WordCamp Minneapolis 2019: Seeing Friends In The North And A Good Time At The State Fair

The last time I visited Mini Apple was way back in 2018 for Twin Cities Drupal. I am a fan of this town for their progressive politics, growing vegan foodie culture and efficient public transportation. It is on my short list of places to possibly move one day. I landed at MSP early and got to see some old friends before I attended the reason I was really there, WordCamp Minneapolis 2019.

Food and Fun


Speaker Dinner

Though there was a day of training this year, which I was not part of, the event officially stated for my on Thursday evening, at the traditional Speak/Sponsor/Organizer/Volunteer dinner. It was great to see so many folks I know and to meet some new folks as well. We gathered at the The Trading Floor at Fueled Collective, which is in the old Grain Exchange. The Trading Floor is where, at one point, they actually bought and sold grain futures in Minneapolis, which is the seat of all things agricultural for the whole region. A beautiful building turned into a giant and bright co-working and event space. A few of us ended up at Tracey’s Saloon for a nightcap before getting ready for a busy next day at camp.


Coffee, tea and water awaited us there at the McNamara Alumni Center, the host venu. Coffee was good enough in my opinion, so I stuck with that for the duration. Lunch was upon us before we realized it and the vegan option, which was very filling included salad and a quinua dish. I will never complain about quinua if I can get enough of it, which some catering struggles with for some reason. This was serve yourself so I was pretty happy. Afternoon snack was a build your own granola bar, which was OK.


Being so close to one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian places, Hard Times Cafe I of course had to make an attempt to rally the WPVegans. There were a lot of cometing distractions and only a small but hearty bunch of us did succeed at getting some of the best vegan seitan in existence! We also played some Foodtown Throwdown, my current favorite game.

Some of us ended the night at Otter’s Saloon to attempt some karaoke, but sadly, we arrived too late to sing.


Saturday was a repeat of day one’s coffee and water service, but this time I had a bit of breakfast at the local vegan friendly craft cafe Simpls. Go support this place if you are in the area. The vegan breakfast sandwich was so good I am going to be craving it and trying to replicate it back home.

After Party

Lunch was provided as part of the after party, since it was a half day of sessions. We gathered over at Loring Pasta Bar & Restaurant for some craft drinks and a pasta lunch. Vegan options again were available, which were anchored with a pretty hearty and tasty spaghetti dish. The space itself is massive and has a claim to fame that Bob Dylan used to live there when he was a student in what is now their ‘Red Room.’ It was great to have so much space to mix and mingle and reflect on all we learned at the event.

Also, while not officially part of the camp I got to join a couple WordPress colleagues for a good time at the Minnesota State Fair later in the evening. It awesome to be part of the opening weekend and I even got to see Herman’s Hermits perform. Definitely worth the visit!


Opening Remarks

The Developer’s Spectrum – From Junior to Lead
Jeff Holland

Sometimes things that seem obvious are hard to define, like what does water taste like? Or what do you mean by Senior Develover vs Architect? Thankfully Jeff gave us a low down from his vantage point as someone with a lot of experience on a large team at USA Today. I found it pretty helpful to be able to put myself on the scale of somewhere between Junior and Mid Level based on what he shared, and depending on what we are talking about. If you are on a growing development team, or are just curious about it, this might help you navigate as well.

Who is on the team
The Junior
right out of bootcamp
very mallaeable
you can teach them ‘your way’
they are quick learners who work extra hard
spending hours outside of work hours to learn more
pair well with senior devs
experiences are somethign they look forward to
very risk averse
have to draw them out and comfortable with ‘I don’t know’
Process change is difficult
first time using Git, or Jira, or communication tools
lot of questions about ‘how you do things’
They identify with their code
they take it personally
need to help them to feel seperate from their code
stay blunt but explain things in code reviews, not much criticism
“Here is how you can do it”
and tell them don’t identify with your code
The Junior is fresh out of school or changing careers
Ambitious, ready to talk about new ideas
Solved something – have some sense of accomplishments
Apt to make mistakes
On;y address one solution to a problem
have to peer review with them
Unaware of edge cases, debug errors and not know what to test for
over confident quickly once they start seeing patterns
Errors lead to imposter syndrome
How do they get better?

