Built in a Day – Supporting Not for Profits with a Free Website

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

For Immediate Release
19th November 2013

WordPress User Group Melbourne

The WordPress User Group in Melbourne recently had the privilege of practically supporting four local not for profit (NFP) groups when they combined their  skills in a day of ‘WordPress for Good.’

The group spent Friday night and all day Saturday at local co-working space Inspire9 in a blitz of collaboration during which they created brand new websites for four NFP groups who would otherwise not have had the budget or the resources to get their projects off the ground.

Dee Teal and Glenn Todd, the organisers of the event, sought out NFP communities/groups who were looking for help to build new websites and chose four projects from fifteen project submissions. These projects were matched up with teams of project managers, designers, developers and content creators from the local Melbourne WordPress User Group, then both ‘clients’ and teams worked together to build these websites, ‘in a day’.  The end result was completely beyond the organisers expectations, and quite possibly, the expectations of the ‘clients’ and teams themselves…

The four clients were Carlton Primary School, Clean Energy for Health, Knit Your Revolt and Lentil as Anything; quite a group of diverse interests and goals but all with something to contribute to the wider community.

Carlton Primary is a small school, predictably in the suburb of Carlton, right in the centre of a public housing development. A significant percentage of the school’s families are refugees from the Horn of Africa and Carlton’s students reflect this diversity. The flavour this has added to the school in terms of their community focus and inclusion not just of school children but of their families, makes it a really unique school.  Carlton Primary’s previous site didn’t adequately represent the gem this place is, and as such it needed to present a face to the wider community that if they just ‘cross the threshold’ and check it out the school will surprise them in a really positive way.  Carlton Primary’s new site does a beautiful job of this for them and is now a source of pride not just for the school but the team who put it together.

Knit Your Revolt needed a site as a place to gather the crafting community in acts of political engagement as they took to their needles and skeins to protest some of their concerns over recent political candidates and policies just prior to Australia’s  last Federal Election.  The heart of the project was to capture the softness of craft with and combine it with the strength of political action, and the site needed to reflect the same.

Lentil as Anything is a well recognised group of restaurants in the Melbourne scene whose focus is on providing places where people can ‘pay what they feel’ for the experience of eating with them.  Their focus on community building and creating space where all are welcome, makes them a wonderful team to get behind, and the PressJam site for their catering arm, whose focus is also ‘pay what you think its worth’ was completed beautifully by their design/dev team.

Clean Energy for Health  is a campaign by a group of Health Professionals intent on highlighting the dangers to people’s health by the generation of energy using fossil fuels and gas. Their campaign is still a work in progress and their site will launch as they are ready, nearer the new year.

All in all, PressJam was a fun and productive way to share and develop skills in the WordPress community on projects that build other communities in our region. We’d love to challenge other Open Source software groups, as well as other WordPress groups to undertake similar events!  PressJam will return to Melbourne in 2014.

Special thanks to PressJam’s sponsors – Envato, Inspire9, WPAustralia, Melbourne SEO Services, Jen Clark Design, Jon James King, and Sennza. Finally, thanks to the organizers, Dee Teal and Glenn Todd


Dee Teal – http://thewebprincess.comtheprincess@thewebprincess.com
Glenn Todd – http://dvize.com

The Inaugural PressJam opens in Melbourne!

Posted on Aug 31, 2013

Well, after a whole lot of talking about it, enough planning to get it off the ground and the enthusiastic support of 4 fantastic clients and teams PressJam kicked off on Friday night with an evening of socialising, conversation, planning and excitement. Here’s how it played out (for those who may be inclined to follow along and do something similar!).

6pm: Gathering and socialising over a drinks and nibbles at Insprie9 in Richmond.

6.30:  ‘Opening Ceremony’ – Introducing the organisers, the concepts and starting to give a bit of a rundown on how the weekend is going to play out.

6.45:  A brief talk about how to do rapid building using mashup (existing tools, scripts, themes etc.) to make something happen in a short period of time.

7.00: A brief facilitation exercise run by Helen one of our awesome group facilitators, Helen which finished with a discussion and conversation around what we all want to achieve out of this event and how we can work together well as groups.

7.15: Introducing the clients and short presentations of the brief from each client around their end goals, where they’re currently and and what they need to achieve out of their projects.

8.00: Participants are invited to gather around their choice of client and a brief assessment to make sure all skill-sets are covered in each team and the teams work out their team names!

8.30: Head home for a good night’s sleep!