Last weekend, my friend and colleague, Zandy Ring, and I spoke at WordCamp US in Nashville. Our topic was “Remote Control: Establishing Accountability and Expectations in a Distributed Environment.” Here is our blurb:
Those of us who collaborate on websites work with coworkers, employees, and freelancers who often aren’t in our office, our city, or even in our country. When work is remote, new challenges arise: people can find it harder to stay motivated, to communicate goals and accomplishments, and to check in effectively. This talk is about how to lead others from a distance toward a common goal. How do you build and maintain working relationships and get things done correctly and on time when you aren’t in the same physical location as your colleagues? Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is fully distributed, which means all of our communication is entirely online. If we can do it, so can you!
Here’s the talk:
And here are the slides:
This was my first time going to one of the larger regional WordCamps and it was really fun! I saw a number of good sessions, everyone was friendly and energized, and Nashville was the perfect location for a conference. I lived in Nashville for years as a kid, but that was back when it was a boring city in boring Tennessee. Now it’s suddenly hip and tons of people are moving there, and it’s basically unrecognizable to me. Also, my best friend lives there, and I got to hang out with her a good bit while I was there.
The conference afterparty was at the Adventure Science Center, which was a terrific venue. For one thing, there were so many games and silly things to play with, which made striking up conversations with strangers really easy and comfortable. And secondly, it wasn’t very drinking focused because everyone was busy actually doing things. I thought it was a great choice — every conference should have its party at a children’s museum! Also, I realized after about an hour that I went to that museum all the time as a child, back when it was called the Cumberland Children’s Museum. It’s been completely gutted and redone since, so the only thing that remained that I remembered was this tsunami tank thing. I got nostalgic and tried to find pictures of the old museum on Google, but there really aren’t any.
Here’s Zandy going down the fart slide: