A Tale of Two Keynotes

Episode 52 July 07, 2022 00:14:14
A Tale of Two Keynotes
WP Review
A Tale of Two Keynotes

Jul 07 2022 | 00:14:14


Hosted By

Joe Casabona

Show Notes

The last conference I went to before the pandemic was WordCamp US 2019. After that, the pandemic struck and there was no travel for me for nearly 2 years. During that time, I also made the decision to pivot, and focus less on WordPress and more on Podcasters and Creators. So in my first Creator-focused, non-WordPress event, I noticed a stark difference between the keynotes: one asked us repeatedly to give our time. One reinforced a different idea: that it's OK to make money. 

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Episode Transcript

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic. As an extrovert, it felt a bit like a rebirth for two reasons. One. I love interacting with people and traveling. So conferences like this are fantastically rejuvenating events for me. And two, it was my first non-word press conference in several years. The last conference I went to before the pandemic was WordCamp us 2019. After that the pandemic struck and there was no travel for me for nearly two years, not only because of the pandemic, but because in that time, my wife and I welcomed not one, but two new children. During that time, I also made the decision to pivot. And focus less on WordPress. And more on podcasters and creators. So for my first big post pandemic conference. I chose craft and commerce. It was an absolutely fantastic event. And if you want to hear my takeaways, you can join the creator crew. Over at join creator, crew.com. There were a lot of stark differences between craft and commerce in the word camps. I usually attend. But today I want to talk about one in particular. The keynotes. Hey everybody. And welcome to WP review a show that provides analysis on what's going on with WordPress and what it means for creators and business owners. This podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy pro. My name's Joe Casabona. And today I want to talk about the stark difference between the WordPress ecosystem and community. And the creator ecosystem and community. Now as we dive in to these keynotes. I want to make a, what I think is a big assumption, but a pretty, I think it's a pretty obvious one. The people who watch keynote speeches from founders or CEOs. Are the biggest fans. I watched the WWDC keynote every year, because I need to know as soon as possible. What wonderful improvements. My phone and my computer and my iPad are going to get in the next six months. I download the public betas as soon as I can, because I like to live dangerously. But most people. Most of my friends, probably most of your friends don't they don't know the new features. They don't care. They update their phone when their phone finally makes them. And I think if that's just like the people who use WordPress casually, aren't tuning into Matt, mullenweg's state of the word, they don't care how many people contributed. They don't care. How many word camps there were. And the same thing goes for Nathan Barry's keynote. Somebody who just started a newsletter. Isn't watching that or attending craft and commerce most likely. As a result, these speeches by and large are geared towards that audience. The audience of the biggest fans. Yes, they'll talk about the new features and the big changes over the last year. But they'll also have messaging for the most involved, the people who continually show up in the community. So as we look at these two keynotes, I want you to keep that in mind. And let's start with the 20, 21 state of the word. Now I covered the 20, 21 state of the word in episode 30. The way to learn WordPress is not by contributing. As a refresher, my biggest takeaway for better or worse. Was that we should contribute more of our time to make WordPress better. Matt cited multiple times. This idea. Uh, including during his section on five for the future, a whole section about why we should contribute. Uh, I think it's five hours a week, uh, or one day a week or something like that to. Contributing to WordPress. He mentioned it during the announcement of the open verse where he explicitly stated that creators can now contribute without necessarily contributing code. He mentioned it when he said the best way to learn WordPress is by contributing. And he spent some time talking about the tragedy of the commons. How when more people take then give, we see the death of the commons, where the commons, in this case, Is WordPress and more people taking rather than giving is more people using and profiting off of WordPress, then contributing to it. You can listen to my full analysis [email protected] slash three zero. But the speech hit at what I believe is a longstanding problem in the WordPress space. That's propagated from the top. Your number one, objective. Should be to work for free. Then when you have time. Try to make money. It's a mindset that I believe has irrevocably affected many small business owners by setting an ecosystem. Axiom. I shouldn't have to pay for good work. You should just do it for the love of the game. Now let's contrast this with what Nathan Barry had to say during his keynote. A few quotes or maybe paraphrases that I scribbled down quickly as I was trying to take notes. That stuck out at me were these. One real artists. Don't starve. Implying that a real artist makes money from their work. Too, and this is just a sentence fragment, but I love it. Proudly charging for your work. Implying that we shouldn't be ashamed. To charge for our craft. And number three. You aren't at the mercy of your circumstances. What he meant by that last quote was that unlike many people in traditional jobs, We have the ability to make more money when we need to. And we should be proud of that. His talk clocked in at less than an hour. And repeated the mantra that the future is for creators, that it's easier than ever for creators to make money. But those are just words. And as my high school motto puts it. Non-box said modem. Not words, but deeds. So, where are the deeds behind these words? Well in that spirit, Nathan also showed us what has happened with convert kit over the last year. And what's happening next. He shared the successes of convert kit commerce with us and highlighted the creators of all sizes and how they've been able to leverage convert kit to make money easily. Without setting up an e-commerce platform. Then he announced the convert kit sponsor network. Which makes it easy to connect creators with brands. Who wants to sponsor newsletters? He excused, this pun. Put his money where his mouth is. The biggest contrast. In one speech. Our work. Is devalued. You should do this for free for the good of the project. Versus the other speech. You should be able to make money as easily as possible. I'll elaborate more on this, but first let's hear from our sponsor one who generously supports this creator. In his mission. To help wordpress creators I want to provide one extra piece of context that led me to create this episode. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private mastermind event the day before craft and commerce officially started. But still put on by the same people of craft and commerce. And Nathan Berry is the one who kicked things off. I won't get into his whole talk, but the thesis and something he explicitly said was this. It's okay to make money. This is how Nathan set the tone for the whole conference for me. And in speaking with other attendees. I could tell that it was a commonly shared mindset. Yes, we want to help people. We should be generous with our knowledge. These are two things that Nathan and convert kit a spouse. I have a shirt from them that says, teach everything, you know, there's another one that talks about generosity. But we should also know and value what we do. It's okay to do both live generously and make money. We all need to think more like Nathan does. For me craft and commerce confirmed what I've felt for a long time. It's okay to value our work and to charge good money for it. But that the word press community. Is seemingly an outlier in this thinking. By espousing other truths. I don't think that this was done maliciously. After all Matt started by giving his time to convert B2 into WordPress. At 19, most of us have more time than anything else. But if we look at who Matt highlighted in the state of the word. The biggest contributors to the project. The biggest names and companies who have given their skill and their craft for free. Versus who Nathan highlighted. Creators who have been able to leverage convert kit. To make money. It's clear who the favorites are in each community. If you're trying to build a business. You shouldn't be shamed for putting yourself first. And you shouldn't be ashamed for trying to make more money. So I'm here to pass on the message. It's okay to make money. It's okay to charge. And there are people out there who will pay you what you're worth. You just need to find the right community. Thanks so much for listening as always. I am. Curious to hear what you think. You can message me or send me a reply on Twitter at J Casabona. Or you can email me, Joe, at casabona.org. To get even more WordPress insights and to subscribe to this show. And to get all of the show notes. You can head over to WP review.io/five two. If you liked this episode, share it with a friend. Especially if they need to hear that, it's okay for them to make money. Thanks to GoDaddy pro for sponsoring this creator. For generously supporting my work. Until next time. I'm Joe Casabona and I'll see you out there.

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