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Skate & Create

Fitbloggin Ignite: Derby Little Secrets

I gave an Ignite talk Friday night at Fitbloggin called Derby Little Secrets [slides]. I was surprised at how emotional it was. I think some new derby boys and girls were born that night – I hope so, anyway.

I talked about my girls discovered roller derby. We reached out to several local leagues seeking junior league information. My big girl got sick and Chesapeake Roller Derby visited us. Leezle and I attended a few games and I wondered, secretly, if I could learn to play roller derby. I bought some gear, figured out who my alter ego is and jumped in. I learned the rules, some basic workouts and key derby skills. It’s the most fun I’ve had in years – even for a guy with a trick knee. I’ve learned that moms, dads, PhDs, teachers, retail clerks, dental hygienists, florists, gay people, straight people, transgender people, black people, white people, atheists,  believers – everyone can do this. It’s open to all who want to be involved.

 

Categories
Web Stuff

FitBloggin’ 11

I haven’t posted anything in weeks because I’ve been reworking this site and writing a talk for the FitBloggin’ 2011 conference in Baltimore.

I still have a pretty good list of things to clean up here, especially on the WordPress side of the site.  I experimented with Custom Post Types and multisite functionality, and finally decided it was overkill. I decided to let ‘er rip, because I need to get back to posting stuff. So, please pardon the site hiccups as they happen. I’m still working on it.

FitBloggin’ 2011

FitBloggin’ was amazing, yet again. Seeing friends from last year, and finally meeting guys I’ve been talking with on Twitter was fantastic. As before, I’m honored to have been a part of this. Roni Noone has created something truly special that changes people’s lives. That’s amazing. This is my favorite conference, even more than the WordCamps.

Jennette Fulda gave a comprehensive talk on design. Monica Olivas answered questions about privacy and getting started to newer bloggers. Katy was everywhere I looked. The hookers from Shrinking Jeans are always fun! It was great to catch up with Scott Stawarz and wife, Paolo, Matt Dustin, Jen “in real life,” Jack Sh*t (even more charming in real life) and especially Ryan “No More Bacon” Sullivan and his wife, Mrs. Bacon. And everyone else I met, too. It’s all overwhelming. Check the #fitbloggin hash tag on twitter and you can see what I mean.

Regarding my presence there, someone asked me “are you a vendor of sorts?” I am not. Nor am I a fitness blogger, although I did just join a gym for the first time ever and I like it, obsessively so. To date, I haven’t tried to “monetize” my site(s). I haven’t run adwords campaigns, as easy as that would be to do. I am not a “social media guru” with “the answers for driving the conversation in the community to maximize value in the douche-bag space.” I have a lot of knowledge to share, though – WordPress, Blogger, analytics, SEO, code, design, writing, being part of something positive. It’s fun to help and I answered as many WordPress and blogging questions as I could.

This time, my talk focused on photography for blogs. I decided to address “the art of seeing” and how to get better shots. It was a fun talk to research. I recommended doing a 365 – a photoblog where you post a picture a day – as a way to change the way we see the world around us. It trains our eye and forces us to find interesting ways to tell stories in a new way. I thought I’d try it, too – I’ve created a new section on this site for daily snaps (was at jimdoran.net/snaps). Hence to mad rush to rework my dusty old theme.

My slides are here. Thanks to everyone who listened and asked questions!

Categories
Web Stuff

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

 

Categories
Web Stuff

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.

Categories
Web Stuff

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.