Podcast E125 – My WordCamp OC talk: Cliffs Notes Version


kswp-e125This week I share the Cliffs notes version of my WordCamp Orange County talk.

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  This week I share the cliff notes version of my WordCamp Orange County talk.

My tools

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

  • Post Promoter Pro –  built in support for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (and support for others on the way), you’ll be able to reach your followers wherever they are.
Read Transcript


This is the Kitchen Sink WP podcast, episode 125. [Opening Sequenze]

Why, hello there. This is Adam Silver, the host of the KitchenSinkWP Podcast. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. All right. Upcoming events. We have a lot this next weekend. Actually there are 5 WordCamps. 1, 2, 3, yeah, 5. We have WordCamp Boston July 23rd, 24th. WordCamp Belo Horizonte. I’m not sure if I’m saying that right, Belo Horizonte. It’s in Brazil July 23rd, a one day event. WordCamp Montreal July 23rd, 24th. WordCamp Fayetteville, 22nd to 24th, 3 days. WordCamp Brighton 23rd and 24th as well.

Let me check here for you real quick. Just so you know, let’s see, are there tickets available for any of these? Let’s see. Boston does have a few tickets. Yes, they do have tickets. Belo Horizonte, let’s see. It’s in Spanish. Tickets, tickets. We’ll go to tickets real quick. Looks like they have tickets, yes. Montreal. I wish I could go to Montreal, I love Montreal. Great town. The tickets are still available there as well. Only about fifty tickets left there, so within a week it could very well be gone. Let’s see, it’s a regular ticket. Then Fayetteville deadline. Yes, so there are some tickets there as well. There’s actually a whole bunch there. That’s the most. Over a hundred. Brighton has tickets. Let’s see here, checking for you. Yes, under 50 as well.

There are tickets available at all those camps. By all means, feel free. Go. It’s affordable, it’s great. You’ll have a great time. Trust me when I say it’s well worth it. We’ll talk more about camps in a minute. Actually I want to follow up on something from last week. The Meat and Potatoes. Okay, that’s it for upcoming events.

Oh actually last thing, I do apologize. I meant to tell people about Word Campus. WordCamp, like call it the higher education thing, was this past weekend. It totally slipped my mind. It was in Florida. It looked like it was a great event per all the tweets and things that’s on social media. I hope to go next year, if I can help in any capacity. Maybe they’ll move it around. I’m not sure if it’s always going to be in Florida or not. I know a lot of people from southern California flew to Florida for the conference, and then they’re coming back right now.

All right. Segment 1 in the news, moving along here. WordPress 4.6 beta 3 came out. We had beta 1, beta 2, and beta 3, 3 weeks in a row, 3 new updates. I am running it actually, on a local dev server, running Desktop Server of course. I don’t know all the changes, and actually here in the blog notes there were 65 more changes. They’ve improved handleing of the UTF 8 address headers for email. TinyMCE has been updated to 4.4.0. Revisions had a fix for restoration issues. Check that out. Run it locally of course. Use the Bleeding Edge nightlies if you want. Don’t put it on a live server.

I’ve noticed a few things though. I’ve noticed for me, it seems to be faster. I really did notice that. Just interactions with it seem to be a lot faster. I’m not sure if that’s core, or the code base, but it does seem to be faster in things I’m trying with it. I was testing not just it, but testing with another plug-in, for the Tip and Tool of the Week this week. Anyway, I noticed that there was some speed increases there. Check that out. 4.6 beta 3 is now out.

What else? In the news also, David Jesch joined ServerPress as a partner. ServerPress, as you know, they’re friends of the show. I do some part-time work for them in social media. There’s that transparency. David is an amazing developer. Has a wicked sense of dry humor. A fantastic knowledge of obscure movie facts. I love the guy. He’s awesome. Jennifer, his wife, is also brilliant. She’s just really funny as well. I’m always surprised how funny she is, because you just don’t expect it sometimes from some people.

Anyway, looking forward to getting to know them better, as part of the team, as part of the ownership of ServerPress, and can’t wait to see what comes back out from the future of the projects in general, because he is bringing a lot to the table as a partner in that company. Welcome to the team, or welcome to ownership I guess, David and Jennifer. There you go.

All right, moving along to segment 2, Meat and Potatoes, but before that I want to mention a thanks to our sponsor for the past two weeks. I’d mentioned in a few articles an indication of constant hacks, exploits, and user data of passwords being used and leaked and shared. It’s a problem that’s not going away. Once again, I want to thank SNAP i.d. for sponsoring this episode. With SNAP i.d. I never have to remember my user name or password for my WordPress sites. All I have to do is click a button, text a code, and I’m logged in. It really is easy. I love it. I’ve been using it and showing it for different things and speaking. I did 6 hours of talks this past week, 3 talks, 6 hours. I’ve shown it to those talks, I’ve showed it. It’s was like, oh that’s pretty cool. Thanks again for sponsoring the podcast. Give it a shot. It’s completely free. Check it out, it’s over at SNAP i.d., and I’ll put a link in the show notes. All right. Thanks for that.

Moving on to segment two, the Meat and Potatoes, if you’re a regular listener of the podcast, you know that I speak at WordCamps, and just last weekend I attended and spoke at WordCamp Orange County. I interviewed Peter Malick, and I got a quick shot out to him again. He’s huge apparently. I didn’t know this before hand, but he’s huge in the K-pop arena of music producing. He shared the podcast, the interview with him, and it just kind of blew up on that side of the world. Nothing I’m connected to, but I want to thank him again for being on the show. My traffic spiked. It went pretty good. Social media went well. Anyways, so thanks again to Peter Malick. Check out that interview about why it’s awesome to attend a WordCamp as a first time WordCamper. He’s already signed up to be a volunteer at WordCamp Los Angeles.

Actually, that’s one thing I want to say real quick. You can now sign up to be a volunteer. That went live this week. Check that out as well if you want to be a volunteer if you live in southern California. We’re still accepting applications for that.

This week I got a bunch of nice feedback about my talk at WordCamp Orange County. A lot of people in the attendance wanted my slides. I say that in air quotes. It wasn’t a standard presentation. It was more of a conversation without slides. It wasn’t recorded, which is kind of a bummer. Sad, I know, but it’s okay. I’m going to do a short recap here of what I spoke about. For those who requested it. That’s how I roll. You asked for it, I’m going to deliver it.

The basic topic and preface was WordPress podcasting and marketing. I spoke to a few key bullet points. Those bullet points were statistics, benefits, marketing, the monetization, tools in the work flow, and the steps to success.

We as a group, there was about 30 in that room, spoke in a conversation. I hosted those bullet points, and I spoke at them. Then took questions regarding each one of them as we moved along. Here’s an abbreviated, shortened version. Let’s call it The Cliff Notes, if you will, of my talk. I don’t want to be 2 hours here, I want to keep it short like normal.

Just starting with the stats for example, I mentioned the stats about podcasting. 420 million active blogs versus 250 thousand podcasts. That stat came last year, 2015. That’s just a lot of blogs versus not many that podcasts. Podcasting is awesome, and it’s growing, and there’s growth for it. No matter how many podcasts you think are out there, there aren’t nearly as many as there are blogs. That being said, if you have a concept, if you have an idea, well podcasting’s awesome. It s a great way to get your foot in the door. Make a connection. I’ll get to that in a second.

More stats. 29 million, 200 thousand minutes are being produced every year. 2.5 million minutes a more. 80 thousand minutes a day. 55 being podcast right now, being recorded at any given moment. The most popular categories are Christian at 39 thousand, music 33 thousand, comedy, TV, film, literature, each at about 15 thousand. Which I thought was interesting as far as categories go. Average length of time, 22 minutes, and updated weekly. Not a daily show, not a monthly show, but updated weekly, 22 minutes is the average length of a show. Most podcast growth is being driven by mobility. Meaning obviously cell phones. iPhones, IOS, Android, because that’s where people have time to listen to it. Those are the stats.

The benefits. Number 2 here. Stats was number 1, benefits number 2. Podcasting is one of the most intimate connections to connect with your audience. Hearing the voice, builds rapport. It’s true. It really does. I know for a fact that when I was at a conference last year, someone recognized my voice. They said, “Hey, I know you.” Not that they knew me, they knew my voice. It was pretty interesting. It was pretty neat.

Creating content is easy for some, including myself, speaking is easier than writing 500 to a thousand word blog post. I like to talk, that’s obvious. I do it every week here for you guys. The benefit is, it’s easier sometimes to talk, record that, and share that, right? The other benefit here is, audio is available 24 hours a day. People can find my show, can find your show, and go back and binge listen. They can do the Netflix of listening to the podcasts. I mean, for 125 weeks, you might just find that … This might be your first time you’ve ever heard me speak, and you like what you hear, you can go back and listen to it whenever you want. You can download all of them, you can download just a few of them based on title, etc. That’s another benefit. 3 main benefits there.

