Jeremy Harrington and Kenny Younger, two Des Moines residents and WordPress enthusiasts, announced a new WordPress Happy Hour (Twitter) event today. The event is scheduled for March 9 at Raccoon River Brewing Company (200 10th Street). This informal gathering is a push to unite both WordPress developers and users as well as bloggers in general to discuss initiatives in the works for Des Moines, including the first ever WordCamp to be held on the Silicon Prairie.
WordPress Happy Hour is originating in Des Moines and is being sponsored by Voce Communications, a WordPress development firm. Other communities interested in organizing a WordPress Happy Hour can register their interest at WPHappyHour.org.
I was able chat briefly with Jeremy about the WordPress Happy Hour event:
Silicon Prairie News: What is WordPress Happy Hour?
Jeremy Harrington: WordPress Happy hour is meant to be a way for local WordPress Communities to get together informally and share ideas. There are plenty of tech meetups and groups, but I’ve found that WordPress breaks beyond some of those traditional tech group boundries. It’s more about getting users involved, people who don’t care that WordPress is PHP or LAMP, etc.That’s people like photographers, realtors, writers – anyone using the platform. The hope is to have casual discussion and interaction between people building cool stuff and content creators, business owners and bloggers.
SPN: Why are you doing this in Des Moines?
Jeremy: Des Moines is my home, this is where I’d like to be involved. Casual meetups for WordPress are nothing new, I’m looking to make it something recognizable, open and inviting for people to participate. WordPress Happy Hour is a great way to get a handle on participation in the WordPress community here in central Iowa. Kenny Younger and others are looking to coordinate a full-scale WordCamp event to Des Moines, hopefully in August. This will be a great way to start discussion and to solicit the speakers, sponsors and assistance needed to make that a reality. Voce, the company I work for and that is sponsoring this initial effort, feels strongly in giving back to the WordPress community, this is just another step along those lines. We fully expect others to step up as time goes by and start sponsoring and hosting WordPress Happy Hour events.
SPN: How does this differ from other social events in Des Moines for the social media community?
Jeremy: Like I mentioned earlier, we’re hoping to pull users, content creators, etc. into the fold. If I’m asked ‘how do I get started’ or ‘what’s the first step’ at this gathering, I’ll be very pleased. I love the technical discussion and development side of this as much as anyone, and I know those discussions will be going full-force. But I also think there’s a ton of value in getting the users out, asking questions and walking away learning something new.