42 thoughts on “WordCamp Phoenix 2011: Organic Themes, “Approaching Theme Design”

  1. we’d really prefer that, as we requested and you agreed to, you not post all our videos to bolster your own traffic and direct people to phxwordcamp.com instead until wordpress.tv publishes them, where our sponsors graciously paid for us to get them done so quickly.

    • Amanda, I’m sorry that I’ve upset you by posting the videos on WPCandy. I did so because they were publicly embeddable. My intention here was to further promote your event and drive traffic to your site, as well as provide content that my readers care about. I don’t see how this could hurt your effort to educate the community or your relationship with your sponsors. I’m not trying to steal traffic from you in any way. If you believe your sponsors are being short-changed somehow I’d be happy to include links to them in these posts as well.

      • clearly you understand how web stats bolster sponsorships or you wouldn’t give a shit about it one way or another. posting them all on your site benefits you, not the camp. posting our sponsors on your site benefits you, not the camp. its important that camps get sponsors. it is not as important that wpcandy get sponsors. if this is a new trend of how you’re going to work with camps, I suspect it won’t win you many fans amongst organizers.. next year we’ll just host the videos ourselves until we’re ready to release them to wordpress.tv. i honestly don’t know why you even asked permission if you didn’t intend to honor your word.

        • Isn’t WordPress all about Open Source, free and sharing? Why are you making a problem out of this? Are you really that greedy? wpCandy is not hurting your wordcamp in any way, and if you like to be a pain in the ass please prevent everyone from embedding your precious videos.

          • Phxwordcamp is hosting them for free for the entire community, as will WordPress.tv. When you view them here, you’re just helping someone make money off the videos. WpCandy is a money making enterprise. WordCamps aren’t. WordCamps are thrown by volunteers, unpaid, for the benefit of community and rely on sponsors. WPCandy is a guy making money off the community (which is fine, but one might question why in this iteration I’m the greedy one when I don’t stand to benefit at all and WPCandy does). If WPCandy wanted the videos for his own benefit, he should have helped pay for the expediting of them. THAT’S open source.

          • “If WPCandy wanted the videos for his own benefit, he should have helped pay for the expediting of them. THAT’S open source.”

            No, Open Source would be: “[Something] that can be used, redistributed or rewritten free of charge; it’s usually created by volunteers.”

            Which is exactly what WPCandy is doing.

        • WPCandy is a prominent WordPress source and I see the videos here benefiting: A) The Community B) WordPress C) WordCamp Phoenix by calling more attention to it for folks who are not be following the WCPHX web site, or twitter stream. I know that I, personally, am more likely to notice them on WPCandy than anywhere else on the web – – I guess I don’t understand why you would not advocate wide/expanded exposure versus limited exposure? If I were a sponsor, I’d be thrilled for the continued attention brought to the event by sites like WPCandy. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving (hey, Ryan – new tagline! :p)

          Ryan, and his team, not only did an absolutely brilliant job live blogging and promoting Phoenix, but continues to do so by way of after-event coverage that continues to keep attention focused on a successful community event. By the community, for the community, yea?

    • As someone that sponsors WordCamps, including at least one you (Amanda) helped organize, i’d have to say this doesn’t bother me at all. The attention the video is going to get on WPCandy is far greater than what it will receive on the WordCamp Phoenix web site. That is good for the community, it puts that content out there to more users can get access to it.

      We don’t sponsor WordCamp’s because i’m worried about stuff like this. We sponsor WordCamp’s to help the event. Ultimately the exposure we get at WordCamp’s is a drop in the bucket compared to other streams. We sponsor WordCamp’s to give back to the community by helping put on events for WordPress users to attend.

      I must say that the way you have handled this situation by publicly attacking Ryan in the comments of this post is unprofessional and rude.

    • I would have never seen these videos nor even known about phxwordcamp.com had the videos not been listed on this site. Ryan has already linked back to the original blog they come from. Because of this, I visited the phx site because of it and got to see a few more videos. I really think this will likely come out as a win for your sponsors with the extra visits from wpcandy. You can easily find out by checking your site statistics.

    • …our sponsors graciously paid for us to get them done so quickly…

      I’m confused about something:

      WpCandy is a money making enterprise. WordCamps aren’t. WordCamps are thrown by volunteers, unpaid, for the benefit of community

      And again:

      of course I didn’t [receive a paycheck]. we’re volunteers.

      So, whom and in what way did sponsors “pay” for expedited video editing? Your statement implies that compensation was for someone’s time and effort to expedite the completion of the videos, which implies that someone was paid to do so.

