Online Events for the WooCommerce Builder Community

Do the Woo - A Podcast for WooCommerce Builders
Do the Woo - A Podcast for WooCommerce Builders
Online Events for the WooCommerce Builder Community
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Earlier this month we started up some events that are unique in the sense of bringing in education and a variety of perspectives and insights specifically for WooCommerce builders.

In this episode, I play both co-host and guest and let Mendel take the reins. I asked my co-organizers Ronald Gijsel and Zach Stepek to join us as Mendel focuses on dives what we are trying to accomplish with the weekly events.

In this episode, Mendel leads the conversation about:

  • What these events are and why we are doing them.
  • Whether we are looking at all code, no code, or something in between.
  • Why builders need to know the nuts and bolts of WooCommerce.
  • The benefits of giving and contributing to WooCommerce core.
  • Incorporating a more global perspective of open-source via a roundtable of panelists and WooCommerce team members.
  • Why anyone should come out and hang with us at these events.
  • Accessibility: how and through what media people will find these events.
  • Who we want to be part of the WooCommerce Builder Community Meetup.

Thanks to our Sponsors


The Conversation

Mendel: Ladies, gentlemen, people from Mars, it's time now for the 106th episode of Do the Woo.

Hey, Bob.

Which one are you? Don't answer that. Hey, I am super excited to be hanging out with you today. It feels like it's been awhile.

Bob: Yeah. It has been awhile, then you're going to do it two weeks in a row. So it's like feast or famine.

Mendel: Oh yeah. Nobody wants to hear that. But I'm doing it two weeks in a row, because shows always end up on a weird note when I'm on. But it's fun to have some sort of human interaction these days. It's sunny over here in LA. It's a little cool. How's it up there?

Bob: Cloudy. It's kind of semi cloudy. It changes every 10 minutes here off the ocean. So it's cloudy, then it rains and then it's sunny. So we go through cycles.

Mendel: Are there seals up there?

Bob: Seals? Well, there are seals around here somewhere. They haven't come to the house lately, but they visit me occasionally.

Mendel: Looking for tea or something like that.

Bob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mendel: Just got a knock on the door. "Hey, excuse me, sir. Do you have any tea?"

Bob: Yeah. All the time. Yeah, it's something I live with.

Mendel: Oh, Mr. Seal. Well, hey, we have an interesting show today because we're going to be talking about something that's near and dear to your heart with Ronald and Zach. We're going to be talking WooCommerce builder stuff.

But before we get into that, I wanted to thank somebody super special in all of our lives. And that person or company is PayPal.

Because PayPal's awesome and they support this podcast, which is a pretty important thing. Hey, if you don't support this podcast, go support it. How can you support it, Bob? I don't even know.

Bob: You can support it by becoming a friend to Do the Woo over on dothewoo.io. You can continue to listen. You can subscribe if you're not subscribed. You can leave a review. You can send personal notes on Slack to Mendel, you know, any of them, or all of the above.

Mendel: I know I'm doing this backwards, aren't I? But sometimes it's important to make sure people know how to get in touch and support what you're doing. But PayPal, getting back to that, they're doing awesome things including their pay later option. And it's super simple to set up. I've talked in previous episodes about how super simple it is.

But it takes like five minutes and you can have the pay later option going on your WooCommerce website. And it makes it easy for your customers to pay for stuff that might be a little more expensive. If you're selling diamond earrings or a Ruby, go ahead and send me just a Ruby ring. That would be super cool too. I mean set up pay later on your site for that.

Anyway, this is why I say things get weird, Bob. Without further ado let's get into things. So today we have with us Ronald and Zach, and they're your co-organizers, right?

Bob: Right.

Mendel: For the WooCommerce builder stuff. And so I would love for you to introduce yourselves and then we'll get into what this WooCommerce builder stuff is.

Zach: So I am Zach Stepek. I am somebody that's been around this WooCommerce community for a little bit, doing a lot of crazy things, founded an agency, left that early 2020. Now I'm mainly consulting with large e-commerce companies and doing a lot of work right now with 10up. So that's been a lot of fun. Helping them explore e-commerce as an agency and really getting to know them and their team incredibly well.

It's been a fun journey there so far. But other than that, I play keyboard in a band and take pictures of rockstars, and that's pretty much my life. Haven't been able to take pictures of rockstars for about a year and a half, though.

Mendel: Cool. Awesome. And what about you, Ronald?