  • They need to code
  • Study and Read, but they need to read code to see how others are doing things
  • Pair program
  • meetups – meeting others makes you feel less isolated
    How to scale?
    Improve your skills
    Learn new languages
    Learn to context switch
    Mid Level – The workhorse of your team
    Very competent in their domain
    industry, languages, problem sets, etc
    Reliable output of work
    Shiney new ting syndrome
    Over reliance on their favorite tool
    Focus on a piece of the puzzle (tunnel vision)
    How Midlevel grows
  • Try new things
  • Mentor
  • Take on Challenges
  • Speak or Write!
    Mid level Scale?
    Personal to team level
    The Senior!
    Able to take on new things
    Architecture over implementation
    future thinking
    They are patient
    knowledge know things
    wisdom, know when to apply that knowledge
    always discussion, don’t huddle them together
    The old way works fine
    can over engineer for business needs
    The Lead and the Architect
    the roles at the top
    Lead manages dev work and communicatio with other teams
    Hels build team member’s skills
    insulates and advocates for the team
    keep people out of meetings
    make wins visible outside of the team
    insulate team from problems
    Lead spends less time in code
    The architect manages the infrastructure
    Need to juggle the industry trends with org needs
    has to do it without working with all teams

My Talk

Bash is magic # No it’s not

I love this subject. There is no higher compliment to me than to have someone come up after a talk and say “You made Bash fun and a lot less scary.” Though one of me other favorite bits of feedback was from someone who uses the command line everyday saying they learned something new as well. Learning together is the heart of open source and I am so happy I get to share that learning experience with the community.

Automating Site Creation
Dan Flies

My notes for this are short because you should just go check out the code itself. I was introduced to Dan at the speaker dinner and I could tell immediately we had the same genreal passion for tech nerdery, which I mean as the highest compliment. People of our ilk like to tinker and find new, elegant ways to solve issues in general. His support of my talk, which was delivered right before his, was also encouraging to hear, as some of what he spoke about assumed oyu had a general understanding of Bash and how WP-CLI commands work. He is managing a lot of scale and watching a devops master explain the tips he has learned about error checking and speeding up the build process was just pure gold. If you are managing more than a handful of sites, this talk and his code might just change your life!

Like Bash there are good reasons to use it
need scripting
code at github.com/danflies/wptoolsdanflies/wptools
Using PHP to run WPClI
Bash scripts got messy quickly
but all WP-CLI run in exec()
wp theme install, doing it locally
installing plugins like he does themes.
if theme is alreeady active check
using exit codes from is-active
activate and check if activated , then active plugin list
array[name => value]
key example in repo
adding pages managing widgets managing menus

Alternative datastores – When CPT, Taxonomies, Options and Object Meta aren’t enough
Gary Kovar

Ever since I saw {Felix Arntz’s talk at WordCamp Portland](https://www.mcdwayne.com/2018/11/05/wordcamp-portland-2018/) last year about the WordPress database structure, I have been more interested in talks about the subject. Most of the them are of the nature about how to work around the limitations inherent in the Post and related fields structures. I can foresee this being a future overhaul for WordPress, where we set out to fix the structure and make it much more tuned to getting individual Gutenberg blocks in and out of individual fields in the DB. For the time being, using alternative data stores when you can seems to be the prevailing path many are focusing on.

WP Storage
WP Stores Datain MySQL
WP has strongly Defined Models
one table per data type
SP does not do it that way
gets ugly quick
MySQL oversimplified
custom tables/views
list with the rest of tour WP Data
no extra config from host
allow you to store your data the way you intend to use it
Great for search
Super Fast Responsive ime
External Service
Eventually Consistent
can miss things in shards
Lightning fast
May not be persistant
key value pair
Location CPT with lat/lng Field
query slow
make a custom table
change where it looks up certain things
Geolocation – elastisearch
Task Runner
make the site run faster
Tsk runner redis
Add a key/value for each task
taskname plus uuid
multisite stuff
I want to post something to 1 site in Mltisite and how it on Other Sites

Keynote: Collaboration and Communication: Success in Community and Business
Cami Kaos

Cami is someone I consider an inspiration. Her no nonsense attitude toward pretty much everything I have ever dealt with her on is downright refreshing. AS a speaker she is witty and always has fantastic slides. As someone who is now working from home, as that is my office these days, I really appreciate her advice on work/life balance and just all the general tips she gave in this keynote. For sure a great one to check out if you are working from home as part of a distributed team.

