Ashley Shaw (2012.capetown.wordcamp.org)
Shaw spoke to HumanIPO at the WordPress 10 year anniversary meetup in Cape Town earlier this week.
“We need to get WordPress and WooCommerce and things like that out to a broader market. That is my belief,” Shaw said.
The Wiki guru thinks collaborations and heightened community effort can help expand the market.
HumanIPO reported yesterday on Jeffrey Pearce’s opinion on the involvement of the United States and Europe in Africa.
“We’ve got a fair amount of cloud… and the fact that we’ve had about three WordCamps here and about five WordPress meetups – that’s fairly impressive,” Shaw said on the WordPress community in Cape Town.
Shaw’s passion for WordPress led to him initiating the first WordCamp event in South Africa in 2011, managing to organise keynote speakers from Nigeria and New Zealand.
The first WordCamp had a turnout of 220 attendees, which increased to 330 in 2012.
“Essentially my passion for the software inspired me to organise the events in Cape Town,” Shaw explained.
“That connected me with a much bigger community of international WordPress people equally passionate about what they do.”
Shaw feels his role in bringing WordCamp to South Africa has enabled him to connect with “rockstars” in the WordPress world, which also increased his client base significantly.
He feels the two South African-based events have raised awareness and helped get people more interested in the WordPress community.
This year local developers headed by Hugh Lashbrooke, developer at WooThemes, will be taking over the conference organisation, since Shaw is attending to his business Feedmymedia and also involved in the Tech4Africa conference taking place in Johannesburg from June 28.
“It was just really amazing to bring people together for this event, raise sponsorship that believes in the product, like the WordPress name, and get people together,” he said.
As kickstarter of the events in South Africa, Shaw feels it is now time for the community to help as it grows.
“I donated countless hours to the organisation of that and all with pleasure,” he said.
“You just connect people and you inspire people to do more. More people get together and they are talking and WordPressing.”
The WordPress enthusiast believes the next decade for the content management system (CMS) holds the promise of more senior trainers to educate developers and hopes it will replaces other CMSs.
He praised WordPress’s contribution to his business: “Generally my life has benefitted, I built a business around WordPress, the software has enabled me to make money and it’s my concepts and my work that has made me money but the software is the enabler, the catalyst.”