BoldLife 2.0 – Episode 0 – Is this thing on?

BoldLife, WordCamps

Boldly returning – as a podcast

Episode 0: Demo and Jesse introduce themselves and reintroduce BoldLife. Demo dispels the Myth of the Sword, and reveals a juicy secret about Adam Warner’s hands. Jesse remembers his first WordCamp.

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Demo: Hello and welcome to the first pilot episode of the BoldLife Podcast brought to you by BoldGrid’s Team Orange User Group. My name is Mike Demo and I’m one of your hosts, I’m also joined by my wonderful cohost Jesse. How are you doing Jesse? [00:19.6]

Jesse: Doing Great!  [00:22.7]

Demo: How are you doing today are you ready for the weekend? [00:24.3] Jesse: Yeah definitely ready for the weekend definitely earned it this week. [00:29.8]

Demo: Awesome what are you looking forward to this weekend are you playing any more Kingdom Hearts? [00:33.5]

Jesse: Well we’re gonna go see Captain Marvel, definitely gonna get some Kingdom Hearts in on Sunday probably [00:40.7]

Demo: Awesome. Yeah we got our tickets for Captain Marvel tonight as well and we’ll be probably playing some Pandemic Legacy as well. So awesome! Well that being said, let’s introduce ourselves cause some of our listeners might not know who we are. I guess I will start. My name is Mike Demo and yep that’s my name and I am the Evangelist at BoldGrid. What does that mean? It means I get the distinct pleasure of traveling around and going to WordCamps and conferences all around the world and talk to people and talk to users and see what makes them involved with WordPress, why do they make a website, is it for their business? And I just be able to hang out and kinda be the community guy. [01:25.7]

Jesse: I am Jesse Owens, I am the Community Manager at BoldGrid, that means I work on our Support Documentation, our user group community as well as the greater WordPress Community in general. I’m a contributor to both the Training and Documentation teams on [01:45.9]

Demo: Awesome. So with that let’s talk about a little bit what is BoldLife? Now some of those listeners might have remembered that BoldLife started about a year ago as a series of Facebook Live videos. We did about 12 of them, you can find those on if you want to watch them at your leisure, maybe you need some help to fall asleep or whatever. But we wanted to kind of re-launch it but in a different format that maybe wasn’t Facebook Live and had a little bit different take on it. So Jesse, how would you explain what we’re trying to do with BoldLife. [02:19.7]

Jesse: Yeah so what we want to do is provide a resource for everyone, not just the users of BoldGrid, but a place where you can be entertained, where you can come and find something out that you didn’t know before, learn something new, and just get to know the WordPress Community in General as we get more guests on and everything like that. [02:40.4]

Demo: Yeah, it’s very important that our Team Orange user group and BoldLife as an extension of that isn’t just for people that use our Plugins and our products. Of course, we love to have our users in there and we’re able to help them if they have questions about any of the BoldGrid suite of plugins but we’re excited to talk to people that are using the web for anything maybe they’re launching a small business maybe they have a blog and they’re talking about their dog. Whatever it happens to be, we’re excited about people using WordPress and even the internet in general. I mean we’ve got a lot of people in there that use other CMS systems and not just WordPress and they add to the conversation as well I think. [03:22.2]

Jesse: Absolutely yeah. And you know there’s a lot of communities out there on Social Media and everything like that, some of them are extremely large, some of them are smaller and more specialized. The really cool thing that I’m noticing about the community as it grows is that it really is a close-knit and really highly expert level of people who are joining and contributing to the conversation. [03:50.6] Demo: Yeah definitely. So with that, we’re going to have a shorter show as this first one, but we’re going to kinda talk about our favorite WordCamp memories. So, Jesse do you want to start with your favorite WordCamp memory? [04:06.4]

Jesse: Yeah, it’s tough to say a favorite, I’m pretty new in the community to be honest. I’ve been to two WordCamps so far, Denver and US last year. Denver was my first one, it was the camp where I actually met you Demo, and one of the coolest things about that camp in my mind was, you know I didn’t know what I was going to expect from it I didn’t know what a WordCamp was like at all. And, when I got there one of the first people that I saw as I walked in was actually an old friend of mine from High School, you know we were on the Robotics team together and caught up with him a little bit I found out he was running a WordPress blog on his own, WPShout. Shout out to David Hayes and Fred Meyer there. And that was really cool I hadn’t seen those guys for almost a decade, and getting back together with them and meeting them. Finding out the different paths that led us both to being WordPress Professionals, was a really cool reconnection for me and it was a really natural kind of in to the WordPress Community because he’s huge in the community and it was just kind of a welcoming kind of experience for me. [05:35.4]