Ronald: Hi, I'm the partnership manager for YITH. We create a whole bunch of WooCommerce plugins. Before that, I had a micro agency, that was basically me and my wife. But we looked after a bunch of WooCommerce stores and that's pretty much how we learned what the possibilities are and maybe its limitations.

Anyway, since a couple of years, I've been working with YITH and meeting lots of people, hearing lots of stories, and that led me into organizing a WooCommerce London meetup, which I've been doing now for about a year on a weekly basis. And now we are involved with Bob on something very exciting as well.

Mendel: Excellent. And Bob I know usually you don't need any introduction, but why don't you re-introduce yourself as Bob. What do you do?

Bob: What do I do?

Mendel: What's your thing?

Bob: I Do the Woo.

Mendel: Okay.

Bob: Can I just answer it that simply? No. For those that wonder what I do beyond this podcast, I run the site dothewoo.io. Been in the space a long time and kind of just a relic in the WordPress space. I guess I could maybe call myself that, I don't know. There's a better appropriate word. Yeah. I'm focusing on WooCommerce, been doing that for a while and just wanted to get more into the community side of things. So decided to immerse myself in the builder community.

Yeah, it has created a lot of different content through a lot of different mediums. I'm doing basically three podcasts through this now and then of course, events and videos and stuff like that. So yeah, that's pretty much what I'm doing and continue to do, and will probably do for a while.

Mendel: Bob, I think you're what I... Today I'm just going to come up with a new one. I think you're like the WooCommerce fountain of youth. That you keep providing information to new builders and helping to mint new people to build stuff. So we're talking about... I'm not even gonna let you respond to that one. We're talking today about the WooCommerce builder community events.

And it's really an exciting thing that you all are working on. I always get really excited when people are helping mint new builders or helping level up existing builders. So I'd love to hear from your perspectives what this is and why you're doing it.

Bob: I'm going to just intro into it and let Ronald and Zach take it. Actually this started back in late last year, believe it or not. Thinking of starting some kind of meetup around Do the Woo and it just organically grew to different... Or I should say, in different directions over those months. And I didn't really know what I was going to do, because I just didn't want to do another meetup per se, another WooCommerce meetup.

So it finally dawned on me one day. Okay, well, let's mix it up. How can I do this? I had a few conversations with people and the more I started thinking of how can I actually deliver stuff to these builders that they'd be interested in, I thought why not talk to them. So I spent about two months talking to different builders.

I would just contact them, say, "Jump on Zoom for 15 minutes, 30 minutes. Just tell me what you're looking for." And after I did that, I thought, "Well, this is great. I think I have an idea of where we need to go with this, but I also need help". So help, help, help me, type of thing. I wasn't going to be able to do it. I wanted this to be a weekly event. I wanted it to be different enough.

And I think it's one of those things, whenever I come up with an idea things just fall in place. I don't know how they do. If it's, I know the right people or what. Ronald, when I was talking to him about something else, I brought up this idea and he had been chewing on something for a while, a kind of a meetup event type thing.

And I thought, "Well, that's interesting." And it's like, Ronald, it's dangerous to mention to me anything because it's like... I thought, "Well, this would be great. Would you want to do that once a month as one of the events?" He had to pause for a minute, but he did... Oh yeah. He was real intrigued by that. And at the same time, I was thinking another piece of it that a lot of the developers were saying was, "We can never dive into code and immerse ourselves into code."

We just like somebody that could take us in there. And we just have fun, learn new things, and of course that is about as far away from what I can do as possible. So it didn't take me long to just turn through my memory banks. And Zach came up, I was like, "Oh yeah, Zach might be good. This might be something he would be interested in."

So I just reached out Ronald "Hey, do you want to do this?" And then I talked to Zach and Zach got on board. And it was like, "Okay, now we're just going to start growing this thing organically." And we had several discussions and yeah, it just was osmosis. It just happened in the right way.

And again, I was fortunate enough to know the right people to get in there. And then it flourished with what Ronald's doing, bringing more people in involved, which he can talk about, but it's been pretty amazing how everything fell into place.

Mendel: Cool. And just to be clear. So, is this a code focused builder event or is this a no code focus? Because I see there's code deep dives and things like that. You brought that up as well. What's the deal?

Bob: I'm sure builders will say, I'm not going to every event every week, I'm going to be able to pick and choose. Because what's going to turn my wheel here as far as this." And that's why it's so diverse. Who knows what it will be? It's going to be for builders. There's a lot of events.

