Speaker Spotlight: Shane Purnell

Shane Purnell

Shane Purnell is joining us for the second time as a speaker at WordCamp Kansas City. The first time around, he taught us how to write better About pages. This time? Podcasting. We asked him a few questions about his work and his presentation, so you can get to know him a little better!

Q: How did you get started in your current field?
A: I went to college as a business major, but switched to communication after falling in love with public speaking in my first speech class. A degree in communication is a tough way to build a career so I took my love for this “new thing” called the Internet and channeled it into a building a career in IT. After 18 years of 1s and 0s, it seemed to me that we were losing the art and joy of interpersonal communication.

I looked for a way to merge my love for the internet with my love for communication and decided the best way I could help others was to help them connect to the power of their message and then help them connect the power of their message to the world. I created Platform Giant as a side gig to train and inspire people to use technology and face to face communication to connect their message with the world.

Q: Describe your ‘ah ha’ moment about WordPress?
A: I’ve never liked doing the popular thing or doing something because someone else said it was the best way. I like to find out for myself. I intentionally avoided WordPress at first, choosing Joomla as my first blogging platform.

My aha moment was in 2009 when I realized I didn’t have time to blaze a new trail. WordPress was the platform many podcasters were using and talking about. WordPress had the best plugins and themes. WordPress was easier.

I realized my goal was to create content, not tinker with code. Moving to WordPress seemed like a logical choice if I wanted:
– A great looking site with
– The best plugins and
– The best support community

My contrarian nature still makes me want to see what Drupal is all about but I’ve come to know and rely on WordPress so much, it would be hard to start over.

…oh yeah and Kansas City has a great WordPress community 🙂

Q: If you could go back to when you were getting started and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Pick a direction and pursue it with reckless abandon. If it doesn’t work out, you can always pick a new direction.

Q: Describe your talk in three sentences or less.
A: Podcasting is a great way to build a content channel, improve SEO, and network with thought leaders, but it’s not for everyone. This talk provides an overview of podcasting, reasons to have a podcast (or not) and different ways you can quickly and easily incorporate podcasting into your content production.

Q: Who should attend your talk (beginner developer, intermediate content provider, advanced designer, etc)?
A: This talk is aimed at content providers who have just started podcasting or those who have been considering podcasting.

This post is part of a multi-day series featuring speakers from WordCamp Kansas City 2015. Subscribe to have them delivered to your mailbox, or feel free to check back every day!