Edd of a long day keynote
not 100% serious, going to tell jokes to entertain herself
Distributed work
found herself in a scary situation
been out of the workforce for a while and was getting a divorce
made a name as a mommy blogger and podcaster
didn’t want to disrupt being full time mom
wasn’t sure what skills to mark
customer management and retention
built on WP
co-working space in an accelerator for startups, next dae at pub with good wifi
other main contrib. in Denver
boss was out most of the time
she became a distributed employee
part of a movement
different kind of workforce
being normalized
WP is what she does and with tech makes sense to work form anywhere
Distributed school as well
distributed work has beed around for a while actually, with mail and telephone
distributed 201
strength and weaknesses of a DW
a bunch of her co-works and friends from working from home slide
working for a distributed team on a distributed project
the good
no brick and mortar
more convenient for employees
good for opening up to larger set of the best people
underrepresented groups and diversity are enabled by
very few people like to commute
removes the late for work part of the equation
additional me time or time for family
What about work life balance
more relaxed schedule
but have to be mindful, it is work to maintain work/life balance
The bad
most frequently
how do you know they are working if they are not at their desks all day
Communication is the way
call center productivity 13% increase when could work from home
increase was due to reduction of sick days.
Distributed or disturbed
time zones are a real thing
not a happy thing to work with
no great answer, just kinda sucks
The Ugly!
Not bathing for days
take care yourself
happy hour zoom
get a coworking desk
dedicated work space
alternate login on your computer
if you know you need social activity, schedule it
Going to gt coffee shop
morning ritual
if he has to relocate he does it once in the day
limit context switching
brick and mortar learn to work together
Distributed teams need to be built with intent
loss of sense of belonging is core of feeling isolated
mission statement that means something to you and building community to reflect it
78% of people she surveyed miss it
know how to have a workaround
Slack, WP, Google Docs and Zoom
In her survey other peple brought up
zendesk, helpscout
githb, basecamp, trello, telegram, twitter, instagram, FB, Mastodon, Asana, Calednly
All communication tools
social is important to follow along to other people’s lives
Distributed companies do well
Stakeholders, clear vision of company
Also compensation
benefits, insurance, money, retirements
hopefully find something you care about working on
Resources are self explanatory
working with a communication
easier in company than a project
when there is a meeting, P2
slack small conversation
digital breadcrumbs to get where you need
include everyone in the project, makes it more accessible in many ways
welcoming place
Passion Project
Better together, what can they learn from one another, projects and companies
Great ideas come from anywhere
next million $ idea
communication is key!

Code Organization and Optimization for Blazingly Fast Rest Applications
Pete Klein

I ran into Pete the day before his talk and the very idea of accessing data for specific use cases intrigued me. Ultimately, the CMS is just a fancy GUI to model and access a database, so changing how you access that data in a progressive, timesaving per cycle way makes a lot of sense. I really appreciated how straightforward he was with the limitations of this approach and how it is not a one size fits all situation, which is a trap many less experienced devs fall into as they chase the new shiny thing. If you are optimizing front end search or any anonymous content, Short Init is definitely worth exploring as a code pattern.

fast queries vs the RestAPI
Primer on the WP DB structure
guide on easy benchmarking
primer on $wpdb an MySQL in operator
what talk is not
Universally applicable
A step by step walkthrogh of Rest
user authentication
have anything to do with WP caching
Not a lecture, as questions
code examples setup
PHP Intellephense
An Example:
Travel Review App
Destination custom post type
feadured content
editor content
region taxonomy
Our Rating – post metadata
hotel link – post meta
Reviews Post Type
WP DB structure, been the same since 4.4.2
terms have term meta
our endpoint
— see slides, moved fast —
2 ways to implement
Short Init
measure speed
Apache Bench built in to mac
ab -n 100
science of waiting
update: 6 seconds before you lose all attention these days
navite = 343ms
short init = 58ms
quick comparison: default WP
Data access WP_Query
look at functional code
now the short init way
endpoints are stand alone files, not theme or plugin code
skips all the authentication and such
files start with
Require_once ../wp-load.php
All data access is done through $wpdb
ID’s as array indicies are used to return results
no WP_Query
no WP_Usr object
can’t be used for complex querys
good for frequently hit, unauthenticated queries that need to be fast
Featured Content
User Profiles
Anything on a homepage or first page of an app
Code Examples again
it’s a bucket
that holds data
has methods to fetch and access that data
just making it clean and reusable

Who Needs Themes When You have Blocksets
Wil Ranney

Having sidestepped actually using the current WordPress code editor, thanks to Markdown and WP-CLI, I have realized recently I am not up to speed with some of the current thinking about the direction blocks are generally headed. This talk gave a pretty compelling argument that we should be thinking about block collections as a different path to the same outcome Themes gives us today. It feels we are in an in between time, where blocks are not quite understood enough by the masses and are being imagined differently by the advanced camps. It will be interesting to watch the story of the editor unfold over the next few releases.

