WordCamp OC Talks I’m Looking Forward to

I have a special kind of love for WordCamp Orange County. It’s the very first WordCamp I attended and the one that set the course for what I’m doing for my life now and for the foreseeable future. Many of us who run meetups or WordCamps local to Orange County always look to #WCOC as an example of what to do. This year, the team has put together a camp I’m really excited about. There’s a lot of great content, and I’m going to run through the things I’m looking forward to.

Now, I can’t attend all the talks but I wish I could. In between meeting new faces, I’m going to attempt to see the following talks. Every speaker there will be awesome and I just can’t choose them all. But that’s okay, these talks should all go up to WordPress.tv sometime after the event is over.

Day One

Day one is a good day of general content covering a lot of areas. The Javascript related workshops are on my radar. For business owners, you should focus on the content related discussions, in my opinion. Content is often overlooked and undervalued. But without it, growing your business organically will be a tough task. Chris Lema’s talk will benefit a lot of people, I think. He’s known for daily blogging and the guy knows what he’s talking about.

Tish Briseno is talking about something that has become near and dear to me since I began volunteering with a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She’s talking about setting up WordPress websites for business. She’ll be covering many of the basics a business website should have. A must-see talk if you’re a biz owner thinking about putting together a new website, or even if you have an existing business site. Tish is awesome, and I’m excited to see her speak!

I wish I could be in two places at once because Zac Gordon‘s workshop is going to be awesome. Zac is one of the friendliest and most humble people you’ll meet. His Javascript and REST API workshop is going to be, in a word, off the chain. Do kids still say that? Anyway, if you’re a developer and wondering how to go about using the REST API in your projects, this is a can’t miss workshop, delivered by a great instructor in Mr. Gordon. Be sure to check out his Javascript for WP course.

Up next is Bryan Clark, his talk is one to watch as well. I’m looking forward to Bryan’s secrets on how to identify your audience and deliver the right content consistently. Blogging and creating content is mostly a “dark art” to me, and Clark’s one of the lead content marketing gurus for the last several years and is one of the people behind Rainmaker Digital, StudioPress, and CopyBlogger. If you’re struggling with content, then this is a talk to see.

Along the lines of creating awesome content, Adam Silver shares his insights on keeping your WordPress website fed with fresh content, and creating awesome marketing strategies. I’ve known Adam for a few years now, and he’s great. He’s lead organizer at WordCamp Los Angeles this year and is behind the popular Kitchen Sink WP podcast. Be sure to hit up his talk, I couldn’t recommend it more!

But if you’re more of a developer, then I’d suggest you check out Jacob Arriola’s workshop on Vue.js. Vue is being used a lot for building easy-to-implement user interfaces. The workshop will be hands on with lots of live code demos. Jacob is a master of doing live code demos. It’s an art, and he’s a maestro of the art form. Definitely worth your time.

Next up, for you designers out there is Amber Hewitt, of Graphic Goo. I’ve personally worked with Amber a lot on projects, and she always makes me and my clients look great. You should hire her! I do. A lot!! She’ll be dishing on her top design tips for creating compelling graphic imagery for the web.

An important topic and one often overlooked is Accessibility for the web. We often look at this as an “addon” when it should be a default deliverable. Accessible sites ensure our websites are available to the widest possible audience. My good friend, Rachel Cherry shares her experience making accessible websites, drawn from her career in building sites for the education space, and now for Disney Interactive. Go to see it, immediately!

The surgeon is back! If there’s not blood on the floor, it’s a good day, Says Dr. Fragen!! Andy is a super smart guy, and his talks are insightful and well-thought. He talks about decoupled language pack updates. I’m not really sure what that means, but I’m curious and will stop by, and I think you should, too.

Michelle Schulp is a brilliant designer and developer and what’s best is that she exists in real life, unlike a Unicorn. She’s definitely a “Zebra,” in my opinion. They are cool, awesome, and real === Michelle Schulp. This talk I’m interested in because I don’t do a lot of in-house design, so seeing more modern approaches to design is of great interest to me. I’d like to get away from low-fi mockups, and into hi-fi in-browser design, I hope this illuminates things for me here. Also, she’s one of my favorite people to randomly chat with.

Day Two

Day two has a great mix of content. There’s a business track and, of course, plugin-a-palooza. Both are unique events sure to provide insight and entertainment. I will likely be planted in the biz track for a good portion of the morning. If you’re a developer or want to be one, then Verious’s workshop is one to attend. Jason Bahl’s talk may be a great companion discussion to Jacob Arriola’s Vue.js talk so it’s worth peaking into. Scott Buscemi’s talk will cap off a great weekend of content related talks and inbound marketing is something we can all learn to be better with.

Sunday is a full day of action and amazing as well. Jeff Turner kicks things off with a business track. Jeff’s business insight will be put to the test as he questions a “murderer’s row” of business minds. Blair Williams is a great guy who has made some awesome plugins, most notably MemberPress. There are a couple folks here I don’t know, so it will be interesting to see what tips I come away with. Jeff always moderates an interesting discussion.

A popular event and, I think, exclusive to WCOC is Plugin-a-Palooza. Where plugin developers compete for a top prize. The event is hosted by product guru and Liquid Web VP, Chris Lema. This year’s plugin-a-palooza features a lot of top talent, so it should be an awesome showdown. Co-Organizer of WCLAX, Thomas Patrick Levy, along with past WCLAX organizers Natalie MacLees and Nathan Tyler will be competing among others for the top prize. This is a unique event sure to be filled with drama!

A great talk for the budding WordPress dev, or anyone who wants to move beyond “implementor” to mastery of theme development, Verious Benjamin Smith is going to do what’s sure to be an awesome workshop about creating a WordPress theme and some of the best practices that go with it.

Tying-off the chock-full event is Scott Buscemi of Lumen Foundry, a Los Angeles Digital Marketing company. Scott’s a great guy who is leading the charge for WordPress meetups in LA. He also has great insights into content and inbound marketing. Again, a must-see for anyone looking to level up their content game. WHICH SHOULD BE EVERYONE! Go check him out and say hi. Truly one of the best guys you’ll meet.

All in all, I’m super stoked about this weekend. It’s going to be a sold-out WordCamp sure to deliver the goods no matter what your interest in WordPress is. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to, below.

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