Why doesn't Zach talk about that part of what he's doing and then Ronald can talk about what he's doing and then you'll see, just between those two, how diverse the event they're hosting is.

Zach: Yeah. I'm happy to jump in. So Mendel, there will be some code, but that's only once a month. Where we're really going to be diving deep into how to transition from being a builder, to being more of a developer. And so there are four pillars we'll be talking about throughout all of that. The four pillars theme is a programming thing anyway. So yeah, we have the four pillars of object oriented programming.

Well, we have the four pillars of learning to transition from being a builder to being a developer. And those four pillars are learning a little bit of code. So how to transition a bit from just being an implementer who puts things together, which is a great skill set, into understanding PHP a little bit and how WooCommerce works behind the scenes and being able to make minor modifications to it.

Mendel: Okay. Wait, let's stop there for a second because this is important, right? Why would somebody ever want to do that? Why would you ever want to know how the nuts and bolts work of WooCommerce?

Zach: Well, I think the great thing about WooCommerce, the reason why when I'm talking with somebody who is a store owner and wanting to move to WooCommerce, or is considering WooCommerce as their platform. The reason why I get so excited about Woo in general is the fact that we can build anything. I don't have to say no to anybody.

If they come to me and they say, "We want to build this crazy thing, and we want to use WooCommerce to do it." In 99.9% of the cases I can say, yes. And that's because WooCommerce is open-source, so I can customize it to do whatever I need it to do. But the problem is if there isn't a plugin already to do what you want it to do, how do you get that functionality in? And if there isn't a theme that supports how you want it to look, how do you do that?

So, we're going to talk about some basic customizations and how WooCommerce works behind the scenes, but we're also going to talk about building your custom extensions. And we're going to talk about building custom themes, and those are pillar two and pillar three.

And then pillar four is the one that I think I'm the most excited about personally, and that is helping people to move from just using WooCommerce and building things for their clients on it, but transitioning to actually helping to build WooCommerce itself. So how do I become a part of the contributors that are building WooCommerce and that's what we're going to focus on every fourth month basically.

We're going to talk about how to become a contributor. We're going to as a group, take good first bugs out of the bug repository. Good first issues, and we're going to fix them and commit changes back, submit poll requests to WooCommerce core right there in the meeting, because we can. So we're going to take a look at some of those issues and we're going to start learning how to fix WooCommerce, make it better.

Mendel: I'm going to be a little controversial and ask why on earth it's free? Why give back? What's the point? Who cares? Other people are doing it. Why should I do it, you know?

Zach: Well, I find personally that giving back to an open-source project has continually increased my skillset. Every time that I've had the opportunity to give back in any way. Even serving on the training team for WordPress for awhile, I learned a ton about WordPress itself that I didn't know, simply because I hadn't touched those areas.

So by digging in and actually contributing to making WooCommerce better, and being a contributor doesn't necessarily mean you're writing code. You can contribute in other ways. And we'll talk about some of those too, but by digging in and becoming a part of the team that makes WooCommerce, you really start to understand how WooCommerce works, what its roadmap is. And in the end, as a builder, you have a better perspective and are better able to help your customers, your partners, and yourself to do better work.

Mendel: Okay. Well, I feel a lot of passion coming from Zach, and I like that. And a very good microphone. So now we have Bob's perspective. Bob's an instigator, right? He's always trying to start new things, create new things, bring people together.

Zach clearly has a passion for these different types of development and contribution. Understanding what's under the hood, right? Not just driving this car, but popping the hood and looking underneath it. And now there's Ronald, and Ronald has to fit in as part of this puzzle. And I'm curious how you fit in.

Ronald: The idea started with doing this WooCommerce London meetup on a weekly basis. I do that together with Lisa. And through that, I discovered so many scenarios of our attendees where they wondered about things that I wonder about. What's WooCommerce plan or roadmap? One of the things I always ask each week is introduce yourself, who are you? Where are you from?

And then there is an extra question. Sometimes I ask, fill in the gap. Dear WooCommerce, please can I have? And then these would be filled in with various requests, like "Oh, why is for example, the email editor in WooCommerce so rubbish? I can't really customize emails, or why are certain things not working as they should? Or why are plugins not... What about the marketplace?"

