Of Harare WordCamp 2018

Of WordCamp Harare 2018 

WordCamp Harare

In a few days theWordPress local community of Harare brings you the 2018 WordCamp Harare. 23-24 November 2018

wordcamp harae 2018 Zimbabwe

A WordCamp is a conference organized to host WordPress practitioners ranging from the occasional blogger to digital experts and those curious about dipping their toes in the interwebs.

If you are reading this post (which is on a blog powered by WordPress and you have website or blog which runs on WordPress) you should be asking yourself why you aren’t attending a WordCamp near you; look them up.

This will be the third WordCamp to be held in Harare and its growing bigger and better; now it’s a two day event including a contributor’s day and even a junior workshop.

The highlight of WordCamp is presentations from volunteer speakers who are simply ordinary WordPressers such as you, sharing on topics they are passionate about, you can have a look at the speaker line up here and the schedule here

The first WordCamp I attended changed my life and I was inspired to apply to be a speaker at the next one, and this year guess what; I know one or two people who were inspired by my presentation that they too have decided to step up.

On contributor’s day you can actively contribute to the WordPress Community by working on the following activities:

  • Translation of WordPress into Shona
  • Add subtitles to videos from previous WordCamps
  • Gutenberg testing
  • Community planning for 2019

Did I mention The WordCamp Juniors Workshop, so for the 9 and 15 range here’s bootcamp for them to learn to express themselves in blogs and also a foundation they can build on to be expert users of the WordPress platform. Its for free too but the are limited places only 20 available seats and when I last checked there were only 7 left so register quickly click here!!

WordCamp Kids workshop kidcamp Zimbabwe

Have you ever been to a WordCamp do share your thoughts? Will you be there??? Cause I will and yeah I am speaker too and I will be speaking on how A Blog Means Community ^_^

~B

PS Oh yeah and there’s an after party!!!! Be there and get the TShirt ^_^

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Of A Website Being A Conversation

A website is a conversation

A Website is a conversation

Well if Code Is Poetry……Then A Website is A conversation.

I am a story-teller I come from a line of story-tellers  its in my blood we used to sit round a fire and tell stories and now, we gather round our devices in this digital age stories are immortalized on the pages of the internet, I start digital fires.

Screenshot (53)

A Website just like a good story, tells not just a story but it’s a conversation; it captures the mind, it engages your audience and they ask those four words every story-teller loves to here…. And Then what happened next.

So you have a website its perfect everything is on fleek. The design is flawless, the seo is optimized so is the device compatibility….

Screenshot (54)

And then what happens next? What comes after:

Screenshot (56).png

The internet is where websites go to die, buried in the digital grave of the information superhighway… Here is how you keep it alive:

  • Keep it up to date

Screenshot (57)

Have you ever visited a website only to find that content on it is all outdated?  Everything was uploaded and edited probably on the day the site went live and then never again. You scroll along, nothing new to see here, and they just lost a reader or client or potential stream of revenue.

  • Consistent content

Content is king

Schedule a content calendar, so you always know what and when you are posting.

Social media has changed the way websites are treated. Your site must be RELEVANT and  RESONATE with the audience and is also CURRENT.

relevant

*Cant find a word for current or up to date that begins with R

Whats worse than a site that is irrelevant and does not resonate with an audience …. Well I would have say one where you cant find the contact details. Maybe removed because they don’t want emails flooding inbox telling them how out of touch the site is…..

  • Contact Details

contact details

Contact details should be easy to find. If you include an email address, make sure it’s a working email address,  and please respond to your emails, you might want to even keep an eye on your spam folders too.

  • Interaction

Like I said a website is a conversation, and a conversation means you are not just talking to or talking at but you a talking with someone.

A website is a conversation

Make it easy to engage with you. Don’t add sign up procedures that require one to create an account and chant incantations on a full moon night, maybe howl a little, then verify they are human by making a small sacrifice……

A website is a conversation, engage with your audience if you get an email, reply, if you get a comment reply to it. You might want to have links to your social media visible on your website and likewise your social media pages points to your Website.

Interact

I visit a lot of websites, blogs mainly, the ones I keep going back to are the ones where I feel my presence is appreciated and will probably respond to the call to action from them, than have you ever read a post on a website and then left what you felt was a comment that needed a response and the site owners just ignored you… its like a blue tick message on Whatsapp.  And chances of me coming back or subscribing…. low

Here is protip for bloggers who want to build their readership, its ridiculously easy….When a fellow blogger reads and comments, go to their site and read and comment some of theirs. Read other blogs go out there and find them, read to see how other people write or interact with their audience, and read to find out how to not write, if you go to a website and find things about it that you don’t like then you learn to not do that on yours……..

