Roll Your Own Photo Blog – WordCamp Los Angeles 2013

Wow, I had a blast speaking at WordCamp Los Angeles 2013 (WCLAX) explaining how to set up your own photo blog. Thank you all so much!

I described my talk as such on the WordCamp LA site:

Refusing to tie your content into third–party services like Instagram, Flickr, or Google+? Setup your own photo blog — no developer needed! You’ll learn how to organize your photos on your blog, look into image processing, and even delve a tiny bit into image metadata and copyright.

I just uploaded my Keynote slides to Scribd, but some slides are messed up.

If you’d like me to clarify anything, leave a comment here or send me an email through my contact form (especially if another service is better). I’m happy to discuss things over. 🙂

Thanks for your encouragement before and after my talk, listening to my thoughts and suggestions. Also, I wanted to give a special thanks to my wife, Amy, for being super helpful with preparing and rehearsing — and choosing cute photos of our cats. 😉

My thoughts on NMX BlogWorld 2013

Brett Kelly and Bryan Villarin

Almost one month has passed and I’d say it’s a good time to share my meager notes of my experience at NMX BlogWorld 2013 in Las Vegas.

  • If you aren’t able to help a visitor with their super–specific question(s), give at least one takeaway so they don’t leave empty–handed. For example, someone’s blog was focused on browsing sites securely, and an Incognito window with Google Chrome was new to them. That was nifty.
  • For the most part, most attendees are shy. If someone glances in your direction, and they’re a few feet from your booth, introduce yourself or say “hello”. You never know.
  • WiFi will not work consistently.
  • Keep your laptop and phone charged.
  • Save a few relevant Twitter searches for the event/conference.
  • Bring business cards. I didn’t, and I won’t make that mistake again.
  • Carry a couple pens and pocket notebook.
  • After seeing a panel of speakers, open your notebook and write for 5–10 minutes about anything that comes to mind. Do the same thing at the end of the day. (This is also useful for everyday life.)

I also met Brett Kelly for the first time ever in real life and we took a photo. He’s super cool. (He spoke at “Productivity Power Panel: Learn the Tools, Tactics, & Workflows of Highly Productive Bloggers”, and I’ll post my notes from that separately.)

Overall, I had a great time working at the WordPress Happiness Bar in the exhibitors’ area with several other fine Automatticians, and I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.

Hello, Automattic

I’ve been quiet the last three months because my head has been down working with the fine people at Automattic on a trial basis.

Now, I’m stoked to announce that as of February 3rd, 2012, I’m a full-time Happiness Engineer with Automattic. My focus will be with WordPress.com, so when you need help with your WordPress.com site, you’ll probably bump into me. 🙂

A few days ago, I took a few moments to write my about section for our site. I’m astonished that my name is on that page, and it’s an amazing feeling to be part of a group that I’ve admired for a long time.

Lastly, if you’re interested, you should consider working with us. We’re hiring.

See you around WordPress.com!

James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

For the first time in five or six years, I finally met James Huff in person at WordCamp LA. I’ve known him for about seven years. In addition to being a talented musician and all-around helpful guy, he’s a Happiness Engineer with Automattic.

Since his Gravatar is from his wedding three years ago, I demanded politely asked for a portrait. 😉

Thanks for the good times, James!

Edit: Thanks, Amy, for suggesting that I reword my post. To clarify, this was my first time meeting James.

Finally switched to WordPress.com

I hung out with James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011 on Saturday. In January, James explained why (and how) he switched MacManX.com to WordPress.com.

This afternoon, I’ve mustered the courage to move All Narfed Up to WordPress.com. I currently have 1,797 published posts and 3,049 comments. The import took a few minutes, and I only had to wait a few more minutes after switching my nameservers at my domain registrar.

I was hesitant primarily because of affiliate links, but those aren’t generating revenue anymore. Since Amazon Associates was terminated in California in June 2011, that was one less reason to be self-hosted.

I’m so relieved that I don’t have to worry about plugins, upgrades, backups, or security on my blog. I’ll be more likely to write or share more photos.

Thanks for the nudge, James!

