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WordCamp Riverside Recap: Three’s a magic number

Giving back by presenting to a great WordPress Community

Although a 100-mile drive from the northern valleys of LA County from Santa Clarita southeast to SolarMax for WordCamp Riverside 2019, it was well worth it. Most importantly, supporting Lead Organizer Joshua Knappe, his team, and the other Southern California WordCamps is key. As I took the stage in the Arts track, my third annual visit was magical.

Good things happening to good people

Back in 2014, Verious Smith III introduced himself as he sat at the table during lunch at WordCamp Los Angeles. Outgoing, uber-confident, and Texas-friendly (a Houston native), he easily moved around our conversation, dropping in his desire to host a WordCamp, now in its third year, in the Inland Empire.

A unique venue for a WordCamp

Those new to this WordCamp will be pleasantly surprised by its location. Freeway close (always a plus), WordCamp Riverside is held at SolarMax Technologies, not the typical university campus or convention hall. Clean, well laid out and organized, attendees flow from high to low as you descend from the registration area down into the sponsor, green room, snack areas. Two rooms for the presentations are located at the far end of the building.

Searching for my niche

Our team at Metro Los Angeles is in the midst of change, losing our lead developer and under the leadership of a new director. Part of my new responsibilities is to handle our in-house Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. In addition to certification, teaching others through the lessons I’m learning to our Community as we incorporate best practices. Giving back to WordPress allows address both.

My Saturday’s highlights

With so many great topics happening, I ‘starred’ the choices to send myself a note as a reminder. My presentation was part of a block of SEO with:

  • Sean Conklin – I Dream of WooCommerce. Meetup and WordCamp Santa Clarita organizer shared lots of when using WooCommerce
  • Brian Jensen – Improve Your WordPress SEO Performance With Google Search Console. Fast-paced and chock full of valuable info. Note to self: grab the slides and review the video;
  • Candice Gilliatt – Discover How You Can Leverage Yoast to Achieve Massive Results for Your Clients Even if You Don’t Have a Lick of SEO Knowledge. Yoast is a great tool for teams to incorporate into the process;
  • Sumner Davenport – Remediation of a WordPress Site. One of my favorite speakers, she brings the legal and conceptual balance on a very important but often neglected topic, accessibility; and
  • Hallway Track, Sponsor Area, and After Party. Held at Lake Alice Trading Company in the center of town. Another great opportunity to network with attendees.

Start your engines

I’m excited to return to WordCamp Riverside again next year. Best wishes to you and your loved ones this holiday season. Up next, our WordPress Community event next spring, WordCamp Santa Clarita.

WordCamp Santa Clarita logo; coming spring break 2020.
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Joe A. Simpson, Jr.

Front-end web developer/web designer at LACMTA (Metro Los Angeles). Manages Metro's WordPress Network of blogs including the Source, Metro Developer and Metro Primary Resources. Avid WordCamper and budding theme/plug- in wrangler.

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