Q: How did you get started in your current field?
A: In 1997, I attended a design conference in Little Rock, Arkansas where I wanted to enhance my skills in the old program, Quark XPress. Within a short time, I realized I knew more than the instructor. During a break, I found a class titled “World Wide Web.” After a decade of print design work, I discovered I could avoid reprinting ten thousand brochures when a typo occurred and found I could simply edit something called “HTML” and the error would be gone. The company I worked for began selling websites but couldn’t make it fit their printing strategy and dropped it. That year, I launched my first business with my sister that ran for six years. I went corporate for a few years at Tyson Foods and gained some organizational skills and left to launch Blue Zoo Creative with my business partner, Collin Condray.
Q: Describe your ‘ah ha’ moment about WordPress?
A: In my first business, the biggest desire of clients was access to update and control their own site. This was expensive and time consuming. When we launched Blue Zoo Creative, we were actually working on a product to automatically generate websites much like SquareSpace and other services. During the process, my wife introduced me to WordPress and the concept of Open Source. With a little research, we completely revamped the system and we never looked back.
Q: If you could go back to when you were getting started and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: I think the biggest thing I’ve learned over time and would share with myself would be to accept the help of others even if you don’t know how to repay them. They are offering for their own reasons. Be grateful, thankful, and if you can’t pay them back, pay it forward.
Q: Describe your talk in three sentences or less.
A: My talk: How to Stop the Robot Apocalypse: Put Your Site to Work! will be a combination of information, history, practical application and, hopefully, some humor. By marrying my experience in graphic design, research, advertising, marketing and WordPress, we’ll cover methods and reasons that drive people to engage. The end goal is to give folks information on how to keep their sites busy generating leads with words, images and plugins.
Q: Who should attend your talk (beginner developer, intermediate content provider, advanced designer, etc)?
A: Beginning to intermediate designers and site managers.
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!