What Will Happen at WordCamp RI 2016?

WordCamp RI is two days loaded with information and tips and tricks for using WordPress.  It takes place at New England Tech in East Greenwich on Friday and Saturday, September 30 and October 1.

Here’s what’ll happen:

Workshop Day  –  Friday, September 30 – Bring your laptop

  • There’s a beginner’s workshop that will take you from no-website to Your Website!
    • Great for those who want a portfolio,
    • A blog, or a
    • Website for small businesses and non-profits.
  • The intermediate track is for those who already have a website and want to have it noticed by Google.
  • The Contributor Day’s workshop is for those who want to work on projects to make WordPress even better.

Happiness Bar (aka Help Desk) – Both Days

Volunteers will be at your service at the Happiness Bar, giving you one-on-one help with your WordPress website.  Bring your laptop and your questions!

Keynote – Saturday, October 1

We are very excited to have John Maeda, former President of RISD, as the Keynote Speaker at the 5th Annual WordCamp RI. His talk is ” From STEM to STEAM to Startups and Dreams.”  He’ll talk about bringing advanced design to the advanced technology of WordPress. He’s in a position to know about that.  Maeda is now the Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, the people behind WordPress.

Seminar Day – Saturday, October 1 – (Bring your favorite note-taking device(s) – be it laptop or pen and paper)

  • Check out the sessions for beginners on how to improve your website, portfolio or blog
  • Come to a more advanced session for intermediate WordPress users
  • Learn ways to make sure Google notices you
  • Absorb best-practices for your business
  • Attend a session on making your site look good


We’ll have a private tent on the waterfront of East Greenwich at Finn’s Harborside.  Need we say more?

Get your tickets! – $20 gets you

  • Admission on both days
  • Lunch on both days
  • Access to the Happiness Bar both days
  • In-depth Workshops on Friday
  • Seminars on Saturday
  • The After-Party on Saturday

Really – can you afford to stay home???  See you at the 5th Annual WordCamp RI!


Create Your Portfolio, Your Blog, Your Website at WordCamp RI

WordPress is the perfect internet platform for you, but you are not sure how to begin.  WordCamp RI to the rescue! During the Friday workshop sessions, on September 30, there will be two beginner workshops.  One is geared to the person who likes to have some hands-on control over the coding of their website and the other workshop focusses on creating what content you need and leaving the maintenance to WordPress itself.

WordPress.ORG Basics:  Setup and Installation is being offered by Daniella Norwood of Ella J Designs.  Daniella has taught at past WordCamps and is always well-received. You’ll be able to set-up a website in this workshop or make improvements to the site you currently have.

WordPress.COM Basics: Setup and Installation is for the person who wants to create a website, blog or portfolio and does not want to worry about security updates and maintenance.  Lydia Rogers will show you how to get your website up and running with the focus on what content you’ll be putting on the internet.

Both Workshops will run for 4 hours, with a break for lunch.  Bring your laptop; WiFi will be available.

Before you arrive on Friday morning think about:

What is the purpose of this website/blog?

  • Your work/academic portfolio?
  • Ecommerce?
  • Classroom or nonprofit website?
  • Personal blog?

Now there is only one thing left to do – get your ticket to WordCamp RI!  Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1 at New England Tech in East Greenwich.  Friday is workshop day and Saturday offers you a choice of 45-minute seminars on varying topics.

$20 gets you both days of WordCamp RI with lunch included each day.  You cannot afford not to come!

Our Fifth Year of WordCamp RI

This year marks the fifth annual WordCamp RI.  Can you believe it?  Here are some #Throw Back and #Flash Back highlights.


2012 WordCamp Providence logo

2012 WordCamp Providence logo

Our first WordCamp was held in 2012 at the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media in downtown Providence.  The lead organizer was Luke Gedeon. Jesse Friedman was on the WordCamp organizing committee.

The first year we held a one-day WordCamp, on a Saturday at the end of October.  There were three seminar tracks: beginner, developer, and education.