All right. Moving along here. Tools and work flow. I record directly into an Edirol, via my mixer. I have an Edirol, it’s by Roland, it’s a hardware device. My laptop goes into the mixer as well. Out of that, I get a wav file. Everything mixes down to a mixer. Yes, I could record into a laptop through a USB headset. I don’t because laptops have hum, buzz, feedback, they could crash, the software may crash. I like this way. Not hard, but it’s an investment of some hardware. The Edirol cost me, I think, 350 dollars. I also use a relatively good microphone. I use a ATR2100, it’s USB and XLR. I use the XLR out, so that way it has a nice, deeper sound to it. I edit in Adobe Audition. I use SoundBoard for my bumpers, my in and out music. If I have a Q&A from Speakpipe, that goes into an MP3 file, and I put that into the Soundboard, and I can press a button, and it just pops up.

I upload my audio file after I do editing, into the service called Libsyn. L-I-B-S-Y-N, Libsyn is the service. I use Rev.com for transcription. That’s pretty much the tools I use. The work flow itself has about 20 steps from the ideation of an idea for the weekly podcast, recording, post-production. I spend approximately 90 minutes I think. I don’t think I spend that much more time before. I spend some time earlier to do the research on a topic. If I’m diving into a plug-in or a theme or how to do something, the recording is real time. Obviously, the editing I’m pretty darn fast at. I don’t do a lot of editing it at all. I may take out a few gaps of time, especially on an interview when there’s pauses. Even that, I don’t do a whole lot of editing.

I do have a checklist. I love my checklists. I don’t use it anymore, because 125 weeks in, I’m pretty well memorized on my process. I have it so if and when the time comes, that I want to out-source or hand off to somebody, I can. Here are the steps you have to follow precisely.

As I mentioned in the presentation last work in Orange County, I love the book, The Checklist Manifesto. Check it out on Amazon. I’ll put a link in the show notes, but I am no affiliate to them. It’s a great book about checklists and how they can really help your process in your day-to-day. Whatever you may do, checklists are awesome.

What else? Oh, here’s another thing, one of the bullet points that I spoke to. Money. Monetization. This was a big one obviously. We spent a lot of time here. How do you make money doing this? After episode 100, I started accepting sponsors. I never did before that. I was asked a lot. People always wanted, “Hey can I sponsor your podcast? We’ll pay you.”

I didn’t really want to do that because I felt, it’s a fine line and a gray area of taking sponsorship money for the podcast and WordPressing community. Obviously, after 100 episodes, I had an audience, and I feel like, okay I can represent my audience pretty well, and I do now. I have a form on the website that you have to fill out. You send it in and I review it. I’ve turned away a bunch of companies since I started that, 25 weeks ago. If it doesn’t match the audience, I’m not going to take your money. It’s as simple as that. If it doesn’t match, I’m not going to just take the money.

I do also have affiliates that I’ll use on the resources page. That’s different. Affiliates are … You get a discount if I work something out with the company, but I only get paid if you use that link. That’s the difference. The sponsorship’s pay me to say it, whether you go there or not, so there’s a trade-off.

I think that’s all of the bullet points. Let’s see. Make sure. Double-check here. Stats, benefits, marketing, tools. Oh, oh. Number 5. The last one. Steps to success. This was a longer conversation. It can be a really long conversation, but the key here is, consistency. If you can’t come up with at least 10, 15, 20 topics to talk about in either blogging or podcasting, then you may not have the passion. You may not have the length.

Often many podcasts pod-fade after 7 weeks, because people just lose the energy behind it. They feel like, oh I have to go record something. If you have to go do something, you may not want to do it. You got to have the passion that’s going to sustain you every day, every week that you’re going to put some content out.

Consistency’s number 1, then passion. The consistency also goes into, if you have a daily show … Not a daily show, a weekly podcast. Pick a day of the week and put it out every week. Every time at the same time. Mondays 6 am, my show comes out in the Pacific. No, I’m sorry. 3 am Pacific, 6 am Eastern. Every Monday. I don’t miss. I’ve been late twice because I forgot to check my checklist. I forgot to do the checkbox of podcast as a category. I got tweets and email. “Hey, where’s the show?” People want the show. The people want your content when they expect it. Be really consistent on that.

That to me, is the main step to success. I mean honestly, it’s just about putting in the time. Week in, week out, month in, month out. It’s that simple. Offer the most possible value you can offer. Answer the questions. Give, give, give. I like to quote Gary V on this, “Jab, jab, jab, right hook.” I want to give you as much information of value as I can, and I definitely want you to trust me. Maybe you call me up, you ask me for some help as a consult. That’s fine, but that’s not why I do it. It’s part of what I’m doing as overall just helping the community. I love it. I do get work from it now and then, but I’m not relying on the podcast to give me the work. Offer a value, and offer a lot of value, give, give, give, and I think you’ll find success over time.

All right. I hope that’s helpful. It’s the 15 minute version of that. Of my talk at WordCamp OC, without cute questions coming back from you guys right now. Obviously it’s not live. There’s a nutshell. There you go. That took about 2 hours with Q&A. Hope that’s helpful.

All right, moving along. Segment 3. Tip and Tool of the Week. This week, I’m not sure where I heard about this plug-in or where I saw it, but I want to share with you, Post Promoter Pro. It’s written by Chris Klosowsky. I’m going to mess his name up. Written by Chris. I’ll put a link in the show notes. It’s a really cool plug-in. It lets you automatically schedule your posts to social media. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It’s a premium plug-in, paid.  $49 for one site, one year of updates, one support.

Chris works with Pippin of Pippins Plug-ins, so I trust him, I trust the code. I know it’s solid. I borrowed a copy from a good friend. I’m not going to use it without paying for it, but it’s awesome. I’m in the process right now of evaluating a bunch of tools like thIS. Edgar, Hootsuite, Buffer, but if you want to keep things inside of WordPress, check this out. Post Promoter Pro. It’s really cool. I have no connection to him at the moment. I just thought it was kind of neat. I tried it yesterday on a dev site, and it worked really well. I was pretty impressed. Anyway, check that out. I’ll put a link in the show notes as well.

All right. Well, that is is this week. I hope that’s helpful. I really do. I’m here to help you guys. Ask any questions you want. If you have a question, go ahead and send it in via email. Adam@kitchensinkwp.com, or use the Speakpipe functionality of the website. Thanks so much again for listening. We’ll see you next week, and go out and do some awesome things this week with WordPress.

All right. Bye-bye.

This weeks sponsor SnapID


Podcast E124 – Interview with Peter Malick


kswp-e124This week I interview first time WordCamper Peter Malick

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  Interview first time WordCamper Peter Malick

Twitter: @Silvertone

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

Read Transcript

Adam: This is the Kitchen Sink WP podcast, Episode 124. [Opening Sequence]

Hello there, this Adam Silver, host of the KitchenSinkWP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. Upcoming events, as always, WordCamp New York is coming up, July 15-17, a three day camp. Looks like they’re doing a development community day as well. That’s July 15-17. WordCamp Lima, in Peru, July 16, a one day event, and WordCamp Lehigh Valley, that’s in Pennsylvania, I don’t know if saying that right. I think it’s LEE Valley, L-E-H-I-G-H, also a one day event, July 16. It looked like there were tickets available for all three of those camps. If you are in New York or Lima or Leigh Valley, Pennsylvania, by all means you should go. If you’re in New York, I want you to do me a favor, and if you see Kari Leigh, the photographer, say, “Hi,” to her for me. That’d be awesome. Give her a hug. I just saw her this past weekend at WordCamp Orange County, which I just got back from. My voice is a little hoarse, and we’ll talk more about that in a minute here. Those are the upcoming events.

Moving on to segment one: In the News, a couple of things here. I’ve got four things to share with you. WordPress Site Sync, WPSiteSync, it’s called, version 1.1 is released. It updated some updates, squashed some bugs, some API things were done to it. If you don’t know what WPSiteSync is, it’s awesome. It helps you sync from local development. It’s from the guys from Desktop Server, Server Press, to a live site. It’s free. The base of it is free, and there will be add-ons to it. That also came out, as well some Pro addon VIP package. Check that out. I’ll put a link in the show notes. It’s awesome. WPSiteSync v. 1.1 was released. Additionally in the news, WordPress 4.6 beta 2 is now out. It was beta 1 last week, and now it’s beta 2. I barely downloaded beta 1 and started looking at it, and now it’s already beta 2, so I will have some time this week to look at this. I would foresee more betas, 3, 4, then maybe release candidates 1, 2, 3 in the next few weeks here, since we’re on track to release next month? Yeah, next month. Crazy.

Finally in the news, WordCamp Europe videos are up, but the one I want to share with you this morning is Matt Mullenweg sat down with Brian Krogsgard, or the other way around. They had about an hour chat, interview, and Q,A with Matt. If you recall, Matt was on my podcast, Episode 48, way back when. Check that out if you want to go back and listen to it. Things have changed. It’s an hour talk. I listened to parts of it, I’m going to listen to the rest of it, probably tomorrow, actually, but it’s on wordpress.tv, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes.