There are lots of these sort of questions. So that stuck with me. It's like, oh, that's very well I noticed, but I don't work for WooCommerce. I don't work for Automatic. So, yeah, great questions. But unless somebody else has listens, I can't really do anything with that information. So that's one side. So keep that in mind.

The other side is my role as partnership manager at YITH. So part of that role is making sure that our products work well with other companies. So hosting companies, whether it's to do with updates, other plugins that they are compatible, that you can extend it. So we can create solutions for customers because the real cases that ideally you would want to code everything yourself. They use plugins, but you do need certain things and it works out of the box. Well, that's what you're hoping for.

And through various conversations with hosting companies, plugging in companies, partner, agencies, freelancers, again you build up these questions and also their concerns or their ideas, or what if it can do this? What if it can do that? And again there's all this information. I can't really pass that on to WooCommerce.

So I thought of this idea. I talked about it with Bob. So I really would love to be able to ask these questions to WooCommerce and maybe being able to... Helping agencies and plugin authors and hosting companies to have that access. So building this bridge between WooCommerce and the community, the builder community.

That's when the idea started of creating this round table, where you could almost virtually sit everybody around the table. You have somebody from WooCommerce, a representative, maybe different representatives or employees that represent a certain part of what commerce is, because you have community, you have development or marketplace, management and marketing and so on.

And then have these sort of experts around it, or representatives of the community and ask questions. But then at the same time, it's also nice for WooCommerce to ask questions to the community as well. Like, what do you think if we do this? What do you think if we do that? So that's why I started to fall into place and we came up this WooCommerce round table discussions, and I'm being joined by three regular panelists.

They are Robert Jacoby, who is a industry analysts. We have Christie Chirinos, who I think you know. And then we have Robbie Adair, who manages OSTraining as well as an agency. So from various sides of the builder community we bring all these clever hats together and we ask a few questions.

Mendel: Okay. So this is like an act in three parts, and I love it. Because believe it or not, I know everybody thinks that every Do the Woo is completely planned out and all of the questions are researched ahead of time. But today I had no idea what I was getting into with the three of you. So that's super cool. So all of these things are coming together.

Bob is kind of the air traffic controller, making sure that everything gets added together, well mixed up. You're all bringing your separate perspectives and audiences and helping to curate great people to help you present these topics. And it seems that you're all passionate in your own way about your individual components, which is super, super, super cool.

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Thanks for PayPal for being a community sponsor at Do the Woo. And now back the conversation.

So let me ask this, is this the first time this has been done for WordPress, for WooCommerce? Is this unique? Are there other resources out there that you're kind of modeling this after, or is this kind of something brand new that you're trying? And if it's brand new or if you're iterating on something else, why do you think that somebody should come hang out with you and be a part of this?

Bob: I'm going to just start this up, because it's a good question. And when I was thinking of this, like I said, I spent a lot of time figuring out what I thought might work, and I can't think what would work for builders, and that's primarily why I talked to a lot of builders before this, just to hear what they're looking for. Why don't you go to meetups? What could you go to a meetup for?

And to throw in just to give you a filler, so they're going to be doing this once a week, and then between each of them, I'll be running some kind of event. And the beauty of that is one of them will be probably where I'll have a guest and it'll be a Q&A, ask me anything. Have somebody come in. I had Allen Smith, the Developer Advocate for WooCommerce do that.

I'm going to have a couple of people come in talking about the Woo Blocks, which is always lively conversation. And then the other week between these two, I'm not sure really what I'm doing. I did what I call Woo Chat. Very small group has signed up for it. I just said, "We're kind of kicking this off. Let's just get together and meet each other, hear what each other does."

So those other two are going to be fillers of... I mean, it could be anything from show and tell, come in and talk about the newest site you did, and what cool thing you did with it. There's a lot of options. And to answer your question, what both Ronald and Zach have are going to grow in a unique way. I mean, Ronald and I did the first one. I'm kind of the back person on Ronald's, I'm just in the production there.

But we had a format thought out, but it kind of changed a little bit and morphed a bit throughout the theme. But it was an incredible conversation. I mean, this went on for an hour between the panelists and Jonathan Wold, which is one of the co-hosts here from WooCommerce. And I just sat in the background, just loving it.

Because I thought this is exactly... I mean, Ronald had this idea and it just naturally did its thing. And I'm going to be interested with Zach's too, because I'm going to attend those, all of them. Zach's new goal in life is to actually teach me how to code something, which is... I know we won't even go there, but miracles have happened before. So we never know, but-

Mendel: You can have a new tagline for your things, Zach. You can say "If Bob can do it, so can you".

