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Uninvited from the WordPress community summit

After being invited a month ago and have already arranged the hotel and flight tickets, today was the moment I was uninvited. This in a way that I would never do. I would not have mind as much if I would have lived around the corner but I’m coming from The Netherlands. It isn’t that cheap to fly over and it takes some time. Also I would not have gone to WordCamp US if I wasn’t invited to the summit. Below is the email I got and you can make your mind around it on how bad it is.

Hello Marko,

I’ve been assisting with some of the organization for the Community Summit.

I noticed that when you applied for an invitation this year you marked that you were part of the community team, but as far as I can tell you are not a meetup or WordCamp organizer. Keep in mind that your involvement with WordCamp Belgrade this year does not qualify, as you are not a resident of Serbia and thus not eligible to be on the Belgrade organizing team.

I understand that this email is coming a lot later than is ideal, but unfortunately you’re not eligible to come to the community summit this year. There are many members of the community team that are heavily involved in organizing local meetups and WordCamps and we have very limited space. It’s important to the nature of the summit that slots are preserved for active team members. Turning them away and allowing you to attend is unfair to them. As a result, we’ve removed your name from the list of attendees.

When considering this decision, we factored in your public statements that you won’t be contributing to WordPress any longer. With limited space, it’s hard to justify your attendance over someone who’s excited to contribute for years to come.

I’m incredibly sorry that I’m only now contacting you. This was clearly an oversight in the process and we’re making sure it doesn’t happen again – to anyone – in the future.

Thank you again for your contributions to the project. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know or contact any of the community team leads.

11 Replies to “Uninvited from the WordPress community summit”

  1. Roy -

    Well. That’s okay since you don’t want to contribute anymore isn’t it?


    Marko Heijnen -

    The biggest issue is that they first invite me to go and then 2 weeks before it starts uninviting me. Also I have said that I don’t want to contribute back to core anymore. But I still build plugins and organize WordCamp Belgrade. So that’s still contributing back.


    Roy -

    Yeah. Politics suck 😉


    Marko Heijnen -

    I can agree on that.


  2. BjornW -

    Even though you might be a PITA (personally I’d welcome dissenting voices like yours, even when you’re coming across as a bit harsh at certain times) it’s not cool to un-invite you the way they are doing now unless they offer to reimburse your already made costs. This is not my type of community 🙁


    Marko Heijnen -

    I’m the first to say that I had moments I could have acted better. Specially a few years ago when I had my first disagreement. It got much better when my English improved over the years. And it’s neither my type of community.


  • Caspar Hübinger -

    So apparently the “not eligible” part is nothing but pseudo rationalization, because the whole thing really is about you being kicked out for being considered a “poisonous person” (aka jerk).

    If the whole thing would be getting honest, the part of “we factored in your public statements that you won’t be contributing to WordPress any longer” would have to be appended with “…and we’ve seen you behaving like a jerk long enough for us to not be tolerating your behavior within this project any longer”.

    Fact is, you have done this to yourself, Marko. I hope you and everyone else can see that. For as long as I’ve known you, every once in a while you would opt for building that reputation rather than for thinking twice before creating a fuzz in public. I dare call you out on that, because everyone knows I’m guilty of it myself. I can’t speak for others obviously, but to me (and we haven’t even worked together) it has become difficult to focus on and value your contributions when you would always do that thing.

    That all being said, you’re not at all a “poisonous person” to me. A character, for sure, and clearly one with a good heart. 🙂 The way they’re letting you know your communications have outweighed your contributions for them seems painfully dishonest given the fact one can see a lot in you, but hardly lack of honesty.

    I hope we’ll keep hanging out at WordCamps in the future as we used to. After all, a “summit” may define project goals for a community, but it does not define a community.


    Marko Heijnen -

    Hey Caspar,

    Firs of all thank you for he time writing this comment. I know what I have said in the last years. The things I said after 3.5 and some things I said about WordCamp Europe can certainly be found poisonous behaviour. I do reject that I have done this to myself. I’m allowed to speak up when there are issues and I know have done that a lot. No only to speak for my own issues but also for those who didn’t dare too.

    My question in that tweet still stands. And asking why the lead of WordCamp Europe wasn’t local is a fair question. I didn’t ask to provoke people but I did know it would. Simply because people would assumed the worst. If WordCamp Europe will ever be in Belgrade, I do believe Milan would be the best lead. He knows the people and the city really well and thanks to him this year was a success. I do agree with you that local organizers most likely don’t have all the experiences some others have but that doesn’t say anything about someones skills. Thats why there is a main group behind WordCamp Europe to support local organizers.

    I do want to thank you for your honesty and value that a lot and I would still love to hang out with you at WordCamps. It was always a pleasure talking with you and I see no reason to stop.


  • Wesam Alalem -

    Hi Marko,

    Your should reply “type (define community) in google search” may be they get the idea.

    Please don’t make these narrowed view people actions stop you from contributing to the community, They’ve just lost a great opportunity to meet a great guy.

    Keep up the good job.


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