Tech Seminar

VeganMoFo: Tech Edition

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Happy VeganMoFo 2012 Kick-Off, everyone!

We don’t have a single theme (oh, by the way, did you notice our new theme?!), but we’re gonna have theme days. In preparation/celebration of our Seattle Tech Seminar, we’re diving in to blogging tech (mostly). We’ll have tech tips brought to you by people way smarter than us, Seattle funspots, speaker spotlights, Food-Friday Fundays…and once a week, we’ll have a Q&A day.

Q&A? Yes, so we need some Qs! Shoot us your questions and we’ll dig around/ask around to get you the answers! Tweet at us, throw it up on the Facebook page, or email us at VidaVeganConference [at] gmail [dot] com.

But before we get started, we just wanted to give you a glimpse into our weekend! We’re in Chicago for location scouting and VeganMania, Chicago’s vegan-only veg fest, with vendors, nonprofits, a hefty food court (featuring Chicago Diner, Upton’s, and Native Foods as well as a lot of smaller restaurants and bakeries), and classes. Check out the crowd shot:

We all went to Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese demo, where we tried some of the quicker, unaged cheeses, including ricotta-stuffed shells and a next-to-instant but tasty nacho cheese. I’ve never seen so many people get super excited to try vegan cheesemaking before. It looks like this book is actually worth the hype. I know what I’m doing when I get back home to Portland.

Tech Seminar Classes & Speakers

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It’s here! It’s here! We’ve got class descriptions and instructors for our Tech Seminar. And they’re some brainy folks.

Every step of the way, developing this seminar has been so exciting—not just getting Veggie Grill to sponsor lunch, either. We really wanted to put together classes to answer questions we heard from the VVC comment cards, in the Facebook group, and, quite honestly, what we face every day. Should I pay the $30 to be able to edit my CSS code in WordPress? Can I just use the free YouTube video editor? How do you link your social media platforms (and should you)?

With glee and joy and all things that are good, we present to you the lineup for Vida Vegan’s very first seminar: Tech.

(Check out this page for further information and registration!)

Blog Design in an Ever-Changing Digital Landscape

What should you be doing when your blog starts getting heavier traffic? Do you know what responsive design is? Is your blog’s theme or layout ready for mobile, tablets, and other screen sizes and resolutions? Are you interested in changing your theme, updating your fonts, or learning a little CSS to help with design?

Learn how to choose the correct platform, blog theme, hosting solution, and design strategies to make sure visitors have a smooth experience and keep coming back. We will provide examples during class with a take-away sheet of helpful URLs.

Tim Mauldin is Software Architect and Technologist who has done projects for companies large and small. He is an expert in software optimization and loves to solve performance problems. He currently resides in Austin, TX, and has a vegan taco problem.

Elizabeth Miller is Design Lead as well as Senior Front-End Developer for Squishymedia, a medium-size web development agency in Portland. Elizabeth’s 10 years of design experience includes projects for Ralph Lauren, Sony, and Mercedes-Benz. She designs beyond surface appearances to create lovely and usable interactive experiences. She loves vegan mac-n-cheese burritos the most.

Next-Level Social Media

How do you connect your blogging goals with social media? This intermediate-level session for people already active with Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks will explore the use of these tools to build community and craft your personal vs. blog identity. We’ll look at identifying and utilizing emerging social media platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. We’ll also touch upon best practices for sharing content across these different platforms

Helen Pitlick is super excited to be speaking about social media. She has a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington, teaches lawyers how to blog at LexBlog, and previously managed social media for In her spare time, she writes Vegtastic! and probably tweets too much about cats.

Dawn Quinn is fascinated with social media and the ways communication is constantly changing. She began the MCDM program at University of Washington this fall so she could further study these changes. Dawn is a copywriter, blogs at Vegan Moxie, eats lots of Brussels sprouts, and lives with her partner and two cats.

The Nuts ‘n’ Bolts of a Web Page

In this class, we will walk through the basics of creating a simple web page that will introduce three core web technologies: HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Starting with the simplest possible valid HTML code, we will incrementally make the page more interesting by adding: content (HTML), style (CSS) and interaction (Javascript).

By the end of the class, we will have created an informative, pretty and dyncamic page, as well as developed a basic knowledge of web development.

Colin Barringer works for athenaHealth, Inc., developing medical billing software. He has an M.S. in computer science, has been working as a web developer for 4 years, and has extensive knowledge of a variety of computer programming languages. When pushed, he might admit that the Internet was a mistake.

Podcasting on a Budget

Whether you’re looking to get involved in community radio or want to independently produce a podcast, Barb will show you tips and tricks that will bring your podcast activism to the next level, no matter what your budget. Topics include choosing recording equipment and software according to your needs, finances, and operating system (Mac or PC), getting your show into iTunes and other podcatchers, integrating with your blog, and managing related web and social media efforts. You’ll also learn mic technique, editing shortcuts and best practices, and tips for managing interview notes and information overload.

