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March 4th 2022
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Community Interview – Dan Maby

Session overview

What to expect:

Join Dan as he shares her experience of giving back to the community.

Dan is the Founder of Big Orange Heart, where he helps deliver a vision of better well-being and mental health support within remote working communities.

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Dan Maby – Community Interview – Dan Maby

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Yogesh Londhe: Hey, Lex. [00:03:00]

Lax Mariappan: Hello. Welcome again.

Yogesh Londhe: Welcome again to Asia stage one and we are in session 1 0 7. Joining us live now is Dan Maby himself, not maybe himself. He is. But yeah, maybe it’s the name. Okay. So Dan is our lead WordFest organizer and director of Big Orange Heart. This WordFest, we are taking some time to get to know our organizers and why they volunteer for this huge job.

Yogesh Londhe: Why do they give so much time? What they do when they are not, uh, WordFest’ing, and to learn a little bit more about the person, the human who is Dan Maby. Okay. And about people were contributing to Big Orange Heart. Hey Dan.

Dan Maby: Hello. Hello.[00:04:00]

Yogesh Londhe: This is the session where I’ve been looking for. And I’m lucky enough to be here in person. So Dan, maybe himself. So he is himself, but Dan Maby

Yogesh Londhe: Dan, we’ve got few questions for you, but not enough time. Sure. Thank you very much. Thank you very much for doing this WordFest and thank you very much for.

Dan Maby: Yeah, you’re very, very welcome. And, uh, and did just wanna say thank you both for giving your time and equally across, across this events.

Dan Maby: There are obviously, we’ve got some of these 108 volunteer roles that are being filled just during that 28 to 24 hour period to us. We’re delivering this event. So a huge thank you to everybody that’s involved, uh, across, uh, across WordPress. Does that mean that

Yogesh Londhe: they say that, uh, find the cause and means we’ll follow a good [00:05:00] cause people do come to it.

Dan Maby: Absolutely.

Dan Maby: Uh, let’s let’s start with the questions then. Um, so much to learn about you. What do you, what, what is Dan’s role in WordFest? What does Dan do and WordFest?

Dan Maby: Um, I, if I’m honest, come up with lots of silly ideas and then try and find people that will bring those ideas to reality. So, um, my, so my official role across WordPress Fest live is a lead organizer.

Dan Maby: Uh, so essentially, uh, ensuring that we’ve got the teams in the right places, individuals, you know, making sure that individuals understand what they are. That tasks they’re undertaking and basically supporting the team leads. So we have a number of teams across word Fest. We have our speakers teams, our marketing teams, our DevOps, uh, there’s AV teams, our sponsors teams.

Dan Maby: There’s, there’s quite a number of them. And basically, um, the, the idea of, uh, for me, is to ensure that each team leads. [00:06:00] Is supported. And I want to make sure that every role is supported in a way that’s, uh, that is needed. Making sure that the mission of Big Orange Heart is fulfilled all the way through, um, the delivery of WordFest Live.

Dan Maby: Obviously with our mission being to support and promote positive wellbeing and mental health within remote working communities. Uh, and the idea of delivering an event of this scale across a 24 hour period. With any of such a huge global audience there is. Yeah. There’s the potential for, uh, for, for, um, stressful situations, stressful scenarios to start to creep in.

Dan Maby: We, of course, that’s, that’s the last thing that we want to be creating as a, you know, as a, as an organization that’s focused on wellbeing. Um, we need to make sure that this, you know, this, this, uh, delivery of this event is taken undertaken in such a way that it really doesn’t have a negative impact on the community that are delivering it.

Yogesh Londhe: Thank you very much. [00:07:00] Uh, uh, you know, WordFest always makes me happy and it, you know, it always has a very positive impact on the community,

Yogesh Londhe: so, you know. Okay. So Lax next question? Uh, yeah.

Lax Mariappan: So next question. Why do you think events like WordFest is important?

Dan Maby: So that is a great question. And I think we’re in this, um, we’re certainly in a transitional period, I would say, uh, we’ve obviously had an incredibly challenging couple of years to say the very least there’s been an awful lot of, um, change that we’ve had to adapt to an awful lot of things that we’ve had to, um, overcome.

Dan Maby: Uh, both, you know, for, for, for many, many reasons, but, um, obviously not least the fact that as a community, we’ve not been able to truly be together. And the, if we specifically talk about the WordPress community for a minute, I think the WordPress community. Very [00:08:00] very kind of bound around the people. And it’s a very special community is a community that I’ve absolutely fell in love with.

Dan Maby: I’ve spent a long time within, and really we wanted to deliver something that could enable people to come together and create some semblance of that community spirit whilst coming together. Trying to, you know, there’s been lots of attempts around delivering virtual events and there, there are a lot of challenges in relation to it, but really we want to be creating a scenario where it feels very community driven and it’s about the community that’s delivering the event.

