Welcome to the March update where we discuss all things new at LifterLMS. We share product updates, webinars, blog posts and podcasts, other relevant news, and community wins.
It’s time to Spotlight another one of our LifterLMS Experts. Here’s a quick rundown on Will Middleton. Will specializes in content entry, user testing, and migrations. What a time saver! Once you have your course content ready, Will can enter it into your lessons and quizzes to make the process easier for you. He also offers quality assurance and user testing to make sure the process will be smooth for your students when they take your course. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? When I am not online I spend a lot of time studying entrepreneurship and lifestyle development by listening to podcasts, reading books, and working out. I also love the TV series Silicon Valley and The Office (US Version). 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Determined, Intelligent, and Strategic What first made you interested in web development or design? I entered the WordPress space about two years ago when I was exploring the different options for building websites. Versatility is one of the most important aspects of a CMS to me, and I believe WordPress is the most flexible platform for different types of websites such as courses, online stores, blogs, information sites, etc. I am interested in trying new things and exploring new avenues for entrepreneurship and that is what got me interested in the infinite possibilities of WordPress. On to some fun stuff…what’s a little-know fact about you? My preference is to sleep during most of the day and be awake at night, because that increases my productivity. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? I don’t eat ice cream very often, but I prefer ice cream sandwiches or sherbet. What part of the world do you live in? I live in Minnesota where it feels like it is cold about nine months out of the year. Famous last words (anything to add)… “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” — Steve Martin
help (verb) definition: make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one’s services or resources. Sometimes we all need a little help. This is a busy time of year. Actually, let’s get real — it is always a busy time of year. Whether it is the holidays, tax season, back to school, summertime, end of the school year, a birthday, or just life, we are always busy. If you are like me, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and fall into the trap of trying to take on everything yourself…and as a result get very little, or nothing at all, actually done. Here’s a personal example. When I first lived on my own, I loved planning meals. Every Sunday I would sit down and create a healthy, balanced menu for the entire week — breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would figure out all the ingredients and grocery shop for all of my food for the week at once. This would involve price comparing and going to several different grocery stores. Fast forward to twenty years later. With 2 kids, a job, family, and outside community commitments, my “meal planning” had evolved into something quite different, and less than ideal. It went something like this: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Me, looking at the clock as I try to finish up a few more emails…”Umm, I’ll figure it out in a few minutes.” [30 minutes later] “Mom, have you figured out dinner yet?” Me, looking at the clock and realizing we have 45 minutes until I need to scramble to get the kids off to activities and very little in the fridge to eat…”How does pizza sound?” So, I used to be a thoughtful meal planner and grocery shopper. It used to be in my skillset. But, at this moment in time, at this point in my life, I had to accept that this type of meal planning was no longer at the top of my list. And in order to prioritize other things in my life and still feed my family, I knew something had to change. I needed help. So, I outsourced. I recently subscribed to a meal kit delivery service. And yes, it is a little bit more of a financial investment than going to 3 different stores and bargain shopping, but it is also a lot less time consuming. This investment allows me the freedom to spend more time focusing on the things I want and need to focus on — my job, my family, and my community obligations. And, in turn, I let the experts plan and ship ingredients and recipes for 3 healthy family meals a week right to my front door. LifterLMS Done For You Service I shared my personal story, because I know there is someone out there reading this who can relate. It’s not easy to “do it all.” As an online course creator, you know that your unique online course has the power to change peoples’ lives…but you need to get it out of your head and onto the web. Maybe you are a business advisor, a health and fitness coach, or a foreign language instructor. Whatever your niche, you have a special skill set, a specific information base, and you’re eager to share your knowledge with the universe. You likely empower your students to overcome the obstacles obstructing their path to success, and if technical requirements of building your course platform are slowing you down, it’s time for you to do the same. Overcome the obstacles keeping your course offline. With our freshly relaunched Done For You services we handle the details of installing, styling, and deploying your …
It’s time to Spotlight another one of our LifterLMS Experts. Here’s a quick rundown on Monica Garrett from Margaux Agency. Monica specializes in Full Site Builds, Custom Development, Web Design Specialties, Branding, and Logo Design. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? I love to spend time with my daughter Gianna, who’s middle name was the inspiration for Margaux. Any time that I can spend with my family and my pup Stella, my heart is full! My husband and I enjoy attending Improv and Comedy shows, too. We love exploring new cities, and seeing what new experiences and restaurants they have to offer. 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Motivated, Driven, and Optimistic What first made you interested in web development or design? I have always felt that anything can be made to look better with a little attention. It all started while working on wedding invitations. I took it further than just the initial invite. I looked at it as branding their wedding leaving no detail unlooked at. Once I got into branding for businesses, this same approach amplified my love for visual styling for businesses. On to some fun stuff…what’s a little-know fact about you? Since today’s world is so digital, you don’t often meet your community in person. But if we were to meet in person, it might surprise you to know that I am a whopping 5 feet tall. Because of that, my spirit celebrity is Kevin Hart. He just ‘gets it’! What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? I don’t like to complicate my meals or my desserts. Vanilla bean all the way. What part of the world do you live in? Beautiful, sunny SoCal! Famous last words (anything to add)… Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect. — Jack Dorsey
