Michelle will be presenting A Website Is Not A Poster on Friday
in the Foundation Friday 301 track
Michelle the lead organizer for WordCamp Chicago 2014. When she’s not organizing, she’s an independent graphic designer based in Chicagoland. She was formally schooled in many aspects of design including print, branding, packaging, etc., as well as Psychology and Sociology, all tying together in a love of How To Solve Problems. She is a lover of WordCamps and the WordPress community. Find her portfolio at Marktime Media, and her talks/events/ blogs/geek-themed artwork at My Name Is Michelle. You may have seen her work on the WordPress Template Hierarchy or her Git-Themed poetry. 😉
Why do you use WordPress?
I started using WordPress because someone told me that it was easy for designers to learn. And at the beginning, it was kinda easy but kinda hard and scary… and then I discovered the WordPress community. Suddenly there was a world of resources available to me online and in-person to help me with my work. But more importantly, I was drawn to how passionate and helpful people are, and that more than anything is what makes me stay. That and it’s a pretty good user experience as far as CMS’s go!
What would you say to convince someone to attend a WordCamp?
There is literally no better value for what you pay, and I’m not just talking what you get in the sessions. Go and you’ll be hooked, you’ll want to learn more, you’ll want to be involved, you’ll make great friends, you’ll get help, you’ll make connections… it can be anything you want it to be.
I went to my first WordCamp based on a random internet search in 2011. By 2012 I joined the organizing committee and started traveling to other WordCamps as an attendee, as well as attending the local meetups. By 2013 I was co-organizer and also speaking at WordCamps around the country. Now I am so honored to be lead organizer this year and continuing to travel and speak. But even if you aren’t crazy like me, you can still get a lot out of your local WordCamp!
What is your favorite WordPress project you have worked on recently?
I’m really proud of the 3themes project, although we’ve all gotten way too busy to work on actually commercializing it. Personally, I’m in the middle of a client project right now that’s been teaching me Sass as well as command-line Git, which is kind of unicorn-y, but it’s been a fascinating challenge.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
Grow your network as well as your skills. I can’t tell you how much work I get from referrals, and how much technical and business advice I get from my friends in the field. We all want to help each other succeed, even if we’re technically competitors. Oh, and don’t screw up your taxes, finances, and legal. Find someone that can help you with all that right away. Division of labor is there for a reason!
What is your favorite WordPress-related resource?
Honestly? Though I read all the WordPress news sites and blogs I can find, nothing beats directly asking my WP Friends on Twitter and Skype (Yay WPEagles!).
Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related
I’m a band geek (play the flute/piccolo), I love cartoons of all sorts (Pixar, Disney, & MLP:FIM FTW!), I generally follow a Primal diet, and I co-run the #WPBourbonCooler hangout (I guess that’s still kinda WordPress related)