043: Ethics, contributing, and community with Maja Loncar


About Maja Loncar:

Professional with 15+ years of overseas experience in Communications, Marketing, Branding, Events management, Sponsorship, Sales and Commercial strategies and Business development.

Find Maja Loncar: GoDaddy | Twitter


Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
043: Ethics, contributing, and community with Maja Loncar
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Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to women in WP, a bimonthly podcast about women who blog, design develop and more in the WordPress community.

Amy Masson:

Hi, welcome to women in WP. I’m Amy Masson.

Tracy Apps:

I’m Tracy Apps.

Allie Nimmons:

I’m Allie Nimmons.

Amy Masson:

And our guest today is Maja Loncar. Maja is a field manager for GoDaddy Pro Covering Europe, middle East, and Africa, promoting WordPress related technologies and tools and meeting wonderful people all over the world. Welcome Maja.

Maja Loncar:

Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure having me.

Amy Masson:

So we’d like to start off each episode by asking our guests what their journey to WordPress was. So tell us how you got started.

Maja Loncar:

Well, I think that WordPress and I actually intercepted several times in my career. I mean, being a marketing manager since 2004 and being either a client or on the agency side because I did both, somehow when you’re talking about marketing and business development in general promotion of friends, you’ve got to be involved in some type of online communication. So surely I was either giving instructions what I would like to the agencies and how do I see the brand promise and the complete corporate look. But then again, I was also receiving different inputs from the clients who wish to represent themselves online. So actually I started my first journey in general with websites, it was in 1998 when there was just an HTML file that I had to just fill out and send it to people or put a photo, and just try to save it and then use cute FTP to send it somewhere, and it goes, and it shows, and I still didn’t know how that happens.

Maja Loncar:

And then in 2000 and something, I was asked to do something in Joomla and I’m like, Oh my God, what is this now? How do I do this? And then in 2000, actually I think it was 2011 when I was working in automotive business at the time. The group, IP manager came he collected all of us marketing manager and said, okay, from tomorrow we start with WordPress and we we’re like, okay, what are we supposed to do? And he said, you just need to give us the content and write regularly the blogs and update them, and the rest we will do. And we all managers were like, wait, we need to understand what WordPress is. So I started to getting lessons in WordPress in 2011, but I didn’t stay long in this company. So I went away and I did something else. And then in 2015, since my side hustle is actually promotion of a certain buyers and then branded software, something that people use in quantum medical science.

Maja Loncar:

And since I was developing the business concept of the companies, that’s why I’m able to start that, so you don’t have enough money to pay the designers especially because we paid one already to give us a website, but then we understood that we missed the point. So we had to change it and we didn’t have the money, so we said, okay. So I think the WordPress is the right solution for us. So we started making and building the first version of a website, which was still like, we couldn’t even publish it. And we came up with the second one, I said, okay, this looks better. So maybe we can offer it to the white public and stuff. And they said, no, we need the third one. So somehow I started actually again to be involved in WordPress, but I mean since I wasn’t the technical person, that’s why I was just there sometimes to help out to check the design and see how things are moving.

Maja Loncar:

But then in 2018, my brother just came up one day with an idea that he wants to have a commerce shop. And I was like, okay, so what do we need to do? He said, we need to make a WordPress website. And I’m like, okay, so it’s back again in my life. And there’s something here that I can learn. So he built, now he’s actually a WordPress expert to be honest with you. He manages his own website after two years already. But then again in 2019 I was approached by GoDaddy for which I was very aware of since 1996 or 1997, when I was working in UN and we were finding the first domains and it was like, wow, we need to do stuff. So I then got approached by them and they said, yeah WordPress. And I’m like, man, it’s back again. So this is probably thing that I need to do in my life.

Amy Masson:

I feel like the WordPress is stalking you.

Maja Loncar:

Well somehow, but in a nice way, and I’m not opposing it at all. So basically that’s my journey when it comes on and off WordPress, but now it’s on and I’m very happy about it.

Amy Masson:

So what are you doing with WordPress in relation to what you do with GoDaddy?

Maja Loncar:

I’m as being a field marketing manager for three different continents. I’m mostly involved in community and field marketing projects related to GoDaddy program in EMEA. So I actually get the best part of the WordPress. I meet awesome people and I learn many new interesting things. So I’m so happy, what I’m supposed to do, I’m even encouraging people to contribute, by the way attending word camps and different WordPress events, my favorite day sorting each word camp is the contribution day.

