I am pleased to post my WordCamp Asheville presentation: Standardizing Your WordPress Workflow. This presentation covers the strategy in developing a workflow that works for your small business or agency.
When I’m not toiling away in OmniGraffle, creating site maps, wireframes, and associated product documentation, you can find me creating DJ mixes using the digital audio workstation, Ableton Live. Before I got involved in building and managing really cool web products, I was a DJ in the Boston area. And, that’s where, in 1995, I launched Netmix.com. It was the first DJ culture website in the world to broadcast globally renowned DJs in the mix.
I originally ran the site out of my apartment in Brookline, MA. I paid a local web development shop about $10,000 over two-years to build and host the site and Real Audio streams. In 1996, I split up with my girlfriend at the time and moved to New York City to pursue fame and fortune as one of the first online music start-ups. After 5 difficult years working p/t to pay the bills and spending nights and weekends on Netmix, I sold the company for $3.165 Million in cash and stock. While that looks like a phenomenal sum on paper, it turned gold honey pot turned to a dark bronze.
Our deal closed on June 1st, 2000. I bought a few bottles of Moët & Chandon, then popped the cork in the office we were sub-leasing from one of my former partner’s friends on University Place at 10th Street in the West Village. I remember shedding a few tears of relief, for it was a long arduous journey from growing up in subsidized housing in the Allston section of Boston, to being handed a check for $100,000 with the next payment around the corner. Unfortunately, that payment never came. The bubble had burst and our parent company couldn’t raise a nickel to keep us alive. In fact, despite our combined traffic numbers and the dedication of our content team, our sales team hadn’t sold a dollar of advertising that summer. While Netmix was on its way to generating our first $100,000 in sales that year, our parent company folded only 6 months later. The advertising market bottomed out and the writing was on the wall.
After 6-years of continuous growth, Netmix went dark. I still have all the mixes. One day I’ll put them all online again.
It’s been 11-years since those tumultuous days of what is now called “dotcom 1.0.” In 2003, I discovered WordPress, a blogging platform that allowed me to bring Netmix back online as a blog. Since that time, I have published over 400 articles and launched my podcast, the Netmix Global House Sessions. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing–Netmix will always be live. It may not be as timely or as relevant as it once was. The inconsistent publishing schedule is evident and my mixes are the only audio on the site. But, I don’t do it for the money. I do to keep alive what I first started over 16-years ago. And, who knows where it will go.
In the spirit of Netmix, here is my latest Global House Sessions podcast. You can either listen to the SoundCloud version below, or subscribe to the podcast and download it with iTunes to your desktop or iOS device.
English clergyman, John Donne once said, “No man is an island…” He may have been right then, but today, this one man (yes, that little construction worker above) is an island unto himself, rebuilding all of my web properties under my Netmix Media umbrella brick by brick. This entails converting all of my WordPress enabled web sites in a single, WordPress multisite network consisting of all the domains I operate. And, it involves exporting databases for each site and importing them into the multisite instance, moving all themes and plug-ins from each site into the new system, and then making sure all the media assets that are pulled over in the database transfer are properly linked.
I noticed that with my Netmix.com web site, a lot of the text content came over, but multimedia assets outside of the WordPress wp-content/uploads folder need to be fixed, as the links to these assets are broken. I also noticed that for every site that I employ NextGen Gallery, I’ve had to download the “gallery” folder from “wp-content” for each blog, and then recreate galleries in the new network. Unfortunately, no available plug-in exists to export NexGen galleries from a single site instance to a multi-site network. It has to be done manually. This, my friends, is a lot of work!
Many of the plug-ins I use for social media, like Twitter Tools or Intense Debate, need to be connected up correctly to each system. While multisite allows for a plug-in to be used across all the blogs in your network, each one has to be enabled with its own API key or login, to work correctly for each site. Nothing like publishing something here on TonyZeoli.com, and then have it appear on DigitalStrategyWorks, my digital strategy consulting company’s site.
Given my day job as Lead Developer at UNC Chapel Hill, this work has to take place nights and weekends. While I could put all the sites in maintenance mode to hide their various states, where some haven’t been updated with new content and others have layout issues, they don’t garner enough attention to justify shutting them down while I bring each one back to life.
At this point, I’m extremely busy with ensuring that we wind down Reese News web operations for a skeleton publishing staff, who will be contributing to the site for the summer. It will afford me the opportunity to migrate our media assets to a CDN, which should increase site performance and speed.
If you’re looking at this blog and wondering what the heck happened to my TonyZeoli.com publishing schedule, well, as you can see not much. My goal right now is not to publish to the blog, as much as it is to fix everything and get them all ready for the future. As each blog/site is updated, I’ll talk about those updates here. We can measure the progress together.
With that in mind, I’m working on revamping Netmix.com into a blog focused on web and mobile application design and development in the music industry. Other categories included education and careers, video, and the business of music as seen through the eyes of the individuals doing the work. It wont’ be so much a music news site, as it will be a blog with contributions from various players in most aspects of the music industry.
Thanks for stopping by and for cutting me some slack. I certainly need it!
