Byte-Size Workshops Recap

We had a great meetup Monday night with three short sessions and a new user workshop.

Kallen Dewey Kentner went slide-free and spoke about breeding blog posts.

Taylor Dewey spoke about typography in web design and posted his slides from that talk.

Judy Unrein, who spoke about her WordPress workflow, also posted slides over on SlideShare. Judy also has a post on her site with handy links to everything she talked about in case you were wanting to track one down.

For the new user workshop a lot of it ended up being Q&A which is more difficult to transfer in to a blog post. If you missed out on the session but are looking to get started with WordPress you can check out’s step-by-step guide. As things were wrapping up there was also talk of doing a new user workshop every 3 months or so. If you’d be interested in coming to the next one let us know. 🙂

Faddah Wolf took copious notes that are posted below the fold.

Continue reading “Byte-Size Workshops Recap”

Lesson Plan for Tomorrow Night’s Byte-Sized Workshops

We’ll be holding Byte-Sized WordPress Workshops tomorrow night, Monday the 24th, in the conference rooms of the Big Pink. Things will kick off at 6:30 pm and run until 8:30 or 9.

After news and announcements, we’ll split into two tracks. The first will have three segments of thirty minutes a piece:

  • How to Breed Blog Post Topics (Kallen Dewey Kentner) – “One idea can lead to 20 ideas. In this workshop, I’d like to teach a journalistic skill that makes it easy to write from different angles on a single topic. For example, a topic on iPhone can be narrowed to have a political angle, an environmental angle, a social or welfare angle and more.”
  • Your WordPress Workflow (Judy Unrein) – “My biggest hurdle to blogging as much as I want to is all of the little nits that take time and add friction. A few months ago, I started actively looking for ways to streamline my workflow, using plugins, bookmarklets, and services that help me get stuff into WordPress with the click of a button and get it published with as few additional clicks as possible. I’ll share my tips and would love for others to bring theirs… we’ll generate a resource collection to share with everyone.”
  • Drink The Typographic Wine… (Taylor Dewey) – “Sure, you could pop over to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of wine with a fun looking label that costs a “reasonable” amount. And if you know nothing about wine, you’re probably okay with that, but in the back of your head you know that there’s more to it. To pair the perfect wine you need to know linage, location, varietal, age, and a host of other factors beyond if the label looks pretty and which shelf it’s on. Of course, typography is not wine. Which is a good thing, because I know very little about wine and that metaphor can’t be stretched much further. My point is, typography has the same depth of knowledge that wine has. This workshop will give the typographic newbie some vocabulary and insight into what makes a typeface, how to deal with typeface on the web, and how to select and pair fonts.”

The second track will be the much-requested new user workshop. Andrew Spittle and I will be introducing themes, plugins, and the different ways you can publish with WordPress. We’ll spend an hour with prepared material and finish up by answering any questions you might have. If you’d like to participate in this workshop, you’ll want to come with a WordPress site. is a good place to start if you need one.

Hope to see you there! Please RSVP if you haven’t already.

Travel Portland Seeks WordPress-Savvy Agencies, Freelancers…

This is a guest post from Richard Tammar, Director of Online Strategy for Travel Portland. If you’d like to make an announcement to the group, let us know.

Travel Portland is the (independent, non-profit) marketing organization for our (wonderful) city. It’s our job to encourage business and leisure travel to the Portland area, the economic impact of which is estimated at around $3.8bn/year.

I’m in the process of putting an RFP together for the reimagining of our web presence in WordPress. We’re currently on a Zope/Plone stack – don’t ask!

If you represent an agency and you’d like to receive a copy of this RFP when it’s released in the next couple of weeks, please send me your details. Also, if you’re a freelance WordPress developer interested in part-time or contract work Travel Portland, do get in touch. You can reach me directly at richard [at] travelportland [dot] com

First Developer Meetup Recap

Monday night marked our first ever Developer Meetup!

Just under thirty people spent a couple hours meeting one another, drinking beer, and sharing their favorite “I learned this the hard way” stories:

  • Anonymous functions were introduced in PHP 5.3.
  • wp_cache functions can be used to reduced page load time.
  • Ensure your new public theme uses a font that supports basic Latin.
  • Always make sure your intuition agrees with the code you’re about to deploy; it will cause fatal errors otherwise.
  • Don’t push production code on Friday.
  • Only commit to deadlines for work you’ve done before.
  • Use version control.
  • Run your theme through a theme checker early in the process, not at the end

Reacting to popular demand, the Developer Meetup will be a once-monthly event we’ll hold alongside the normal meetup. The format is still TBD, but the topics will be more technical and expect a certain amount of experience. Some of the goals identified by the kickoff group include:

  • Collaborate on plugins.
  • Enhance coding skills.
  • “Have others review my code”
  • “Become a wicked-ass Javascript developer”
  • Talk to people using IDEs to learn how to leverage them better.
  • Help the Portland WordPress community to gain some notoriety outside of Portland.
  • Reconcile Object-oriented PHP with the WordPress world.
  • Discuss best practices for WordPress as an app platform.
  • Pick up basic jQuery and programming.
  • Learn how to scaling themes for large traffic sites.

From this point forward, Developer events will be announced in our Meetup group. The next is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 16th. Please sign up to stay connected.

Looking forward to seeing the community grow!