WordPress Has No Gatekeepers
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At the top of the wordpress.org About page it says:
The freedom to build. The freedom to change. The freedom to share.
WordPress is distributed under the GPLv2 license. If you want to use WordPress, you have the freedom to do so. All the high-falutin lawyer talk aside, what does this actually mean for you?
The WordPress software has enabled people without a voice to create their own space online to present facts and ideas as they see them. Whether the facts and ideas are about the antics of a cat or the evil deeds of a government, WordPress is the tool that so many people have used as their platform.
The End of Publishing Gatekeepers
Gone are the days when you needed to be a publisher that creates a physical copy of your words to distribute to the public. The time, workforce, and expense of writing, typesetting, printing, and distributing a physical product has been replaced with the ease of online publishing. When each and every person with an opinion is on the same level as a writer for a physical publication without any of the expense, we’re no longer limited to one or two points of view.
According to online resources, there’s around 570 million blogs as of 2021. While not every blog is timely or a great source for facts, the sheer number of online sources means that many traditional physical news sources will be unable to compete. The large number of traditional physical news publishers that have folded in the past few years shows this to be true.
WordPress Community Gatekeepers
WordPress has a wonderful community made up of hobbyists and professionals that use WordPress for everything from passion projects to fortune 500 websites.
No matter where you are in the spectrum of users, you are on the same level as everyone else. There’s some members of the community involved with planning and implementing changes and the direction that the software will take, but that in no way puts those people on a pedestal. If you want to become a core developer, that option is open to you.
Bloggers and Podcasters
There’s no shortage of bloggers and podcasters in the WordPress community that use WordPress as their topic. No matter what your preferences are, there’s going to be someone commenting on a WordPress subject that you’re interested in.
If a creator gains a “following”, they can become a minor celebrity within the community. Suddenly having a group of people listening to everything you say means that you need to be aware of what you say. As “community leaders” these people need to take stop and take a beat before they say things that they can’t take back.
Community leaders are also humans, just like the rest of us. Sometimes things are said where the intent that others see wasn’t the initial intent of the speaker. The WordPress community can be pretty laid back and casual comments can be given more weight than they may deserve.