Category Archives: Blog

FAQ #3

Here’s the final FAQ e-mail that was sent out this morning…

I think this is our last e-mail to you. But no guarantees.

We have some answers to actual FAQs in this e-mail. The other ones were just things I thought people might wonder. But now we’ve got some real questions, and we’re here to make them be answered.


There are two nearby lots. Double check the hours to which the following rates apply. Both are about 2 blocks from the venue. Check out this helpful map for reference:

SW corner of 11th Avenue and 4th Street SW – $3.00 flat rate

SE corner of 10th Avenue and 6th Street SW – $2.00 flat rate

If you are staying for the afterparty, and you’re planning to have some drinks at the happy hour pricing that we’ll have available to us, maybe just leave your car at wherever and take the train or bus in.


Lilac Festival is on Sunday. expect lots of traffic and pedestrians. 4th Street SW between 11th Avenue and 25th Avenue to be closed.

Calgary Marathon will be running right by the venue, and parts or all of 11th Avenue will be closed (depending upon where along its length) (thanks to Adrienne Anderson for that reminder!). In short, allow plenty of extra time to get to WordCamp on Sunday


District will be catering soup and sandwiches both days. We don’t know that we can guarantee special dietary requirements will be met. If you’re vegetarian, gluten-free, etc., maybe plan for a bagged lunch of your own. You have my apologies, and I’ll ensure we improve this for next year’s WordCamp. Do check the blog on Friday evening, as we’ll update there (rather than e-mail you all again) what special lunch items we will have available.

FAQ #2

This e-mail was sent out to attendees this morning:

Hi WordCamp attendees!

You got your ticket before they sold out. Good for you! This very circumstance establishes you as a wise, proactive, and prescient individual. Your spousal person and/or your parental figure(s) and/or your mirror self must be very proud.

If you have just registered in the last few days, you may not have received the first FAQ e-mail. We have posted that on the website for your review.

There are a couple of more matters that we think will be helpful for you to know. First off, we have made the decision to NOT offer complimentary bottled water on-site. Since Calgary has such world-renowned tap water, we’re going to make sure that there are jugs and jugs and jugs of it to refill your refillable water bottle (which you will bring with you) (or SOLO cups, which we will have available) to your hydrated heart’s content. If you’re especially keen on bottled, there is a Mac’s just around the corner.

Next, we ask that you expect some glitches. We don’t know what those glitches will be. This is our first run of WordCamp, so be gentle with us. Unless we catch someone on fire. Though that’s probably highly improbable.

Finally, you can’t even imagine how excited I am that this is becoming a thing. Great thanks go out to each of you who shelled out $40 to attend our first WordCamp. We appreciate your interest, your trust, and willingness of your inner-nerd to come out and socialize.

See you on Saturday!


If you have just registered in the last few days, you might not have received a FAQ e-mail from us. It’s reproduced for you below.

Hello, you fabulous WordCampYYC attendees!

I’m writing to you today to give you some answers to some frequently asked questions about WordCamp and what to expect. For many of you, this will be your first-ever WordCamp. So exciting! I have two under my belt, and came away from them both knowing much more than when I went in, knowing much more about what I as-yet had no idea about, and some great ideas for current and future projects.

What time does it start? End? Lunch? Etc?

A partial schedule is now up on the site, which will help you figure out when you need to be where, and when you’ll get out again. Check it out at

What does one wear to a WordCamp?

What does one wear to any casual learning environment? Something comfortable, breathable, and probably not see-through. If you wonder if you should wear something see-through, e-mail me, and I’ll tell you.

Should I bring my laptop or iPad?

You certainly can, and many people do. I’m more of a write-notes-on-paper kind of guy, but I’m probably rare these days. Bring your iPad, laptop, or whatever other device you’re keen to use. Be forewarned that we don’t know what wifi bandwidth will be like, so you may end up frustrated over lack of a good connection. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

What what if I’m using a Palm Pilot, or a Tandy TRS-80 or **gasp** a Windows-based computer?

Bring it! Bring what you’re comfortable with. This isn’t a technology competition, and technology snobs won’t be tolerated. We’re not here to compare our fancy machines, but to learn and share and grow and make connections. Whatever it is that best serves you in those functions, bring it.

