WordCamp

Talk on creating a WordCamp talk this Thursday

 

When: Thursday April 26th 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: CoMotion on King at 115 King St East, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: Hamilton WordPress Meetup

Register: meetup.com/WPHamOnt/events/249942886

Details:

This is a workshop for anyone who is thinking about speaking at WordPress events, such as WordPress Meetups and WordCamps. During this hands-on session, we’ll look at what has stopped you from speaking in the past — and explore how to move past your fears. We will discuss some common myths about public speaking, different talk formats, and we will focus on finding your areas of expertise (yes, you have areas of expertise!). We will brainstorm topics you can talk about at a WordCamp or other event.

Each participant will come out of the workshop with a WordCamp or Meetup talk idea — and more confidence to submit it.

The main purpose is to encourage those in underrepresented groups (LGBTQ+, Persons with Disabilities, Women in Tech, etc.) to submit talks and have our WordCamp and other events more representative of a community. While this meetup is targeted at these groups, it is open to anyone who needs help in coming up with a topic for their talk, a title and a pitch.

We’ll hopefully explore the actual talk specifics at a later date, but the deadline for WordCamp Hamilton’s Speaker Submissions is May 1, 2018!

You do NOT have to have any experience in public speaking. This workshop is for all levels of experience.

**This workshop is for you if:**

* You’ve thought about speaking at Meetup or WordCamp but haven’t been able to think of a topic
* You think you don’t know anything worth speaking about

**Agenda**

* Why speak at WordPress events?
* Dispelling some myths about speakers/speaking
* Coming up with topics and choosing one
* Practice giving a short talk

**Accessibility**

* The venue has an elevator, and single stall washrooms for non-binary genders.
* Please do not wear scents. Many people are allergic to them.

 

WordCamp Hamilton 2018 is coming!

WordCamp Hamilton (@WordCampHamOnt) returns to McMaster Innovation Park on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 75 million sites on the web. WordCamps come in all different flavours, based on the local communities that produce them, but in general, WordCamps include sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security, etc.

The first WordCamp was organized in San Francisco by Matt Mullenweg in 2006, and since then local communities around the world have organized hundreds of others. The first WordCamp Hamilton took place in 2013, with additional events happening in 2015 and 2016.

The regularly occurring WordPress meetup group has done a fantastic job of keeping up momentum around the WordPress community in Hamilton. The next few meetups will be focused on gearing up for WordCamp.

Currently, WordCamp Hamilton is looking for local speakers and sponsors to help make this year’s event another success.

Looking for local speakers!

Do you work with WordPress and have some techniques, experiences or stories that you think might benefit others? If so, we’d love to have you consider sharing that information as a speaker. We’re always looking for local speakers to contribute. For more about speaking at WordCamp (including some topics if you want to speak, but aren’t sure what about), check out our call for speakers.

Sponsoring WordCamp 2018

Simply put, without our generous sponsors, WordCamp Hamilton would not be affordable to the vast majority of the WordPress community. For just $20 our attendees have a full day to gain insight from our speakers, network with others, and learn more about the open source WordPress project whose mission is to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. All of our valued sponsors, by donating to WordCamp Hamilton, continue to make this mission a reality. Thank you both to our sponsors, and all of those who sponsor WordCamps around the world! For more on sponsorship opportunities, check out our Call for Sponsors.

To stay updated with news about WordCamp Hamilton 2018 for ticket sale dates, volunteering opportunities and more, visit 2018.hamilton.wordcamp.org.

 

First batch of WordCamp speakers announced

Hamilton’s annual WordPress conference WordCamp Hamilton is taking place on Saturday June 4th at McMaster Innovation Park!

The first batch of speakers has been announced – check out the line-up below!

 

Speakers

 

BEN COOL

1My name is Ben Cool and I work for A2 Hosting as the Application Optimizer / WordPress Evangelist. I have three kids and live across the lake in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. I have given presentations on System Administration topics at WCCBUS and WCA2. I am a co-organizer for WordCamp Ann Arbor in charge of volunteers and contributor day. I am a member of the WordPress.tv team (no badges). As a developer for a Hosting company, I am responsible for developing internal tools and websites as well as performance optimization tools for customers such as A2 Optimized (https://wordpress.org/plugins/a2-optimized-wp). Attending the WordPress community summit was a highlight for me last year.

