I’ve spent years contributing in many ways to WordPress including on the WordPress Support Forums, WordPress.com Forums, and WordPress Codex. The other day I was cleaning out tabs in my browser and stumbled upon an open WordPress.com forum post. I wondered if the user’s question was answered. It was, but not well. I added a better answer.
Four hours later, I’m still on the forums answering questions, going back hours and hours into the past to answer the posts with no reply yet. I looked at the clock and screamed at myself. I have work, real work, paying work. I have deadlines. Commitments!
But is it so much FUN! Seriously. I love it. I could spend days and weeks doing nothing but helping these poor people out having trouble with their sites, desperate for help. It’s so rewarding. It’s also a joy to play detective, digging through the help and support files, reading through the source code of their websites, and searching the web for answers to their problems. I love it. Totally addicting.
There is a time and place for volunteering, and clearly, a balance must be kept between income producing and pro bono work, but today, it’s all about the giving.
Your blog exercise today is to identify online or physical places where you may donate your services and expertise. Add to your schedule a few hours a week or month to give back.
For me, WordPress is my world, my industry. For you, it may be crafting, coaching, consulting, talking, or building. There are volunteer and community organizations and services attached to everything.
To expand my writing skills, I joined two writing groups not long ago. One offers community events and fundraisers for other groups, and I have found myself working their book sales, setting up sound systems for special events, marketing and promoting the events, and using the skills I have plenty of to help them with their mission.
Can you swing a hammer? There are Habitat for Humanity projects and community rebuilding projects all over the world. There are also local “help a neighbor” programs with tool sharing and house maintenance assistance for the elderly you might want to get involved with.
There are programs to teach writing and blogging to prisons, senior centers, community centers, libraries, and schools. You can do that.
Don’t know what to do to give a little of your time and skills? Ask your readers. What do they recommend for you to do?
If you wish to blog about your volunteer work, share it with your readers, especially if you have been involved with such projects for a long time. Educate them about the groups you help. Help them get to know you a little better by learning about how you use your time outside of work. Invite them to join you, or help them find their own path.
Remember, you set an example on your site on how to behave in the virtual and real world. Set a good example.
The world works better when we make it a better place. Give a little, and share your giving with your readers.