Maja Loncar:

And I’m always present there because you learn new stuff, new techniques, for instance just last year actually I did the first editing of a video that was, wow, now I can do that as well. So I find it as a tool of great learning and meeting great people who can actually teach you some great stuff that you that you can actually promote and use it for your own personal life. So from this point of view, I think I’m blessed to be able to meet awesome people and then just learn stuff. So basically this is what I do. Don’t I have a great job.

Tracy Apps:

That sounds wonderful. Especially within the WordPress community, I feel like that’s, I’ve been a part of the WordPress community for many years as well. So it’s really kind of great how WordPress did stalk you, but that ended up well and the end it was really great.

Maja Loncar:

Correct, correct.

Tracy Apps:

So you were doing a WooCommerce site. What was your role in that project?

Maja Loncar:

Well, since my brother, he is a business person. He understands finance and mathematics and the target audience and the technical aspect of each product that he’s promoting and he’s sharp. I was the one who was in charge of the visual design. How does that look? So poor guy I mean, he really went through nightmare with me because whatever he would make, I would say, no, it’s not appealing. He said man I spent seven days working on this out. What do you think? No, we need to change the theme. No, not again we cannot change the theme I’ve just put everything.

Maja Loncar:

So I was there just to approve his work and help him out if needed, when it comes to certain problems that he would encounter because I know so many people are like, Oh, okay, we need to pull this and this person. So let’s find out and then we would visit so many people. At that time there were not many webinars, but they were so many YouTube tutorials. So we would be spending hours and days watching tutorials and trying to understand how to improve the traffic and then Google analytics and then Facebook pics, and all of this. So it was always good. There are two people who understand and could consult on each other. So I was just the consulting and probably how to say, a controlling at same time.

Tracy Apps:

I mean, that’s very important. All right, great.

Maja Loncar:

Correct.

Tracy Apps:

So we were talking a little bit about this, where are you from, so you’re in Croatia right now on the seaside. Is that what you said?

Maja Loncar:

Correct. I’m blessed to have both documents of creations or BSP in this time of COVID that I’m actually mobile. So wherever I go to whichever board I arrive, I’m actually home. So they need to let me in otherwise they cannot keep me out. So my parents, they live in Croatia and since they’re very old, [inaudible 00:08:39] the times graph. So I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be able to help them out. So I just came to be with them and then all of a sudden, I just came up with the idea, why don’t we all move to the seaside? And they just packed in a day. So we just left, the whole family actually moved to the seaside now. And it’s beautiful. I mean, if you haven’t visited Croatia, I mean, you have a friend, so let me know when you would like to come and we can organize it.

Tracy Apps:

That sounds great. Amy, do you want to? We can get sponsors for that right.

Amy Masson:

Tracy, we’re not allowed to leave the country anymore.

Tracy Apps:

Well, not right now, but when the US gets back off the naughty list, then we can get sponsors and go.

Amy Masson:

I can’t imagine such a time. I can’t see that far in the future. I’m sorry. I’m stuck and that I am land bound to this country forever.

Tracy Apps:

So maybe in a couple of years, but that sounds beautiful.

Amy Masson:

Yeah. So friends at GoDaddy they want to send us to Croatia, to the seaside, to hang out with Maja, we’re here.

Maja Loncar:

I think it’s a valid reason. I mean, if you put it across sub to someone, I’m sure somebody will approve it.

Tracy Apps:

It’s community building, right?

Maja Loncar:

Correct. It’s humanity building, I would say at the same time.

Amy Masson:

I know that you have started an initiative. Can you tell us more about it?

Maja Loncar:

Yes. I was so lucky to have a management and seniors above me who understood that human point is really important and encouraging of people to give back to WordPress is important. So my project that I wrote down was approved and it approached about empowering internal employees in UMEA with the aim to increase their personal and professional involvement in PorcFest community. So the thing is that we have, I know it’s not that because it’s a Belgrade office GoDaddy or something like that, but we’re really serious, we have talented people who have spent so many years in WordPress and understand the key points and issues and problems and could address them timely. So actually I was just the motivator, so I just got the project approved, I approached each person in our office and I said, listen, I think there is a great opportunity for us to travel, to have fun, meet people and contribute to WordPress.

Maja Loncar:

Are you in? And out of 100 peoples or so that we have it in the office I think that from our office 36 people joined instantly. And after a week of finding this or founding this initiative, we already have one full day of contributing where we worked on the code blocks and on work from it’s a polyglot section, actually translation and stuff. And then all of a sudden we saw opportunity of traveling and meeting other people at word camps. So we also pledged a small initiative within it and said, hey guys we would like to travel and meet other people at WordPress. Would that be okay? And I don’t know. I think I was blessed and everything was there. So the approval came instantly and said, yeah, hang out, do the stuff, meet new people and be happy because when you’re happy, I think you contribute to both WordPress and the company.

