tess on beach

Tess Warn: A dear woman who helped others until the very end

I just learned about the passing of an amazing woman who is no stranger to WordPress.com.

The lovely Tess Warn passed away a week ago.

I got to know Tess well during the two years I worked for WordPress.com, for Tess, known as 1Tess on the WordPress.com forums, was the one and only volunteer moderator on the English support forums where I also worked. She had earned that unique role for her consistently helpful and pleasant demeanor, and she was always constructive in her approach. As happens in most online forums, such traits are rare among the “regulars” and it was no different there. She was a compassionate and friendly voice that rose above the not infrequent sour notes. As a staff member, I couldn’t help but appreciate her contributions, and I occasionally reached out to her in private.

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Crossing the finish line

Today is a big day. Today is the day that (when I hit the “Publish” button on this post) that I will have completed my colleague Justin’s month-long blogging challenge. Every day for the past 30 days I’ve posted a new blog post with some sort of original content. Some days have been pretty good posts, some were posts for the sake of posting. I’ve learned that daily posting is not my style, and I’d rather have more time to think about what I’m going to post, and then craft it a bit, than worry about just getting a post done. Then again, before this challenge, almost all of my previous posts have been photos. This is the first time I’ve written anything substantial for (this) blog since I started it. Today also marks the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, where for the past 30 days I have been writing fiction and adding to the novel I began last November as part of … Read more…

We are WordPress!

WordCamp ATX… that’s a wrap!

After many months of planning, hours of conversations, dozens of emails and private blog (p2) posts, lots of small tasks, hard work, and a pint here and there, WordCamp ATX 2014 is finally over.

html tattooIt’s a lot of fun and not a little effort to put on a WordCamp. When it’s a two and a half day event with over 400 attendees, 45 speakers, countless sponsors and a small army of volunteers, all organized by community volunteers in their spare time, it’s definitely not a project for the faint of heart.

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You know WordCamp has begun…

I’ve just had a fantastic day at WordCamp Austin Contributor Day, happy hour and the WordCamp Speaker/Sponsor Dinner. However, it’s 11pm and I still have NaNoWriMo to tackle and a presentation to practice. And a kitten to play with. Since I have to pick up the coffee for our volunteers at 6:15 am, my daily post consists of another cute cat photo. Here, Grendel and his big brother Merlin are becoming best friends. Enjoy.  


It’s always time for BBQ

If you live in Austin, you either worship good BBQ… or you’re a vegan and don’t know what you’re missing. Tonight the Automatticians in town for WordCamp Austin and the Audrey Capital team met for dinner at Freedman’s. We enjoyed melt in your mouth brisket, pork spare ribs with meat that literally fell clean off the bone, and amazing sides and desserts. Everyone loved the roasted beets with chevre (they were almost like candy) and jalapeno bacon mac & cheese. The smoked banana pudding and smoked and salted chocolate mousse were pretty fantastic as well. I don’t usually do product or venue reviews because I’m the kind of person whose favorite meal/book/movie is the one I’m currently enjoying, so don’t take this as a restaurant review, though in all honesty, I don’t see why people wait 4 hours for lunch at certain local establishments starting with the same letter as Freedman’s, when there’s a place not that far away with a great ambiance … Read more…



I have a confession. On Saturday morning I’ll be giving a presentation at WordCamp Austin. WordCamps, for those who don’t know, are community-driven WordPress conferences that are held all around the world to talk about and learn new things about WordPress. In this case, I’m on the organizing team, and just happen to be the Speaker Wrangler. And despite what I’ve told all my fellow speakers, and despite knowing better, I still haven’t finished my slides for my presentation. Now to be fair, I know exactly what I’m going to talk about, and it’s very similar to other talks I’ve given. My presentation is the kickoff for our Beginners’ Track, and is simply, “Getting Started with WordPress.” However, I hate making slides, and I just can’t seem to get motivated to finish them. I do much better with live demos than canned talks. So, even though writing blog posts has been hard, I’d rather do a new post than finish my presentation. I’ve even done the … Read more…

From Wikipedia

If you could only follow one blog…

Dear followers of my blog (and all others who find your way here), I’m curious to learn what people like to read online, and what they value from a blog. Are they looking for news? Humor? Family updates? Cat photos? Recipes? Celebrity gossip? Thought-provoking fiction or in-depth analysis of issues? With that in mind, I have a question. If you could follow only one blog, what blog would it be? (It can be hosted anywhere, and doesn’t have to even be a WordPress site.) Or, if that question is too hard, answer this: is there a blog for which you read every post as soon as you can? Then… tell me about that blog. What’s interesting about it? Why do you like it? Why would you recommend it to someone else? Please let me know about your favorite blog in the comments. (Also, no fair promoting your own blog, because I know you read that one!)