  • Be classy

Make sure that your call to action is not over powering. You click on a website and the first thing that fills the screen is this:

Call to action

A large pop up window covering everything else, telling you to subscribe to the newsletter….. why should I subscribe when I don’t even know what you are about, I don’t want you in my emails I don’t know you like that, the conversation hasn’t even started……

I might probably close the page entirely without proceeding further, I really might and my chances of subscribing if I do proceed are slim…..On my tiny screen its easier to close the site entirely than to try and press the x to close the pop up window.

A Website is a conversation….. what does yours say?

~B

This was part of my presentation at the WordCamp Harare 2017 you can find my presentation slides here: A website is conversation 

 

 

 

 

Of coffee and WordPress at 15

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that WordPress turns 15 today initial release date 27 May 2003. How about that!

WordPress 15th anniversary

The Harare WordPress community celebrated it by having a social meet-up and because who needs a reason to have cake and balloons and swag

WordPress 15 ballon

WordPress 15 cake

Here are a few fun facts about WordPress. WordPress started as a blogging platform b2/cafelog and evolved into the open source Content Management System (CMS) we now know. As of April 2018 30.9% of the internet is powered by WordPress.

WordPress statistics

Stats from w3techs.com

WordPress.org allows you to build, design and customize your own self-hosted website without needing you to be Tech-savvy (especially with their famous 5 minute installation) it’s almost as easy as creating a blog even the dashboards are same like similar to the ones on WordPress.com but you would then have to worry more about finding a hosting company and managing your plugins and search engine optimization (SEO)

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com tricky question each has its own merits and limitations but I prefer WordPress.com especially if you upgrade to the premium packages you get almost the same merits as self-hosting such as installing plugins and and Google Analytics, monetizing through GoogleAdsense and WordAdsWordAds

Did you know the founders of WordPress are huge jazz fans and all the main version releases are named after jazz musicians and when you install WordPress a pre-installed  plugin does nothing other than displays lyrics from Louis Armstrong’s Hello Dolly.

hello Dolly

hello dolly text

The default avatar which appears when someone without a profile picture comments on WordPress article is called the Mystery Man.

Mystery Man

Mystery Man

wordpress logo

And the font the font used in W logo WordPress has a name it’s called Mrs Eaves (named after Sarah Eaves, who was the live-in housekeeper for John Baskerville a printer and typeface designer from the 1700s, eventually becoming his wife, after the death of her first husband, Mr. Eaves.)

Did you know the catchphrase for WordPress.org is code is poetry well
I am no coder, code looks like gibberish to me but I appreciate the poetry in art well-crafted, one man’s poetry is another man’s gibberish think Lewis Carrol’s nonsense verse Beware The Jabberwock

beware the jabberwock

“We are much better at writing code than haiku.”

—Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you these little nuggets of information I know them now because we had a WordPress quiz and at the time I couldn’t answer a single question but now well I feel like a walking encyclopedia. Did you know the first WordCamp happened in 2006 San Francisco but since then over 507 WordCamps have been held in over 207 cities in 48 different countries around the world (Zimbabwe included)

Check this out Harare will be having it’s 3rd WordCamp this year whoop whoop. If you don’t know what a WordCamp is check out this link WordCamp harare 2017
I was a speaker at the last wordcamp and this year who knows……..

If you were having coffee I would say cheers to WordPress empowering hitherto unheard voices

Happy Anniversary WordPress

~B

photoCredit Hello Darling Plugin wpbeginner.com

Of Coffee On The Last Day Of The Year

 

If you were having coffee with me, I would say goodnight 2017 Asante Sana! (That’s Swahili for Thank you very much)

I am pleased to announce that I smashed the resolutions I made earlier in the year, whoop whoop!

  • First being to interact with more bloggers; recently celebrated having a 1000+ followers I must be doing something right….. Salute!!!
  • I now run a blogging network alongside 4 other bloggers from different corners of the African continent; you can find us on twitter as Afrobloggers
  • I am also part of the team behind BloggersZim and we will be bringing you ZimBlogging Awards….
  • And the wonderful community of the BlogIndaba, a bloggers coterie (mostly Zimbabwean bloggers)
  • I was a speaker for the first ever at a WordCamp and my presentation was titled a Website is a conversation 

Beaton Mabaso WordCamp Harare

A website is a conversation

  • Man’s International check the statistics

Becoming The Muse

Hello 2018

What do you have planned for us? Bigger and better things.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that this the first year without Mugabe at its helm, we are all curious to see which direction the interim president will steer us, or will history as they say repeat itself…….

