What Mobility Brings to the Class Blog

Since 2007, faculty and students at Abilene Christian University have focused on the impact of mobile devices on learning, in and out of the classroom. One early limitation was the reluctance of learning management systems to see mobile computing as a viable platform, so we turned to WordPress as an alternative LMS.

To be successful, the solution needed to allow mobile users to be producers as well as recipients of course content. The presentation will look at several aspects of our WordPress deployment, including campus portal integration, mobile access through WPtouch, and a custom Post by Email system linking Gmail and Postie.

Blogs are not new tools, but coupled with the mobile capabilities of students and faculty, the ACU Blogs program has inspired new approaches to familiar teaching challenges.

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Welcome Gold Sponsor ZippyKid!

Welcome ZippyKid as a Gold sponsor to WordCamp Boston!

Here’s what they had to say:

ZippyKid is the fastest growing WordPress hosting provider. We allow you to focus on your content, not your content management system. What that means is that we handle all the technical aspects of hosting a WordPress site, so you can focus on the important things like your content. While others stop at automatic updates, ZippyKid provides performance optimization out of the box so you don’t have to worry about it. Find a ZippyKid at the camp and ask us about the ZippyKid guarantee!

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Theming with Sidebars

The ability to register new sidebars was introduced in WordPress version 2.2. You can’t find a design or theme without them anymore, so as a themer, this is one of the things you must know how to do. Sidebars are mostly recognized as the sections of blocks of content on the left or right of a website. You can use them to show your latest blog post, a list of links to the other pages on your website, static text, etc. By learning how to create sidebars, we can use them as more than what they are known for.

In this talk, I will show some PHP code involved in creating and managing sidebars. I will also go over some plugins associated with creating and managing sidebars and others that aid in management of widgets.

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Synchronizing Creativity with Content Management

Boston University began tinkering with WordPress in 2007. Today our highly customized web-publishing platform serves 1,000+ websites, ranging from blogs to behemoths, and 60+ themes, ranging from bespoke to basic.

BU’s culture of free thought extends to the creative team and has lead to increasingly diverse site designs. But how do we sustain the creation of inventive visitor experiences without overcomplicating content management?

Learn about the smart choices and stupid mistakes – both creative and technical — we’ve made along the way to building the most ambitious WordPress installation in HigherEd.

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WordCamp Boston Reception Featuring LiveWP.tv!

Now that the hard part of planning a WordCamp is over, we get to focus on the fun stuff: the party!  We wanted food, we wanted beer and we wanted an awesome place to mingle and we have all that!  Throw in some entertainment and we have ourselves a fun night after a really long day of WordCamp.  Here are the details:

What to bring:

 Your badge!  This is your ticket in!  Some business cards won’t hurt either!  And your ID (passport, license) if you plan on imbibing some tasty beverages.


7:30pm on Saturday July 23rd


Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA.  Really great venue and it is the same venue we use for the Boston WordPress Meetup.  They have been a great sponsor in the past and we can’t say enough about them.  We will be on the 11th floor so check in with registration in the lobby and again on the 11th floor desk.

There is parking available underneath Microsoft and it is $10. If you are using public transportation from BU, take the Green Line inbound to Park Street and transfer to the Red Line towards Alewife and get off at Kendall Square. Walking directions can be found here: Google Maps


We will have an assortment of finger food/appetizers as well as a cash bar with beverages both alcoholic (beer/wine) and non-alcoholic. Remember, first come, first serve!


LiveWP.tv will be filming a live episode of their show at the reception. LiveWP.tv is a live WordPress show that “truthfully” discusses the hottest topics like plugins, themes, updates, other WordPress news. We put truthfully in quotes because we drink during our shows and anything goes! You can check prior episodes on our site. There may be some giveaways… but we’ll see…

We will also have music from our Music Coordinator: Daryl Koopersmith who also happens to be a speaker!

So come on out, have a great time and relax! WordCamp starts back at 1pm on Sunday so drink* and you’ll have plenty of time to recover for the awesome talks the next day!

*Please drink responsibly for those over 21. You may be filmed and by attending, you agree to be filmed (although you probably won’t end up on camera). Please don’t drink and drive and choose a designated driver if you plan on coming! Thanks and be safe!


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Getting Started with WordPress as a CMS

If there were any lingering doubts about WordPress’s viability as a serious, full featured content management system, they were put to bed last year with the release of WordPress 3.0, and thoroughly put to sleep with 3.1 and 3.2. If WordPress is “just a blogging tool”, it’s certainly news to 10up’s clients.

