In this episode, I talk to Emanuel Blagonic; a Croatian-native who has talked about the impact that WordPress has had in his native country and the community that it has built.
The first time I met Emanuel was at WordCamp Belfast 2016, where he did a talk entitled “How WordPress Changed the Face of Croatian Politics”. I was captivated by his talk and I knew I wanted to talk to him on this podcast and dive deeper.
Here are just a few things we talk about:
- how, together with the community around him, he has built a portal to encourage transparency and communication with local authorities
- how WordPress has helped him to create a path in his life and make a difference to those around him
- being part of the WordCamp Europe network and the opportunity it provides to network with like-minded people
- why Emanuel thinks accessibility is the next big thing in web standards
“…it doesn’t matter if you are holding a meetup for 10 people or 100 people or 1,000 people. It really doesn’t matter because if you are helping those 10 people then you are doing a great job because you are showing that 10 people how to be better, how to do things, you help them communicate with each other, to network and so on.” – Emanuel Blagonic
- Personal website – http://www.emanuelblagonic.com/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/eblagonic
- WordCamp Europe 2017 – https://2017.europe.wordcamp.org/
- “How WordPress Changed the Face of Croatian Politics” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddzv9zcXVNg
Ahmed: And here we go!
Welcome, everyone, again, to the IgniteRock podcast. This is your host, Ahmed Khalifa. I’m back again, and this is episode 11. I’m so excited because you are here. That is why I’m so, so excited. Thank you for being here. I really appreciate your time and listening to my voice. It’s awesome, isn’t it? Anyway, this is the IgniteRock podcast. This is where I talk to amazing, inspiring, and creative individuals who have created something awesome using WordPress. This is why I have done this, and here’s why I love doing it. It’s so, so exciting.
Today I’m going to be talking to Emanuel Blagonicc. I have met him the first time in WordCamp Belfast 2016. He is originally from Croatia, and he had done some really, really cool things using WordPress. A brief introduction about him is that he co-founded one of a better-known agency, a WordPress agency, in fact, in Croatia, and also involved in the community heavily as well. So this is going to be a really good one. Sit back, guys, just relax, as I interview Emanuel Blagonicc.Click Here to Show Transcript
And here we go, everyone. This is going to be an exciting one. I have Emanuel here on the line, and this is going to be a really, really interesting one, because the first time I saw Emanuel, as I said in the intro, is in WordCamp Belfast, and I was just really interested about what he does with WordPress, especially back in his home in Croatia. So I’m not going to talk too long about it. I’d rather he tell me, and tell us, about it in more detail.
So, Emanuel, thank you very much for your time, for joining us today. I definitely want to start with … just give us a little intro of who you are, what you do, and how you got to where you are today.
Emanuel: So, first of all, thanks, Ahmed, for having me. I wish to say hello to everyone who is listening to this podcast today. As you said, I’m from Croatia. A lot of people from the UK and other parts of the world have been there. That’s a starting point to talk with them when I’m working, basically. Of myself, I first say that I’m a father. I’m a father of a four-year-kid. I really like to spend some quality time with him. But when I do work, because I have to work since being a parent is a costly thing, I enjoy doing as much as I can with WordPress, with the design, with the WordPress community and such.
Ahmed: It’s something that you definitely wanted to talk about that you’re a father, and how it’s shaped you who you are today. It’s somethign that you’re very, very proud of that and it’s so nice to see. I remembered seeing you in a conference, with probably the most important thing in your life right now, about being a father. I mean, I’m going to assume that’s what you were saying.
Emanuel: Yeah, you’re pretty much correct. Being a father definitely changes thnigs. It puts priorities in place, you know? This thing, that I became a father, did change me a lot because now that I see the world, I’m, first of all, trying to make the world a better place for my son. You mentioned that we met first at WordCamp in Belfast. I talked about how WordPress changed the face of Croatian politics, and it is basically a story of having my priorities straight, so we got the opportunity to work with this really cool project for one of the biggest cities in Croatia, the city of Rijeka.