 

RYAN WELCHER

2Ryan Welcher has been a web developer for over 12 years and over the course of his career has had the opportunity to work with many coding languages, frameworks and technologies. He is currently a Senior Web Engineer at 10up where he builds enterprise level WordPress themes and plugins. In his spare time you may find him contributing to WordPress core, reading up on a new technology or spending time with his wife and three children.

 

ARLEY MCBLAIN

3I’m a front-end developer from Burlington. I’ve been making websites for over twenty years, and WordPress themes for nearly ten! I spend most of my time with Object Oriented CSS, experimenting with streamlining workflows, and optimizing tools. I currently lead a team of developers at Carpages.ca, and love to nerd out about keyboards.

 

KATHLEEN FARLEY

4Kathleen Farley is a computer geek, teacher, learner, vinyl junkie, hockey fan, and recovering non-profit executive. Occasionally she breaks (and fixes) computers. Not necessarily in that order.

The Montreal-born technologist trained as an audio engineer before moving to Hamilton, Canada in 2007. She now runs Maisonneuve Music, a Hamilton-based independent record label.

Kathleen has been teaching web technology and data management to beginners since 2009 under the moniker Robobunnyattack! She’s currently a bestselling web technology course author on Udemy with over 11,000 students. She also serves on the faculty at Harris Institute, a private music industry school in Toronto where she teaches future rock stars how to make websites and other cool things.

Along with her partner Michael Chambers, Kathleen is the co-founder of Audiohackr, a startup that helps indie musicians, producers, and DIY labels make the most of technology.

Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/u/robobunnyattack/
LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/kfarley

 

JAI SANGHA

5I am involved in content creation and management in a number of ways. I work in communications at TD Bank, write weekly posts for two eCommerce blogs (SellwithWP.com and ShopStorm.com/blog), and have done copywriting for websites through a marketing agency. I finished my bachelors degree with a focus on communications from University of Toronto.

You can find my social profiles on jaisangha.com

 

MARIE WIESE

6Marie Wiese is founder of Marketing CoPilot, a leading Canadian digital marketing agency that helps companies’ increase sales using digital and content marketing. In addition to running Marketing CoPilot, Marie is also an Executive-in-Residence at the Innovation Factory, a Regional Innovation Centre in Hamilton, Ontario where she coaches early stage companies on how to develop digital go-to-market strategies. Marie is author of The Essential Guide to Better Content Marketing and other related marketing guides. She is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, mom and writer. Marie has spoken at industry events for the Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing Sherpa in the United States. She can be found online at https://ca.linkedin.com/in/marketingcopilot

 

MARCELO GRANADOS

7I am a certified scrum master, passionate about Agile methodology and frameworks, over 15 years of experience on software and web development, I enjoy to work on teams sharing ideas to produce optimal results and release valuable products through WordPress as main development platform. www.marcelogranados.com

 

WordCamp Hamilton back in 2016

wordcamp

 

WordCamp Hamilton (@WordCampHamOnt) is back on June 4th, 2016 at McMaster Innovation Park!

WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 75 million sites on the web. WordCamps come in all different flavors, based on the local communities that produce them. WordCamps are attended by people ranging from blogging newbies to professional WordPress developers and consultants, and usually combine scheduled programming with unconference sessions and other activities.

The first WordCamp was organized in San Francisco by Matt Mullenweg in 2006, and since then local communities around the world have organized hundreds of others. The first WordCamp Hamilton took place in 2013, with a 2nd in 2015. The regularly occurring WordPress meetup group has done a fantastic job of keeping up momentum around the WordPress community in Hamilton.

Do you have something to share about WordPress that will benefit the community? Are you a dynamic and organized speaker who can engage an audience and deliver great value? We’d like to hear your idea for a 45 minute talk to be delivered as part of this event. – WordCamp Hamilton

The conference has issued a call for speakers, so apply to speak today!

 

January WordPress Meetup next week

comotion

 

When: Wednesday January 20th 2016 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Where: CoMotion on King @ 115 King St East, Hamilton, Ontario

Register: meetup.com/WPHamOnt/events/227443511

 

Join us for our next meetup! Come and meet other WordPress users, developers, bloggers and more in and around Hamilton!

