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.


I know this because I have a piece of paper saying so.

And, in case you missed it, this is a joke.

There was some noise in the WordPress community a couple weeks ago about the premium theme developer (paid theme) that was violating the WordPress (GPL) license. He declared himself to be one of the three most important people in WordPress to the most important person in WordPress. The most important person in WordPress, in turn, sent out these certificates and t-shirts to many, many other most important people in WordPress. I’m sorry – it’s just too good not to share.

I am, however, going to attach a copy of this to my resume. And hang this in my office at work. I don’t think even the good Bava has one of these.

WordCamp Philly

I’m speaking at WordCamp Philly on October 30, 2010 at Temple University. I’m giving a newbie talk this time – “Twenty Things the New WordPress User Should Know.” I plan to cover the basics of WordPress, including hosting, WordPress.com, new stuff in 3.0, themes, plugins, using WP as a content management system and more. It’ll be great!

Registration is open. And, time permitting, I’ll be sneaking into the local Barnes & Noble stores and signing their Head First WordPress books.

Head First WordPress Book Signing Tonight!

Well – this is post #300, and as luck would have it, a significant post for a significant event. I had my first book signing this evening at Barnes & Noble for the book I worked on as a technical editor – Head First WordPress.

The signing didn’t go quite like I expected. It seems the staff didn’t know I was coming. But, no worries – I carried on!

Photo credit: B&N Security Guy

Maryland Writers’ Conference

This has been a really busy week for me. I am  looking into  developing an iPad application for work – exciting stuff. I’ve been prototyping iPad behavior on the web using JavaScript and exploring HTML5. Also, I pulled an all-nighter last night to complete proposals for ArtsScape in July – I have four in so far. I’ll post them later.

Tonight, I’m speaking at the Maryland Writer’s Conference in Hunt Valley. I’ll be talking about how writers can and should use blogging as a tool to develop a platform.  I’ll explain why WordPress is ideal for this purpose, and explore options available for new and experienced bloggers. I’m excited to be there, and interested in sharing some of the things I learned from the writers at FitBloggin’. If you are an attendee, please say hi, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need some help.


This being a somewhat literary post, I’d like to share that I’ve been working as a technical editor for O’Reilly Media, and working on a new WordPress book. I’m super excited to be helping out with this.

Fitbloggin’ 2010

I’ve been looking forward to speaking at FitBloggin’ since last year. This conference is organized by my friend Roni Noone, the hardest working Mom in blogging. It was Roni who actually introduced ME to WordPress a few years ago. I’m excited for her, and proud to be a part of this event.

I’m also glad to have a chance to talk about WordPress – not as a developer-designer-JavaScript nerd – but as a blogger.

When I first started blogging, if you can call it that, it was a simple list of things that I was enjoying at the time. I called it Joie de Vivre, and as you can see, I updated it just over a dozen times. That saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” applied here – I was so busy making Web sites for other people that I didn’t really update or work on this. So, I installed WordPress.

My favorite quote by Colon Wilson that “pessimism robs ordinary people of their power” turned into the mission statement of my blog. I decided NOT to blog about technology/web design because a gazillion other people do this and technology posts are often irrelevant before they are even published. It seemed to me that writing about the fun-good-happy-doubleplusgood things in my life would reinforce an optimistic attitude, and spin even more good vibes into my life.

I was right. By focusing on the positive things in my life, more good things have happened BECAUSE of this. Good shit happens when you blog. The Road to Hell is NOT paved with good intentions – it’s paved with NON-intentional behavior.

Now, that might sound goofy, but it’s completely true. This Web site is a record label, printing press and art gallery and it’s potentially available to millions of people. I work hard at Art, in part, because I have an opportunity to publish Art – and I don’t mind publishing my mistakes and drafts and experiments. I don’t wait for anything to be perfect (admittedly, this may not be the best practice). I’m just so happy to have a place to put things that I can keep going-learning-growing.

Anyway, dear friends – here’s my presentation. Leave me a comment. Subscribe. Say hello. Keep in touch.