WordPress Meetup Tokyo #29: Theme Workshop

At the WordPress Meetup Tokyo yesterday, we held a 2-hour WordPress theme building workshop.

Based on the feedback, sounds like the attendees liked how it went! Thanks to my co-organizers and attendees who helped out each other, everyone was able to learn something new.

I also enjoyed the meetup because it gave me a chance to understand the key elements in learning how to build an original WordPress theme for the first time.

I think these are some of very important (but often overlooked) points:

If this list looks like a no-brainer to you, then you are on the right track.

But if you think WordPress theme building is like a black magic, I highly recommend reading through the Theme Handbook before you head to any other tutorial videos or articles online.

The theme files and instruction text I prepared for the workshop are available here if anyone is interested.

Next WordPress Meetup Tokyo will be on June 12th!

WordPress Meetup Tokyo #30 – June 2016: Plugin Workshop

Sunday, Jun 12, 2016, 3:00 PM

Coworking space kayabacho, co-edo tokyo
Shinkawa 1-3-4, Chuo-ku Tokyo, JP

4 WordPress Users & Developers Attending

In this meetup, we will introduce some basic information on creating WordPress Plugins.If you want to understand how to build your own plugin, come and learn with the meetup group!We highly recommend bringing a laptop with a local development environment.FYI: There will be another WordPress meetup in the afternoon (held in Japanese) at Co-Edo: h…

Check out this Meetup →

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Slides and Photos

Over the weekend, I had the privilege to visit India for the first time to attend WordCamp Mumbai. I had a great time and had yet another realization that going to a WordCamp is a great way to visit a new place.

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Swag

I talked about how WordPress became popular in Japan over the years and shared some tips to grow community or business.

My talk was right before lunch on the second day, so I had an opportunity to chat with several people who were interested in translation and meetups. I felt that it was well worth the trip when I could talk to Hindi, Marathi, and Tibetan translators who wanted to get involved more.

…and I got to introduce Wappu to more WordPress users in a different part of the world. We may soon see Mumbai dabbawala wapuu stickers and shirts?

I also helped staff Automattic’s sponsor table (Jetpack + WooCommerce) along with my 5 of my coworkers. It sounded like WooCommerce is super popular and lots of people were asking Sam technical questions on Jetpack.

Some of the things I noticed that were different from Japanese WordCamps:

  • I saw a huge interest in business and marketing side of things around WordPress.
  • Many of the attendees were super friendly and weren’t shy about coming to say hi.
  • Code/programming-focused sessions outnumbered design/theme dev sessions.
  • Curry and sweets for lunch, and chai for tea break 🍛

Thank you everyone for having me a part of this wonderful event. I can now say for sure that the WordPress community in Mumbai is really strong! Big shout out to the organizing team’s Alex, Aditya, Vachan, Thomson, Ajay, Sahil, Ratnesh, Meher, Amit, Niket, Raj, and Vishal!

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 organizers

Gemma’s No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake

One of our recent favorite cooking (YouTube) shows is Bigger Bolder Baking by Gemma Stafford. Today I made her latest recipe, No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day ❤️

Tiramisu with banana on top 🍫🍌 #valentine #tiramisu

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I skipped the Ladyfingers and whipped cream but added slices of bananas instead. I couldn’t find digestives or graham crackers so I used Japanese cookies called Marie. Marie cookies worked great for layering in between the cheese mix too. A packet of Starbucks VIA seems perfect for the whole recipe (which calls for 5-6 tsp of instant coffee granules).

The recipe on her blog: No-Bake Tiramisu Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day

Team Global Meetup 2016: Tokyo Edition

This week, my team at Automattic had a meetup in… Tokyo! 🗼🎌 I was so waiting for this to happen, and finally… my five teammates and the CFO all made it here.

(Last time was in Copenhagen, Denmark – March 2015)

One thing that didn’t go as planned was that I got a cold during the week 😓 But luckily I was able to join back with the team after seeing my doctor.

On Wednesday, we took a stroll around Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. It was a beautiful sunny day. We could see Mt. Fuji from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory.

We also got to see some plum and early-blossoming cherry flowers in Shinjuku Gyoen Park.


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The last day was a combination of a productive morning clearing out a good number of todos & unresolved issues, 1-on-1 meeting with Alex, then a tasty dinner.

