WordPress Town Hall

I wear a lot of hats when it comes to WordPress: I’m the user experience lead, I project manage the open source core development, I handle community initiatives under the aegis of the WordPress Foundation, and I’m the team lead for Automattic’s “Dot Org” team, which is a group of employees who work full-time on open source contributions. In the keynote session I’ll give you an idea of what we’re working on and what’s coming up in the near future, but hope to spend most of the allotted time taking questions. What do you want to know about WordPress, tho community, contributing to WordPress, WordCamps, or anything else that falls in this general topic? Bring your questions!

Academic WordPress – 3.0 Credits

When Christopher said the Fayetteville WordPress community had a strong academic bent and asked me to talk about educational uses of WordPress, I was glad to say yes. WordPress is used by educational institutions in a variety of ways, including everything from student blogs and portfolios to college recruiting sites, newspapers, and even delivering course content in lieu of an LMS like Blackboard. In this talk I’ll show some examples of how WordPress is currently being used in university settings as well as the current project to improve the Courseware plugin. Hopefully it will inspire the Fayetteville academics in the audience to bring WordPress back to campus with them on Monday. 🙂

Have any specific questions on the subject? If you leave them in the comments I’ll try to include the answers in my presentation. There will also be plenty of time for questions at WordCamp, so don’t be shy about raising your hand while I’m talking.

Finding Your Niche: Online forum’s Michael Tilley,’s Kevin Kinder,’s Shannon Magsam and’s Alexa McGriff will discuss their relatively new online publications, the challenges they face and how they measure success in their rapidly competitive markets.

Michael Tilley represents the the City Wire, an online publication focused on business, politics and culture in Northwest Arkansas. The site began in 2006 as a community forum and emerged in 2008 as a news site. Tilley says they don’t compete with anyone, offering focused content driven to the business elite of the Fort Smith area.

Kevin Kinder covers the music scene of Northwest Arkansas at TunedIn. The blog started in 2007 as a compliment to the newspaper publication What’s Up from Northwest Arkansas Newspapers. It has since evolved into a place with live music reviews, show times and general music news.

Shannon Magsam is the co-creator of NWA Motherlode, a website with helpful information for Northwest Arkansas mothers. She says she and her co-creator Gwen Rockwood decided the area needed a website for moms. Magsam said their website gives transitioning moms an “instant community.”

Alexa McGriff is part of Ozark Natural foods, a Fayetteville food co-op. She says they started blogging last November to provide another avenue for the company to connect with their customers. McGriff says they use the blog to educate customers on different products, give recipes and news updates on the organic food industry.

Get Things Done and Published

This presentation will discuss tips and tools for creating content in the midst of a hectic schedule. Expect practical and actionable advice to make capturing ideas and publishing more effective and efficient. We’ll cover specific WordPress tools and how to improve the process of blogging. This is a survival guide for blogging while busy.

Yin and Yang of Your WordPress site

We all know how much WordPress rocks and how easy it is to set up and maintain. In this talk, Eric Huber and Collin Condray, co-founders of Blue Zoo Creative, will explore the quantum makeup of your digital matrix persona you never realized existed, the ‘oneness’ of all beings in the digital ethos, and how to transcend the highest peaks of spirituality in order to bring your enlightenment to others.

In other words, design that communicates, social media strategy that networks, and marketing messaging that sells.

There also may be a monkey.*

Your take-away will be actionable steps to accomplish the three areas mentioned above. Don’t be a lemur, come achieve enlightenment with the guys at Blue Zoo Creative.

*No monkey’s will be in attendance. Management.

CSS3, WordPress & Salsa Dancing

CSS3 provides an awesome landscape for speeding up web design with WordPress. Here you will learn useful techniques about CSS3 that will enable you to add unique touches easily to your designs. From the basics of adding rounded corners to using the more advanced techniques of using child selectors to rotate and scale items on you website, this presentation will walk you though an in-depth look at CSS3.


Beginning Plugin Development (It’s not as hard as it looks)

This presentation would introduce the basic concepts and techniques behind building a simple WordPress plugin. It would briefly describe the differences between plugin and theme development, or why you might prefer to develop some functionality as a plugin rather than as part of a theme. It would then walk through the creation of a simple WP plugin using the shortcode API, stressing how to employ WP’s plugin architecture for greater security, longevity, & interoperability.

Numbers & Graphs & Keywords, Oh My! (Analytics for the blogger)

This will be a fun look at what can be a relatively dry subject. Bloggers will learn just what analytics are and what each term means (including some wacky ways people will find their blog); then just how all that information applies to them. We will look at how to use analytics to attract both advertisers and readers, as well as how to write proposals for future projects.

