WordCamp London 2015

Next weekend I will be attending and speaking at WordCamp London 2015! This will be my third WordCamp outside of the US, with the first two being WordCamp Montreal 2009 and WordCamp Europe 2013.

wordcamp-london-2015-logoI am speaking on Sunday at 12:15pm in the Henry Thomas Room. My presentation is on Hiring Employee Number One: From Freelancer to Agency. I first gave this presentation at PrestigeConf last month and am very excited to present this to the London crowd. It’s a fun and informative presentation on lessons learned as we started and grew WebDevStudios over the years.

My wife and I are staying in the London area for a week to explore the city, art, music, food, and everything London has to offer! My last trip to London I was a teenager, and to be honest didn’t really appreciate the history a country like England has to offer. I’m excited to learn more about the history of the city and country. I am also very excited to eat yummy English food!

If you are attending WordCamp London, make sure to track me down and say hi! I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at WordCamp London next weekend!

WordCamp Indy Needs to Happen

If you aren’t familiar with a WordCamp, it’s defined as “an informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users”. WordCamps are amazing events for all types of WordPress users. Whether you’re an avid blogger, or advanced developer, a good WordCamp will have something for you.

indianapolis-river-walkIndiana has never had a WordCamp. Being a WordPress fanboy, and born and raised in Indiana, this makes me extremely sad. Most major cities in the United States have had multiple WordCamps at this point, but sadly Indiana hasn’t had a single one. This needs to change.

WordCampIndy.org and the @WordCampIndy Twitter account have been squatted on for years by a company called WatershedStudio. They stated planning for WordCamp Indy was underway back in 2008, but the event never happened. I would really love to see WordCamp Central put some pressure on the owners of the site and Twitter account to hand them over to someone who will actually help organize an event.

The one thing that WordCamp Indy really needs is a leader to step up and take charge. I am willing to support a WordCamp Indy as much as possible. I will sponsor, apply to speak, help volunteer, and promote the event to the entire WordPress Community. The one thing I can’t do is help organize, because that responsibility should fall on locals.

Are you interested in seeing a WordCamp Indy happen? Leave a comment and let’s make WordCamp Indy a reality!

ToeJam and Earl are Back!

One of my favorite video games growing up as a kid was ToeJam and Earl for the Sega Genesis. I spent hundreds of hours exploring the various randomized levels, opening up presents, running from nerd herds, and throwing tomatoes at earthlings.

toejam-and-earlI’m really excited to see that ToeJam and Earl are coming back with a new Kickstarter campaign created by the team behind the original game. The goal of the crowd-funding campaign is to raise $400,000 to fund a new ToeJam and Earl game in the same style as the original.

The funding rewards are actually really good. I decided to go with the Bling Master reward level, which includes ToeJam and Earl vinyl figures as well as the Rapmaster Rocket figure. These collectible figurines are going to look awesome on my desk!

If you enjoyed this game as a kid, be sure to help fund the Kickstarter campaign. I can’t wait to check out the new ToeJam and Earl game! Jammin!

My Podcasting Equipment

I love to podcast! There’s something that has always excited me about recording an internet show that anyone in the world can subscribe to. I started playing with podcasting back in 2007. The first official podcast I co-hosted was WordPress Weekly back in January of 2008. After a few shows I was hooked, so I helped organize the SitePoint Podcast in 2008 and co-hosted the show for 3 years. In 2012, I started co-hosting a new podcast dedicated to WordPress called WP Late Night. All of these roads have lead to my current podcast, which is the DradCast podcast.

I’ve been asked about my podcasting setup for years, but never took the time to document it. So here it is, my official podcasting hardware setup:


I love this mic. I have actually owned this mic since around 2006 and it still works as good as it did when I first used it. The mic is actually easy to travel with as well and since it’s USB it works on every computer.

When you are ready to get serious about your mic setup you need to purchase a boom arm. This arm easily locks onto the side of my desk and allows me to swivel the mic in and out of range as needed.

If you decide to upgrade to a boom arm you will need a shockmount. The shockmount is used to attach your mic to your boom arm and also absorbs any movement if the mic is adjusted so your audio isn’t affected.

Another great tool for crystal clear audio is a pop filter. I don’t use this as often as I should, but the idea is the pop filter eliminates “popping” sounds you might hear in some audio broadcasts.

I use this pretty standard Logitech webcam for video. The video is HD quality and also has a built-in mic, which I obviously don’t use. Overall it’s a solid camera in a slim size which is great for travel.

At the end of the day you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to podcast. A simple mic is really all you need. If you are looking to get a bit more serious, I highly recommend the hardware above. Its worked well for me over the years and I have no plans to upgrade any time soon.

Detecting a Large Multisite Network in WordPress

If you have ever worked on a very large Multisite network in WordPress, you probably understand the challenges of working with large sets of data. WordPress contains a function to help you detect a large network, wp_is_large_network(). This function accepts a single parameter $using, which sets whether to count users or sites. If your network is either more than 10,000 users or more than 10,000 sites, the function will return true. Let’s look at an example:

<?php
if ( wp_is_large_network( 'users' ) ) {

    //this network has over 10,000 users

}elseif ( wp_is_large_network( 'sites' ) ) {

    //this network has over 10,000 sites

}
?>

This function is extremely handy if you are trying to work with large sets of data. When working with Multisite, and WordPress in general, you should always write code that can scale. You can also easily alter the large network criteria using the wp_is_large_network filter.

WordPress Multisite is an extremely powerful feature of WordPress. Understanding the tools available when working with Multisite will help you build amazing, and stable, WordPress networks.

PressNomics 2015

Current status: On an airplane flying to sunny Phoenix, Arizona for PressNomics 3! PressNomics is an awesome event that focuses on the commercial side of WordPress. The event is self-described as “The conference for those that power the WordPress Economy” and that statement couldn’t be more true. PressNomics is a who’s who of respected professionals and companies making a living from WordPress.

pressnomics-logo
The event has been one of my favorites to attend since the first PressNomics. The presentations are always top-notch, but what I really enjoy the most are the hallway conversations. I love talking shop, so to have the opportunity to brush shoulders with so many like minded people in our industry is an insanely valuable experience.

I’ll be attending this year with Lisa Sabin-Wilson and Dre Armeda representing WebDevStudios and Maintainn. If you are attending this year make sure you track me down and say hi! A good spot to start looking is at SanTan Brewery. :)

If you have not had the opportunity to attend PressNomics, and are involved in the commercial side of WordPress, I strongly recommend you plan on attending. After all, do you really need an excuse to visit Phoenix in the Winter?

A Brief History of WordPress News and Podcasts

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Goodbye Camaro

2000 Chevrolet Camaro

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WordPress Checked and Selected Functions

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My Blogging Challenge for 2015

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