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Why is WordPress community poorly represented on Reddit

May. 27, 2015

It just occurred to me that when using the word community, I witness very strong presence of communities such as for example for the very popular game Counter Strike: Global Offensive

www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive

This subreddit is many times stronger than both relevant WordPress subreddits together:

www.reddit.com/r/WordPress
www.reddit.com/r/ProWordPress

I wonder how something that has 20-30 million users (WordPress) can have that much lower community presence than one game.

Generally, if we look outside reddit, places like WPTavern or WPChat, even ManageWP.org, active, contributing 'members' are counted only in hundreds. What is stopping us from having live communities with tens of thousands active, contributing members?

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20 votes   Flag
Jan Östlund

I have also been struck by almost the same thoughs. I am looking for a Wordpress community with discussions about best practices, architecture, composer and so forth that is far beyond most tutorials on the web. I have seen a few articles on Tuts+ but it isn't much.

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Ryan Love

My 2 cents:

I think WordPress users are just different.

Lets' say there are 20-30 millions users, for a big percentage of that WordPress isn't their hobby or their main interest, it's just something they use because they want a blog/shop/website. In fact WordPress is more something their using for their hobby/main interest.

The only time these people would want a community is when they have a problem!

Which leaves the other types of WordPress users, who a) this is something they geek out on b) this is related to their profession. And with these people there are WordPress communities, a lot of them, such as the two subreddits you talked about.

But also facebook with,

www.facebook.com/groups/advancedwp/
or www.wpmayor.com/wordpress-groups-facebook/

Quora,
www.quora.com/WordPress (Over 100K followers)
www.quora.com/WordPress-Plugins
www.quora.com/WordPress-Plugin-Development

Stack exchange
wordpress.stackexchange.com/ (Quick math says theres over 45k users)

Then because WordPress isn't just WordPress, I imagine a lot of people are in different communities such as,

www.reddit.com/r/PHP (36k users)
www.reddit.com/r/web_design/ (133k users)
www.reddit.com/r/webdev (90k users)

And then facebook groups, quoura, etc.

Not to mention the thousands of blogs, live in person meetups, podcasts, etc

Plus I imagine a lot of people get their community needs met with their colleagues, whom they can talk to about their problems, things their excited about, etc

I think people are just fragmented all over the place!

But I do hear what your saying, it's surprising there isn't a much bigger community somewhere, and honestly it's a shame, I wish we had much more interaction on here, but then I don't know what that would look like!

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Donna Cavalier

Because Reddit is "icky"? Generalizing, of course. But when I think of reddit, I think of nasty subreddits, immature trolls, etc. And WP geeks have better things to do/be? I'm sure there are millions of people on reddit who don't fit into that generalization, but that's just my first thought when I consider why we aren't on reddit more.

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Ben Sibley

"The only time these people would want a community is when they have a problem! "

^ This. There is an extremely active community of WordPress users on the support forum creating a few responses per minute around the clock.

When people are discussing WordPress, it is usually for troubleshooting or development. Otherwise if they're discussing their site or working on the web, they're talking about SEO, CRO, social media, etc and it doesn't necessarily revolve around WordPress.

To build on Donna's point, there probably aren't many WP devs on reddit because they are busy building things. I don't know of any subreddits that revolve around professional skills that are more active than the WP ones.

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Tom Harrigan

Agree with what's been stated above, especially with what Ryan Love had to say.

Even for those that use WordPress professionally, to many it's just a job and they have no interest in interacting with the community. It's like wondering why there aren't huge vocal accounting communities just because there are many accountants. For many, it's just a profession and the last thing they want to do is spend more time talking about work.

Obviously that's not entirely the case here because we already have many successful communities, conferences, meetups, podcasts, blogs, swag, etc. but it still holds true for many. I've had tons of experiences meeting brilliant WP devs, but I never would have known about them otherwise because they aren't vocal/active in the community.

There are also challenges in trying to bring together a WP community (as in a single united community) as opposed to players of a game. I think it's easier to unite players of a single game together because there are less potential differences there. In our 'community' we have advanced developers, beginner devs, users, editors, 'web assemblers', bloggers, hobbiests, etc. All use WP in a different way. Many even code in different ways, further fragmenting the community, and that will continue to occur with greater visibility as the API comes to core and different groups advocate for their JS framework of choice (Backbone, Ember, Angular, etc.).

None of this is a bad thing, it's just part of the nature of community/communities.

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Ahmad Awais

I am a full tack WordPress developer now, I has been a blogger for more than a decade. I never really liked Reddit. It's layout and the type of audience it caters. just not my thing. Wrote this comment to share my own perspective of why this is true.

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Vladimir Prelovac

In my comment I took reddit as a representative base for any community, and I extrapolate the quality and quantity of off-reddit communities proportionally. Maybe not entirely accurate, but it should be viable statistically.

There is indeed a very vocal community for accounting professionals :)

reddit.com/r/accounting

And what is the main difference between that and the WordPress reddit? Personal stories and views related to the profession. So it is not about WP being a profession.

In the WordPress community it all comes down to questions like "how do I fix this problem with WordPress?" As if the mainstream definition of a WordPress community became a "support forum". Imagine that same accounting community swarmed with questions like 'How do I do this in excel?"

Sure there are podcasts and WordCamps, but attendance there is measured in hundreds which is a tiny fraction of a 30 million user platform.