And it changed me to work on that. I worked on that because I really want to make something out of, I don’t know, what I do professionally. So one day when my son takes a look at me and takes a look at what I did, that he can really be proud of what I did.
Ahmed: That’s really nice. So, it’s something that, you know, from that moment, it kind of has a knock-on effect to what you do in your everyday life, in your career and your work and obviously everything that you do with WordPress. I remembered you talked about … you said that you want to make the world a better place, and not just for people around you, but for your son as well, so that has an impact. Could you talk briefly about the talk that you did in WordCamp Belfast and how you have used WordPress in Croatia? Could you explain to the listeners what was that about and what did you do and how much of an impact has that had in your own country?
Emanuel : So, I’ll try to summarise everything. When we talk about Croatia, people usually say, “Hey, Croatia’s such a beautiful country. We go there to have a great vacation. They have all these beautiful beaches, national parks, all of the great things to eat, to drink.” If you look from outside, we have a pretty normal, everyday life. But if you look from the inside, you will see that last year alone, around 50,000 people left Croatia for good. They don’t plan to return back home.
One of the biggest problems in Croatia is fighting corruption, and the project that we started to work with on with the city of Rijeka, which is, by the way, one of the most transparent cities in Croatia, is to build a new portal for the city government and to open source that for every other city, every other county, in Croatia, and maybe in the surrounding countries, so they could build their own portal for free. In that way, they could save a lot of money.
When we developed this portal, we basically tried to meet some guidelines for transparency. So we really focused on how the transparency of the portal worked. How do the people communicate with the local government, with the mayor, with the city counsellors? How these information that are really important for them, for people living in these cities and counties, how are these information shown to them?So this is what we really had in mind when we started to work on that project, and I’m really happy to say that we are recording that, and the beta website is actually online. We opened
So this is what we really had in mind when we started to work on that project, and I’m really happy to say that we are recording that, and the beta website is actually online. We opened sort of a pool of people from Rijeka, so they could give us more feedback before we push everything live and we open source everything on Github. Because at this moment, we open source only the design files, but we plan to open source the HTML and CSS templates, as well as WordPress themes at the end, and some more documents, probably, like guidelines and strategy guidelines, which is something that Croatia doesn’t have at the moment.
Ahmed: Wow. One of the main things I picked up from that is, you’re talking about a community being involved into making a difference. I have talked so many times in the past about how WordPress is such a community-based environment. You have that, combined with the community that you have in Croatia as well, you can create something quite powerful, almost like a movement for good or for the change. It’s so ironic that you used WordPress for that. It’s pretty cool, as well.I’ve always wanted to know from everyone, how did you get into WordPress in the first place and what was your experience like with that?
I’ve always wanted to know from everyone, how did you get into WordPress in the first place and what was your experience like with that?
Emanuel: I began working with WordPress more than 10 years ago. It was, back then, just a little bit of the WordPress we know today, you know? Because there weren’t custom post types at the moment and you couldn’t build everything you imagined back then. But what drew me to WordPress, being a designer, is that the documentation for WordPress is [inaudible 00:09:25]. You will get all the information you need to get you started with WordPress with developing websites.
As a designer, I usually designed things. I used Photoshop or Sketch, and after that, they go to HTML phase, where I splice everything so the design can be actually seen in the browser. But at that point, I experimented with a lot of other CMSs, like TYPO3. I never actually tried Joomla because I didn’t like it. I tried with TYPO3, some other really not that important CMSs, and at the end, I found out about WordPress. It literally changed who I am and how I do things on the Web today, in time, of course. I’m not a WordPress developer, but I go in that direction, so I could build everything I imagine in Photoshop. I can build it myself with WordPress. This is what I do and this is what pays me well.
This is what I do and this is what pays me well.
Ahmed: All right. It’s pretty cool that from all that time, you know, you’re talking over 10 years ago, you first got into WordPress. I suppose you never thought today you’d be doing what you do right now, looking back at what you did, because as I understand, you were involved in WordPress in so many ways, whether it’s in your career and you’re involving the local community in the meetup group, and as well, you have been organising WordCamp Europe as well this year. In 2017, it’s in Paris. I’m guessing you never really thought that’s going to be your life, back 10 years ago, [crosstalk]…
Emanuel: Yeah. I don’t know. I have this feeling that whatever you do, you have this 10 years period of time where you can do the best work at all. But I’m a designer, actually, so in this 10 years period of time, I didn’t do only work for websites, you know?
