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.
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!
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.
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. :)
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:
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.
Workshop attendees working hard.
All four of us participated in the Digital Doctors Session, but I only got shots of Alx and me.
Digital Doctor Alx and Digital Doctor Karen
The doctor is in.
A bit more fun:
Just a little fun.
Someone called me a Happy Engineer
WordPress.com were the bag sponsors
Super sweet tattoos
Future Geeks of America
No, this is not the child of an Automattician. But this kid loves WordPress.
Featured in the DFS newsletter
My recap of WCABQ wouldn’t be complete without some words about the fabulous speakers and sessions that made up the main day of WordCamp.
First of all, I couldn’t possibly write a recap post without mentioning the fantastic volunteers and organizers that made WordCamp possible. The planning team worked their tails off: Ray Gulick, Maralyn Beck, Julianna Silva, Jamii Corley, Zerek Welz, Cara Christenson, Mary Garcia, Brooks Walch, and Samantha Metheny. We also had some super volunteers who are too numerous to mention here and a rockstar list of speakers.
Without further ado, here are the pics, courtesy of Melinda Hess and Patricia Letter of Convivial Studios.
Me, kicking it off.
Eric Renz-Whitmore keynoting
packed newbie session
Jamii Corley, fearless leader of the newbie session
Eric, Karen, and John Garcia of the city’s Economic Development office, he came down to see how we were doing.
Keya Horiuchi, talking about WP and Mapping
Lauren MacEwen, Blast Off Your Blog with Social Media!
Melissa J. White, talking about SEO for WordPress Sites: How To Find and Implement a Sweet Strategy for Getting Noticed
Suzette Franck and avoiding scope creep
Mark Costlow on DNS and WordPress Website Migration
Developer diversity panel
More fantastic panelists
Anna Doo, on Choose and Modify a Theme with the End User in Mind
Bob De Young, Eight Plugins for organizing a WP back office
Russell Aaron, talking about Thinking Before You Installing
This year we added our event to a calendar of tech events called Tech Fiesta ABQ, part of an effort to support and encourage tech activity in the city. It was fun and made it possible for us to use the Convention Center for the sessions. We had a lovely lunch in Civic Plaza which I do not have pics of, but was probably, after the Hackathon, my favorite part of the weekend.
We had a couple more photographers roaming around so there may be more pics that appear eventually, but this is good enough for now, right?
Want more info about WCABQ? Take a look at the website.