Countdown to WordCamp Miami 2016

I am Attending WordCamp Miami 2016COUNTDOWN TO WORDCAMP MIAMI 2016

I’ve made my reservations and I’ve got my tickets – I’m all set for WordCamp Miami! I am signed up for the  Freelancer’s Workshop. To follow will be two days of fascination, donuts, and information overload.

WordCamp is a professional development opportunity for those who use the WordPress website platform. Pre-conference workshops offer the opportunity to deep-dive into a particular area of study. Conference sessions provide new inspiration and ideas. I finally took the plunge this past fall; I attended WordCamp Tampa and never regretted it.

The speaker list for Miami shows that there is some overlap with WordCamp Tampa. There are also speakers I’ve never seen or heard before. I haven’t gone through the session schedule yet, but I think that’s a task best left until finalization.  There will be a “How To” track, a “Content and Design” track, and a “Developer’s” track on the first day. The second day will feature tracks called “Business”, “All Users”, and “Learning Javascript Deeply”.

In the Freelancer’s Workshop, I’m  interested in the sessions on pricing, taxes, and profits.  The Q&A panel should be useful as well. This WordCamp will also feature a workshop for beginners, as well as a BuddyCamp.

During the conference proper, I predict that the Business track will prove useful to me. Much of the Business track content is applicable to the non-WordPress aspects of my business. I build, secure, and maintain simple brochure sites for small businesses. I am also a corporate consultant, practicing the information risk and security management disciplines. I want to grow the WordPress part of my business beyond the small handful of clients I’ve collected thus far.

Here in Florida, we are fortunate to have three WordCamp opportunities within driving distance of one another.  Although dates have not yet been announced for Orlando, I’m eagerly looking forward to it. I am, after all, an annual passholder to multiple theme parks in that area.

ºoº .•:*¨¨*:•. ºoº

LINK: WordCamp Miami 2016


Professional Development for WordPress

2015-09 Welcome To WordCamp Tampa WORDPRESSProfessional Development for WordPress Users

Last week, I attended WordCamp Tampa, which was held at the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida campus in Tampa.  It was a great opportunity to Continue reading Professional Development for WordPress

Why not recruit a boomer today?

Geeks at the Opera by Ed Yourdon | baby boomer tech geeks | not recruit a boomer today?

It perplexes me when companies moan about millennials, yet invest heavily in developing strategies to recruit and manage them.

There are plenty of boomers who were laid off during the recession (and fell off the jobless rate radar) who would Continue reading Why not recruit a boomer today?

Upgrades, Professionalism, and more – The Roundup 09-22-2015

2015-09-22 Peanutized croppedUpgrades, Professionalism, and more – The Roundup 09-22-2015

It was a week of upgrades!

If Facebook’s “On This Day” feature is to be believed, then this is a common time of year for a new iOS version to be released. At my house, this meant upgrading an iPhone 6 and an older iPad mini.

We also had a significant security and maintenance release from WordPress. Automation helped to ease the burden of that upgrade – especially useful if you’re taking care of routine maintenance for more than half a dozen sites and growing.

And just to make life even more interesting, Continue reading Upgrades, Professionalism, and more – The Roundup 09-22-2015

Environment, Online Privacy, and more – The Roundup 09-15-2015

Downtown Fort Myers from the rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo | © 2015 Erin White All Rights ReservedEnvironment, Online Privacy, and more – The Roundup 09-15-2015

This past week was focused primarily on environmental education and networking. I attended a few lectures and also led a “summit” – a kickoff meeting of sorts to establish priorities for Florida SEE, the environmental education non-profit where I am Board chair.  In addition to all of this, we in the freelance/entrepreneur community all had to get in touch with our inner accountant this week. That’s right, quarterly taxes!  Another very busy, very good week.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Continue reading Environment, Online Privacy, and more – The Roundup 09-15-2015

Feast, Famine, FREELANCE! The Roundup 09-08-2015

ParadiseCoastConsultingLLC.comFeast, Famine, FREELANCE! The Roundup 09-08-2015

Freelancing can be associated with many F-words (no, not THAT one), but they won’t all fit on the subject line. Feast, famine, and fire hose are all excellent descriptors of volume and timing as freelancing work ebbs and flows. Then there’s flexibility, the F-word that allows me to take a day here and a day there to attend a workshop, embark upon a naturalist expedition, or get some volunteer work done during the work week.