SCHEDULE

6:30pm – Doors open, chatting WordPress

7pm – Presentation

7:30pm-? – More chatting WordPress! Maybe some ping pong at Serve downstairs…

 

WordCamp Hamilton 2015 a sold out success

WordCamp Hamilton 2015 took place on Saturday June 7th at McMaster Innovation Park and the event was a sold out success. WordCamp events are grassroots organized WordPress focused conferences that have been taking place around the world for years. Hamilton had it’s first WordCamp in 2013 and the event was back this year after a one year hiatus.

This year’s edition was particularly awesome for having both a developer track and a blogger/designer track. Though there is plenty of overlap, there’s a large difference between the needs of bloggers looking to optimize their WordPress site (e.g. SEO, social media, site performance, etc.) and developers (building plug-ins, development tools, etc.). As someone more on the developer side of things, it made the event much more valuable for me.

I was able to grab these links below to talk slides in the developer track. Other speakers either didn’t mention links to slides, or I couldn’t find them online.

 

Topic: A Modern WordPress Developer’s Toolkit
Speaker: Adam Wills (@heavymetaladam)
Slides: adamwills.github.io/WordCamp2015

Topic: High Voltage – Building Static Sites With WordPress-Managed Content
Speaker: Nickolas Kenyeres (@knicklabs)
Slides: bird-house.ca/high-voltage-building-static-sites-with-wordpress-managed-content

Topic: How To Set a Vagrant Development System
Speaker: Paul Bearne (@pbearne)
Slides: slideshare.net/pbearne/vagrant-26890922

Topic: WordPress Accessibility – the fundamentals of Web Accessibility
Speaker: Jordan Quintal (@JordanQ416)
Slides: docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BCLAeCGvCZl9BnybNZnv_myEBNHg9eNFMqNfdOP8fhs (YouTube video)

Topic: Speed up your WordPress website
Speaker: Alan Lok (@alan_lok)
Slides: slideshare.net/alanlok1/speeding-up-your-wordpress-site-wordcamp-hamilton-2015

 

Overall the event was fantastic in terms of the community that came out, the connections formed, and the talk content itself. The speakers came from across Ontario (and Buffalo / New York State), which is great in terms of cross-pollinating with different communities and ideas. The event was also a fantastic value at just $20. No wonder it sold out!

If WordCamp Hamilton 2013 was a starting point for the WordPress community, WordCamp 2015 has shown how much it has grown since then. WordCamp Hamilton 2015 was amazing, if you’re interested in joining the local WordPress community check out the meetup group. Looking forward to WordCamp Hamilton 2016!

 

wch5

 

wch4

 

wch3

 

wch2

 

wch1

 

WordCamp Hamilton 2015 speaker line-up posted

wordpress-bg-medblue

 

WordCamps are conferences that focus on everything WordPress. They’re informal and community organized, and are a great way to learn new skills and connect with others in the community.

The speaker line-up for WordCamp Hamilton 2015 has been released, check out the line-up below and get your ticket today! Only $20 – what a deal!

 

When: Saturday June 6th 2015

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South Hamilton, Ontario

Register: hamilton.wordcamp.org/2015

 

Advanced/Developer Track

 

Time: 9:30 am
Talk: A Modern WordPress Developer’s Toolkit
Description:

The talk would be targeted to intermediate to advanced WordPress developers and would be about using some of the common and popular development tools in a WordPress specific settings. We’ll look at a number of issues that come up during WordPress development (such as sharing code between multiple developers, developer ramp up, repetitive tasks and deployment) and some modern tools to help developers worry more about development and less about the headaches that can come with it.

Speaker: Adam Wills

 

Time: 10:30 am
Talk: High Voltage: Building Static Sites with WordPress-Managed Content
Description:

WordPress evolved from a simple blog platform into a full-fledged content management system. It is now evolving beyond that into an application development framework. It is a new era for WordPress. One that partly made possible by the WP-API plugin. The plugin bolts a REST API on top of the WordPress platform, allowing for integration of WordPress with other systems.

WP-API can be leveraged in many ways. For example, there is a lot of excitement around using WordPress as a backend for single page web apps and mobile apps. But the possibilities don’t end there. In this talk, we will explore the use of WP-API to integrate WordPress-managed content with static site generators.