Maja Loncar:

I mean your own goals. So people would just joined. Whenever there used to be physical work camps, I would receive 20 applications who would like to go and what is their plan, what they want to do there and who they want to meet and what type of projects they want to contribute. And they wanted to write the blogs and stuff, everything afterwards. And I’m like, man, I can take [inaudible 00:12:21] we have to just keep it to a normal level. And then we also had always voting who actually is the most how to say, who actually deserved all of us who contributed the most. So we would count the hours, see what people were doing, what they were doing and then when we see how many hours you’ve committed to contributing, then based on this you’d be eligible to go.

Maja Loncar:

So it was a constant competition who’s going to go. So now wait, not many. I mean, not physical work camps at all. I mean, people are sad I mean, we still contribute. We still have hangouts and gathering where we decide what we want to do if we want to write a blog or if we want to do some translation or we want to work on some plugins as a different team or with developers, but it’s kind of this thrill of meeting physically people and hanging out with them or going for parties and exchanging numbers and Facebook and LinkedIn and stuff, that’s kind of gone. So the magic is a little bit gone, but we still believe that contribution is important.

Tracy Apps:

I agree. I think that, and a lot of people, well, they either don’t feel like, Oh, I either have something to offer or need to be invited, need to be asked and need to, I think that’s really kind of a genius idea to kind of have that as a group, because that’s the kind of peer pressure on a good way. And like, Oh yeah, I can do that. And I see this, I can do this. Because we need if we are open source and we were saying that this is made by the community and it’s only made by a handful of people that’s inaccurate. So I think that’s a really great initiative. Are these usually bigger or small projects that people kind of pledged to, or their goals are to do when they contribute?

Maja Loncar:

Well, it depends on perception to be honest with you. We have managed to build five speakers out of these people who have already held a different type of thoughts. And at the beginning, I think there was only one, or maybe I think it was only one speaker actually experienced one. The rest were first time speakers. So these people had the knowledge and had the courage even through sign up for this initiative, but still we had work on this approach on being, how to say on being genuine in what you do, because if you want to be a public speaker and there is something that’s bothering you personally, maybe technically, or perhaps you don’t know how to deal with some questions that you don’t know when they’re going to arrive. So the thing is that you have to actually make these people feel welcomed constantly, and they don’t have any burdens.

Maja Loncar:

So from my point of view, speaking in public that shouldn’t be an issue, but some people who are not experienced, they found it a big thing for them. So we also contribute in sense of translation. We also contribute in sense of being part of the different WordPress groups. We have people in core, we have people in plugins, we have people in marketing and in many different things. So sometimes I don’t even know that they’re contributing. They’re just like, Hey, listen I was here doing that so this is my two and a half hours could you please put it on the billing chin? Because I’m very interesting to be there when there is a next traveling or something. Because I think I’m giving my best to meet other people. So as I said, it’s kind of very different perspective. Now we also have an initiative about writing blogs. So we want to empower their writing skills as well.

Maja Loncar:

We as a group, whoever decides to write the blogs, I think that we’re kind of a squad also, whoever says, yes, I’m going to write the blog he’s done before he writes it, everybody constantly calls this person, let me see the new draft. We need to change this. We need to add this. So it’s kind of a teamwork. So whatever we do has become a team work, we don’t issue a blog without everyone seeing it, giving comments, putting cross. We don’t contribute unless everyone’s around wherever it can be of course, we have this in consideration and we don’t travel or go to different WordPress events unless everyone’s already notified about it and knows that. So I think that this let’s say perception of whether something’s hard or not hard the teamwork has actually took this virtual I don’t know, spirit and goals actually taking the burden, so we don’t feel it.

Tracy Apps:

That’s actually really good advice speaking because you’re right, that getting away from yourself and focusing on what the talk is and the audience in front of you as opposed to things like, that’s actually really good advice too for anyone that wants to start speaking. Have you spoken at a lot of work camps?

Maja Loncar:

No, not yet. Because I’m very eloquent in sense of when I talk, but speaking to [inaudible 00:17:44] I’m not a developer or a designer, so speaking to technical people does get me a burden. So I do have to have the right topic something and just the two days ago I’ve been thinking about my topic for more than three months now already. And just two days ago when I was attending WP diversity workshop, I got it. It inspired me what I really want to talk about. So I wrote already a pitch and I’m preparing the presentation. Now I’m actually gaining more knowledge and stuff so I’m very happy.

