Uncommonly Good Community: Divi Nation at WordCamp Orange County 2016

Posted on July 12, 2016 by in Divi Resources | 39 comments

Uncommonly Good Community: Divi Nation at WordCamp Orange County 2016

Welcome to Day 43 of our Divi 100 Marathon. Keep tuning in for 100 days in a row of awesome Divi resources as we count down to the amazing release of Divi 3.0 on the final day of the series!


This past weekend was in Santa Anna, California. One of many WordPress conferences taking place around the world where fellow WordPressers can get together to share their knowledge, insights, gifts and talents with the whole WordPress Community.

Coinciding with this particular WordCamp, was another event. For the first time ever members of the Divi Community from all across the globe gathered together for a sort of unofficial “meetup within a conference”. A chance to meet in person the people they chat and collaborate with online every single day. A chance to shake hands, hug, share a meal (or an Airbnb house) and shamelessly talk shop late into the night with other passionate members of the Divi Nation.

While everyone attending this event from the Divi Community was no doubt excited to go, I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect. But having come through the other side I can happily report that this event was something truly special.

diviwcoc-group-image-by-David-Blackmon

From left to right, back row to front: Tami Heaton, Andrea Walker, Jerry Simmons, Terry Hale, Geno Quiroz, Nick Roach, Tim Strifler, Mor Cohen, David Blackmon, Tammy Grant, Andy Tran, Sarah Oats, Mitch Skolnik, Nathan B. Weller, Leslie Bernal, SJ James, Vivien Quiroz. Image by David Blackmon.

#diviwcoc2016: Some Highlights & Some Insights

A post like this one is incredibly intimidating to write. The experience of meeting everyone from the community in person, the richness and nuance of the various conversations, and the mix of powerful emotions–they all seem to defy articulation so that you never feel like you quite captured what it was like to be there. But as the maxim goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. So I’ve decided to curate a small selection of the images taken by the Divi community at the event and provide short snippets of context to accompany them. I’ll let your imagination do the rest!

diviwcoc-community-shows-up-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

Festivities are kicked off Friday as the Divi Nation rolls in from all over the United States and from at least two other countries.

diviwcoc-divi-incubator-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

They call their Airbnb house an “incubator”. “Work” is done. Pied Piper is born? Aviato!

diviwcoc-more-community-shows-up-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

Work is quickly abandoned for some fun time out on the town.

diviwcoc-et-team

image by Geno Quiroz

Later the Carpetcleaninghaddontownship team joins everyone at the Airbnb house for the first of two late night hangout sessions.

diviwcoc-friday-night-fun-1-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

Drinks are had by the pool.

diviwcoc-friday-night-pizza-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

An insane amount of pizza is ordered.

diviwcoc-friday-night-fun-2-by-Tami-Heaton

image by Tami Heaton

We discover that Mitch and Nick are much better than your average ping-pong players.

diviwcoc-friday-night-fun-3-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

SJ does this with a pool cue but it’s ok because he’s from the UK (and he beat us all mercilessly at pool).

diviwcoc-friday-night-fun-4-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-friday-night-fun-5-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

Generally, a lot of great connections are made.

diviwcoc-darth-sign-by-David-Blackmon

image by David Blackmon

diviwcoc-conference-shot-1-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

Saturday, the conference begins.

diviwcoc-sessions-1-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-sessions-2-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

Speakers speak and learning commences.

Tim Strifler, Nick Roach and Geno Quiroz.

Image by Tim Strifler.

diviwcoc-conference-shot-3-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-conference-shot-4-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-conference-shot-5-by-SJ-James

image by SJ James

The Divi Nation sticks together.

diviwcoc-Sarah-Oats-interview-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

Like any good podcaster, I take advantage of this to get some interviews.

diviwcoc-tami-heaton-speaks-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

Sunday, Tami Heaton speaks as part of a panel with Jeff Turner, Alex Vasquez, Chris Lema, and Greg Douglas.

diviwcoc-supporting-tami-1-by-SJ-James

image by SJ James

diviwcoc-supporting-tami-2-by-Leslie-Bernal

Cathy replaces Adam? image by Leslie Bernal

The Divi Nation shows its support.

diviwcoc-after-party-1-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

diviwcoc-after-party-4-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-after-party-5-by-Geno-Quiroz

image by Geno Quiroz

Finally we wrapped things up with an excellent Divi After Party before heading off to the airport. Oh, and this happened.

diviwcoc-after-party-2-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

diviwcoc-after-party-3-by-David-Blackmon

image by David Blackmon

Note: if I got any of the image attributions incorrect or you would rather me not use your image in this post just let me know in the comments and I will make the change.

