All posts by Dustin Filippini

Hackathon Participant, My Sista’s KeepHer, looking for ongoing support

Over the WordCampweekend, WordCamp Milwaukee did our first Charity Hackathon session wherein the goal was to create, complete, and launch a website in one weekend for a local non-profit… and that we did!

All in all, the hackathon was a success with approximately 20+ WordCamp participants having joined together to create the website for My Sista’s KeepHer: The website launched at approximately noon on Sunday, July 27th.

My Sista’s KeepHer is extremely thankful to all who have supported their organization this weekend. Prior to this weekend, their only online presence was through social media, but now their workshop attendees, community supporters and donors have one place to start for all My Sista’s KeepHer information.

My Sista’s KeepHer is still learning WordPress and looking for someone willing to donate their time for ongoing support, or perhaps provide at a minimal fee. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Tina and Shelly at

Give Back and Help Out a Local Non-Profit at WCMKE

The spirit of WordCamps lie in the local community and the people who come together to learn and build things around WordPress together. To carry on this spirit of community, WordCamp Milwaukee, has added a new event for the 2014 camp. We wanted to find another way to give back to the Milwaukee community in general and decided a good way was to find a local non-profit, get as many WordCamp Attendees as possible in a room for a day, and build a free website!

First, I’d like to introduce the non-profit we will be working with. We reached out to members of the Milwaukee community to find a non-profit in need of some web help which was also really making a difference in Milwaukee. We are very pleased to have found My Sista’s KeepHer. Shelly Davis and Tina Nixon lead this amazing program that is out to help young women and girls in Milwaukee love themselves.

In their own words, they describe My Sista’s KeepHer:

My Sista’s KeepHer was created to inspire and encourage young girls to love themselves and each other through the art of self expression. This is accomplished through weekly workshops which involve writing exercises, open forum expression, and positive interaction in a group setting. It is led by National Poets Tina ‘Ms. Jazzi’ Nixon and Shelly Davis. We use writing, with poetry as the foundation, to foster self expression. We believe “When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” ― Iyanla Vanzant

During the school year we facilitate 4-6 week workshops at various schools. Our motto is once a part of My Sista’s KeepHer, always a part of My Sista’s KeepHer. To stay true to that we do 3 aftercare incentive programs, annually. The Dream Big Spa Day is a one day event focused on building self awareness and self esteem. The purpose is to encourage self worth by providing a variety of spa services for the purpose of improving health, well-being, beauty and relaxation. The Mother & Daughter Pajama Party is a 2-3 day event where we nurture the first relationship known to us, that between mother and child. The purpose is to restore, strengthen and promote healthy mother daughter relationships. And last but certainly not least we close out the year with our F.I.R.E AWARDS (Females in Recognition of Excellence). This is a celebration that bridges the gap between the youth we work with and the elders in the community. We will honor 6 women in the community & 6 students. This event promotes unity, self expression and restores power to the youth.

On Friday, July 25th, starting at 8:00am all WordCamp Milwaukee attendees are invited to get together to begin building a website for this amazing group. We are looking for people from all areas of the web to join in and help out including designers, developers, content creators, and more. Come meet at the WordCamp venue, the UWM School of Continuing Education, early on Friday morning. We will begin shortly after the Workshops start and will also be moving down to the Bucketworks co-working space on the second floor of the Grand Avenue Mall Plankinton Building later in the day.

Our goal, is to by the end of the day have a functioning website where My Sista’s KeepHer can blog their latest news, feature information to help young women, show upcoming events, and let people know how they can help their cause. The Charity Hackathon is being led by Kara Buffardi of 10up. Show up on Friday or email if you need more information and we will put you in touch with Kara so you too can help make a difference in Milwaukee.

Important Attendee Information for WCMKE

The following has also been sent as an email to all attendees

We are just a few days away from WordCamp Milwaukee! Here is some information to help you navigate your way around the event.