Even though it doesn’t feel like I only meet them (at most) twice a year because we work together every day online, it’s always nice to meet in person and say “Kanpai!” 🍻

Jenia’s series of meetup diary is on her blog.

2015: The Year Of Gratitude

This fall, I wrote that I would pick the word “joy” to describe the past twelve months before my daughter turned one-year-old.

When I look back 2015, I feel very grateful for things that happened to my family and me. Some of them are:

One of my favorite moments this year: working along with other polyglots at WordCamp US Contributor Day.

So, if your life crossed mine (online or offline) this year, I thank you for making my 2015 what it was!

Japanese WordPress Community Events in 2015

This is a translated version of my Japanese blog post.

As I was adding some end-of-year events to the WordPress Japan Official Event Calendar a few weeks ago, I noticed there have been between 1 to 5 WordPress events every week these past two months across the country. I took a closer look at the calendar to see what else I could find about local WordPress communities in Japan.

WordCamp Kansai 2015

Get Involved flyers in Japanese

WordBench Groups

WordBench is a network of Japanese WordPress local groups. 17 existing groups organized more than one meetup this year: Niigata, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, Fukui, Ehime, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. Also, three new groups got started this year: Hakodate, Akita, and Yamanashi.

Among those, seven groups held more than ten meetups in 2015 (WordBench Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Toyama, and Kagoshima)!

WordBench Tokyo 2015 August

WordBench Tokyo August 2015

Events at Coworking Spaces

WordBench groups are not the only ones that are building local communities of WordPress users. There are also several regular meetups and self-study groups hosted at coworking spaces.

Not on Meetup.com, Still Active

When I say “meetups,” I’m not always referring to events that are on the website Meetup.com. These local WordPress gatherings are usually called 勉強会 (“study meetings“) in Japanese, but their format is very similar to what’s called meetups in English-speaking countries.

Most of the groups use the Japanese event management service called Doorkeeper (EN) to organize attendees, primarily because Meetup.com’s Japanese localization was only recently made available.

WordCamp and Other Events

WordCamp Kansai took place in Osaka in July and WordCamp Tokyo in Oct./Nov. In August, 250 people gathered in Nagoya for “WordFes“. WordBench Fukui group recently organized another unique annual meetup called, “WordCrab,” where people got together to learn WordPress and eat fresh crab (!) from the area at the after-party.

Historically, major WordCamps in the Kansai and Tokyo areas draw hundreds of attendees. I think it would also be nice to see more local WordCamps in Japan with different flavors, on a smaller scale.

WordCamp Kansai! #wordcamp #wck2015 #osaka

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Future Meetups and Events in Japan

It’s great that so many local groups are getting together to talk about WordPress every week somewhere in Japan. I’m looking forward to new ideas and shared knowledge that come out of community events in 2016.

Re: Podcasts I’m Listening To (November 2015 Edition)

Keita just wrote a blog post about the podcasts he is currently listening. I was talking to him about the differences between our lists and realized something — that I love shows that present random and new ideas/topics. So here is my post in reply to his.

Freakonomics Radio on a United flight :)

Freakonomics Radio on a United flight from SF -> Tokyo, 2013.

Current Favorites

Here are my top favorites at the moment in no particular order:

Let me list some of the recent titles: The Landlord’s Game, Fountain Drinks, Butterfly Effects, and War & Pizza (99% Invisible); Adaptation, Quiet, Headspace, and Playing With Perceptions (TED Radio Hour). I love the fact that I have no idea what to expect from these two shows, yet almost every one of the episode has something I find interesting.

Freakonomics Radio is supposed to be about something related to economics, and Exponent is about the tech industry and its influence on the society. But both of them also bring broad-ranging subjects within the segmentation.

I keep going back to each of these four podcasts for new episodes. Give them a try! I hope you get hooked too.

WordPress Podcasts

For WordPress podcasts, I subscribe to these three and listen to about 50-70% of the episodes depending on the topic or guest.

Other Subscriptions

I also subscribe to these, though I skip some of them if my playlist gets filled up (which happens a lot).

I sometimes listen to what Keita is playing on a speaker (= anything Siracusa, space/astronomy, and lots of The Incomparable!). Also, I like downloading individual episodes found in the “Recommendations from Twitter” section on Overcast.

I thought our top lists had more items in common, but they turned out to be very different. We’ll see how our interests shift in the future!