Toronto and she was involved in volunteering for in the world, can Toronto before and then she became an organizer as well. Like she was helping in organizing committee in 2017 bag and she’s retired and she was working in a, with the database. So it’s like software development. Right. But then she retired and she, she started knitting, so to be on the site I said to her, so she’d be on the side for WordPress for anything. And that’s, you know, that’s how you, and then because she likes the community and that’s how she started volunteering with together with her husband or what can Toronto and then she become involved in 2017 for the organizing. And she was actually responsible for the kids a track on WordCamp Toronto. Yeah. And I talk to her later and she was so happy. She says it was awesome. The kids were awesome and like she likes to do that. Right. And also, although she’s retired, she still makes some websites for like, you know, quite a few friends and you know, he just like keeps her busy.
Nathan Wrigley: 14:41 Wherever you’re from, whatever you think, no matter your age, there’s a place for you at WordCamp joining. Dip your toes in the water. It’s cool. The press forward podcast is a production of WP and UP. This mini series is a collaborative effort by WPMU Dev and WP and up Micah Dailey me, Nathan Wrigley produced this episode and Micah created the original score a special thanks. Go to Tina for chatting with me today and thanks to you for listening and remember that together we can press forward.