Finally, actually, fifth thing, is I just returned from WordCamp Orange County 2016, had a great time. Thanks to the organizers for having me. David Margowsky was an awesome lead organizer. He is termed out now, so there will be a new organizer next year. I believe it’s going to be Steve Zehngut, looking forward to having him running that show the next two years, possibly. It was awesome. We had a great time. I think my talk went well, about podcasting, WordPress, and marketing. The feedback I got … It was a really nice time. It was a nice conversation, was not a traditional talk with slides, per se. It was a conversation with about thirty people in the room, two hours. It was great, had a good time.

That won’t be on WordPressTV, There was no recording in that room, so it’s okay. You missed out, but I’m looking forward to doing that again sometime soon in the near future.

Moving on to segment two, but before that I want to mention our sponsor. Last week I mentioned an article I read about 65 million passwords from a famous blogging platform being stolen back in 2013. Turns out hackers haven’t stopped. Literally, just June of this year, money.com reported that hackers stole 45 million passwords from over 1,100 websites. On July 10, just last week, there was reports that Twitter was hacked. I’m still a little freaked out. Are you? I am. I really am. Enter SnapID. With SnapID I never have to remember my username and password. All I do is click a button, text a code, and I’m logged in. It’s that easy. It really is. I do love it. I’ve been using it on some test sites. I’m now using it over on one of my other client sites, testing them out, seeing if they’d like to use it as well. Currently still only available in the US and Canada. It’s a WordPress plugin. It’s completely free, so give it a shot, and thanks again for sponsoring the podcast over to SnapID.

Moving on to segment two, Meat and Potatoes. This week I am going to do what I’ve done in the past. I interviewed somebody that was at WordCamp Orange County, a first time WordCamper. This interview was with Peter Malick. Peter was a really nice guy. He sat in on my session, and he then volunteered to be the person to be interviewed. He’s been doing WordPress for a while, but never been to WordCamp, so take a listen to the interview, and we’ll come back with the Tip and Tool of the Week. We’ll wrap things up. Here you go.

Adam: Today I am sitting here at WordCamp Orange County, I’m talking to Peter Malick. He is a first time WordCamper, as I like to do a few times a year, especially at WordCamp Orange County, is to interview somebody for you, the audience. Welcome to the show.

Peter: Thanks, Adam. Great to be here.

Adam: It’s awesome to have you . We met an hour and a half a go? Two hours ago?

Peter: Yes.

Adam: You sat in on my session.

Peter: I did.

Adam: Thank you for that. We’ll talk about that, maybe, if we get to it. It’s not about me, it’s about you. That said, how did you find out about WordCamp?

Peter: I’ve sort of been tangentially involved in WordPress community for a long time. My wife and I started an indie music blog in 2008. When we started it we didn’t even know what a blog was. Actually, we had an indie band that was making some noise in LA come into – I had a recording studio at the time – come into the studio and said, “Hey, you know, you should check out this thing called blogging.” We ended up starting a WordPress blog.

Adam: Was that over on WordPress.com, or was it always self hosted?

Peter: No. We were Luxury Wafers. It was luxurywafers.net, and we actually recorded indie music. Indy bands would come into our studio and we would post them, that was the blog.

Adam: You say you started doing WordPress work, or connected to it in 2008, 2009 even, but this is your first WordCamp, and we’re in 2016. What happened in the last ten years, nine years, whatever it is?

Peter: I’ve produced a lot of music. I have a family. Is this the first weekend I’ve had in eight years? Maybe so.

Adam: There are WordCamps closer to you. You still live in Southern California, but up in the LA area.

Peter: I plan on attending –

Adam: There’s WordCamp Los Angeles, for those of you listening, coming up in eight weeks. You going to be there?

Peter: I certainly am.

Adam: Good. I know the lead organizer. You might be able to get in a pretty good deal there.

Peter: All right.

Adam: For those of you that can’t see, obviously since it’s audio, it’s me.

Peter: Pointing at himself. Yes.

Adam: What made you come to this one. You had the availability, but were you here to learn something specifically?

Peter: Definitely to learn something specifically, but also to become more connected to the community. For about the last three years I’ve done marketing for a company that, actually, I was a customer of, that sells pro audio gear. They’re called West Lake Pro, we’re in Universal City, and my wife built their e-commerce platform, and that’s kind of what I oversee. The company’s growing, and my interest in being connected to the WordPress community is also growing.

Adam: Why didn’t your wife come?

Peter: She’s in Toronto at the moment. She’s actually planning on coming to WordPress LA.

Adam: That makes sense. She knows how to design sites …

Peter: Also, we have a five-year-old. That creates it’s own set of issues.

Adam: Actually, people have brought kids. I almost brought mine.

Peter: Really?

Adam: Yeah. It depends on the age and what the needs are. Babies are welcome, of course. If you need to be there, you need to be there. We had someone at WordCamp LA last year … was it last year? Maybe it was two years ago, that was about nine. He was a coder. The kid was brilliant. He was a very smart kid. He was welcome. He came to the developer day, beginner day, developer day, he’d do his stuff. CSS. My old joke was it was like his first language, it’s kind of crazy. PHP close second.

Peter: Mine will be six by the time of the LA camp, and would probably be a great assistant.

Adam: Yeah. It’d be interesting. My thirteen-and-a-half-year-old wanted to come. He’s been listening to my podcast, this show. He’s been binging, lately, on it. He realized WordPress is as old as him, and he’s like, “Can I come?” And I’m like, I want to encourage that and have an in-house developer for myself, literally, but this WordCamp … I didn’t feel there was enough beginner level topics and talks that would help him get a grasp on anything. I think, for kids, you really want to have a specific beginner day, one of those kind of things, so LA may very well have that, as well, but six might be on the younger age of things.

Peter: She actually might think it’s kind of boring.

Adam: It’s very possible. You say why you didn’t come for a few years. What’s your goals, now, with WordPress? Just to learn more core? Besides the community, are you planning on doing more dev work yourself?

Peter: I am. I’m actually considering, with my wife, of starting an agency. In my job at West Lake we’ve recently gotten into inbound marketing. I’m also kind of interest in this open source inbound marketing platform called Mautic, which looks really interesting. We’re really interested in started a WordPress agency, essentially.

Adam: That’s awesome. If someone said to you, now you’ve been here once, and you’re going to go to a second one eight weeks later, if someone said, “Hey should I go to WordCamp?” What would you say about that?

Peter: I would, unequivocably, I’ll even create a new word to say it, but absolutely, yes.

Adam: For what purpose?

Peter: A number of purposes. First of all, the content, especially yesterday, was awesome. It was really at a level that, at least for me, was just really helpful and educational. Probably even the larger reason is the community. It’s just an incredible community. It’s a very diverse community. Age wise, gender wise, race wise.

Adam: It’s very open. I’m trying to figure out how I want to ask you this next question. You have the experience from 2008-2009, you work at an agency, you want to start your own agency. Do you feel that the topics, the sessions from yesterday and today, this is day two, and I waited for the second day to interview somebody, covered the bases of the gambit of levels and knowledge base?

Peter: Yeah. I really do. Obviously I can only pick one at a time, but the ones that I picked I felt like I made good choices and I got a lot of value. I really enjoyed yours, by the way.

Adam: Thank you very much. Which one from yesterday, from Saturday, which was your favorite, or what did you gain … What’s a takeaway, actually. You don’t have to pick a favorite, but what’s a takeaway that you’ve learned that you want to go implement?

Peter: I attended two different sessions on design, and just really … a lot of takeaway. Michelle Schulp, who is very articulate about describing her craft, really gave me a lot more insight into UXUI. That is something that I’m very much involved in in the company I’m in right now. We have a website that started out, I think, with a very solid vision, and then the CEO and the president, “Hey, we need this on the home page, we need this on the home page,” and we ended up with – and I can say this because we’ve come to realize it’s true – but we ended up with a mess.

Adam: Yeah. It happens. The company I do work some day work for social media marketing, that website’s not WordPress. It’s run by ASP on the back end, and the front end is just a mess, because they keep adding stuff, for the past, literally, twelve years. Whatever 2002 was called, they want everything back, is my joke. Unfortunately it’s not my job to go fix it, at all. It’s a mess. All right. Last question here, I think it’s the last question. So we got you audience, how, why, goals, moving forward. Here’s a question for you, not to be so focused on, but you came to my podcasting talk today. Why?

Peter: In the last few months I’ve been really fascinated with podcasts. I think it’s a really growing medium. As you said during the presentation, that you listen to podcasting as opposed to radio, which is basically what I’ve done now, too. I listen to it in the car, exclusively. I’ve been fascinated by it. Walking into the session today I really didn’t have in my mind that I want to start a podcast, but just find the platform fascinating, and walked out thinking, “Yeah, maybe I do want to start a podcast.”

Adam: That’s what I want to hear. Awesome. It’s interesting. Podcasting, like we’re doing right now, recording this, it’s just a different medium to share information. The mission of WordPress is Democratize Publishing, but not everybody can read or has accessibility to read, versus iPhones or any mobile device that has the audio built into it. It’s just a different way, so I definitely see growth WordPressing. The numbers … WordPressing? I mean podcasting. The numbers are clear. You have millions upon millions more blogs than podcasts.

Peter: And you talked about podcast could be a video or could be audio. To me the really engaging podcasts are really strictly audio.