Dan Maby: And it’s about that, that same feel that I think we can, we do get in our in-person or physical events, which we have obviously been lacking for for some time. Um, so it’s about bringing the community together, creating an environment where the community truly feels part of the event. [00:09:00] Uh, but also making sure that we are creating an environment where our community members can come together and we’re, you know, we’re reducing that ability, you know, that, um, impact that social isolation can have.

Dan Maby: Uh, if we’re in an environment where we can’t physically come in,

Yogesh Londhe: Thank you very much for doing this. And, uh, I think, uh, you know, if, uh, you should put this question to. Let them come up with the short clip. I’m sure if you allow me Topher, Michelle, to talk about this, we could talk for a few days. Why this, why, WordFest? Why, WordFest is important? Yep. Yep.

Dan Maby: Yeah. Okay. So Yogesh if you’ll allow me, why, why do you, what is for you interesting? It’s interesting to hear what is, what is the importance of WordFest?

Yogesh Londhe: Yeah. So some of the, the first thing will overlap with what to say, you know, WordFest brings people together. It makes people, you know, the, the social [00:10:00] contact, the feeling of community coming together, learning from each other.

Yogesh Londhe: And it’s not only learning. It’s about, uh, mental health, the very important issue, especially in this stressful time in last two years. And we don’t know what’s going to in this uncertain time. Uh, you know, coming together and meeting people, you know, uh, contacting with people you still don’t know and making new connections.

Yogesh Londhe: And on top of that, learning new things about, uh, what, WordPress and the best part is it’s it’s, uh, goes around the world. So it’s truly globally event. It brings the world together. It’s uh, you can choose what session you want to join. What, where do you want to go? And so it really brings the world, the whole global purpose community together.

Yogesh Londhe: Yep. Very important. Thank you very much for doing this.

Dan Maby: You’re very welcome and safe. It’s a community, a community driven [00:11:00] thing. So, um, you know, across the board that, uh, I just, I just feel it’s, it’s wonderful to see. So, um, if you are a participantin WordFest Live right now. Um, there are, you know, there’s a, there’s a great opportunity around the, the, you know, the venue fever to connect with people, head over to the community tent, spend time, spend time with the, uh, with the community, jump on a table, jump in there with the sponsors, uh, you know, just simply connect with, with the community again.

Dan Maby: But it’s not just about that. Um, something that I really, really enjoy seeing is the way. Across, for example, across our slack community, the way everybody supports one another in their roles. And it’s just wonderful to see how people can just really step up and, you know, w we’re getting volunteers answering questions for volunteers, and it’s just a really.

Dan Maby: Special kind of, um, uh, a community bond, I [00:12:00] guess, uh, that we, that we see across this. And it’s lovely. Usually we see the screenshot people taking photos of, you know, their environment and how they’re enjoying WordFest Live and just creating those little moments and, um, you know, jumping over to the, the photo booth, getting it, getting a little photo snaps and obviously sharing that across the social, all these little things. I think they just add up to what often becomes quite a, quite a special thing.

Yogesh Londhe: Sure, sure.

Lax Mariappan: To add to your question. It’s like, uh, I’d like to share my experience with WordFest so far. So last year is my first time to attend the WordFest and that time I had my first anxiety attack just a few days ago and I was there. I was recording my Udemy courses with my girlfriend. Got stuck in a quadrant. Like she had to stay away. And I was actually, I’m the only person in that apartment. So it’s like mentally, I couldn’t go out as well because of, you know, people consider that I’m exposed to the [00:13:00] virus, something like that. So it’s like, it was literally, it was too anxious in nervous or um, I’m a talkative person. I never been alone or I’m not used to that one. And luckily I was like, oh, WordFest I seen that. Like, I was like, okay. I just thought like, it’s another WordPress event like WordPress has a lot of communities, a lot of things. And then. And I joined it. I mean, it was just joined as a participant and I visited, um, all the attended all the sessions.

Lax Mariappan: And then I visited the tents in, uh, I chat with, uh, one of the sponsors like Elementor group and other groups as well. I saw Yoast community as well. They have had this, like you said, the sponsorships and. Giveaways and games. And also what not, like you can ask any question about Yoast. You can ask any question about Elementor and things like that.

Lax Mariappan: And, and also you get to meet other people as well in the community chat. So it’s like, I spent almost the whole day. It was not an hour long shifts, so that’s my experience. [00:14:00] And that’s how I was like, oh, okay. So it helps that that’s, that’s kind of the day I discovered like being with people, like being with like-minded people really helps.

Lax Mariappan: And also I was also able to answer some of the questions of other participants as well. So that helped me like, okay. I also like to overcome my imposter syndrome and other stuff.

Dan Maby: Sure. Yeah. Lax Thank you though. I mean, that is that that’s wonderful to hear because essentially that’s what we’re looking to achieve here. The ability to, for people to come together, uh, come together as a community, uh, connect with one another and you know, there, I’ve got some, um, really. Uh, I would say I’m really blessed to be able to say that off the back of working with a number of the, um, the, the core team members, uh, across waitress life, I’ve got friends for life here.