A lot of the things that I did was user interface design. I designed one of the first POS, point of sales softwares, in Croatia, in this region, back in, I think it was, 2008. It was a touch screen software that worked on lousy Chinese manufactured LCD touchscreens, which is something really unimaginable today, because we now have multi-touch screens and so on. Back then, we didn’t have all these opportunities.
WordPress was always here with me, and I’m really deep in love with WordPress. Not only WordPress, but the community, the open source and what WordPress can give, and inclusiveness of WordPress. WordPress was always here with me. In the past two years, past three years, maybe, and especially after the first WordCamp Europe in Leiden in the Netherlands, I started to see and I found a path, if you may say something like that. I found a path that really helps me change things, you know?
We started WordPress community in Croatia back in, I think, 2013. With our first meetup, we held our 15th meeting just last week. We started meetups in other cities as well, so today, there are five cities that have organised a meetup in Croatia. Our community’s growing each year. This is something that makes me really proud, and I see all these people that started to work with WordPress. Coming from Croatia, it’s a bit different situation down here. Not only in Croatia, but in other surrounding countries, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia. What we do and what we get paid at the end of the month is way less than what you probably get paid in the UK, so WordPress is a way of building a better life for a lot of people here. This is something that I’m really proud of, to be a small part in this popularisation of WordPress.
What we do and what we get paid at the end of the month is way less than what you probably get paid in the UK, so WordPress is a way of building a better life for a lot of people here. This is something that I’m really proud of, to be a small part in this popularisation of WordPress.
Ahmed: It’s amazing to think that all these people coming together, [inaudible] to different places, just making it more popular, making a difference for them. For anybody from the outside, for whatever reason, you would never assume that there is such a thriving, vibrant community in Croatia and the surrounding areas, especially in the WordPress community. It’s something that I learned from yourself, as well. It’s actually bigger than I thought, because I know every single country has some kind of community. It could be big or small, it doesn’t really matter, there’s a community, but …
Emanuel: I think, sorry to interrupt you, Ahmed, but…
Ahmed Khalifa: Yeah.
Emanuel Blagonic: I think that it doesn’t matter if you are holding a meetup for 10 people or 100 people or 1,000 people. It really doesn’t matter because if you are helping those 10 people then you are doing a great job because you are showing that 10 people how to be better, how to do things, you help them communicate with each other, to network and so on. So every meetup really matters. The numbers are here just for statistics, you know? I think that the numbers are not that important. What lies below that is what is really important.
Ahmed Khalifa: I agree. I agree, 100 percent agree. I have mentioned in the past that in Edinburgh, the meetup is a few dozen people, but [crosstalk] it’s a really, really nice …
Emanuel Blagonic: With WordCamp Edinburgh coming on, I’m really looking forward to …
Ahmed Khalifa: Well, here’s the thing. WordCamp Edinburgh, hopefully, is going to happen in 2017, and we tend to have people not just in a local area, but across the UK and of course abroad as well. That’s how it works, really, in the WordPress community and WordCamp. But, you know, it’s enough in the meetup we have in Edinburgh to be able to have a WordCamp in Edinburgh as well, and the past one in 2015 was successful. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, had really, really good talks, and, of course, the after party was fun. But that’s another story.
Emanuel Blagonic: After parties are fun, you know? [crosstalk] … maybe have a different [inaudible] just for the after parties.
Ahmed Khalifa: I mean, if people come from abroad come just for after party, you know what? Good for them. I’m not going to stop them from doing that. But I agree with you, that it’s not about the number of people you have. Quality over quantity, really, in this case. The few dozen that we have currently in Edinburgh, it’s fantastic So I’m sure the same applies
So I’m sure the same applies for you in Croatia, as well, and as I understand, you’re going to have WordCamp in Zagreb in, is it September? Is it?