Adam: I think so, too. Some people disagree with me. The definition’s there, and it can be either/or, but since it started as audio only … Not that I need to be so caught up on that aspect of it, I just feel like that works for me, for one. That’s fine, but I definitely think there’s more that can be learned and garnered and captured with the audio only, without having to visually see something. It’s up to you to decide if it’s a story, if it’s an experience, if it’s describing something, or even learning via audio versus the visual aspect. You can do something else. To my mind that is a positive.

Peter: It’s incredible. It kind of flies in the face of virtual reality, ever more realistic –

Adam: It goes back to the days … My dad’s eighty-five years old. He grew up without TV. They had radio shows. It goes back to that. Look what happened. Podcasting’s big again because of serial, because of NPR. That’s been a big explosion this last year and a half, because of those shows.

Peter: There was a beautiful thing about what your father listened to, and the fact that he could paint the picture himself.

Adam: I want to thank you for being here. Where can people reach out if they want to follow you, see the designs or anything you’re going to do in the future, where can they find you online?

Peter: Online @silvertone is my Twitter handle. Peter Malick Facebook, LinkedIn, you can find me.

Adam: Thanks so much for being here, thanks for taking the time. Welcome to the WordPress community. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.

Peter: You will see me in Los Angeles.

Adam: Awesome. See you there.

Thanks again to Peter for doing that. I really do appreciate his time. It was funny. We actually spoke another half hour, forty-five minutes afterwards. He is really cool. He’s a musician. He’s been around the industry of music for a long time. I hadn’t Googled him before the interview. He actually asked me if I had, I’m like, “No. Why? Should I?” The name sounded familiar. He’s been doing some amazing work in the music industry for a long time. So you can check him out, and there’ll be links in the show notes to how to find him, et cetera.

Moving right along, segment three, Tip and Tool of the Week. This week I want to share a website. It’s called … it’s over at URAFI, the letters U, the letter R, the letter A F I, as in Frank and Igloo dot com (URAFI.com) It stands for, “You are a fantastic individual.” It’s a little site that Lauren Nason put up, and he talked about over at the meetup a few weeks back in Orange County, actually. It’s funny. The key here is … I just want to share it to you, it’s kind of funny. You are a fantastic individual, or you are a something else individual. The tagline is, “Want to make your friends happy or just annoy people? Choose to send three days of motivational or demotivational text messages today.” I think it’s working now. I did it as a test. I think it’s … It’s $1.99. He actually has it working. And $4.99. Motivation is $1.99 for the month, daily texts. Demotivation is $4.99, which is awesome. The person can opt out by texting back a certain word that you have to look up to say on the radio to keep the show clean. Check that out. It’s over at URAFI.com. That is the letters URAFI.com. Just fun, funny. Maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t. I actually have it running for motivation. I don’t need any demotivation, that’s for sure. Check that out.

As always, go out this week, do some awesome things with WordPress. If you have any questions use the Speak Pipe functionality of the website or email me at adam@kitchensinkwp.com. Thanks again, talk to you next week. Bye bye.

This weeks sponsor SnapID


Podcast E123 – 3 reasons when to say no to a deal


kswp-e123This week I share 3 reasons when to say no to a deal.

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  3 Reasons when to say no to a deal.

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

This weeks episode is sponsored by SnapID


Podcast E122 – Why I’m switching to support Ticketing System


kswp-e122This week I share why using a Support Ticketing system is the way to go.

Upcoming Events

  • No WordCamps next weekend.

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  Why I’m going to start using a Ticketing System

My choice:

vSegment 3: Tool of the Week

This weeks episode is sponsored by: A2 Hosting.


Podcast E121 – Listener Q/A


kswp-e104This week I answer listener/meetup questions

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: in the news

Segment 2:  listener/meetup questions

Resources Mentioned:

Segment 3: tool of the week

Read Transcript

Adam Silver: This is the KitchenSinkWP podcast. Episode 121. [Opening Sequence]

Hello there. This is Adam Silver, the host of the KitchenSinkWP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. All right. Upcoming events. WordCamp Europe is next weekend, if I’m not mistaken. Let me double check that for you. I just actually almost forgot to add this. Yes, June 24th to 26th, WordCamp Europe is going to happen. It’s actually the largest WordCamp to date. I believe they’re at 2,300 or 2,200 attendees, which is crazy. I will know a handful. I’m sure I know some people there. I know my buddy, Dustin, is going to be there, from Automatic. Others may be there. I know Kari-Leigh, who was interviewed in last week’s show. Thanks, people, for helping her out and listening. It was awesome. She’ll be there covering that as well. WordCamp Europe. If you are there and nearby, by all means, you should go. I wish I could go. Very cool.

Anyway, what else is coming up here? That’s it for the events really. Just one WordCamp. I think a lot of work camps didn’t do the same weekend, if I’m not mistaken. 24th. Just Europe. After that, we hit in July. We’ll talk about that next week. Okay, so that’s it for upcoming events.

Segment 1: In the news. A whole bunch of things here in the news. First and foremost, Gravity Forms 2.0 was released this last week, and I’m actually due for renewal. We’ll talk about renewals in a second in here. This is a major release, introduced as a bunch of new features and enhancements. A lot of things under the hood. Core plugin, the API, the Add-on Framework and enhanced security. Carl wrote a blog post about it. But check it out if you’re a Gravity Forms user. You should get your update there. If you’re not, you should go ahead and buy it. I might have an affiliate, I don’t know, on my resources page… I think I do. I use it all the time. I renew every year, without question, in June because I bought it like four years ago.  I get a discount on it. Discounts on renewal are about 50%, so it’s well worth it for me. I buy the developer level. Anyway, we’ll talk about renewals later in the show today.

Okay. What else in the news? WooCommerce 2.6 came out. It’s called Zipping Zebra. That’s the code name. A whole bunch of new things with the WooCommerce as well. Shipping Zones. WooCommerce REST API. Improve account pages and also the AJAX Cart got a big, huge refresh, meaning when you click on quantity you no longer have to do a refresh for pricing. It just kind of does it automatically. Pretty cool. If you’re using WooCommerce or anything, check that as well.

I’m still toying with WooCommerce a little bit for this other little project I’m working on….Anyway.

I’m looking forward to trying that out for this. Shipping Zones, actually, is what I’m looking at for that. Okay. What else? One last thing in the news. WP Tavern wrote a review about WordCamp Northeast Ohio, or NEO, and that was a smashing success, and it was. I had a great time when I was there. I got a nice little shout out from my buddy Jeff Chandler so thank you for that. It was great. Smaller camp. It was in Kent, Ohio. The first day was a little warm, muggy, but the second day was beautiful. It really was. Nice location. Thank you very much to the organizers, the entire team, Rich and Angela. They did a great job and it was good to see some friends. It was nice to be there. There you go. I’m looking forward to maybe hitting up Ohio again in the near future. Probably won’t be this year, though. I wanted to go to Columbus, but I think that weekend is … I’m busy that weekend. Only one trip to Ohio this year. Okay. That is it for upcoming news and in the news and upcoming events. Moving along here to segment 2. Before that, though, a quick shout out to the sponsor. Take a listen here.

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Okay. Thanks for the sponsorship there from ConciergeWP. Awesome. I’m moving on now to segment 2. This week, the meat and potatoes is listener Q&A from email as well as my meetup. As you guys know, I run the local meetup here in the south bay and we do an open forum where it’s Q&A. People ask questions, I write them out on a text document and I answer the best I can and I get help from the community, and it’s awesome. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I wanted to share some of those here because I believe they are relevant and good for the entire community. Okay. First question here is by Mehdi. By the way, real quick: there are about 12 questions. We had about a 90 minute session. It was pretty cool. We had a paninis at the meetup. It was great. Paninis and a hot dog. No. A sandwiches and paninis bar….Anyway. 12 questions. We’re not going to do all 12. I have a handful. I believe I have five here, because that’s what I have time for.

Okay. First one was, “What are the minimum requirements for freelancers to have?” In this case, Mehdi is both front end and back end, so developer and designer. He’s new to the area and he’s trying to get freelance work and build up a portfolio. Easy answer: samples of your work. Now, to dive into that a little bit, and to extrapolate. On the designer, the visual portfolio of work, of your user interface, of your user designs. Ideally, working sites, and live and active right now, are better than a static shot of what you’ve done in the past, in my opinion. I’ve tried to hire people in the past, and I have definitely noticed … If you see a sample site of a mock-up, it’s okay, it’s cool, but if I see a live site, it’s like, “Hey, you did this site? It’s live. It’s active. Much better.”

On the developer side, same thing. You want to have a portfolio, but I’ve seen many job postings these days indicate, “Please send us the link to your GIT repo.” If you’re hiring someone to do code, you want to see what kind of code they did, the standards being used. Definitely, if you’re doing development work and if you want to get work, have a Git repo, a public repository, for that, and go that route. Put code there. Snippets, samples, of what you can share. Legally, of course. I think that would be the great minimum requirements.