Dan Maby: Um, and you know, it really is about, you know, building up, how do we, um, you know, make sure that we are supported, uh, you know, between, you know, with one another, um, that is ultimately what [00:15:00] Big Orange Heart is. You know, we, we’re trying to ensure that we are, uh, enabling positive. Uh, positive focus around wellbeing and mental health for our community, our remote working community.

Dan Maby: So these opportunities to deliver these events where we can come together, that really a key focus for us. Uh, something I did want to just mention that, um, you know, Pushing forward and we will be building out, uh, through throughout 2022. Uh, thanks to our global sponsors. And I just want to quickly say a thank you to Bluehost, Cloudways, GoDaddy Pro, Nexcess, Weglot and Yoast for coming on board as global sponsors. They are actually enabling us to build out our LifeGroup program. So this is an exciting program that we’re going to be bringing. Uh, we’re going to be expanding upon. We’ve already been delivering it within Big Orange Heart. It’s something that’s been tested for some time now.

Dan Maby: And we’re looking forward to bringing that into the community, which again is an opportunity for community members really to come together and, [00:16:00] uh, and to support one another. So we simply couldn’t do it without the, the, you know, the financial support that these companies provide. Uh, but equally we are incredibly grateful for every single penny that is donated, uh, by the general public. Uh, and again, if you’re, if you’re, uh, here on WordFest Live and you’ll, you’re gaining any benefit, you’re taking something away. If you have the ability to, uh, we would really appreciate it. If you could hit the donate now button in the menu.

Dan Maby: Um, but I also know that I can keep talking for a very long time and we’ve got some far more important sessions coming up.

Yogesh Londhe: So yeah, let’s, let’s, let’s take this last two minutes to talk about, uh, Dan, the human. Okay. So what’s your full-time job. We’ll make it quick. Rapid questions.

Dan Maby: Full time. Job is currently focused on Big Orange Heart.

Yogesh Londhe: Okay. That’s your full-time job. Okay. Thank you very much. Tell us about your family on, uh, if you [00:17:00] have a non-human family four legged family.

Dan Maby: I do. And I’m surprised you actually can’t hear him snoring away down in the corner here. I’ve got a three year old Beagle asleep in the corner here.

Yogesh Londhe: Lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely.

Yogesh Londhe: And so tell us about your families.

Dan Maby: Yes. Yeah, my, my I’ve got a, an ever, um, ever giving wife that said that supports me, supports me tremendously through this. And the fact that we’re sitting here. Yeah, absolutely. For me, I mean, we’re sitting here at 5:00 AM in the morning for me. She, so she’s sleeping in the, in the room next door and, you know, uh, I’m just, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it wasn’t for the support network that I had around me.

Yogesh Londhe: Thank you. Also, I connect with anybody who has a four legged family. I live with a lot of pets. Yes. I got like 20 dogs and 30 odd [00:18:00] cats and so many other wild animals yet. Okay. So. Uh, what would, other than WordFest, what other ways do you contribute to what this community?

Dan Maby: Uh, so we’ve, I’ve been running events for a very long time. Uh, so obviously pre a near we’re going back more than a decade now in terms of delivery of, uh, in-person physical events. Um, and. I’m very community focused for me. It’s about the people. Um, you know, we, we often hear it. You came for the tech and stayed for the people. Uh, it’s a bit of, a bit of a cliche, but it absolutely is true for myself.

Dan Maby: Um, you know, the, the moment I stepped into a meetup, I was hooked. I then went from the meetup into a, um, a WordCamp. And from there on it was a, that was it.

Yogesh Londhe: Yeah. And so, uh, Dan, thank you very much for doing this and we would love to talk with you for [00:19:00] much longer. We already have gone beyond time, so, yep. I really connect with you because I, I am also, you’re only for community now. I did come for tech and state for community. Thank you very much.

Dan Maby: Thank you. Uh, I appreciate your time. And as I mentioned before, thank you very much for, for giving your time into, into this, both of you and everybody else behind the scenes.

Lax Mariappan: Yeah. Thank you for giving us this platform and the opportunity so that we all can contribute to.

Yogesh Londhe: Okay. Allowing us to come here to this platform. Okay.

Yogesh Londhe: Great. Okay. So, um, that was, uh, Dan Maby himself the human and, uh, it was amazing to talk with him. So now we go on to session 1 0 8. Okay. So this is, uh, our sponsor interview with, uh, Thomas Fanchin of Weglot. Emily [00:20:00] Hukler met with Thomas earlier to see what makes Weglot Vishal and why this. Committed to the WordPress community and Big Orange Heart.

Yogesh Londhe: Okay. So this is, um, the recorded interview by Emily. With Thomas. We will have, uh, the adverts from our amazing sponsors and the video of the interview. Okay. Thank you.

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