One of my favorite blogs, CSS Tricks, publishes a “chronicle” every once in a while to publish updates about what the author is up to. It’s a great idea and I’m going to steal it! The MRW Web Design chronicle will get you caught up on what I’ve been up to in tech, business, and, on occasion, “real life!”
Two weeks ago, I gave not one but two talks.
Hosted by Google at their office in Fremont and Automattic (the company that makes WordPress.com), I was thrilled to give a talk on web accessibility. This one targeted at people who knew nothing about web accessibility and featured some videos and examples of accessibility for everyone involved with making a website. The talk seemed very well received and I’m committed to continuing to introduce people to web accessibility.
Introduction to WordPress at 501 Commons
As with past talks in the 501 Talks Tech series, Mike Brogan and I teamed up to introduce 12 or so organizations to WordPress. We jammed a ton into a 1.5 hour talk. You won’t find slides from this presentation as we made them in WordPress and then modified the site to give our presentation. This is the second time I’ve done a presentation like this, and I liked it even more this time.
Mike built the site and may not leave it up forever, so I’ll link to NonprofitWP.org instead which covers all the same topics! If you haven’t checked out Nonprofit WP, please do! If you have, please remember to share it with people who may benefit from it!
New Site Launch: Humble Pie
A fellow Seattle Impact Hub member reached out for some quick help with their website and we got it up. The fun part? It’s one of my favorite local pizza places: Humble Pie!
You Never Know Who’s Gonna Use Your Theme
I have one free theme in the WordPress.org Theme Repository: Blogsonry. It seems to be active on a few hundred sites, but it’s rare that I actually see one in the wild. However, after providing a bit of support in the theme’s forum, I was amused to learn that King, the maker of the popular game Candy Crush, is now using Blogsonry for their company tech blog. I’m looking forward to my cut of the in-game sales that I’m sure is coming…
New Online Community for WordPress Seattle
Slack is an increasingly popular online chat application. I belong to a few “Slack” teams including the one for coordinating the WordPress open source project and a private one for a company I contract with some times. However, I wanted one where I could chat with the people I meet at WordCamps and WordPress meetups here in Seattle. Hence, the WP Seattle Slack Team was born. We’ve got nearly 100 members and have had active conversations every week. Topics include development, business management, and who has blogs for their pets (the answer: more people than you might think!).
The past two months, I’ve led “lean coffee” discussions for the meetup of a WordPress business owners group I’m a member of. Despite the stupid name, it’s a great method of having a discussion that keeps people interested. You can read the lean coffee structure on the official website, but here’s how I do it:
- Have people write down topics they’d like to discuss on post-it notes.
- Each person places their post-its up on an easily visible wall and says a couple of sentences about each topic.
- People vote on topics they’re interested in by marking a dot on each post-it as a vote. We’ve found three votes-per-person in an 8-10 person group works well
- Order post-its by number of votes and create areas on the wall for “To Discuss”, “Discussing”, and “Discussed” topics.
- Start a timer for 5 minutes and begin talking about the top-voted topic.
- After 5 minutes everyone gives up a thumbs-up/down/sideways to indicate whether they’d like to continue discussion. Either extend the discussion for another 5 minutes or move on and restart the timer.