Beyond that, the other conversation that came from that was how do we hire and how do we go thru that process. I like to say fire fast if you have to. If you find someone that’s not working out, the communication skills are terrible, move on. Let people go faster than you’ve brought them in because lack of communication from developers or designers is going to affect your work and your business 100%. Simple as that. Okay. I forgot how the quote goes. I’m messing up, so I don’t want to keep messing on that. Anyway, keep that in mind. There you go. Hope that helped, Mehdi.

Rick asks the question about site speed. This has come up in the past. I’m just going to revisit this real quick. How to increase the speed of your website. Load time. Fairly simple answer here. First and foremost, use a good hosting company. Your shared hosting, right off the bat, shared is not going to be the best situation necessarily. So move up to either VPS or managed VPS or just your own private server of course. Use a good hosting company. Optimize images, if you’re an image heavy site, and a lot of sites these days are image heavy because of the visual, right? And the theme. Make it a good, lean theme as well. Beyond that, use a CDN, a content delivery network. I spoke to Dave Henzel about this back in episode 87. You can go to the kitchensinkwp.com/87 and hear about CDN’s and how they work. Those are the things you really want to do to increase site speed. There’s a couple of things you can also do. But right off the bat: good hosting company, optimize images, use a CDN. Okay? That’s No.2.

No.3 here. Third question. Ada asks, “What are the basics to SEO?” Now this is a can of worms, potentially. Super simple question, not really. First and foremost: I’m a believer that SEO is a moving target. Writing consistent content, being consistent with that content, in your niche, in your focus area, is key. The other things that can totally help are the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s a great starting point, and Yoast just updated the blog on this topic a few days ago. I’m recording this on June 17th, 2016, so two days before recording this there is an updated post about SEO and how things work. I’ll put link in the show notes about that.

Another great resource is via my friends over at iThemes, Cory at iThemes. They have a free webinar series taught by Rebecca Gills, and I’ll put a link in the show notes as well about all the SEO basics and what to do about that. I’m not an SEO expert, so that’s all I really got. I know there’s resources out there and I know there’s people who love doing it. It’s not one of my favorite things, but I think that consistency is one of those things that does help a lot. Okay. What else here? We got another couple of questions here and we’re moving right along.

Steve asked, “Why use MailChimp or any other email service provider versus the built-in subscribe or through Jetpack or some other, where people can just get updates from when you do a blog post. Easy answer: you own the list that people subscribe to, and you have more control over the list. I use a plugin for my class website called Subscribe2. Very basic. That way, my students get an email whenever I update the blog and when I put the notes up. It’s simple. I don’t need to add them to my AWeber list or Constant Contact or MailChimp. Now, MailChimp offers a free level for 2,000 subscribers, a couple hundred emails per month. It’s totally free. AWeber does not. I have accounts at both because I’ve tested both, and I really like AWeber and MailChimp’s great too, but the key here is it always comes back to the money’s in the list. The sooner you have an email list that you can have communication with, and you can market to, the better.

The subscribe functionality is okay but it’s built into the site, and if it goes down or if I lose that list, if my database gets corrupted, then I lose that. I like having that list split out and be separate. I hope that answers the question. Also, once you have people on the list, you can have a better communication. You have a drip content campaign. You can follow up with people. What you don’t want to do really is you don’t want to sell service, say thanks. They get a confirmation, or product for that matter, and then in a year, they get, “Hey. Renew.” Right? That’s not a great relationship to have with anybody. Subscribers, buyers, listeners. You ideally want to have a relationship built upon some value and communications style.

One more question here. This one actually comes back to the theme issue. Not the theme, but plugins and licenses. Dave asked, “Do I need to renew my license from ThemeForest every year?” Easy answer. No. You don’t. Why would you? The theme won’t stop working if you don’t renew. But you won’t have the updates and you won’t get the support. If you don’t need support at all, you are self-supportive, if you are a developer, then go right ahead and skip it. At least for now. But you’re not supporting the community and you’re not going to get the updates and eventually a theme will break based on core functionality changing security. That’s what you are paying for. You’re paying for those updates. You’re paying for support.

Case in point: my Gravity Forms is due right now. Do I need to renew? No. Not at all. I don’t. Am I going to? Absolutely because I support them. I want them to keep doing great things with their plugin. I use it all the time. It’s not going to break. It’s not going to stop working on the dozens of sites I have it on. Why take the risk? I want to make sure I have all the updates, all the add-ons, the functionality, the features. I will be renewing this week. It’ll cost me $100, and I will just go ahead and do it. Actually, I’ll probably do it right after this episode is done recording. That’s the answer Dave. You don’t have to renew but you just won’t get updates and you won’t get support. It’s a choice. It’s a budgetary choice. Keep that in mind.

That’s it. Those five things. Real quick, recapping them. Minimum requirements for freelancers. You want a portfolio of work, live work is great. Git repo for dev, increasing site speed, hosting company is ideal, optimize images, use a CDN, basics of SEO, Yoast plugin really helps a lot and he just updated his blog post like two days ago, and iThemes has a great webinar through Rebecca Gills. These will all be in the show notes as well.

MailChimp, I use that all the time. Not MailChimp, I’m sorry. AWeber, and MailChimp, over built-in plugins for subscriptions just because I want it somewhere else where I can use that to market to subscribers, listeners, mailing lists, et cetera. By the way, that’s what they do. MailChimp. AWeber. Accounts and Constant Contact, Get Drip. All those. Those companies are email providers. You can have a lot better metrics and analytics versus if you send off email or through your own system hosting, you might get shut down from being a spammer. Keep that in mind. Of course, licensing renewals. Do you have to? No. But there’s benefits to having it. There you go.

All right. Segment 3. Moving along here. Tip and tool of the week. This week, I was just thinking about this. I was at Starbucks earlier today, actually, and I realized my VPN … I don’t have a VPN. I had a trial for a while. My tip and tool of the week is get a VPN for safe Wi-Fi while traveling the summer. Summer is in full effect now, across the United States at least, and I believe we should all have a VPN. Too many people out there are sniffing for Dana. Data. Not Dana. I don’t know who Dana is. For data. I’m testing two services. I went with Cloak to begin with. I tried out their 30-day trial. It was awesome. I liked it a lot. Very easy. Automatically engages based on where you are. If you’re in your home Wi-Fi, it will never kick in. No need to, necessarily. You trust your home. When you go somewhere else, it will automatically just turn on, which is great. They have different levels. I’m not going to talk about the pricing right now.

But that expired, so I want to try something else. There’s two I was looking in. The other one’s called TunnelBear. It’s manual. You have to go ahead and click it on or off yourself. It looks like there is free 500 megabytes per month. You get an extra gigabyte if you tweet out, “Hey, I’m using TunnelBear.” I am testing TunnelBear right now, but either way, find a VPN that works for you. I’m testing those two. If you want to take my recommendation, great. Cloak was great. TunnelBear, so far, so good. I’ll know more in the next week or two. I’m traveling a little bit. That way when I’m at Starbucks or Coffee Bean or anywhere out and about where I don’t trust the Wi-Fi, I can tunnel VPN my data, so keep things safe. That’s the tip this week. Go out. Be safe when you use Wi-Fi traveling, and check out a VPN service.

Okay. That is it this week. If you have any questions, go ahead and send them in via email at adam@kitchensinkwp.com or use the SpeakPipe functionality on the website. Thanks for listening, see you next week, and talk to you later. Go out and do some awesome things with WordPress.

Oh, and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. No matter where you are, thanks for being a dad. Thanks for being awesome. Love ya. Bye dad.

This weeks episode is sponsored by ConciergeWP.com | Relax, we’ve got this!


Podcast E120 – Interview with Kari-Leigh Marucchi


kswp-e120This week I interview Kari-Leigh Marucchi about her WordPress journey and the WP photo project.

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

  • WordPress  4.6 – -someone out here asked me when..  August..  Beta 1  june 29th!  only a few weeks away.

Segment 2:  Interview with Kari Leigh Marucchi

Kari-Leigh’s tools:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Gmail

Follow Kari-Leigh

Twitter: @foundartphotog

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

Read Transcript

Adam: This is The Kitchen Sink WP podcast episode 120. [ Opening Sequence ]

Adam: Why hello there everybody. This is Adam Silver, the host of The Kitchen Sink WP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. Upcoming events, we have Word Camp Ottawa. That is June 16th and 17th up in Canada. WordCamp actually, this one’s an update here, postponement on Word Camp Winnipeg, sorry to say. I looked it up and I noticed that it was missing some information, a lot of it. Tickets were not available and speakers were still open. Anyway, I reached out and found out through the community that Winnipeg Word Camp has been postponed, new date to be announced shortly. Those are the two things.

Also, this week, if you’re in the Southern California area when you here this, I believe my meetup’s this week, isn’t it? Yeah. It is. Check that out. South Bay WordPress meetup. Check that out. Come on by. Love to have you. Not sure what we’re doing for food this time. Last time we did soup and salad, chili. Time before that we did taco bar. We would pizza. It’s been a long time since we’ve done pizza, but maybe not. We’ll see.