Some of the sessions and speakers were:

  • “Plugin Development – Stirred not Shaken” by Jon Desrosiers
  • “From Employee, to Freelancer, to Business Owner (An Unnatural Progression)” by Aaron Ware
  • A “Panel: The use of WordPress at The Harrington School of Communication and Media, URI” led by Jonathan Friesem.

The After-Party was held at Congress Tavern.


WordCamp 2013 was expanded to a 2-day weekend of learning all things WordPress.  The co-lead-organizers were  Luke Gedeon and Jesse Friedman.  There were four tracks in 2013: beginner, intermediate, advanced and marketer.

The all-day Friday in-depth sessions focused on mobile strategy, WordPress templates, and starting a WordPress website for beginners.  Saturday sessions offered topics such as:

  • “How We Built the Harrington School Website with WordPress” by Renee Hobbs
  • “Real-Time Site Personalization” by Jesse Friedman
  • “Plugin Development” by Jon Desrosiers.

In 2013 the After-Party was held at Local 121’s Speakeasy.


2014 found WordCamp back at the Harrington School of Communication with Jesse Friedman as the lead organizer.   During the last weekend in September, WordCamp started with three all-day sessions on Friday: WordPress Basics, Plugin Development, and Security.

Saturday had sessions on a variety of topics: beginner, advanced user, developer, business, education, and design.  They included:

  • “WordPress Security: Fundamentals for Professionals” by Joseph Herbrandson
  • “You Will Never Be Good Enough” by Aaron Ware
  • “Flexibility of WooCommerce ” by Danny Santoro.

This year the After-Party was at Trinity Brewhouse.


In 2015 we stayed with the two-day format, but changed locations to the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  The organizing committee wondered if WordCampers would be happy with a change in venue from downtown Providence.  We need not have worried.  The new location was an instant hit.  WordCamp RI was held the last weekend in September.  Jennifer Kusiak and Aaron Ware were the lead organizers.

The Friday boot-camp sessions were WordPress Basics, Getting to Know SASS, and Contributing to WordPress Core.

Some of the Saturday sessions included:

  • “Child Themes” by Ajay Coletta
  • “The World Of WordPress: Roles, Tasks, and Skills in WordPress Development” by Colin Murphy
  • “Content is King, but You Don’t Have to be its Slave” by Aileen McDonough.

The After-Party was held at Chelo’s Waterfront Bar & Grille.



What’s in store for our fifth WordCamp in Rhode Island?  Stay tuned to this space for developments.  WordCamp RI 2016 will once again be at New England Technical Institute in East Greenwich.  The dates are Friday and Saturday September 30 and October 1.

What are some of your best memories of WordCamp here in the Ocean State?

Let us know in the comments section!

Also tweet us @WordCampRI and like us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/wordcampri/

Rhode Island English

  • International Friendship Day is celebrated in August.
  • Our WordCamp friends in Belfast are holding their first WordCamp the same weekend Rhode Island is holding its fifth annual WordCamp!
  • We both speak English, but each with our own spin on it.