Target Practice: Using Analytics To Improve Your Aim

Ready, analyze, go! Goal setting is vital to any business’ success and using analytics is an increasingly important tool in creating those goals. We will examine what the various forms of analytics mean, including what each term means to the business user. Participants will then learn how to make analytics works for them as they establish, monitor and achieve their business goals.


Texture, Rhythm and Scale: The Elements of Design

We will focus on three basic elements of design—texture, rhythm and scale. We will review examples that create endless unique themes, moods and styles by considering the interplay of these three elements. We’ll do this by playing with CSS background, font and transparency properties to arrive at a site that captures your unique brand.


Social Media Consistency: Skip the Overwhelm and Create a Schedule That Works

One of the keys to a successful social media campaign is consistency. However, like a lot of other business development actions, blogging and social network updates are often pushed to the bottom of the to-do list to make time for more urgent matters. Even worse, they are often avoided altogether out of fear they will become overwhelming. Social media is always on, but you don’t have to be. In this session, attendees decide what social media can and cannot do for their particular business or project. They then go through a process of defining an objective for their blog or social media site and then craft an updating schedule that moves them toward achieving that goal.


Embrace the Mullet: CSS is the Party in the Back (a CSS ‘how-to’)

Based on my concept last year of the mullet hair style and its relationship to web markup (html is the ‘business front’ and css is the ‘party in the back’), this presentation will be a demonstration on the fun and effectiveness of implementing graphic design with HTML and cascading style sheets, with special attention to CSS3 techniques.


Making WordPress Profitable for Agencies / Design Firms

This presentation discusses the various advantages of using WordPress from an agency, or design firm perspective. In this presentation we will do comparisons between WordPress and other Content Management Solutions as well as demonstrate several methods that can help you deliver a better product to your clients and maximize your profits w/ less time and effort.

Custom Post Types and You

WordPress is phenomenal as a Content Management System, but sometimes you just need content that’s not a blog post or a static page? And sometimes that content needs to be twisted, stretched, and changed up to not look like a typical page at all. What’s a developer to do? Enter Custom Post Types.

With a combination of Custom Post Types and a few key plugins, Mitch Canter will show you how to get the most out of any type of content. You can have testimonials, reviews, real estate listing, and much more, all at the tip of your fingers.

Win friends and influence people with BuddyPress

BuddyPress is a social networking plugin for WordPress that essentially adds a social network layer including user profiles, groups, private messaging, activity streams, and a whole lot more. This session will go over required and optional features, installation and setup, basic customization, and extending BuddyPress to meet your specific needs.


The Ultimate WordPress Experience – WordPress as a CMS

WordPress is always known as the end-all be all of blogging systems. Many enterprise systems utilize WordPress, but how can you, the average joe, get the most out of WordPress? Can WordPress really do anything you throw at it?

Heck yeah it can!

Mitch Canter has 3 years experience working with some of the best clients around (he should know – he asked them himself!) with full, custom websites running on WordPress. He’s been cited in Web Designer Magazine, Smashing Magazine, and lots of other reputable sources for his out of the box thinking regarding WordPress, websites, and how to make your online presence shine!

Tutorials, code examples, live demos, tigers jumping through hoops* – this presentation has it all. Bring your questions, bring your notebooks, and get ready for more info on how to make WordPress do whatever you want than you’d ever want to know!

*Tigers not included.


Writing for the Web

In my discussion on writing for the web, I will advise content contributors on common misconceptions of style when translating from “paper” writing to “online” writing. This will include, but not be limited to, acceptable grammar and usage (e.g. double- versus single-spacing before a new sentence; paragraphs containing only one sentence; first- versus second- versus third-person perspective), word choice (e.g. “portal”, “click here”, etc.) and translating emphasis properly into HTML (e.g. avoiding the CAPS lock, using H tags, bolding, etc.).


Guest Blogging: How to find the best and avoid the pests

I would like to do a presentation on finding good/great guest bloggers. This talk includes:

– What makes a good guest blogger

– Methods of finding guest bloggers

-How to become a guest blogger

Guest blogging is essential for anyone who is serious about running a blog.


The Arkansas Angle, a student-run multimedia magazine

The Arkansas Angle is a new publication by the Art and Journalism students of Tom Hapgood and Bret Schulte that uses WordPress as a publishing platform. We’ll discuss how we chose WordPress, how we’re using plugins, why we’re no longer using Flash, the relevance of WordPress to journalism students and other details about this online magazine by University of Arkansas students.


The DIY Website: Using WordPress for Nonprofit Organizations

Albright and Dilday are both Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations who use WordPress for their nonprofit websites, and they manage those sites themselves. They will discuss the many ways WordPress sites and blogs can be used to enhance the organization’s mission, use blogging to raise cause awareness and money, and connect with the community. They will also discuss strategies for managing website content

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