My Big Takeaway

An experience like this one definitely qualifies as a peak social experience. I can imagine that as time goes by, as the community grows, and as more Divi events are created and launched the people fortunate enough to have attended this event will reminisce on just how special it was. How no event since has ever been quite like it.

And, in my opinion, they’ll be right.

I doubt any event in the future will be able to re-create exactly what happened for the fifteen or so Divi Nation members who came out this weekend. But we can reflect on what some of the contributing factors to this weekend’s wild success may have been and learn from them.

So, as we look to the future of Divi events–whether they be meetups, work retreats, conferences, or something we haven’t thought of yet–here is the one big takeaway at the top of my mind:

“Uncommonly Good Community” is fostered, not forced; Facilitated, not managed or controlled.

There is no way that this weekend would have been nearly as unique and special if it had all been planned and co-ordinated by us here at Carpetcleaninghaddontownship. The real magic happened because the relationships within the community were ready for something like this and they made it happen. We just showed up to cheer them on and participate ourselves–to “signal boost” the real and genuine excitement this group of designers and developers share for their craft, the tools of their trade, and the friends they’ve made while doing the work they love.

So while I don’t think it’s possible for us or anyone else to consciously re-create this past weekend in the future, I do think that we can help foster new experiences that will be exactly what they need to be for the people in our community ready to have them. There will be many brainstorming sessions here at ET in the weeks and months ahead to figure out exactly what that kind of facilitation looks like. But you can be sure that this is the first of many Divi events to come.

Don’t Miss A Special Episode of Divi Nation This Friday

diviwcoc-nathan-w-camera-by-Leslie-Bernal

image by Leslie Bernal

As you probably noticed in some of the images above I was shooting various short interviews and other video throughout the event. This Friday I will be sharing the result in a special Divi Nation Short that you won’t want to miss!

Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and so that you never miss a big announcement, useful tip, or Divi freebie!

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Divi 100 Day 43

The Countdown To Divi 3.0

This post is part of our Divi 100 marathon. Follow along as we post free Divi resources for 100 days in a row! This 100-day countdown will end with the game-changing release of Divi 3.0, including our brand new visual editor built from the ground up using React. Divi 3.0 will change the way you build websites with the Divi Builder forever!
Let the countdown begin.

Learn More About Divi 3.0


39 Comments

  1. Wonderful article Nathan!! Loved reading this and I can look at these pictures over and over and never get sick of them, I already miss everybody including you ET dudes. No joke I’ve got the Divi blues lol but it was so great that this happened. I will forever be warm and fuzzy inside when I think about this past weekend ?
    If anyone would care to look at more snapshots, tweets and what not we’ve got a site for that ?

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Thanks Leslie! And yes, everyone should definitely check out that link!

    • What you did is amazing, Leslie!

  2. This past weekend was such a blast! It was amazing to meet everyone in person. The Divi community is beyond incredible and a testament to the whole Carpetcleaninghaddontownship team. The fact that you guys made the trip out to hang out with us says it all!! 🙂

    • Nathan B. Weller

      It was such a privilege to meet everyone there in person and get to know some of you even better. Loved it!

  3. Wow! That’s a Team, with capital T!

  4. Looks like an awesome time! I really want to get to my first Wordcamp this year. Glad you all had a great time!

    On a side note, wasn’t there supposed to be a new DIVI 100 extension today? Did that schedule change?

    LOVING the DIVI 100 countdown. Every day is a new treat. Can’t wait for 3.0 to hit! Thanks for all your hard work!

    Brent

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Yes the schedule has changed. When the extensions do come out they will be on Tuesdays. However, the time it was taking to create the extensions was taking away from Divi 3.0 development and we figured you all would rather us hit that deadline 😉

      After all, we can always create more freebies after the launch!