So to honor (or should I say honour) our international friends, during this month of International Friendship Day, here’s a guide to Rhode Island English.
Are you watching TV (or should I say “the telly”) and want to change the channel right from where you are sitting?  Just use the “clicker.”  Why do that?  Because it’s “wicked” easy.  (Also pronounced wikkit.)
If our Irish friends come to the Ocean State and want a cold ice cream drink, do not order a “milk shake.”  In RI a milk shake is milk shaken with syrup.  If you’d like ice cream in it, ask for a “cabinet” (yes, like the furniture!) or a frappe (pronounced “frap”).
Would you like a healthier cold drink?  Water, perhaps?  You get that from the “bubbler” (pronounced bubbla.)
You see, in RI we add Rs where there are none, and to make up for those extras we take away Rs where there should be some.  So for instance, we have a lot of “hot.”  You know, the organ that pumps blood and holds love.  However, if you have a wonderful concept to explain, let everyone know about your “idear.”
It’s mealtime and you’d like to invite someone to join you, just ask “jeet?”  (did you eat?)  If that person has not yet, they might respond “no joo?” (no, did you?)
Rhode Island has the nickname “The Ocean State.”  And yes, we are the smallest state in the USA.  We do not have an official animal, but we do have an official bird: The Rhode Island Red (chicken).  First bred right here.  The official state fish (would I kid you?) is the Striped Bass, adopted by the state’s General Assembly in July of 2000.
The state drink is coffee milk, as in milk with coffee flavored syrup stirred in.  (Pul-eez, chocolate milk is so passé.)
Our state shell is the quahaug (pronounced co-hog).  What’s that you say?  You think I left out a word?  You think our official state shellfish is the quahaug?  No, my friend, you under-estimate Rhode Islanders.  It is the shell of the shellfish which is official.  We have an official state shell.  And I strongly suspect we are the only state in the Union with that distinction!
So we wish our WordCamp siblings in Belfast a successful first WordCamp and look forward to the day you can come to visit us!  We’ll have a wikkit good time!

WordCamp RI will be held September 30 and October 1 at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.

WordCamp Belfast will be held 1 and 2 October at the Peter Froggatt Centre in Queens University Belfast.

Did you notice my bi-lingual skills in presenting the dates of the two WordCamps?  In RI we’re wikkit smaht.

“Start a conversation- you never know where it could lead!”

One of the organizers for WordCamp RI 2016 is Mary Beth Amaral.  She’s also the Lead Designer at Linchpin. Mary Beth takes us behind the scenes of WordCamp RI and explains how WordCamp RI is responsible for introducing her to Linchpin.

Q: Mary Beth, you are back again this year as WordCamp RI is planned and coordinated.  What draws you back?

A: Working for a company where WordPress plays a huge role in our day to day has made me more aware of the supporting community that makes it all possible. I’m fortunate that my company is more than willing and able to take time out of our busy schedules to help organize and plan WordCamp. Being part of WordCamp for the past few years has helped me see how important everyone’s involvement is, no matter how big or small.

Q: In your professional life, when you’re not helping to organize WordCamp RI, what do you do?  What role does WordPress play?

A: Professionally, I spend my days designing websites for custom WordPress builds. With a full dev team on staff, I’m able to work closely with our developers to create sites that not only achieve our clients’ goals, but push the boundaries. Whether it be through visual animations or advanced functionality, having such a knowledgeable and skilled team here has taught me a lot about the capabilities of WordPress.

Q: WordCamp RI is two days of all things WordPress.  For someone attending for the first time, what advice do you offer to get the most out of WordCamp?

A: Network! The great thing about WordCamp is that everyone there has a common interest in WordPress. Ask others how they use WordPress, start a conversation; you never know where it could lead! Four years ago, I attended the very first WordCamp RI where I met Aaron Ware, president and owner of Linchpin. Little did I know that a few months down the road I’d be looking for a new job and lucky for me, Linchpin was the perfect fit!

Q: Friday there are day-long in-depth sessions on various topics.  Saturday is made up of a variety of 45-minutes seminars throughout the day.  What is the advantage of taking the two approaches over the course of WordCamp RI?

A: Regardless of your experience with WordPress, both the day long sessions and shorter seminars are beneficial. Friday’s sessions provide in depth, hands on workshops that cover a variety of skill levels. In the past these have included, WordPress Basics, Getting to Know Sass, Contributing to WordPress Core, and more! The shorter presentations on Saturday typically run on specific tracks, focused on development, design, content or business. With these tracks running at the same time, there’s a good chance you’ll find a session that interests you!

Q: What’s this Happiness Bar everyone is talking about?  Why would I want to stop by?

A: If you’re looking for some help, support, or have any WordPress related questions, the Happiness Bar is for you! Throughout the day WordCamp speakers and WordPress professionals will be camping out at the Happiness Bar at the ready.

Q: After WordCamp RI is over, there is the After-Party.  What is that?  Why should I attend?

