SPEAKER INTERVIEW: Tracy LeVesque

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This is a series of interviews with the speakers of Digital Family Summit, June 29-July 1.
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 Tracy Levesque is co-owner of YIKES, Inc, a Philadelphia web design and development company located in Fishtown, where she spends her days creating custom themes for WordPress. Tracy has been designing websites since 1995 and working with WordPress specifically since 2007. Tracy has taught and assisted for WordPress classes and has spoken at the Philly WordPress Meetup group, Philly Tech Week and WordCamp NYC 2012.

Tracy is also involved with the sustainable business and green building movement, having achieved B Corp certification for YIKES and a green renovation of 2 buildings in Fishtown that are seeking LEED certification.

twitter: @liljimmi
website: Yikesinc.com
session: Master of the Blog: Everything You Need to Know About WordPress, Sunday, July 1, 9:45 am- 12:45 pm

How did you get involved with blogging?
In the early 90s my wife and I were involved in the Philadelphia activist community and we learned of the Critical Path Project . Critpath was founded by Kiyoshi Kuromiya an AIDS activist who saw the value of Internet for activism and information dissemination. Kiyoshi set us up with email addresses (I still use mine) and a phone number to modem into to access Usenet, the IRC and Lynx (the earliest form of the web which was completely text-based).


What blogs do you read regularly?

Every single day I read:

1. WordPress Planet http://planet.wordpress.org/ – A collection of blogs talking about WordPress.
2. CSS-Tricks http://css-tricks.com/ – Tons of great web design tips, tutorials and news.
3. Naked Philly http://nakedphilly.com/ – Philly real estate development news. I love Philadelphia and am obsessed with neighborhoods and development

If you could travel back in time and send yourself a message, what would it be?

When I was a teenager in the 80s there was nothing like the “It Gets Better Project” I would tell myself it not only gets better, it gets awesome.

Any advice for young bloggers?
Always find a better/more efficient/cleaner/more secure way to build your digital creations. Web best standards and practices are always evolving. Consume as much new info. as you can: read articles, tutorials and tips and learn new techniques and technologies. Be proud of the skills you have and keep your mind open to new ideas.

What’s the biggest danger facing digital teens & their families today?
One rule – never put anything on the internet you wouldn’t want people to copy and paste. Anything – video, text, audio, etc – can be copied & pasted.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?
I am going to talk about how awesome WordPress is. WordPress is a content management system that allows folks to create a site with a blog without needing web design or programming skills. I’ll be showing people how to set up, customize and manage a WordPress site. Out-of-the box you can add pages, posts, design changes and functionality without touching any code.

What’s next for you after the Digital Family Summit?
This weekend I will be presenting at WordCamp NYC – http://2012.nyc.wordcamp.org/speakers/ I have applied to WordCamp Montreal and after that I have my sights on the Biggie – WordCamp San Francisco. Wish me luck!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at http://www.clownlink.com and http://www.dadapalooza.com, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at http://www.acmeclown.com

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