This past weekend, a community of passionate WordPressers came together in the sunny, beautiful city of Los Angeles. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, vibes, and people in The City of Angels. Over 400 visitors from surrounding areas of LA came ready to absorb the rich knowledge of all things WordPress.
There are so many things to love about WordCamp. The one thing that makes these events uniquely awesome is it’s inclusion of different people of all backgrounds, skills, and interests. This made for a comfortable, safe environment to truly learn and explore the open-source world of WP. Huge shoutout to the speech-to-text reporters who were responsible for live captioning at each of the sessions.
As Gutenberg will continue to be a major focus throughout the year, I thought it would be worth highlighting some of the interesting sessions focused on creativity and inclusion.
1% Better: How little changes add up to a better, stronger business
It’s all about the small changes. Natalie Maclees shared her inspiring story of overcoming personal challenges and the stress of running her own business. It was a refreshing, unique session that advised on ways to make tiny changes which over time, produce powerful results.
- “Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” — Albert Einstein
- We are creatures of habit. Develop morning and bedtime rituals that enrich your days.
- Be present for the process and focus on the day-to-day.
- Book recommendations: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, Deep Work by Cal Newport, Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Best Practices on Providing Free Support for your Plugin or Theme
For WordPress plugin and theme authors, providing free support in the WordPress Support Forums can be burdensome. With 5 years experience, Matt Cromwell shares some actionable insights and tools that make free WP.org forum support a no-brainer for your business.
- Your Tone Guide: C.R.E.W (Confident, Results Oriented, Educational, Welcoming)
- Use a Gmail filter so that all WordPress.org support forum emails goes to one place and not your inbox
- Leverage user roles such as “Plugin Author,” “Plugin Support,” and “Plugin Contributor” to make responses more authoritative
- Support the customer where they’re at. If they are reaching out via social media, you can support them there and funnel the discussion to the forum for more complex questions
Close Your Eyes: Helping See Value in Accessibility
Surprisingly, my favorite session of the weekend came from Joe A Simpson Jr who brought a refreshing perspective to why accessibility is important. Imagine a colorblind person watching a football game in which team uniforms were all solid colors. Through a color simulator, we couldn’t tell the difference as the audience. As the WordPress community continues to build sites for people of all backgrounds and needs, Joe stresses the importance of being more considerate and empathetic to individuals with disabilities. At the end of it, I became a strong believer in breaking down barriers to make digital experiences more accessible to everyone.
- Add value to your practice with accessibility tools and techniques
- write succinctly with SEO in mind
- design a user-experience and brand using proper color contrast
- be THAT person in the room that advocates for Accessibility
- write semantics html that creates a structure friendly to assistive technology
WordPress for Artists
In this fun talk, Glenn Zucman takes on an “open-source” approach by having the audience share creative ways artists could use WordPress as an Art Platform. WordPress is no longer just a powerful tool to develop a personal brand and build content, it’s a platform to make artistic work come alive.
- Call-to-Action: Create projects that you care about that don’t focus on income or business outcomes..simply the curiosity to explore
- Examples of Art: Photography Series, complex Counterfactual Histories, woven character storylines
- Diversity is the foundation of innovation
Major kudos to all the organizers and friendly folks who made WordCamp LA a huge success. As a note, there was a hearty dose of Gutenberg and SEO sessions as well. In case you’re curious, all of the sessions will be uploaded to Wordcamp.tv where you can dive into any of the topics deeper. Stay cool and sunny, LA!