No kidding, there I was, checking my email, when I saw it:

[RESPONSE REQUIRED] You’ve been selected as a speaker for WordCamp Maine!

It’s more or less my professional goal to infiltrate the inner circles of the WordPress community, so this came as good news.  Even better, I already had my topic prepared because I’d written it as an ALA article some years ago.  The one problem?  Slides.  I had none, and if I tried to make one I’d need a pro license for MS-Paint.  That’s when I decided to hit the easy button.

Brian Made My Slides

I literally made a jira ticket for Brian to make my slides and he did just that.  They were phenomenal and you can download them here.

The cover slide.

That’ll do, no?  I had the first presentation after the morning break, but put my cover slide on the projector as soon as the break began.  I think the awesome design helped fill a few extra seats.

The Talk Went Pretty Well

A 40-minute stage appearance is a really long thing to commit to rehearsing on a given evening.  Do I shower today, or rehearse my talk?  I showered less than average over the month prior to my talk, but still should have rehearsed a bit more.  I stumbled a couple of times.  But, it seemed like people were engaged.  I was having to pause for laughter at the occasional dev joke and I can’t really ask for more than that.

Yeah Speaking at WordCamp is Fun but Have You Ate Pizza with Matt?

In an amazing coincidence, Matt Mullenweg happened to be visiting Portland that same weekend.  He held a meet and great at a small workspace where several Automatticians work and I finally got to meet one of my heroes.  I was a little star struck!  He honestly was so cool.  So friendly, so engaging, so intelligent, so inspiring.  He spoke for about 45 minutes, and then took questions for about that long.  One person asked him several very specific questions about how to use the media library, and he was incredibly graceful about it.  Not even a chuckle or an eyeroll, just passion and interest about some of the features that came straight from “Photo Matt”.

He spoke about Gutenberg a bit.  He seems happy and he seems unflappable despite the mounting uncertainty in the community.  I think it’s called perspective.  He compared it the uncertainty that came about when WordPress first adoped TinyMCE.  Wow.  Yeah, that’s perspective.  He also said that it can be challenging to discern between valid criticism and criticism of change for its own sake.

Anyways that’s a wrap for this donut.  I’ll be sure to share the video of my talk if it makes it onto WordCamp.tv!

Today, our Director of Product, Jared Sulzdorf, announced in our Slack channel that the Gutenberg editor plugin was installed on our Donuts blog so I thought I would take this opportunity to try out the new editor and write something!

I’m not the type of person that’s afraid of trying new things or taking a risk, especially if I think the risk is worth the reward. For example, one of my favorite hobbies is fire dancing, which is inherently full of risk (yes I burn myself sometimes). But when the news of this new WordPress editor came out there was a lot of controversy and backlash in the WordPress community. The unknown(s) of this new editor seemed scary – will it still work with my plugins?? Will the bugs be resolved? Will my blog implode??

I looked at the Gutenberg test editor a few months ago and was surprised with just how different it looked. What happened to the familiar post editor that I knew and loved?? I’m ashamed to say that instead of trying it, I closed the browser tab and didn’t look back, rejecting the coming change instead of embracing it.

I’m not surprised that the new editor is a very different writing experience, the “blocks” feature is pretty cool and interactive. I like how I can move individual blocks of text and even apply custom background and text colors to my blocks! Apparently you can even format and save blocks for future posts. Adding media in a block is a breeze! I also like how Publishing tools, Categories, Tags, Featured Image and Excerpt fields have moved to one location in the “Document” tab:

Sometime in the near future, I read this post in WP Tavern that offered an explanation for why its time for WordPress to make a big change. It reminded me that change is sometimes hard, sometimes scary, but its necessary for us to learn and grow.

Now I’m using the Gutenberg editor to figure out my thoughts and share them just like I always have, and its not so scary.

Per an Economic Impact Report out from WeWork last week, small businesses are thriving as a result of locating in WeWork, not just because of the concept of “offices as service,” but because of the networking being done by their employees.

And small businesses are not alone. Twenty-two percent of the Fortune 500 are WeWork members because of the opportunity to secure top talent combined with the entrepreneurial environment and culture.

This Thursday WeWork is having a networking happy hour here at Holyhoke.

LexBlog team members should give some thought to taking part. Personal networking can be tougher than online when you’ve already met folks via WeWork’s chat, blogging, Twitter, Facebook and the like, but obviously it can be done – especially here, where people in entrepreneurial companies are wired to network.

  • Where are from originally?
  • Who do you work with here?
  • What does the company do?
  • What do you do?
  • How long have you been there?
  • What do you like most about it.”

LexBlog is here at WeWork, in part because of the networking opportunities that serve you, personally, and our company. As a company founder and CEO, it is my responsibility to help you grow as people, and professionally. And the way you grow is in large part based on who you meet, know and perhaps mentor with.