So there is wifi then?

We believe we’ll have wifi during WordCamp, but can’t guarantee you’ll get a strong and consistent signal.

What if I’ve attended a session and it’s way over my head? Can I leave?

Yes, you can feel free to leave to go to the other session. But be warned, others may smirk at you, knowingly. No, I’m just kidding. You’re free to move about between the sessions as you see fit. Please just try to keep your wandering noises to a dull roar.

But! If you are in over your head, so what? There was something compelling about the session that attracted you in the first place. Why not stick it out and see what comes of it? I attended one at WordCamp Edmonton last year where, no word of a lie, I understood almost nothing after about the three-minute-mark. I could have left, and easily could have justified it. But I stuck it out. By the time the end came, I still had no idea what on earth just happened, but I had a much clearer picture of what it was that I didn’t understand. Worst case scenario, you’ve burned fifty minutes of your time and learned nothing. Best case scenario, you walk away with information you didn’t even know existed.

Should I live tweet the whole thing?

Some would say yes, and some would say no. I personally am in the “no” camp, thinking that it’s more important for me personally to be present and aware of what’s going on, and taking things in. The moment I start to tweet, I lose track of what’s happening. Now, if you happen to be more adept at multi-tasking than I am (which doesn’t seem to be a difficult hurdle), then certainly feel free. But while you’re doing that, keep in mind that you’re attending this ‘Camp so that you can learn and grow, not just to be a conduit for your followers to learn and grow.

Should I hand out business cards?

Yes! I mean, don’t go from table-to-table at lunch just handing them out like they’re dessert. Talk to people. Make connections. This is a community-building event, so build community. Certainly, having some cards on you to hand to those you’ve talked with will be very helpful to maintain those connections once Sunday evening comes and it’s all over but the coding.

I can only attend on Saturday / Sunday. Is that ok?

You bet. If that’s what your schedule allows, then that’s what it allows. We’ll have the registration table open again on Sunday for any who were unable to come on Saturday. When we resume on Sunday, you won’t need to re-register. But do remember to bring your badge back with you!

In a “cute WordCamp organizer competition”, which one of you would win?

Well, that depends upon your proclivities and your tastes. In the interest of community-building, I’m just going to say that I think it would be a tie. But guaranteed my Mom would vote for me.

If you have any other questions, fire them off on Twitter to @WordCampYYC and we’ll do our best to answer. If it’s a complex and in-depth question like, “If I was going to wear see-through, but I’m not sure of gold mesh or…” that won’t fit into 140, you can also e-mail organizer John at

We look forward to meeting you at WordCamp!

About our sponsors: Code Poet

We’re thankful that Code Poet is a generous sponsor of WordCamps across North America. Because of their generous contribution, WordCamp Calgary will be an outstanding beginning to the greater development of the WordPress community here in our own city.

It’s an interesting notion, that code is poetry. As a non-tech myself, I can still appreciate the idea that the creation of code is on par with the creation of poetry. Interestingly, you’ll find those who agree with the notion, and those who disagree. Being someone who is not a coder (nor a poet), I have no dog in the fight and can’t even come to any defensible conclusion.

The folks at Code Poet, by their very adoption of the name, are probably on the believer side. So who are they? Code Poet is a learning resource that is dedicated to those who have a professional interest in WordPress and the development of the platform. From their site:

If you use WordPress to build things for other people, we want to make your life easier. No matter whether you freelance on a solo basis, lead a small web shop, make plugins in a dark closet, or crack the whip at a large design firm, our aim is to become your go-to source of information and resources to help you expand your WordPress skills and know-how. To make you better at what you do. To make it easier to make your living and look great doing it.

And how much does this cost? Notta thing. The resources that they offer, including a few e-books, are 100%, completely, unequivocally free of charge. How about them (free) apples? If you’re thinking of getting into the WordPress business world, be sure to check out Code Poet’s articles, interviews, and other resources.

About our sponsors: DreamHost

Today we express our gratitude to DreamHost, one of our sponsors. Hosting websites for 16 years now, DreamHost offers up shared, virtual private server, and dedicated hosting to over one million domains.

