This past Saturday, April 18th, I got to hang out with about 130 amazing bloggers and 13 of my coworkers at Press Publish in Phoenix, a new WordPress.com offering. The first one was in Portland a couple weeks ago.
I gave a 15 minute presentation about Blogging on the Go with the WP mobile app and spent the rest of the time at the Happiness Bar helping people with WordPress questions and issues.
While I’ve been at my fair share of conferences and have enjoyed them all, Press Publish had a unique vibe that I can’t quite place my finger on. Perhaps it was the focus on blogging, the workshops about writing, and presentations about finding your voice. Perhaps it was the energy of notable bloggers like Kathy Cano-Murillo, Russ Crandall, Katherine Fritz and Emily Austin. Or perhaps it was the sea of smiling enthusiastic Automatticians (my coworkers at Automattic), I always love an excuse see my distributed coworkers face to face.
In any case, lately I’ve lagged a bit in enthusiasm for support and outreach (for a number of reasons that very likely deserve a dedicated post but we’ll leave that for another day) and Press Publish was just the thing to renew my soul.
I spent the first few years of my WordPress life helping people use it to make websites. WordPress was a site building tool, not a blogging tool, for me until about the time I joined Automattic. While I enjoyed creating websites immensely, I’ve come to realize that I love helping bloggers so so much. Here I was, for one whole day, in the midst of this diverse and beautiful community of bloggers, hearing their stories, helping them jump hurdles, encouraging them in their journey and in turn being encouraged. This is what it’s all about and I can’t get enough.
Want to hear more about how Press Publish went? Stay tuned. The talks aren’t online yet, but they will be soon and I’ll link to them from here. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about the event check out the website.