Static site generators and flat-file CMSs have been growing in popularity over the past few years, due largely to developer productivity, reliability, security, performance and ease-of-deployment. They are a compelling alternative but compromises must be made to realize the benefits. It doesn’t have to be an either-or decision. We will explore strategies for using WordPress as a collaborative writing room – similar to proprietary alternatives like Prismic.io and Contentful. And we will explore strategies for building static sites using that content.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Intermediate to advanced WordPress developers

Speaker: Nick Kenyeres

 

Time: 11:30 am
Talk: How To Set a Vagrant Development System
Description:

If you need to have a development environment that matches a typical production environment.

See how the default server configuration provisioned by VVV matches a common configuration for working with high traffic WordPress sites.

See WordPress configurations provided by VVV create an environment ideal for developing themes and plugins as well as for contributing to WordPress core.

See how to run PHPCS (static code analyst) and PHPunit in vagrant.

Speaker: Paul Bearne

 

Time: 1:30 pm
Talk: WordPress Accessibility – the fundamentals of Web Accessibility
Description:

The focus of my presentation will be on WordPress and website accessibility; from a front-end perspective. First, I will explain what web accessibility is and why it is important. To continue, I will discuss AODA and Section 508 regulations for Canada and the United States. Then, I will go over some key WCAG 2.0 compliancy requirements a developer will need to ensure the websites they develop are fully accessible. From there, I will showcase a few web accessibility tools, then some WordPress accessibility plugins; followed by a quick demonstration on how to evaluate a website’s accessibility.

Speaker: Jordan Quintal

 

Time: 2:30 pm
Talk: Sharing the Love: Leveraging the WordPress REST API to Syndicate Content
Description:

We know and love WordPress as a great content management system. Wouldn’t it be great if we could leverage the power, ease, and simplicity of WordPress-as-CMS across a wide range of web platforms? We might display pages and posts in a node.js or Ruby on Rails web application, say, decoupling the front and back ends of WordPress to connect the CMS to a foreign site or application.

Future versions of WordPress will include a RESTful API to allow easy syndication of WordPress content across multiple platforms with a consistent. We will look at the plugin (WP REST API) slated to become part of core WordPress, review how the API came to be and where it’s going, and check out a bunch of cool things one might do with the API.

Speaker: Brian Hoke

 

Time: 3:30 pm
Talk: Speed up your WordPress site
Description:

Speeding up a WordPress site (or any content site) is economical, boost rankings, and most of all, improve the user experience. The presentation discusses the different general strategies to make your site more speedy or suck less if you are inheriting a mess. There will be some demonstration of how to make a site run faster by using different engines, installation of plugins and changes in general.

Developers of all abilities will benefit from the tips, and intermediate/advanced developers will find some of the examples/case studies useful.

Speaker: Alan Lok

 

Time: 4:30 pm
Time: WordPress For Web Apps – Using your favourite CMS to build the next big startup
Description:

You’ve got an awesome idea for a startup, but you’re just a WordPress developer—you don’t have the skills or resources to build a fancy web app. Or do you?

In this talk, you’ll learn how you can use the world’s most popular CMS to build a killer web app without investing time and resources into learning new frameworks or hiring other developers. You’ll see how easy it is to get started with real-life examples of WordPress-based web apps, learn how to adapt your ideas to work within the WordPress architecture to save development time, and get a step-by-step walkthrough of the app-building process. By the time you leave the talk, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to build the next big app—guaranteed!

Speaker: Chris Van Patten

 

Beginner/Blogger/Designer Track

 

Time: 9:30 am
Talk: WordPress 101
Description:

This talk will introduce WordPress to people who are new to WordPress or have never touched the platform. People want to know what their getting into! What kind of commitment does this mean? What things can it do for me on social media? A quick look at the dashboard and take questions that people have. Why would people use WordPress?

Speaker: Shanta Nathwani

 

Time:10:30 am
Talk: 10 Steps to Build a Better Business Site For Less Than $100
Description:

You don’t need to be a developer to build a great website in WordPress.

***

In this session we’ll be walking through the process of building a business website, from initial planning to site launch, for less than $100. Attendees will walk away with an actionable list of to-do items that they can follow to build a business site for themselves or for their clients.

The ideal audience for this session includes:

– Novice WordPress users looking to expand their marketable skills.
– Marketers looking to improve their technical skill set.
– Developers aiming to make their work more client-focused.

Attendees should already have a fundamental understanding of how WordPress works (pages, posts, plugins, themes, etc.)

