Spring Updates: WordCamp, Websites, and a Plugin [status]

Last week was the first week this year that I didn’t have at least one blog post. I apologize. For anyone who consistently reads this blog, I strive to post at least one high-quality post or resource every week, usually on Monday or Tuesday. But I’ve been busy! Let’s start with my most recent update and work backwards.

WordCamp Seattle 2012

On Saturday May 19, Christine the Designer and I presented to the Bloggers track at WordCamp Seattle. This was a fantastic day-long conference put on at the Seattle Art Museum. After attending last year’s conference as an attendee, it was fun to go this year as a speaker. Christine and I gave the presentation “WYSI-WHA!?! Taming the WordPress Editor.” You can view the presentation website to see some links and recommended readings, and I’ll post the full presentation on the blog once it goes up on WordPress.tv in about three weeks.

Though I was admittedly worried that the presentation would be too basic for conference attendees, it wasn’t. Never underestimate the value of a comprehensive review of basic skills, especially those that are usually self-taught. Even Christine and I learned from the research leading up to the presentation. Our biggest applause line (literally) was showing people that SHIFT + ENTER makes a single-line return rather than a new paragraph. Go figure!

WordCamp Seattle 2012The Logo Returns

This WordCamp was the second in a row to use the logo I designed as part of the WordCamp 2011 website, and now I even have the logo on a t-shirt! Better yet, last year’s version added the “Seattle WordPress” mashup logo I showed you earlier this year. Though someone else designed the website this year, you can see the final logo in use on the WordCamp Seattle 2012 site.

New Projects

The past few months have also seen me launch multiple succesful new projects.

OAR Northwest

OAR Northwest is a great local nonprofit that uses Ocean Adventure Rowing to draw attention to environmental causes and promote science, technology, and math education. For this year’s just-completed expedition circumnavigating Vancouver Island, I helped OAR Northwest turn their website homepage into an “Expedition Dashboard.” By project’s end, we had eight “widgets” on the home page showing videos, Facebook updates, blog posts, photos, weather updates, and a live progress map. I also helped embed a 3D model of the boat on their website which is awesome. Check it out!

Iowa Flood Center

I’m late to posting this, but I also helped launch the completely revamped website for the Iowa Flood Center. What was previously a relatively small news site with some information about projects now includes a Project directory, People directory, an easy-to-use News & Events section, and educational information about flooding for the Iowa public.

This site had a lot of fun technical work that I enjoyed, but the site was really a great example of the importance of good content. Working with the Iowa Flood Center team, from the University of Iowa and connected to a previous project (IIHR), has been a true pleasure. Their project is also in my portfolio.

White Center Promise

Over the past year, I’ve worked with multiple south Seattle groups. The Catch The Culture website in my portfolio was the first to launch. Now, I can add White Center Promise to that list. White Center Promise is the beginning of a fabulous education initiative. This was a quick site to get up, as we modified a premium theme rather than starting from scratch.

Post Status Menu Items Plugin Update

Finally, I posted a significant update to my first (and only, for now) WordPress plugin, Post Status Menu Items. (It went from 30 lines of code to 157 lines of code.) It now comes with more statuses, better options, and support for all types of content in WordPress. For anyone who uses WordPress to draft, schedule, and publish content (those are three of the supported statuses), this plugin saves you clicks and gives you a quick overview of your content right in the administration menus. Visit the plugin’s page to check it out!

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