Today I am excited to announce that in the coming weeks we will be creating and launching an Elegant Themes Podcast & YouTube show. This as yet unnamed show (feel free to put any name suggestions you may have in the comments below) will focus on providing you–the Elegant Themes Community–with the knowledge, insights, and support you need to be successful with Divi and the growing ecosystem of Divi products that are coming down the line.
Taking Community to the Next Level
My first blog post for Elegant Themes was published in February of 2014. With just a few exceptions, I wrote at least one article a week on this blog until the beginning of July 2015. That works out to roughly 70 blog posts and a whole lot of interaction with the Elegant Themes community.
Here are a few things I’ve learned in the process:
This community loves to engage. I’ve written for a lot of blogs and the Elegant Themes blog has a wealth of community members who love to jump down in the comments and discuss the posts, ask questions, propose ideas, and encourage both the bloggers who are writing and the rest of the community who are commenting. This makes it a real privilege to blog here.
This community really cares about the products. Every time a sneak peak post or theme/plugin release post is published, this blog goes bonkers and the comments section lights up.
This community wants (and deserves) greater access to the behind the scenes action going on at Elegant Themes. Not only are posts about Divi products (their use, production, and releases) the most popular posts we publish, but they’re in far greater demand than we have been able to keep up with in the past.
This community gets things done. Seeing this community’s entrepreneurial spirit put a tool as empowering as Divi to use in their lives and businesses has been so much fun to watch and participate in that I’m ready to go deeper.
For all of these reasons and more, I began talking with Nick about what I could do to help take the Elegant Themes Community to the next level. I threw out some ideas and in the end we landed on a weekly show designed to serve, celebrate, and empower Divi users.
In the sections below I’ll show you how we plan to do that. And, of course, invite you to participate in the process every step of the way.
General Show Structure
For the most part this show is intended to be an interview/discussion driven podcast. Each episode will feature a guest host and a topic specific to that guest’s WordPress/Divi experience.
All of our guest hosts will be Divi community members and/or experts in creative or technical areas our community could benefit from. Such as web design, development, marketing, security, and more.
Due to the nature of podcasts and youtube shows, we are not locked in to a specific episode length–giving us the freedom to let great conversations run long and keep conversations that don’t need to be dragged out tight and interesting.
To augment these conversations and add a variety of Divi-related value, each episode will also include a few other segments.
At the moment, I’m planning on these segments ranging in length from ~1-5 minutes depending on the circumstances. A few of them, such as “This Week in WordPress” and “Divi Quick Tip” are likely to become recurring bits that occur on every episode. The others will be spaced out accordingly, depending on the quality of content we have to share under that segment’s umbrella.
This Week in WordPress
The idea for this segment is pretty much exactly what you would expect. I’ll run through some of the biggest WordPress news of that week and then briefly discuss WordPress as a whole with whoever that episode’s guest host is.
I’m imagining this as a nice way to get the ball rolling and lead into a our deeper conversation later in the episode.
Divi Quick Tip
With the release of Divi 2.4+ there are so many amazing things you can do with the built in settings that I want to make sure we’re thoroughly educating the Elegant Themes Community on how to get the most out of them.
Divi Design Challenge
There are so many types of websites (and now blog post variations) that are possible with Divi, that I wanted to include a segment in the show that encourages the community to push their own boundaries and then have the opportunity to share their discoveries and accomplishments–and be celebrated for them!
There are a lot of potential design challenges that we might issue. Some examples include:
- Best use of a full-screen header
- Most effective landing page (with stats to prove it)
- Best blog design
- Best blog post using the Divi builder
- Most creative use of custom CSS on a module
- And many more
After a challenge is issued during the podcast, entries will be accepted via email. Once we’ve had a chance to review the entries and compare them to an objective set of criteria (which will be part of the prompt in the first place) we will announce the winners on the next podcast episode. And perhaps even write a special blog post featuring the results and best entries.
Divi Site Makeover
So many people are over-hauling their own websites or re-vamping client websites with Divi and achieving such stunning results that we thought it would be cool if we showed them off to the rest of the community. That’s why every once in a while we will have the Divi Site Makeover segment featured on the show and in similar fashion to the Design Challenge, feature the make-overs that wowed us the most.
This segment is all about featuring plugins that work well with Divi and make the lives of Divi users better. As is the case with almost all of these segments, we will gladly accept recommendations, test them, and those that prove themselves to work well may be featured.
Elegant Themes Product Updates
This is a big one. Because this podcast/show has the potential to become the primary source for both community and useful information surrounding Divi and Divi products, it seems logical to me that it would also be a good place to keep the community more up-to-date on product developments than we’ve been able to on this blog in the past.
Ultimately, any segment that the community finds valuable (and which stays on point) is one that we’re interested in creating. So feel free to take to the comments below and share your thoughts on the segments described above as well as segment ideas you’d love to see us bring to life.
Putting the Pieces Together
Now that you know what all of the various pieces of the show look like separately, let me walk you through a possible episode that puts all of these pieces together:
Opening music and title graphics
Episode and guest introductions
Segment: This Week in WordPress
Brief discussion of WordPress news with guest host
Segment: Divi Quick Tip
Segment: Divi Design Challenge
Main Interview/Discussion Introduction
Main Interview/Discussion Closing
Next Week on the Podcast teaser
Closing music and title graphics
As mentioned above, each episode may vary in length depending on the quality and duration of the main interview/discussion. I think something between 30 minutes and 1 hour is a good goal to shoot for, but ultimately we’ll have to see how it goes and what everyone does and does not like.
Personally though, and this is something I mentioned to Nick recently, I want this show to reflect the same values that have made Divi a success in the first place. Which is to present something ambitious; designed with care and polished to perfection; insanely useful; and a cut above the competition.
I realize that we will probably not hit all of these marks with the first episode, or even the first several episodes, but those are my goals and I think given enough time we can create something really special for this community.
Ok, so that’s the show–more or less–but how will you access it? This is one of my favorite aspects of our show concept so far: I’d like to release each episode in a variety of formats and in a variety of locations.
We’ll record each episode as a video show, but take care to make sure it works in audio format too. When released, you’ll be able to get each episode in the following formats:
- An audio podcast
- A video podcast
- A YouTube Show
- A native Facebook video
- And as audio/video embedded in a blog post
You will also have access to individual segments and interviews/discussions via separate YouTube and Facebook videos. So if you end up being tight on time and just want a given week’s “Divi Quick Tip”, you know exactly where to go and can get just what you want.
Let’s Make Something Amazing Together
At the end of the day, this podcast is all about you. Every segment is designed to empower, celebrate, and enrich the lively and active community that makes Elegant Themes possible in the first place.
We’re going to be promoting your work, telling your stories, sharing your wisdom, and giving you unprecedented access to the information you need about the WordPress software that runs so many of our businesses and hobbies.
In the coming weeks I’ll be working hard to get our first show ready to share with all of you. I would love to read any and all thoughts, comments, and suggestions you may have in the comments below. I will read each and every one and take it all into account as we take this next step together.
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