A: Second to the awesome speakers and informative workshops, the After Party is the BEST way to end a great conference. If not for the amazing food and bevs, attend to mingle with others! It’s a relaxed atmosphere where most of the speakers, volunteers and organizers will head after Saturday’s sessions come to an end. If you wanted to talk with a speaker, or get some information on how you can get involved in the WordPress Community, it’s the perfect venue to do so. I promise, you won’t wanna miss it!

Q: WordCamp draws a diverse crowd: beginners, experienced coders, people who provide web content, project managers, and more.  What approach does WordCamp RI take that such a varying group attends each year?

A: As a volunteer, I can attest to the amount of work that goes into promoting WordCamp. From university flyers and social media, to banner ads and extending reach beyond our own networks, we make sure to inform anyone and everyone we can. With a schedule of sessions targeting various career tracks, and presenters representing a range of professions, it’s easy to appeal to a diverse crowd.

Q: What tips and tricks do you recommend to get the most out of WordCamp RI?  What should I bring?  What should I do?  Does it matter if I look at the schedule posted on the WordCamp RI website a day or two before I attend?

A: You’ll meet so many new people, some of whom you might want to reconnect with later – make it easy on yourself and bring business cards with you to hand out. I always have a pen and paper on me to jot down any references or contact info I don’t want to forget, but that being said all the sessions will be recorded and posted up on WordPress.tv, so don’t sweat it if you miss something. A laptop or tablet is recommended for the workshop day to be able to participate in any hands-on activities. I think it’s helpful to have an idea of your game plan for the conference, and the website will provide additional information about the sessions and speakers, but the schedule will be up online and posted throughout the venue for any last minute updates!

Q: Once the actual days of WordCamp RI arrive, what do you personally like to make sure you do?

A: Stock up on some snacks and water to prepare for the day ahead! I have a bit of a commute to East Greenwich (and am always hungry!)  so I like to make sure I have a LaraBar or two, maybe even a banana to get me through until the very end!

Q: Is there any follow-up that makes sense once WordCamp RI is over?

A: A few days following WordCamp, a survey will go out to all the attendees. Whether you have good or bad feedback, the survey is a great opportunity to not only contribute back to the community, but to help make next year’s WordCamp even better!

You can reach Mary Beth on Twitter @maryelizabeth55

Get Your Tickets to WordCamp RI

WordCamp RI is fast approaching!  For just $20 you get two days of training on WordPress, lunch each day, access to the Happiness Bar (aka Help Desk) and a ticket to the After Party (complete with food and drink).

Friday, September 30 we’ll have day-long workshops.  This is when you can bring your laptop and get some serious learning done.

Saturday, October 1 we’ll have 45-minute seminars through-out the day.  You can pick and choose the sessions of most interest to you.  There will be a variety of talks that help you whether you’re a developer, a designer, create content, are an educator or are a business owner.

In addition, both days you can stop by the Happiness Bar.  Volunteers are there with one-on-one help for you.

Once again WordCamp RI will be held at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  Attendees from last year raved about the free parking and strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the campus.

Time to get your tickets at https://2016.rhodeisland.wordcamp.org/tickets/

You can keep up to date with developments for WordCamp by subscribing at https://2016.rhodeisland.wordcamp

An Appetizer to WordCamp RI

You will be attending WordCamp RI on September 30 and October 1 at New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  However, that seems like such a long time to go without any WordCamp sessions.  Never fear, WordCamp RI has connections with Boston WordCamp!  Here is some information to attend WordPress “summer school.”

WordCamp Boston will be held July 23 and 24 with six learning tracks:

  1. Designers
  2. Developers
  3. WordPress in Higher Education/Introduction to WordPress
  4. Users/Writers
  5. Business/Entrepeneurs
  6. Contributor Day

Where’s the RI connection?  We have a few of them.

