Today we’re talking to Adam Silver! Adam teaches a WP101 course at the local adult school (Redondo Beach, CA) presents a monthly WordPress seminar at SBDC, runs the SouthBay WordPress Meetup & produces a weekly podcast over at kitchensinkwp.com. In his spare time he hangs out with his wickedly cool 3 kids & wife, and makes some really bad puns, since someone has to.
Why do you use WordPress?
I use WordPress for the reason that it makes sense to me. Not that HTML didn’t make sense, but as the (web) technology changed, flat websites fell out of favor.
The ability to customize your site via themes and plugins is amazing and the community behind it shows the potential for even more growth.
When and how did you start using WordPress?
I started using WordPress in late 2008 early 2009 after a very brief stint using… Joomla. A few weeks attending some group therapy really helped me get over that low point in my life. I needed to revamp photography website which was done in HTML, and it was WordPress all the way.
What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?
The WordPress / WordCamp community is very welcoming. Though it can feel like you are an outsider being new, but that will change very quickly.
Additionally, WordCamps are a great way to jump into WordPress, for a very low investment in time & money. A single weekend for $40 or less, and you will meet tons of new people, learn lots, perhaps even be overwhelmed.. and that’s a good thing! Trust me. Some of my closest friends these days were met at WordCamps.
Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.
Couple of things really — participating in panel discussions about business and marketing was fairly cool.
Also, recently I was walking around between sessions during a WordCamp talking to someone and I heard from someone walking by “are you Adam Silver”, I said, yes, and they said, “I recognized your voice from the podcast”. That was pretty cool!
Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.
Most recently I had to figure out the overall workflow for when someone signed-up for ConciergeWP.com. Main issue initially was what kind of site is it? Membership? Non membership? And if so, what are customer getting access too? Turns out it’s not a membership site, rather a service based site. So then configuring Gravity Forms to work with Stripe and the packages and coupons and having the correct information present took some time to figure out. Not “hard” per say, just took longer then I thought compared to the front end design.
What is your favorite part of WordCamps?
Reconnecting with friends that I don’t see in person on a regular basis. Also giving help to those just starting out. I was a beginner once as well, and it was shocking to see how willing people were to just help each other out. I love giving back where I can.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
Launch sooner then you think. There is no perfect website — it will always be in need of something else. I took 4 weeks looking and trying out pricing tables for site I launched and in the end, I lost momentum.
Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.
I’m fairly fast — i.e. I run a few days a week at my local track, and I do sprint work ever 3 or 4 runs. One day a buddy of mine who used to run with me noticed my sprint work and suggested to time me.
So – we went to the high school field and I ran the 40 in 4.8. I’ll take it!
[For the record, I didn’t go all out for at my age no reason to pull a hammy]
Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.
“Only one? I’ll go with Cory Miller from iThemes. His story resonates with many people (including me) and he is doing the best he can with the circumstances he is given.”
(EDITORS NOTE: I’m assuming if the option was two the second person would by Ross Johnson)
What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?
Perhaps getting to interview Matt (Mullenweg) for my podcast earlier this year. I met him at WC San Francisco, asked and he said yes. I was a little nervous, but feel the interview went really well.
How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?
After attending my first WordCamp, I was hooked! I also new that I wanted to be a speaker at some future WordCamp as well as help anyway I could. A few years later, I am doing just that and I love it.
Nobody knows everything, but together we can help overcome any obstacle.
From a business perspective, attending has introduced me to so many new people, who get to know and trust me. Trust is a key element in attracting work.
Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.
“are afraid of meeting new people or want an introduction to someone,
— I say this since I’m not that shy(!) and not much embarrasses me anymore. I’m more then happy to introduce you to people in a fun and loving way. ”
What is your favorite WordPress related resource?
“Again, only 1? Not possible..
My friends Jeff over at WP Tavern does a rock solid job of sharing news, as does my friend Dustin at Your Website Engineer. Additionally, WP Watercooler, and WP Roundtable for live google hangouts.”