Emanuel: Yes, so, in Croatia, we started with work in Croatia three years ago, and last year, when the foundation changed the rules, we couldn’t call it work in Croatia anymore, but the idea of the Croatian community was to host WordCamp in a different city each year. So first year, it was in Rijeka. The second one, last September, was in Split, and the next one will be in Zagreb.
I know that we already sent the application, but we didn’t get the answer yet, so if someone from the foundation or the community team is listening to this podcast, please help us get a WordCamp.
So it’s always WordCamp in Croatia first week of September. We do one day WordCamp with one track. This year we will maybe have two tracks. After that, on Sundays is the contributor day.
What is really great that we started the first year and continued the second one was that we held workshops on Fridays. So that was a day before WordCamp. The most amazing thing happened is that these workshops are free for everyone, so if you’re interested in WordPress, you could go to a workshop, learn something new about WordPress, and we usually have the beginner’s workshop and maybe more advanced workshops.
You don’t have to go to WordCamp if for some reason you can’t, or you can’t afford all of the prices. It’s really affordable, the price of WordCamp’s really affordable. WordCamp in Croatia’s only 20 euros. I forgot what your question was, I hope that I answered it.
You don’t have to go to WordCamp if for some reason you can’t, or you can’t afford all of the prices. It’s really affordable, the price of WordCamp’s really affordable. WordCamp in Croatia’s only 20 euros. I forgot what your question was, I hope that I answered it.
Ahmed: It seems all good, [inaudible].
Emanuel: Yeah, you should, definitely.
Ahmed: Oh, yes. No, it sounds really cool, and that’s the thing that I tell a lot of people, is that WordCamp, it’s not necessarily for advanced people, experts only. It’s for anyone. [crosstalk] It can be intermediate or advanced in various fields. You’re almost guaranteed to learn something from WordCamp, whatever you do.
Like you said yourself, the workshops and so on alongside it, or even just talking to people there and getting to know a number of people, you could learn so much that you can apply to yourself and your own company, your project, your website, might be a hobby thing. It doesn’t matter. It’s suitable for everyone.
Ahmed: Anyone who’s going to Croatia, forget about Dubrovnik and all these beaches. Just go to Zagreb in September. Go there, and you’ll have a good time. I’m sure the after party will be good there, as well.
Emanuel: It will, it will [crosstalk] like the previous years.
Ahmed: I’m going to keep an eye on that, as well. Of course, you’re also involved in the WordCamp Europe, which is the biggest one, obviously, in Europe. Just like the one in Croatia, it goes around Europe. Last year, it was Vienna. This year, in 2017, it is Paris. I’m told that there could be up around 2,000 attendees.
Emanuel: Actually, actually, I have data from today, and we already sold 2,300 tickets.
Emanuel: So I think we are aiming for something like 3,000, 3,300 people this year, which will make WordCamp Europe the largest WordCamp in the world.
Ahmed: Wow. That is incredible. I’m sure everyone in the US will be thinking, “How did that happen?” Because in the Philadelphia one, and the …
Emanuel: I will answer that. As I said before, this is not a competition. WordCamp US is great for the people living in the US. WordCamp Europe is great for the people living in Europe. Of course, there will be a lot of Europeans going to the States, and people from America and other parts of the world coming to Europe.
This is really amazing, because it gives you the opportunity to network with people, like-minded, and this is something really incredible, in terms of community, in terms of inclusion. I’m really proud to be a part of something of that network and purpose.
Ahmed: Of course. No, I can understand that. It’s something that I’m planning to attend, as of today. I want to go and attend WordCamp in Paris. Something that I’m more excited about is being around so many different like-minded people from various countries, all have different skills, all have different ideas, ambitions, all these things.
I think that, alongside the talks and everything that comes with WordCamp, it’s one of the most exciting parts of a WordCamp. It’s just so, so much fun to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see it, whether here online on wordpress.tv, or see it in person. It sounds like it’s going to be a great event. You’ve got your work cut out for you guys. It’s a good job. It’s pretty impressive what you’re doing.