How long after Christmas can you start taking down the Christmas tree and decorations, I am eyeing it for firewood for the net barbecue…

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that some get snow for Christmas and we get, rain, it rains every Christmas and still every Christmas we make plans to hold a barbecue….

rain christmas tree harare

Christmas in the rain

 

Tradition I guess and I love to say its because my totem is fire, that’s how we honour our ancestors they invented fire after all (if you want to read more on this curious story click here)

Smokey grill

If you are having coffee with me I would introduce a cousin, Munyaradzi on his first visit to Zimbabwe from the UK;

Munya

What better way to welcome someone than a cake with a flag on it

Welcome to Zim cake

Welcome to Zim

I am super curious on how his experience has been in his own words and so expect a guest post coming up…… this means you cant wiggle out now Munya the internet awaits your tale…..

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you to have a great year ahead…..

~B

 

PS Hayley won an award in the Zimbabwe Models Award (she features in a guest chat on a previous post Coffee with Hayley) Congrats Hayley

Becoming the muse coffee with Hayley

Zim Models Awards Best plus size Hayley Ann Carstens

and my best moment in 2017, my sister’s wedding:

Meet the fam

Mom and Sons

Of A WordCamp Over Coffee

If you were having coffee with me…..

beaton Mabaso Wordcamp

I would tell you of my amazing time at the WordCamp Conference Harare 2017. I was one of the speakers alongside a number experts, I guess that makes me an expert too… you know what they say ecological species of the avian variety with the same plumage congregate in the same perimeter.

Birds of a feather

birds of a feather

This year the WordCamp was bigger and better than last year, the tickets sold out,  a local company ZOL Fibroniks was a gold sponsor; the future looks bright, hello 2018 looking promising……

One of the best things about a WordCamp is meeting the community networking and making new friends, its inspiring seeing people representing their grind, opportunities everywhere……

WordCamp Harare

If you were having coffee with me, I would give you a quick rundown on my favourite presentations:

 came all the way from German and spoke on Fast Websites and how to make them.

caspar hubinger wordcamp harare fast websites

He made an interesting observation of how in the Zimbabwe context basically “The Internet” basically means social media, Facebook, Twitter…because of the way internet operators bundle subscription packages offering only social media….

The bottom line is If you really want to make your website fast build a fast website, Load optimized your media.

Trust Nhokoyedzo’s presentation on Getting your Value was an eye opening talk on how to get value for your brand.

Trust nhokovedzo wordcamp harare

Some aspects of his talk were similar to my topic just not in the same words. Trust’s talk from last year’s WordCamp is one of the things that made me up my game and a contributing factors to my being part of this year’s speaker line up. When you have knowledge share it and you become an expert……

trust nhokovedzo beaton mabaso

Sizo Sinyolo’s talk touched on women in tech, she was also the only female speaker, (This year there would have been two but Alice had an unfortunate mishap and could not make the event but she send her love from across the globe) Last year you could count the female wordcamp attendees on the fingers of one hand but this year, this year so many more……….

Sizo

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you about My topic titled “A Website is A conversation

Beaton Mabaso WordCamp Harare

A website is a conversation

Basically I was sharing on how from my experience as a storyteller; you must remember that at the other end of the screen is another human being, just like you, your site must reach out, make them pay attention make them not just subscribers or clients but your friends, make them have a reason to come back and ask “…..and then What happens next”

what happens next

And the story continues….

The internet where websites die

 

Ngoni asked me a question about how I manage to keep my blog running…..

Question segment

You see when you do what you love, you find the time, you make the time to do it;

A round of applause for everyone that made this WordCamp

WordCamp Harare Speakers, volunteers organisers The TEAM

If you were having coffee with, I would tell you that I uploaded the slides from my presentation and you can find them here, contact me if you want me to explain what they mean, I am the story, and the story is me every day I tell a little bit more about it…..

~B

 

PS and of course….. all work and no play……… After Party!!!!

wordcamp harare after party

Wordcamp Harare after party

 

 

You can find some of the conversation on this hastag on twtter #WCHRE

Caspar thank you, for the pics More Can be seen Here  I apologise I only have a grainy one of you but that is what happens when you are taking photos you wont have any of yours

Wordcamp Harare after party

Of A WordPress WordCamp

 

The WordPress local community helps host monthly meetups which culminate into a WordCamp annual event, in countries across the globe. The WordCamp event is gaining ground in Africa, its been held in the following African countries and their respective cities: South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town); Kenya (Nairobi), Zimbabwe(Harare).

