Meet the Moderators: Jerry Bates

There are so many great videos created at WordCamps and WordPress meetups around the world. As mentioned in December, 441 WordCamp videos were published to by the end of 2012! We want to ensure these talks, presentations, and tutorials are shared with as many people as possible.

So, we’re very excited about the new team of moderators. We formed a team of volunteers to review and approve the video content uploaded to to ensure accuracy and quality, and to moderate comments and engage with the community.

Here on the blog, we’d like to introduce you to these moderators in a Q&A post series. These moderators are WordPress enthusiasts — just like many of you out there — and we want to share their stories about how they got involved with WordPress.

First up in our Q&A series? Jerry Bates.

Jerry Bates
San Jose, CA

Jerry Bates

Jerry Bates

How did you get involved with WordPress?

I found WordPress sort of by accident — I was looking for a way, as a non-coder, to build a website for myself. I had no concept of “open source” or “community” at the time, but WordPress was the perfect solution for what I needed. Fast forward a few years, and I’ve built a business (and a lot of websites) based solely on WordPress, which I think is pretty amazing!

I attended my first WordCamp — WordCamp San Francisco 2011 — and it was an incredible experience. Not only did I come away a whole lot smarter, but I experienced a “community” spirit firsthand and was impressed by the accessibility of the core team, speakers, and even Matt himself. WordPress went from being a tool to build sites to something I felt a part of. I decided I wanted to find ways to make my own contributions.

Since that first WordCamp experience, I’ve been active in the support forums, participate on documentation and UI discussions for core, and now moderate videos. I was even able to help contribute directly to WordPress 3.5 as well. If I have learned anything since that first WordCamp, it’s that if you truly want to help make WordPress better, your contributions will be welcomed by the community.  It is an incredibly rewarding thing in which to be involved.

What do you do when you’re not helping out with WordPress projects?

I run a little web design studio called FittingSites. I have been designing and building WordPress-powered sites for clients since 2010, though first started using WordPress myself in 2007. Before WordPress, I was a “traditional” graphic designer and commercial photographer, and because of this foundation, good design and a well-thought-out user experience are still important to me, even today.

Why do you want to be a moderator?

I think video is a great way to learn, and something I’m attracted to because of my background in photography. I’ve always viewed as a useful WordPress resource, but one that I feel could be improved. When I heard about the call for moderators, I jumped at the chance. I now get to be directly involved in two things I’m passionate about — video and WordPress — and use them to help make WordPress education more accessible to everyone. Plus, I learn so much “on the job” simply by watching all of these informative WordCamp presentations, which is an awesome fringe benefit.

What other things do you like to do?

When I’m not online, I enjoy collecting (and sometimes using) old-school cameras, cooking, and working on my classic car, which I’m slowly restoring.  

Stay tuned for the next Q&A in this series! If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress events, such as WordCamps and WordPress meetups, check out the Making WordPress Events discussion forum. You can also see what Jerry and the moderators are up to at wptvmods.

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