Yesterday, I stumbled across tweet from a fellow developer for whom I greatly respect. He said:
Pursuant to which, I've failed as a member of the WordPress community lately. I have taken from the community without giving back.
— John P Bloch (@johnpbloch) February 11, 2015
Which naturally got me a little bit introspective wondering ifI have been giving to WordPress as much as I should.
The thing is that I think this is something that’s kind of hard to qualify. I mean, you have an internal idea of how much you use WordPress, how many plugins, themes, and how much knowledge you take advantage of from others, but do you have an idea as how much you put back into the economy?
Granted, I think we’d all like to think that we’re putting just as much back in as we are taking. Personally, I don’t know if that’s actually possible. I mean, we’re talking about a piece of software with an incredibly vibrant economy that’s under constant development (with its fair share of drama) and it’s got over 10 years worth of material put back into it.
It’s hard to measure, right?
So I’m not necessarily saying don’t try to measure it, but at least try to gauge if you’re giving back something rather than nothing at all. The nice thing is that this doesn’t have to come in the form of writing code.
Nearly anyone can give back in some capacity:
- Speak at meetups or WorCamps
- Share educational material perhaps on a blog about WordPress
- Tweet and Retweet useful information for others to learn from
- If capable, build several themes and/or plugins to help drive the economy
- Answer questions on the WordPress Stack Exchange to help others further along
- …and so many more
There are many, many ways in which people can give back to something that’s given them so much. And it’s not about trying to match what they’ve given you versus anything else – it’s just about putting something good back into the system that’s given you something good in return.
So I think John’s tweet is relevant to all of us who use WordPress and it’s something worth thinking about. How are you trying to give back?