Anomaly Report

Helen Hou-Sandí chimes in on the crucial difference between being a minority and an anomaly.

WordCamp Phoenix 2012

It’s that time of year—your favorite WordPress conference is back in the desert!

That’s right folks, WordCamp Phoenix is coming up this weekend, Fri Feb 24 through Sun Feb 26. Three days of WordPress geeky goodness, including full-day workshops on Friday, the conference on Saturday, and an “unconference” on Sunday.

I’m speaking in the “Jumpstart” track on Saturday at 10:30 am—my topic is Navigating the Theme Landscape:

Learn what types of themes are out there, how to find and choose a theme, and dive into basic modifications to your theme so it fits you perfectly.

See the rest of the talks on the full Saturday schedule; there are three tracks to choose from, and lots of great content.

I’ll also be working the help bar Saturday, from 2:15 pm onward. Come say hi!

Let’s talk WordPress, Arizona. More info: http://2012.phoenix.wordcamp.org/

Update Feb 26: Slides and links to all the themes and resources I mentioned are here: http://themeshaper.com/jumpstart/

Update Mar 8: The video of my talk is now online at wordpress.tv: http://wordpress.tv/2012/03/08/lance-willett-navigating-the-theme-landscape/

WPCandy Interview on Commercial Themes

Hard to believe it’s been 12 months since the last time I was on WPCandy.

I talked last Friday about commercial themes on WordPress.com with Ryan Imel of WPCandy, looking back one year after launching the service. Here are the links to listen to the interview.

Thank you to Ryan and his crew; they do a superb job of covering all the WordPress news and events, day in and day out.

Best support is a conversation

“The best support is a conversation.” So true.

Andrew Spittle

When you spend all day working with the same piece of software your definition of what is easy for someone else becomes horribly skewed. Since I started jamming with the CoPress gang in 2009, I have spent thousands of hours staring at a WordPress dashboard. It means much of the WordPress interface is easy for me. That’s dangerous.

I try to minimize the number of times I use easy in a support reply. I avoid phrases like “Setting up custom menus is easy…” or “Writing a new post is easy…” There are a few reasons for this.

First, if a feature or product were legitimately easy the user would not be writing in to support about how stuck they are. Sure, some percentage of users will find questions to ask about any interface. But do you want to start the conversation by assuming the user falls into that percentage? You…

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