Podcast E114 – Interview with Maddy Osman

This week I interview 1st time WordCamp attendee and speaker Maddy Osman from WordCamp Chicago

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  Interview with Maddy Osman

Follow Maddy Osman

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

[toggle title=”Read Transcript”]

Adam: This is the Kitchen Sink WP podcast, episode 114. [Opening Bumper]

Adam: Why, hello there, this is Adam Silver, the host of the Kitchen Sink WP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let's get started. All right, upcoming events, WordCamp, Sunshine Coast is next weekend, May 7th and 8th and that just sounds really fun. I mean, WordCamp Sunshine Coast and I didn't know where that was. It is in Australia, I had to look it up and their website is awesome. I still, like I said it before, I'm always amazed at what designer and creators of, the organizers of word camps come up with. WordCamp Sunshine Coast is the only WordCamp coming up, May 7th and 8th and as of right now, let's see, are there tickets available? If you're in that area, there are tickets available. Yeah, standard admission is $50 Australian. Looks like there are still some available. There's also some community sponsorships available for $150 Australian, I believe as well so check that out.

All right, moving right along, segment one, In The News. A couple of things here, WordPress IOS application, the IOS app got updated to 6.1. A whole bunch of updates there, social updates, swipe notifications to approve on comments, et cetera, that's just a couple that I want to mention. I don't use the app much anymore at all. I used to, I should check it out again and see how it looks and what it can do. Maybe I'll do that, upcoming show. Make myself a note here.

All right, what else? WordPress 4.5.1 did come out. It came out on April 26. That was a week later than I had said it might have been I think. It fixed 12 bugs and it's moving right along. I'm not sure then point two would come out. It should have automatically updated your site if you have that turned on. I think the maintenance and security updates typically on most servers, unless you turn them off, is an automatic update, so 4.5.1 is now out.

Additionally, Headway 4.0 has been long awaited and it is out as of the release of this podcast of the second of May. I'm recording a few days early because I'm travelling again, on my way to Chicago for WordCamp Chicago and so I know Headway four is due out. I got an email from Grant Griffiths. Lots of changes. I'm going to dive deeper on, into the Headway, obviously I've been using it for a long time, since version two and I will update a bunch of sites. I'll give it my full on review now that we are out of release candidates one through four and all the betas. I did test it early on but I just got busy with other things so I haven't take the time to look at in a while and I'm excited, I really am. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes and I'm sure they are going to be awesome, so stay tuned for that, and also I want to get Grant on the show as well. I'll talk to him about this whole process, when they started and how it's changed over all these years. I think it'd be really cool to talk to Grant, the guy behind Headway.

Finally in the news, WordCamp San Diego last weekend was awesome. I had a really good time. The talk went really well. I think it will be on WordPress.TV shortly and I met a bunch of new people. I also met a few, a whole bunch of people came to me, who reached out from the podcast and that was really cool. It's rewarding. I love doing it. I got a whole bunch of thank you’s and I got some ideas for other shows upcoming. So thanks for reaching out, thanks for introducing yourself and putting yourself out there and I know it was your first WordCamp experience, to Raymond and I believe it's Leslie, so I'm looking forward to meeting them as well, more in the community and seeing them around town as well.

That is it for In The News, moving on to segment two but first I want to thank this week's sponsor, which once again is FreshBooks and also thanks to Neil, don't know who Neil is, but I got an email saying that he signed up with the link, for the trial, you know they have a 40 day trial, that's 45 day trial. I hope you like it as much as I do Neil and for the record, I do still like it. I still use it and I started recently tracking time, albeit lightly. I want to see how I can do it and there's actually a service you can use, but there's actually an app I can get. I can buy it outright for 20 bucks.

I'm gonna probably buy that this week and really start tracking my time better so I can see where I'm spending time, on what projects, and bill accordingly for the hourly work that I do do. I said do do. Sorry. I'm just going to have to leave that in there, anyway, so thanks again for FreshBooks for sponsoring this week's episode. I really do appreciate it. Check it out, there's a link on the show notes as well and in the resources page. 45 days free, you know they have a couple different plans and they're awesome, so if you want to track time, do your invoices, estimates, et cetera, FreshBooks is the place I do that.

Segment two, this week I'm talking to a new WordCamp attendee and to tell you the truth, I don't know who that is right now because I'm recording this a little early as I'm going to Chicago, so with that, I'm just going to go ahead and roll the next clip that I interviewed this person and we'll come back and wrap that up.

I am sitting here at WordCamp Chicago with Maddy Osman. It's her first time at a WordCamp and she's actually a speaker this weekend as well. She's speaks in a couple hours from right now, so thanks to the, being on the show, Kitchen Sink WP podcast, Maddy.

Maddy: Thanks for having me.

Adam: I have a couple questions. I always like to share with the audience new people's experiences and you're doing double duty. First camp, like I said, first time speaker. How did you first hear about WordPress? You had to hear of WordPress, but WordCamps first?

Maddy: I think the first time I hear about WordCamp was probably just through connections I have int he Chicago community of developers and website designers. I, I guess, I do some WordPress development work, not as much as a lot of people here, but to a smaller extent, and so just from having those projects and kind of reaching out to people local to me and even having a client who is a sponsor of WordCamp, that's how I found about the camps in specific, but, in terms of using WordPress, I first used it, I want to say, probably six or seven years ago. I used to work for the marketing and design department at my college for the student life division and we kind of played around with a lot of different CMSs, tried SilverStripe, Drupal, and then a client actually requested WordPress so I saw it as an opportunity to learn it and since then there's been no going back.

Adam: Awesome, so you answered both questions to how you heard about WordCamps and how you use it. Why did you come? What made you apply to be a speaker then and since you had never been, what made you do that?

