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2021: A Big Year For HeroPress

2021 saw HeroPress take big steps toward the future. A lot of ideas and dreams became reality, and none of it could have happened without the flood of enthusiasm from the community.

We laughed. We cried. We yelled. And we grew (a lot).

A Season of Growth

Hopefully you’ve noticed the new additions to the HeroPress Network, as well as the creation of the Network itself.

That move opens the door to a vast range of possibilities that we’ve only been able to touch on. We see the Network being able to fill the Lifestyle aspect of the WordPress community, much like NPR does here in the US.

We can continue to cross promote events and projects within the community, as well as bringing a different voice to the growing WordPress news sources.

A Change in Leadership

This project is designed with flexibility and fluidity in mind. It has to adapt both to the ever-changing community, as well as our personal goals in life.

Opening up for community investment and taking on sponsorship allows us to create a stable source of income that allows for the project to stand on its own. This becomes particularly important with my next announcement: I, Cate, am stepping down from my role at the HeroPress Network.

Just before Christmas I signed my contract with Automattic to join WordPress.org as a Community Engagement Specialist.

It’s a role that is ideally suited to my skills and experience, and allows me to continue to work for the good of the community, simply from a different direction. I’ll be able to continue to volunteer with the HeroPress Network, but Topher will step back into the primary management role, handling sponsorship and finances.

We feel this is a move that will allow the Network to grow more organically and enables us to experiment with some other ideas.

My income will help supplement the project until community and corporate support are able to fund it fully, and it lets us to potentially bring in other community members to work on the project.

To us, this is a win across the board. We’re excited about the flexibility for the project and I’m excited to be joining my team at Automattic.

Looking Ahead to 2022

The plan for 2022 is more of the same only better.

  • Find It WP: We have plans to expand the visibility and marketing potential for submitted resources, as well as making it simpler to use.
  • Press It WP: This is nearly complete and ready to launch. The WordPress community will have one place they can come to see the news before it’s report and look for current sales.
  • Hallway Chats: While a victim of the Network build in 2021, we’re putting the necessary systems in place to get this back to a regularly scheduled podcast, and a new website is in the works.
  • WP Geography: A new WordPress podcast in the works centered around the cultures and locations of the community.

Beyond that, we’re planning to lead the return to in-person events. While everyone needs to decide based on their own risks, we’re blessed with few deterrents that keep us from traveling. It has to safely start somewhere, and we’re excited to be able help with that.

Thank You, Community

This project started with a desire to give back. But as always happens for us, the more we give, the more we receive, and we want to take a moment to say, “Thank you!”

Of course, financial support is invaluable. We’re grateful to every single person that has invested alongside us to help grow this project.

We’ve also been amazed and thrilled at the number of new tools and resources that we’ve found and/or have been donated to the project. Everything we use on the Network sites we have offered to buy. Some have needed the funds — something we understand and support — while others have graciously offered us the tool or service for free.

Whether it was money or a different resource, each time someone gives to the project the long hours and yelling seem a little more worth it. This project is a waste of time without community support, and we greatly appreciate everyone of you that has joined us on this journey.

Thank you.

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