Ask Not “What Can WordPress Do For Me?”

I love it when I see tweets like this show up in my timeline:

And it’s for multiple reasons, but I’ll get to those in a moment.

First, if you’re involved in WordPress in any capacity and you’re not following Nikhil, then he’s a solid recommendation. He’s representative of the type of developers and contributors that we need coming up to continue working on WordPress.

He’s smart, he gets things done, he shares his work, he’s constantly looking to learn, he’s constantly looking to help others, and he’s had the opportunity to intern at places like iThemes and Rocket Genius.

By the time he’s out of college, he’s going to have the education and experience to continue to do great things from the project (if he so chooses).

Though with all of that said, it doesn’t explain why I enjoy seeing tweets like this.

Ask “What Can I Do For WordPress?”

We know that WordPress can do a lot for a person (I’ve referenced this post before, but Chris covers it well), but given the nature of the project, it’s also important to ask what we can do for WordPress.

And the tweet above is a great example of that. There are so many things that we can do – but others have covered that, so I’m not going to do so. Instead, I wanted to follow-up with the programmer post from yesterday.

As far as I’m concerned, having other people contribute to the blogosphere with what they’re learning, building, struggling with, etc. when it comes to development is always a good topic – it doesn’t matter if it’s something that’s been covered before.

You have your own blog?
Oh, it is. Wonka. It. Is.

Sure, repetition has potential to be boring, but the thing is that we’re all going to bring a unique voice to our posts because we’re all unique in our writing. Although the code may be the same (or roughly the same), how we explain our thought process and how we arrived at the code that we did is helpful for other people to read.

Additionally, writing posts like that can be helpful for us as it may expose places where our thought process aren’t as great as they should be, and our approach could be improved – and that’s where comments come into play.

So if you’re like Nikhil and are looking to begin blogging – specifically around code – but aren’t sure how to make it unique among all of the other blogs that are doing the same thing, don’t worry about that.

Your voice will do that.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your work will help someone, it will because we’re all at different points along the development spectrum. And if you’re concerned as to if you’ll receive comments that negatively impact you, you might, but you’ll also get comments that help refine your skills, as well.

Blog about what you want in the best way that you know. Aim to do so for your own sake and for the sake of helping other people. Besides, we’re working on WordPress – the whole point of the software is to provide a foundation for blogging, anyway.

16 Replies to “Ask Not “What Can WordPress Do For Me?””

  1. Hey Tom, was following his tweets yesterday and loved seeing all of us encourage him to go for it. And you are right, your voice is a big part of it and also comes through with your own style of sharing with and teaching others. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from so many people that they love one blog or another because that person has a unique teaching style that they love and can really relate to. And as long as that happens, there is always room for new voices and new perspectives :)

    1. > I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from so many people that they love one blog or another because that person has a unique teaching style that they love and can really relate to.

      Exactly — the way I see it, we all have different personalities and learning styles, but within that breakdown, there are definitely similarities.

      So I think it’s natural to gravitate more towards those who cater to our personalities and learning styles more. That’s where the writing and the reading intersect.

      If you don’t like how someone writes or teaches, it’s okay to find someone else. Totally normal and acceptable. But adding yet-another-voice to the mix is always a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

          1. It’s funny – there are, what, 200 million plus blogs in the world, give or take a few million. And still folks complain about not liking a certain blogger. FIND A DIFFERENT BLOG!!! ;-)

  2. Anytime someone looks to make things better, no matter how good (or not) they may currently be, will get my vote.

    Like Bob mentions, there is always room for new people. When we stop encouraging that, we stop learning, period.

    And who wants to (truly) encourage that scenario?

  3. I love seeing enthusiasm for WordPress and paying it forward! I doubt that are many (if any) people working with WP regularly who could say they’ve never learned from a blog post or tutorial someone else wrote. If our community loses that focus, I truly believe it will crumble. I also love that there are multiple ways to give back and participate in the manner that makes sense to the individual, yet all of it benefits the wider group. Nikhil in particular has a LOT to offer the WP community (his perspective as someone who is very knowledgable yet still very young has been super valuable to me) and I look forward to seeing what he puts out there.

    1. I love seeing enthusiasm for WordPress and paying it forward!

      Me too, Andrea. I’ve not always done the best job of paying it forward, but I’m trying to be better about it now.

      I doubt that are many (if any) people working with WP regularly who could say they’ve never learned from a blog post or tutorial someone else wrote.

      Right? I agree. Myself included – and this includes blog posts, tweets, Stack Exchange answers, and so on.

      If our community loses that focus, I truly believe it will crumble.

      Indeed. Though I don’t think it will crumble. I think we’re in the middle of a hard time, but I also believe that we can get better and that we will make an effort to do exactly that. Despite my pessimistic disposition, I’m optimistic for WordPress.

      Nikhil in particular has a LOT to offer the WP community (his perspective as someone who is very knowledgable yet still very young has been super valuable to me) and I look forward to seeing what he puts out there.

      Doesn’t he?! And imagine what’ll happen in, say, 5 years (let alone 10!)

