BlogathonATX 2013

Yesterday I participated in BlogathonATX 2013, a day-long event in Austin, TX bringing bloggers together for writing, inspiration, site critiques, learning, conversations… and lots of coffee drinking and snacking. It’s a great day to hang out with old friends and make new ones, fix that blog that’s been stashed away in the basement, and clear the cobwebs from your writing brain. And gain 10 pounds… because there’s never a shortage of food at BlogathonATX. Among other things, this year we had sesame chicken, sushi, fruit and veggie popsicles, artisan chocolate, kale chips, fresh organic juices, local coffee, and more candy and baked goods than was good for us. As always, it was a great day and I can’t wait until the next one!

Internet Defense League

Those visiting my blog today might notice the new banner at the top, and the cute red cat in my sidebar. Both are announcing my support for the Internet Defense League’s protest against NSA surveillance. As you can read on PC World and other blogs, many popular websites are participating in this protest, including WordPress.com! If you also oppose the NSA’s snooping into private citizens’ online activities, and you have a WordPress.com blog, you can join me! WordPress.com has added a special widget you can use to show your support. To add it to your blog,  go to your blog’s Dashboard. Under Appearance > Widgets, you’ll see a new widget called “Internet Defense League”. When you drag it into your sidebar (or into any widgeted area of your theme), you will have the option to add a banner or overlay to your blog; you can decide whether you want to participate in this one protest or future actions; and you … Read more…

WordCamp Austin logo

First reflections on WordCamp Austin

Whew! The first day of WordCamp Austin is over! It was a fantastic event. As one of the organizers, it will likely take me days to process everything that happened, but here are my first thoughts. The most striking part of WordCamp Austin is probably also the least surprising: We managed to gather together an inspiring group of WordPress lovers: attendees, speakers, sponsors and – OMG! – our volunteers! It was a joy to coordinate the eager posse of volunteers who jumped in to help out before WordCamp Austin and then busted their butts during the day to make the event run so smoothly and ensure everyone had a great time. Recycling locations appeared like magic. Trash disappeared just as quickly. And happiness flowed like beer on a hot day in Texas at our Happiness Bar. Our sessions were equally impressive. I heard over and over again how much people learned from our presenters. Even our JQuery pinch-hitter got high … Read more…