Used to use Divi
Conversation at WCUS 2017
Divi is a theme, not a plugin
how would they use Gutes
layout packs
Limits of themes: static sections
each theme in WP treats this differently
4 different design systems
working on replacing widgets with blocks, but why stop there?
another limit: proprietary code
Another issue: Global Settings
customizer a good step, but aspect ratio change is hard
Most things we use themes for can be reduced to blocks and blocksets
group of blocks arranged in a way and stored together
reusable blocks
not in the main WP menu yet
export these blocksets as JSON
“Pages are wrapped inside themes, where blocks operate inside pages”
rarely do you see theme settings for single page
Page level theming is what we want
projects always get stuck on content
we don’t need a block repo, we need a blockset repo
New, better blocks
Gutes Blokcs – ultimate addons for Gutes
Stackable – gutes blocks
Page Builder Gute Blocks – coblocks
Kadence Blocks – Gutes page builder toolkit
Blocks Lab
Premium Blocks for Gutenberg
Gutes Bloks and Template Library by Otter
ACF Global blocks
Give some time to help make it better
One more case for blocksets and not just blocks
Wix, Weebly, Squarespace all have blocks
Like Divi a few dozen blocks and layouts
can’t compete with the community to make it happen

Gamify task management. Take your turn, strategize, and WIN!
Justin Foell

I kinda really love board games and I have been pretty focused in my other writings about process management and better workflows. So, to see a talk that I would actually like to give at some point was both validating and just downright inspiring. The term ‘gamification’ threw me off a bit but thinking about how games have rules and patterns that are identical to project management principles feels exactly right. I need to get my hands on that Kandan the board gameand that Project Management board game I discovered at NERDSummit this year.

Linux on his personal machine!
Gamify Taks Management for the win!
tasks and tickets, he uses them interchangeably
hates Candyland/Shoots And Ladders
all chance
let’s talk about strategy games
Jeremy Ward Board Game enthusiast and stickler for details
complex games
some could be considered punishable
Before we start, what is the goal
we have to cooperate and communicate
Pandemic game example
Can openly trade cards
good analogy
Victory points!
feature launch or a theme redesign
product launch
full site launch
make sure the goals are clear
also we have to know the roles
Project Manager (dealer)
Production Team (Devs and Designers)
The Client (the Driver)
project manager does board setup
this is not your out to say “that is the PM job”
everyone needs to know setup and rules
game example – complex
know what the standard information is
when managing tasks, flags, statusus, labels
a meaningful view of what is going on
Can we reduce complexity?
Setup is a big part of gaming
simple terms
an example in Jira
so customizable, can be cumbersome very quickly
if set up simply, it is one of the best solutions out there
Jura, Milestones are Epics
Theme Redesign
Customize Content
Backlog – adding tasks
potentially a long list of stuff
clever way of hiding the stuff you are not working on at the moment
try to hide the mountain of work below the fold
agile development – we will go through terms
Agaile sprints, just set amount of time, wek or 2 or a month
resonable amount of tasks completed in that time
typical gameplay on outside of the box, helps with planning
setup time not counted in there
take the tasks we want to and add to sprint
you get to set the rules of this game
might not hve sprints if just reactively doing tickets
kanban – timeboard
To Do
In Progress
invented by auto industry to make sure supply/demand was efficient and manage workforce
Pro tip, game called Kanban
once set up, default screen you see
addint another status with the + button
winemaking game with seasons
planting, growing, harvesting, vinting
phase moving from one place to another
just got to be aware of what is going to make this cumbersome
Take your turn
Order or flow of ticket as it moves from person to person
have to spell out which people and which roles will be doing wich actions
software example

  1. Client requests a feature
  2. Project manager enters ticker into Backlog
  3. Dev provides an estimate
  4. Client approves budget
  5. PM assigns dev based on workload(prints/ToDo)
  6. Dev does work (in progress)
  7. Lead dev revies work
  8. Client reviews the work and it gets deployed
  9. PM completes it
    Castle Panic game example
    Draw Cards (pick a task)
    Play Cards (do the work)
    Move the monsters (Hand it off)
    moving the tokens are fun
    Trello does this too
    jira owns Trello now
    Remember post-move actions
    last step should be reassigning it to the next person
    Do necessary documentation, tell people what you did
    links, screenshots
    Add/Remove label or a flag, etc
    Reassign it to the next person in line
    Who’s turn is it?
    Sometimes there is a lull cause people are masterminding a plan to win
    not asking who’s turn it is is bad
    asking it is right thing to do when in doubt
    it is important to know when it is your turn and what todo on your turn
    My CLient Refuses to use our Task Management System
    Coach them on the rules
    Remind them that it’s their project
    play the game for them (when they go to the bathroom), play fair and good
    Celebrate the wins
    Review tasks at the end of a milestone, let each dev or designer show off work
    Talk about what went well and what coule be improved (adjust the rules)
    Provide a peer-to-peer reward system
    peer to peer feedback better than top down
    Take our turn, Strategize and WIN!