Maddy: After getting to know the community a little bit more I've actually met, I met Andy Nathan probably about a year ago, maybe less than that actually and he was doing a topic for the city of Chicago about blogging for business and that's something that I was transitioning to at the time. I used to have a sales job, hated it and wanted to get more into the digital marketing side of things. I went to his talk, connected with him. We've been connected on LinkedIn, kind of shared thoughts on just blogging in general and then I me Ryan at another conference. He does development for a group that I'm a part of, which is called the Windy City Blogging Collective. It's a huge, awesome group of bloggers in Chicago.

We get together all the time. There's a lot of different, sort of sponsored brand events and so I met him because he was doing a topic on, you know, what else, web design at this conference for bloggers. Saw that he and Andy were connected, saw that they were both involved with WordCamp and knowing them, I figured, you know, kind of a shoe in to get in if I get on their good side, so that's what I did and it's kind of, I guess the story there.

Adam: Okay, interesting. Has it been valuable to you to come this weekend?

Maddy: Oh, definitely, I mean, meeting other people in the community, whether they're physically in Chicago or not. I always love networking with people. I know it's kind of one of those like, buzzword things but it's really the best way to seek collaborations, have people to pick their brains on for advice who are smarter than you and even in some cases getting clients so my main motivator for speaking at WordCamp is I want to build up my professional experience and whether I get clients or not, I hope that WordCamp can at least help me to be more of an expert in the industry.

Adam: Right, okay and for that door closing, that's just because we're in a public space right now, at WordCamp Chicago. I like to be clear with my audience.

Maddy: Yeah.

Adam: Do you see yourself travelling out of area, out of state to now attend WordCamps or other conferences to speak about WordPress?

Maddy: Sure, I love to travel. I would consider myself to be a global citizen and definitely a national citizen. I take any chance I can get to see more parts of the world so I would say definitely yeah, if there's a possibility to do it I would.

Adam: Okay, so first camp, first time speaking, biggest takeaway at the moment? I mean we're not done yet, we have like three more hours to go.

Maddy: That's tough one. I went to a session this morning that I was really excited about that was about transitioning from being a freelancer, which is where I'm at right now, to eventually having more of an agency where you either have subcontractors or employees and I think that's the vision for my brand, my business, whatever. I want it to not just be me, I want to create something that a lot of people are a part of, so right now I have a website that's called the-blogsmith.com and it's really just me branding myself as someone who knows about blogging and knows about some of the more technical aspects of it, but I think there's kind of a gap where there's all these different marketing agencies out there but there's not a lot that caters specifically to the niche of blogging and creating awesome content that also can get sales or conversions in some ways.

Adam: Interesting. Okay.

Maddy: That was, I guess, my biggest takeaway, just attending that talk and seeing someone else who had made that transition and it's also a motivation thing, I think, to be here and see how other people are using WordPress to accomplish the things they want and I know that a lot of the speakers too, have broken off from the corporate world and started their own, whether it's an agency or they're developers and just have found success with that. For me it's not just the education, it's the motivation.

Adam: Right, yeah, we all start somewhere and it's a matter of just figuring out where our place is in the eco sphere of WordPress …

Maddy: Right exactly.

Adam: … and camps, I mean, people know, who listen to the show, the people know me from attending way too many camps. In one perspective, like, how do you do this? I'm like, it's a choice, I like doing it, I like to show what I can.

Maddy: Yeah.

Adam: I want to thank you for being here, just a short, quick little interview.

Maddy: Of course.

Adam: Where can people follow you online? Website, Twitter?

Maddy: Sure, so, like I said, the-blogsmith.com is my professional digital marketing blogging tip sort of platform, also portfolio for all the work I do and a way to get in touch. I also share a lot of both my own content and content relevant to that audience on my Twitter. It's just @maddyosman, M-A-D-D-Y-O-S-M-A-N. You can find me on LinkedIn, Madeline Osman is what you want to look for and then I also have a Chicago blog that's called chicagocheapass.com. If you live in Chicago and you want to explore this beautiful city on a budget that's kind of my end game with that blog.

Adam: Awesome. Well thanks again for being here. I really appreciate it.

Maddy: Anytime.

Adam: All right, thanks for that. I hope that interview was informational. New WordCampers, that's what I call them, are awesome to talk to. They're always over their head in like the fire hose mentality. It's like, oh my gosh, so thank you for that. Moving along here, segment three, Tip and Tool of the Week. This week is, the tool is actually WP Site Sync and WP Site Sync is awesome. It's brought to you by the same people over at ServerPress. It's in Beta, it's free and what it does is it actually lets you sync, how do I word this? You know you can deploy a full database, you can overwrite the database, but in this case the holy grail has always been the issue of just having selected content to be synced back and forth, pages, posts, custom posts types, et cetera, comments even.

You don't want to have write the whole site over because, plus if you have a site for example, or an e-commerce, with customers, you don't want to re-write that whole thing. You don't want to take the site down while sales are happening, so WP Site Sync actually solves that problem. I've been testing it, it's awesome. It's in beta so don't use it on a live site just yet, and it's free and there's going to be some extensions that are coming out that'll be add-on and fee based. Go check it out. It's over at wpsitesync.com. I think you'll really like it and I think it solves a huge problem and a missing gap in the ecosystem of what we call WordPress.

All right, that is it this week. Thanks for listening. See you next week. If you want to leave a comment or ask me a question, by all means do so. Email me adam@kitchensinkWP.com or use the speakpipe functionality of the web site, again, thanks for listening. Have a great week. Go out and do some awesome things with WordPress. We'll talk to you later.

This episode of the KitchenSinkWP Podcast is sponsored by FreshBooks.