Speaker: Andy McIlwain

 

Time: 11:30 am
Talk: Getting Started with Child Themes
Description:

The session would be directed towards beginner DIY WordPress users. I would cover what Child Themes are, why they should be used and how to create them. I would also cover the difference between Themes, Starter Themes and Frameworks. At the end of the session, the audience will know how to create a child theme from an existing theme and use the child theme to customize the site.

Speaker: Nick Adams

 

Time: 1:30 pm
Talk: Make your WordPress Blog Pinterest friendly
Description:

This session is for anyone who is curious about Pinterest and those already using it.

We’ll touch on the following topics…
* how Pinterest can make you a better blogger
* Pinterest Boards for your blog
* Resources for creating free images for your blog
* Pinterest Plugins for WordPress
* SEO

Speaker: Ruth Maude

 

Time: 2:30 pm
Talk: Typography and WordPress
Description:

Why Typography matters on the web, with particular focus on why it matters for WordPress. Discussion on type choices, type pairings, when and where to use specific type styles. Some quick ways to make a difference with some type style (whether via plugins or CSS).

In general the talk would be somewhere in the middle the user/blogger track and the dev track, but I can easily adjust it to focus on one track vs the other depending on what you’d prefer.

Speaker: Andy Staple

 

Time: 3:30 pm
Talk: Plugins for the People: A beginners look at extending WordPress With Plugins
Description:

This session will help beginner level users understand how they can leverage the power of Plugins to extend the functionality of WordPress.

We will look at how to find and evaluate plugins and some of the amazing things they can do.

Speaker: Geoff Campbell

 

Time: 4:30 pm
Talk: How to Write Blog Posts that Get Results
Description:

Do you feel like no one’s reading your blog but your mom and your best friend? Are you wondering whether blogging is really worth it? Learn powerful strategies to help you attract readers, encourage social sharing, and ultimately generate more business. Suitable for both new and experienced bloggers.

Speaker: Janet Barclay

 

Interview with Brian Hogg about WordCamp Hamilton 2015

Check out the interview below with Brian Hogg (@brianhogg) about the upcoming WordCamp Hamilton 2015 conference!

 

brianhoggTell me about yourself.

I’m lots of things – a custom software developer, WordPress trainer, podcaster and help support communities through events like the Hamilton Freelancers Association and the WordPress Hamilton group. I grew up in Burlington and went to Mac, and has been great seeing communities like Software Hamilton grow the last few years.

 

How long have you been working with WordPress, and why do you use it?

About 5 years or so now. Even after meeting WordPress co-creator Mike Little at a conference a while back, I still continued on with other PHP-based frameworks and didn’t give it a serious look. But after being contracted to convert a Joomla plugin over to WordPress I discovered how powerful of a platform it can be for sites of any size, and has been my primary tool of choice since then.

 

What are WordCamp events about?

WordCamps are conferences that focus on everything WordPress. They’re informal and community organized, and are a great way to learn new skills and connect with others in the community.

 

When is the next WordCamp Hamilton, and how can people find out more information?

The next WordCamp Hamilton is happening Saturday June 6th at the McMaster Innovation Park. Tickets are only $20 and you can find more information and grab a ticket on the website here: hamilton.wordcamp.org/2015

 

wordcamphamilton

 

Why did you and the organizing team decide to re-boot WordCamp in Hamilton?

It started from kicking up the regular monthly WordPress Hamilton meetups last year, and growing the community that way. There’s been a lot of interest in getting it going again but rather than try to rush it through last year we aimed for 2015.

 

What can attendees expect at this year’s iteration of WordCamp?

We’ll have two tracks this year, a more introductory track and a more advanced development/design track. There will be lots of opportunities to connect with attendees with a catered lunch, and an after-party event happening in the atrium right after the last session.

 

wp2013

 

What sort of talks do you expect the development track to feature?

We’ve got some awesome talks coming through, from leveraging the new WordPress REST API to using WordPress to build web apps for a startup. A couple talks on setting up modern tools for WordPress development like Vagrant for consistent environments, composer for dependency management and deployment tools like Capistrano are also confirmed.

 

Why does having a strong WordPress community matter for Hamilton and the regional tech/startup community?

A lot can be done using WordPress even without development skills, by leveraging existing themes and plugins. The more people that are knowledgeable in WordPress and can add value to their own business or the business of others, the better.

 

How can the local community help the WordCamp team make the event a success?