The first thing we want you to remember is that WordCamp isn’t your typical business conference. We like to have fun and look to provide a relaxed atmosphere. We don’t want to see you in any business attire, most attendees will probably be wearing t-shirts and shorts (It’s July and it’s hot!). You will also find a bunch of fun extras here that you wouldn’t expect to see in your typical “Conference”.
Are you ready yet?
It’s not long to go now until WordCamp MKE and we hope you are ready for a weekend of fun and learning! If you didn’t spot it, the full schedule for WordCamp MKE has now been published.

Pre-WordCamp Meetup

If you are in town on Thursday, we invite you out to our normal monthly meetup. This month we are having it on a special day to lead into WordCamp MIlwaukee. At 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 24, we will be meeting at our normal Location, C2 Graphics (, at 222 E Erie St, Suite 330, Milwaukee, WI.

This is just south of our venue and within walking distance to downtown hotels and the venue. We will be having a meet & greet and a “Help a Friend” session where we can ask questions and help each other out with our WordPress problems. It will be a relaxed session concentrating on allowing everyone to get to know each other before the weekend.

Pizza and beverages will be available thanks to C2 Graphics. There is free street parking in the area after 6:00 PM and multiple parking garages in the area. A ticket to WordCamp is not needed to attend the meetup, but we do ask you to join our Meetup group and RSVP here: []

Parking & Directions

WordCamp Milwaukee will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. This is located on the 7th Floor of the Plankinton Building of the Grand Avenue mall in Downtown Milwaukee above the TJ Maxx Store. The address is 161 W Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 6000, Milwaukee, WI.

Ample parking is available in the Grand Avenue Mall Parking Structure on Plankinton Avenue and Michigan Street. Parking for attendees will cost $6 per day. There are also various other parking structures and metered street parking available in the area. Additional parking and venue details can be found here.

If arriving from the parking structure, enter the Plankinton Building/Grand Avenue Mall and cross the Rotunda to the elevators on the north side of the building (closest to Wisconsin Avenue). Take the elevators to the seventh floor.


We will have a full slate of presentations scheduled on varying WordPress topics with four different tracks going throughout the day. When you arrive, please check-in at the registration desk where you will receive your badge. You do not need to print any tickets to gain admission. We will be checking you in with our registration database at the event.

You will receive badges at check-in. These badges will have some valuable information inside including the schedule, map of the venue, and will be used for admission to the After-Party.

If you are in need of any assistance at the event, visit the registration desk or find one of the volunteers in a green shirt. If they can not answer your question, they will direct you to the organizing team for help.

Friday – Check-in begins at 7:30 AM and workshops begin at 8:00am.
Saturday – Check-in begins at 8:00 AM, Opening Remarks start at 9AM, and sessions start at 9:30
Sunday – Check-in begins at 9:00 AM and sessions start at 9:30AM.


We will be serving coffee, water, and some snacks throughout the day. Lunch will be provided at noon on Friday and at 12:30 on Saturday/Sunday. There will be vegetarian options available and we will try to accommodate other requests based on health needs.

After-Party Networking Social

The event After-Party Networking Social will begin at 6:00 p.m Saturday, July 26 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in the Monarch Lounge (

This is a great place to get to know the speakers and other attendees even better. There will be appetizers and light fare available as well as a cash bar. Miller/Coors will also be in attendance providing samples of some of their newest products.

The after-party is about a 6-minute walk from the venue and close to all downtown all hotels. After-party attendees are welcome to remain at the adjacent Miller Time Pub for further networking following the party. The address of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center is 509 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI. Be sure to bring your event badge to the party, as this is the only way you will gain entrance.

General Admission Tickets

If you purchased one of our General Admission tickets, you are entitled to attending all events on Saturday and Sunday including our After-Party Networking Event. You are also welcome to help out in our Charity Hackathon on Friday. If your ticket only says General Admission, you can not attend one of our Foundation Friday Workshops. More information on our General Sessions can be found in the What to Expect Section below.

Foundation Friday Workshops

If you purchased one of our Foundation Friday Workshops and your ticket says the name of your workshop + General Admission, you are entitled to attend all events on Saturday/Sunday plus the workshop you signed up for on Friday. These workshops are limited in attendees so we can offer a more personal learning environment. Because of this, we can not allow people to hop between workshops or change workshops on the day of the event.