  4. Thanks Tom for sharing this, It encourages people like me a lot. I have been working with WordPress for over 3 and half years now and always wanted to blog, but only last year I started blogging in midst of the ideas like “what can I write that’s already not written/talked/discussed about”.

    I have been blogging quite less till now but I feel like after reading this I am going to write more often now :) Thanks for that “much needed push”!!

    1. Thanks Tom for sharing this, It encourages people like me a lot.

      Super happy to hear that, Maruti – that’s great :)

      I have been working with WordPress for over 3 and half years now and always wanted to blog, but only last year I started blogging in midst of the ideas like “what can I write that’s already not written/talked/discussed about”.

      Gotta get that second part of your thoughts out of your mind. Everything is remixed in some way, but it’s the people around you, your unique approach, and your unique voice that will bring learning to others.

      And comments will bring learning to you.

      I have been blogging quite less till now but I feel like after reading this I am going to write more often now :) Thanks for that “much needed push”!!

      Go for it and tweet me as you publish – would love to read your stuff :).

  5. Hi Tom

    Thank you for this encouraging post!

    I used to blog on a different niche and have recently started blogging about WordPress topics with a new blog (linked above). I would love to hear what you think of the name and get some tips on how to approach it early on!

    1. Thank you for this encouraging post!

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it useful.

      I used to blog on a different niche and have recently started blogging about WordPress topics with a new blog (linked above). I would love to hear what you think of the name and get some tips on how to approach it early on!

      I think the name is fair – I don’t really understand what it’s trying to convey or the type of content to expect but this is also coming from someone who’s opted to use his name for his personal blog :).

      In terms of tips for getting started, that would probably take a significantly longer blog post than a comment but if I had to summarize a few key points:

      • Pick a schedule and stick to it (even if it’s just once or twice a week)
      • Don’t worry if you’re covering someone that someone else has already written about
      • Use your own voice and experience to power the powers
      • Listen to the comments in case you can learn something from them
      • Don’t expect a readership to develop over night – it takes a long time for that to happen

      Good luck!

  6. A simple axiom to follow is “Share what you’ve learned”. This benefits the readers/viewers and also benefits the person sharing. Articulating and teaching an idea helps solidify it in your brain. Glad to so many smart people sharing what they have learned. We all should be unafraid to write more blog posts or tutorials.

    1. > Articulating and teaching an idea helps solidify it in your brain. Glad to so many smart people sharing what they have learned.

      Agree! I don’t know how far along we’d all be if we were keeping this information close to the chest, so to speak.

      > We all should be unafraid to write more blog posts or tutorials.

      Totally agree with this :).

      On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM, John Locke wrote:

      > Tom McFarlin >
      > John Locke added a comment in reply to Ask Not “What Can WordPress Do For > Me?” < https://tommcfarlin.com/what-can-wordpress-do-for-me/>.
      > John Locke <
      http://www.lockedowndesign.com/> >
      > A simple axiom to follow is “Share what you’ve learned”. This benefits the > readers/viewers and also benefits the person sharing. Articulating and > teaching an idea helps solidify it in your brain. Glad to so many smart > people sharing what they have learned. We all should be unafraid to write > more blog posts or tutorials.
      > Reply to this email to reply to John Locke.
      > *Please note*: Your reply will be published publicly and immediately on Ask > Not “What Can WordPress Do For Me?” > <
      https://tommcfarlin.com/what-can-wordpress-do-for-me/>.
      > Recently in this conversation…
      > Maruti Mohanty <
      http://www.sourcexpress.com> > July 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm >
      > *Thanks Tom for sharing this, It encourages people like me a lot. I have > been working with WordPress for over 3 and half years now and always wanted > to blog, but only last year I started blogging in midst of the ideas like > “what can I write that’s already not written/talked/discussed about”. I > have been blogging quite less till now but I feel like after reading this I > am going to write more often now :) Thanks for that “much needed push”!! * > Pradeep Singh <
      https://wpism.com/> > July 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm >
      > *Hi Tom Thank you for this encouraging post! I used to blog on a different > niche and have recently started blogging about WordPress topics with a new > blog (linked above). I would love to hear what you think of the name and > get some tips on how to approach it early on! * > John Locke <
      http://www.lockedowndesign.com/> > July 20, 2015 at 11:00 am >
      > *A simple axiom to follow is “Share what you’ve learned”. This benefits > the readers/viewers and also benefits the person sharing. Articulating and > teaching an idea helps solidify it in your brain. Glad to so many smart > people sharing what they have learned. We all should be unafraid to write > more blog posts or tutorials. * > Reply to this email to reply to John Locke.
      > *Please note*: Your reply will be published publicly and immediately on Ask > Not “What Can WordPress Do For Me?” > <
      https://tommcfarlin.com/what-can-wordpress-do-for-me/>.
      > Want to leave this conversation?
      >
      > To no longer receive other comments on this thread reply with the word > ‘unsubscribe’.
      >
      > Sent from Tom McFarlin <
      https://tommcfarlin.com>. Delivered by Postmatic > < https://gopostmatic.com/?utm_source=footer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pluginfooter>.
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