A few days ago, we published a splendid interview with Jill Binder, an organizer of WordCamp Vancouver. I am glad that I have the honor of interviewing a speaker at WordCamp Vancouver, the extraordinary Mari Kane.
Very few people understood the power of new-media in its early days. Mari is one of such individual. In the mid 2000s, she took the wise step of expressing her thoughts on a digital medium. Slowly, she paved her way to WordPress. Today, she is one of the most important WordPress influencers in Vancouver and beyond.
I had a lovely Q&A session with her and I hope you enjoy reading it as much I do.
Cloudways: There is a beginning to every journey. Tell us about yours. Was it just by chance you started working on WordPress or did you plan it?
Mari Kane: I’ve always been a writer and photographer, and in the desktop publishing days I published a magazine. WordPress is just the next tool for expressing myself.
I wanted to get into WordPress back in 2006, but the support wasn’t there and I found the software too difficult. So, I started my wine blog, tastingroomconfidential.com, on Blogger when it was called Blogspot. By 2010, I was antsy to create pages and use plugins, and since my hosting servers finally supported it, I switched to WordPress.
That was in the version 2.9 “Carmen” days when WordPress was becoming easy to use. I taught myself almost everything, using Google as a textbook, with no idea there was this WordPress community out there.
After putting much sweat and labor into my wine blog, people started asking me how to use WordPress. I gave classes to my writers group and then joined Meetup to start WordPress Workshop, a 90-minute weekly class for up to 3 bloggers.
As I taught WordPress, I learned more about it at an accelerated rate. After all, the teacher has to stay steps ahead of the students. The more I taught, the more I learned.
Plus, I get a lot of satisfaction by helping people get over the WordPress learning curve and become able to fulfill their web dreams.
Cloudways: When you started your WordPress journey, what kind of difficulties did you face and how did you solve them?
Mari Kane: My biggest difficulty was getting my questions answered. I solved that by using support forums and going to events like WordCamp and Meetups.
Cloudways: What are your tips and suggestions for security, speed, plugins, backups, etc.?
Mari Kane: Watch them closely and work on them frequently.
Cloudways: From the early era of developing through core code to the current era of drag-and-drop, where you see the WordPress industry in next 4-5 years?
Mari Kane: I hope more versions will be named after women Jazz artists in the future.
Also, I think WordPress is going to become similar to platforms like Medium, in which the frontend blurs into the backend, and users don’t have to go back and forth to view their changes.
Cloudways: If you spend a week creating a plugin that doesn’t exist, what would it be?
Mari Kane: One to alert list makers when their lists lack diversity.
Cloudways: What are the challenges that WordPress community and consultants might face in 2014?
Mari Kane: Other than their team losing at the World Cup? I think security will continue to be the biggest challenge.
Cloudways: Well, there are many misconceptions about WordPress. One is about it being very insecure. How do clear the air when it comes to issues like these?
Mari Kane: It’s a problem that the most popular software gets hit hardest by hackers. PC systems were open, insecure and were used by large companies, so they were attacked the most. Mac was a closed system, was a favorite of the creative community, and had less market share, so it wasn’t as much of a target. That’s changed now. It’s a shame that the most popular things gets hacked the most.
Cloudways: You attend WordCamps and conferences. How do you think these occasions creating an impact on WordPress communities?
Mari Kane: WordCamps are an incredible place to learn about WordPress from people who eat, drink and breathe the Web. It can be overwhelming and exhausting to absorb all the information available, but well worth the $25 bucks they cost, including lunch. WordCamp is one of the best deals going for Internet education.
Cloudways: Hey, the interview was fun! I hope we do it again sometime. In the end, say something for WordPress lovers and critics around the world.
Mari Kane: Thanks for the opportunity. Other than please subscribe to my blog, blogsitestudio.com, I’d say keep raising the bar for technical and editorial quality, no matter what platform you work on. Ultimately, it’s all just words, sounds and pictures.
In the end, I would like to thank Mari for her time. If you think there is an influencer like her which we should interview, then leave your suggestion in our comments section below.
You can follow Mari Kane (@blogsitestudio) on Twitter.
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