Note: For more information, see the pros and cons of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

Note #2: Here are the instructions for moving a blog from a self-hosted WordPress.org site to WordPress.com.

Known Issues

My categories and tags weren’t assigned to any of my posts upon import. They’ve been in dire need of reorganizing, so this gives me a reason to re-categorize all my posts. (This will take awhile.)

I used the FD Footnotes Plugin for a long time, so you’ll see a lot of posts where the footnote is inline with the paragraph. Oh well. (For now.)

I used WP jQuery Lightbox, so the majority of photos and images link to the larger file rather than an attachment page. I’ll change my behavior from now on and use the built-in attachment page from now on.

FeedBurner appears to show the new post at WP.com, so all is well. FeedBurner doesn’t seem to recognize the new RSS feed yet, even though it’s the same URL. Sit tight because DNS is still propagating. If you don’t want to wait, you can ditch the FeedBurner feed and use the default RSS feed. (2011-09-14 16:56 PDT)

Continue reading Finally switched to WordPress.com

My thoughts on WordCamp LA 2010

WordCamp LA

I’ve had a few days to let WordCamp Los Angeles 2010 simmer in my mind.

The following are a few things I learned:

Attendees

Don’t complain. You only paid $25, and the organizer(s) can’t please everyone.

I overheard a complaint about not having intermediate speakers. That was last year.[1. Attendee feedback from WordCamp LA 2009 indicated that people wanted beginner and advanced speakers.]

Don’t be scared – interact with others! You’ll get more out of the experience and feel much better at the end of the day.

WordCamp LA

Alana Joy talking with WordCampers

WordCamp LA

Bring pen and paper. It’s good practice. If you have questions, write them down and save them for the end. (Maybe the speaker might answer your question, and you won’t break his/her train of thought.)

Ask questions pertinent to the speaker. I found myself glancing at the schedule a few times, wondering why the speaker or audience weren’t staying on topic.

Do you have a lot of knowledge you’d like to share? Write it all down and ask to speak next year. Or, write a series of blog posts about it. If it’s solid, it’ll get shared.

I heard that scheduling speakers was a difficult task this year. In a few panels, I remember some folks sharing a substantial amount of information.

Most importantly, if a speaker is talking or fielding a question, be quiet. I was annoyed at times because people kept talking and making comments to their friends, and I couldn’t hear what was going on.

Really, “adults?” Go outside, have your discussion, then come back.

Speakers

Make your talk, slideshow, and/or notes available online. State its availability at the beginning, and it should reduce questions if someone misheard a website or plugin.

*****

This was the second year I’ve attended and volunteered. (View Austin Passy’s and my photos from this year)

Although I view myself as a wallflower, I did my best to talk to people I haven’t met before. For the most part, I had a good time and felt that most of the speakers did a great job.

Especially after Luke Pilon’s speech, I’m inspired to get back into WordPress (especially helping in the forums), gain purpose for my website/blog, and write more.

If you attended WordCampLA, what were your thoughts? If you blogged about it already, please share a link to it in the comments.

Thanks for the WordPress shirt, @photomatt!

A couple weeks/months ago, @photomatt included text on his contact form, stating that he’d send a shirt if you sent him your shirt size and mailing address. Last Friday, I got it! (I’m not alone. Jayvie got one, too.)

The main gift was the shirt, which is clutch because my black WordPress shirt is getting worn out.

Apparently, I’m also one of the three most important people in WordPress. 🙂

Certificate transcription:

This certificate entitles the holder to a lifetime supply of free WordPresses, to be used at their discretion for life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, & the four Freedoms of the GPL.

Signed, Matt Mullenweg.

Thanks to my pal, Taylor, for taking my photo. I told him how to compose it.

View on Flickr 1 / 2

Automatic WordPress Backup

There was a desperate void in my WordPress sites. I wanted Amazon S3 support for worry-free backups. Then, Automatic WordPress Backup was created. How’d they know?!

You can’t change the time of the scheduled backups, but it runs at the time of the plugin install. I’m also running WP-DB-Backup to a Gmail account for redundancy.

Great job, Dan Coulter and Melvin Ram. Yay!

Please go here for support with this plugin. I’ll ignore/delete comments asking for help.