Maja Loncar:

So this is again, a sign that teamwork like contribution, I mean, contribution to work plus community and being part of the community actually helps you because I wasn’t aware of what I want to write until somebody put me in the spot and said, what would you like to write about us? And I’m like, okay. And then the whole inspiration and emotion and knowledge and everything came back just, and I just wrote it in a second. Something took me three months and I still don’t know where it came from.

Allie Nimmons:

That is so powerful because I was in that workshop with you. And I was jotting down ideas too, and I was literally thinking to myself, I was like, I wonder if this is helping anybody, because we all did it very quietly personally. We didn’t really share what we came up with. And I was really wondering, I was like, I wonder if anybody actually is coming up with any light bulb moments. It’s like that is so gratifying to hear that you had that light bulb moment. And I hear people say that all the time of well, I’m not a developer, I’m not a designer so I don’t know what I would talk about. And honestly, within the what, 19 minutes that we’ve been chatting.

Allie Nimmons:

I could think of 10 topics that I would want to hear from you about in terms of what it is you do for the WordPress community. Because so little of WordPress is the development, it’s about the community. It’s about the processes. It’s about how our companies and our businesses and our systems work to make the larger system work. So not a question, but I’m really, really happy that you landed on your talk and I am so excited to whatever word camp it is that you get that talk for I will be going. Because I absolutely want to hear and be there for your first word camp talk. That’s so exciting to me.

Maja Loncar:

Thank you. Thank you very much. Listen, if somebody told me, look, I have plenty of time to think, and I mean a very creative environment where you actually, the inspiration comes for whatever you want. But somehow I had this, not a glitch, but I had this a block, which I just couldn’t solve. And then when you guys put me on the spot and gave me five minutes to think about, I’m like, man, I cannot let down these people. So now I have to really go deep down in myself, check whatever it’s wrong, remove it, remove all those blocks and let’s just see what’s there. It just came. So my plan actually is now to attend each of these workshops that you have, because I need more of those.

Allie Nimmons:

Yeah. That’s awesome.

Tracy Apps:

Who puts on the workshops?

Allie Nimmons:

Gel Binder, she does a WP diversity workshop on kind of dispelling all of the, what is it actually called? I’m totally blanking right now. I haven’t had my coffee yet. [crosstalk 00:21:19].

Maja Loncar:

It’s called WP diversity workshop.

Tracy Apps:

I love it.

Allie Nimmons:

I want to find the exact, so anyone who’s listening can also attend because they are really, really helpful. WordPress diverse speaker workshops. That’s what you would Google. So WordPress diverse speaker workshops. And there’s different formats, but they will meet this week was a three day workshop on kind of identifying, why should I talk? What do I have to say? And then the one Maja was talking about is we literally just sat and brainstormed talk ideas and just write down any idea you have. It doesn’t matter if it’s good. Doesn’t matter if it’s bad, just write it down. And you end up finding some kind of little gems in the back of your head that you didn’t know that you have.

Maja Loncar:

Wow.

Tracy Apps:

That’s Awesome.

Maja Loncar:

I don’t know how that happens. It’s still a mystery to me. And in order to resolve the mystery, I need to visit you guys more often. So that’s one of the reasons-

Allie Nimmons:

We’d love to have you.

Maja Loncar:

Now serious and I even wrote on my Twitter. I mean if you’re, I mean everyone is struggling with the time. I think that we work more now when we’re remote and working online than we actually worked before. Because before it was like, if I have an event in Vienna, that means I’m in Vienna. I cannot be in San Francisco. I cannot be in Japan or India or whatever. But nowadays I have three events a day. So it’s like kind of really hectic and things are moving good. I think things are moving in a very, very fast direction. But when you look at it from this point of view, I mean, if we all struggle with the time, I understand that. But if you don’t find the time for really something that is coming to your path, like you guys came to me as well. So everything that comes on your path, I think you need to embrace. And when I saw I think it was up, up from London, from the marketing team.

Maja Loncar:

Actually she said, you know what? I think, did you see that tweet? And I’m like, yeah I saw it. She said, I think you should go and attend. And I’m like, yeah I’m thinking the same, but I just need to find the time. So I cleared my schedule and I’m like, I don’t know, sometimes presentations I accept and I learned sometimes I don’t find them that very interesting, but then I pick up something else. So I said, let me try. I mean, I have nothing to lose. So I came, I think it was two weeks for the first day, but then I couldn’t do it second and third. And then it was this week I managed to attend the rest of the days. And you just made me feel, I was so proud of myself. I was so proud of you. And I think I resolved a big issue that I had. So I think I owe everyone, even guys I owe a cake. So next time we meet cake is on me.

