Pull Quote: WordPress and the open-source community in general seem to reflect the “ubuntu” ethics.

How the WordPress community contributes to human development

In the beginning WordPress being an “open-source” platform concept was only an idea by Matt Mullenweg that was supposed to gather people to contribute for free for a greater cause with no guaranteed success. The idea to gather people around a vague and non-profit cause would not have succeeded without the generosity of WordPress pioneers, believing in humanity and transferring their knowledge to others for free.

Nowadays, the WordPress community gathers millions of professionals worldwide. 

WordPress enthusiasts have changed the world we live in and contributed to human development from many aspects.

In the later text we will explain how contributing to WordPress would be considered contributing to humanity development, similar to “ubuntu” African philosophy.

 

So, let’s start from the beginning.

Many socio-economic theorists condition the survival of humanity by their members’ regular contribution. So, physicists or chemists work jointly as professional communities contributing to overall science development. Farmers work closely with the agricultural industry in finding the solution to resolve the issue of hunger worldwide, etc.

All those community members contribute in many different forms; either by revealing their discoveries to other members, or testing their new hypotheses. Sustainability and survival of communities depend on the contribution of their members.

Thanks to Internet development and its ease of access, breakthroughs in human development are just a click away from us.

As such, web designers and developers play an important role in numerous web data systematizations and content design of each website, enabling a wider global audience to find relevant information and apply those new discoveries in their activities.

Sometimes one-click localization is required, or a plugin/theme code change. Very often those requests  are repetitive and come from different territories, and this is where the WordPress community jumps in with their skills relevant to resolving those requests.

Roughly there are 6.500 different languages in the world.  If there were no WP community efforts, each WordPress developer would have to localize or translate each plugin for themselves for instance. Just imagine the amount of time each of us would have had to spend in order to create a desired website.

WordPress group contributions save significant amount of time for #MakersOfTheWeb, assisting the global non-tech community to present their business or philanthropic achievements worldwide. Timely published information or findings could change people’s lives.

Deductive conclusion could be that efforts related to WordPress development are the direct assistance to human sustainable development.

Time of crisis

Nowadays more than ever, solidarity and compassion have become building blocks of humanity. One could say that hard times bring people together; or perhaps could bring out the best in them, consciously or subconsciously. The current world health crisis has surfaced many social and economic problems, but also has led us to understand new and, perhaps, some forgotten values.

Joining forces, creating new values or adding to the existing ones are critical to community sustainability in general, similar to the concept of “ubuntu.” 

What is the digital “ubuntu” of WordPress?

For all the tech geeks out there, the free, open-source Linux distribution is not the center of our pledge. The “ubuntu” concept, as said by Nelson Mandela, is the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others. If we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others”.

WordPress and the open-source community in general seem to reflect the “ubuntu” ethics.

The number of WordPress contributors have been increasing over the time, surging in the past couple of weeks, aiming at providing ease for groups or individuals worldwide in the time of crisis. Companies and individuals are joining forces to support each other in crisis time proving the postulate that humanity can only exist if individuals join forces.

How can you contribute?

Choose your own way.

  1. You might want to share knowledge, expertise or perhaps come up with new tech solutions and there are plenty of opportunities out there. Each WordCamp hosts a number of tracks which you could join; Polyglots, WPTV, Marketing, Community, Core, etc. Your contribution might look insignificant to you from the perspective of what should be done in general, but combined efforts do make change. After all, Rome was not built in a day.
  2. You might be creative enough and propose a new business model within a certain industry. Challenging times bring out the leaders with unconventional visions. As Roy. T Bennett said: “Never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning.”
  3. You might want to assist elderly in your neighborhood, or provide online support to vulnerable communities.
  4. You might want to save strained animals, or feed those while searching for new owners.

Everything you do, regardless of your intention has a much larger reach that you can even imagine.

Now is the time to adopt new habits and start understanding the consequence of our behavior and intentions. It’s about achieving “ubuntu”, and not getting the recognition for contribution or efforts made.

We found our “ubuntu” and we were not surprised when we learned that WordPress is all about it.

One comment

  1. In the beginning WordPress being an “open-source” platform concept was only an idea by Matt Mullenweg that was supposed to gather people to contribute for free for a greater cause with no guaranteed success.

    You’re making it sound like releasing WordPress as open source software was an idea and choice of its founders (there were two, for that matter). It was not. WordPress was forked from b2/cafelog which was already licensed under GNU/GPL. Due to the viral nature of the GPL, there was not a lot of room to choose a different licence for WordPress.

    Open-source WordPress wasn’t Matt Mullenweg’s idea, it was a sheer matter of the technicalities of the GNU/GPL licence. Of course, that doesn’t negate the passion of WordPress’ founders and early communities for open source culture in general.

    Thanks to Internet development and its ease of access, breakthroughs in human development are just a click away from us.

    This phrase seems to make a lot of assumptions about access, connectivity, and digital literacy, all of which still are a massive problem in various regions around the world – particularly for women in rural areas.

    Basing a world view about WordPress’ impact on human development as a whole on the privilege of easy access, to me, misses the point of WordPress’ mission of inclusiveness by a mile.

    WordPress and the open-source community in general seem to reflect the “ubuntu” ethics.

    There is a broad discussion on open source contribution in general being largely enabled by certain privileges that is completely left out here. Why?

    Broadly related, how do you see the ongoing shift to ‘Corporate WordPress’ – i.e. roadmap and pace of WordPress core development being increasingly driven and executed by corporations, arguably leaving behind the individual contributor without corporate backing – speak to ubuntu principles?

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