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:


  • 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


  • 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.


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. :)

Digital Family Summit WordPress Workshop

WordPress.com sponsored the Digital Family Summit in Baltimore, Maryland this weekend and asked me and three of my coworkers to represent the company. They also asked us to lead a WordPress Workshop, so Velda, Alx, and Jennifer helped me make the workshop happen. It appears the kids had a great time:

Fantastic Family Time

I go on a lot of business trips and this was a rare opportunity for my family to participate. They had such a good time meeting the kids of my coworkers. This picture does nothing to show the relationships they developed with each other, but I think you can tell they were having a good time:


WordPress Workshop

We had a nice crowd for the workshop and got through all the basics: creating an account and a new blog on WordPress.com, posts, pages, themes, menus, and widgets.

I think next time I do this I might include a brainstorming session about blogging ideas and inspiration. These kids were so smart and ready to go that I think we could have done some serious work on their blogs and helped them find direction for continuing to blog after they go home from the conference.

Digital Doctors

All four of us participated in the Digital Doctors Session, but I only got shots of Alx and me.

A bit more fun:

Get Kids Blogging at the Digital Family Summit

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Attending the Digital Family Summit this coming weekend in Baltimore, Maryland? Our own Karen Arnold will lead a workshop to teach kids and their families how to get started blogging on WordPress.com. Karen, along with Velda Christensen, Alx Block, and Jennifer Dodd will be on hand to teach kids and their families how to set up their WordPress.com blogs. The workshop will break into smaller groups to help kids customize their sites. The WordPress.com workshop takes place on Saturday, October 12th from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Already registered and need some ideas on how to get started? What does your child/tween/teen love? Horses? Lego? Video Games? Books? Pets? Sports? Blogging about hobbies and interests is a great way to help kids learn more about what grabs their attention and meet other kids and families with the same interests. Kids also gain important digital literacy skills and learn how to be…

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