Tracy Apps:

Oh, we need to write that down. I mean, everyone.

Allie Nimmons:

Yeah. A cake by the seaside, oh man.

Tracy Apps:

Sounds perfect. And I find that’s kind of similar thing at anytime. I’m like, Oh, I don’t know, should I sign up for this? Should I do this? And then I do it. And then I’m like, why did I hesitate? I gained so much out of that. That’s so wonderful to hear.

Maja Loncar:

No, you guys are doing, I mean, even you guys I think you’re doing a great job by even bringing us here to discuss certain topics. I just hope people will get inspired to find the time for themselves too, to think about what their life is going to be, to think about the problems or perhaps not enough courage that they have or something like, I mean, everything is easy when you’re with other people, when you’re part of the team, it’s much easier. So I would really encourage everyone just take any type of a workshop and especially WP diversity, because the program is amazing. And second of all, it just ignites you, it gives you energy of which you are not aware of.

Tracy Apps:

I think you said a really important, when you said working together. Because I think for me, when I’m like, Oh, I’m so busy, I do this like, I’m thinking individually and this is a community, everything about the WordPress, the software it’s made by community, it’s used and the community surrounds it. So by thinking, Oh, I need to contribute thinking of that as individualistic, like your initiative of saying, well, let’s get some people together. Let’s do this as a group project. And then we can share the burden and that lessens the kind of barrier that a lot of people have like, Oh, well I only have three minutes. Well, but if you and friends all get together and do three minutes, that’s multiplied. So I think that’s really important to point out that more places should kind of reach out to find a couple of people. I wonder if we put out on Facebook or we’re on Twitter and the WordPress community, anyone want to kind of join my little team whatever. I think it’s a really important to look at it that way.

Allie Nimmons:

Agreed.

Amy Masson:

And I think there’s this misconception about word camps that they’re really only for people that are building WordPress websites. And that’s just not the case, there’s so much for everybody that I think that anybody could go to one and really pick up something.

Maja Loncar:

I agree. I mean I’m a great example of it. I mean it’s again, perception, life is perception. The future is the perception. Everybody has its own way of thinking how the future is going to look like. But I think if you’re openhearted like WordPress communities, I mean I’ve been working all over the world. I’ve been in all continents and I’ve engaged with, I don’t know how many hundreds of nations and corporations and small businesses and home owned businesses and stuff, but I’ve never seen in my life seriously, the type of community WordPress has. The ability to embrace, to include, to explain, to have time, to commit time, to make life easier, better for someone else. There is so much humanity behind it that I’m not willing to go. So even though I’m not a person who can talk technically or help someone by resolving a code issue or perhaps something else, but I know that I have some other values that could help other people.

Maja Loncar:

So if you look at it from this point of view, we just need to be openhearted and say, look, I might not be tall enough, but I’m good enough to maybe give you an Apple from the smaller tree. So I’m picking the apples from the smaller trees and giving to the ones who are in need. So if we look the life like this, and if the concept of WordPress community, I even wrote an article about it, how WordPress community can help humanities sustainability on a human system and ability. I mean, if we all would actually apply this to the world concept, I don’t think the world would have too many issues. Actually those would be solved instantly. So kudos to WordPress community. And I hope, how to say that, the energy, the vision behind, but actually we just spread worldwide into many different industries.

Tracy Apps:

And it’s funny because this has been, I feel like has been a theme in the past couple episodes that we’ve been recording is that the WordPress community is so large. It’s so vast. It’s so diverse. Hey, these problems that we’re facing in the world today are pretty big and large and diverse and all around the world. And wait a minute, all the WordPress community is all around the world and so much is going digital, all this stuff. I think that’s really important and recognizing, to speak to the point where people say, Oh, well word camps or.

Tracy Apps:

I’m not a part of the community because I don’t do the development or design or whatever. But we think about, WordPress is not the destination, it’s the tool to do the things in the world that need to happen. And so that’s the bigger thing. That I feel is more important thing. Yes. To have a tool that will allow people to do that and kind help even the playing field in tech, which is a really big issue as well. You’re right. You’re spot on with that.

Allie Nimmons:

I love this conversation about, if we just applied WordPress community ideas to everything else we can heal the world. The world need-

Tracy Apps:

That song that we kind of play in the background right now.

