JIM DORAN

Springbrook Web Conference

Today, I spoke at Springbrook High School on “Building Your Brand” with some awesome free Web tools. I usually avoid talking about subjects like branding and social media in favor of technical/functional things, but this was for a good cause. My pal Zac Gordon is doing outstanding things in Web education, which I DO care about.

Two of my favorite people teach at the same school. None of us were aware of the connection until Chas saw a picture of Zac and I on flickr. Funny old world.

As a bonus, I got to see Chas and sit in on a little bit of life drawing. Springbrook is lucky to have both these guys. One of them alone can make a big difference in kids’ lives – two of them, well, whoah.

The conference had 500 seats available, and there were people at the door still trying to get in, which makes me guess it was sold out. It’s so cool that 500+  kids are interested in learning about Web design and development.

My talk covered what a “brand” is and isn’t, citing Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap. I then discussed free tools for publishing stuff on the Web. I talked about the goals I’ve been able to accomplish with my WordPress site, and explored the merits of Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. I thought it was interesting that the room exploded when I showed the Tumblr slide – but not really all that surprising.  I talked about managing one’s online presence, getting a domain and being good Web citizens.

Pretty Awesome.

Also, I didn’t fall off the stage into the orchestra pit. Win.

4 photos by Chester Lam

The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier

 

Baltimore WordPress Meet-Up

Baltimore now has a really good WordPress meet-up. The next one will be on January 17th, 2011.

I should have been writing about this – the first meeting loosely covered some popular WordPress plug-ins, and I gave my “20 Things the New WordPress Person should know” talk at the second. Last night was an open forum – we have a broad mix of technical, business and beginner folks. It’s great. If you are lurking out there and mildly interested, join us.

Thanks to Ben Sterling and Kenzo media for being a sponsor.

WordCamp Philly 2010

WordCamp Philly was great. Super well organized by nice WordPress enthusiasts  who actually return e-mails and are interested in their own event.  I enjoyed seeing Temple University and what they are doing with WordPress.

Aside from all the raisins that ended up in my messenger bag, I’d call it a successful day. My previous post has a link to my talk.

photo courtesy of .js at jennschiffer.com

I wanted a “Smothie” but they were closed. I wonder if they are anything like Smoothies.

Also, I think it’s fantastic that Mike serves steaks out of the carpets truck. I bet they are full of fiber.

I almost crapped my pants when I pulled up to the toll booth in the wee hours of the morning. Who the hell hired an evil clown?

If I HAD crapped my pants at the evil clown, it would have been okay – they are super pants.

It was a good trip.

20 Things the New WordPress Person Should Know

I’m heading out to WordCamp Philadelphia tomorrow. I can tell the organizers are excited, and this is promising to be an awesome conference.

My talk is called 20 Things the New WordPress User Should Know (PDF). I tried to think of the stuff that confused me at first, and things that may not be obvious immediately. This is a basic introduction type thing, explaining:

  • WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
  • Themes
  • Plugins
  • Editing tips
  • Using WordPress as a content management system
  • Uploading media
  • Hosting
  • Taxonomies
  • Slugs
  • Revisions
  • Security
  • other stuff

Now, I’d better get to bed – it’s going to be a looooong day tomorrow.