WordPress in the Boondocks

In a tiny town in rural Utah that can barely claim 300 people, there’s a coffee shop that proudly stands up alongside the cutest and coffee-est of coffee shops in any metropolitan area.

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My husband and I walked into this adorable little shop to get my coffee fix. After taking our order the barista asks my husband, “Did you go to WordCamp?” My husband pauses a moment, realizes he’s wearing a WordCamp Nicaragua t-shirt and says, “Yes”. Of course I ask the guy if he uses WordPress to which he proudly answers, “I use WordPress on *all* my sites.”

It’s at times like this, when I witness the impact of WordPress on people in rural America (and everywhere) that I am so intensely proud to be working for WordPress.com.

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Tonight at our monthly Women in WordPress meeting we got a little off topic into cool stuff we’ve found on the web. One of the women mentioned CodePen and D3.js. CodePen is a “playground for the front end side of the web”. It’s got endless code snippets or pens for neat things you can do on websites. This is super geeky stuff. You can edit the pens and see your changes right there. A.ma.zing.

The other one we geeked out on was was Data Driven Documents at D3.js, “a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data”. The hexagons on the main page featuring the various projects is super cool in and of itself and this one will definitely make you dizzy.

Endless fun.

 

WordCamp Philly 2014

Two of my colleagues (Deborah Beckett and Elizabeth Urello) and I spoke about support at WordCamp Philadelphia this weekend. This is a modification of the talk I did in Nicaragua a few weeks ago. Elizabeth Urello gets credit for the original idea :)

Sadly, these images don’t let you hear our delightful anecdotes and as I like simple slides with not too much info you will just have to imagine the spoken bit. Someday soonish I am sure it will be up on WordCamp.tv. So stay tuned.

Here are the slides:

WordCamp Las Peñitas, Nicaragua 2014

I’m in Nicaragua for the third time in my life. The first was when I was born and the second was last year for WordCamp Managua 2013. This time I’m at WordCamp again. We’re in a lovely beach town called Las Peñitas, just outside of León, about an hour from Managua.

I just gave a presentation about the importance of support for developers and if you are interested (and can read Spanish) here are my slides :)

I’ll be doing this talk (modified) again in a few weeks with some colleagues of mine. So stay tuned for the English version soon.

New Kids on the Blog

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blogging class for kids for a while. I homeschool my kids and for some reason it is so hard for me to get my kids blogging. I suppose it’s the old shoemakers kids scenario. Finally, I decided the best way to get them blogging would be to offer a class to my homeschool group. Committing to working with the children of my friends would mean my kids could ride along.

After talking about it and talking about it, we finally did it. Last week, I had six kiddos in my house, sitting around the dining room table: taxing my wifi, setting up blogs and publishing their first post and second and third in some cases). In case anyone is interested in replicating this experiment, here’s how it goes:

Tools

  • laptop or device per child
  • WordPress.com accounts for each child – we set these up at the beginning of the class, parents should stick around till this is done
  • WordPress.com COPPA form per child under 13 for parental signature

Discussion

  • What’s a blog?
  • What kinds of things can you blog about?
  • What should we call the group?

Once everyone got a blog set up, we went through a super quick tutorial to get the kids up to speed with publishing a post. I didn’t want to spend too long on it since these kids are spending a lot of time online, and are generally familiar with how to manipulate a website.

Once they had the basics they were set and I let them ask me questions as they came up. Some of the kids discovered how to search and insert YouTube videos, some stuck with uploading pictures and others dug right into checking out themes and customizing theme options.

I’m reasonably sure the kids had fun, the moms were pleased, and we decided to get together once a month. If anyone has any questions I’m happy to give more details, just let me know!

WordPress Minifigs

We let the kids open a gift on the eve of Christmas Eve. This year was no exception.

As usual, we ended up with more under the tree than we expected, but this gift rules them all. I picked up some super cute Lego minifigs in September from a coworker and swagmeister. So excited to finally be able to gift them.

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ABQ WP Happiness Hour

We had a great WordPress meetup tonight at WESST with some new folks and some familiar faces. A pretty wide variety of geekery was covered, including custom fields, multisites, caching, server config, themes and Bootstrap, and make.wordpress.org.

With a dev group like this I expect some pretty awesome things to come out of our local WP scene this coming year.

Although, maybe they just came for the pizza. :)