It’s time to Spotlight another one of our LifterLMS Experts. Here’s a quick rundown on Anne-Marijke Gerretsen from Red Berry Leadership Development. Anne-Marijke specializes in Instructional Design (Course Content Creation). What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? I love growing my own food. I am studying Nutritional Medicine (almost finished, yay!) and have gotten really addicted to the taste and health benefits of home-grown produce. My other love is my 12-year old daughter and her passion for dance. She attends a performing arts high school, and seeing her on stage is just magical. 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Go-getter, funny, independent. What first made you interested in web development or design? I’ve been in leadership development for nearly 30 years. When I started, it was all face-to-face, but around 15 years ago online courses started to pop up. They were just PowerPoint slides put online, and it frustrated me how useless these courses were. I did some post grad study around eLearning, and started to take what I knew to work in face-to-face learning and tried to find online equivalents. My passion around online learning design is to create a learning experience that really changes behaviour and leaves learners not just knowing more, but able to do things differently, better. On to some fun stuff…what’s a little-know fact about you? My daughter isn’t the only dancer here, in fact I taught dance when I was pregnant, and I’m sure that’s where her love started. Nowadays, I either dance around the house when no-one’s there, or I go to Zumba. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Sorry, I don’t like ice at all!! Never have. I moved to Australia from the Netherlands partly to escape the cold, and ice cream is part of the cold. What part of the world do you live in? I live in Picton, Australia, a beautiful rural town just south of Sydney. Famous last words (anything to add)… It is a misconception to assume that if people KNOW how to do something, they will be able to DO it.
It’s time to Spotlight another one of our LifterLMS Experts. Here’s a quick rundown on Dennis Hall from Learning Templates. Dennis specializes in full site builds, custom development, and custom theme development. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? I like mountain biking, hiking, and disconnecting! 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Sincere, Transparent, Straightforward What first made you interested in web development or design? I started developing LMS systems out of necessity when I worked as a classroom instructor/course developer/instructional designer in the emergency services industry. When I started developing LMS systems, there were not many options beyond SAP and ERP custom systems that usually cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to implement. I started customizing 3rd party LMS systems after 30 years in the industry and recognizing that most systems available needed a knowledgeable and experienced instructional designer and an LMS designer to help the owners understand what could be accomplished to meet their specific needs. What types of services do you offer? My services offered are as follows: LMS consultation (I provide a neutral opinion); Integrating WordPress into your organization’s HRIS and other performance measurement systems; SSO (Single Sign-On); WordPress themes; WordPress plugins; Divi themes; Any WordPress-based Learning Management System; Non-WordPress Learning Management Systems, such as Forma LMS, Moodle or other LMS systems; WordPress/LMS/MongoDB integration; Mobile first xAPI-LMS; LMS integration with HRIS system. On to some fun stuff…what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Rocky Road What part of the world do you live in? Quebec, Canada Famous last words (anything to add)… Given enough power, anything can fly!
It’s time to Spotlight another one of our LifterLMS Experts. Let’s get to know Konrad Sroka from ThemeKraft! What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? I like surf; travel; design; music; patterns and nature; mathematics; psychedelics; mind & meditation; permaculture; people and group dynamics; throwing yourself and others unexpectedly in awkward situations is my favorite. 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Haha, don’t know. (Editors note: Clever, Konrad…that is 3 words…) What first made you interested in web development or design? Why do you do what you do? …Ohh there’s been many things coming together. First I love to design stuff. Then I fell in love with designing things that are made for screens, not print. But I was more of a self-taught graphic designer those days (around 2007). Around 2008 I met Sven Lehnert, who became one of my closest friends, and we both started ThemeKraft.com in 2010. But before that, we first met on a crazy party, and he was a programmer who needed a designer, while I was a designer who needed a programmer. I could not code for shit, as much as his design was pretty much a black and white table. It was a perfect match. We went on and built a social network for subculture parties and cool things happening in our city and around, be it Drum’n’Bass or Psytrance parties or some self-organised freak artist events, all those kind of things. …and just at that time BuddyPress popped up, and we’ve suddenly built this theme with a couple options. This very theme became to be always in the top 5 most downloaded themes on WordPress.org around 2011-2013 – the Custom Community theme. And over these years I fell in love with coding and front end design. Nowadays I don’t do any graphic design really. Mostly just coding, and 90% front end related – for me all of it is design related in the end. Just love designing hot front end stuff. What’s a little known “fun fact” about you that you would like to share? I really got into Permaculture, and now I helped launch a Permaculture online course this year! This is how I came across LifterLMS! Check out the online course here, with free introduction course. 🙂 What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? It’s changing every week, but right now coconut-vanilla. What part of the world do you live in? I live in Australia right now, but I am from Germany. Famous last words (anything to add)… Life is bizarre, enjoy it and don’t work too much!