Members of a gaming community also vary greatly by their skill, age, interest, contributions (players, devs) - so these communities are also very fragmented, yet interacting on a much higher level

In my thoughts it is not about fragmentation and it being a profession. And the reason I ask has to do about growing our own community here at managewp.org.

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Tom Harrigan

Good points, my apologies if I made some over generalizations

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Ryan Love

I still think it's a lot to do with any potential community members going to multiple places to satisfy their need for a community.

For instance, I already mentioned where people can go for technical issues/discussions, but when they want to talk about software development, the profession as a whole, or running their own business, etc, they go to the subreddits/communities related to that,

reddit.com/r/startups (80k)
reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur (130k)
quora.com/Lean-Startups (500k)
quora.com/Startup-Advice-and-Strategy (450k)
quora.com/Entrepreneurship (800k)
quora.com/Freelancing (75k)
quora.com/Designers (300k)

For most people, WordPress is a part of something bigger so they go to those communities, i.e. startups, designers, freelance.

Also, I think if you compared WordPress to say the accounting community (or any other community), we have a much bigger blogging community, which I don't think can be underestimated.

The post Donna submitted today about the WordPress theme review team cracking down on violations with regards to the functionality guidelines, that's a great example of what I'm talking about, just look at the comments there and you'll see the community/discussions are happening all over the place. (I personally got more out of the comments then I did the article.) And I don't think the accounting community has anything like that.

As for what can be done here at managewp.org, or just in general to create a community that is WordPress focused, where we can come for WordPress discussions, but also to talk business, or just for more personal stories and interactions, similar to the accounting subreddit... erm... I got nothing!

But I'll think on it some more, because I definitely want one! (That's part of the reason I joined here in the first place.)

My initial thought though, is the reason there isn't a bigger/more interactive WordPress community, simply because there isn't enough people that want one? Are they already getting their needs for community met, in various different places?

It's not like there isn't the options for such a community already, such as here, or poststatus.com/club/, or make.wordpress.org/community/




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Vladimir Prelovac

This sounds like a good explanation, albeit one I am having trouble accepting. Whether it is poststatus club or managewp.org, I can not imagine that the world's biggest publishing platform only has couple of hundred people (at best!) interested in interaction and producing value in this way. Not sure about the situation about the AdvancedWP group on Facebook, perhaps that is the kind of community I am thinking about (I don't have Facebook so can't tell).

If WordPress indeed fragmented communities and created dozens of smaller communities (like support, startup, design, dev, blogging) is that a good thing and something we need to accept?How do all sorts of accounting professionals happily thrive in one place (I am no expert, but there are certainly as many segments in that profession as in any)?

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David McCan

Interesting question. Maybe a clue is that accounting professionals went through similar training programs, are subject to similar rules and laws, and more or less share similar activities. Counter-strike players are all sitting in the same chair, so to speak.

Now compare that to the WordPress community: people who want a website, designers, developers, hobbyists, those employed in the WordPress ecosystem, and those contributing for free.

So to have an apples to apples comparison we would expect the accounting group to include those filing their taxes, using Quicken, developers who write tax software, IRS employees, lawmakers, etc.

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Elaine Ossipov

I think Reddit has a core set of users and is a bit hard to break into groups already established. Reddit is also not the easiest forum to get the hang of unless you spend allot of time there, and most subreddits are not exactly user friendly. So if a *new* group was to appear, especially with the proper folks working as the mod's you might have allot of response for it.. I'd probably drop by once a month or so.

They have some very nice new features such as multiple reddits in one. A few others, and there's a great pluggin for Chrome, ipad, and a few others now, one might want to take a look at. But imho, I think reddit folks are a tough crowd.

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JoeQ

I think the WordPress community isn't as active on Reddit because of a few different reasons.

1) Even though WordPress is extremely popular, there may be a large percentage of users who don't realize what they are using for their business or in their job. Unless someone points out to them that they are using WordPress they might not realize it. Attend a WordCamp and you'll be surprised how many people don't understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I imagine there has to be a huge amount of people who use it at their job and don't realize they are. I think that's great for WordPress, it shows that the software has moved to a tool that has been accepted. It also goes to show that it doesn't matter to the user if they know what they are using as long as the tool is working for them.

2) The WordPress community is already huge, and WordPress professionals have created various places to support the community. When I started in WordPress 5+ years ago I found WordPress.org and was overwhelmed with the resources there, from the Codex to the forums, repositories. It was amazing! I then discovered other sites, and I'm still discovering sites that I go to for resources. When I have a problem I go to Stack Exchange, I don't think of Redditt. Matter of fact I just discovered this site through twitter today and just had to comment.

3) WordCamp, WordPress Meetups. Need I say more? What other software package has a conference that is normally close to a user's home, covers a wide-range of topics, energizes all in attendance to do more with the package when they get home no matter their experience level, accepts everyone that attends all for $40 or less. I've been attending a WordCamp since 2010, I spoke at the 2012 one, and have attended 2 new WordCamp's just this year. I also submitted two talk ideas to the WordCamp location that I've attended since 2010 for July 2015, and am considering making the drive out of state in October for another WordCamp!

Maybe WordPress as a community doesn't need to post to Redditt, because just as WordPress as a platform has enabled so many to create a blog or website, they've also provided avenues to create a growing and thriving community. There just isn't a need to post in yet another area.

Just my humble $0.02

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