Maturity of WordPress News, Podcasts, and Events

I made this comment on Twitter yesterday and my colleague Matt Medeiros wanted me to put my thoughts into a blog post. Okay, since Matt has those pictures of me and could go all “blackmail” on me, i’m going to expand a bit.

2014 was when WordPress news matured

WordPress news blogs have been around for a long time. But for a while you could group alot of sites into certain categories: passionate, but amateur (one man shops with limited time and resources), popular blogs that suddenly halted/vanished, and other sites that seemed to favor quantity over quality (example: WP Daily, which by July 2013 was closed and acquired).

But 2014 i think is when we saw a maturity in news site. If i had to limit my reasons to three:

1. WP Tavern expanded to include another author (Sarah Gooding) in September 2013. Her contributions to WP Tavern, along with Jeff’s usual devotion, helped make this site even better.
2. Post Status launched in 2013 but I think Brian Krogsgard’s site really hit it stride last year. His recent announcement of going full time with the site I think solidifies that we are leaving the “one man running a WordPress news site from his basement” feeling of prior years behind. (Heck, he just redesigned his site this week again and upgraded his domain name).
3. The Torque site has been stable in it’s high quality of posts and guest bloggers, and has proved itself in 2014 that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

2015 will be the year WordPress podcasts mature

A prediction, yes. But one i think has a good chance of coming true. Here’s why:

1. When we think of WordPress podcasts, it’s hard to not think of the Dradcast. It wasn’t in the first few WordPress podcasts by any stretch, but the quality since it’s start has been top notch. It’s been consistently well done, but 2014 saw Torque partner with Dradcast, with WPEngine sponsoring. Not sure if this is directly related to my opinon that the show was more polished in 2014… either way, I expect Brad and Dre to be kicking butt in 2015.
2. Apply Filters started in 2013 with a few episodes but I think it in 2014 really proved that a non-interview, non-news, niche WordPress (for the most part) podcast could thrive (it instead focuses on development). I think the show really got into it’s stride by early 2014 (which makes sense – Brad and Pippin by that time got into a rhythm).
3. New podcasts already starting showing great promise. Take John Hawkins (who has been a long standing member of the WordPress community and Wordcamp organizer in Las Vegas) and his new podcast.
4. WordPress Weekly has been the most stable and regular WordPress show – hands down. I see no evidence of that slowing down in 2015 is another huge pillar to what will make 2015 mature more for WordPress podcasts.
5. If Dradcast and WordPress Weekly are legs on the WordPress podcast stool, I think Matt Medieros’s MattReport.com podcast is the third leg. It provides the entrepreneur and freelance side of WordPress which I think has been more vital in 2014 (just like business related conferences have become) to the WordPress community.
6. Sadly, some podcasts left us in 2014. But I think this is good for 2015 if nothing more than stressing that fact that making a regular podcast is HARD. Any new podcasts in 2015 would have taken this lesson to heart and be stronger for it.

If i have to sum it up, WordPress podcasts in 2014 seemed to get their act together. Some smaller ones dropped off while others grew while acquiring actual sponsorships (large and small). It’s this start in 2014 that makes me think 2015 will be the equal of a well-oiled machine for this industry.

What About WordPress Events?

This could be another blog post, but looking REALLY far ahead it’s possible that 2015 and 2016 should see another level of maturity when it comes to WordPress events. I believe 2013 and 2014 tie for years that WordCamps themselves matured from an organizational standpoint, thanks much to the WordPress Foundation. But 2014 proved WordPress events are more than WordCamps now. Alot more has appeared in this industry with the continuing of Pressnomics, Prestige Conference, LoopConf, and even smaller “mini-conferences” like WP Bootcamp. Heck, even WordSesh. 2015 will be an interesting year to watch and see what works and what exactly doesn’t. 2015 could see a trend of birth and growth for WordPress events like 2014 saw for WordPress podcasts.

Photo Credit: Flickr

David Bisset

David is a full-time freelancer who specializes in WordPress (and BuddyPress) for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Organizer of WordCamp Miami for 10+ years.