We will be serving coffee, water, and snacks in the morning and a lunch at noon. All rooms will have chairs and tables for the attendees. We suggest that you bring a laptop with, so you can follow along, as portions of the workshop will be interactive. Power outlets are available in the rooms, but may be limited. We will try to provide power to as many people as possible on Friday.

Saturday/Sunday Sessions

Sessions are 45 minutes long (including Q&A) with 15 minute breaks in between.
The “Law of Two Feet” prevails. If you are not getting what you would like from a session, go to a different one or head to the happiness bar or chat in the hallway.
You may want to think about skipping a session or two. It’s totally okay! Sometimes the best thing you can do is chat with someone in the hallway or at the Happiness Bar. 🙂

Charity Hackathon

On Friday, during the day of the event, we will be working with a local non-profit organization to build a brand new website for their cause. This year, we are working with My Sista’s KeepHer, who will be in attendance to work along with attendees to create a website in one day. This activity is open to all attendees, so we would love for you to come out and attend. Just come to the venue during the day on Friday and we will direct you to the Hackathon to help out. We will begin work shortly after the day starts at 8:00 am and continue through the day. Work may be done at both the UWM SoCE and the Bucketworks Co-working Space on the second floor of the building. A profile of the non-profit and what we want to accomplish will be posted prior to the event.

Happiness Bar

The Happiness Bar will be open Saturday/Sunday where many WordPress experts can help you with your questions. Be sure to take some time to talk to these volunteers and see if they can help out with your website problem or just give you a better idea of how WordPress works.


Most volunteers and organizers will be wearing green shirts. Organizers are indicated on their badges. Please flag one of these people down if you are in need of any help. You can also visit the registration table for help during the event. If one of the volunteers can not answer your question, they will be able to direct you to one of the organizers who can.


Sponsors will be in attendance and have tables with swag and product information and many will be giving presentations at the event. Please take some time to say hi to them and thank them for sponsoring the event. Without their generosity, we would not be able to have this event.

WiFi and Technology

WiFi will be available at the venue. Connection information will be posted at the venue and in each session room. You are encouraged to bring a laptop to the event to take notes and work along with the presenters. There will be tables in the rooms for the Friday Workshops, but due to the number of attendees in every room on Saturday/Sunday we will not be able to have tables. Power will be limited in each room, so be sure to charge your battery beforehand.

Code of Conduct

Please be sure to review our code of conduct. We want to provide a welcoming environment for all people. This code applies to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. If you are found to violate this, you may be asked to leave the event. View the code of conduct here:

WordCamp Milwaukee Schedule is Out!

You may noticed or you may not have… but, we have quietly released the WordCamp Milwaukee schedule on our website. We have been waiting on finalizing some details before doing an official announcement and now we have things in place so we are shouting it out to the world! Please share, because we have a pretty amazing schedule this year!

We have topics for everyone from advanced development, beginner development, design, community, security, marketing, project management, and using WordPress. We have topics on converting leads on your website, using CSS preprocessors, finding the best web host, how non-profits can use WordPress, monetizing your blog, JavaScript, creating content, usability, UX, and so much more! All of these are being put on by top-notch speakers, many within our own Wisconsin community, but also some experts that have traveled from around the country (or the world, we have one WordPress developer from Australia!).

Be sure to take a look at our schedule and to see who’s attending now!

View the Schedule!

Also be sure to check out some of the other fun things that will be happening over the weekend. WordCamp is more than just attending presentations. You can help build a website for a local non-profit in our Charity Hackathon. You can get help with your WordPress problems or discuss a new way to do something at the WordPress Happiness Bar. And you can also hang around in the lounge areas and get in on some of the best impromptu talks with other attendees, sponsors, and speakers and also participate in some other fun things we will have for your free time. When things are done on Saturday, don’t forget to come to the WordCamp After-Party. This social mixer is the place where the real networking happens. You can mingle and get to know the speakers and other attendees while enjoying a drink and snack at the nearby Miller Time Pub.

See Who’s Attending!

WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers: Round 2

The WordCamp Milwaukee Speaker application deadline has now come and gone. The organizing committee are hard at work shuffling through all of the amazing applications. We are overwhelmed with the quality of talks we have this year! I guarantee there is something for everyone and we have great talks from both local talent and nationally known speakers on WordPress, Web Design, Development, and more.

We will be announcing the full speaker list and our schedule within days, but we’ll just leave you with a little teaser today. Here are five more speakers to add to the WordCamp Milwaukee Lineup:

Chris Coyier

chriscoyierChris Coyier (@chriscoyier) is a front-end developer and is dedicated to helping people build better websites. He is the founder of the amazing site CSS-Tricks, where you can find info on pretty much anything to do with CSS and front-end development. He also hosts the popular ShopTalk Show podcast on front-end development and design, co-wrote the book “Digging into WordPress,” and co-founded the amazing front-end playground CodePen. Chris has spoke at events around the world and has written many articles on front-end design and development including for Smashing Magazine.

John James Jacoby

jjjJohn James Jacoby (@jjj) is the Director of Web Engineering for 10up and a lead developer on BuddyPress and bbPress. John formerly was a member of Automattic’s VIP, Dotorg, and Social teams and has been developing with WordPress for years. John speaks around the country at WordCamps and other events and loves teaching and volunteering his time to the community.

Rachel Baker

rachelbakerRachel Baker (@rachelbaker) is a Senior Strategic Engineer with 10up and an active member of the WordPress community. Rachel has lead development on WordPress projects of all sizes including high-traffic communities and for Fortune 500 Companies. She created the popular BootstrapWP Theme and has been instrumental in developing the new WordPress JSON REST API.

Ryan McCue

ryanmccueRyan McCue (@rmccue) is a Web Developer with HumanMade and a regular WordPress Core Contributor. Ryan lead the new WordPress JSON REST API project as part of the Google Summer of Code. Ryan is also in charge of the SimplePie RSS library included in WordPress core and used in many other PHP Applications on the web.

Michelle Schulp

michelleschulpMichelle Schulp (@marktimemedia) is a graphic designer, web designer, and WordPress specialist. Michelle has talked at WordCamps around the country imparting her knowledge to help others create better, more effective designs. Michelle is the lead organizer of WordCamp Chicago 2014 and does does web design for Modern Tribe and freelance projects.

WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers: Round 1

This year for WordCamp Milwaukee, we are going to roll out the announcement of our speakers starting today! We are excited about all the great submissions we’ve received this year from both local and national speakers. We are staring with a group of five great speakers that we’ve accepted. Don’t worry though, our speaker applications are still open for one more week if you are still interested in submitting a talk.

Amongst our first round of speakers we have one of the top WordPress authors, a security expert and podcast celebrity, a local PHP expert and organizer of the Milwaukee PHP Users Group, the founder of one of the top WordPress help sites, and even a Joomla! Core Developer! Yes, I said Joomla! We’re excited for this group of speakers and those we will be announcing in the coming days.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson

lisasabinwilsonLisa Sabin-Wilson (@lisasabinwilson) is a partner at WebDevStudios, one of the top WordPress agencies working with clients such as Microsoft, MSNBC, and Time. Lisa has multiple top-selling books on WordPress including the popular WordPress for Dummies. She is a very active member in the WordPress community contributing to the education of users, both new and advanced, about the platform through her travels and appearances at various WordCamps around the country.

Syed Balkhi

syedSyed Balkhi (@syedbalkhi) is the founder of WPBeginner. He is known for his aggressive marketing skills, creative designs, and expertise in SEO. Syed has been in the industry for over eight years, and he has worked with some of the top brands in the industry. He is known as “the WordPress Ninja” because he is a total WordPress Geek.

Dre Armeda

dreDre Armeda (@dremeda) is the CEO of the top security and monitoring company Sucuri, a web security expert, and half of the popular WordPress Podcast, the Dradcast. He is infatuated with WordPress, web design, and web security, is a Harley enthusiast, and loves tacos.