Bob: Oh boy, that would be true. I think where it's going to work. No, I don't think anybody's doing this. I think it's going to grow in the direction it should grow, with what they're doing. I think those are solid events and they're going to build their own following, their own community around those events. What I do is going to be very flexible. I'm going to find what works. If something doesn't work, I'll change it out.

But yeah, I think the reason to come is we're hoping that there's going to be something for everyone and that you're going to get that. I mean, Ronald when he told me his idea, all I could think of is how many people I've heard say, "I would love to know what WooCommerce is doing, what they're thinking" When Ronald came up with that idea, it's like "Oh, this is a no brainer."

You're put on the purple chair, instead of the hot seat. I suggest go back and listen, they're archived on YouTube, and they're also archived on my site. But it wasn't all just hugs and kisses and holding hands and kumbaya. There was some good conversation in there and people brought up some really good topics.

Mendel: Bob, what I think is great about that is there's long been criticism about the WordPress development cycle and how difficult it is sometimes for people to find what's going on in the WordPress dev world, right? And how are features changing? Why are people making decisions they are? And at first the major criticism was track.

Man, it's so hard to even look at an issue and sometimes the responses are not super descriptive, right? Somebody just says, "No, we're not doing this." And you're like, "Well, why aren't you doing that?" Or we're going to do this. And you're like, "Why would you do that?" And that's gotten better over time with Slack and some of your podcasts work and stuff like that.

But WooCommerce is the next Blackbox, I think, right? People are like, "Why don't you change the way taxes work and make drop-downs instead of free texts?" That's not actually something people I've ever heard mention. But stuff like that. Right? You wonder why certain decisions are made.

And having the opportunity to have that conversation with people that are working on the project and then getting to become a part of the project with Zach's help, I think that's super powerful. So the three of you I think are helping to maybe bring a face to WooCommerce and to help people have a better experience and feel I guess more in the know, and also more in control of something that they're building their livelihood using, either as a store owner or as an agency or a freelancer or so.

Ronald: It's nice that people can feel that we could connect them with people and possibly influence the outcome of something they feel very passionate about. Whether it's development or contributing, or like you said maybe taxes. One of the discussions we didn't plan at all was about the community with Jonathan Wold, we talked a lot about the Hispanic, Central American WooCommerce community and it turned out that they're planning big things, but is that enough? Is WooCommerce really looking after different cultures and different things?

And if you're really passionate about that side of WooCommerce that you want to see, that it also caters for... Whether you're from a different culture or a different country, where things aren't quite so like they're used in Britain or in the US. WooCommerce addresses those things. This is that bridging that gap between the user, the builder.

I mean, the developer, the builder, the agency, the freelancer, hosting and WooCommerce. So that would be really nice if we can get that into motion that positive.

Mendel: Okay. So, let's talk logistics here, right? So you three have talked about all of the awesome things that are coming up with this meetup. Can I call it a meetup?

Bob: Actually, we're calling it events. Just for people don't get in the mindset of... I mean, I think you visualize a certain thing when you think meetup, even though some of them will be very similar to what you might consider a meetup. Because we do a lot of the live feed on YouTube and stuff for people can ask questions too.

Mendel: So the plan is to make this successful to anybody throughout the entire world, I'm guessing?

Bob: Yeah. That's fair.

Mendel: Which is pretty cool. Yeah, it's super wild. I have conversations with people in places I've never been, it's nuts. So it's going to be accessible via Zoom or some other type of video conferencing and how do people how do people get connected? And do they need to be a member of meetup? Do they sign up on a website? And how do they curate their experience?

So if they're only interested in what you have to say Bob, or the discussions you're curating Ronald, or maybe how you're helping show them more of WooCommerce and the inner workings of Zach. How can they curate that experience for themselves?

Bob: Probably Zach and Ronald's wondering what my method to my madness is there, because it's like "Yeah, how are you doing this, Bob?" Okay. So, just technically to kind of run you through it. So it originates on meetup.com. You can join meetup.com and of course you'll be notified of all events. And all you have to do is go into meetup.com and search WooCommerce builder community events, and you'll find that.

