I am excited to report that I will be speaking at WordCamp Milwaukee 2016 next weekend, on Saturday, September 17.

I’m even more excited about my selected topic: Learning from the WordPress Sites. This is an update of a presentation I made at the first WordCamp Milwaukee back in 2012, but it’s far from a repeat.

When you’re first starting out with WordPress, you can be surprised with how easy it is to get up and running. You can also be intimidated with all the power you have at your disposal. One of the best ways to gain confidence with the platform is by spending time learning more about WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are nearly always the best place to start doing that.

Why I love WordCamps

I love tech conferences for a variety of reasons, and WordCamps are no exception. These are some of the reasons why, in no particular order:

  • Variety of smart, funny and fun people: Nearly everyone is approachable, and WordPress people are communicators. Did I mention the Saturday night party?
  • I can teach and learn in equal measure: While I’ve given a talk at every WordCamp Milwaukee I’ve attended (I missed it last year), I always come away with more useful information.
  • Immersion in WordPress: While you don’t necessarily have to do this at WordCamp, I enjoy spending time thinking mostly about one primary topic.

Why you should come

Tickets for WordCamp Milwaukee are still available. If you’re on the fence, here are some reasons to go.

You think you know a lot about WordPress: There’s always more to learn in the Advanced Track. Maybe you’ll find inspiration for what you want to teach at future WordCamps.

You’re tired of “just blogging”: Find out who you can turn your WordPress blog into a full-blown website in the Intermediate Track.

You’re just starting out: Have you ever been to a home improvement show? WordCamps are like that — you leave with a pile of ideas for what you can do with your home on the web, especially if you follow the Beginner’s Track. PS, if you’re just starting out, you really need to come to my session!

You blog on another platform: You can often learn about SEO techniques that help you find an audience for your work, or a bigger one than you already have. There are design tips galore that apply to any website. OK, you may also get some nudging about why you’re better off on another, more free, platform.

Here’s the full schedule!

Need more reasons? Carrie Dils wrote a WordCamp Survivor’s Guide a couple of years ago that stands up quite nicely.

Hope to see you on Saturday. Be sure to say ‘hi!’

Need to learn more about LinkedIn, the mammoth professional networking site? Want to understand how to use LinkedIn to get your next job, or your next client?

I’ll be presenting “Unlocking LinkedIn” to the Wisconsin chapter of the Society for Technical Communication next week. Join us on Tuesday, September 16 at the Country Inn and Suites in Brookfield, WI. Details and registration are here.

LinkedIn iconThis session was originally scheduled for last spring, but as with most social networking sites, much has changed over the summer. I’m updating the presentation.

You’ll find something valuable in this talk whether you’re new to the profession, a person working full-time or an independent consultant/contractor.

I’ll be focusing on three areas:

  •  Enhancing your personal profile, with a few tricks many people miss. I’ll also be discussing setting up a company page for independent consultants.
  • Demonstrating your authority, skills, and talents by creating content through group participation and the new Professional Publishing Platform.
  • Using LinkedIn’s basic and advanced search to find your dream job! LinkedIn offers great tools to find people at companies you want to work for. I’ll also help you decide whether LinkedIn Premium is the right choice for you.

I’ll also be giving away a copy of Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules.

Hope to see you next week! If you have any questions or other topics you’d like to hear about, leave a comment here or on the STC-Wisconsin page.

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UPDATE: They’re all gone, folks! But you can still come to Thursday’s Meetup

There are just a few tickets remaining for WordCamp Milwaukee next weekend. I’m teaching a Foundation Friday class on “Writing Good Content,” but slots for those beginner-oriented workshops are already sold out. You’ll be able to find me roaming around the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education over the weekend, helping out where I can and soaking up information too.

Check out the full schedule for tempting sessions like these:

  • Lisa Sabin-Wilson on ensuring quality before you release your site
  • Suzette Franck on customizing your admin page
  • Syed Balkhi on monetizing your blog
  • Andrew Nacin on core development
  • John James Jacoby on WordPress Multisite
  • Alison and James Barrett: So I Married a Developer

Of course, there’s an after-party Saturday night at the Miller Time Pub down the street.

If you’re in Milwaukee, but can’t make it to WordCamp itself, come to the pre-camp WordPress Meetup. Many of the speakers (me too) will show up, and there will be a ton of informal conversations over pizza.

Hope to see you! You can follow all the fun on Twitter, with the hashtag #wcmke.