What? You thought I was going to do a blog post and troll the blogs and podcasts that I hate? Come on, people! Get it together!! I don’t have time to sit down and troll people all day, but if I did I would send them gobs of glorious fucking glitter (Thanks to Rebecca, from Crowd Favorite and NO I did NOT build that site, although I wish I had. Damn!).
No people, I’m writing up this post to talk about the stuff I like to talk about; the stuff I like to listen to because where it comes to WordPress, there’s a lot of noise. A lot and you know what? It’s hard to sift through all of it. But I know what I get behind and what I think is “the stuff” and I’m going to share that with you. Maybe you’re a person who just uses WordPress cause the man told you so. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re like me, writing blog posts and reading articles in you’re in your skivvies and little else. Regardless, I’ve got the goods.
I listen to Podcasts while I work sometimes. Sure, sometimes it sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher, but more often than not there’s some great conversation happening and I always learn something new.
This Podcast is run by Jason Tucker, who loves media and Chris Lema who is… well, shit, if you don’t know who he is, then you can see why I think you should know him below. Each episode is 30 minutes of fast paced discussion by many folks you already know and some you should probably get to know. Among the regulars are my dear friends Steve Zehngut, Dave Jesch and Se Reed. The topics are generally very laser-focused so as to allow the guests to ably talk about the topic within the packed time slot.
It’s downright hilarious at times but there’s always something to learn and always something to take away, which I love. I love that this show is consistent. A lot of shows fall by the wayside, but WP Watercooler ain’t one of them as they, of this writing, just completed episode 119.
If you’re a WordPress freelancer/business person then this is the Podcast for you. Run by the silky-toned Matt Madeiros, Matt Report covers all kinds of topics ranging from what you should charge as a freelancer, discussing contracts, developing products and more. I appreciate Matt’s thorough understanding of each guest he has on his show and it shows how engaging he is on the Podcast and also how social he is in the Social Spheres, too. It’s not just the understanding of his guests but it’s his passion and it comes through so powerfully when he talks about the things he’s interested in. He LOVES WordPress, he LOVES to build products and he loves BUSINESS. That’s when you know that you’ll get value.
I’ve learned a lot from listening to the Matt Report, for starters I learned that I’m not alone when it comes to being distracted by shiny things. Seriously, though, he talks about a lot of the struggles I continue to face and that helps me know that I’m not alone in the world.
Carrie f’ing Dils. Boom (drops mic)! Carrie is about the baddest mamma jamma that side of the Siskyous (look, I didn’t want to find a random mountain range near her. I’m lazy!). I got to meet her in person for the first time at some WordCamp somewhere, I am thinking SF and let me tell you folks, the lady can belt out some tunes like no one else’s business!
Unfortunately, Carrie doesn’t sing during her Podcast, but she brings the value to a whole new level with Genesis Office Hours. She brings in an assortment of the biggest and brightest minds in the WordPress community. And while the Podcast name has “Genesis” in it, it’s not all about Genesis all the time; although if you’re a Genesis user you should definitely get a lot of value out of this (if you’re not, you still can. Promise!). Carrie’s a brilliant person who brings passion and a deep level of experience to the fold. She’s incredibly humble, too and she doesn’t overdo it or anything, while she’s incredibly intelligent, she’s fine with not always knowing the answer and I think that makes her an even more accessible person. It’s a recipe for an awesome podcast.
Okay, you might not have heard about this Podcast… I mean, it’s like, two episodes old… but there is a big but. The Hawk Talk Podcast is hosted by John “the Hawk” Hawkins aka one of the most likable fellas in the WordPress community. Every time I mention John’s name it is swiftly followed by someone saying “Oh, John? Yeah that guy is amazing. Love that guy!” Why not? John is a great guy, someone who I look to for inspiration. The guy is a community leader, runs a shop called 9Seeds and is generally a bad ass.
I met him at WordCamp Orange County and my life has been better ever since. That something I’ve been missing all my life? I found it when I met him.
This Podcast is by good buddy, Adam Silver. His Podcast covers events and all other things WordPress. He’s a funny guy for starters, but he’s driven by a passion and love of the community. It’s been great to see him grow within the community as someone who was brimming with enthusiasm to someone who has yet more enthusiasm and has become a leader within the community… So, his Podcast, it’s pretty awesome. He takes a very personal approach with his guests. In fact I was on the show once.
Other Podcasts you should check out
WP Chick Podcast, by Kim Doyal. A lot of great Genesis related content and beyond. I’ve never met her, but I can tell she’s a hoot IRL. The people that I’ve met who bring her up in conversations do rave about her.