On Facebook, URB Mag publisher and HuffPo columnist, Ray Roker, posted this:
Raymond Leon Roker: “Dear unemployed person, I feel for you, but the job you used to have doesn’t exist anymore. No time to complain or whine about the “economy.” You simply… Must. Learn. New. Shit.”
Learning is critical in today’s job market. Here are some of the things I did to keep myself busy while seeking new employment.
1. I launched WordPress Westchester using Meetup.com to promote myself and my colleagues as WordPress experts. I’ve gotten a few clients through this method of self promotion.
2. Launched a Digital Media consulting company, Digital Strategy Works. The website is tied to Facebook and Twitter, and I am actively utilizing this resource for self-promotion and marketing…. See More
3. Hired an intern to help me promote and market DSW. There are plenty of young people who want to network and need experience. Even if you only need them 6 to 10 hours a week, it’s enough to help you get your message out and start drumming up some business.
4. Volunteered to help build and manage a website for the National Museum of Hip-Hop. It was a ton of work, but keeping with the project gave the impression to others that I was busy working on something important. People like to work with people who are busy. If you sit around sending out resumes and hoping that someone is going to call you, they might, but what’s more important is to stay visible in your field. Giving away your skills for free isn’t easy, but it will show others that you are committed and that you can execute with nothing more than an idea.
5. Find public speaking opportunities and look in other markets. Don’t be afraid to move to where you are needed, instead of beating your head against the wall in a major metro area. There is growth in other markets, you just need to be willing to look and move. While I am building WordPress Westchester, I looked for other opportunities to speak about my experiences with WordPress. When Wordcamp Raleigh came around a few months ago, I put together a presentation (available on my Slideshare.net account) and asked to speak. While there, I checked out the area, networked with a few web shops, and voila…got a client I am now doing a project for. In addition, that turned into a job opportunity. I sat down next to someone at lunch at the conference, made sure to say hello to him and ask him where he’s from and what he’s doing. That conversation turned into a job offer from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. I’m moving in a month. I know it’s not easy to uproot your family, especially those with children in school, but you also can’t keep killing yourself in the same place if opportunities do not exist where you are, or the competition is driving you out of the market.
6. Make sure you have the best resume and cover letter, but keep things short and to the point. Try as best you can to not take it personal when a recruiter or hiring manager passes you over. It’s their problem, not yours. If you believe you are the most talented person for the job, maybe you are, but in a competitive market, maybe you’re not. Like Raymond says, you’ve got to learn new skills. How do you do that with little income? It’s called the Library. There are a ton of free meetups now. And, you can intern for others while you look. Make yourself useful, make an impact, and you will find what you are looking for.
7. Time. This all takes time. It can take 6 months to a year to reinvigorate your career, but I am living proof that you can leave your job in the worst economy in decades, start a consulting company, pick up clients, and even get a job. How did I do it? I kept busy and focused on the goal. It was so hard, to the point of tears and arguments at home, but in the end it all worked itself out.
8. I went back to school to get my degree in Digital Communications and Media from New York University. Graduated May 09. It’s never too late to go back to school and cement your skills.
It was exciting to read the news this week about dance music across America. The LA Times and Detroit News both published articles that focused on the growth of dance/electronic events. Miami New Times led the story in March with an article about the Ultra Music Festival. MTV followed up, hyping the connections to pop. The last link points to last year's NY Times article about the surge in interest in DJ training/education as the recession took hold.
On Thursday, June 3, I took a risk and went out to pitch my business plan and investor presentation at Hatch Match, a unique meet & greet put together by a group called The Hatchery. While some say The Hatchery is making money and taking advantage of the buzz around the New York start-up scene, other believe its an important and useful tool to help entrepreneurs hone their pitches to ensure they are prepared for the gauntlet.
Musings about our new certified, pre-owned 2007 Honda Civic and why it's best to take the Henry Hudson, instead of the Willis Avenue Bridge.
A few days ago, I inadvertently took down my personal TonyZeoli.com web site, after my former hosting company informed me that they were moving off one provider to another. Although I double checked my admin, I didn't realize my personal blog was still being hosted with the provider in question. Much to my dismay, after I'd sent an "all clear" to the system administrator, they deleted my hosting account and along with it my personal blog.
Of course, being a web veteran, I should have had that site backed up, but I hadn't done it in a while. Alas, I have to rebuild, which is fine because there wasn't much here yet anyway. However, I do plan on really developing this blog/site over time as a hub for everything that I'm working on. I've been re-inspired, so to speak, to use this online venue as a platform for my ideas as well as a place to post things I pick up every day.
Now that I'm publishing TonyZeoli.com, I'm going to do my best to use the Wordpress publishing app for the iPhone, which somehow remains dormant despite the fact that it's on the first screen of my phone.
I'm not sure yet the direction I'm going to take, but I want to be as open as I can about what it is that I'm working on in my daily life. It may go from the mundane to things that I think are quite exciting. I will try and post tutorials about things I've learned with links and images, as well as video musings, maybe a few podcasts, pictures are always fun, and stuff for my portfolio. Hope you can come along for the ride.