But what puts the “free” in freelancing is Continue reading Feast, Famine, FREELANCE! The Roundup 09-08-2015

Leader or bully? The Roundup 08-30-2015

Leader Bully CollageLeader or bully? The Roundup 08-30-2015

I hope your week was as productive as mine! Don’t ever let a freelancer tell you that it’s either feast or famine. I am here to testify – there’s a third category, called “fire hose”.  That big, juicy project was also a hurry-up project that required all of my waking hours this past week.  Mostly, I had my head down getting it done, but I did manage to squeeze in a bit of news-reading here and there.

The biggest news here in Southwest Florida was coverage of the hurricane that Continue reading Leader or bully? The Roundup 08-30-2015

Practice Safe Computing – The Roundup 08-23-2015

“Woman Sitting On Briefcase” by Ambro |FreeDigitalPhotos.netPractice Safe Computing – The Roundup 08-23-2015

It has been a very busy (read: billable) week here in the land of freelance ambiguity.

I’ve bought and installed a MUCH more ergonomic desk in the home office. My beautiful antique oak school teacher’s desk just wasn’t designed for hours and hours of computing time. Ergonomics and body mechanics while computing are just as important as firewalls and virus scanners.

The new desk arrived just in time. I’ve been embroiled in a big, juicy project, and my non-profit work is spinning along, too. I’ve promised myself a massage just as soon as the project is turned in. Oh, and I’m a year older than the last time you heard from me. The new desk and the massage are birthday presents to myself.

Here’s a sample of what I felt compelled to share this week:

Continue reading Practice Safe Computing – The Roundup 08-23-2015

Digital content and more – The Roundup 08-16-2015

sunset on Fort Myers BeachDigital Content and more – The Roundup 08-16-2015

It was a busy week, and that made it a good week.  If there was a huge, international trending topic this week, it flew under my radar. That happens sometimes, when you’ve got your head down in work.

Emerging from such a week can feel like the aftermath of an intense workout – you’re drenched, spent, yet exhilarated.

It was a GOOD week. Here’s what I’ve been sharing… Continue reading Digital content and more – The Roundup 08-16-2015

Online privacy tools – The Roundup 08-08-2015

Online privacy, environment, foodie, nature geek, social media, working from homeOnline privacy tools and more – The Roundup 08-08-2015

Another week, another collection of things I read and posted about. The big topic of discussion this week was the GOP debate on Fox News. You’ll be grateful to hear that I won’t be commenting on that.  At all. You’re welcome.

I’m changing the name of this weekly post, and it will be different every week.  Yoast made me do it. May have to migrate to another solution, but for now, it’s still some flavor of Roundup.


Having worked in information risk management most of my career, the tendency to think like a risk manager spills over into my personal life. However, most consumers who use various social media channels haven’t yet caught up to why personal information risk management should even be a “thing” in their lives. At last, here’s a collection of consumer-grade tools and easily-understood rationales for their adoption and use.  Covers permissions, VPN, online search, and other topics and tools.  You’re welcome!

And then, there’s the latest privacy insanity from Facebook –

I know a woman who was denied an opportunity for her company to partner with Company X because of something her husband did in his youth. Yes, they not only background-checked my friend (as well they should), but also her husband – who hasn’t anything to do with her business.

I believe that on the job, people should be judged on their own performance, and not that of their friends or family.  Anything beyond that, and you’re drifting into a very gray area where the risk of a lawsuit could outweigh the risk of employing staff who hang out with human beings prone to human error.

PS – my friend’s company is kicking Company X’s tail at the moment. I bet they wish they had a piece of that.


I used to blog for What’s Your Impact?, a website concerned with climate change. Every now and then, one of my posts resurfaces, and they give me a shout on Twitter. I wish I still had time for this, but I need billable hours these days.  

I’ve run across the concept of “dominion = stewardship” before. The concept exists in various religious and spiritual traditions, and has been expressed by prominent figures throughout history. So many who believe in using, abusing, and laying waste to the Earth’s resources fail to comprehend that “dominion” does not mean “I’m the boss of you, Planet Earth, and I’ll do with you whatever I want”. What it really means is, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.” (Luke 12:48). Or to put it into more contemporary terms, “With great power comes great responsibility” (Spiderman). It is my most fervent wish that the world’s leaders would embrace the concept of stewardship, instead of allowing Big Money to run roughshod over the planet.


