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WordCamp Manchester 2016

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Wapuu parting at Manchester WordCamp

So I’m feeling pretty restless after that episode of The Walking Dead so why not blog about the awesome weekend I had? This weekend the 34SPeeps went to WordCamp Manchester, and boy did we do it full force!

The day started with Siobhan and Dav picking up Terry and me. Most of the gang were already there – we weren’t late were we? I think we rolled up just on time at 8am, and quickly helped out with the unpacking.

We had some ace swag as always – trendy t-shirts, notepads and stickers. This time the stickers were Manchester themed! Noel Gallagherpuu FTW!

This WordCamp felt like a big deal for me personally, because it was the first WordCamp I spoke at, as well as being the last one of the year and the home one. I really wanted it to go well.

And I’m fairly sure it did! Keith and I did our talk ‘The White Screen of Death – A Tech Support Tale’ and I’ve had some really nice comments after the talk and on Twitter. Everything during feels blurry now because I was nervous, but I’m totes grateful to everyone who came to watch as well as our ever-awesome, supportive colleagues. I’ll throw the slides up in a section on my site soon.

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Battling the WSOD

Dank came for the first time, as did Pete, they enjoyed what they saw, so I’m glad about that. Terry and Dav also got their hands on our spare tickets and were super helpful in Tweeting and helping set up and unpack the stand and stuff, despite not being part of the work crew it’s nice to have them around showing their support.

34SPeaker Pride

Joe and Phil were utter legends and mustered up the courage to talk that day! Both of them did a Lightning Talk – Joe gave a humorous talk on customer service and he importance of error logs. Phil gave a quick talk on preparing your site for a surge in traffic. It’s ace that the guys were feeling inspired on the day and it got a lot of people Tweeting and chatting to us.

Tim also gave a very topical talk on DDOS attacks – what they are and why everyone was talking about them that weekend. There’s something menacing about the way he spoke to cheerily next to a ‘We’re all doomed!’ Slide.

I spoke to some awesome people, colleagues, clients and other people in the community. Maybe messed up the notebook display on the Bytemark stand… It’s okay, me and Mike are cool.

Phil giving his talk on traffic surges.

Wapuu was there too! He had a great time! Especially when modelling the umbrellas WordCamp Manchester had provided the crowd with!

Aside from the great talks my 34SP.com colleagues did, I went to some really interesting one. Dave Green’s talk on coding standards was a highlight – especially as I’m just getting into properly coding plugins, it’s good to know there’s a preferred method which I need to learn more on.

Jonny A’s talk on coding menus was also great for that reason. I think I picked my talks very much on my current interest in coding with WordPress – despite being a novice compared to these guys. One talk I wish I had seen was Carolyn’s. But I was in too much of a tizz worrying about messing up my own talk around that time so I look forward to catching her on WordPress.tv!

The organisers were great, particularly Tom’s reassurance before we went to give our talk. Oh and the food and after-party was top notch!

I never really know what to say about the events other than ‘YAY I had a great time!’ – so yeah. I did. I’m always on a high after these things because I feel more unified with my team and junk. I’] even looking forward to talking again!

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Team hug!

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WordCamp Brighton 2016 – Belated Blog

One of a few upcoming belated blog posts because of holidays and general procrastination on my site. A-hem. WordCamp Brighton happened last month! The 34SPeeps cruised down to Brighton on the Friday (22nd). Myself, Dan, Nina and Keith in one car. Joe, Siobhan and Wapuu were partying in another vehicle.

The journey there was fun, we had some rocky tunes and The Feeling became the band that reminds me of Brighton now because of some funny lyrical jokes. We arrived in Brighton around… 7pm if I recall, I may be wrong, because it was a few weeks ago now. This is why you should blog on time.

We went for dinner in town, and wow does Brighton have a great selection of vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Not for myself personally but my colleagues required a vegan place to eat. I’m glad they did as well because we ended up eating at an amazing pub called The Prince George. I had veggie fish and chips, which was basically fish replaced with beer battered halloumi. It was epic.

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After I finished romanticising about this meal and how I’m going to marry the man who put mint in my mushy peas we stayed for another drink or two. Some of the WordPress community had some fun suggestions on what they thought the ‘SP’ in 34SP.com stood for. I reckon we keep it a secret as it leads to some hilarious suggestions.

The hotel we stayed in was the Amsterdam Hotel near the beach front. the hotel was nice, however there was one issue! Not the hotel’s fault at all – BRIGHTON SEAGULLS ARE LOUD. Holy crap. One morning I woke up and Siobhan was already stood in our room recording what I thought was the apocalypse given all the squawky screaming! I assume it’s the kind of thing you get used to when you’re down there, it was pretty funny actually.

We were up bright and early for the event itself. Our stand looked smashing as I always think it does. We brought along our groovy 34SP.com red, green and purple nerdy t-shirts as swag. Along with pads, leaflets and a special Brighton Edition Wapuu sticker set!

Here are some pictures of us with the stand. The stand was manned on a pretty flexible rota – basically we just highlighted the talks we wanted to attend and worked around that. I particularly enjoyed the Lightning Talks this time round because there was one by Diane Wallace on CSS tips and tricks. I used to be really in to design work and tinkered a lot with CSS. Her talk covered ways to get around some of the problems which made me give up on such things back in the day. I’ll definitely be using her talk as a frame of reference for when I inevitably have issues with vertical alignment again.

I also enjoyed Lana Burgess’ talk on audience focussed content. Audience focussed content is always something I enjoy hearing people talk about, probably because it’s the first thought I have when creating any new website. This website itself is a poor example as it could easily be split into three websites to have more focussed content. But I’m aware of these things thanks to great analytic speakers like her!

Tim also did a talk on WordPress Security. Which was met with some giggles as he has done a lot of security talks lately! Tim just wants us to be safe, okay?!

Wapuu was also there strutting his WordPress stuff once again. He was happy to meet a bunch of new people as well as some faces from WordCamp London who had met him before!

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We ended up unloading a lot of swag, so hopefully that meant people liked our trendy t-shirts! The after party was fun and a lot of people came along! It had an option where anyone could go up and DJ for three songs of their choice. Joe loved that and ended up boogying on the dance floor in what must have been the flyest WordPress dance off you ever did see. Why do I not record these things?

We ended up having our last drinks in the place we went to for dinner on the Saturday. It was a funky swing style restaurant/bar which I’ll have to get the name off of Dan soon, because it was brilliant.

Edit: It was called The Mesmerist.

We were up really early on the Sunday to return, partly because of seagulls, partly because I was flying to Florida the next day, and partly because Joe is an eager early bird.

I think that’s everything I remember now that it’s three weeks later and I’ve been on holiday since. Oh. There was an incident which involved me, Pokemon Go, a Charmander and a glass wall. But we don’t talk about that.

I’m looking forward to the next event!

 

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February Art Dump

This is super delayed. 😐 Whoops. I’ve been working on making the site more art focussed so it’s a bit of a mess currently. Here’s some art from the past month!

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This last piece I am SUPER pleased with, because I made it for work. It’s a Sticker Sheet for WordCamp London 2016. We’re going to have a great time seeing people dress up Wapuu! The stickers turned out perfect, Simon and I were worried the cuts wouldn’t be as on point as we needed to make a dress up sticker sheet. But the company that made them did such a good job. We were really impressed!

The company was called StickerEmUp, click for website.

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