Emanuel: I hope you did get your ticket, because it will sell out really soon.
Ahmed: Oh, okay. There we go. If you don’t get your tickets …
Emanuel: I will wait a minute for you to buy your ticket.
Emanuel: I’ll be here. I’ll be around.
Ahmed: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. I need that. I can’t just arrive in Paris, and then I’m standing at the door, looking, “Oh wait, I forgot my ticket.” No, I’ll try my best to do that as well.
Emanuel: You don’t have to print your ticket. You can only take it with your mobile phone and show it on the entrance, and that would be …
Ahmed: Yeah, true.
Emanuel: [inaudible]…you can show your ticket on your mobile phone from the entrance.
Emanuel: Yeah, technology. 2017.
Ahmed: It’s going to be exciting. I think at WordCamp, you have 2017, and Edinburgh’s coming up this year, hopefully. You’ve got Zagreb. I mean, you’re a busy guy. You’ve got a lot of things to plan this year. I don’t know how you do it, but, you know, well done for having that energy and stamina to keep going. Pretty impressive.
One thing I’ve wanted to ask a lot of people in different skills, different mindset is that what advice would you give to those who want to start their own WordPress website? What advice would you give them? Because everyone would have their own opinion about WordPress without even trying it, and I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s not right for them or it’s too complicated, or I’ve heard it is x, y, and z. What advice would you say to those who’ve dealt with WordPress, and they want to start their own website?
Emanuel: So if you have a business and you are looking for the best solution for your website for your business, then WordPress is definitely a good option. If you don’t have a pretty large budget, you could always start with some of the themes from the WordPress repository, which are really good. If not, you could always get premium themes on web shops and others. I’m not that a big fan of premium themes, although I recommend them to people that don’t have such a big budget.
If you have a budget, though, I would definitely recommend to find an agency that could help you. See what they did in the past, the designs they did, if this is something that is visually appealing to you. You can find yourself in that image of theirs. Try to contact them.
The most important thing that anyone should remember is that having the strictly client and agency connexion maybe is not such a good way today. I’m more of a building a partnership with agency, because a website is not over when it’s over. After the website is over, there’s a lot of things to do, including SEO, including various optimizations like speed optimization and so on. You should think definitely about accessibility as well, and how to show that content to a lot of people, a lot of your potential next clients. Go with professionals, whenever you can afford it.
Ahmed: It’s a lot of good points there, especially that last point you said about accessibility. People don’t always think about that when they have a website built up or have a project in mind. It’s not something that they think of immediately, to make it easy for everyone to access your website, regardless of their disability, for example.
It’s something that, again, it’s just how WordPress works. They really, really make it a big deal about making sure that everyone can be involved in WordPress, making it easy for everyone to use the website, making it easy for everyone to access it and engage with the website.At the end of the day, if you have built a website which makes it easier for people to interact with, well, that’s a good start.
At the end of the day, if you have built a website which makes it easier for people to interact with, well, that’s a good start.
Ahmed: Because a website that is difficult to access on your mobile or is difficult to access because maybe the font is too small, and so on and so forth, then you’re making it difficult for your own customers. So accessibility is important. At the very least, bare minimum, make it easy on mobile devices so that people can read it on there without pinching and all these things. But I know that…
Emanuel: These things change. If you take a look back 10 years ago, maybe even more than 10 years ago, sometime in 2005, 2006, that was the years when we talked a lot about web standards and how to separate content from the visual layer.
Then in, I think, 2010 to 2011, we started talking about responsive design. These things change slowly, it takes time to change things, but in our world, Google is the most important thing online. If you’re not on Google, you’re not accessible to your customers. I mean, Google said, “We will penalise,” or, maybe, Ahmed, you have a better word, but when Google said, “We will definitely give more importance to the websites that are responsive,” then everything started to change.
And when Google, in the next step, probably, will say that, “We will promote websites that are accessible to everyone,” then this will change, as well. I think that we are really close. We had responsive web design a couple of years ago, and then we started to think about optimising for mobile devices.