Barb Troyer is the technical producer and co-host of All Things Vegan radio, a low-budget labor of love, broadcasting for 2 years on community radio in Bend, Oregon‒and podcasting to the world. An IT consultant by day, Barb tweaks software and graphics and teaches end users, who she rewards with vegan candy.

Shooting, Editing & Integrating Video

You don’t need to be intimidated by video. We’ll look at choosing equipment and shooting video, editing programs, and adding extras like titles and audio. We’ll also cover hosting and embedding these videos into your blog or website.

Angel Barclay is an Environmental Studies major at the University of Oregon. She enjoys exploring all the natural wonders Oregon has to offer, riding her bicycle, and documenting her adventures. She began creating videos in 2010, to share her exploits with friends and family residing 2,000 miles away in the state of cornfields and fireflies: Illinois (where she called home, until 2009). She blogs at Sister Legumes, and you can find her on her Vimeo channel, when she’s not hijacking her boyfriend’s YouTube channel, BreadBikeBlog.

Who Needs a Tech Seminar Scholarship?

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Is this you?

You need help getting over some technical hurdles with your blog because you thought college was a place to learn and think and explore the universe and its deeper mysteries…so you’ve got a worthless B.A. and you really can’t afford the classes you need now to make up for the classes you didn’t take when you were a kid.

Well, we’ve got two seats reserved for the likes of you. We’re offering two registration-only scholarships for November’s Tech Seminar in Seattle. The rules are simple—we won’t hold your bright-eyed idealism against you—so check it out here.

See you in Seattle!

Veggie Grill + Tech Seminar = We Can’t Wait!

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All you cats ‘n’ kittens out there who are deprived of Veggie Grill, we have one question for you: Have you registered for the Tech Seminar yet? Because if you did, you’re gonna be noshin’ on kale salad, gut-filling sandwiches, and some of the best dern carrot cake this side of the Mississip’. (Disclaimer: It could be walnut & chocolate chip cookies and/or pudding parfait instead of the carrot cake.)

That’s right, Veggie Grill has just signed on to sponsor lunch for this November’s Tech Seminar in Seattle! We couldn’t be more excited to share this with you. If you’ve never eaten there before, picture all your fast-food guilty pleasures from your pregan days…well, let’s just show you!

And here’s Janessa and Michele doing what they do best—deciding what to eat!

Wanted: Vegan Seminar Seeks Pacific Northwest Videoblogger & Podcaster

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Vida Vegan Seeking Radio- and Video-experienced Vegans for Tech Seminar

Are you a vegan living in the Pacific Northwest who just happens to know some of the ins and outs of videoblogging or radio/podcasting? Are you a blogger with a film degree? Are you an A/V professional? Do you have a passion for radio or habit of podcasting? Do you want to help others learn? Can you talk to Mac and PC users? Android and iPhone folk?

We want you!

Details: Vida Vegan HQ is finishing up our agenda for the first ever Vida Vegan Tech Seminar on November 3, 2012, at the Seattle Public Library. Other topics include Design Basics, Coding/Nuts-n-Bolts, and Social Media Marketing Mastery. You will be asked to prepare one 40-minute presentation on videoblogging or podcasting and be ready to field 10-15 minutes of Q&A. Laptop/PowerPoint use is welcome. We will also require a written piece to include in our coursebook, be it an outline of your presentation, equipment specs, or tips (we’ll help you with this!).

For consideration, please email with your qualifications by July 31, 2012. A small travel reimbursement is provided.

Thank you!

Tech Seminar Registration Is Open!

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Ready to get your nerd on? Registration is now open for our November 2012 Tech Seminar. Get the tools you need to bend the Internet to your will.

Find out all you need to know here!

(If you still haven’t registered for May 2013’s three-day Vida Vegan Con, you can do that over here.)

Vida Vegan Tech Seminar

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Hot on the heels of 2013 Con registration, we have more news for you!

It’s the Vida Vegan Seminar Series. These are going to be one-day seminars focusing on a single topic, with a small classroom and instructors prepared to make sure you leave for the day with a nice little skill set. We’ll space them out (between the conferences) and try to travel around a bit with them.

Our first seminar is set to take place this fall—Saturday, November 3, at the gorgeous Seattle Public Library, to be exact—and we’ll be diving into the technical aspects of Internet veganism: blogging and social media. At the end of the day, you will be armed with skills and resources to build a more effective online presence.

Classes will run one at a time, with lunch and snack breaks, and are set to include (we’re locking down our instructors and their specialties now):

  • Shooting & Sharing Video
  • Podcasting on a Budget
  • Strategic Social Media & Outreach
  • Design Basics & Tools
  • Blog Building, Coding & Hosting

We are limiting class size to 50 attendees so everyone gets ample Q&A time. Registration will open Friday, July 20, and is nonrefundable, no exceptions.

Interested? All the info is on the Tech Seminar page, which we’ll be updating as details are confirmed.