Speaker Spotlight: Shannon Smith!

WordCamp Montreal is only two days away! This is the final post in our speaker spotlight series!

I’m happy to present our very own, Shannon Smith!

Shannon is the founder of Café Noir Design a boutique Montreal web design company specializing in bilingual web design. She supports web standards, semantic markup, microformats, open source products, and sustainable business practices. Shannon works with a number of PHP/MySQL content management systems to create clean, minimalist designs, that adhere to W3C standards. She holds graduate degrees in journalism and psychology. Also a foodie and mother of two. Find her on twitter.

Shannon will be giving a talk titled The Future Is Mobile as well as a joint-talk titled Beginner’s Guide to WordPress. She is also heading an unconference titled Where are the women? Où sont les femmes?.

Why WordPress?

Shannon Smith

WordPress is just such a great system. I set up my first WordPress blog about 7 years ago and since then it’s just amazing how many people have contributed to the project. I’m a big fan of open source in general, but I think that WordPress is one of the better examples of a healthy open source ecosystem. The project attracts great talent, whether it’s by contributing code, time, support or just enthusiasm. And as a freelance developer, I also know it’s great for clients. It’s really easy to use and it’s also really easy to modify as a Web site grows and evolves. I really like that flexibility. ANd I like being able to give my clients Web sites that they can manage largely on their own.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

The long answer: It’s a great way to give back to the community. I’ve learned a lot attending WordCamps and I hope I’m thrilled to be able to bring some things that I’ve learned to the table. And it’s especially nice to be able to do this in Montreal. We have such a great tech community and there are so many people contributing to opens source projects here. There’s a really great cross-pollinization effect where what one person contributes to one project, gets applied to another, just because there is so much great communication. Events like WordCamp definitely contribute to that.

The short answer: It’s a lot of fun.

What is your talk going to be about?

I’m going to be talking about how to get your site ready for the future – specifically for the mobile web. The number of people using mobile devices to access the Web is growing so fast. But I see a lot of Web sites that just aren’t working for mobile. If you run a non-profit or a business, that means that one of your most important marketing tools isn’t working for a growing segment of your audience. I’m going to present some easy solutions, but also talk about how you can build beautiful, functional sites that take advantage of the new mobile Web.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Montreal?

The people. WordCamp Montreal attracts a great crowd of interesting, dynamic people who are involved in such a diverse range of the tech community. There are hard-core programmers, mommy bloggers, educational institutions, non-profits. It’s the WordPress community under a microscope. I think it’s amazing that such a diverse audience is attracted to the event.

What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

I hope that people will see that it is quite easy to get started with mobile development. And I hope it encourages people to improve their Web sites so that there are more functional, attractive Web sites out there.

What is your favourite WordPress plugin, and why?

That’s a tough one. WordPress SEO is great. I’ve also been use WP Super Cache and WP Smush.it a lot lately.

This entry was posted in Featured Speakers. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.