Moving right along, segment one, in the news. Short news week because I’m actually recording this a little early this week. I’m about to leave to travel for Word Camp. By the time you hear this I’m already back, but I’m on my way to Word Camp Northeast Ohio. Anyway, in the news, WordPress 4.6, some news here. Someone asked me last week about it in a seminar I did, and I just wanted to double check. It’s on track. It’s due in August. The first beta is due June 29th, which is only a few weeks away. It’s kind of crazy. We just got 4.5.2, of course. 4.6 is due … Beta 1, June 29th. Release for that is middle of August if I’m not mistaken, the 16th. Let me double check that for you here real quick. August 16th is the target date for WordPress Version 4.6.

I’ll put a link in the show notes. You can follow along how that goes. If you want to help contribute, by all means you should. You can totally do stuff and help out, and translate and look at documentation and find bugs and kill bugs. Check that out. This week were going to have an interview. Before that, I wanted to a shout out to our sponsor starting right now.

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Adam: This week, segment 2, I have an interview with Kari-Leigh just recently. She is an awesome person, a good friend of mine, and I wanted to interview her because she’s just a bundle of joy. She’s amazing at what she does and what she’s trying to do with the community of WordPress. We’ll come back up to that with a tip and tool of the week, and we’ll wrap things up. Here you go.

Today I’m joined by Kari-Leigh Marucchi. She has worn many hats over the years from a web content strategist, to help clients connect designers and developers in the agency world, and is currently happiest behind the camera, not to mention a character in front of it. A lover of WordPress, her family, and well just everything in general, including her dog. Welcome to the show Kari-Leigh.

Kari-Leigh: Hi there. Thanks so much.

Adam: Of course. Did I miss anything from that bio? Anything you want to add to that?

Kari-Leigh: How long do we have?

Adam: Sixteen minutes.

Kari-Leigh: I’m a certified paraprofessional, certified bartender, and certified massage therapist, and now I’m a photographer. Let’s do it.

Adam: Okay. For full transparency, which I’m always keen on, I like to tell people how we know each other. I was thinking back, I’m pretty sure we met the first in Word Camp Orange County either 2013, is that right?

Kari-Leigh: Yeah

Adam: Okay. At the time you were working for who or what?

Kari-Leigh: Velo Media, which became Crowd Favorite.

Adam: That leads me to the first question. We just have a handful of questions for you, and I want my audience to get to know you. For those who don’t know you, which is still very possible, how did you get here? How did you get involved using WordPress. As talking heads would say, “How did I get here?” Go ahead and answer that part.

Kari-Leigh: Well, in 2009 I had got engaged to someone who had discovered WordPress very recently and was working with it after hours. As we decide to build a life together, we decided to build a business together and center it around the WordPress platform. We started Vela Media, and dropped the day jobs and went for it. I was able to bring in my project management experience from a career in the enterprise environment working with payroll and HR and finance departments, and implanting software to connect the departments between HR, benefits, payroll, et cetera.

Adam: Okay.

Kari-Leigh: I was able to bring that project management experience into what he does as well as what that specialty brought for me, which was back office skills. Between his technical knowledge and his history back several decades with the Internet and my background office and project management, we got it launched in a good direction. That’s how I got started with WordPress.

Adam: Right on. That said, I’m aware you’re not a WordPress developer per say.

Kari-Leigh: No.

Adam: You’re not a pure designer, right?

Kari-Leigh: No.

Adam: What are you right now?

Kari-Leigh: Right now I’m a photographer, and I shoot Word Camps very happily. I’m what I like to call a master configurer with WordPress. It was my job to understand and often to document spec and client requirements, and figure out how we were going to budget developer’s time to get the tasks done. In that, I became … Basically, it’s my job to figure out what can WordPress do out of the box? What can plug-ins do to help us save developer hours? A lot of times there would be a situation where a developer may say, “Hey, yeah. I can handle that. It’ll take 19 hours.” If it was possible, there are a lot of things where the response is, “Well, no. Let’s not do that. I can do it in about 3 minutes,” if you really know deeply what the WordPress platform and your theme can do and the plug-ins available. That’s fun.

Adam: You’re a photographer. No. Did you have any interest in switching out of project management into more development or into more bus-dev before you went to the photography? We’ll get to the photography in a second. I want to get to that. That’s very important to me because I used to be one as well. Did you ever consider growing more within the WordPress side of things of development itself?

Kari-Leigh: I’ve always been fascinated with the code that I was working with people to build. I’ve had many people see that I can read it and I can troubleshoot. They’ve suggested I get into it, but I really believe in core competency focus. I am very good at project management. I’m very good at documentation, at spec development, and working with the client to translate their needs into what our developers can do. I really enjoy that, and if that’s my core competency, spending time to train and code and hardware and management et cetera, it took away from what made me valuable.

If I end up going back into project management, which I wouldn’t mind, I love it. I miss the puzzle of it … It would be definitely going into project management again. I love developers. I’ve made a lifestyle over the last year of photographing them, and I’m love talking to them and listening to how they strategize and solve problems. I’m a developer fan girl.

Adam: Okay.

Kari-Leigh: There’s a place for us.

Adam: Absolutely. That then leads to the next question, which is, what are you doing now as photographer in relation to WordPress?

Kari-Leigh: I have shot 15 Word Camps comprehensively, which means I will go to Word Camps and from start til stop I will be carrying my camera and seeking to document what makes each Word Camp special, what makes it unique, and what makes Word Camps something that keeps drawing the speakers and the sponsors and getting these volunteer organizers who blow my mind, bless you all, to do this and come to this again and again. I got the bug a long time ago in 2012. My first one was Word Camp San Francisco. When I needed to take a break from my professional administrative career a year and a half ago due to a family illness, I wanted to go to Word Camp Atlanta, but I wasn’t ready to as a business person. I thought, “Now I can contribute and I’ll bring my camera.” That was the beginning of history for me.

Adam: Right.

Kari-Leigh: That’s the evolution. I went from project management to, because of a family illness, deciding to bring my camera. I’ve fallen in love with being at a camp and providing images that help people promote the camp, the WordPress project, and themselves and what they do with the WordPress platform.

Adam: Are you being funded for this? Are you making a living doing this, selling print? I’m curious. I kind of know the answer, but I want you to answer for those who don’t.

Kari-Leigh: I do not sell the pictures. I’m really glad you asked that, because that’s really important for people to know that none of the images are available for sale. The project, the WP Photo Project as I call it, which is my efforts with Word Camps and providing these photos and collecting photos from other photographers, these are open source. They are creative commons license. We love credit if it’s possible, but they are a gift to the community, to the speakers, the sponsors, the organizers, and the attendees. It’s really not meant to put up for sale. They are a gift back to the community.

Yes, it is important that I do bring in an income, and once I realized I really wanted to do this full-time … Not just travel to the Word Camps and shoot them … I love travel and I love shooting. I love my friends and my new friends. That’s all really fun, but this is much bigger than that. Between the travel and the processing and the publishing of the pictures, I’m also developing a project to create a central repository for this photography. Hopefully futurlly known as WordPress.Photo. All of that time spent requires sponsorship. I spend also a lot of my time talking to potential sponsors and getting them involved in contributing to this community service that I’m doing and I’m drawing other people into to help make happen.

Adam: Okay. The question is, you’re being paid to cover expenses and cost and travel, correct?

Kari-Leigh: Yes.

Adam: Okay. Has it helped in the sense of people reaching out to you outside of that. “Hey, we need a photographer for this other even that does pay.” Has that come to any fruition or is that an interest on your point at all?

Kari-Leigh: It is of interest. I’ve done couple handfuls over the last year, including a very special one. A couple months ago I shot Adam Silver’s son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Adam: Yes you did. Yes.

Kari-Leigh: I’m very honored. They’re available to see somewhere online soon I hope.

Adam: We’ll see about that.

Kari-Leigh: We’ll see about that.

Adam: For the record, they are beautiful shots. We do like them. We just haven’t released them to anyone yet or we haven’t made a book yet because my wife works a non-profit. She was busy head down at this big project she had. I know you were afraid that, “My gosh, how come we haven’t seen these photos yet anywhere?” It’s because of that. My wife’s picky about what she wants out for images of her. The photos are awesome. We had a different photographer for my daughter’s a couple years ago, and like I said, your photos were awesome.

Kari-Leigh: You’re so diplomatic, but then kind. Thank you.

Adam: Yes.

Kari-Leigh: I really enjoyed that. My thing as an artist in photography is I love event photography. I’ve been open to other events besides Word Camps coming my way, but frankly, I’m never in town.

Adam: Makes total sense. Current goal, current project is just the WordPress photo project, correct?

Kari-Leigh: That’s it. I have put all of my eggs into that one basket.

Adam: A couple more questions, because I want to be respectful of your time. If someone came to you right now, and they said they really want to do something in the WordPress space, but they’re not a developer, they’re not a designer. They’re not anything specific or, I hate to say the word, pigeonholed. What would you say to them? What would you tell them for advice? How do they get involved?

Kari-Leigh: I would absolutely say volunteer at a Word Camp.

Adam: Nice.