Like other major sponsors, DreamHost sponsors not only WordCamp Calgary, but also WordCamps all over North America. WordPress continues to grow as one of the most important and ubiquitous platforms because of the community created through the open source development of WordPress and the ongoing education of designers, developers, and end-users through WordCamps the world over.

In addition to providing unlimited storage and bandwidth accounts for basic users (starting at $8.95 per month), DreamHost also hosts thousands of non-profit charitable organizations free hosting (US-registered charities only, mind). DreamHost also offers one-click install of WordPress for those of you who might just be getting started in learning about the tremendous power, flexibility, and simplicity of WordPress.

We’re grateful for DreamHost, whose commitment to the WordPress community means that WordCamps can continue to offer tremendous learning opportunities for minimal investment. Their direct investment into WordCamp Calgary means that we can offer a full two-day slate of WordPress speakers on a variety of topics (not to mention feeding you hungry critters), for what for many is not even a rounding error in your annual expenditures. Thanks DreamHost!

About our sponsors: Treehouse

Today I’m writing here to thank our generous sponsor, Treehouse. Treehouse is a company that offers online interactive education, bringing classes in markup languages like HTML and CSS; programming in JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Android, and iOS; along with business classes, and a whole whack of supporting classes. In fact, some companies, like LivingSocial, BankSimple, and Automattic (the makers of WordPress) do recruiting right off of the site if people have the right badges that show what it is that they’ve excelled in.

One of my fellow WordCamp organizers, Kurt Archer, has been a member for a good long time and speaks very highly of them and the quality of their courses. I just now signed up for a one-year membership (like, mid-blog-writing), as there’s no question that I want more development skills, even if just because I’m curious how it all works together. Though helping to run a WordCamp, I’m actually mostly a non-tech guy, so I’m keen on upping my skills.

Treehouse has not only contributed to the financial success of Calgary’s first WordCamp, but they’re also sending some great swag our way to share with WCYYC attendees. They’re going to see to it that we have some Treehouse tees to give away, along with some awesome things like HTML5 Foundations and CSS3 Foundations from the Treehouse Book Series.

Here’s where things get really interesting! Whether beginner or beyond, education will ensure that you continue your expand your skills, making you better able to tackle larger projects, build your resume, and even expand your career choices. Being a company that is in the business of making sure that folks have the education that they need to success, Treehouse has offered us a number of free subscriptions to their educational programs. We’ll have a few 6-month and 12-month memberships thanks to Treehouse to get into the hands of those who can use them. Now are you excited?? Though very affordable for the value you receive, winning one of these memberships could rapidly propel your skill-building not to mention save you a few Bordens (that’s who’s on our hundred, just in case you didn’t know).

Thanks Treehouse! We’re so grateful for your help in making Calgary’s first WordCamp a reality. And all the way from Florida, no less! We’re also really stoked to be able to give away some of your high-quality educational tools to help our attendees become more proficient in technology. We’re also super-pleased to even be remotely associated with a thing called Treehouse, since treehouses are wicked fun.

And since you’re right here, you may as well click play to see the video below where they tell you about what’s going on on their Treehouse YouTube channel.

About our sponsors: Bluehost

Bluehost was one of the first two sponsors on board. The reason for their speed? They not only sponsor WordCamp Calgary, but every WordCamp in Canada and the United States. You see on the sidebar how they have their own sponsorship level? Pillar? That’s because that’s what they are to the WordPress community. A successful WordCamp needs three things: people who want to share their knowledge and experience; people who want to absorb knowledge and experience; and sponsors who help to stick it all together. I hereby dub Bluehost to be “gluehost”.

Bluehost has been providing quality web hosting solutions to businesses and individuals since 1996. That’s since before many of you were even “on the Internet”. I didn’t even have my first persistent, broadband connection for another two years…maybe three. Before there was YouTube (by nine years), before there was Google (by two years), and just shortly after eBay became a thing, there was Bluehost. They’re one of the top twenty hosts in the world, serving up close to 2 million domains in conjunction with sister companies HostMonster and FastDomain.

With shared hosting from US$4.95 per month, and dedicated hosting from only US$74.99 per month, Bluehost is well worth your look for your hosting needs.