Wrapping Up

I rarely have to say anything negative about a hotel experience but I need to get this pne off my chest. The Moxy Downtown Minneapolis was a terrible experience for me. Thursday night going into Friday the fire alarm went off at 1:30am and due to an alarm malfunction they could not turn it off on the floor I was on. I had to change rooms at 3:00am. My new room had very thin walls and for the next 2 nights I had some noisy neighbors. This all added up to the least sleep I have gotten on a roadtrip in recent memory. It might be a hip, kitschy vibe but my stay there was the opposite of why I want to stay at a hotel.

Other than the lack of sleep this was a fun trip. It was great to see everyone and I walked away not just learning some new cool stuff, but I also walked away excited other folks are as into process management and project management optimization as I have been recently. As my life changes and I am recognizing my frequenting of so many WordCamps might be winding down, it makes me appreciate every second I spend out on the road to support the community even more. I have no idea when or if I will every return to Minneapolis, but I look forward to that day. Maybe it will even be for WordCamp Minneapolis 2020.

While not part of the camp, this got published while I was there:

WordCamp for Publishers 2019: Warm Ohio nights and a lot of community socializing

I was born in the Buckeye state and it is not a place I visit too often. There is not a lot to draw me back and living on a coast and traveling as much as I have in recent years has given me few opportunities to come back. Last time I was in the Columbus area was way back in 2016 for WordCamp Dayton, which was before this blog existed. That trip was a game changer for me as I met Josepha there, learned what a happiness engineer did and really, for the first time, saw what WordPress Community was all about. That took me on a path of Developer Relations that saw me learning new skills almost daily. I got to share those skills and still learn more this time around in Columbus at WordCamp for Publishers 2019.

Food and Fun


The night before the event officially kicked off there was an opening reception at Arepazo Tapas Bar Grille. Various fried appetizers and meat on toothpicks options as well as communal beer pitchers and a few gallons of margaritas. Very proud to say that we didn’t let the margaritas go to waste and everyone at the end made sure we extracted the maximum value.

Afterward, some of us had a little more refreshment and fellowship.


Arriving at the venue, I found pretty reasonable coffee and tea as well as a small fridge of sodas and LaCroix and such. It kept us going for the morning. Lunch was a local food truck, Nazca Peruvian Eats. Very simple, but filling for me, vegan option of rice and beans and corn and olives. I did go back later for some plantains at the very end. Very tasty all around.

We got back together in the evening at Two Dollar Radio Headquarters for some really nice vegan cafe food, some drinks and some board games. I brought my new copy of Foodtown Throwdown and got to introduce several people to the ‘build you own food truck empire’ game. The cafe in all reality though is a bar/bookstore/book publisher run by the nicest people. For sure go and support them if you are ever in Columbus again.


Some of us did find our way to an Irish bar to catch their Karaoke night. We went to Cavan Irish Pub, home of the $2.50 well drink and $1 Jello shots. I had no Jello as that contains gelatin which is gross. Can’t find any tweets on this.


Coffee and tea and cold drinks awaited us again. This time for lunch we had fresh made pitas from the Pitabilities food truck. I had some tasty fries and a falafel sandwich. A single foodtruck did take a bit of time, so they extended the lunch period by 15 minutes.

After the last sessions were done and we went to drop our stuf off at the places we were staying, we regathered at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing for some pretty nice house made brews and I indulged in some spicy palomas. We did continue on after this but the twitter documentation is lacking so I will just leave it at that.


After the 2 gull days of sessions, the camp continues with a half day ‘mentoring’ experience. We arrived back at the venue and got the same coffee and drinks reception. Lunch was not originally part of the plan but the organizers made it happen last minute. I had an avocado poke bowl from Poke bowl from Viiza. Others had a variety of fish or chicken in theirs. Soon after lunch I had to split, ending my social times with the WordCamp folks this time around.


Opening Remarks:

Creating a Better Editorial Experience with Gutenberg
Jon Heller

I love any talk that gives a history lesson and this was a great one. Understanding where we come from is really one of the only ways to come to terms with what we have now. It is not like someone sat down one day and from scratch said “I need to make Visual Studio Code” it was a build of of other technologies and a desire to optimize and combine the best features to make a better experience than being dropped into Vim (not that there is anything wrong with that though). Embracing the now and not clinging to the past will make sure your clients are happy into the near future. Embracing the future though and thinking of what Gutenberg will become and starting to plan your work around that can make sure you not only survive into the future but evolve to best extract value from it.

Raw Notes:
Stop fighting your CMS
Same issues on all platforms
been doing this for a minute
on many platforms
coneLobster, NetBeans, Bluefish, HotDog,
had to know HTML to use
tough to do it in the early days
savage state
art history lesson
rough around the edges, but cobbled together what looks OK
days before CMS
table tags
bad name, good idea
evolves more,
arise of the CMS
hard to manage and hard to update
Elliot, Advanced Custom Fields
layout challenges and specific reusable fields consistently
freeform editors make it messy
data is not easily extractable
sort y price or filter is hard
ACF allows fields to be reusable
history of short codes and manual repeating ACF
content vs blocks
2 solutions ACF vs WYSIWYG
not idea editor experience
around this time, other players emerge, like Squarespace
Gutenberg emerged from that
as a large scale effort with a lot of weight to it by Ma.tt
skepticism, lot of fear of messing up your website
blowing up the site concern
plugin experience classic until 2022
legacy content just keeps existing

Beyond the Metabox: How Gutenberg Can Bring the Editorial Experience to Life
Kevin Fodness

Speaking of that future, this talk was a natural follow on and focused on the blocks themselves and how they can be leveraged for better developer experiences. Let’s face it, the ‘old way’ of metaboxes is kinda peicemeal and honestly clunky. While just as clunky to many as it stands right now, Gutenberg has the potential for so much more. The technical discussion of PluginSidebar should be of interest to anyone currently building WordPress.

Raw Notes:
Is a hotdog a sandwich? Is an editor a sandwich?
He is in charge of Alley’s JS practice
post types?
Pagebulders – universally terrible
Why are pagebuilders a bad idea – pic of dumpster fire
shortcodes are injectable
17 screens on metaboxes
that is how they edit content on a site
it works
it is just parsing it visually is hard
Gutenberg to solve this
WYSIWYG but other benefits
custom blocks, 1 half of the experience
use built in whenever possible
kitchen sink post to show how it works to clients
modify based on feedback from that
image block, can add on any other fields as needed
only custom once built in or extended blocks no longer solve issue
a lot of the room uses customized Gutenberg blocks
extend your own custom blocks like you extend the built in blocks
feed-driven block with live preview
block call backs,
two concerns
what editor view look like? what happens to save methods?
latest content from feed view, better editorial experience
background color, you can limit the color pallet
callout block example
something that was a short code, much easier to manage as a block
block editor in core, Gutenberg is the just the code name
posts that do or don’t support content
utility post type, template licked block saved to postmeta, includes CSV data uploader
no free form content area
no content area, no Gutenberg
make a custom block that uses the meta data marry with template locking
can’t move, reorder or change layout,
register per plugin, config specific for your site
metaboxes go into the PluginSidebar
break into sections
can see conditionally loaded by post type or other attribute
because ReactJS, respond before saving
supports all fields, including custom
good candidates: SEO (Meta title, description)
Open Graph Twitter Card text and images
Display options that affect the entire page
looking ahead
where is dev going?
next version, ability to extend Document sidebar
PluginSidebar will be used for Plugins
don’t be afraid of the future of Gutes
Not the Gutenpocalypse
Gutenberg Ramp

Top Cases in Internet Publishing
Lucia Walinchus

I got to play a federal judge for part of this talk. If I gave out most memorable experiences from a talk awards, this would be in the top slot. After role playing, and ruling differently than the actual judge did in that case, it was a bombardment of case titles and legal facts that were just fascinating to me. Privacy and data protections are great things to talk about and to get up to speed on how those cases are currently, as in still in courts right now, are playing out was tremendous. If you have even a passing interest in where case law stands today with internet issues, this can act as your primer.

Raw Notes:
Play a game, we are all fed judges
who wins in case of suit of clicked agreement for state x sue for state y
185 F.Supp.3d
in RE facebook biometric information privacy litigation
US District Court N.D. California. 9th circuit
choice of lau clauses are usually client favoring
internet publishing
wild west days now
two separate court systems
Federal and State
trial-> appellate->supreme
NY and TX are weirdos with their naming
common misconceptions, on;y state laws can be decided in state court
fed can rule on state laws
persuasive vs precedent
judge can listen to another district, but not necessarily
Appeals are retrials
Trial courts determine issues of material fact, but an appellate court can determine how the law applies
Rosenbach vs Six Flags 2019
Rivera v Google
Nimesh Patel v Facebook 18-15982 on youtube
liquidated damages provisions, $5K per violation
Sandman vs Washington Post
Court says reprinting Phillips’ opinion is not defamatory
Rorschach test
international law
Lord McAlpine trending? Innocent face
UK publishers are liable for republishing the libel of others
online journalism handbook – don’t publish when in doubt
Wright v Ver
Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v wall-street.com
solved longstanding conflict in the circuit courts, sided with the 10th and 11th circuits Now you have to get your copyright registered to sue.
takes months to do this, but you do have rights before you do
getting occasional copyright on your works
Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle
Post “Blurred Lines” cases
Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry,
Led Zeppelin,
En Banc hearing
Kraftwerk – metal on metal case
Allen vs Cooper, can states be sued in federal court for copyright law violations
Case involves alleged copyright violations of footage from the excavation of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge (shipwreck on a sandbar)
UBSoffshorebank.com – cybersquatting
Domino’s vs Robles 18-1539 – visually impaired ADA violations
ADA online is still hard for the courts, unlike physical space, which is settled for the most part
sqoop, website for federal court case search
can follow cases and it will keep emailing you
prove you are a journalist and they give free subscription
Recap by free law project
rarely $15 a quarter minimum
CourtListen fro the further reading
The Content Trap (bharat anand)
Information Doesn’t Want to be Free (Cory Doctorow)
EyeOnOhio.com – sign up!

Leveraging WordPress as a Digital Sports Publisher
Theresa Spencer

How do you build one of the most trafficked sports sites in the world? With WordPress of course! Theresa did a fantastic job of laying out the tool chain they rely on and how they leverage various components. While theory and the latest tech are always fun, I find the most practical lessons I hear come from the case studies of battle tested approaches and implementations. It also is preferable as a talk substance because there is no ‘greenfield’ assumption, like with a JAMstack site where you can assume you are starting fresh from at least some of the code base. Case studies are always showcases of Big Balls Of Mud which is always going to be predominate reality of any legacy system.

Raw Notes:
Business Stakeholder – map to project success
IMplementation : The product
custom features
primary category
category menus
video player embed button
Shortcodes- tv schedule @ content/ad partners
Plugins –
WP Content Options
Apple News
MostRecent Feed – Popular Posts
Featured Images
Add SEO Meta Tag
original written and video sports content
Broadcast network initiatives
Tools –
SP Content Options
Shortcodes. RSS
Publicize (jetpack)
Add SEO Meta Tags
Keywords and Google News Keywords
direct – apple news
AMP framework
Measurement: KPIs
agreed upon internally
Google Analytics as a way to measure
Pagevies vs users vs sessions
keyword analytics
top 5 views of sessions of AMP vs Apple News, etc
VIPgo and Multisite

Storytelling Essentials Every Content Creator, Developer, and Publisher Should Understand
Nathan B. Weller

I almost didn’t include this in my final report, as my notes cut off when he specifically asks us to stop typing and just follow along, since we would be going through a lot very fast. If you like Joseph Campbell “Heroes Journey” kind of stuff, you will love Nathan’s synthasis of it with several other story theories. I know I did. Too much to try to recap here, to just go watch the dang thing which is already on Youtube.

Raw Notes:
Learning opportunity, story editor
essential lessons he has learned about storytelling
preconceived ideas of what storytelling is
those relationships went poorly
first pat
crash coarse in storytelling theory
2nd part
He asked us to not take notes and just pay attention,
doing that.

“Newspack: Listen First, Develop Second,” a process of creating a custom news vertical for WordPress.com
Jefferson Rabb (Automattic)

I don’t need to run a news site online, not do I want to. But if I did, and I was picking a new platform to do it on, what I heard about Newspack in this talk would make me do a formal discovery and investigation. I love hearing about stable and meant to scale platforms. As it hasn’t launched public yet, I am very curious to hear what emerges from battle testing. Maybe next year we will hear that. I do love tha this is an attempt to lower the overhead of tech so ‘journalists can focus on journalism’!

Raw Notes:
Team lead at Newspack
small to medium news rooms
WordPress for News Rooms
Developed with Automattic, funded by Google and philanthropic
Charter Cohort of twelve publications
First sites launch in late September
Normalize, standardize, modernize editorial tooling
Why us? Tooling is what e know, this is where we can contribute
The rich WP ecosystem is blessing and curse
We can contribute by shrinking it down to manageable size
The Fear
NHR research ‘tech confidence’ is a large pain point
legacy solutions mean impossible to change
custom themes and plugin creation relies on dev resources
Rigid site structures make it difficult to experiment
Opinionated approach
not trying to play God
curated set of tools
opinions of design and even business
constantly evolving
Reducing complexity
General use tools can be complex and confusing
we can abstract complexity behind purpose driven UI
Visual Design
“One Theme”
belief that the visual delta between news sites is small
customize the visual features that express brand and personality
this will be an iterative approach
a bridge to Gutenberg
Unabashedly Gutenberg-forward
Conversion utility
Education as a feature
Show our customers the value of Gutenberg
Blocks-based homepage building
it is open source
it is for full time newsrooms
serious projects
positively change publishers relationship with their website
devote more time to journalism
clear a path for business experimentation
evolve with the community

“Managing Site Networks,” a spotlight in prioritizing and focusing for a collection of sites
Beth Davidz

This was a lightning talk but was jammed with a lot of really great information. Beth and I subscribe tot he same personal belief that organization and communication are the core to getting anything done, so naturally I agree very strongly with her message of personal Trello, controlling scope and having a firm time line in place. If you have been thinking ‘I gotta get more organized’ you can watch this little talk as a solid primer.

