Chronicle VI & Blog Status

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!”


You might have noticed I fell off the blogging wagon a bit. Part of that is because I’ve been busy enough that I need to post another Chronicle post, hot off the heals of the previous one. But that’s not all…

Blog Status

This blog has been a huge part of my business for the last 5 years (all but one of the 6 years I’ve run MRW Web Design). Just about every Tuesday, I had something up. Writing here has helped me clarify thoughts on all sorts of topics, share information with readers, improve this site’s SEO, and even pull in a client or two. I am extremely thankful to those of you who have consistently read and commented on the blog. I hope you’ll stick around :)

This makes it sound like I’m closing down the blog, but that’s not the intention. Instead, I’m facing the following issues:

  • Maintenance work on my ever-increasing former clients list eats up lots of time that used to go to blogging.
  • I’ve written about most of my strongest opinions at least for now. I have more I could share, but the urgency I feel to blog has decreased some. I don’t want to force low-quality posts up just to fill space.
  • I launched Nonprofit WP which has a blog of its own. I need to continue posting there as well, but that spreads me thin.

Here’s what I plan to do:

  • Steal an idea from fellow Seattle WordPresser Andrew Woods: blogging seasons. I wrote about this further on Nonprofit WP. I’ll build up a series of a few posts on a theme or topic and then post them weekly. Take a break. Repeat. My first thought for a season is on DIY accessibility testing. Stay tuned!
  • Revisit older posts that could use some revisions or sharpening. I did this with my updated post on reasons not to use a slideshow, and I was pleased with the results. The web has changed since I started blogging and I should acknowledge that and update my recommendations. (That said, many haven’t changed!)
  • Whenever I blog on Nonprofit WP with something I would have posted here in the past, I’ll be sure to post a link here too.

Like I said, my goal is to avoid posting low-quality posts so that readers stay interested. Thanks for your understanding 😀

Moving on to some business and life updates…

October & November Happenings

I Won an NTENny!

This was totally unexpected, but I’m thrilled to be one of the 11 recipients of an NTENny award from the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). These are fun informal awards that go to people involved in the NTEN membership community. I won the “Most likely to…share his wealth of WordPress knowledge while simultaneously shining the spotlight on the community” award. I’ve been a long-time NTEN member but increased my activity with them this year when I signed on as a co-moderator of the WordPress forum along with fellow NTENny recipient Jason King.

Expect further announcements on participation with NTEN in the future :)

Interviewed on WordPress for Nonprofits Podcast

Thanks to host Andy Stitt for having me on his new podcast for nonprofits using WordPress. I got a chance to discuss common strategy and technical problems nonprofits hit when using WordPress and got to plug Nonprofit WP for good measure!

Listen to “Interview with Mark Root-Wiley” on the WordPress for Nonprofits Podcast

501 Commons Accessibility Presentation

I had a great time giving this presentation as the November 501 Commons Talk Tech presentation. This was a significantly extended version of a talk I’ve given at WordCamp Seattle and Accelerate LGBT. The extra time was used to focus on activities for attendees, a live demo of accessibility testing, and a greater focus on the skills site editors can apply immediately to their sites.

More than any other presentation I’ve given, this talk gets the most enthusiastic responses, largely because I think people know little on the topic and get to learn not just what but how to make sites accessible. I was thrilled to see on the feedback forms that every single attendee said they’d use a skill they learned in the presentation within the next six months. The response was positive enough that we hope to give the presentation again early next year.

Need another excuse to come to a 501 Commons talk?

WordCamp Volunteering and Moderating

WordCamp Seattle 2016 was a great time, and I kept busy. As a volunteer, I was helping people check in and providing a lot of free in-depth support at the Help Desk.

Thanks to Andrew Villeneuve for snapping these two great photos of me at the help desk and speaker reception:

Sunday morning, I moderated a fantastic panel about contributing to WordPress. This was my first time as a panel moderator, but I did my best to prepare well and keep my panelists loose and talkative. The time we had flew by and I think we had a really productive discussion about the many ways you can contribute to WordPress,1 the benefits of contributing, and avoiding problems like burnout.

 I got married!

People seem to really like hearing about this, so I’ll give in and share a little just for those of you who made it to the end of the post 😉

I got married to my amazing partner of 10 years this July in Hawaii. It’s where she’s from which will explain a lot to those of you that wouldn’t expect me to have a “destination wedding.”

It was fun and pretty darn beautiful. Here’s a photo:

This is one of my favorite photos from Emily + Mark's wedding. Such a magnificent location. Tap for vendor credits!

A post shared by Alice Malia Photography (@alicemaliaphotography) on

 

Footnotes

  1. The list we generated included: Hosting meetups, writing code, providing support, captioning videos, translating WordPress and plugins, reviewing themes and plugins, making themes and plugins, attending meetups and conferences, sharing tutorials and blog posts, and more! [Back to spot ↩]

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