Website Superheroes Flock to WordCamp Orange County 2017

Past Tides
June 16, 2017 By Applied Innovation

On the weekend of June 10 and 11, the Cove was commandeered by squadrons of web developers, some wearing capes. WordCamp Orange County 2017 had a superhero theme for its workshops on coding, security, content creation, and community building.

Cynthia Kirkeby, CEO of Cove startup Adaptifyed, a middleware advertising platform for monetizing downloads, has attended multiple WordPress camps. Adaptifyed built its website on WordPress. Kirkeby particularly liked the WordPress support toolkit workshop by Jerrett Gucci. “It was a phenomenal discussion about tools that are useful for supporting a community and memberships,” Kirkeby says. Kirkeby also attended Adam Warner’s session, “You created a plugin, now what?”

Adaptifyed has just created a plugin to help publishers monetize downloads, which should be available in the codex in about a month. “The discussion was on next step marketing and how to market your plugin to the 72 million WordPress users around the world,” says Kirkeby. “There are over 42 million English speaking WordPress sites. A huge market, to say the least. So understanding WordPress and the users is really critical for business today.”

Anthony Ko, one of Kirkeby’s technical co-founders, attended Jacob Arriola’s session, “Vue.js: The javascript framework for designers who know just enough javascript and jquery to get by.”  According to Kirkeby, there was something for everybody, including complete beginners. For Adaptifyed, access to a community of experts, and the ability to distribute its software through a WordPress plugin is invaluable. “Basically, with one click people can put it into their website,” Kirkeby says.

In “Cybersecurity, Russian Hackers, Privacy & You,” presenter Yvonne Conway-Williams noted that cloud platform company Akamai’s Q1 2017 State of the Internet / Security Report , listed the top five source countries for web application attacks in q1 as the U.S., the Netherlands, Brazil, China, and Germany. (Russia ranked eighth). She advised attendees to avoid sharing geotagged photos, to use a password manager, and not to put personal information like birthdates, mother’s maiden name, or addresses online. “With your name, social security number, and birthdate, you have a trifecta for identity theft,” Conway-Williams says.

“In Images that Pop! Create photos that amaze your audience,” Amber Hewitt suggested using a tripod and self-timer with remote cable release for a DLSR camera. Don’t forget the rule of thirds in a photo; “Give someone room to move within a photo, to make a more dynamic image,” Hewitt says. She explained how to diffuse light with flashes and how to use reflectors for even light. On a sunny day, a field flash can fill in shadows. Use a simple background, shoot in shade or indoors with indirect sunlight, and bring people together.

Hewitt instructed participants on how to make a homemade product tent, lit by desk lamps on either side, by constructing a mini-cyclorama employing foam core, invisible thread, and gently bending a poster board backdrop into a curve that eliminates horizon lines. “Hide distracting stuff, and ensure everything is clean,” she cautions. If you are taking a product shot of jewelry, using a LED flashlight on a timer can make crystals sparkle.

Hewitt recommended the following apps:

  •       Mobile camera apps: Proshot, VSCO, Hydra, Obscura Camera, Camera+
  •       Retouching apps: Skrwt, Afterfocus, and Moldiv

She also suggested editing photos in this order:

  1.     Crop, 2.   Exposure, 3. Temperature/Cast, 4. Sharpen, 5. Clarity, 6. Saturation

Hewitt’s presentation, including optimal pixel sizes for different social media is available at:

In  “Understanding and Supporting Web Accessibility,” Rachel Cherry, senior software engineer for Disney Interactive, provided pointers for designing websites accessible to people with disabilities, including:

  • Graphics should have a text equivalent
  • Videos and audio recordings need captions
  • Colors should not be used as a sole method to convey information contrast
  • Never use “click here” on links – the purpose of all actions should be determined from text
  • All site functionality should be accessible using a keyboard

Cherry suggested some accessibility tools:

Visit:, #bamadesigner for information on Cherry, or look at her SlideShare under Rachel Carden.

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