Raw Notes:
How many sites?
will be cute cat
one more thing, more and more
can’t keep track of them
then you are crazy cat lady
prioritize and organize
get intel
get to know client
musts and expertise
audit, issues
what does client really want?
Tools and solutions
what’s _
priority, happen now
is a must, simple, hard, ghih impact
Project tracking tools
Post-it Notes
Google Docs
to deliver any project, there are three factors
Are you getting paid enough to do it?
Don’t control at least 1
Deadline, Scope Budget

Conquering Lighthouse to Provide a Better User Experience
Seth Alling

I didn’t honestly take the best notes for this one, but it was a fascinating talk. Again, it was a history, and not one I knew before the day. I actually distracted myself with checking out Google’s release notes and blog posts about the major initiatives while Seth was talking. Fast is good. Fast, good A11y, being a Progressive Web App with good SEO is better. Good thing the tooling is freely available in the browser mos of us use.

2008 DDG
2009, Bing and Google real-time search results
2010, Caffeine- faster search results
2011 Panda – drop low quality search results
12% of all search results affected
2012 penguin
Drop SEO Spam search results (penguin)
Added knowledge Graph
2013 More accurate search results (hummingbird)
largest code change since 2001
conversational search
2014 pigeon, better local search results
2016 Possum
2017 popup penalty
2018, Lighthouse comes out, mobile first
IS light
Trellis from Mediavine
makes progressive webapps out of the box
mobile first
quality theme is mandatory
3 second to get server load is terrible
good hosting is needed

Defining Fast: The Hardest Problem in Performance Engineering
Zack Tollman

Thinking about queues and how to measure things might seem like it would be a dry subject. Zack was anything but dry in his delivery and this was one of the more entertaining talks I have seen in a while. His lighthearted fonts and simple diagrams made the meat of some, what could have been very dry, technical analytics discussion. Again, my notes could be more thorough, but so many little things I had not thought through sent me looking up related articles to read later on things like Real User Monitoring (RUM) or how people are relating speed to business value. Really thought provoking stuff.

Potbelly Sandwiches
Menu Master,
their system
he hates lines
went one day after lunch rush
no ipad guy
8 minutes to get the sandwich
Load event misses animations and tracking pixels
visually ready
we are in the
Golden age of performance metrics
Too many metrics really
Tools are fantastic
Key h1 to load, visual readiness
First Meaningful Paint
First CPU Idle
Time to Interactive
Philip Walton
User centric performance metrics
Test frequency is important
2.1 million test in last month alone
RUM – Real User Monitoring
Variance is provided by this process
people bring their own variables
You have to look at the data now!
lots of ways to look at it, have to do the hard work
mean, median, average percentiles
standard deviations
do they need the raw data?
comparison data might be a better approach
business metric correlations
hard to pin a 1:1 speed = more $
Defining faster defines your performance culture

My Session

Making WP-CLI Your Own: Extending a command line tool for your own needs

After lunch I taught a workshop, really a follow up to the workshop I originally co-ran with Daniel Bachhuber in 2017 a WordCamp For Publishers in Denver. The first parts went really well, people followed along with the theory and when we tried extending a plugin, mostly people were able to play along and realize concepts. However, once we started to delve into the world of Packages, which require Composer to work as expected, then the whole thing kinda turned sideways. Still, the feedback I got from a few folks was that this was a game changer of a session and they see a lot of possibilities. I am going to count this one as a win even though it was not the best attended thing I have done.

Mentoring Day

Instead of a Contributor day sprint, the camp decided to try a Mentoring Day, where people could sign up to be mentored on a subject or mentor someone else on a subject of expertise. I signed up for a few and had a good conversation out it. Mostly though I think most people used it as co-working time and that was very pleasant as well. It is always good to be around others and the free coffee was bonus!

Wrapping Up

It was a very good time to be back on some nice summer nights in Ohio and make some new friends. To be honest though, now that I am trying to make it as a independent consultant, I think the biggest value for me was realizing that when you go to an event focusing on larger scale and much larger organization, with soem even being public companies, was to understand where I don’t fit. While I had the best time and love this community, now that I am no longer hocking a still pretty great hosting platform, I am not sure that this event was really something I would pursue in the future. I am very glad I did this time though. But I hope, very earnestly, to see each and every person I met and reconnected with again in my future travels. Who knows, the desire to go hang out wiht the amazing organizing team alone might override all other considerations and I might just head back to WordCamp for Publishers 2020, wherever it may be.