Empowering journalists with WordPress


Is blogging journalism? Are bloggers journalists? Have you ever heard these questions, or questions like them, before? For those interested in writing and publishing, as I’m sure many of us are, these are important questions. Words like “blogger” and “journalist” are important and carry a lot of meaning.

But I think asking whether bloggers are journalists is asking the wrong sort of question. It’s mixing up ideas. Asking whether bloggers are, or can be, journalists, is like asking if those who email can be poets. See what I mean, about it being the wrong sort of question? We can’t mistake the method, the format, with the content.

Now, that said, it’s important to recognize the writing style that typifies blogs and the writing style that journalists practice. Generically speaking, blog posts aren’t concerned with sources, other people’s opinions, and the kind of ethics we wish to hold our journalists to. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bloggers who do think and care about those things. I think there definitely are, just like there are journalists who don’t care for them so much.

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Verticals, and less WordPress for the sake of WordPress


At WordCamp Phoenix a couple of weeks ago I presented a talk on WordPress and journalism. Specifically, I talked about how WordPress can empower those in the field of journalism. I’ll have the slides up soon, but the specifics of the presentation aren’t necessary at the moment.

My presentation was a part of the “My WP” track, a track that featured presentations on WordPress in various verticals. One talk focused on how creative people use WordPress, another focused on real estate, and another on non-profits and government. I don’t mean to say that Phoenix is the only camp to organize presentations on these kinds of topics, but walking away from the event, particularly after speaking within that track, I find myself excited about the possibilities that WordPress verticals bring.

a group of similar businesses and customers that engage in trade based on specific and specialized needs (source)

As someone studying and writing a good deal about this particular industry, it is difficult to find inspiration sometimes. I think it happens, at least to me, when I spend a little too much time reading and absorbing the talk within the community itself. WordPress professionals talking to other WordPress professionals is a lot of fun, but it’s also a bit of insider talk. It’s not representative of the full influence that WordPress has on the world.

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I am going to be an adult and realize that you meant it as a compliment, but it really isn’t, and I want you to be aware of that. I heard this line from plenty of ladies, not just men, and in terms of percentages, maybe even more women than men. This is not the way, people. This shouldn’t be surprising to you. It can be inspiring, it can be nice to see someone like you, but it absolutely should not be a surprise.

Helen Hou-Sandi, WordPress Core Contributor and User Experience Engineer for 10up, gave a presentation at WordCamp Phoenix over the weekend on WordPress development (her first solo talk of this kind). She also wrote this blog post, which is a great read, particularly for those who care about the meaning and implications of the words they use.

Phoenix speaker application deadline is January 13th


WordCamp Phoenix wants you! Well, maybe. The organizers are still working to expand their speaker list and have put out a call for people who know their stuff.

Do you know a lot about something related to WordPress? Would the community benefit from knowing about one of your practices? Would you like to answer another question? Me too. So if you feel like you have something to offer and want to speak, you can apply on the WordCamp Phoenix site. You have to hurry though. You only have until 11:59pm on Friday January 13th to apply.

WordCamp Phoenix tickets are now available


WordCamp Phoenix is coming up. This year’s happens February 24-26, which is just two months away! And now tickets are available. While no specific schedules are up yet, there is information on what you can expect for each day. Friday will see the return of “full day” classes. These will take you through all levels of WordPress. If you’re interested, make sure you pick up a ticket early because you have to register for classes separately.

Saturday is the main day, with multiple tracks to choose from. Some of the topics you can expect are WordPress 101, multisite, scalability, and responsive design principles. Along with those, and more, there will be unconference areas, a genius bar and many gathering areas. Sunday will usher in the development and hack day.

Tickets for this year will run you only $35. If you’re interested in classes, make sure you get your ticket fast. As always, more information is, and will be, available on the WordCamp Phoenix site.

What WordCamp are you looking forward to the most in 2012? Why?

WordCamp Phoenix 2012 is all set for February 24-26


According to Dallin Harris, the official organizer of WordCamp Phoenix 2012, next year’s event is officially set for February 24th, 25th, and 26th. You can even visit their website and give them your information to be notified when there’s more to know about what’s coming.

Harris told me he couldn’t offer up too much information about the event, but he did give us a few tidbits. Five hundred tickets will be up for grabs initially, which he says he expects will sell quickly. The event will be held at the Chandler Center for the Arts.

Harris also said that “many” verticals would be getting attention, and both beginners and advanced developers will come away with something.

WordCamp Phoenix was easily one of my favorite WordCamp experiences of 2011. I’m psyched to go back and attend again. Thumb through our coverage of the last WordCamp Phoenix to see what happened. The 2012 event has been up in the air since last year’s organizers Amanda Blum and Chuck Reynolds stepped down.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on their official website and Twitter for further announcements and more details as they release them. How many of you are looking forward to attending WordCamp Phoenix for the first (or even second) time?

WordCamp Phoenix 2012 could be happening on February 25


Don’t mistake it for gibberish, because according to the rather cryptic tweet you see above the next WordCamp Phoenix could be happening on February 25, 2010. I mean, assuming it’s not gibberish. The tweet is from Amanda Blum, one of the organizers of 2011’s WordCamp Phoenix event.

Last we heard, WordCamp Phoenix was only going to happen again if new organizers stepped up to the plate. This year’s organizers Blum and Chuck Reynolds have each stated they will not be involved in organizing WordCamp Phoenix in the foreseeable future.

A firm date isn’t listed on WordCamp Central yet, so don’t go booking those non-refundable flights yet. We’ll be in touch with the new organizers soon to get some more information. And here’s to hoping it does happen — last year’s event was a lot of fun.

WordCamp Phoenix 2012 will depend on new organizers stepping up


WordCamp Phoenix, which WPCandy covered to a large extent at the beginning of the year, currently has no organizers for 2012. Last year’s lead organizers were Chuck Reynolds and Amanda Blum (see our interview with them). According to each of them on Twitter they won’t be organizing next year’s event.

That means that in order for a WordCamp to happen in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012, new organizers will need to step up. There is currently a strong WordPress meetup group in the Phoenix area (well over 200 participants), so it’s certainly conceivable that interested folks would step up and take it over.

Did you attend WordCamp Phoenix in 2011? Did you enjoy yourself enough to consider taking the dive and volunteering to organize the next event?

Allure Themes launches as WordPress themes for women


Lisa Sabin-Wilson has launched Allure Themes, a new WordPress themes shop made especially for women. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say Allure is the only WordPress theme shop designed for women (there are a lot of theme shops, after all) I can comfortably say Allure is the highest profile, at this point.

The shop launch marks the second collaboration between Sabin-Wilson and Cory Miller of iThemes. Sabin-Wilson described the development of Allure Themes in the official launch post, including how it was first announced just a couple of months ago at WordCamp Phoenix.

I walked into Phoenix announcing Allure and promoting the heck out of it, without one single theme to show for it. Clearly, I had my work cut out for me once I returned home from my trip to Phoenix!

I have been at the game of designing WordPress themes for a long time now – since 2003, actually. That’s eight years – – which, I think, in internet-speak means: she’s ancient!

The new shop currently includes six WordPress themes with a feminine appeal. Themes are available via three different memberships of different lengths of time which include access to all their themes: two months for $75, three months for $100, or $150 for six months.

After giving Lisa such a hard time at WordCamp Phoenix, I can’t very well not recommend checking out her new themes. I couldn’t be happier that she now has a theme shop to go along with her business cards and iPad case!