WordPress RI Meetup organizer, and previous WordCamp RI presenter, Aaron Ware will be speaking on “Empowering your Clients and Being an Advocate for You.”  Those of us who have heard Aaron speak know that one of his strengths is talking about weaknesses.  That is, he doesn’t gloss over the tough parts of his experiences, which helps us avoid some pitfalls he’s already discovered.  Aaron is always an energetic and engaging speaker.

WordPress RI Meetup member, and WordCamp RI speaker alum, Adam Lamagna will reveal “The Frustration with Website Security.”  Adam will get right to the heart of website security, even for those who think their website could be of no interest to a hacker.  (p.s. That’s not true.  Hackers are interested in every website.)  While I can’t promise anything, there is a chance that Adam will also throw in a bonus movie reference.

And yet another previous WordCamp RI speaker and member of WordPress RI Meetup, K.Adam White has a fascinating topic “Machine Learning with WordPress.”  Want to know more about how Google makes psychedelic images and how poets and other writers can use machine learning techniques for creative results?  This is the talk for you.  (And by the way, did you possibly think I had a typo with K.Adam?  I’m crushed.  Here’s an insider peek: K.Adam pronounces his name “Kadam” and so spells it appropriately.)

Tickets for Boston WordCamp this summer: https://2016.boston.wordcamp.org/tickets/

Tickets for WordCamp RI September 30th and October 1st :   https://2016.rhodeisland.wordcamp.org/

See you at WordCamp(s)!


So you’re thinking about talking

WordCamp RI is accepting applications from potential speakers for WordCamp RI 2016.  What are we looking for?

Talks of interest to:

    • Developers and coders
    • Those who need help setting up a WordPress website
    • Information for those who would like to move their website to the next level
    • Help for those who have a website framework with holes that need filling with content
    • Strategies for coordinating websites with social media
    • Coding help that is geared to beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Content ideas geared to beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Marketing strategies for beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Ways to use WordPress in education
    • Other ideas you might have

On Friday September 30 we’ll be running day-long training for those who want an in-depth look at a topic.  That’s about six-hours of training.

On Saturday October 1 we’ll have a series of 45-minute sessions.

Apply for either or both.  The bullet list applies to both days also.  Every year we have all-day tracks that are geared to beginners and to advanced users.

WordPress is used by more than one-fifth of the websites in the world.  That means a lot of different people would like to learn a lot of different things!

If you’d like to submit an idea for a talk, go to the speakers page.  We’d love to hear from you!


Call for Concepts: And The Winner Is…

It came right down to the wire Monday night, with a close match up throughout the voting period.

The community has voted, and the winner is…

Making Waves With WordPress!

We couldn’t be more excited to get started on this year’s branding and marketing materials surrounding this concept as our 5th WordCamp Rhode Island kicks off. Stay tuned for updates right here on the WordCamp Rhode Island 2016 website! Check out the moodboard here.

We’d like to thank all of the participants – those who submitted concepts and those who took time to vote and let their voice be heard!

Cast Your Vote: Last Chance!

The polls are closing tonight…

at 11:59pm EST! Let your voice be heard and cast your vote today!

The Finalists:

Making Waves with WordPress
As the Ocean State, Rhode Island is known for it’s vast coastlines and beautiful views. Much like the WordPress platform and community at large, the ocean is in a constant state of motion, forever evolving from high to low tide, with each wave of the ocean like no other. As this year’s theme, Making Waves With WordPress will highlight the continued growth and evolution of not only the WordPress platform, but also the growth of our Rhode Island community over the past 5 years.

Are you cuRIous? Best of ‘lil Rhody
From our amazing food to our historic architecture, Rhode Island’s culture is something to be proud of. Best of ‘lil Rhody is a way to highlight all the little things that Rhode Islanders love about Rhode Island and introduce them to the WordPress Community – Del’s Lemonade and Autocrat Coffee Milk, clam cakes and quahogs, the ocean and beaches, historic architecture and renowned universities – the list goes on and on! As this year’s concept, Best of will be carried throughout signage, swag and snacks for a complete immersion into Rhode Island.

DON’T WAIT – Polling closes tonight at 11:59pm EST!