Pull Quote: I started translating WordPress so that my seven-year-old daughter can share her personal stories.

Rebirth

Photo of Vladimir Petkov

Vladimir Petkov

I started working with the web 16 years ago (yes, I am that old) because I wanted to make a web page of my IRC channel. IRC was my new hobby and every respectable channel had a site with a list of its members, photos and some texts. I have always had hobbies which arise, light a spark in me, I devote myself to them for a couple of months and in a year I turn to something else. I have always felt changed after that. My hobbies arise out of some personal ambition that excites me so much that captures all my free time and thoughts.

My “Web” hobby came after my “IRC” hobby and devoting myself to it I started to maintain an ezine with more than 400 static html publications. I remember that I worked on it 3-4 hours every day, changing its design, adding articles, images, talking to people. I guess now you all expect me to tell you how I discovered WordPress and all my troubles disappeared. No, this is not my story for two reasons – 1) WordPress did not exist at the time and 2) when you do something you love, it is not a burden. And I really loved online communities, experimenting with digital journalism and that filled me with extraordinary energy.

My WordPress story starts when I wanted to make that ezine more democratic by adding a section that was much more informal and written by the users. The blog had to be something like a filter on various topics and contained 9 sub-blogs in which everyone could publish interesting links with a short commentary about movies, music, cyber culture etc. I needed a CMS and that’s how I found… b2 (cafelog.com) which allowed a number of users to publish without problems and its design was simple enough so that it could be changed to be in line with the one of our ezine. We installed it and set it up for one night.

Now we will speed up the story. The blog of my ezine was a success, blogs as a trend were a global success and little by little killed the electronic magazines (ezines) like mine. They killed them because they made publishing more democratic and everyone could have their own media.

B2 died and then Movable Type appeared, but it was not free and used Perl (awful) and then WordPress appeared, which was free (yay) and used PHP (yay times 2) and literally swept over Movable Type.

I saw with my own eyes how WordPress empowered all people who needed to publish and break the chains of the physical limitations of traditional journalism.

In 2006 the Web was an immensely interesting place and WordPress was one of the “culprits” for that. Then social media appeared, killed the blogs and took over their function (and the function of the web as a whole) as the main platform for democratic content sharing. Something new is born, develops, fulfills its role and then declines and dies. It is the natural order of things.

I watched with great interest what was happening with WordPress, which I was happy to see, did not die but changed its mission and now made more democratic not only a part of the Web (blogs) but the whole open Web. Rebirth.

While I was watching WordPress, I also passed through a number of lives. I was editor-in-chief of a site for art and culture, then I was Free and Open Source Advocate, a translator, a trainer, then I led the digital business of a media group and now I do automatic aggregation of data and make sense of it using artificial intelligence. Rebirth.

Throughout all this time, after the death of the ezine, WordPress has been present in my life in some especially charming form of background regime. It was the main engine of my personal blog allowing me to share stories about my current hobbies, travels and jobs. That continued until a year ago when my relationship with WordPress went into a deeper level because of a change.

My daughter, Kalina, seven and a half years old, wanted to have a blog (had watched “A dog with a blog” on Disney channel) because she wanted to share. The concept of sharing was not unfamiliar to her – she already shared in Youtube where she has a channel with video clips of her playing with toys and dancing to pop songs.

When she started going to school and learned to read and write, she wanted to express herself through text, too.

WordPress was the only platform that came to my mind.

I started translating WordPress so that my seven-year-old daughter can share her personal stories in her childish way, the same way I started having a blog and sharing my life twelve years ago. My story with Web, WordPress and technologies, going through so many years, Kalina experienced within a couple of days. Kalina is my mission and reason after a hard day at work to find strength to search for the best translation of complex words or improve already translated ones with only one thought in mind – “can an eight-year-old person understand that?” It is not easy, but it feels good.

Rebirth.

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