  5. Love it!! Can’t wait ’til Friday to hear the interviews 🙂

    -That face-swap of Andy and David creeped me out though ;P

  6. Followed you guys via Facebook all weekend… Lots of great pics were published and you picked out some great ones of the ones that went online. It totally communicates you guys had a lot of fun. Can’t wait till Friday, to see “moving pictures.” 🙂

  7. I had a great and warm conversation upon meeting David Blackmon, who was positively glowing from the quality of the big Airbnb clubhouse experience, as well as WordCampOC itself. So I can attest. One of the tangible benefits for me was learning of the Divi Demo Zone, created by his Aspen Grove Studios, which subsequently gave me a solid look at the true backend nature of the Divi Builder. I think this just might be a groundbreaking marketing tool, so thanks again David! Also, I must say I was very impressed with the questions and contributions by the Divi Gang all through the weekend’s excellent talks. Cheers & Good Onyas!

    • Oh Wow thank you for the kind words Michael. Carpetcleaninghaddontownship is without a doubt (IMHO) the greatest WordPress company in the world. It was really great meeting you, good luck in your endeavors and please do not hesitate to reach out if you need help or get stuck. Divi has an amazing community around it. Until our paths cross again my friend.

      Best,
      David

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Next time we’re at the same event, feel free to come say hi and hang out with us 🙂

  8. Quite honestly, this is one of the things that makes Divi (and ET) such an amazing WP framework.

    I really love the dedication and the pictures perfectly show what the online community (in several FB groups) is all about and what makes the conversation there so special.

    I really love Divi and hope to be part of one of these come-togethers any time soon (soooo inspiring!)

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Good to hear Phil! In addition to attending a few more WordCamps this year we’ll be ramping up our presence at WordCamps in 2017 so this kind of thing can happen more often. We’ve also got some pretty cool plans for our Meetup Account. Stay tuned for updates on all of the above!

  9. I’m so glad you all got to have this experience! Plus it was great getting to sneak in and meet you at the final dinner.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      So nice meeting you Melissa 🙂

      I’m looking forward to having you on the Divi Nation Podcast to talk freelancer finances!

  10. Superb write up, Nathan! Thanks so much for the time you spent carefully curating the images and crafting the right words.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      My pleasure Terry. It was so great meeting you and everyone else who was able to make it out.

  11. Great environment of work, that´s the way it should be

  12. This is simply great! Looking forward to the next version…

    Cheers!

  13. Thanks for summarizing a great weekend Nathan! We already knew that the Carpetcleaninghaddontownship team was spectacular professionally but on a personal level you guys really are the whole package. This weekend is one for the record books, lots and lots of first for the oldest member of the weekend. I am motivated like never before to continue to help Divi grow and to maintain it as the #1 WordPress theme in the world! Tell Nick, Mitch and Andy I said hello and thanks for doing what you guys do.

  14. What an awesome team! #LoveDivi

  15. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. It felt like we have been doing this for years. Then every now and then we realized how surreal it actually was and then someone would have to stop to snap a pic. Because most of us had either only heard of each other or have worked together online. Many lives and many businesses will be permanently changed after this weekend. So many new ideas, products, services, goals and visions came out of this meet-up. I can’t wait for the next “reunion”.

  16. Cool!

  17. Thanks for curating these images Nathan! This weekend was everything any of us could have hoped it would be. We’ll have to do something in the UK so I can kick some ass on a proper (English) pool table haha.

    Big shout out to Geno for making the Divi house a reality. 🙂

    • Nathan B. Weller

      I’m up for the trip to the UK! Happy to lose at pool there too, haha. Or do you guys call it billiards? Are those different games?

  18. Haha, seems like a blast. What a great team!

  19. I’d really love to attend a Divi conference.

  20. Thank you so very much Nathan for putting into words and visuals a great event. It was great to finally meet all you guys and I look forward to seeing my friends again one day soon. If I do not make it to Columbus WC I will be there in spirit cheering you on you can bet.

  21. Looks like everybody had a great time! Good for you!

  22. Even though there’s 8766 kilometers between me and where these pictures where taken, I’ve really enjoyed them and reading this article.

    Thanks for sharing the fun!

    If there’s ever a Divi conference in The Netherlands, I’ll definitely attend.

  23. This solidifies my intent to go WC Orlando.

    As you are a professional writer, I would hope you had caught this:
    “The Divi Nation shows it’s support.”

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Even us pros can have a typo every now and again.

  24. Wow! Great post.Thank you so much.

  25. Thanks for sharing. Looks like everyone had a great time.

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