Allie Nimmons:

Yeah. Right. I’m curious given this huge challenge that we’re experiencing globally right now, what do you feel the WordPress community could do to step up and apply what we are about to this kind of global issue if that makes sense? I mean, it’s fantastic to be a part of this community on the best of days, and we’re having very few of those days right now. So what do you think that we could be doing to step it up and apply that WordPress bomb to what we’re going through right now?

Maja Loncar:

Well, what I’ve noticed, I think that the biggest quality of the WordPress community is the team ethics. So the ethics behind, plus the energy that we all have, like enthusiasts is something that if we show as a role model and try to explain to other people and to other professionals and to other industries. I think we should first of all see what our values are and how these values affect us as a people, then come up with a nice presentation, go ahead and knock perhaps on many doors and say, look, we might be wrong, but we do have a concept that brings out the best in our people. Which means this is good for both humanity in sense of how do we appreciate each other, but also it’s good for business because we’re not sitting and waiting for someone to heal us, but we are actually working at the same time.

Maja Loncar:

So maybe some other guys, if we’re addressing them, telling them maybe we could actually offer you a template or perhaps a showcase or study to see what type of healing this world needs. Because lot of people are now being disadvantaged, like people in tourism industry, I mean, their world is crumbling apart. People in the airline business, people in fashion business and many different businesses are actually how to say, they’re losing their confidence and their space is gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. And on the contrary from our side, we’re getting more and more businesses and stuff, and we’re moving as an industry. And I’m very happy to be part of something that it’s successful but being successful and alone doesn’t really mean much. So if we would encourage these people, teach them something because now it’s the time of adapting.

Maja Loncar:

It’s like a nature. If you adapt you survive, if you don’t adapt I don’t know what happens. There are so many different options and scenarios and I don’t want to mention them in that case. But it’s time maybe that we show to other people and say, look, we notice we might be able to help you. Maybe we can help with people who are willing to change their career path, and perhaps bring them into community that actually is open to helping and assisting and listening and giving advice and providing comfort and stuff like that. Or perhaps we might be the people who will just promote the human values and see where we can assist us directly either as a person or as a community itself. I mean, it’s very hard to say, actually I didn’t think about this.

Maja Loncar:

You’re just putting me on the spot. So I’m trying to, again you’re bringing my energy out. So I’m just coming up with both potential scenarios, but what this world needs is love, because if I love you and I have respect for you, and I really want you to succeed, then I’ll do everything as I can to be part of your successfulness. So if we find, if each of us one person who is in trouble and we want to help this person, we will save the world. So one person by one person and then pay it forward. So it’s always the story of paying it forward. But first you need to understand what your values are. And surely WordPress community is not missing these ethics. And also, this is like, if we start with this and then bring a little bit of love and courage and emotions and knowledge. I think in a couple of decades, maybe years, it could be solved.

Allie Nimmons:

That’s amazing. I love the simple idea of paying it forward. Helping somebody else knowing that you will be helped. I think what comes with that as well, which I’ve found a lot in this community is trust. Because with that concept, you have to be able to trust your fellow person while you’re putting out. I think that’s where it breaks down in a lot of places is somebody is like, Oh, well, if I pay it forward, how do I know I’m going to get it back? What am I going to lose if somebody else decides to be a jerk. And so they decide to just not do anything. But I think what we have that I’ve really experienced is just that trust in maybe even somebody that you’ve never met.

Allie Nimmons:

Is that something that, my WordPress experience has been very American and been very kind of localized to the world because I’ve been able to travel to. Is that something that you feel like you’ve encountered throughout your global WordPress experience as well? Or do you feel like, I guess maybe the root of my question is, do you feel like there are cultural differences that you’ve experienced within the WordPress community, or do you feel like it’s all kind of been the same?

Maja Loncar:

I mean, again, when you look at the basic value of workers, community, which is ethics. When you have ethics as a solid foundation, and when you have people who have open heart as well, you cannot make a mistake. I mean, it’s kind of how to say an algorithm, not algorithm. Yeah. It’s algorithm actually it’s either yes or no. So if you have ethics, but you don’t have heart or compassion for other people it’s visible, people will notice it and you will not be able to make such an impression and to make such a change as well. But if you have all these human points developed inside of yourself, and if you just give it a little bit of more push at least to find one person that you can help.

