Category Archives: WordPress

April Blogging Challenge

Fellow Automattic colleague, Justin Shreve, challenges us to publish a post on our blog daily for the month of April. On one of our internal sites, I said I’d participate to hold myself accountable.

A few things:

  • I published notes from several speakers at Write The Docs EU the last two days, and ran out of steam near on the second day.
  • I write my ideas in Simplenote with each item tagged “blog”.

While it’s minutes after midnight in Budapest, I’m going by the Pacific Daylight Time since I live in the Los Angeles area. I’m two for two this month. Yay!

Interested? Possibly intrigued? Read his post for more details, join us, and leave a comment. Ignore the date and give it a try for the rest of the month.

You can publish from any site, but we’d also love for you to setup a free blog at WordPress.com. I’m proud of our work, and we’re always happy to help. :)

Tip: Need ideas? Check out the free eBook 365 Writing Prompts by The Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Enjoy!

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Two Years as a Happiness Engineer

Two years ago, four months, and fourteen days ago, I sent an email to apply for the Happiness Engineer position. Two years, three months, and seventeen days ago, I began my trial period with Automattic.

Two years ago, I joined Automattic and changed my life forever.

I’d like to share my last twelve months1 as a Happiness Engineer.

Side note: Our About Us page says I’m a Happiness Magician. It’s true! We can pick our own title.

Continue the journey through Bryan’s mind

I love WordPress’ responsive dashboard!

I drafted my previous post in the wrong blog from @WordPressiOS, including uploading a photo. I did the following:

  • Went into Media Library from Mobile Safari, and deleted the photo.
  • Switched back to the WordPress app to copy the text of the post, and delete it.
  • Choose the correct blog, paste the text into a new post, and upload the image.
  • Publish the post.

I wanted to mention the cleanliness and ease switching to the dashboard in the mobile browser, within the WordPress iOS app, and deleting the photo from the wrong blog. Nice work!

Roll Your Own Photo Blog – WordCamp Los Angeles 2013

Wow, I had a blast speaking at WordCamp Los Angeles 2013 (WCLAX) explaining how to set up your own photo blog. Thank you all so much!

I described my talk as such on the WordCamp LA site:

Refusing to tie your content into third–party services like Instagram, Flickr, or Google+? Setup your own photo blog — no developer needed! You’ll learn how to organize your photos on your blog, look into image processing, and even delve a tiny bit into image metadata and copyright.

I just uploaded my Keynote slides to Scribd, but some slides are messed up.

If you’d like me to clarify anything, leave a comment here or send me an email through my contact form (especially if another service is better). I’m happy to discuss things over. :)

Thanks for your encouragement before and after my talk, listening to my thoughts and suggestions. Also, I wanted to give a special thanks to my wife, Amy, for being super helpful with preparing and rehearsing — and choosing cute photos of our cats. ;)

My thoughts on NMX BlogWorld 2013

Brett Kelly and Bryan Villarin

Almost one month has passed and I’d say it’s a good time to share my meager notes of my experience at NMX BlogWorld 2013 in Las Vegas.

  • If you aren’t able to help a visitor with their super–specific question(s), give at least one takeaway so they don’t leave empty–handed. For example, someone’s blog was focused on browsing sites securely, and an Incognito window with Google Chrome was new to them. That was nifty.
  • For the most part, most attendees are shy. If someone glances in your direction, and they’re a few feet from your booth, introduce yourself or say “hello”. You never know.
  • WiFi will not work consistently.
  • Keep your laptop and phone charged.
  • Save a few relevant Twitter searches for the event/conference.
  • Bring business cards. I didn’t, and I won’t make that mistake again.
  • Carry a couple pens and pocket notebook.
  • After seeing a panel of speakers, open your notebook and write for 5–10 minutes about anything that comes to mind. Do the same thing at the end of the day. (This is also useful for everyday life.)

I also met Brett Kelly for the first time ever in real life and we took a photo. He’s super cool. (He spoke at “Productivity Power Panel: Learn the Tools, Tactics, & Workflows of Highly Productive Bloggers”, and I’ll post my notes from that separately.)

Overall, I had a great time working at the WordPress Happiness Bar in the exhibitors’ area with several other fine Automatticians, and I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.

Hello, Automattic

I’ve been quiet the last three months because my head has been down working with the fine people at Automattic on a trial basis.

Now, I’m stoked to announce that as of February 3rd, 2012, I’m a full-time Happiness Engineer with Automattic. My focus will be with WordPress.com, so when you need help with your WordPress.com site, you’ll probably bump into me. :)

A few days ago, I took a few moments to write my about section for our site. I’m astonished that my name is on that page, and it’s an amazing feeling to be part of a group that I’ve admired for a long time.

Lastly, if you’re interested, you should consider working with us. We’re hiring.

See you around WordPress.com!

James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

For the first time in five or six years, I finally met James Huff in person at WordCamp LA. I’ve known him for about seven years. In addition to being a talented musician and all-around helpful guy, he’s a Happiness Engineer with Automattic.

Since his Gravatar is from his wedding three years ago, I demanded politely asked for a portrait. ;)

Thanks for the good times, James!

Edit: Thanks, Amy, for suggesting that I reword my post. To clarify, this was my first time meeting James.

Finally switched to WordPress.com

I hung out with James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011 on Saturday. In January, James explained why (and how) he switched MacManX.com to WordPress.com.

This afternoon, I’ve mustered the courage to move All Narfed Up to WordPress.com. I currently have 1,797 published posts and 3,049 comments. The import took a few minutes, and I only had to wait a few more minutes after switching my nameservers at my domain registrar.

I was hesitant primarily because of affiliate links, but those aren’t generating revenue anymore. Since Amazon Associates was terminated in California in June 2011, that was one less reason to be self-hosted.

I’m so relieved that I don’t have to worry about plugins, upgrades, backups, or security on my blog. I’ll be more likely to write or share more photos.

Thanks for the nudge, James!

Note: For more information, see the pros and cons of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

Note #2: Here are the instructions for moving a blog from a self-hosted WordPress.org site to WordPress.com.

Known Issues

My categories and tags weren’t assigned to any of my posts upon import. They’ve been in dire need of reorganizing, so this gives me a reason to re-categorize all my posts. (This will take awhile.)

I used the FD Footnotes Plugin for a long time, so you’ll see a lot of posts where the footnote is inline with the paragraph. Oh well. (For now.)

I used WP jQuery Lightbox, so the majority of photos and images link to the larger file rather than an attachment page. I’ll change my behavior from now on and use the built-in attachment page from now on.

FeedBurner appears to show the new post at WP.com, so all is well. FeedBurner doesn’t seem to recognize the new RSS feed yet, even though it’s the same URL. Sit tight because DNS is still propagating. If you don’t want to wait, you can ditch the FeedBurner feed and use the default RSS feed. (2011-09-14 16:56 PDT)

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