Thank You Linchpin and Foster Grant

WordCamp RI is honored to have such great support from our sponsors.

Linchpin ( https://linchpin.agency/) has been generous with both time and money since the very beginning of WordCamp RI.  Did you notice the great logo this year?  Thank you Linchpin for the time you put into creating that!    Linchpin is a digital agency which specializes in WordPress.

Foster Grant  (http://fostergrant.com/) is a sponsor this year and WordCamp RI sends you a great big Thank You!

The After-Party

by JoyMarie Adamonis-Friedman

The WordCamp RI 2016 After-Party is the perfect chance to relax, unwind and network with other WordPress enthusiasts like yourself.  It is also a great chance to speak one-on-one with the organizers, speakers and volunteers, whereas they might have been unavailable during the conference.  Many people have made great connections at these previous events. If the networking doesn’t draw you in, then the food, drinks & fun times surely should!

Finn's Harbourside

Finn’s Harbourside

We are  “making waves” with this years After-Party! We have secured a waterfront spot in East Greenwich at Finn’s Harborside. We will be partying the night away in our very own private tent right on the docks overlooking Greenwich Bay.  The menu will be an ode to all that Little Rhody has to offer. Rest assured, the infamous clamcake will make an appearance!  The menu alone will delight the foodies of the group. The night also features a private open bar, music and some fun surprises along the way.

We take every aspect of WordCamp to heart and aim to plan an amazing conference from start to finish. The After-Party is a continuation of the WordCamp RI experience, one that shouldn’t be missed! Your WordCamp RI badge is your ticket in! That’s right; the food, drinks & fun are all included in your ticket price!  So don’t forget your badge and I hope to see you at Finn’s Saturday October 1st at 6pm!

Finn’s Harborside
38 Water St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
October 1st 6-10pm
Ticket: your WordCamp RI Badge

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

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.

2013

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

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.

2015

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.

2016

wcri-logo-background

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/

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Perhaps you’ve wondered how WordCamp RI 2016 can offer two days of training, a staffed Happiness Bar (aka Help Desk), lunch each day, and an After Party for just $20 per person.  Good Question!

The answer is our fabulous sponsors. They step up and underwrite the costs of putting on WordCamp RI.


Oomph logo

One such is Rhode Island agency Oomph (http://www.oomphinc.com/)  Oomph not only shares insights and advice on its website, it also helps clients with their website goals.


Another is ONLINE ONLY OU. logo@2x

They help clients get set-up on a blog quickly and easily. (http://websitesetup.org/create-blog/)


Axion Media Lab are digital storytellers. Their website has both a web and video portfolio.  Check them out at https://axionmedialab.com/

 

Design from the Content Out

Today’s Flash Back Friday memory from WordCamp RI 2015 is almost a philosophy talk.  John Eckman posits that many developers create websites using a design that was made for books, then try to reshape content to fit that design.  He argues website developers should start by knowing what the content will be and then come up with the best design.  He outlines approaches to achieve that.

Fascinating talks like this will be part of WordCamp RI 2016 at New England Tech in East Greenwich on September 30 and October 1.

In the meantime, here’s a look back at John’s talk:

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.

Data is not Knowledge

So your website is generating all kinds of statistics and pie charts.  What do they mean? What does this information tell you would be a good next step for your website?  Today’s Flash Back Friday memory is the talk given at WordCamp RI 2015 by RC Lations: “Tracking Meaningful Moments on Your Site.” He outlines some tips so you’ll be able to tell if the data indicates you are on a good course or if you should take some corrective action.  RC quotes Albert Einstein “Information is not knowledge.”  However, with RC’s suggestions, you can start to translate that information into knowledge.

Come back to WordCamp RI 2016 for more great sessions like this.  We’ll be at New England Tech in East Greenwich once again.  The dates are September 30 and October 1.

Help! I Represent a Non-Profit

The following Q-and-A is adapted from a conversation which took place on the WordPress RI Meetup discussion board.  If you are interested in learning more about the monthly WordPress Meetups, check http://www.meetup.com/WordPressRI/

You may find the most cost-effective tech help you can get is at WordCamp RI!

Question:
Hi. I am starting a nonprofit website, using Word Press and the Bridge theme. I’m having trouble finding someone who could be my tech person for ongoing questions, site maintenance, etc. I’m still building the site and have some help, but don’t want to pay for a full company or do everything myself. Any suggestions would be most helpful. Thanks!
Answer:
Probably the best way to get concentrated help is to attend WordCamp RI 2016. Just $20 for two days: September 30 and October 1. There are three aspects that can be of help to you:
  1. The Happiness Bar (aka Help Desk) is staffed with volunteers both days.  It’s where you can sit down and get help. Come in with your laptop and questions.
  2. Friday Workshops are all-day sessions on a few topics. Check out the topics when the workshop schedule gets posted early September. You bring your laptop and get a concentrated amount of learning done.
  3. Saturday there are 45-minute seminars on a wide variety of topics. When the schedule is published in early September, check them out and head to the seminars that will help you!
Bonus: the 45-minute seminars are recorded and then put on WordPress.tv so you can re-watch the seminars you went to and want to review, as well as watch a seminar you didn’t have a chance to see live at WordCamp!
p.s. While you are networking at WordCamp RI you may come across someone who would be willing to give you a hand on your non-profit project. Networking happens very easily at WordCamp RI!
Just below here is the link to the WordCamp RI website. You can subscribe if you’d like to be notified each time there’s an update on the website. (“Subscribe” is on the right side with a laptop+-size monitor and at the bottom of smart phone screens.)

“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

Going International

Many WordPress websites could benefit from, or would like to attract, both local and international audiences.  How can you achieve that?  Today’s Flash Back Friday memory from WordCamp 2015 takes a look at the coding behind the scenes.  Dave McHale shows how to use many of the more common translation functions.  He hopes sessions like this will get more developers to use such functions in their products in the future.

Make sure you attend this year’s WordCamp RI at New England Tech in East Greenwich, September 30 and October 1.