But what do we actually mean when we say something is a “content management system”? What are the important characteristics that make WordPress a CMS? What is WordPress’s potential as a CMS? And as beginners, how do we start taking advantage of this untapped potential?

From complex page management, to custom fields / post types / taxonomies, to custom menu pages and user roles, we’ll define some key CMS terminology and look at examples of some cool WordPress implementations. If you’ve only used WordPress as a blog, or you think making a few pages is what CMS is all about, prepare to have your minds blown open.

Once we know what WordPress is really capable of, we’ll look at some plug-ins and other resources to start you on your path to building full featured WordPress websites where the blog is an afterthought, not the center piece.

Jake is the owner of 10up, a web development and strategy agency focused on creating great WordPress implementations of all shapes and sizes. Among other things, Jake has authored over a dozen WordPress plug-ins, is a writer and expert reviewer for Smashing Magazine, and lead organizer of our neighboring WordPress Providence Meetup.

Questions? Previews? Something you’d like to see covered? Catch me on twitter: @jakemgold

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Welcome Sponsor ISITE Design – “You’re Damn Right WordPress is a CMS!”

This morning we formally welcome ISITE Design as a Silver sponsor, with this guest post from Jeff Cram, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder:

Believe it or not, there’s an ongoing debate within the CMS industry on whether or not WordPress should be considered a content management system.

Just over a year ago I stumbled into a lively Twitter discussion on the topic. My blog post on the CMS Myth captured some of the tweets and extended the discussion with some great comments from the community.

The naysayers are mainly a few holdouts drawing an artificial line in the CMS sand on what constitutes a real CMS for the enterprise. It’s largely a semantic debate from some (smart) folks that operate at the enterprise tier of the content management world.

But it’s a silly discussion, really.

I’m sure the folks coming to WordCamp Boston would certainly agree WordPress is a CMS. Exhibit A could be the, oh, 50 million websites powered by WordPress. Or the growing list of college websites on the platform.

The growth, adoption and innovation on the platform have been inspiring to watch over the years. This momentum is a big part of why ISITE Design is sponsoring WordCamp Boston this year.

For those of you unfamiliar with ISITE Design, we’re a digital agency and CMS consultancy here in Boston, with offices in Portland Oregon and Los Angeles. We work with a variety of CMS platforms (large, small, commercial, open source) and organizations of all kinds (small non-profits to ginormous enterprises). We also have fun publishing the CMS Myth, a blog on the trials and tribulations of working with web content management.

We also consider ourselves fortunate to have WordCamp co-organizer John Eckman recently join our team as a digital strategist and CMS Mythbuster. Open source technology is a rapidly growing part of our agency services and John’s a tremendous evangelist and thinker in the space (as many of you know).

We’ll have a number of folks attending WordCamp Boston, and hope to connect with as many of you as we can. If you see anyone from ISITE Design, be sure to stop and say hi. Also be on the lookout for a few posts about the event on the CMS Myth as well.

Thanks Jeff – happy to join the myth-busting team, and excited to have ISITE Design on board as a sponsor.

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Online registration closing tonight!

Howdy Campers and potential Campers! Online registration is closing tonight, Friday the 15th, at midnight! Spread the word!

For those who miss the online registration window, we will allow walk-in registration for the sessions only. Walk-in registrants must pay $40 cash at the door.

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You’re doing it wrong and it’s all my fault: dissecting the client relationship

Clients are SCARY

Anyone who makes a living with WordPress has dealt with a bad client relationship. We as as designers / developers understand that clients don’t always understand exactly what it is that we do, but have any of us taken the time to understand what roles they should (and shouldn’t) play in the process? What I plan on going through are some humorous examples real-life examples of issues I’ve run into in the 2 years of full-time freelance work and some of the audience stories (if time allows). Taking some of those examples, walking through the process and what could have possibly been done to avoid the issue, or at least make it a bit easier. I will also be breaking down potentially “problem” clients into 3 categories, Freaks, Nerds, and Romantics. Each one has their own red flags, and ways to avoid some common mistakes with how they operate.

And I’ll probably make a bacon reference or two.

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Theming & Mobile: Optimizing your WordPress site for Various Devices

Your site is about your content. How do we optimize for all the different devices out there but still keep our brand? Do we even optimize at all? What are different ways we can look at how our content is handled? We are going to take a look at different techniques out there including: responsive web design, media queries, dealing with video, touch, and other various plugins & CSS tricks to truly display your site and your content in the best possible manner in any given scenario.

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