The Short Version
HeroPress reaches out to people in the WordPress community who feel marginalized as a result of culture, language, gender, or anything else.
Our published essays come from people who have overcome barriers which previously kept them on the periphery.
The Long Version
My name is Topher DeRosia and I have a story.
HeroPress started one evening when a young man in Kolkata, India named Jeet told me his frustrations with working in the WordPress world. He’s part of an agency there, but most of the work they get is low budget contracts from America or Europe and they struggle to get good work. He asked my opinion and I had some ideas, but I’m an American with no real experience there. I had the idea to find some people who have already dealt with those problems AND have come from a similar place.
I ended up talking with Alexander and Aditya and Saurabh from Mumbai and nearby cities and they had GREAT ideas for Jeet.
I started asking other people around the world about their experinces. Nashwan in Yemen told me he knows lots of people struggling to get into WordPress development, but don’t know how to get there. I talked with Shady in Egypt, Ahmad in Pakistan. They confirmed they know people who feel like they’re on the periphery of the WordPress community and don’t know how to change that.
So we started finding people all over the world who’ve overcome a variety of problems – language, culture, age, gender, etc. – and we’ve asked each of them to write an essay telling us their WordPress origin story. How they got to where they are today and what barriers they’ve overcome.
The response has been breathtaking. There was some pushback at the beginning, but by and large people recognize the value of shared wisdom from people who’ve “been there”.
Then something changed. A friend in my own city of Grand Rapids, MI started telling me how he wished he could quit his job as a printer and start making his living with his WordPress blog. I started hearing things eerily similar to those I heard from people thousands of miles away.
That’s when I realized “the periphery” is everywhere.
Every country, every culture, has people who feel like they’re marginalized, living on the periphery. Originally I was reluctant to have Americans contribute, because we’re so far removed from the rest of the world, but now I see what great value they can provide to people coming from similar circumstances.
But wait, where are the Heroes?
HeroPress isn’t about hero worship. The contributors are not the heroes we’re focused on. Everyone can be a hero to someone and everyone should be a hero to themselves. Our goal is to help anyone who wants to become their own hero.
Do you have a story you think could help others? Fill out our contribution form, we’d love to hear your story.