Certainly spreading the word about the event, especially to developers. Since there were no advanced topics at the last WordCamp it might be overlooked as not a good fit for developers to attend, but it’ll definitely be worth it this year even if you don’t use WordPress for development currently.

 

wpdev

 

Where do you see WordPress going as a platform in the future?

The flexibility of WordPress makes it a great choice for developing web apps of all sizes, using at little or as much of the WordPress base as you want. With things like the REST API going into core and other initiatives, along with powerful plugins like WPtouch allowing for an optimized adaptive experience for mobile and tablet users, I can see it becoming the development platform of choice for even more projects than it is now.

 

Freelancer meetups, WordPress meetups, WordCamp, Discover HamOnt podcast – what inspires you to do all of this stuff? 🙂

I’ve been pretty inspired by all the people I’ve been able to meet through the events and the podcast. Hamilton is awesome and I’m happy to give back and spread the word however I can 🙂

 

New Hamilton WordPress meetup group

thestudio

 

A new WordPress Hamilton meetup group is getting together for a meetup at Studio 41 in September, check out the details below!

We’re a group of local WordPress developers, designers, and publishers who get together to share our knowledge and experience, and to meet other WordPress users in the area. The WordPress meetup is open to all who love WordPress — join us!

When: Thursday September 11th 2014 @ 7:00 PM

Where: Studio 41 @ 41 King William St, Hamilton, Ontario

Register: meetup.com/WPHamOnt/events/194168242

 

Inaugural WordCamp Hamilton a smashing success

wordpress

Yesterday I attended and spoke at the first ever WordCamp Hamilton event. WordCamps occur globally to galvanize and connect local WordPress communities. The first occurred in San Franciso in 2006, and they have since taken place all over the world. The event finally came to Hamilton, thanks to the efforts of a great grassroots organizing team including the following people in the community:

Dale Mugford (@dalemugford)
Roz Allen (@therozblog)
Martin Kuplens-Ewart (@mkuplens)
Nick Tomkin (@ntomkin)
Michael Canton (@MichaelCantonVM)
Geoff Campbell (@geoffcampbell1)

I’ve never been to a WordCamp before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect in terms of the feel of the event. I was really happy with the overall vibe and energy at the event. It was positive, educational and social. These are just some quick thoughts on my favourite things about the event:

1) So many new faces

Out of the 120+ attendees I could only recogonize about 20 or so. At the start of the event Dale asked who had never been to a WordCamp before – virtually every hand in the room went up. WordCamp Hamilton sucessfully brought together a community that was out there all along in Hamilton but that maybe just didn’t know it existed yet.

wc1

2) Lots of diversity

Men, women. Younger, older. Beginnners, experts. Developers (front-end, back-end), designers, bloggers. WordPress Hamilton brought together people with a very diverse set of skills and experiences, represented both in the community and the speaker line-up. When a back-end developer collides with other back-end developers and form relationships at events a certain type of value is created, mostly educational / peer mentorship, but when you get more diverse people together forming relationships some really cool stuff can happen.

3) The venue

I’m biased in that I’ve organized a couple DemoCamps hosted at The Art Gallery of Hamilton, but I found the venue to be perfect. Especially for changing the perception any “out of towners” coming into Hamilton may have of the city. We were able check out the gallery for free during the event as an added bonus.

4) Cat jokes

I lost count at 14.

5) Grassroots organized, institutionally supported.

I love grassroots organized events. By that I mean events where individuals in the community come together to put together an event for the community, and in return the community and relevant institutions back those events with speakers, sponsorship and publicity. Hamilton has some excellent, must-see events that are run by institutions (Lion’s Lair and AppsForHealth come to mind) that provide all kinds of excellent value to the city, but the grassroots events volunteer-organized by community members are very important too. I think WordCamp was very important in terms of expanding on the momentum we have going on in Hamilton.

6) Al Davis’ talk

I enjoyed all the talks, they were all very educational. But I thought Al Davis’ talk was worth the price of admission on its own in that he gave us 10 simple things we all should do after installing a WordPress blog. I liked it because it was so “actionable”, it’s only a day later and I’ve already used a couple of his points.

postmediapic7) Postmedia contest

Throughout the event Postmedia, represented by speaker Todd Dow (@toddhdow), ran a contest to give away an iPad mini based on answering 5 questions that were presented throughout the day. The questions and contest seemed oriented around recruitment, and with the talent in the room that day I hope Postmedia was able to find a great WordPress developer.

