Valuable Resources: From WordPress Beginner to Pro

Sorry there was no post on Tuesday. The good news is my grandson Ben (yes, I’m old) had the marvelous opportunity to play basketball on the home court of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center (yes, there’s a corporate sponsor, but I’m not required to include that bank’s name) last night. His New Berlin West Vikings (western suburb of Milwaukee) played a team from Muskego (southwestern suburb) for around 10 minutes ahead of the Bucks game against the Detroit Pistons. Couldn’t tell you what the score was, but it was fun to watch, and even more fun to play! The Bucks won too!

A picture I, Jeramey Jannene, took of the Brad...
My friend Jeramey Jannene took this photo of the Bradley Center floor before a 2005 game. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that’s not what I’m here to tell you about.

WPMU‘s Career Resources Page

English: WordPress Logo
WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you use WordPress? Want to get better at using it? Want to start developing your own themes or plugins? Think you can make a living doing any of the above? Rachel McCollin at WPMU has put together a spectacular set of links to help you do all of the above.

From WordPress Beginner to Pro: 200+ Career-Boosting Resources

McCollin walks you through the whole process of WordPress goodness:

  • Getting started with WordPress: Creating your first site, using themes and plugins, adding and editing content and tweaking your site’s settings.
  • Becoming an advanced user: Taking WordPress beyond the blog, managing your site and working with themes and frameworks.
  • Coding your own: Developing themes and plugins and adding more CMS functionality to your site.
  • Advanced developer topics: Action and filter hooks, the database, queries, WordPress APIs, translation and libraries and third-party tools.
  • Professional development for clients and users: Becoming a WordPress pro, managing client projects, selling WordPress to clients and customers, customizing the admin screens, development practices, Multisite and BuddyPress.
  • Contributing to WordPress and its community: Contributing to WordPress Core, creating free themes and plugins and helping others to learn.

Now you probably shouldn’t be surprised that many of these resources are from WPMU itself, but it’s not just linkbait. If you work through these sites, you are well on your way to becoming a WordPress pro – free!

When you’re done exploring all these sites, you should also track down a copy of WordPress in Depth for even more material that will help you learn and take part in WordPress.

McCollum and her colleagues pledge to update the list as required, so if you find a worthwhile site, let them know.

Rededicating to NaBloPoMo

One of the side slogans for National Blog Posting Month is “30 days, 30 posts.” I’m still aiming to do that. Despite the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, there will be a post on Thursday. You’ll probably see two posts on Friday, even have the subjects picked out. See you then!


WordCamp Milwaukee 2013: Links and Stuff

WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 Logo
WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 Logo
WordCamp Milwaukee 2013

Had a fabulous time at WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 Saturday. There’s a full summary and review at, but here’s a link to my slides, and another to (nearly) every other presentation this weekend.

Hope your weekend was as fun and educational as mine was!

Getting Ready for WordCamp Milwaukee 2!

WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 Logo
WordCamp Milwaukee 2013

My goodness, it’s less than a month till the second WordCamp Milwaukee!

<puts on organizer hat>

During and after last year’s inaugural event, veteran WordCampers were telling us that WordCamp Milwaukee was one of the best and most informative camps they’d been to. So, of course we had to make it bigger and better for 2013!

First off, we added another half-day to the extravaganza: Foundation Friday (June 7, 2013) is going to be a set of workshops aimed at WordPress beginners: We’ll have WordPress 101 classes for new users — bloggers, business folk, anyone who is making content for the web using WordPress.

But that’s not all! <see, I’ve got my organizer/promoter hat on!>  If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, and wonder what it might be like to design themes or develop plugins for WordPress–come to Foundation Friday! We’re having a development track too!

After Foundation Friday, you’ll still have two full days (June 8-9) of WordPress learning to enjoy! Plus a repeat of the fabulous Saturday After-Party, lunch both days, the Happiness Bar (to get your specific problems addressed), and still more wonderfulness!

<Putting presenter hat on>

Right after lunch on Saturday (June 8), I will be offering a mini-preview of my next book project, talking about “Building Authority – and Audience – with WordPress and Google Author.” Building your reputation and demonstrating your authority as an expert in your particular niche can be a difficult task. Google is trying to help you, though. I’ll show you how to put your high-quality content at the top of the findability charts, with WordPress and the Google Authorship program.

Learn more about WordCamp Milwaukee, and buy your tickets at the website. And hey, if you need some help with the price, type in ‘McCallister’ for a discount when you register.

Look forward to seeing you June 7-9 at Bucketworks!

Slightly Off Topic: An Odd 21st Century Urban Moment

Normally here at Notes from the Metaverse we tend to the serious, the technical, and the educational. We are veering slightly off-course today because of a unique occurrence over lunchtime. Please bear with me, and know that This Actually Happened:

So I’m walking around downtown Milwaukee after lunch today, when I encounter a large group (perhaps a dozen?) of black-clad women huddled on the corner of Plankinton & Wells, in front of the tapas bar. They’re involved in a bit of discussion about goodness-knows-what.

List of Bohemian Rhapsody cover versions
List of Bohemian Rhapsody cover versions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I turn the corner so as not to disturb them, one of the women sees me, comes over and asks “Do you know Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody?” Well, yes I do, most of it anyway. “Can you sing it with me?” Another part of the group joins us; one asks “Do you know the ‘Scaramouche’ part?” Well, no (actually should have said “I don’t think anyone really knows that part for sure,” but … I digress).

Anyway, after some additional pleading, I agree to perform, and we settle on the opening part. By the way, did I mention that I had my black jacket on? I did fit in with this ensemble of four or five women in black. Another woman produces a phone/camera (one can never say with certainty anymore). I get my soda out of the frame, and declare “OK, now I’m officially terrified.” The Scaramouche woman tells me not to worry, they’ll delete it right away. We sing (a capella) the opening of Bohemian Rhapsody “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy…” up to “open your eyes, look up to the skies and seeeeee…” when someone calls it a wrap.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I see one of the other women (not part of the singalong) carrying a sign identifying the Sojourner Family Peace Center, the most prominent domestic-violence shelter in our town. I don’t get a chance to ask about that, and the sign doesn’t appear in the video.

The women thank me, and go on their merry way (after taking a still shot of the parked UPS truck a few feet down the street). Yes, I still have my wallet.

So after all this, I can say that I wasn’t ever really terrified. If you see this thing on YouTube, let me know. I’ll be happier if it has a Creative Commons license, but I won’t be angry in any case. Besides, my wife wants to see it!

If you happen to be one of the women described here, I’d love to hear more about this project. I hope you got what you needed.

For the rest of you: Feel free to share your odd urban moments or impromptu public performance stories, or even your memories of Freddy Mercury, in the Comments.

Blatant Self-Promotion: New About page, WordCamp MKE coming

English: Flag of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
English: Flag of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey folks,

There’s more information coming to Notes from the Metaverse soon, but this is a short piece to tell you that I’ve updated the About Notes from the Metaverse page to tell you a little more about this blog and its author.

I can also tell you that WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 will be coming on June 8-9 at Bucketworks. The organizing committee is hard at work to bring you the best weekend of WordPress information and discussion possible. Make your plans now, and I’ll look forward to seeing you there!