Maja Loncar:

I mean what I’ve seen worldwide, it’s I have never met a person in WordPress that has left a bad feeling with me or in my mouth or something like that. So I’ve been, although, as I said, I’m not a technical person, but everybody finds time to explain or help me out or work with me. And I was never laughed at for something that I said. So this in whichever conversations, I’m hosting now GoDaddy me and meetups, for Africa, middle East and Europe and many different people join these meetups. So it’s kind of, when you have people from different cultures, religious, they have different views of life, business, whatever. But all of them having common ethics and openness. I mean, I think that having these two human how to say, characteristics is actually the key to solving any problem.

Tracy Apps:

Who usually goes? Is it a lot of technical people, or like you said, the human aspect that go to these meetups that you-?

Maja Loncar:

Very interesting question, to be honest with you, you know why? Because the topics vary. For instance one of the topics that we had recently was how to become a freelancer, but in the next month we’re going to be discussing react. And last Monday, we were discussing 5.5 features. And in these meetups, you have first of all people from all over the world. Second of all, some of them are changing careers, some of them are already freelancers. Some of them are experienced developers, and some of them are designers. And some of them are just there to check out what’s happening. Whether they should consider IT industry. In the last meetup, we had a guy who was 16, because he’s a genius and I met him through a friend, and he said, look my son he’s a genius.

Maja Loncar:

He’s already building websites. And the guy’s a truck driver, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He says, I’m not able to speak to him, could you speak to him and tell him what he’s supposed to do, because I don’t even understand what he does. He just spends time on computer and get somehow paid from people. I don’t know what this, where he’s kind of worried about the future. So he said, can you please speak to him. And the guy really, I sat with him, he’s 16 but he feels like he’s 30 or something. He told me, are you a developer? I said, no. Okay. So I [inaudible 00:39:57] Okay. So he said that, I’m choosing now between the different languages, what I’m supposed to like focus, should I go in PHP or should I go in Java or maybe I should go [inaudible 00:40:11] or something. Could you please explain to me.

Maja Loncar:

And I said, you know what? I think the best idea, if you come to our meetups and then actually find it for yourself. So the guy came and he left the last, and he had the most questions among all people. It really strange what type of people come to our meetups. But one thing is for sure, we keep these meetups very friendly and keep it as a discussion because the time of presentation online, it doesn’t really work. And everybody has an opinion. I mean, we’re having a consciousness. We already have opinion unlike animals or perhaps some other species. So sharing our voice is something that we promote as a part of our slogan in sense of you come share your voice. Maybe your voice will help someone to make a decision. Maybe you’ll change someone’s life, and this is your purpose in our meetup. Come and change people’s life into a better place. So this is what we try to do. You’re more than welcome to join anytime.

Tracy Apps:

I love it. I mean, and I agree I think because I’ve had this discussion with multiple people, where now there’s word camps that are virtual. But I don’t feel like sitting in front of my computer and just watching a talk, but having an online discussion, that sounds like something I want to sign up for. Talk about inspiring, confidence and wanting to contribute and develop community. That’s really great. How many people usually come or?

Maja Loncar:

Depends between 30, 40 because bigger groups are a problem because then you have to wait for at least five people to say something. And maybe somebody already said, so people chat, they just put so many things in the chat and in Zoom, it’s hard to move around to chat. So we’re constantly chatting, okay, who’s question, where’s the answer and raising hands. So at one point it’s like you have five raising hands and I’m like, man, wait, I know you all have opinions, let’s keep it to one minute, 1:30 and then I will cut you off and then the second person goes. Because vibrant discussions, they are full of energy. I mean, generally you may have at least community very energetic. You’ll have Spanish people, you will have French, Germans. You’ll have people from Lebanon, people from Kenya, people from India.

Maja Loncar:

So everybody has their own opinion, and they think they’re right, or they think that someone else is not right. So first we talk about what’s right and then we try to see what’s not right then we even vote. Especially this happened now when we had the talk about 5.5 features, my God, I couldn’t finish the meeting in the end. I said, listen, we were supposed to be here for one hour. It’s already 1:30. I have other stuff to do, I have to leave, it’s finished. We finished 5.5, maybe we talk about some other versions some other time, but this is closing the discussion. And I’m going to get this hammer as well as a judge and just say finished. We also have games because it’s very important to involve people as the fun factor as well. It’s not only about discussion, but let’s compete a little bit.

Maja Loncar:

So the games are, we usually for instance have five questions and those should be done in three minutes. Our games are 20 minutes, because after each question, everybody says, no, this is wrong answer I don’t think like this. And then you have someone else say, no, no that’s right [inaudible 00:43:46] then it goes inaudible. But most important thing is that we create friendships, although it’s hard and although takes time. And although it’s inconvenient for us humans to make friends online, this is what we do now.