Demo: Definitely I remember that WordCamp cause that was WordCamp Denver 2017. Wasn’t it? [05:42.0]

Jesse: Yeah. Yeah we had Boldie there, we had one of the best GIF’s I’ve ever seen with Boldie in it. But yeah it was my first one, it was my favorite one. Obviously US was a ton of fun but that first camp is always going to be a precious memory for me. [06:02.0]

Demo: Yeah that was an interesting camp for me because I was in Denver twice, two weeks back-to-back. And I went home back to Minnesota in between because the weekend before that was the WordCamp for publishers which was in Denver. So one weekend was WordCamp for Publishers and then the following weekend was WordCamp Denver. Actually initially they both were on the same weekend but one of them switched because I think they figured that would be even more confusing for people if it was on the same exact weekend. So I spent a lot of time in Denver during those couple of weeks, I did not actually stay in between, I maybe should have, but I didn’t. And that was a great camp. Meeting you was awesome hanging out with the rest of the community was really great and then, we held a little TopGolf event afterwards on Sunday where we had people from WordCamp come and we went to one of the TopGolf’s and we just kinda hung out and shot the breeze and talked about WordPress and Open Source. So that was a great camp as well I definitely agree with that. [07:09.5]

Demo: So, my, I have a lot of memories because I’ve gone to a lot of camps I’m on the road quite a bit and it’s always hard to pick out those specific memories. It’s also really hard to figure out what camps I’ve been to. Because somebody asks me, “Oh, where are you right now?” And I have to think about it I’m like, um, uh… [07:31.2]

Demo: Let’s see it’s in the US [07:35.0] Jesse: You kind of look out the window and see what the skyline looks like? [07:35.2]

Demo: Yeah, it’s a little warmer… Oh yeah I’m in Phoenix! And it happens all the time with my wife, and someone says to me “Where were you this last weekend?” and I’m like, uhh. And she’ll be like you were in Phoenix and I’ll be like Yes! I was in Phoenix. [07:50.5]

Demo: And that happens all the time. It also happens for the memories because you see a lot of the same people event to event and it’s hard to pick out those specific moments that happen at one WordCamp versus another and they all kind of mesh together.  [08:04.3] Demo: But, it, my wife always jokes that, we hang out with our friends more when we travel outside of Minnesota than when we’re at home. And, if we’re in Florida, there’s like 15 people that we’ll end up doing dinner with or hanging out with. If we’re in other states, same thing. [08:21.2]

Demo: And she’s like, how do we have more friends outside of the state that we live in? And I’m like, it’s just WordPress it’s the Open-Source Community.  [08:28.2]

Demo: Because we have like, no friends here in Minnesota.  [08:32.0] Demo: It’s a little sad on that. I guess the memory I’m going to go back to is probably my second WordCamp I went to, ever, for BoldGrid. [08:43.4] Demo: This was years ago, and it was Baltimore. And the other person that was working the booth with me had to leave for home a little early so it was just me the second half of the last day. [08:53.3] And I was hanging out so much at the GoDaddy booth and Noah was there from GoDaddy and Adam Warner from SiteLock was hanging around and I ended up winning their backpack contest on Twitter. My wife still uses that GoDaddy backpack to this day. Which came with uh, 35 Moleskine Journals because they just wanted to get rid of them. [09:12.7] Jesse: Woooow. That’s a score. [09:13.4] Demo: Yeah, so we’re set on GoDaddy notebooks. But I was like you know what I am going to go to Medieval Times because it was close to where we were in Baltimore. Techincally it was called Medieval Times DC / Baltimore since it was like in between the two locations.  [09:34.7] And GoDaddy people were like, Hey we wanna go. So they were like we’ll grab the tickets and I’m like oh are you sure? And they decided to upgrade for the King’s package and it was all great. So I really appreciate the GoDaddy team, so it was GoDaddy, myself, Adam Warner from SiteLock, and we’re kind of just driving out there. And on the road, SiteLock grabbed the Uber. The transportation to and from. [10:00.0] And it was in this strip mall, and I’ve never been to a Medieval Times, but I had been to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, so I was like, I think it’s similar to that? You know where it’s just like a show and you’re in a theater in the round type of place. [10:17.4] So, we went there and we checked in, and Adam Warner was funny he was like, “Wait a minute, do you have to eat with your hands?” [10:25.8] And we were like, “Yeah, that’s kinda the deal.”  [10:25.7] And he was like, “That’s an issue because I don’t do that.” [10:31.2] So, uh, he survived and it turns out they’ll give you silverware if you ask very nicely. And this story is even funnier. Because Adam Warner is now the Open Source Community Evangelist Manager, at GoDaddy. But at the time he was at SiteLock so now it’s like if it happened again it would be me and the entire GoDaddy team. [10:54.6] So we went there and I was like, “Man, BoldGrid has to get something.” So BoldGrid decided to pay for the Museum of Torture and the Knighting Ceremony so that we could get Knighted. [11:07.6] So, ahead of time the King was there and they ask you what you’re celebrating so, Adam Warner said, “The love of familiy.” And I said, “Open Source.” And one of the other guys said, “Expense Reports.” [11:17.8] Jesse: Haha [11:19.8] Demo: Haha! And so the King would say, “Hear ye, hear ye. I here knight Sir Demo for celebrating Open Source.” [11:28.2]