Michael Babker

michaelbabkerMichael Babker (@mbabker) is an active member of the Joomla! community, participating in the Bug Squad, contributing code to the CMS and Framework, and is a member of the Production Leadership Team. He specializes in optimizing performance in existing code, developing libraries and extensions to enhance Joomla’s code base, maintenance of Joomla’s CMS and Framework unit testing suites, and development of custom solutions for the Joomla CMS and Framework.

Joel Clermont

joelclermontJoel Clermont (@jclermont) is a PHP developer in the Milwaukee area, accomplished speaker, and organizer of the Milwaukee PHP User Group. Joel has spoke at TrueNorthPHP, ThatConference, and keynoted MidwestPHP in 2013 and has spoke at many other conferences and meetups.

Speaker Submissions Extended Until May 23!

Time is running out on submitting speaker applications to WordCamp Milwaukee! We know that many of you are procrastinating on submitting talks, so we decided we would give you one more week to get your talks submitted. Our new deadline for submitting to become a speaker at WordCamp Milwaukee is May 23!

We are thoroughly impressed by the quality of talks we have had submitted so far and it’s going to be a very difficult time putting together this year’s schedule. It’s shaping up to be the best WCMKE schedule yet. But, we want you to make it even more difficult by submitting some more of those awesome talks!

The extension doesn’t mean you have to procrastinate any more. Get your talk in today!
We are no longer seeking submissions.

Also, stay tuned because later today we will be announcing a first round of speakers from our deep pool of submissions!

Photo Credit: Moonrhino cc

Stay Tuned for Some Exciting News on WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers!

The WordCamp Milwaukee organizing committee has been thoroughly impressed with the speaker submissions we have been getting so far! We have some great talks submitted by some great speakers both local and from around the country. Our current plans are to keep Speaker Submissions Open Until Friday, May 15.

I know it’s going to be a hard time choosing from the great crew, but we want you to make it even harder. We would love to have just a few more speaker applications submitted. If you’ve been thinking about speaking at a tech conference, this is a great opportunity! We are looking for all types of speakers and especially love showing off our local talent. Remember, talks don’t need to be specifically on WordPress, just so they are of interest to WordPress users, developers, designers, or business owners.

Stay tuned, the exciting news is that later this week we will be announcing our first round of speakers! We have some pretty amazing ones to announce and are excited to be sharing this with everyone.

Photo Credit: teamstickergiant cc

WordCamp Milwaukee Tickets Now on Sale!

It’s time to start buying your tickets for WordCamp Milwaukee! Tickets just went on sale to the public and are expected to go fast! went fast!

WordCamp Milwaukee is back and is sure to have another great lineup! Of course, we will again be having our Saturday and Sunday presentations and are bringing back our Friday Workshops. We decided to improve the workshops immensely and will have tables for attendees and a more structured approach to what you will learn. You can select from the following workshops, all limited to 40 participants:

  • WordPress Blogger Basics
  • WordPress Site Management for Business Basics
  • WordPress Beginner Theme Development and Design
  • WordPress Beginner Plugin Development

Of course, you can also buy tickets just for the presentations too. All tickets will also allow you entrance to our Charity Hackathon and the after-party taking place on Saturday evening.

See Who’s Attending

WordCamp Milwaukee is Coming

WordCamp Milwaukee is back for it’s third year! WordCamp Milwaukee is July 25-27, 2014!

We are excited for a biggest and best WordCamp Milwaukee yet! This year we will be coming from a brand new venue in the middle of downtown Milwaukee surrounded by restaurants, hotels, shopping, and tons of fun. We are happy to be partnering with the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education and using their facility on the top floors of the Grand Avenue Mall. You can find more info about the location and venue online here.

We hope you like our new website! As you can see, this year we are bringing out the best of the dairy state with our theme and promotions. A huge thanks goes out to Lisa Dodd of Tuna Traffic for the beautiful design and Dustin Filippini of 10up for developing it into the WordCamp site.

Stay tuned! We will be opening speaker applications later today and opening ticket sales very soon. We look forward to seeing everyone again for WordCamp Milwaukee. Please let us know any ideas or feedback you have for us on our contact page.