Amy Masson:

Yeah. I was wondering how has your work and your life changed since COVID-19? I’d especially like to hear from our international guest about what it’s like where you are and how things are going.

Maja Loncar:

First of all, I’m not for reading any news, most of the time I’m surprised when they don’t let me in a supermarket. I’m like, why? You don’t have a mask? Oh, okay. It’s the time for a mask. And everybody’s like, how come you don’t know? Everybody knows about it. And I’m always saying, I don’t have a TV in my house. I have no idea. And in my Facebook and LinkedIn, whatever, I just removed all the political and all the news because I just cannot handle it. It’s too much of a burden. And it just takes my valuable time from resting or perhaps, it brings some type of undressed inside of me. It doesn’t allow me. So I’ve stopped following all of this.

Maja Loncar:

What I’ve noticed today for instance, is that people have different opinion about it because first some of the people say, this is important, you have to wear a mask. But then the other person says, why am I supposed to wear the mask when no one else is wearing? And also that makes no sense, people are totally divided and I try not to enter these discussions because it’s an endless discussion for pro and con. In Croatia at the moment, it’s fine. You don’t have to have masks in open or in open restaurants. I mean, we’re all around beach clubs and they’re all open. But the only weird stuff is that waiters are supposed to wear a mask and hundreds of other people are not supposed to wear the mask. So now everybody’s putting a question like who came up with this and why these people need to suffer?

Maja Loncar:

So now everybody’s asking these waiters, are you sad that you have to wear it? And I’m sure this guy wants to just explode the same moment. But for instance in Serbia, they want to enforce a lock down and people don’t want to go into lockdown because three months ago they were told that virus cannot exist at 35. Now it’s 35. Why you want to close me? Why did you lie to me before? So it’s like a mess of information. So for this reason, I’m just calling my dad and saying, okay, what’s new now? What am I supposed to change in my behavior? Tell me, and let me do that. So I ended up with some penalty or whatever in the streets.

Tracy Apps:

I feel like that’s a very healthy way of doing it because we’re living through basically a science experiment because the scientific process is unfolding in front of us, and we’re used to studying things that already have gone through that. And that we have the answers to already, or at least have a good headstart on things. So it’s kind of exhausting. We have the same kind of discussion here but whatever the science is, well, they’re going to have to test it, so it’s going to change, and then they’re going to find something else and then this. So I like your idea of, okay now, what’s today? What do I need to know? Okay, great. Done.

Maja Loncar:

That’s it.

Tracy Apps:

That’s it.

Maja Loncar:

I don’t want to just overburden myself. And by the way what I think is very wrong, but nobody’s actually telling people to do preventative health, which means take a lot of vitamins, work on your body. Don’t sit at home, don’t eat sweets, do a little bit of exercise. So actually your body can actually fight whatever disease. So even if you get it, you’ll have a better chance to survive it. So what I’m trying to do with all my friends, I mean, being in quantum medical science and understanding the body from a cell level and Nicola Tesla’s technology, that’s being built inside and stuff. I’m full of positive energy when it comes to, okay, Corona is problem. Every everything’s problem. I mean, even the radiation worldwide is problem. And children are dying worldwide and everything, but let’s start sorting things one by one.

Maja Loncar:

First of all, as they say in the airplane, when you want to help someone first help yourself, then start spreading this. So I’m taking a lot of vitamins, taking a lot of fresh food, working out, trying to help other people as well to understand that nobody can help you unless you start helping yourself first. And then let’s see how it will happen. I mean I’ve gone through many things in my life so something like this wouldn’t surprise me, so I’m ready. If something happens I’m working on it. Let’s see how it works.

Amy Masson:

It’s been great, Maja having you on the show today, before we go can you tell everybody where they can find you online.

Maja Loncar:

Sure. I’m on Twitter. My Twitter handle is M-A-J-A 20072230. So I’m open, my BMS’s open. Please join me any time. I will be very happy to meet with more people. I put stuff on the Twitter which are mostly related either to humanity or WordPress. And my main interest is actually to do good. If you have any idea that we can come across together, work together, international maybe that we can help people, communities, eight person, whatever. I’m in open for any discussion. Also if you’d like join our meetups as well you’ll find it there every Monday, seven o’clock CST time and let’s have fun. That’s the most important part.

Tracy Apps:

I love it.

Amy Masson:

Love it.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter or join our Facebook group. We would be honored if you subscribe to the show. You can find us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google play, and iTunes. Finally, if you want to be on the show or know someone who would visit our website @womeninwp.com, until next time.

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