Post Event Report: WordCamp for Publishers

I love it. Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago… Chicago….

Frank Sinatra said it best. Chicago is magic. You know you are in an urban environment yet you can feel the history created by the city. Shayda Torabi, our Director of Marketing, and I traveled to the windy city to attend WordCamp for Publishers, August 8th-10th. This was the first opportunity that Shayda and I had to present together at a WordCamp. And since the event was designed for “…folks who use WordPress to manage publications, big or small,” and to empower “…participants by coaching them on best practices, and encourage collaboration in building open source tools for publishers,” our talk focused on finding ways to minimize the amount of tools editors would need when creating content in WordPress. We titled it “How to Stop Editing in Google Docs (and Other Tidbits to Help You Find the Right Editorial Workflow).”

A phot of Jodie Riccelli and Shayda Torabi at WordCamp for Publishers in Chicago.
Director of Client Strategy, Jodie Riccelli and Shayda Torabi, Director of Marketing, at WordCamp for Publishers in Chicago.

We all know how beneficial the open web is and how the byproducts of that are the many benefits of building your website on WordPress. You own your content. You have endless plugins to extend your site. Plus, it’s adopted by 30.7% of the web! However, we spend so much time talking about what your site should look like, and not a lot about how it will function for your team of editors, writers, and producers.

Efficiency is something we all strive for, and thankfully, we’ve learned a thing or two about that from our experiences of building websites for media clients and publishers of all shapes and sizes. And we’ve learned, that as a publisher, you want to enable your writers and editors to work as efficiently as possible.

If you are lost in a sea of endless tools organizing your editorial content while trying to adhere to your editorial workflow, then this talk is for you. Learn how to use WordPress to consolidate your workflow into one efficient, organized space. Watch it below.

Following our presentation, it was immediately evident that is sparked some great conversation on social media. Minimizing the number of editing tools is a real challenge for media companies and publications. A perfect solution does not exist yet, but we are working on it.

The lineup of speakers ranged from agency owners to publishers themselves. Topics included accessibility, paywalls, security, speed and more. As with any WordCamp, many sponsors also attended. One even had a wall of donuts. That is what I call brilliant marketing.

The organizers of WordCamp for Publishers deserve applause. They put together a wonderful event and included amazing activities for the speakers, sponsors, and attendees. My favorite was the Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour, which was a lovely boat ride down the Chicago River, learning about the various buildings and the backbone of center city Chicago.

WordPress has a bright future in publishing. Still the leading CMS, capturing over 30% of the market, WordPress remains a leader in content management. It’s used by publications such as TechCrunch, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and artists like Beyonce. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future of WordPress holds with the release of Gutenberg, but I have no doubt that it will always be a force within the publishing world.


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