You’d get on the knee and do a tap-tap and all of that. But when we were checking in for the Knighting Ceremony, they asked “Hey! Do you want to upgrade your sword and you can keep it.”  [11:42.3]

And they had some very nice very expensive European swords on display and I’m like, “Uh well I have to fly so I can’t.” And they’re like, “Well, we ship.” And I was like “Oh, well yeah I’ll buy the sword.” [11:51.9] So, I was going there waiting there, and Noah’s like, “Did you just buy a sword?” And I’m like yeah.  [11:57.1] He’s like, “Does your wife know?” And I’m like, “OH shoot, that’s an issue! She probably won’t be thrilled about this.” [12:01.9] So I ended up calling her from inside the castle, letting her know I bought the sword, and her response was, “Um, OK. Sure.” [12:18.3] It’s still on our wall today, in my office, and the sword has kind of a history, because I still get crap by people who think I expensed the Sword on the BoldGrid Account. I did not expense the sword. First of all, GoDaddy was nice enough to pay for the majority of this. So we’re very thankful to them and they were so very cool about it. But, the sword was on my personal account. BoldGrid did not pay for the sword. BoldGrid just paid for the knighting ceremony and access to the Museum of Torture, which was an add-on experience you could get, which is as lame and as cool as it sounds like. [12:53.3] So anyway so then we were in the Black and White section, you get a little flag and you’re supposed to cheer on the black and white knight. Well we decided that we were gonna call him the Zebra Knight.  [13:06.7] Now Zebra Knight did not win. He uh, he lost. But we were killing social media about hashtag #zebraknight. And trying to get it to trend. And you know we didn’t get many responses or anything. We took a picture with the zebra knight and we put it on our blogs and everything. And this is the point of this story. [13:31.1] You can have such success for Branding, but it doesn’t have to be in the moment. Medieval Times, seven months later, seven months later, did a tweet and tagged us saying #zebraknight is training for his revenge. [13:51.2] Seven months later! And we’re like, “Oh my God, like a phoenix from the ashes!” And it got us talking about Medieval Times again! And what did Noah and Adam and I start doing? We started saying, “OK what camps are we going to, and is there a Medieval Times near those camps?” [14:12.8] We have not been able to recreate the entire group there’s been Medieval Times that we’ve been close to, but never all of us. We kinda wanted everyone to be there. So it was just a really great experience and it kinda started why I do this job. I don’t do it to stand in the booth and tell you how great BoldGrid is, although I certainly will be happy to talk to you and show you the features and benefits of BoldGrid if you ask me. [14:37.0] But my job is just to connect with people and help people if I can and introduce people to other resources if they need that help saying oh hey, somebody asked me, “Do you know a good tax accountant in this city?” And I’m like yes I do and I recommended somebody or whatever the case happens to be. [14:50.6] And that’s why I love this job because there’s so many people behind it and they’re not just developers, they’re not just small businesses, it’s all walks of life and being able to help people has been a privilege. Stories like that is what kinda keeps me going. [15:08.1] Jesse: Yeah you know what struck me about that story Adam Warner is obviously a big name in the WordPress Community. Basically everyone’s at least heard of him but when you met him at that time he was at SiteLock and now you said he’s Open Source Manager at GoDaddy? [15:31.1] Demo: Yeah he’s basically the guy in charge of all the events and the community I don’t know his exact title. He’s doing great at GoDaddy. [15:41.9] Jesse: That just goes to show that just by putting yourself out there in the WordPress community opens up doors for years in your career. It was something that I kinda just kinda walked into. I started working on WordPress slack and talking to people and you know here I am now, as an actual WordPress Professional. Which is something I never expected to be but always kinda wanted to be. [16:11.3] Demo: Yeah but it’s not just the WordPress Community, it’s, sorry to cut you off there.  [16:15.6] Jesse: Yeah! [16:16.6] Demo: It’s just open source in general I got this job, by volunteering at the Joomla! booth at Hosting Con years and years ago in New Orleans. And one of the owners of our company, Todd, came up and “Hey Demo do you remember me?” And I’m like “Yeah I remember you Todd, we hung out in Mexico and I owe you 40 bucks for snorkeling. Because it was funny we were in Mexico and it was Todd and myself and some other people with the company. Todd was like I wanna go snorkeling, but I don’t know how to do it. [16:44.8] I was like, oh I’ve got it booked for tomorrow and he was like oh can you add us and I’m like sure [16:44.8] So I added them and we had a great time and it’s just those relationships that kinda happen and he told me about BoldGrid and that kinda started our conversation again and four months later I started as the evangelist at BoldGrid. [16:59.1] So, if I wouldn’t have been active in Joomla! I never would have met Todd in Mexico at the Joomla! World Conference, never would have run into him again in New Orleans and I wouldn’t have this job today so it’s amazing how small these industries are once you really start getting involved. [17:15.2] Jesse: Did Todd ever get his $40 bucks back? [17:17.1] Demo: No, no [17:22.1] Jesse: Ah, he’ll be ok. [17:24.7]

