Before I was hired to work on the Tavern full-time, I was asked to write a proposal describing what I wanted to accomplish with the Tavern and where I wanted the site to go. In a nutshell, I wanted to make the Tavern the second largest WordPress community outside of WordPress.org.
Over the course of five years, I didn’t make much headway into that goal but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ve been looking for work for the past few months and have been unsuccessful. The skills I used via the Tavern do not translate well to many businesses in the WordPress space as I’m not a developer or a support guru. I also don’t want to be a content farm for anyone other than myself.
I’ve had a few people suggest that I start a new Tavern like website and I’ve been pondering the idea for quite awhile. Five months away from all things WordPress has provided some much needed rest, distance, and a bit of clarity.
A lot of things have changed in the WordPress ecosystem since I started covering it in 2007. While the thought of independence and building something from scratch again is scary and exciting, I have a few questions.
The first is similar to one I asked in 2008. Should I start yet another site devoted to WordPress? Is one necessary or needed?
Prior to being hired to work for the Tavern full-time, I was asked to write a proposal on where I saw the site going in the future. Here is a snippet from my proposal.
WPTavern needs to reinvigorate itself as a place where ALL are welcomed and ALL can participate. Those two principles were a large reason for the initial success of the website.
This mindset would be the foundation of the new site. Between comments and a forum, I would create a place where WordPress folks can gather and feel welcomed. Where collaboration is encouraged, and we as a collective group could work to make WordPress better. Sure, there are plenty of Facebook groups and other watering holes that exist, but nothing beats a well managed forum.
I’d bring back the weekly podcast of course which would cover WordPress topics and what’s going on with the site.
I believe I could get webhosting, and other aspects of the site for a discounted price or for free thanks to the relationships I’ve built over the years.
One of the biggest issues is income. My two largest bills each month is the Car $375, and Mortgage $770 payment. I’d need some immediate financial support from individuals or businesses in the WordPress space to take care of these bills for a few months to provide enough time to bust my ass and get the site rolling.
I don’t want sponsorship as I don’t want to be tied to any specific company in order to maintain independence. I’m hopeful that individuals and companies would look at the funding as contributions. I plan on having a page on the new site that lists contributors who contribute a certain amount or more.
As far as the domain goes, I have no idea on what to call the new site. WP Tavern was perfect because of what a Tavern provides. A place to gather, talk, and hang out with the occasional bar brawl. This is the friendly atmosphere I want to establish with the new site. I’d like to hear suggestions and ideas on domains that are related to what I described above.
If there is not enough interest or I can’t muster up some financial support upfront, I’ll pass on the idea and get my butt back into the physical workforce. But the thoughts of sitting on my patio in the summertime managing an awesome community around WordPress is pretty enticing. It would take a lot of work and effort to get the new site up to the level of the Tavern but I know I could make it happen and I know I wouldn’t have to do it alone.
This is simply an idea that’s rough around the edges. Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
11 thoughts on “Idea: Creating Yet Another Site About WordPress”
Ok, that was quick and too the point :)
Hi Jeff, the Weekly podcast you did with @jjj was great! Such content is a nice way to get the hold of what is going on in the WordPress community. You could go with something similar as tavern like a pub or something like that (wppub.org is available as I can see it), but you’ll get plenty of ideas from others I am sure.
As for sponsorships, if you consider doing them, take a look at https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-sponsorships/. I’ll give you a license for the platinum version for a year of updates so you can give it a spin and see if that’ll bring you enough sponsorships to get you started so you can focus on the site.
You have made a name of yourself in the WordPress community, especially in the “news about WordPress” and I am sure getting a support from the members of the same community should not be too hard.
Take care and good luck with the new project!
Thank you for the offer and your feedback!
What about WP Water Cooler? You know how everyone hangs around the water/coffee station at work to chat.
Or even WP Coffee Shop given how lots go to coffee shops to work remotely.
And I really don’t think that taking on sponsors and promoting them as such implies necessarily that you endorse them. Just fair to give a large backer that sort of recognition – it really implies that the sponsor endorses you if anything.
WP Water Cooler is already a roundtable podcast. So great idea, but taken. WP Coffee Talk is another great podcast. So maybe avoid the similarly.
I think the original was called “WordPress Weekly”, what if the new one was just “WP Weekly”?
You know you have my support. My offers on Twitter stand. And that includes access to all the premium plugins that my WP maintenance company offers its members. Though maybe some of those companies would sponsor and just give you licenses.
I think you could take sponsors with the understanding that it’s just to be mentioned in the podcast, listed on the sponsors page, etc, but they don’t get to influence the content. I think many podcasts are this way. Sponsors just want to support them because they appreciate the content and can put it in their marketing budget if they get a mention each episode (or whatever based on contribution level). That’s how I feel: I really miss WP Weekly and would love to see you bring it back. If I can get a little marketing exposure out of the deal, that’s just a bonus.
Get on it, WP Jeffro! To me, you were the tavern; the heart & soul. I rarely visit the site now, and I miss the podcast. I’ll keep tabs on whatever you do next. Get busy!
I have many thoughts about this. I think you should absolutely do it, and I think the podcast could be a big part of it. When it comes to the blog part, I would strongly recommend it be editorial. The thing that made the Tavern great early on was that it was just you and your thoughts. Now it’s a source for journalistic excellence, and those two kinds of sites are very different. I think you’d be hard pressed to make a new news site to compete with PS and the Tavern, but no-one could ever replicate YOU and your opinions.
Also, I totally get not wanting to be beholden to a sponsor, but having 100 micro sponsors gets you the same money without any single sponsor having a claim on your soul.
I was going to suggest something like Patreon, but I think you’d do well with a GiveWP faux Patreon onsite.
I think you should absolutely spin up an MVP as soon as possible. Just start blogging. Find out if someone with three j’s in their nickname would do a podcast with you. If you need people to interview I can get you a whole bunch quickly.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think there are a lot of people pulling for you, who would be willing to help.
Jeff, I can honestly tell you that I have been in somewhat of a podcast withdraw since your departure from WP Tavern. I don’t have much money, as I am a struggling entrepreneur in the WP space myself. However, I can offer you a truckload of time helping to design and develop your new space if you travel the Elementor route.
In addition, I do have my own hosting which can provide you cloud-based hosting for a lot less than you can acquire through some of the bigger players and we have more features to offer that are standard.
I truly see the need for another site to exist where more varying opinions are accepted than the traditional ones from the typical WP crowd. There’s a new face in WP and I think you’re just the person to take it by the horns and start a new path that has been sorely needed within this ecosphere.
Good news, the show is coming back and you can follow along with my new project at WPMainline.com