In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at five times WordPress made a positive impact on people’s lives and the world around us.
WordPress has been around for many years now. During this time it’s become one of the most popular Content Management Systems on the web. Not only this, but WordPress has also had a huge positive impact in ways you might not expect.
The Positive Impact of WordPress
The WordPress Community: Connecting People Around the World
WordPress is renowned for its vibrant community. Within this community you’ll find people from every walk of life. They come together to share a common interest: a love of the WP platform.
The WordPress community is a welcoming place. It doesn’t matter what industry or level of expertise you have, there are always friendly faces you can connect with, both locally and globally.
Whether you want to improve your coding skills or give back to a project that has a positive impact on your day-to-day life, there’s always a way you can get involved. This can either be online or in person.
There are regular informal WordPress “meetups” all over the globe. You can find details of gatherings in your area through Meetup. If you want something more formal there’s always WordCamp – the official WordPress convention.
At WordCamp, you can expect anything and everything relating to WordPress to be covered. The bulk of the program is specifically about WordPress itself, but “issues around blogging, business, and social media” related to WP are also covered. What more could you want from a convention?
The WordPress community has had an immense positive impact around the world over the last 17 years. And the best part? The community continues to go from strength to strength, growing each year.
In 2018, Morten Rand-Hendriksen posed an interesting question to his followers: how has WordPress changed your life?
The answers were illuminating.
One response that stood out was from Keith Devon. Keith told the story of how he started his career as a struggling web developer. Work was hard to come by, and he didn’t know how to make a name for himself. That was until WordPress opened the door for him. Ten years on, and his career has gone from strength to strength.
His story was echoed by others in the same thread. Sara Dunn speaks of how she “made a WP website for a friend, then another, then someone who paid me… Today is 6 years and 120 clients later.”
This is just a couple of stories out of thousands highlighting how WordPress can have a positive impact and transform lives by giving people their dream careers.
The Positive Impact of 1000 Awesome Things
In 2008, WordPress was just five years old. It’s popularity was really taking off. As the blogging boom swept the globe, users from all over the world used WP to share their thoughts and feelings.
This was certainly the case for Neil Pasricha. Neil started his WordPress site during a low point in his life. His marriage had fallen apart and most devastatingly of all, his best friend took his own life. He turned to his WordPress blog as a form of therapy.
Between 2008 and 2012 Neil used his blog to catalogue “1000 Awesome Things.” Every weekday he would post one Awesome Thing – something that kept his outlook positive in the face of hardship.
The blog went viral – amassing over 100,000,000 hits – and won “Best Blog in the World” from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences two years in a row.
Not only has it transformed Neil’s life – taking him from working at WalMart to becoming a fulltime writer – but it’s been a source of positivity for people around the world.
And none of these amazing things would have happened without the existence of WordPress. Pretty awesome, huh?
The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship
The WordPress Foundation, started by WP founder Matt Mullenweg, is “committed to helping democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.”
As part of this, they offer the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship. Kim Parsell was a highly valued member of the WordPress community who sadly passed away in 2015. Kim was given a stipend to attend WordCamp in 2014, and stated that the experience changed her life.
In honour of her, the Memorial Scholarships provides funding for any woman involved in the WordPress community to attend WordCamp US. This includes the price of the event ticket, travel costs, and accommodation for the duration.
The WordPress foundation outlines the reason for the scholarship.
“The WordPress project, whose mission is to democratize publishing, has at its core open source ideals that stress the need for many volunteers from diverse backgrounds to lend their expertise. STEM is a field where women are often under-represented and this is a way to recognize that we all play a part in making the project available for everyone.”
Much like it did for Kim, the Memorial Scholarship in her name has a positive impact for its female recipients. It gives the opportunity to attend the camp, an experience they might not ordinarily get. It helps to open doors and further their passion for the platform.
Second Chances: WordPress Transforms Lives
Over onHeroPress you’ll find inspiring stories of how WordPress has helped to transform lives.
Joe Simpson’s story is one that stands out.
He talks of how WordPress helped him to re-connect with himself after a life-threatening heart event, saying:
“Staring at the ceiling from my bed while recovering, I decided to stop the world and get off. I took a leave of absence from work beginning September 11. Looking deep within, I searched to rediscover me and the loves of my life – giving selflessly to others, picking up a pencil to sketch, storytelling, and WORDPRESS.”
Joe’s determination to help others through WordPress demonstrates the positive impact the platform can have. It helps us to not only help ourselves, but to help others too.