      By the way: I went to the WCPHX website, to the page where this video is embedded. Perhaps you’ll notice that, in the upper-left corner, the video prominently features a share select field, which when clicked, provides download link and embed code for the video. If you don’t want people to embed the video, perhaps you shouldn’t provide them the means (and the implicit permission) to do so?

      • Chip is correct. WordPress.tv, like all VideoPress powered video, has a checkbox to remove the sharing options.

        I believe WCPHX used sponsor money to pay Blaze Streaming Media (Joe does a lot of WordCamps at reduced rates, and is awesome) to handle the video, since Joe is the one who uploaded them all on wordpress.tv.

    • I’m sure it sounds like I’m an ass for making a stink about this, but I was really angry yesterday that Ryan went back on his word after we’d gone out of his way to give him access to news and media no one else had- which he used and appreciated, and which benefited both him AND the community. It was a big slap in the face. I understand he has a relationship with many of you here that’s worked to your advantage, but when it slaps you in the face you’ll feel the same, I suspect.

      I recognize that WPCandy is a good source,but people would be just as aware of the videos if he just blogged about them and sent them to our site, so both parties benefit. Having them here benefits HIS site, and there’s a difference. That’s what gets my goat, I think and led me to be so vitriolic about it. I should likely apologize for my tone, but honestly, I was really pissed he would say one thing to me then turn around and do exactly the opposite. There’s a smokescreen of making it about “community” when really Ryan wants the videos on his site for the same reason we do. While some small sponsors might not care, I assure you the large ones that make camp possible care a lot. If you like big events like WCPhoenix, that required sponsors to put it on-these are things they care about. I know… you all don’t want to piss off someone who could benefit your business, but I don’t have such a stake because I’m an unpaid volunteer, not someone who makes money off WordPress. I did address Ryan privately beforehand, but he kept saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite.

      We didn’t turn off sharing for exactly the reason everyone has pointed out: that would make it impossible for anyone to do so. We expected speakers and attendees to want to grab a video or two, but no one besides Ryan is going to post them all. We wanted Ryan to honor his word and understand how he could work WITH our camp, not against it and to do so on his own.

      • I probably shouldn’t step in, but I think I need to because you could not be any more inaccurate regarding Ryan’s intentions. The purpose of this site is to provide quality information to the readers, and the people that power the community do so because, quite honestly, Ryan is pretty damn good at providing that information. It is quite clear around here that WPCandy does not operative for the sole motive of profit. If that was the goal, a lot of things would probably be different. There is zero “smokescreen” of community here; WPCandy is community.

        More effort went into providing free, yes, free publicity to WordCamp Phoenix than any other event since this site relaunched, and I think it is fair to say the event, our audience, and the WCPHX sponsors, benefited from that publicity. Other commenters here alone prove that.

        I’m nearly certain Ryan did not go back on his word, and was referencing holding off uploading the videos to the live stream, not the site, as a courtesy. If there was miscommunication there, I think he has more than apologized for not being more clear in his discussion with you simply by allowing your comments to stay and not responding to your direct and personal attacks. And, as others have said, embeddable videos can be expected to be embedded. I personally don’t see why there was any reason to ask you if it was okay to even put them on the live stream right away. That was yet another example of Ryan being totally and utterly reasonable with you.

        So, there was no ulterior motive, no smokescreen, and certainly no attempt to slap you in the face. Each post had a link to your site, and he offered to put links to your sponsors with no benefit to us. I have no idea what more you can ask for.

      • Wow Amanda…

        “I understand he has a relationship with many of you here that’s worked to your advantage, but when it slaps you in the face you’ll feel the same, I suspect.”

        Now you have managed to insult and offend the people that felt the need to stand up for Ryan by insinuating that they have done so only because they have something to gain by supporting Ryan.

        I didn’t stand up for Ryan because I have a relationship with him that has worked to my advantage. I stood up for him because I thought your reaction was completely uncalled for and your attitude about the situation is downright rude, egotistical, and obnoxious. Judging by the responses to this post, i’m not the only one that felt that way.

      • Just to be clear, I didn’t go back on my word. What happened was a misunderstanding between us that unfortunately we couldn’t resolve. I originally asked for permission to include the WordCamp videos on the WPCandy Stream, at wpcandy.com/stream. The Stream is a bit different than videos we embed on the site, which is what happens at wpcandy.com/watches. So when you say, Amanda, that I went back on my word, you’re skewing what actually happened. We misunderstood each other, and unfortunately we didn’t resolve things in our emails.

        I don’t mean to encourage this long, off topic thread (I mean come on, Organic Themes is killing it up there) but I can’t let claims to my dishonesty go unanswered.