I’m not talking only about the screen resolution optimization, but the speed optimization as well, because it’s not the same if you open a desktop website on a mobile phone on the edge connexion or 3G or 4G connection.It’s different, and I think that the next big thing will be accessibility, and it’s really making me happy.
It’s different, and I think that the next big thing will be accessibility, and it’s really making me happy.
Ahmed: It’s a very, very good point. There seems to be more and more of an emphasis on accessibility and making things easier for the users. And you’re right, the word responsive design is such a trend a few years ago that everyone jumped on board. I mean, it makes sense to do it. It’s something that has benefit to everybody, really, responsive design.But you make a good point
But you make a good point that, you know, there has been responsive design, and then we’re talking about site speed.It has to be quick enough for those on slow connections to be able to access the information on the website. People talk about AMP, Accelerated Mobile Performance as well, make it easier and quicker, even more, for users to access your information and website. You’re right, it’s a very, very good point that the next big thing, or maybe we are in this big thing, is accessibility.
Take it on board, everyone. It’s not something that you should dismiss. Take it as important as the design, the development, your cool, shiny gadget on your website, whatever you’re going to do, just take it on board as accessibility. So it’s good points, very good points.
Emanuel: If you take a look back and you try to look why we did some changes and why for some things, change did arrive so slowly, it is because we as “web people”, and I mean designers, developers, say that something is hard, and we’re saying, for accessibility today, that it’s hard because we don’t understand it. We don’t understand, what exactly do we need to do?
But if you take a look just below this hard thing, accessibility’s not that hard. It is the way we should build websites. We are not talking about responsive websites anymore, we are talking about websites. Responsive is just a part of building a website, like accessibility will be, hopefully, in a year or two.
Ahmed: Yeah. It’s a good point, actually, because we shouldn’t have to use the word responsive from here onwards. It should be a standard now. We should just call it a website, and that’s it.So that’s actually a very, very good point. I like the way you said that. It had to happen this way, but maybe from here onwards, we just say “website,” everyone will automatically assume that it is responsive. Maybe it will take a bit more time to get there, but
So that’s actually a very, very good point. I like the way you said that. It had to happen this way, but maybe from here onwards, we just say “website,” everyone will automatically assume that it is responsive. Maybe it will take a bit more time to get there, but hopefully we are on that right path anyway. Sounds really good.So if we are going to talk just a bit more about yourself, what would you say is your biggest strength?
So if we are going to talk just a bit more about yourself, what would you say is your biggest strength?
Emanuel: I don’t know, really. I think that my biggest strength possibly is the broad view I have. I started my professional career as a journalist, then after that, I started to work with video editing, and just after that, I started to work as a Web designer, as user interface designer. I have all these things that I learned, all these experiences, somewhere in me that is basically making me a better designer. I’m possibly someone who better understands what a user needs, what a client needs, and can help them both with that.
Ahmed: Okay. That’s really interesting, actually. Let’s switch it around. What’s your biggest weakness, and how do you get around it?
Emanuel Blagonic: I think that this is the biggest weakness, as well, because I’m not someone who is easily employable, because I have all these things that I know, and I’m not at the top 100 percent of any of those, but I’m probably really close to that. This is something that makes you probably unemployable, but I don’t care, because I’m freelancing, so it’s not a problem for me.
Ahmed: So you’re saying that maybe, sometimes, it’s better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades?
Emanuel: It is, definitely. Definitely, it is.But this, being
But this, being jack of all trades, is helping me do the things, the business that I do. This is usually helping to create websites for companies in IT that are selling software worldwide, so I have worldwide clients. I’m really focused on optimising the experience of both the customer, so both the client who is managing this website and the customer who is coming to the website to learn something or buy something.
This couldn’t be possible if I didn’t have all this information in me, all this broad view that I have.
Ahmed: This is kind of similar to my next question, because I was going to ask you, if you had to start again, what would you do differently? Would that be the answer to your question, then? What you just said?
Emanuel: I’m not sure, really. I’m seeing a lot, the last couple of years were really tough for me. Getting through divorce, having financial problems, having to lay off people. We had a company, we had a couple of employees, we had to let them go. These are all experiences that shape you to what you are today.