8) Kristin Archer and Seema Narula’s talk

They did a great job covering the content creation and publicity side of WordPress. A lot of the best practices they talked about ware lessons people like myself have had to learn the hard way; hopefully they saved people some trouble!

9) The “code is poetry gritty” t-shirts

Hamilton’s revitalization is being effectively captured with the “You Can Do Anything in Hamilton” and “Art is the new Steel” t-shirts. The t-shirts given out to WordCamp Hamilton attendees took the WordPress tagline “code is poetry” and turned it into something that I think could be and hope becomes another slogan for Hamilton’s revival.

codeisgritty

10) It’s going to keep going

Not only can we expect WordCamp itself to become an annual event, but it looks like more regular WordPress-oriented meetups will start occurring this Fall. I think it’s incredibly important that this new community “keep going”, so I’m really glad to see that’s happening.

wordcampmeetups

wordcamphamiltonnew

 

I’ve tried to briefly summarize some of the talks below for those curious about what went on at WordCamp, though it’s just a “best effort” and I may have incorrectly captured details or points people were trying to make.

I talked about some community building ideas, largely derived from stuff I’ve read or heard from Brad Feld (@bfeld) and David Crow (@davidcrow). I pushed that communities are networks, not hiearchies, and that it’s not about a “president” running a club so much as leaders emerging and taking on roles that galvanize the community through organizing activities that create value in different ways. I also talked about why a WordPress community was important for Hamilton in particular given the job market shift away from manufacturing and towards new industries such as software.

Joey Coleman (@JoeyColeman) talked about his history as a journalist and a blogger, how he decided on the different blogging platforms he used, as well as advice and information about licensing content. Joey responded to an interesting question about news website pay walls – though he said others can “go ahead” if they want to, he generally advised against them, and suggested newer models instead. He also responded to a question about building reader trust with the advice of just being honest and quickly admiting when you get something wrong.

joeywc

Next up were Kristin Archer of IHeartHamilton.ca (@IHeartHamilton) and Seema Narula of ThisMustBeThePlace.ca (@ThisMustBeSeema). The common thread in their discussion about their blogs was a love and passion for Hamilton and a desire to spread their enthusiasm to others. Kristin and Seema talked about tricks and best practices for bloggers, emphasizing the need to “put yourself out there” in terms of honestly talking about your passions. Other tips included:

Consistency – readers should know what to expect, and the layout of the articles should be consistent too

Frequency – don’t leave readers hanging without content for too long

Categories – sort your content into categories that users can browse through, be creative with your categories

Personality – be yourself, people want to know there’s a real person behind the blog

Connect – connect with other people, see what other people are doing, maintain relationships over time

Social Media – use social media to build your audience, add share links to your blog posts

Accessibility – be accessible to your readers to expand your reach

wc2

Richard Rudy (@thezenmonkey) talked about “the mobile elephant in the room”, the problem that the increasing amount of mobile traffic is creating for website creators. How do you re-format the look and feel of a site made for the desktop for mobile devices? The problem is tricky, with different solutions like responsive design or WPTouch available. Richard took us through the different options and their strengths and weaknesses.

Al Davis (@adavis3105) past organizer of WordCamp Toronto and WordPress user groups, gave an awesome talk that I thought was worth the price of admission alone on After the Install: 10 Things To Do After Installing WordPress.

Laurie Rauch (@lauriemrauch) gave a talk on how to create a child theme. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but haven’t bothered with yet. It turns out that it’s really not that bad if you know what you’re doing, and you can check out her talk here.

Todd Dow (@toddhdow) from Postmedia overviewed at a perfect level of depth the various options for hosting, backing-up, monitoring and securing WordPress websites, amongst other guru advice in his talk that you can find here. Builder of WordPress websites like Canada.com, Postmedia is a company some might not realize is partially located in Hamilton, but they have an office in the Meadowlands area of Ancaster.

The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring all the past speakers, followed by a jam packed after party at Radius Cafe (@RadiusDowntown). Usually you lose a lot of your attendees when transitioning from one venue to another, but the fact that so many people came to Radius speaks to the positive, social vibe of the event.

 

Overall I can’t think of a more successful way that a WordPress community could have began its formation in the city. The fact that Hamilton has the capacity to hold and support an event like this is wonderful. Code really is gritty – and I’m sure the future is bright for the new local WordPress community.