The First White House Tech Meetup

The White HouseOn April 17, 2015 I was invited to the White House Tech Meetup in Washington, DC with other tech community leaders around the country (about 50 people). It was an honor to represent LA and the Silicon Beach Community. The event was hosted by Megan Smith, US Chief Technology Officer, and organized by MeetupWhite House Session.com. We met with government officials, city and state representatives, media, to help boost tech innovation across the country, help with newly launched Tech Hire Initiative which is focused on providing training and creating more jobs in technology sector.
The event was announced via White House Blog. You can see the Official Agenda.

It was great to be invited to the White House, to meet incredible tech leaders and receive a ThanWH Brainstorming Sessionk you letter the day after:

“You are truly pioneers. We were thrilled to see the incredible work you do every day recognized at the highest levels of government.

Not only was the White House atwitter by your presence, we generated buzz *everywhere*. We were trending on Twitter all day Friday! 

We encourage you to share your thoughts, recaps and progress towards your goals on this stream
. You can continue the conversation, check out some great photos, and find choice quotes via the #WHMeetup tag.

Other ways to revisit the excitement and energy of the day:Inside White House

As for press, we’ve seen over 33 media hits so far! Here are some of the most interesting national and local stories:

Stay close and keep in touch! We know there will be many incredible returns of the day: think of the commitments made and the partnerships, mentorships and friendships forged.

Outside Executive BuildingTech Meetup CakeLet’s do it again soon.

Warmest regards,

Andrea Murphy

Community Engagement Manager

Meetup HQ”

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WordPress 10th Anniversary Mega Party

I’m a member of SoCal WordPress group in LA, and yesterday I carpooled to the Huntington Beach gathering for WordPress 10th Anniversary with Noel Saw and Crystal Ehrlich.WP The night is young

What do I know about WordPress? I’m a  blogger and I have five blogs and one website all on WordPress. When I discovered WP, I was fascinated how easy it was to start my own blog and use customized themes and features. Today you can Do It and Maintain It Yourself instead of paying someone to do it for you. As the organizer of Santa Monica New Tech I praise WP as a great tool for entrepreneurs to create a mock up of their MVP (usually a landing page a10 years T-shirtnd a blog post).

Finally technology is available for non-techies and empowers them to be creative!

From Wikipedia: “WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL which runs on a Web hosting service. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet’s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new websites. WordPress is currently the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, powering over 60 million websites worldwide”.

I had no expectations about this party, all I knew is that WordPress is turning 10! I signed up to attend this event on Facebook page http://on.fb.me/1avNk6g and Meetup page http://bit.ly/18rlN9D. With no traffic in about 30 minutes we got to Zeek Interactive hosting the OC party for WInland Warrior #WP10 Veriousordpress 10th Anniversary. Over the next 3 hours there were about 60-70 people celebrating with Mexican food buffet style, margaritas, beer and live feed of #WP10 Tweets. My picture was taken by Kevin @hbeach at the beginning of the event and I saw it immediately on the wall.MarinaWP10

I learned there are at least 12 WP Meetup groups in South California, and I met almost all of the organizers of those groups at this party: San Diego – Chris Lema, SoCal – Natalie and Noel, Inland Empire – Verious, Pasadena – Alex,  Orange County – Steve, Topanga – Lucy. I was told that usually 40-50 people come to the average meeting, and about 100 to Santa Monica events.

SoCal WP LeadersIt was great to talk to people and hear why they love WordPress. Developers, bloggers, UX and graphic designers and consultants. The culmination of the night was the blue pinata unicorn that gave sweets to all attendees. When I came home, I did more research on WP groups: SoCal is the 7th largest WP Meetup with 1301 members in the US after NYC with 2716, Boston, SF,  Dallas, Austin and DC, not counting other WP groups in the country.

Then this morning I was cWP10cakeSeattleurious to find my own picture taken yesterday at the event. I went to http://wp10.wordpress.net/. I clicked about 110 times “Load More” before I found it and what I saw while clicking amazed me.

If WordPress was a child, it would be the most loved and celebrated child in the world. At least yesterday. Hundreds of parties were thrown in its honor around the world: Tokyo, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Austria, Montreal, Vancouver, Mexico, Mongolia, Buenos Aires, London, etc. and of course in the US: Boston, SF, LA, Texas, Sacramento, Seattle, NY,  Houston, Orlando, and many more locations!

I wowed at WordPress art : custom made cakes with beautiful designs like the one from Seattle. People were sending pictures and messages full of love and adoration: “I Love @Wordpress happiness #WP10” @jcvalencia10.WP10hashcount

I decided to count hashtags #WP10 at about 12:45PM PST on May 28, 2013. There were about ~1500 proper hashtags, never mind pics and messages that were not tagged by hashtags.

I’m truly impressed with what WP achieved in just 10 years. In the next 10 years it will unite more people of different races, religions and nationalities and become more plug-in friendly. WordPress is a great example of technology bringing peace to humankind. Thank you, WP,  and keep up good work!