I was excited to try out Hootsuite’s solution for scheduling Instagram posts. To be honest, I think I like Latergramme’s solution better. It’s a little clunky to have to manually transfer captions. I’ll give it a few more tries before reverting to Latergramme.

By the way – this is a shot of the restored ceiling at the Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers, Florida, home of T.G.I.M. (Thank God for Indie Mondays) presented by the Fort Myers Film Festival. This is a great way to spend the first Monday evening of each month. Check out the schedule for more information.


Working from home successfully is not just about how you’ve outfitted your home office. There’s a refrigerator down there, and I often hear it calling me. Working from home can be both a challenge and a blessing when it comes to nutrition. If it’s in the house, you WILL eat it. Therefore, if it’s in the house, make sure that it is healthy, nutritious, and convenient. A little prep ahead of time plus judicious use of the freezer can go a long way toward keeping you well-fed but not unhealthy.


Obligatory nature geek post; finally edited the photos from a hike through Paynes Prairie that took place at the end of June. Lots of bright light is not a photographer’s friend, but we do what we can – enjoy!
2015-06-27 Paynes Prairie | Gainesville, FL

Reading Roundup 08/01/2015

Reading Roundup Reading Roundup | Week Ending 08/01/2015

A stalled “rainmaker” weather system over Southwest Florida resulted in some astonishing rainfall totals.  Unpleasant weather yielded to a break after a week. In the meantime, it was a good opportunity to stay inside and get some meaningful work done. When it was over, I visited the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve to check out the water levels. Let’s just say the Gator Lake overflowed!

Here’s what I’ve been reading and posting about this week:

Continue reading Reading Roundup 08/01/2015

Reading Roundup Week Ending 07/24/2015

2015-07-24 Reading RoundupReading Roundup | Week Ending 07/24/2015

How was YOUR week? Mine was packed with wall-to-wall meetings and opportunities to network with new contacts. Also, for what it’s worth, I hit 1,600 tweets this morning; not exactly a mystical milestone, but I just happened to notice it, so I thought I’d mention it.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Continue reading Reading Roundup Week Ending 07/24/2015

Reading Roundup for Week Ending 07/17/2015 Reading RoundupWelcome to the Reading Roundup for Week Ending July 17th, 2015

The work week is always unpredictable in the life of a freelancer. Consulting gigs present themselves when they present themselves, so adaptation to a life of ambiguity is a must. Other forms of interruption may also present themselves. This week, it was the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of the long-awaited Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.  Due to the aforementioned unpredictability of workload, I’m only just smack-dab in the middle of it – will let you know how I liked it.

Here are some of the other things I’ve been reading and sharing this week:

Continue reading Reading Roundup for Week Ending 07/17/2015

Reading Roundup for week ending 07/10/2015

Reading Roundup ParadiseCoastConsultingLLC.comWELCOME TO THE READING ROUNDUP for week ending July 10th, 2015

My favorite time of day is early morning with a cup of coffee and an electronic device, satisfying my information junkie tendencies.

Here are some of the things I read and experienced this week that I found compelling enough to share on social media.

WARNING: broad diversity of subject matter may lie ahead!

Continue reading Reading Roundup for week ending 07/10/2015

Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award

2014 Citizen of the Year Award
Lee County, FL 2014 Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award nomination

For the second year running, I’ve been nominated for the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award. Both years, my nomination was the result of volunteer work for Conservation 20/20, Lee County’s land conservation and stewardship organization. Although I didn’t win, I got a good look at the nominees list. I’m satisfied that some deserving folks made it to the finals.

I think of volunteerism as a double-edged sword. I have learned a great deal while volunteering.  I have also Continue reading Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award

Brick & Mortar Breakout: Finding your freelance community

2014-12-17 BREAKOUTBrick & Mortar Breakout: Finding Your Freelance Community

The holidays are a time of year when freelancers might wax nostalgic for an office environment. Working for a brick & mortar establishment comes with a built-in professional network. As freelancers, our offices house a party of one.  There aren’t any cubicle walls over which to prairie-dog companionably with colleagues.

How, then, to get your professional holiday party on? Continue reading Brick & Mortar Breakout: Finding your freelance community

Good news for non-profits on Facebook, maybe

2014-11-21 FB Notification Follow 3Facebook is once again poised to change the algorithm that determines what users see the most of in their news feeds – and it may mean good news for non-profits. See New York Times article, linked at the end of this post for details.