Now, it's different because we're utilizing different technology. For Zach's, it will be through Zoom. And that's only because we want people to be able to come in and out easily and interact and let Zach do his thing there. So that was a perfect platform for that. For Ronald's, it's where you do it through StreamYard. So it's going to be live fed. We do it 10:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time every Thursday.

It goes through my YouTube channel and the Facebook page. People can come in and comment, so we can take questions from people that are watching it. And then the other two pieces of it, is that almost everything will be recorded except maybe for simple little meetups. Anything that's on live feed will be archived on the YouTube channel, Do the Woo YouTube channel.

Everything that's recorded is also archived on dothewoo.io, so people can go back. All of Zach's will be archived too. And then what works as a podcast, which Zach's won't necessarily work, and not all of them will, I'm taking out the audio and I'm actually created a podcast feed specifically just for the event. So if somebody says, "Hey, I'd rather just listen while I'm driving somewhere to Ronald's roundtable," they can subscribe to that.

I just tried to cover all mediums and make it where you can go back and visit it easily. And I think as we build them up, I'll be able to build some channels on YouTube. Ronald's channel, Zach's code channel for people can focus on that more. Organize that as we have a bit of actually archived material in there where they can start selecting who they really... If they probably go, "I don't want to listen to Bob anymore than I do. I'd rather listen to Ronald or Zach," then they can focus on them too.

Mendel: Cool. So I also want to ask questions. So that's how people can connect to learn from the three of you and the people that you're curating and bringing along with you. How can people get involved with... If they have an interesting idea for maybe a stream of education or a stream of connection in the same way that Zach, Ronald, and you Bob have curated your own paths.

Is there an opportunity to bring one or two more people into the mix, have them lead something? Specifically, I'm thinking we're four white guys on this podcast talking about how we're going to explain the world to the world. And I think adding some other voices could be interesting.

Bob: Ronald, why don't you talk a little bit about choosing the panelists.

Ronald: Yeah. No, that's a really good point. For me, it was really important to have not just the different representations in industry and the community, but also male, female, ideally, different cultures, different backgrounds. Okay. You can never get 100% but I think we have a good and fair representation of all of that.

And that adds balance, it adds different viewpoints, different discussions. And I'm really, really excited that we have such a mixture of panelists to start a discussion with somebody from WooCommerce.

Mendel: Cool.

Bob: We haven't really talked about this as far as what you've specifically asked. Like bringing other people into it. And I think Zach's situation of these different developers. I mean, who knows what will come out of that, but ideas will come out of it. I mean, he could share some things, but I could just say from the top of my head, we've just started this.

And yeah, we're three white dudes. At least we're not all in the US here, which I guess we can add a little diversity with Ronald here. But it's open to grow and we've got these slots. And if I had my choice, I would say, I would like to be the production back person, just hanging out and helping make sure things go smooth. I wouldn't mind having one or two more co-organizers eventually join us and pull in something, because that's why I'm doing this basically.

Mendel: So, if you do have a passion, just like Ronald, just like Zach, just like Bob. And you're interested in pitching something to become a co-organizer, there might be room for that is what I'm hearing. So hit up hit Bob on Slack or on Twitter or wherever, and tell him what you're interested in and see if he likes your idea.

Bob: Yeah.

Mendel: I'm sure he will, because he's a connector and pretty interested in good ideas. I think what the three of you are doing is exciting. I think it's going to bring a lot of value to the community. And personally I'm really excited to be a part of it and see where it goes.

So congratulations on the first step, which is building something and conceptualizing and last, I kind of want to ask you all three to give your take on who you want to... If you were to look into the camera with a deep stare, and you were to say, "I'm looking at you. I want you to come be a part of this." Who do you want to be a part of this?

Bob: I'm going to let one of my core organizers start with that.

Zach: Sure. I can start that. If you are building WooCommerce sites and you feel like you could learn more, you could level up your skill set and bring it to that new plateau, beyond where you are right now, I want to help you get there. And that's what the leveling up sessions are about. They're about getting you from where you are to where you want to be. I'm not going to be dictating the content of this.

Over time, we're going to be getting feedback from those of you who are participating, and that's going to drive the direction that we go. In fact, maybe the pillars aren't even right. I won't know that until you get involved. So come join us and learn alongside us as we explore how we can do more with WooCommerce.

Mendel: That was like a sound bite.

Bob: Man, I'm impressed.

Mendel: We need to cut that thing out. That was good. Okay. And then Ronald, what about you?

