Quantcast

From the BlogSubscribe Now

Seattle Talk on November 14th: From Domain to Fame

WordPress has that famed five-minute install, right? Right. And with most modern web hosts, it’s much quicker than that by using their control panel.

But installing WordPress is but one step in the overall process of launching a new website. Regardless of whether your new online venture is for a hobby or a business, there’s a lot more ot launching a new site than just making WordPress run.

That’s the topic for a talk I’m giving in a couple weeks at the Seattle WordPress Meetup. Join me on November 14th at TechStars.

Seattle Skyline as seen from Gas Works Park

Before the launch, you’ll want to think about how the site is structured and the design. You’ll need to plan for the initial content (both static and dynamic) that should be ready to go while still under wraps. And there should be some preparatory work to ensure that when you launch, someone knows.

On launch day, several things need to happen, and if they’re done in the wrong order it’s not hard to make a potentially embarrassing mistake.

Immediately after the launch, you’ll want to be ready with additional content and promotional steps to bring folks to the site and convert them in some way… whether that’s to a subscriber of some sort, a buyer, someone who’s sharing your content, or whatever other action it is that you hope for your visitors.

We’re going to walk through this in Seattle. Be there… or don’t. :)

Build up a Twitter Account’s Credibility with Strategic Event Tweeting

I’ve had my primary Twitter account, @ahockley, since February 2007 and have arguably tweeted too much since then (65,000 tweets and counting, baby)! I’ve used that account for general conversations as well as photography-related discussions.

Earlier this year I created a separate account as I began to strengthen my online presence in a different area of my life: software quality testing. I launched the Kwality Rules blog and the @KwalityRules Twitter account. I followed some folks in the industry and used the account sporadically.

A few weeks ago I attended STARWest, a major quality conference, and decided I’d use this as the catalyst to boost the profile of @KwalityRules. Here’s what I did.

Before the Event

  • Find the conference hashtag ahead of time. About two weeks prior to the conference, do a Twitter search for the hashtag and see if folks are starting to use it. Send out a tweet with the hashtag indicating that you’re attending and are looking forward to connecting with other attendees.
  • If your Twitter client supports it, set up a saved search view for the conference hashtag and start monitoring it as the event gets closer. If your Twitter client doesn’t support it, perhaps you need a better Twitter client. I like Tweetbot (Mac, iPhone, or iPad).
  • Those people that are using the hashtag and seem to be saying interesting things? Follow them. Perhaps send them an @mention indicating that you’re looking forward to meeting them at the event.
  • If you’ve reviewed the conference schedule and identified particularly noteworthy or interesting-sounding speakers, see if they use Twitter. If they do, follow them. An introduction isn’t a bad idea; let them know you’re looking forward to their talk.

At the Event

Remember: you’re at an in-person event so you should do things in person. Don’t just sit in your room or the corner all the time on your phone, tweeting away. That said, don’t forget to tweet! Here’s how I made my presence known at STARWest.

  • Don’t forget to use the hashtag when tweeting about the event or anything that might be relevant to attendees.
  • Set up a keyboard shortcut for the conference hashtag if it’s more than a couple characters. At STARWest, the hashtag was #starwest. Because I’m a lazy guy, I setup a shortcut on iOS such that when I typed stt it expanded into the hashtag. Didn’t have to go to the second keyboard for the # symbol, etc.
  • That Twitter search that I suggested you set up in advance? Use it. See what others are saying and reply as appropriate. Chime in with your two cents.
  • Retweet others who share interesting things. Retweets are love.
  • Tweet out notable quotes, facts, or things you found interesting from presentations you attended.
  • Tweet if a vendor has an especially interesting giveaway or demo at their booth. What’s interesting? I tweeted about the Sauce Labs robot that was playing Angry birds:

  • Attend informal gatherings. If there aren’t any, start one. Tweet out that you’re going to be at a certain bar or coffee shop at a particular time for a meetup with attendees. Don’t forget the hashtag. Someone will show up. Perhaps many someones. Host a lean coffee in the morning before the activities begin.

The Results

What happened as a result of all my Tweeting? A few things.

I was called out right after the opening keynote (along with @g33klady) as having been a very prolific tweeter, and we were given prizes for our tweeting[1]. As she noted, it’s a major award!

More importantly, I connected with other professionals in the field, including several industry leaders who saw my tweets, engaged in conversation, and followed me. This is the real value, and where building your Twitter presence at an event will lead to long-term relationships that can benefit your personal and professional development.

Twitter + events = a powerful combination.


  1. Let me know if there’s an appropriate use for the phrase “Award-winning tweeter” somewhere.  ↩

Speaking About WordPress Writing at WordCamp Seattle

WordCamp SeattleI’m excited to announce that I’ll be in Seattle on June 8th to speak at WordCamp Seattle, a conference for writers, designers, developers, and others using the WordPress platform.

First, if you’re anywhere in the Pacific Northwest and use WordPress and haven’t yet purchased a ticket for the event, go do that now because it’s on the way to being a sold-out event. Then come back here, and read more about the fact that I’m speaking about

Writing Workflow for WordPress

Having blogged for over 12 years, a majority of that time with WordPress, and having written thousands of articles for a variety of websites, I’ve figured out some tips, tricks, and methods for ensuring a relatively frictionless writing process that produces pleasing results.

This talk will be aimed at intermediate and advanced users who are already familiar with WordPress basics such as posts vs. pages, installing a plugin, adding images, and other fundamentals.

My talk will encompass a look at how I write articles for the online world. From a process standpoint, this flow will include:

  • capturing and prioritizing ideas
  • drafting articles
  • preparing an article for publication (proofing, adding media, etc)
  • post-publishing promotion and followup

I also plan to dive into specific tools for the process, including:

  • writing in Markdown (why, how to learn, and tools)
  • managing scheduled posts (plugins that help)
  • a system for ensuring steps in the publishing process aren’t overlooked
  • a quick look at article promotion tools that don’t involve spamming or sleaze

Attendees should walk away with several ideas for increasing the efficiency of their writing and publishing process using a WordPress platform.

Riverhouse View in Bend, Oregon

I spent the last couple of days in Bend, speaking at a real estate technology conference (I was talking about photography and social media). My accommodations were at the Riverhouse Hotel, which is bisected by the Deschutes River. Each morning as I walked from my hotel room across to the hotel’s restaurant I got to cross a footbridge offering a nice view downstream.

The photo was made on my iPhone using Camera Plus Pro, an app I’m currently reviewing… look for the review over at Splat Photo later this week.

Deschutes River in Bend

WordPress Power Blogging Tips – October 29th at the Portland WordPress Meetup

WordPress logoIf you’ve ever been interested in blogging better, or just listening to me perform an organized(ish) brain dump of a lot of WordPress power user blogging tips and tricks, you’ll want to be at the Portland WordPress meetup on October 29th. Daniel invited me to come and share some things with the group.

Topics to be covered include (but are not limited to):

  • idea management / article creation and workflow
  • writing in various places both within and outside of the WordPress interface
  • media tips
  • a few useful plugins
  • my newsletters and how they relate to my blogs
  • social, search, and incoming link strategery
  • things I schedule and automate vs. things I choose to do manually

What else is on your mind? If there’s something else related to content creation, publishing, or sharing that you’d like to hear about, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help.

Learning About WordPress Core Contribution

At the WordCamp Portland developer day:

20120819-130643.jpg