Come January 2015, the algorithm will monitor brand page posts for advertising content, and then limit visibility to fans. The idea is to force brands to Continue reading Good news for non-profits on Facebook, maybe

Work windows, and why we need them

FullSizeRenderThe article linked below describes splitting your day into 90-minute windows, reckoning that an average “task” takes around 90 minutes to complete. This concept of “windows” or “units” is not new to me. Rather humorously, I first encountered it in one of my favorite must-see-it-at-Christmas-time films, About A Boy.  However, the protagonist’s “units” had little to do with working for a living.

Still, the idea bears merit. Dividing the day into blocks defines when the task begins and when it ends. It can help to drive focus, and to curb the inclination to tweak to perfection (news flash: perfection is Continue reading Work windows, and why we need them

Are you prepared for Small Business Saturday?

2014-11-08 Small Business SaturdayAre you a small brick-and-mortar business that could use a little free marketing help?  Check out this page by American Express (see link, below). Marketing materials and a map of other participating businesses are just the start of what you’ll find here.  In addition to promoting your own small business, you can also locate and support other businesses just like yours, by shopping there on Small Business Saturday.

IMG_6822_EMWPersonally, I can think of no better way of heading into the holiday season than by strolling, dining, and shopping the streets of downtown Fort Myers, otherwise known as our Historic River District. In addition to being the county seat, Fort Myers offers wonderful restaurants, scenic river views (have you tried sunset over the Caloosahatchee from one of the rooftop establishments?), unique, fun shops, and other activities.

See you there!

Inspired by: American Express: Small Business Saturday FREE Marketing Materials

The best jobs in the world are made, not got

IMG_7108 Boating on Estero Bay, November 2012. © Erin White
“I don’t think I’m getting a job. I think I’m making a job.”

It was a brilliant, blue-sky day in November, 2012. Full-time Florida residents live for this type of day – the heat of the summer is behind us, but the massive influx of snowbirds is still before us.  We get to enjoy our Florida unfettered.

Gary was at the wheel.  Tootie and I had each draped ourselves into the mandatory lounging position on either side of the vessel. We were headed into Estero Bay, deeply grateful for the sky, the water, the sunshine, and the freedom to enjoy it all. Thinking about the reasons why I, in particular, could enjoy said freedom, I remarked to Tootie, “You know, I don’t think I’m getting a job.  I think I’m making a job.” And with those words, I did what any plugged-in netizen of this day and age would do.  I snapped a pic of my bare feet against the idyllic backdrop, and posted it to Facebook.

I’d been struggling with Continue reading The best jobs in the world are made, not got

Control the place where your content lives

utterli i will never forgive youThe end of Yahoo’s contributor network reminds me of a difficult lesson I learned in my early days of mobile blogging. I had a tidy group of readers following me around, and I enjoyed conversing with them while in the act of adventuring. Sometimes that meant trading comments on a blog post in real-time.  Yet, as soon as I discovered a site called Utterz (later Utterli), it meant Continue reading Control the place where your content lives

Digital Content: NABA Butterfly Count at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

I volunteer for wildlife surveys several times a year.  These are opportunities to get away from the desk and air conditioning, and commune with nature in the company of other nature geeks, from whom I learn so many things.  Wildlife surveys are also opportunities to study and photograph wildlife, and to help nature-based organizations understand how conservation land is being used, and by which species. Yesterday’s foray into the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary had us counting butterflies for NABA. I was able to get some decent shots for environmental education purposes.  Check out the Flickr slideshow, below.

NOTE: if the slideshow embed doesn’t work for you, click this link:

Digital Content: Yellow Fever Creek Preserve

IMG_9683Here’s the fun side of what I do for a living – I develop digital content that serves up environmental education.

My aim in photography is not so much to develop works of art, but to illustrate a story. This is the story of an evening hike at one of Conservation 20/20’s preserves.  The preserve is in Cape Coral, Florida.  Enjoy the tour!

The uselessness of @LinkedIn endorsements

LinkedInTopSkillsI’ve long been dismayed at the sorry state of LinkedIn “endorsements”. The model makes it really easy for anyone to endorse you for anything – whether they know you have that skill or not.

Mostly I’m baffled by what motivates someone I sat next to in high school choir class to endorse me for my risk management skills. We’ve never worked together, not since the decoration of the homecoming parade float back in (excruciatingly long-ago date deleted) . How does she know if I’m Continue reading The uselessness of @LinkedIn endorsements

Working from home, self-discipline, and social independence

Home Office 011720113125Working from home isn’t for everyone; actually, if you ask Marissa Mayer or Jamie Dimon, working from home isn’t for ANYONE.  Despite their opinions on the subject, there are those of us who, whether freelancing for ourselves or telecommuting for someone else, can work from home and consistently outshine our office-dwelling counterparts.