Ronald: Mine is not that polished. I think there are sort of two sides. I want to connect with people from WooCommerce, people that make decisions or have a vision or have been a really long time. The team members that have questions or want to say something.

And on the other side, of course you have the audience that I'd love for them to get involved and also to get value out of each discussion, a round table, that they can walk away from it and say, "Actually, I didn't know that, that's really interesting. Well, actually that encourages me to do certain thing or face a different direction."

And ultimately, if that then leads into them getting involved with either Zach or Bob, I'm making connections, maybe there are two companies that then start talking to each other, creating integrations, building that community much bigger, stronger and ultimately that will benefit everybody.

It doesn't matter whether you're competing with a product or with a service. I think that's key for me to create a builder community, WooCommerce community that I could be proud of and say, "Actually I've added my little piece of that to make that happen". So that's probably what I'd like to get out of that.

Mendel: Awesome. And Bob, I'm not going to let you off the hook here, because we need to know who do you want to join in this crazy adventure?

Bob: Well, I agree with both Zach and Ronald, they were really good. I think the other piece, and this is been a transition of Do the Woo that I've been thinking about for a little bit now, and how moving forward with every aspect of this podcast. And even this is, I want to bring in and hear the voices of the people that are not necessarily Woo centric. Aren't so tied up in Woo.

I want to start bringing in... And I think Ronald has done this well with some of the panelists. I want to bring in other ideas and perspectives. People are viewing WooCommerce from the outside looking in. And how we can kind of tie it all together, get more objective opinions and views, and basically bring them into the fold or start building connections between those people.

Because I think there's a lot, whether they're even in the WordPress space or not, that would bring a lot of value to anybody building, because we sometimes get in our echo chamber and we hear the same thing and all the good stuff. And it's good to also hear what others from the outside are actually thinking about and how they're viewing things.

So that is something I'm going to start integrating in all aspects to Do the Woo, including the events and the podcasts, and even some of the guests for the future podcasts. I think there's a lot of opportunity and that's the people I want to also attract to this. For they can start bringing in a voice and yeah, I think at the end it ties into exactly taking that next step.

Mendel: Awesome. Well Bob, I appreciate you letting me hijack your Do the Woo once again, and bring a little bit of silliness. But really the excitement here is what the three of you are doing. And I'm right, like get off this podcast now and go make some things happen.

Go sign up for the meetup, if you haven't already, no obligation to meet in person, rather you're going to get some links and things like that thrown your way, which will be awesome. So thank you to the three of you for letting me question you. And Bob, I think I will let you close out the show today.

Bob: Cool. Alrighty. Well, yeah. Definitely want to thank our sponsor once again, PayPal pay later options. You know the drill. Yeah. It's kind of a no-brainer for anybody that has PayPal installed on their site. I think your clients should check that out. So kind of ping them, poke them, let them know that that is something they might want to venture into and see if that's something their customers would take advantage of.

I just want to add, I want to have Zach and Ronald share where you can connect with them. Of course, people know where they can connect with me, but I want to just go back just to that part of, if you have an idea, if you have a thought, it's the three of us.

So if you feel more comfortable, you're like, "Oh, I don't want to talk to Bob. I'm tired of talking to Bob. I'd rather talk to Zach or Ronald." Then reach out to them wherever they are most accessible. If you have an idea, if you're interested in this, the three of us are here as a team and we're going to make this work together. And I want them to have as much part of it and involvement in it and moving it forward as I do. So Ronald, where can people connect with you?

Ronald: I think the easiest is to just look me up on Slack, the WooCommerce WordPress, or Do the Woo Slack. Otherwise, Twitter, just number two Ronald, just2ronald, I think you'll find me.

Bob: Zach?

Zach: I am Z-S-T-E-P-E-K, pretty much everywhere. So Twitter, Instagram, you can connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, you can find me on the Woo Slack, the Post Status Slack, the Do the Woo Slack and a million other Slack channels near you.

Bob: Excellent. All right. And Mendel, thank you for running the show. I can always depend on you. So, you did a great job and it was actually fun to sit in the, I guess, co-host guest hot seat or whatever you want to call it today. So, I appreciate that.

Mendel: Excellent. My pleasure.

Bob: All right, everyone. Well, yeah. Like I said before subscribe, leave a review, follow us, go check out the events we're doing. Connect with Zach and Ronald. Yeah. We're going have a lot of cool stuff going on. So until the next time just Do the Woo.