Wacotown: Real-World Development

Waco wall near dichotomy by @mtrozzo

I am a web developer, but does that really mean I can only talk about web development? Heck no! Instead, let’s talk about developing for the real-world. You know, the world that isn’t online? I’m talking about developing cities, businesses, communities, and people.

Let’s talk about Wacotown. You may have heard about it. You may even have a t-shirt or two. Or perhaps you hashtag #wacotown on twitter/instagram/ any other social media app. But do you know what it really is? Do you know what it’s all about?

Wacotown isn’t just a slogan; it’s a grassroots effort. The ‘Wacotown Initiative’ (as I like to call it) is a community-driven, socially-progressive, interest-based collaboration within the City of Waco. Its purpose is to drive people in the community to improve and transform this great city from the inside-out. By promoting the arts, technology, and everything inbetween, people are working hard to improve the growth and potential of Waco, starting with downtown. This is done in two important ways: community, and projects.

Community involves gathering together with anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of improving Waco. When we are together we can discuss real change. We can brainstorm and collaborate and find people with common interests. This has been going on for some time already with the monthly potlucks. Other involvements include the monthly ‘Jelly’ hosted by thINC Space, and the occasional happy-hour meet ups. (Follow this gentleman for updates: @RedCapWaco).

Projects is where the magic happens. Here, people use their skills, resources, and God-given gifts to create community-service-based projects which improve Waco’s appeal, image, and business growth. You may have noticed a few of these around town already:

8 months to kickoff by @beckycmurphy

Waco Hippodrome is back by @nlmaga

These are just a few examples of people bringing life to downtown Waco and encouraging growth in an area that has so much potential.

Now I have to be honest here: I feel like I’m pretty competent when it comes to web development, totally within my wheelhouse. City and community development on the other hand - not so much. But, what I’ve found is, the most important element to improving an area, lies first in improving relationships. That’s something I can do. That’s something ANYBODY can do. Once you’ve built relationships, you create a community - a network. Once you have a network, everyone works together to start something awesome. At that point, it’s no longer on the shoulders of the few to help the many. It’s now within everyone’s ability to participate, collaborate, and create.

So get involved! There’s never been a better time to be in Waco, and never a better group of people with whom to share this experience. Be a part of the effort and use what you have to make Waco the best city on Earth!

Here are some more resources to help you get plugged in:

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