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.