Kari-Leigh: You get to know many more people that way than just walking in the door. Because you have a reason to speak to someone, to each person. You get pulled into conversations and activities where you end up bonding with people. That’s natural. Absolutely, I’ve met more people being a volunteer than in any other way I stepped into the door as a Word Camp attendee. Once you do that, you become exposed to the various things that are needed, and you end up finding your niche. I can’t recommend it more.

Adam: I couldn’t disagree with you at all on that. I couldn’t agree with you more I guess is the right way to say that. I came into WordPress and the community based out of a volunteer. I think I went first as a guest of a sponsor, like I’ve told people on the show before. Then I volunteered as a photographer for 2 years at Word Camp LA. Then I was hired by our friend Chris Lema to shoot his talk. He needed some stuff for marketing purposes. That’s when I met you, I think that same Word Camp.

Kari-Leigh: That’s when we met.

Adam: Right.

Kari-Leigh: Yep.

Adam: The rest is history. It’s been downhill ever since.

Kari-Leigh: For me, that was, in my past, the bottom of hill that I’m at the top of right now. There were 2 people in particular who inspired me to do this, and that is you. When I saw you doing that, I knew … Because I had shot events before. I thought, “You know, I should really bring my camera. I’d love to that. I can see … I see the spirit here. My eye is framing. I know it’s something that I can capture.” Of course time, when you’ve got a start-up, is at a premium, and I just wasn’t able to, but along the way I also ran into Raquel Landefeld who also was bringing her camera. She didn’t tend to take a lot of pictures, but she showed them to me. I saw she gets it. She senses the spirit of the WordPress community and she captures it. Between the two of you, that really was the seed.

Adam: Yeah. Thanks. Thank you for that. I loved doing it. There was potential to do more of it, but I was looking … I saw the writing on the wall. From my perspective, the financial aspect of it. Not that I just wanted to make tons of money, but I have 3 children. I needed to make a living. So much of it is volunteer-driven of Word Camps and WordPress, Word Camp specifically. That said, I had to make a choice. “Do I keep shooting these, that’s fine, or do I pursue more speaking and teaching and doing that route?” I made that choice. I still take my camera. I don’t take it nearly as much as I used to, which upsets you.

Kari-Leigh: Yes. I want you to contribute.

Adam: It’s better for my back. I have heavy glass. Sorry.

Kari-Leigh: That was a humble brag right there.

Adam: That’s right. Right.

Kari-Leigh: ….to that point, this is not making me rich.

Adam: Right.

Kari-Leigh: I have not been fully funded. I did all of 2015, the 7 2015 on my own dime. In 2016, almost all of them have been sponsored, but on average I’ve been sponsored about 60%. Now, even when I’m funded, when I get this sponsorship on rails and I’m funded 100%, this is a non-profit project. I’m definitely in constant contact with central making sure that my activities and how I administrate this is in line with the open source philosophy and in line with the efforts of Word Camp Central and the foundation and the copyrights of WordPress and Word Camp. This is a passion project that I would love to devote my full time effort to for the coming years, but it is non-profit. This is not going to make anybody wealthy except in spirit.

When I see how people react to my work, as I have just once again in Word Camp Ashville, when they see someone care to take a photograph of them that they can use as a business headshot, when I hear many, many times … I can’t even count, infinite number of times I’ve heard, “I’ve never had a quality shot taken of me. Now I have something I can use.” It just hits me in the feels. I am very willing to … getting a little misty here. I am very willing to dedicate my professional self and personal self to this. I’d just like to say why. Why do I care about the WordPress project so much? I’ll tell you, it’s specifically because anyone who has a brain, Internet, a computer, and electricity, can pick themselves up from the gutter and completely change their lives, and take charge and create a business where they can self-actualize and create income. That is one of the most powerful devices I’ve ever come across in my entire life. That’s why I do it.

Adam: Okay. It goes back to democratizing publishing. Is the overall mission

Kari-Leigh: Absolutely.

Adam: Yeah. Okay. Last two questions here. 3 software tools that you can’t live without? In your case, obviously they very well may be photo-based, but what are the 3 tools that you live and love on a daily basis?

Kari-Leigh: I am in Lightroom more than any other thing by far. It’s with Lightroom that I’m able to … I use Lightroom to adjust the meta of the photo files. I’m going to point that out because part of what makes what I do so time consuming and so special is that every photo file is titled and meta’ed to indicate the speaker, the camp, the details of it, what they’re talking about, perhaps their company. These are the things that make these photos findable in the future. If we’re just taking photos off our cell phones and tweeting them, maybe throwing them on Facebook, they’re great in the moment and then they’re gone. Lightroom is what enables me to create historical documents out of these photo files.

Then of course Photoshop. I’m getting to the point … I used to use it a ton more, but I’m getting to the point I really only use it if I’m going to do photo stitching or if I’m painting. I do on a portrait, I do do some retouching if someone’s got some unusual things going on, but if they’re glowing with Word Camp happiness, there’s really not much photo editing that needs to be done. Then of course Gmail. That’s my lifeline to the outside world.

Adam: Not one of those has ever been mentioned. I guess Gmail might have been mentioned in the past, but most people … I talk to developers and other designers or different non-photographers per say.

Kari-Leigh: Right.

Adam: Lightroom, Photoshop, and Gmail?

Kari-Leigh: Absolutely.

Adam: Last question, and I want to thank you for your time, where can people best follow you, reach out to you, stay in touch with you if they wanted to find you on the ethers?

Kari-Leigh: All announcements come out through Twitter on @foundartphotog F-O-U-N-D-A-R-T-P-H-O-T-O-G.

Adam: I’ll put a link to all that in the show notes as well

Kari-Leigh: Fantastic.

Adam: Thank you so much. I appreciate you being here. I hope to see you soon at the next Word Camp. Where are you going to be next?

Kari-Leigh: There’s a little room where I may be able to OC after all, but right now I am working on finishing fund raising for Vienna. It’s in two weeks, so it’s really tight. This is an essential one to be at, both for the largest Word Camp we’ve ever had, and for the WP Photo Project, what both participating in that can bring to the project and to that camp. I’m also slated to work on contributing day on developing concepts around what are the specs for a possible WordPress.Photo in the future, which may be that central repository for all the photography of the Word Camp culture dating back since it began and from all around the world. That’s real exciting. I need to be there.

Adam: Okay.

Kari-Leigh: In terms of my next cinched one, it looks like New York City.

Adam: Okay. I will not be at New York, I’m sorry to say.

Adam: The next one I will be at when this podcast gets released, I will be at … I think OC will be the next one for me as well, Orange County in Southern California.

Kari-Leigh: I’ll cross my fingers to see you there.

Adam: Okay. Thanks again for coming on the show. Really do appreciate it. We’ll talk to you next time.

Kari-Leigh: Thank you so much, Adam.

Adam: All right. That was an awesome conversation I had with Kari-Leigh. Really do love her. She is one of my favorite people. Seriously is. If you can help out, if you want to sponsor her for what she’s trying to do with the photography project, by all means you should totally reach out and help her. It’s all about community. It’s the foundation. It’s open source, et cetera. We want to just have a historical documents here. Thanks again to Kari-Leigh for being a part of the show.

Moving on. Segment 3 tip until the week, this one’s a little bit older … Not that old, from October 12th of last year. The post was: Settings for iTheme Security Pro. I use this a lot for some of my clients, actually, most of my clients, and my own sites. They had done a blog post on their website over at iThemes. I’m going to link to it in the show notes. It just takes you through the best settings to help you secure you’re site if you’re doing it on your own, if you’re not using a 3rd party service like Concierge WP. I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s over at ithemes.com. It is from October of last year, but it’s very relevant. The settings are still good. There’s a video, helps you walk through some things. Check that out.

That is it this week. If you have any questions, go ahead and send it via email, adam@kitchensinkwp.com, or use the Speak Pipe functionality of the website. Thanks for listening. See you next week. Go out and do some awesome things with WordPress. Talk to you later. Bye-bye.

This weeks episode is sponsored by ConciergeWP.com


RELAX, We’ve Got This!

Podcast E119 – When & why to change directions within your WordPress career


kswp-e119This week I discuss when & why to change directions within your WordPress career

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

• My friend Bridget Willard’s husband mercer passed away. The community came together, created a site to help raise funds to cover expenses willardfund.org

• Shiny Updates Project Officially Proposed for Merge Into WordPress 4.6

Segment 2:  When & why to change directions within your WordPress career

• Suggested reading: Essentialism Book

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

Read Transcript

Adam Silver:

This is the KitchenSinkWP podcast, episode 119. [Opening Audio Sequence]

Why hello there everybody this is Adam Silver, the host of the KitchenSinkWP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let’s get started. We have upcoming events, of course starting with that. Four word camps next weekend. We have word camp Marbella, which is in Spain if you didn’t know. I’ve been to Marbella actually, about eighteen years ago this month, next month June. I’ve been there. It’s one of the coolest little cities that I went to when I was traveling through Europe backpacking before I got married. Anyways, it’s June tenth. Looks like it’s a one day event, word camp Marbella. Also, word camp Kansas City, June tenth through the twelfth. Word camp North East Ohio, NEO is what I’ve been calling it. Actually, I will be there June eleventh and twelfth. I fly out next Thursday night. I am there Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’m doing a couple talks there, looking forward to it. Hope to see you there. If you’re there and I don’t know you reach out and say hi. If I do know you, I’m sure ill say hi and see you.