Demo: Yeah I think he’ll be fine but you know Todd he’s like, you know he’ll say “PayPal me later.” But he doesn’t really mean it or whatever. Yeah so he never got his 40 bucks back but he had an amazing snorkeling experience that I planned so I mean he got that AND he helped me [17:39.4]

Because he knew a little bit of Spanish, even though, he was calling local liquor stores because I was looking for a very specific Tequila, that you can only get locally. And he found it and we went there, well I went there and got it Todd didn’t come with me, but thanks to him I got that Tequila which is still in my closet still unopened so uh, there’s that. [17:59.0]

Jesse: Well we’re gonna find an excuse to open that bottle soon. [18:04.1]

Demo: Yeah maybe I’ll bring it to the office and we can have a sipping evening or something. Anyway so yeah that’s kind of what this show’s gonna be about  [18:15.8]

Demo: I think is Jesse and I are just going to be having conversations we’ll be inviting people on and just talking about what they’ve struggled with and stuff like that. We’re gonna try not to take ourselves too seriously, and we just are trying to find a different option that may be available out there. [18:35.2]

So if you want to help participate you can please join us on our user group and Jesse how can they find that? [18:46.0]

Jesse: That is  [18:50.2]

Demo: And so go to Facebook you can also do a search for Team Orange that way it’ll pop up that way if you want to be on the show let us know, we’re going to be doing an official call to our Team Orange members on just booking time and we’ll talk to anybody, regardless of whether we reach out to you or not we’re going to have an open call and if you want to schedule time to be on one of our shows and what do you want to talk about. [19:16.7]

You can talk about your business, your struggles, what you’ve learned, your history because there’s always someone out there that can learn from it. [19:22.1]

Jesse: Absolutely [19:22.3] Demo: Any final thoughts before we wrap up this first episode? [19:29.2]

Jesse: Yeah I just want to reiterate the folks that we want to talk to going forward is anyone in the community, in Team Orange, especially it would be nice to get some fresh perspectives from people who are just getting into WordPress as well. [19:49.8]

Demo: Yeah definitely or maybe you’re involved in another Content Management System, Drupal, Magento, Joomla! and you want to share about your experiences and what how you’ve grown with that. Because, I also believe that people can learn from the other CMS systems even if it’s not their one of choice, because things like security and marketing and self-promotion, all that can be applied to whatever tool you happen to use.  [20:15.7] My catchphrase is always, Tools are Tools, don’t be one. [20:20.7]

Jesse: Yeah that really is the point is WordPress might be the means to an end but the end still in the end is going to be whatever goal you have. So the tool itself it less important than what it accomplishes for you. [20:36.1]

Demo: Excellent so please follow us on all the social networks, Twitter we’re @BoldGrid, Facebook page in addition to the user group. You can also go to read our blogs, we have guides on there as well as all of our plugins in case you want to check those out. And when we have announcements on those plugins that’s where those will be. [21:04.4]

Demo: So, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you in a week!