WordCamp Miami 2016 Quick Review

WordCamp Miami 2016 Quick Review

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Two weekends ago, I attended the annual WordCamp Miami conference. What made this one different that this time I took my whole family with me. Yes that means my two kids that are both under 10 years old. I personally thought they may have been too young to apprehend what could be learn, but my wife actually convinced me to bring them along with us with the hopes that they would be interested and be eager to learn. And you know what, they were thrilled to learn how to publish their own content on the internet!

My kids have been familiar with apps, YouTube Kids, Minecraft, and recording their own videos. So when Sandy Edwards and other volunteers created curriculum for kids that weekend, I was pleasantly amazed and appreciated it all. In short, my kids are now excited about blogging, have their own websites, and are able to login on their own and create content. Moderated by us of course.

Another bonus of the weekend was Nicole was one of the speakers for the weekend. Her topic was on Facebook Marketing. You can view the slides here. We’ll be posting a video from it soon, and there will also be a video from WordPress.tv in the coming weeks. Nicole’s talk was great for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to get an edge with their marketing efforts. She keyed in on retargeting with using an HTML pixel code that you can easily add to your website to directly have your ads seen by a targeted market of people who both visit your website, competitors, websites, specific locations, and so much more. Contact us if you’d like more information on this.

Lastly, below are some photos I took of the event. Due to being engaged with Kid’s Camp, I was more involved with them than making moves around the FIU campus and grabbing some photographs like I use to. Still enjoy and let us know how your experience was for WordCamp Miami 2016. ¬†You can view all of the photos on our Flickr page here.
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WordCamp Miami 2016 Tech Gear Packing List

WordCamp Miami 2016 Tech Gear Packing List

WordCamp Miami is just a few days away and we’re really excited here at Design Theory. I’m taking the whole family down, which includes my kids so that they can experience their first conference and kick start their own web and internet journey of creativity and creation.

Below is a list of tech things we’re packing to make the trip and stay as productive and comfortable as possible:

  • Macbook chargers and extension cables. Power is always a big thing at conferences. It’s just as important as having a reliable wifi signal.
  • Smart phone and tablet chargers and portable chargers. This little $10 and $20 portable chargers can usually recharge your device 2 or more times from a dead charge.
  • Macbook Pro laptop. Because I’m going to get ideas on things I’m going to want to implement right when I hear it. So having my laptop will be essential.
  • Tablet/iPad. Having this as a second input device is rather helpful and lightweight. Easy to carry around and setup on a small desk surface.
  • A comfortable backpack, rolling case, or messenger bag. Carrying all of your gadgets and hardware can get heavy or cumbersome.
  • Business cards. This should go without saying, but it’s a good way to quickly give out your contact information while in passing or like a secret note in class during sessions.
  • GoPro. This is a really small and easy to use video camera that I can also take stills on. On one charge it can last me up to 3+ hours and I can control it from my phone.
  • Nikon DSLR. This one is a bit heavier because I have a few lenses that I like to use for various situations. But capturing some great speaker profile pictures, or scenes of packed out rooms where lighting is really low, my Nikon comes in really handy.
  • Extension cord and/or power strip. If you’re going to be staying in a certain track for a few sessions in a row, it helps to secure a seat where you can plug in your power strip and multiple devices to charge all at once.
  • A notebook and pencils. In case you run out of charge on all of your devices, having a good old pencil and paper for note writing is really handy.

So those are the things I’m bring with me. What are some things you plan to pack with you? Add to the conversation below or on Twitter with me and the hashtag #WCMIA

My First Presentation at WordCamp Orlando [VIDEO]

My First Presentation at WordCamp Orlando [VIDEO]

Early last month (November), I did a talk at WordCamp Orlando. It was my first time speaking at a WordCamp and it was so humbling and cool to be able to do so. I spoke on the difference in Custom vs Premium WordPress themes. Because this was a topic I deal with on a regular basis and get asked many questions about, I felt it was a good topic to make into a presentation and discuss.

The feedback I received was great and constructive. Check out the video below to see mine, and also check out the WordCamp Orlando YouTube page to watch the other presenter’s video presentations. You can also view my presentation slides here.

The Experience of WordCamp Miami 2013

Well this past weekend was the annual WordCamp Miami at the University of Miami. If you read my previous post about the expectations, I’d like to report that they were all met and then some. The amount of developers on site was awesome. A lot of which you’ve read blog posts from, heard about through plugins and software you’ve purchased and use, local, and abroad. The atmosphere was certainly electric.

Going I knew we’d be hit with a ton of information. Equipped with a few Macbook pros, tablets, chargers, and iPhones with MyWi for dedicated internet, we were ready for anything. We had cool badges with our names, Twitter handle, and QR Codes thanks to WP Beginner. Among that we were give a host of items from a cool reusable shopping bag from BlueHost to shot glasses from Woo Themes. Apparently they know that we developers appreciate a nice drink every now and again.

Since we went as a team we split up for most of Saturday’s sessions to try to cover as much as we could and collaborate later. It was totally worth it. Being three different tracks on Saturday and two on Sunday, needless to say there were a lot of options to choose from.

For those of you who didn’t make it, enjoy some of the pictures we took from our mobiles here. And if you’d like to see some of the recordings from the sessions, you can actually do so for FREE on the Live page of the WordCamp Miami website.

5 Things To Expect From WordCamp Miami 2013

WordCamp MiamiSo in just a few days the University of Miami will be hosting WordCamp Miami. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to since we sponsored and attended WordCamp Orlando in December of 2012. Now the one in Orlando was our first experience and I can surely tell you it was awesome. There were so many cool people who all loved WordPress. From the designers, to developers, to sponsors, and everyday bloggers. As we approach this conference in Miami, there’s a few things one should expect. These aren’t in order per-say and all have an equal amount of enthusiasm behind them.

Learning in-depth Resources and information about WordPress

I would say one of the main reasons for attending a WordCamp is to gain more knowledge about the platform. It really doesn’t matter your level of use, be it novice or seasoned developer, there are still things to learn. This WordCamp will actually feature three different tracks to follow. Users and Bloggers, Designers Track, and Developers Track. After looking at the schedule I already know we’ll be splitting up so that we can absorb as much as we can then collaborate later to unload. The sessions range from “Top 20 Plugins We Can’t Live Without” to “Amplifying your WordPress CSS with Compass & SASS”. There will also be news about what’s coming down the line with future updates and additions to WordPress that are sure to wet your appetite. This really will be a day to have fully charged devices to take in as many notes and tips as you can before reaching 2% life.

Meeting other developers and designers

For me I look forward to this very much. Designers and developers typically don’t congregate too much, and this event is a great mixer. In Orlando there really was an absence of competition, yet a great sense of comradery. If anything you could easily strike up a conversation about some failed plugin or theme house that we’ve all used and cursed. So we’re looking forward to meeting some other developers from the Miami area and hope to make some new Twitter connections too. We never take the attitude that we know it all, or that we can handle all on our own. One of the greatest things about this open source community is that all of us have the potential to create something awesome and be a contribution to the platform.

Networking with potential clients

A large part of our clientele are actually WordPress users. They sometimes have questions about how things work, but for the most part are great at just creating content while relying on us designers and developers to get their sites to work and operate the way they envision. If you’re looking for more clients, this is a great place to mingle. Your elevator pitch literally can be just “Hi, my name is _________ and I’m a designer or developer….” Chances are you’ll get cut off right there and the conversation will turn to what exactly you’re able to do for said client and begin exchanging cards and email addresses.

Livestream

Not going to be able to make it? Were you late to register and now can’t because the event is sold out? Well you’re in luck, they’ll be streaming onsite for the weekend. That includes the BuddyPress session on Friday the 5th too! So you may not even be in the state of Florida yet still gain knowledge from this event. Oh by the way, this is the first WordCamp Miami to be streaming live! It is totally free and no ticket or purchase is required to view the live stream.

The Atmosphere

After a day of cramming your noggin with knowledge you’ll need to unwind. And no better way then with everyone you just met during your sessions over beer and food after the conference. Share some notes, meet more people, and engage. There is sure to be deals to be made between sessions, notes to be passed during sessions, and pictures from smart phones in full effect all day. Everyone social media feeds should be full of content, shares, likes, and RT’s.

So what are you looking forward to? For those of you that have attended a previous WordCamp elsewhere be sure to comment below and let us know some of your favorite or most memorable experiences.