What is A WordCamp?

Have you ever heard of one, a WordCamp? I was not aware of them until late 2016, when I came across a link on my twitter feed. It was an invitation to attend the first Wordcamp held in Zimbabwe; Harare.  I searched it up on the internet and I was instantly fascinated.

A WordCamp, is a local WordPress Conference for people from all walks of WordPress. The event is usually scheduled into various Speaker Sessions with interactive question and answer segments at the end of each session.

Who and why should you attend?

The WordCamp conference caters for everyone, from web developers, designers and various professionals to even the occasional blogger…..you get to learn first hand from real people talking about the things they are doing, things you are doing or thinking of doing too…..

There is always something for everyone.

Even outside of the Speaker Sessions, the networking opportunities are priceless, you really never know who you will meet there, or what inspiring idea you will pick up.

And there is always Swag, you can truly say I been there I done that, I got the T-shirt……..

beaton Wordcamp harare 2016 tshirt

Also There Is AN After Party!!! You know what they say about All  work and no play. WordCamps usually conclude with an after party……..

My Experience at one

It was an awesome fun-filled event filled with lots of learning…. you can read my highlights from WordCamp Harare 2016 here

If you get a chance to attend one, do!!!

When and where?

Cape Town, South Africa; The River Club 22-23 0ctober 2017 #WCCT2017

Harare, Zimbabwe; Hellenic Academy 4 November 2017  WordCampHarare2017

Nairobi, Kenya; Michael Joseph Center 4-5 November WordCampNairobi2017

~B

PS If you are attending WordCamp Harare; you just might see me there.

A few pics from WordCamp Harare 2016

WordCamp Harare 2016

 

WordCamp Harare 2016

 

 

Of Coffee and WordCamps

code-is-poetry

If you were having coffee with me I would say compliments of the season has the festive fever gripped you yet? In my neck of the woods, it’s been a bit low to start  I guess the low disposable income and the crazy circus that is our economy doing a downward spiral which sounds like a fun ride at the amusement park, only that it isnt; it means we have to brace for a trying 2017.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you sent any Christmas cards this year. I did not, so I guess I will not be waiting up on the postman to bring me anything, oh maybe someone can surprise me…. *hint hint*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I attended my very first WordCamp which was also the first time such an event was hosted in Harare; Zimbabwe. The fourth to be held in Africa this year, others having been held in Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

wce.jpg

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if you ever have a chance to attend one of these, WordCamps, DO!  There is something for all WordPress users from web developers, designers to even the occasional blogger. It’s quite the experience and you will absolutely not leave empty headed not to mention great networking and  a chance to meet up with people whom you might already know but only digitally, and the after-party of course

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you, how slightly apprehensive I was at going; thinking it might be all technical about code, command lines and java scripts and I would be out of my depth, drowning in open source lingo. I was greatly impressed by Sizo who did a presentation of how she built a Website in a little under 24 hours after she had, we wont say lied as such; lets just say maybe say exaggerated her Website building skills to her potential employer during an interview and when she got hired one of her first tasks was to create a website for the company, and she did….

Sizo-Sinyolo-WordCamp.jpg

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you whether the abbreviation SEO means anything to you. I always thought it was fancy speak understood by only by tech gurus. I learnt during a presentation by Trust from Calmlock about Search Engine Optimizations; how if you have an online presence or website and Google cannot find you, you might as well as not exist, so you use SEO to maximise your visibility and he definitely knew what he was on about, because  if you Google: SEO Zimbabwe, his company appears at 2nd position of Google search results.

Have you ever Googled your blog or website are you on the first page of Google? Fortunately if you blog on WordPress.com it does this for you and you get to focus on doing the things you like to do, I am guessing that’s writing.

I also met a Happiness Engineer from WordPress, these are those friendly almost imaginary people who give you help and support on WordPress forums. It seems like a fun place to work and I would not mind being one of those, not to mention I have always been unofficially been helping  out my fellow bloggers with their WordPress features so yeah…. if anyone from Automattic is reading this *looks at you pointedly* does this count favourably towards my application?.

some pics from the day

IMG-20161213-WA0026.jpg

WordCamp Harare 2016

Thanks for dropping by, and so come visit again

season’s greetings

~B

PS if you ever been to a WordCamp or meetup do share would love to here your stories and is there such a an event but strictly for the bloggosphere kinda like a meet-a-blogger bash or something …

 

Photocredits: Techzim Job Thomas