  2. What’s up with the hate for themeforest? Is there a problem with selling themes there? I have been giving thought to developing some of the themes I have done for clients into more general themes to sell on themeforest but I would love to know if there are better alternatives or problems with that marketplace.

      • Actually I was commenting on the video. The two presenters make a remark that seemed like maybe themeforest wasn’t one of their favorites… I am a bit interested in themeforest, or at least selling themes, and was hoping some others might have insight. I should have been more clear that I was commenting on the video as my comment got pushed so far down by the threads.

        • Based on their T&C, I don’t think Theme Forest is quite in compliance with the WordPress license re derivative works/themes, since they place restrictions on how you can use code downloaded from their site. If they have changed this policy and are intending to be GPL-compatible with the relevant code (like the more reputable commercial theme companies), then they have some outdated language on their site.

  3. Allow me to chime in here for just bit.
    You have to love it when someone sticks their foot so far down their throat they don’t realize they are alienating a large portion of the WordPress community that just may have sponsored a WordCamp or two.
    I find it rather troubling that someone who apparently organized a WordCamp wants to so publicly attack a potential future sponsor as it appears WPCandy has been attacked here.
    Let us consider for a moment who the winner is here from WPCandy’s posting the video of Jeff doing his talk at WCPX. The winner is not only the community of WPCandy, but the community of WordPress. Let us also consider for a moment which website most likely benefited the most from the video and the link back to the WCPX site. That would be the WCPX site.

    Shall we explore just a couple of stats of the two sites.

    Alexa Rankings:

    WPCandy – 15,043
    WCPX – 262,178

    Oh, and how about Compete rankings

    WPCandy – 82,984
    WCPX – 175,851

    Let’s call it how it is. The one who benefited from any SEO juice or linking of this video is WCPX. Nice job bitting the mouth that feeds your site Amanda.

    Clay and I attended WCPX this year. Yup, Amanda, I was right there in front of you as were a number of other WordPress developers. I can assure you, based on your actions on this post alone, Headway Themes will not be sponsoring a WCPX anytime in the foreseeable future.

    We will be happy to sponsor a WordCamp organized by the likes of Brian in Michigan. And Michael Torbert’s WordCamp in NC. Thanks for making the choice so easy to make.

  4. I agree with what’s already been said here. Some chill-pills need to be taken. This is how video embedding works, this is exactly how it’s *supposed* to work, and if you don’t like it then it’s quite easy to disable it… but – as has already been pointed out – it would probably do WCPX more harm than good.

    I’m pretty surprised all round by the response to this. I don’t hear anyone complaining when their startup gets featured on TechCrunch, or when their design work gets featured on Smashing Mag, and this is the same situation. I think it’s pretty commendable that Ryan is going to all the effort of promoting the conference in such a big way.

  5. Oh, WordCamp, thy name is needless drama sometimes. Let’s all take a breath.

    1. Any video hosted by WordPress.tv is absolutely meant to be embedded all over the place, spreading the awesomeness of WordPress and WordCamps. There is zero opposition on this from WordPress.tv, WordCamp Central, the WordPress open source project, me, Matt, or anyone on the core team, you have my word. WPCandy, WPTavern, personal sites, whatever. Spammers and scrapers I don’t love, but it’s still totally within bounds.

    2. I’ve not been involved in the discussions between Amanda and Ryan. From the 2nd comment/1st reply from Amanda to Ryan, it kind of sounds like maybe they discussed the timing of publicizing videos beforehand, so maybe there’s something underlying her annoyance that we’re not privy to? I don’t know.

    3. I’d love to publish every single video uploaded to WordPress.tv the minute it’s done, but we’ve gotten complaints for doing that in the past because it floods people’s feeds. Having people embed them before they are officially published doesn’t bother me. Since usually videographers upload them a few at a time, this never really comes up. We usually publish no more than 3 per day so as not to choke the feeds. Phoenix, being huge, has tons of videos.

    4. I’m not sure about the question ‘what’s up with the hate for themeforest,’ since I don’t see a comment about themeforest. Maybe it’s been deleted or I’m missing something?

    5. To try and take this particular embed out of controversy, I’ve just gone in, at 11:30pm, to add the necessary tags for publishing, and it’s published. One of these days I’ll get to download tv sitcoms and watch them while I eat ice cream late at night instead of doing stuff like this because I keep getting pinged by upset community members. (Seriously, is there nothing better to argue about at night? The state of personal liberty in a society moving toward authoritarian government? What drugs Aldous Huxley took? Any other topic that kept us up at night in the college dorm halls?)(Also, feel free to send me ice cream in anticipation of that day! : ) )

    Now let’s all get some sleep (or sitcoms and ice cream, as the case may be), and all try to get along tomorrow. We have more in common than we have differences, and I like to think we’re all adult enough to give each other the benefit of the doubt and work out disagreements civilly rather than with this kind of animosity. Well, except me and Nacin. I’ll be punching him in the face at Miami. Tickets go on sale next week, to benefit the WordPress Foundation and its work to subsidize WordCamp video production!