Thanks Bluehost! We greatly appreciate your ongoing commitment, not only to our WordCamp, but to all of those awesome WordCamps that organizers around Canada and the USA put their hearts and time into. You really help us to make them great.

The Difference, Damage, Defilement, Disruption and the Destruction of the Visual Art Website

Guest post by WordCamp Calgary 2013 speaker Kim Bruce.


Kim Bruce’s presentation for WordCamp Calgary is brought to you by the letter 😀

I am an artist that designs artist websites for artists using WordPress. My name is Kim Bruce and when I’m not at the computer you’ll find me in the studio creating fine art of my own.

I said I was an artist, I am, so I believe that I bring a unique perspective to fine art websites. This is a vision that I share with other professional artists. We have a way of looking at art that agrees with the philosophy behind white walled galleries and that philosophy is; nothing is to interfere with viewing the art – nothing!

Typical content seen on other websites is not quite the same on a fine art site. Visual art websites are Different by their very nature and content. I’ll point out the two major differences and why that makes fine art sites unique.

After viewing 1000’s of fine art websites, time and again I’ll see an extremely talented artists work Damaged by choosing an inappropriate theme. Everything on a professional fine art site is there to focus, enhance and draw attention to the images. I’ll discuss what constitutes a good theme for a professional artist and what not to do.

Defilement of fine art images is in the hands of plugin Developers. But if they don’t know the unique needs required to present artist images how can we expect them to offer us up a solution. We’ll look at what’s available right now for image presentation using the powerful and popular NextGen Gallery plugin. I’ll also explain from an artist’s perspective why image presentation is so crucial and what a professional artist expects.

Using WordPress is a perfect solution for the professional artist to manage their site but with ownership comes responsibility. The artist as the Doer of site maintenance needs to educate them-self and stop needless Disruptions when viewing fine art images. If they use a designer, it is up to us Designers to educate clients and help them create good content and quality images. Content is and always will be the most important element on any site not just the art site. I’ll go over common page content for the most basic of sites and offer up some solutions.

Join me at WordCamp YYC and learn how you can help in my crusade to put an end to the …
Damage caused by choosing an inappropriate theme
Defilement of artist images
Disruption in the flow of the visitor’s experience
Destruction of artist content.

Time schedule for WordCamp Calgary 2013

You’ve got a ticket to WordCamp Calgary and you want to know when stuff is going on, right? We’re been trying to get our schedule all worked out, and still have some work to do on that front, but here’s what we can tell you right now.


9:00 am – Registration opens
10:00 am – Opening Remarks
10:30 am to 12:30 pm – Concurrent sessions
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Concurrent sessions
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm – Keynote
4:30 pm – First day closing remarks
5:00 pm – Afterparty at the Amsterdam Rhino


10:00 am to 11:00 am – Panel discussion
11:00 am to 1:00 pm – Concurrent Sessions
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Lunch
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Concurrent sessions
4:00 pm – Closing remarks

I hope that’ll help you to plan your days. There may be some minor variances in this plan as we approach the actual event date, but most of that will hold.

WordCamp Calgary official hotel announcement

hotel_arts_wordcampWordCamp Calgary is pleased to have secured a block of rooms with the always hip and comfortable Hotel Arts just a handful of blocks east of the WordCamp Calgary venue. Hotel Arts is offering their luxury rooms at a significant discount at only $119 per night.

As Ron Popeil and Billy Mays (RIP) are known for saying… “But wait! There’s more!”

Because our WordCamp attendees are such digitally connected people, Hotel Arts is also offering complimentary Internet access to those who reserve with our special code. But there’s still more. Hotel Arts is also making surface parking available to our attendees for only $5 per day.

If you’re coming in from out-of-town for Calgary’s first WordCamp (or even if you’re just coming in from the distant ‘burbs), you’ll find yourself a mighty sweet deal within walking distance from the WordCamp venue.

Click the graphic to read more of the details, or simply hit up the Hotel Arts website with your special WordCamp Calgary reservation code, “1305WORDCA”. You can also reserve by calling Hotel Arts directly at 800-661-9378 and mention “WordCamp YYC”.