DradCast, by Dre Armeda and Brad Williams. C’mon. You know I couldn’t leave these gents out. Having tacos with Dre is, in a word, transformative. What little I know of Brad is that he’s authored wonderful WordPress books and that he shall not be parted from pizza rolls! You know the names and if not, hit the podcast for sure.
Okay, okay. Stop, look, I know what you’re already thinking. Alex, there’s no blog in the world that will help you overcome the insane whirlwind that is you. I know, I get it. But hear me out. Toward the end of last year, I was burning out… hard. I was grinding through never-ending projects that were mentally and emotionally taxing. I was taking no breaks, not getting away from my work. I would wake up, sit down work, maybe eat something, sleep eventually and come back and do it all over again. It sucked and the thing was that I CHOSE TO HAVE THIS LIFE!!! What in the hell was I thinking!!? Progress has a price and with it comes all kinds of pressure.
This burnout manifested itself in many, many ways. I had less energy, less creativity, less motivation to do things and I was more of a shut in and then I stopped doing physical things… All kinds of bad.
Having lunch with Natalie MacLees, she could see that I was more of a wreck than usual and she kindly send me an email with a link to the Geek Mental Health site. Personally, I feel the topic of Mental Health is often neglected among my colleagues. So many of us burn the candle at both ends and while true balance, I don’t feel, exists, we can work at it and do better. Go to the Geek Mental Health site and if you don’t read but one article make it this one.
You know him and I know him. He’s awesome and brings the value in every damn blog post. EVERY one! He’s helped me and countless others out so much over the years. His notoriety within the community is not shocking in the least. He’s a self-styled product guru who likes to blog daily. He’s cool like that.
Chris’s enthusiasm is contagious, his knowledge is tremendous and expansive, but his willingness to help others is beyond humbling.
He covers everything WordPress, from what Membership Plugins to how you should talk about pricing there’s something for everybody, freelancers and business owners managing their online presence alike…
If any of you have spent any time in the Advanced WordPress Community (and you really ought if you’re not), you’ve no doubt seen posts from Roy. He talks a lot about Angular JS and WordPress and, really, the guy just LOVES to write code and loves untangling messy tech stuffs. He updates fairly regularly. I love Roy’s enthusiasm and willingness to take on tough topics and make them look like a wee baby could do it. That’s why he’s cool. In addition to that he’s got a service called Coding Office Hours where people can connect and learn from and with other developers.
Yep, that gal again. She writes nearly daily and she always brings the knowledge and experience equally. She does a lot of posts on great tutorials as well as some interesting food for thought type posts, like this post about accessibility. Yeah, she’s dreamy like that, even if he is a ‘Horned Frogs’ fan. We can’t all be perfect (Ducks fan here).
Yes, I know that I’m cheating. I just sorta remembered this. So I have to be honest here. At first, Troy Dean rubbed me the wrong way. I have a built-in mistrust of business coaches. I unfairly labeled him before I really met him. I was wrong. At one point I was a paying member of WP Elevation and that’s when I learned just how wrong I was. Troy is energetic and humble; that energy shows in his talks, his podcast and also when you’re talking to him about your business. The guy is supremely smart, has a great access (I actually do a pretty great Troy Dean voice, ask to hear it some time).
He posts so much about things that matter to freelancers. He knows what it’s like to burn out and he knows what it means to focus and do the things that make you happier. Not only that he’s got great guests and content on approaching different subjects from selecting outsourcing providers, how to price and also just how to be smarter about being a freelancer. I learned a lot of Troy and I would credit my growth to his advice.
I’ve never met the guy, but I can tell he takes less bullshit than Chuck Norris toilet paper. He’s also runs an agency called SFN Design. He talks a lot about how to succeed as a freelancer and also how not to be a turd when running your business. I do a lot of the stuff he advises “not to do“.
Jennifer and Brian Bourn are awesome. Shh! Don’t tell them I call them “Brennifer!” I respect their hustle. They know what they’re doing, they have a solid work flow process and client on-boarding process. Their content isn’t strictly for WordPress Professionals such as myself, there is a wealth of topics for people who are not devs, too. People who just need to manage their site will find a lot of content that will help them with things such as writing effective meta descriptions and writing better content titles. They’re great folks, energized and they’re literally everywhere. It’s a wonderful thing to see them work their jive at WordCamps. Jennifer is one of my favorite speakers, too.
So, you’ll notice that many of these blogs and Podcasts are aimed at WP Pros, but, still, there’s a little something for everyone. That said, I know I can’t possibly cover them all. So if you have a favorite blog or podcast feel free let me know in the comments below.