One of the great joys I have had over the years has been meeting other people in the technical community. As a kid my brother and I would attend select Boston Computer Society meetings. In the past few years it has been meeting with the Nashville Technology Council, Digital Nashville and our newly formed Nashville WordPress Meetup.
WordPress Meetups are easy to find. On Meetup.com just typing in WordPress shows 250 groups with that in the title or description. The Nashville Group was formed in October of 2010 and the first meeting had 8 people show up. Just 4 months later we already have 127 members and we are growing. The group was meeting once a month but we’ve changed it up to twice a month now.
What you get out of going to these is up to you. Often you can be inspired by WordPress success stories. You might get a problem on your page dealt with by someone who’s faced the same thing. You might learn about some cool but obscure theme or plugin. You may even get to learn useful tricks about blogging. I also find that networking with other bloggers and Pressers is very satisfying. One thing I really have come to enjoy is exchanging twitter IDs with other people and getting links they share to great tutorials. The last couple of meetings at the Nashville WordPress Meetup have been about starting a blog site from scratch. It has drawn a lot of people of all skill levels. As a group project we have a URL and a blank WordPress blog. Eventually this will become our predominant group site – built by the group.
In addition to WordPress meetup I attend other technical meetups. While they may not hit upon WordPress topics directly, you often can learn something that applies to WordPress such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing your site, as well as further extending your network. You can hand out business cards that list your contact information such as your site, email, twitter account and so forth. It’s also a great opportunity to get others interested in WordPress!
With millions of users Word wide it is likely there are a few WordPress users near you. I’ve seen WordPress pages from every Continent and I would venture it would be hard to find a country where there aren’t several Pressers already. Google is your friend here. Try googling WordPress and your location to see who you find. After that it is just a matter of reaching out to them and starting a group if no other group exists.
One last value I will mention is that often if the group is big enough you might come across people who need your services. That is always a great way find business contacts. If you are inclined to help people set up WordPress, design their theme and get their site going you can find people who need that service by going to these meetups. Practice your networking skills then just start introducing yourself.