Giving Back to WordPress by Chris Ford — #WCOC Recap

At WordCamp Orange County this year, Carol and I attended the workshop, “You Don’t Need to Be a Core Contributor to Give Back”  by Chris Ford. Since neither of us are contributors, we figured this could be an interesting class.


It’s a funny word. Depending upon your own social context it may bring back memories of buying a coke for 25¢ at the community center, a TV show on NBC, or an organic chicken farm cult.

WordPress isn’t a cult — I think I said that here.

Community is just a group of like-minded people gathered together to share, teach, and learn. So there’s a sense that if you’ve learned, now you should share. This is what I believe is meant by giving back to the WordPress community (correct me in the comments).

I didn’t expect it to be so inspiring though.

Read more Giving Back to WordPress by Chris Ford — #WCOC Recap

One year into the Guru Minute

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I started a project I thought would fail.

How it started:

Tweets. Of course.

And then she sent it to Ted Rubin who retweeted it.

A year and 45 videos later:

What I’ve learned a year into the Guru Minute video series.

1. If you don’t try, you’ll fail.

2. You don’t need the best equipment but a tripod helps.

3. The first take is best. Read more One year into the Guru Minute

Hashtag the Crap out of Instagram

Hashtags. I know. I have a bad reputation.

So many people get it wrong (wrong being the wrong word because there are no rights or wrongs, right?).

Maybe ineffective use is a better way to describe many people’s Instagram accounts.

I know a lot of Facebookers (who cross-post their Instagram photos) just don’t realize that when they post a hashtag on a private (friends-only) post, they’re defeating the purpose of the hashtag (to be found in search). But I surrender.


I promise.

No, I’m serious this time.

My personal strategy on Instagram is to post more landscapes, arty shots, and selfies. People bore easily of selfies on Facebook. But on Instagram, it’s almost expected.

Bears in Grants Pass, Oregon

On my first visit to Grants Pass, Oregon, I noticed bear sculptures all around town. So of course, I decided to take photos, put them on Instagram, and use the hashtag #BearsOfGrantsPass.

Two things:

1. I was surprised I was the only one using this hashtag. These bears aren’t new.

2. I realized you can now click on a hashtag from your desktop.

Boom. This is when I realized the power of hashtags on Instagram has left the boundaries of mobile.


Try it on this post. Click on one of the hashtags.

Bear #ProHDRx #BearsOfGrantsPass #Oregon

A post shared by Bridget Willard (@bridgetmwillard) on


Translating to Business

Will this change how much you use Instagram?

Will this change what hashtags you use?

It changed how I started using it for Riggins. Read more Hashtag the Crap out of Instagram

Servant Leadership – Business Track at #WCOC

What does WordPress have to do with business, you may wonder, and why is there a business track at WordCamp?

The truth is that many attendees are either self-employed, small business owners, employees of small businesses, or hope to be one of the three.

Even WordCampers need business skills, especially because most hope to increase the depth and width of their marketable skills at WordCamp.

The business track at WordCamp Orange County this year was amazing. Instead of small round tables based on topics, each of the four panelists was given a specific question to address.


Steve Zehngut of Zeek Interactive coordinated the four speakers and moderator, Jeff Turner. Jeff had a way of extracting exact answers that would make even Barbara Walters swoon.


Whether it was by design or not, I sensed an overall flavor of servant leadership. It reminded me of “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.


How do you retain quality employees?

Cory Miller from iThemes was first up.

He talked about company culture and the perils of growth without guarding your core values. His story was similar to that of Tony Hsieh in “Delivering Happiness.” Read more Servant Leadership – Business Track at #WCOC

WordCamp. What is it? Why should you go?

A lot of my friends ask me what WordCamp is. Some people are confused by the name. It’s not a camp. It’s not a conference. But it is a time to learn and network.

WordCamp is an event centered around the open-source software called WordPress used to build websites.

But you don’t build websites.

I know. I’m not a website developer or designer. But I am a blogger.

Let’s not forget that many marketers say the hub of your social media efforts should be your website. WordPress is a perfect platform for small businesses and hobbyists like myself.

Sidebar: What should you get out of WordCamp from the WPwatercooler gang.

I chatted with Adam of Blue Steele Solutions about WordCamp here:

Why did I start going?

In 2013, my friend Pam Aungst of Pam Ann Marketing recommended WordCamp Orange County. She and my friend Carol Stephen of Your Social Media Works bought tickets. We didn’t know what WordCamp was at the time, but we trusted the recommendation from Pam.

It happened that she couldn’t attend that year, but Carol and I have been going ever since.

Read some of our recaps here:

What does it offer?

There are several different tracks available. Classes appeal to developers, designers, new-to-WordPress people, and businesses. There’s something for everyone. Read more WordCamp. What is it? Why should you go?