Community — a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Community is a very important concept to us at Lifter. In the technology space, it’s easy to feel isolated, which is why we work hard to build and maintain our community and relationships. You may have noticed we recently launched our LifterLMS Experts page. Our experts page was born out of listening to the needs of our customers who sometimes need a little extra help or site customization. We reached out to our community to find LifterLMS Expert available to help with web design, web development, marketing, and instructional design. We’d like you to get a little more about our extended LifterLMS family of experts. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting a little bit about them and their story. With no further adieu, the spotlight is on Tammy Pereira. The Basics Name Tammy Pereira Company Syd and Coco What part of the world do you live in? Michigan, U.S. Areas of Expertise Web Development, Web Design, Marketing Specialities Full Site Builds, Quick Fixes, Branding and Logo Design, Design Tweaks, Custom Theme Development What first made you interested in web development or design? Why do you do what you do? I worked in advertising and wanted to learn a skill. I spent a whole year studying HTML & coding. I wanted to design beautiful and functional websites. The Fun Stuff What are your hobbies and interests outside of the internet? Hanging out with my kids! And I love going to concerts! 3 words your best friend would use to describe you… Caring, fun, and friendly. What’s a little known “fun fact” about you that you would like to share? I’m adopted, and my daughter is adopted. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Always chocolate-peanut butter. Famous last words (anything to add)… Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein Check out our LifterLMS Experts page to learn more about Syd and Coco and the rest of our expert community. If you love LifterLMS and would like to earn money providing valuable services to the LifterLMS community, please click here to apply to be listed on our Experts page.
Thomas Levy, LifterLMS CTO, is gearing up for WordCamp Los Angeles on September 29 – October 1. We took a few minutes to dig in and speak with him about why he’s had mysterious “WCLAX” planning meetings blocked off on his calendar, what WCLAX really is all about, and if there are free t-shirts (hint: there are). Tell us about your history with WordCamp Los Angeles (WCLAX). I first got involved in WCLAX in 2015, mostly because I’m pretty bad at saying no to things and Adam Silver, a co-organizer that year, told me I could come for free if I volunteered by helping to hand out t-shirts and clean-up afterwards. What makes WCLAX different from other WordCamps? I’ve been around to a handful of camps and I can’t say that I can give an advantage of going to one over another. I’d say proximity to your residence is maybe the most important factor but in Southern California you can hit at least three a year without driving more than a few hours and I don’t see any reason not to go to all of them! What’s your role been in planning WCLAX? I am the “Speaker Wrangler” and was last year as well. That means I’m handling communication with our speakers, organizing the schedule, and facilitating and mediating the selection process. We have a big crew and we’ve chosen our speakers as democratically as possible so I put together all the “tools” to make the selection process as efficient as possible for the rest of the team. What’s the time commitment been like during the planning phase of WCLAX? Last year, in the same role, I spent a great deal more time than I did this year. Mostly that’s from lack of experience. I did dumb stuff in my workflow and that made me have to do and redo. I learned from my mistakes this year. I also decided to hand-off the blogging part of the role to Jen Miller which has freed up a tremendous amount of my time. (Although I do miss getting to personally interact with each speaker in the capacity that I did last year when I composed personal interviews with each speaker.) I love not having to put the time in but I miss having put the time in. This year I’ve spent a few hours a week, more during the selection phase. WCLAX is this weekend and my job is essentially done. I’ll be on call to ensure the speakers get to the right room at the right time but the work is finished (for me at least). What motivated you to get involved in a WordCamp leadership role? WordCamps are a lot of work to put on and they are organized by a very small minority of WordPressers. After my first WordCamp I realized that if the events are going to exist, a group of people must show up and put the work in beforehand to make them happen. I want WordCamps to continue to happen so I want to show up and do some small part to make them happen to the best of my abilities. Organizing is important but volunteering, speaking, and sponsoring WordCamps are also important. If you want to get involved and you don’t want too much responsibility or you don’t want to spend money or you don’t want to get up on stage you should volunteer. What should a WordCamp newcomer expect? Expect a ton of friendly nerds and bring a backpack to fill with free t-shirts from several hosting companies that will have tables in the …