    • Bravo Jane!
      your ability to retain a sense of humor in the midst of this hoo haa and your late night crisis management is very commendable 🙂
      comment of the week for me 🙂

  6. Hi, I help organise WordCamp Melbourne.

    A few points…
    1. I think Ryan is an absolutely amazing guy and in communicating with him I can say that he’s nothing less than an absolute class act.
    2. I think that as a WordCamp organiser we can occasionally get outraged at things people do or say. But I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to keep a lid on it. It’s not about us, it’s about the people who attend.
    3. Getting pissed off doesn’t help things. If there’s one thing for all the things I’ve learned in organising this WordCamp, it’s that it drives people away.
    4. To repeat what John said, It’s not a big deal. At the end of the day, my goal as a WordCamp organiser is to help promote WordPress to my local community and help promote my local community to the rest of the world, and being an excellent representation through my actions is extremely important to me. Being corrosive doesn’t help anything.

    I’ll admit that I’ve had a few slips here and there and said some things that I should’t have on occasion, but we’re all prone to making mistakes.

    That is all.

  7. I really appreciate the professional way in which Ryan and team cover the WordPress community. WPCandy has quickly become my go-to source for WordPress news and just like Matt I wouldn’t have even known about WordCamp Phoenix if not for this site. WPCandy rocks!

  8. Let me be honest here.

    If it was not for WPCandy, then I wouldn’t have bothered to watched the videos of WordCamp PHX. Ryan is doing a kick ass job with keeping the community in the loop. Without his effort, more than half of the community news went unnoticed. I couldn’t make it to Phoenix for the camp, but I loved the live blogging. It made me realize what a kick ass event it was that I missed due to personal circumstances. But after seeing the way organizers butchering Ryan for something that I personally see no harm in, I may not attend WCPHX.

    I think for all your sponsors would be happy that your videos are getting so much exposure because WPCandy certainly gets tons more traffic then the WCPHX page. As Carl points out that the reason for sponsoring is primarily to help the community and exposure comes second. I saw a good bunch of sponsors at WCPHX and I know a lot of these guys personally. They will all agree me with me in this.

    My comments are not an attack on Amanda. It is simply defending Ryan in this matter because I believe he didn’t do the wrong thing. Matters like these should be dealt in private. Nothing good comes out of public attacks.

    • I agree completely. Wouldn’t have seen these videos were it not for WPCandy. Also don’t understand the gripe, when the videos are clearly available for embedding by anyone.

      Dumbfounded by the personal and public attacks; there was simply no call for this, and it certainly doesn’t benefit the WordPress community OR WordCamp Phoenix in the least.

      I continue to view WPCandy as the best source for ALL things WordPress, so keep up the great work, Ryan and team!

  9. Basically agree with everyone here. I’ve never been to the WordCamp PHX site and probably never would have watched the videos. But thanks to WPCandy, I enjoyed a bunch of them tonight

  10. On a different note – let’s not lose sight of Jeff and David’s (Organic Themes) really nice presentation – the video turned out really nice. Love what they had to say about where to look for design inspiration – – I thought I was the only one who is inspired by food packaging! 🙂 Nice job, Jeff and David!

  11. Wow – I can’t believe what I’m reading. It’s so counter to what the WordPress community does for each and every one of us. We all benefit from sharing any WordPress event, information, videos or whatever medium.

  12. Hopefully Amanda and Ryan can resolve their differences on this one.

    I would like to thank both of them and the rest of the organisers and participants involved in this WordCamp as the content that is coming out of it is amazing.

  13. ( .02 ) I live outside Seattle, and because of location, I don’t really follow news or events taking place in Phoenix. I have never attended a WordCamp but with Seattle hosting one in April, I thought I would look around for content from other markets to get an idea of what to expect, as I plan on going. I came to WPCandy because it is a site I often check for news, tutorials etc… I came across Jeff and David’s presentation of “Approaching Theme Design” and BECAUSE of the video I ended up checking out the Word Camp Phoenix site ( very nice design by the way ) for more of what went on at that meet-up… so, Amanda, because of the videos on WPCandy, WordCamp Phoenix had at least 1 visitor who might have never found your site. This is how I see it as a benefit for you.

    Great presentation also, and I am looking forward to great speakers and topics in Seattle.

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