What’s our secret?  I’ve identified two things about me that probably typify the successful telecommuter. Continue reading Working from home, self-discipline, and social independence

Easy steps toward protecting online privacy

FB Birthday GreetingsHere is some really useful advice from Forbes on protecting your privacy online (see link below this post).

To this list I would add, “Lie about your date of birth.”

DISCLAIMER: USE YOUR JUDGEMENT!  Obviously, there are times when you should NOT lie about your D.O.B.  For instance, when you are applying for a line of credit, a job, or a driver’s license, don’t lie. When you are paying taxes, don’t lie. These are instances whereby there are valid reasons to provide your real, personally-identifying information. It actually protects you to do so, in some cases.

However, there is no good reason why Facebook or Gmail or your knitting forum needs your true D.O.B., other than Continue reading Easy steps toward protecting online privacy

Social media and your employer

Free Speech MeansBack in the old days, when it was just forums instead of Facebook, avatars instead of profile pictures, and fictitious user names instead of actual identities, I never once mentioned on a public forum the name of the institution for which I slaved.

Beginning with my very first Compuserve account, and before the implementation of the mouse, I was known everywhere I went online by some form of the name of my favorite animated character. I made up names for my employer, at first calling them “MegaBank” in honor of their size and global reach. Eventually, significant growth resulting from multiple mergers and acquisitions, led to a re-anointing as “GigaFirm”, which really ended up sounding more like an anti-cellulite product than a financial institution. Regardless, until the advent of LinkedIn, I never once Continue reading Social media and your employer

Service: to supply with aid

IMG_4073“What is it you want to do with your life? …every decision you make from here on out should be in service of that.”

– the naked man on How I Met Your Mother

I never expected that line in the middle of the whole “Naked Man” schtick. To his credit, the actor delivered it with the utmost of sincerity, despite the fact that “your balls are on my couch.” Over the course of a television series that spanned Continue reading Service: to supply with aid

Sunsets: the eye candy of digital content

IMG_9576Where online content is concerned, does it get much better than a sunset? Apparently, it does!

Sunset is my favorite time to hit the beach with camera in hand, especially if it coincides with low tide. The beach is laid seemingly bare by the ebb, but countless small worlds and denizens await discovery amongst the tidal pools and puddles.  And at the end of our walk, we get an eye-catching treat, which is what makes sunsets such excellent digital content.

Check the link for a unique perspective on sunset photography –

Photographs of Sunsets as Reflected through Shattered Mirrors by Bing Wright | Colossal.

Who runs the world? Female entrepreneurs, that’s who.

It’s startling to see these statistics in print – the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Women in Business reports that 30% of all new businesses are owned by women, and that 90% of female entrepreneurs are sole proprietors.

What could be causing women to enter the workplace as their own bosses in such significant numbers? Maybe it’s because Continue reading Who runs the world? Female entrepreneurs, that’s who.

What Obamacare Means For The Self-Employed, The Start-Up Worker, The Freelancer | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Thus far, there is no indication of what one should do if one has already purchased a “party of one” health care insurance policy. Last time I switched, it was because COBRA had come to an end. At that time, I discovered I’d been paying for a lot of things for which I had little to no use (gastric by-pass surgery, well baby care, and more).  I ended up saving a bunch, but I am still paying more monthly than I would if I just paid cash every time I needed medical care.  Time to do some research and come up with a list of options – stay tuned…


What Obamacare Means For The Self-Employed, The Start-Up Worker, The Freelancer | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Siri enables hackcess to your phone

Siri help me

Looking for an easy way to hack into your phone? Simply ask Siri to help you.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to disallow Siri from your lockscreen. By default, and despite the phone being locked, Siri will cheerfully dispense the answers to such questions as, “What’s my address?” and “Text so-and-so”.

The following article from Naked Security provides more details:

Siri offers the latest backdoor into your iPhone – just ask nicely! | Naked Security

You can adjust the default and prevent unauthorized access to your phone by performing the following steps (if your passcode lock is currently turned off, then you won’t have access to these controls. Turn passcode lock on to change these settings):



2) Where it says “Allow access when locked”, turn that OFF.