So I’m not sure if I would change anything. Maybe I would make better decisions along the way, but even these mistakes that I made, made me what I am today. I wouldn’t change those.
Ahmed: It makes sense. I mean, I’ll never say to anyone there is a right or wrong answer to this question. Everyone has their own personal experience. But I can understand what you said. All these years of going through the ups and downs has shaped who you are today. If it wasn’t for that experience, who knows what you would be like today? It’s a good point.
Like I said, it doesn’t mean that everyone should think like that, or maybe you change something. Maybe you can learn from your experience in the past, but … No, it’s a very valid point. I like that.
Emanuel: Yeah, we are all different, and my path and your path are not the same. Even my brother, who is quite similar to me and our path crossed so many times, we don’t have the same path. We don’t share the same things. We don’t have the same experiences. That’s normal.
Ahmed: That’s true. It’s very, very normal. Even my own family, dad, family, my brother and sister, yes. We have been brought up in the same place and same family, house and so on, but we are very different people, in terms of how we live our life and experience and career and so on.
That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody should be criticised for being different to other people. Just who you are today, you should celebrate that.
Emanuel: Keep one thing in mind, that priorities change over time. What was really important for me 10 years ago is not that important to me now. Now, I’m an older person, with a five years old, I really like to be part of the community, I really like helping other people. This is what keeps me going, through all these ups and downs, through all these bad times. I couldn’t do it 10 years ago, cause I didn’t have the experience back then.
Ahmed: All a very good point, and I agree with you 100 percent. Especially, for example, now that you are a father and your priority changes, your lifestyle changed because you have different priorities. That’s perfectly normal, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just how life works, the stages that you go through life.
There was only one more thing I wanted to ask about, is, you’ve mentioned it earlier, what you’re most proud about, but I was just going to ask you again, what are you most proud about with your own business, your freelancing, your career? What is it you’re most proud about?
Emanuel: If we’re talking business, I’m the proud about of that I really tried and did my best every time. If I worked with a small client or a really big client, I did 100 percent. I did even more, if I could. This is something that makes me really proud.
If we are talking about the other personal part, then I’m most proud of my son. When I see him going through life and being there for him, being a support for him, and this is what makes me really proud. These two things are really combined, in my case.
Ahmed: That’s fantastic. I really like that. It’s really, really nice, a two-sided way of, on your business side, on your personal side, but to have an overlap together as well is really, really nice as well.So this is been a really, really good chat, really, really interesting. This is why I wanted to have you on board, especially after seeing you in WordCamp Belfast and seeing your talk. It just got me more intrigued about your background and it was good to keep in touch and so on.
Really enjoyed chatting with you, and I really again want to thank you for your time and everything. I just want to ask, if people want to find you online or anywhere, where could they find you?
Emanuel: I have a website, Emanuel Blagonic. Search Emanuel Blagonic, it’s my name and second name, but I think they will find me there.
Ahmed: That’s totally fine. I will make sure to make it easier for them, and I’ll put it in the show notes as well.
Emanuel: That’s really nice for me.
Ahmed: That would be helpful, I suppose. Again, Emanuel, thank you very much for your time. Thank you again.
Emanuel: And thank you for having me.
Ahmed: And that is it! Thank you, Emanuel, once again, for coming onto the show. Really appreciate it, really, really appreciate your time and I really enjoyed talking to you over the past six months or so in different places.
Here’s the thing, the reason why I was very interested in bringing Emanuel on the show and also to see his talk in WordCamp Belfast 2016, it’s really interesting to see how WordPress had an impact on the community around you and even, to an extent, the country you live in. In Emanuel’s case, it’s Croatia.
WordPress had played a big part on helping the community in Croatia to raise their profile, to give them a voice, and really create a really amazing community that brings people together and creates something fantastic. It’s really, really interesting. Make sure you listen to his talk. I will put that on the show notes, and you can find that show note on IgniteRock.com/episode11.
I really hope you enjoyed your time. If you did, I would really, really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. It would make me so, so happy.
So I hope you enjoyed it.
In the meantime, let’s rock with WordPress.