There’s also word camp Bilboa. I think Bilboa is … Where is that? If I’m saying that correctly it’s, I’m not sure where Bilboa is. Let me see here real quick. It looks like it’s also in Spain, by the way. Yes I believe it’s in Spain. There’s two in Spain next weekend. That’s awesome so check that out. If you have access, if you’re nearby check them out and go to a word camp. If the tickets are sold out then check social media as I was saying.

Segment One, moving right along. In the news, unfortunately some sad news. Bridget Willard who is a friend of the WordPress community, she’s a good friend of mine here in the Southern California area, her husband passed away after twenty three years of marriage. What’s amazing here is the community stepped up. Her friends and family, the friends in the WordPress base stepped up. Within less than eight hours a domain was purchased, designed, and set up to allow people to give feedback and words of encouragement who knew her well, knew her better than me even. I’ve only known her for about a little over a year, maybe two years now. The encourage her, to be supportive of her and also to donate to help. It was set up to do that because it’s always a tough time. Our prayers are with Bridget and her family in this time. That’s really it for the moment for that. Anyway, condolences to Bridget and the family.

Also in the news, shiny updates project was officially proposed to be merged into WordPress 4.6. Now if you don’t know what that is, this project modernizes the process of installing and deleting themes and also updating themes and the plugins to hide the boring-ness of doing that process. There’s a video out there. I’ll link to the article actually that was over on Debbie [inaudible 00:03:10]. It was a nice little write up. I will share that with you over in the shout outs so check that out. It’s called shiny updates and it’s going to be proposed to be merged into 4.6. I believe Constantine spoke about this specifically at word camp San Diego. That might be on word camp dot TV. Check that out.

Moving on, segment two, but first I want to thank the sponsor this week. It’s a new one. It is actually Events Espresso. If you’re looking for an events calendar plug-in that not only manages events but can also sell tickets, print tickets, integrate with your party email providers, accept payments with all the leading payment services, Paypal stripe etcetera, definitely check those out. Event Espresso stared in 2009 to solve the developers needs. They had a need within their own business model. It’s gotten a lot bigger ever since, much more functionality since that time. With summer around the corner, or it might here for you already I have two more weeks of school for my kids left, so summer’s right around the corner. The great use case here would be concerts, music festivals, museums, and even the business side of things. You’re already thinking of Q4 even Q1 for next year for 2017.

It sounds crazy, but a lot of companies plan that far out so don’t forget about it. That Event Espresso can also be used to manage business conferences, trade shows, events, webinars, all that kind of things. It can be used to do a lot, to do many many things that way. It’s easy to use out of the box, but also has on the website there are referrals other developers. If you need extra help getting it coded specifically to what you want to do. There is a reference point there as well.

Test drives are available on the website for version three and version four. There is a free version called decaf but it doesn’t have the level of features that the full espresso version has. Keep that in mind. It’s a paid product with paid add-ons is how the model works. Anyway, so if you’re looking for an events calendar solution, this is it. It’s seriously really cool. It’ll take your events calendar to a whole new level. Okay? Check it out. Go to event espresso dot com. Also, they’ve offered a 20% discount code to any listener to Kitchen Sink WP podcast so head to Kitchen Sink WP dot com forward slash events espresso and save 20% at checkout. Thanks again to Event Espresso for their sponsorship.

Now moving right along into segment two, the meat and potatoes. When and why to change directions within your WordPress career. Kind of a esoteric, I don’t know. It’s not like how to do something specifically but it is. This week’s topic came from a conversation I had with a friend recently. Not sure how the conversation started but the fact came down to these two things. The friends is a developer, and a really good developer, also runs his own business and business is good. Maybe too good. Which is a weird thing to say, but it happens I guess. He’s not happy anymore in that role of lead developer and wearing all the hats all the time. Just isn’t happy period. Of course the easy answer would say hire someone. Outsource, bring in more staff, then become just to owner if you will but that has its own challenges. You have to manage people, trust people etcetera. Per his request I’m stepping in to be his coach. Maybe his mid life crisis I’m not quite sure it’s that. We’re good friends but he literally asked me my thoughts in what his next move should be and should he stay in WordPress. Should he leave Word Press?

It got me thinking how can this help others, like you guys listening right now? We took a few hours, we talked about it and with his permission, no names here just a gender so we know it’s a guy … Here are three things to think about when contemplating a change in direction within WordPress. It just depends, you know so take a listen. Interest, first and foremost. Are you still interested in what you’re doing? Simple questions, right, but here’s an odd thought. You might become very good at what you hate. Seriously you might love, originally you liked it but you might be really good at the work that you hate. You may the best person to answer support tickets faster than anyone else. You may have the most experience in creating documentation, but deep down you don’t care for that product or service in question. Even if you’re the owner of it, that’s even worse, right? We’ve all been there. Sure, sometimes we do work that we don’t love because you have bills to pay and families to support. It only lasts for so long because once that interest is gone, then the larger picture is it’s time to make a move, but to where?

Well, that leads to number two. In this case opportunity. What did you have the chance to do or not do based on your current role and situation? Keep in mind this isn’t just applicable for self employment. This could be used the same if you work for the company. For every time you say yes to something you’re saying no to something else. I can’t take credit for that. I’m not sure who said it first, but I do know I’ve read it a lot recently because I’m reading the book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I’ll put a link in the show notes on that if you want to Amazon. No affiliation just I like the book. It’s really good. I’m almost done with it. I’ve actually already ordered a copy for my friend because I think it’ll help him. The Essentialism really helps you focus down on what it is that’s essential to you and the opportunity costs of yes and no.

That leads then to the third thing here. It’s goals. We know that the interest in this current situation is gone. It’s not there anymore or it’s overwhelming. There are other opportunities, but what’s next? The next thing is goals, like I said. Again Essentialism does a good job in helping to focus on that. I’m not trying to be a commercial for the book, but it does have some great points in it. In this case his goals weren’t more money because he’s doing okay financially. He doesn’t really want to hire more people necessarily because he doesn’t really want to manage them. We’re trying to figure that out. It’s the matter of what is going to make him happy not soldiering day in and day out? I asked him what would make you happy? What do you want to do that you’re not doing now? His answers were pretty clear once we kind of took time to figure them out. Spend time with family, take a vacation, have date nights again, and even pursue other ideas which I would call hobbies. Not necessarily business ideas just hobbies. Go back to what he wants to do and get to tinker. Maybe go back to surfing. These are things that he was saying just kind of taking it all in right?

If you work chronically, if you are chronically worn out and you’re exhausted and depleted you really aren’t good to anyone, yourself, your family or your work. It’s time to make that change. Once you’re clear on the goals you can then focus on those. Make appropriate moves and decisions. That’s the key. Decide versus wonder what if in quotes, right? Decision’s the key here. We can make that decision. Trust me I’ve been there. Heck, I’m even there right now sometimes. I wonder about some of the projects I have going on. Should I kill them, cancel them, move on with them, etcetera?

For the record, my friend is taking steps to make some changes. I wish him the best. I really do. For his family, for himself, for his own mental health, for his physical health etcetera. Once again, just to repeat them real quick, you have to know what level of interest you have I what you’re still doing. At this point if you’re listening this much into the show you maybe right along there like I don’t really want to be a developer anymore. I want to be more of a project manager. Maybe that’s where your strengths really lie. Maybe development you’re good at it but you want more interaction with people or business development.

I love that part. I am not the strongest developer. I can do it, developer slash implementer. I’m a pretty good troubleshooter but I like the BD. I like that going out interacting with people. I’m focusing on that right now and social media. That’s been growing for me lately. Anyway, you get the gist there. You got to figure out what it is that you don’t want to do and what you do want to do. Focus there and make those moves slowly but surely but then decide to make those moves. If you need to talk to your spouse. Talk to your partner because it’s a partnership in that case as well.

There you go. Hope that helps you with that. Let me know if you have any questions like that. I don’t mind kind of diving in and helping people focus. It’s hard to do your own sometimes. I have a hard time doing my own, right? It’s easier to have a third person look at it from the outside perspective. Anyway, there you go.

Segment three, moving along here. Tip and Tool of the Week. This week, I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll mention it again, it’s Give WB. It’s a great plug-in. It’s free and it helps people. In this case It helped my friend Bridget Willard, helped raise funds that she needed. It’s that, like I said earlier I don’t want to get emotional here but raising funds that were helpful for somebody for whatever cause may be, everyone needs help. Give WP it’s free with some add-ons that’s how they make the business model. Great guys out of San Diego. It’s Willard fund dot org by the way, if you want to check out the website and donate that’d be great. There you have it. Give WP dot com.

That’s it for this week. If you any questions, go ahead and send them in via email Adam at Kitchen Sink WP dot com or use the speakpipe functionality of the website. Thanks for listening. See you next week. Go out and do some awesome things on WordPress. Bye-bye.

This weeks episode is sponsored by Event Espresso


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WordCamp NEO 2016