Dear students who joined the first WordPress meetup in Vientiane, Laos.

Hi!

It was my pleasure to get the email from Saikeo, one of the translation validator of Lao version of WordPress saying that he and the university he’d graduated would invite me to Vientiane, Laos to have a WordPress meetup.

I am very happy that I could meet all of you and that we shared my experiences.

After I got the invitation, I began thinking what I should share with you in the first WordPress meetup in Laos.

From what I heard from Saikeo,

  • there are no experienced WordPress developer at least at the meetup
  • students mainly belong to the faculty of engineering in the national university of Laos
  • you are learning programing languages such as java, VB .net and a little php
  • no WordPress courses

The wants I guessed you might have were,

  • How to install WordPress
  • How to use WordPress
  • How to create websites
  • How to make a original themes

and it turned out to be right when I asked you in the meetup.

But I did not talk anything around how-to’s or tech topics.

Instead, I decided to share the experience of mine and other WordPress people.

WordPress has changed my and my family’s life, and I know that it did so to other people’s lives. I know WordPress can do so to your lives, too.

I summarized what happened to my life after I found WordPress and brought the words by interviewing WordPress people from Asian countries who run global businesses.

I thought The most helpful thing I could pass you was the hope, passion and enthusiasm to learn WordPress and build your future by yourselves.

I talked about the time I was learning html/css/javascript/photoshop/illustrator and WordPress, which was the period I just lost my job and we were expecting our first daughter. I remember that this “no money for half a year” part was most exciting part in my talk.

I shared the words by my WordPress friends in Asian countries. One example was by Sakin from catchthemes.com.

Today, 25% of the world’s websites are in WordPress, and anyone can contribute to the ecosystem, from anywhere in the world.

This sentence was of course a surprise to the students.

You don’t have to be a hard-core programmer to be successful.
You don’t need an academic degree.
The barrier to entry is very low.

This is very true, because I’m not at all a talented programmer, I have no academic degree, and WordPress community welcomed me when I was a early stage learner.

All you need is lots of passion, and the willingness to learn.

Yes.

Message from Sakin
links to the whole slideshare

I want to thank Sakin, Menn (WP companies owner in Thailand), Perth (a blogger, coder/programmer and my job partner from Thailand), and Hiromichi (CEO at digitalcube from Japan) for sending me your words.

After sharing the experiences of mine and others, I addressed 3 things I think are important for the you to learn if you want to follow the WP people.

  1. learning coding skills. html/css/javascript, php, and WordPress way.
  2. learning how to learn. finding the right resources.
  3. English

I remember the reactions you made when I said the most important thing was English. You were both surprised and a little bit disappointed. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in learning it.

From my experience, English is a really big key to open the door. And it is much more important for you, students in Laos to be able to read and speak English if we look at the amount of resources, activeness of community, and the size of market.

Here, I want to suggest you again what will make your WordPress life happier. Have a meetup group and run meetups regularly. The topics can be anything. Maybe you don’t even need a topic. You don’t need to have a teacher at the meetup. No one need to stand on stage and speak. You can just gather and learn together, share your knowledge, google things and install WordPress.

Help Needed

I want to ask the community people in the world to go to Laos and join meetups. Contact person can be me or Saikeo. Topics can be installing, translating, theming and so on!

Resources for learning Basic Thai language

Here’s the resources I look at when I learn thai by myself.

  1. Dictionaries online and iPhone apps
  2. Flash card app
  3. Podcasts
  4. YouTube movies

Let me know if there are more 🙂

1. Dictionaries online and iPhone apps

Thai language dot com

Thai-Language.com is an online Thai-English and English-Thai dictionary.

  • It has many sample sentences.
  • You can let the site speak out the words to check the pronunciation.
  • It has the app, which is described below.
Thai Language .com
Thai-Language.com

iPhone dictionary from thai-language.com

Thai-English Dictionary from thai-language.com on the App Store on iTunes is an app version of thai-language.com and it’s much easier to user than the original website.

Captured from the app
Captured from the app

I’ve tried other dictionary apps but it seems good for me.

  • It contains many many example sentences done by the original website.
  • Links to similar words, example sentences and other expressions.
  • It shows you the components of a word if the word you looking at is a combination of some words.
  • It shows you the tone by
    • “M” for middle tones
    • “L” for low tones
    • “F” for falling tones
    • “H” for high tones
    • “R” for rising tones

Google translate vs. Bing Translate

Google Translate has advantages like below.

  • You can listen to the pronunciation.
  • You get not only one translation but other possible words too.

Bing Translator seems that has the better ability to translate correctly when it’s a long sentence.

スクリーンショット 2014-07-14 18.04.34 スクリーンショット 2014-07-14 18.04.14

Flash Card App

 Scribe Thai

Scribe Thai is not a flash card app you can create by your own, you learn the words set by the app.

With this app, you learn Thai words by words like a game.

  • There many kinds of flash card games in it like
    • You see Thai and tell in English
    • You see English and tell it in Thai
    • Pelmanism game
    • Pairing words
  • You can display or hide Thai alphabets
  • Every time you see a word, you choose “Correct” or “Incorrect” and the app records it to optimize what to show you in the future.

It seems to have very good algorithm in it and you can learn words efficiently. The bad thing about this app is that it contains some words that native Thai people don’t use much.

3. Podcasts

I haven’t found the best one which you can listen to for free. For me, it’s ok to pay to good program but they often contain too much contents and too expensive.

I sometimes listen to these 3 podcasts.

4. YouTube Movies

Here’s some links to the movies that was recommended by my Thai teacher. I watch first with no English subtitles and with for the second time.

“a little thing called love” without English sub

“a little thing called love” with English sub

BTS Movie

How to create a theme to sell on WordPress.com. Bangkok WordPress Meet-up, June 2014

Like the last time, we had another WordPress meetup in Thai language. The session title was “How to create a theme to sell on WordPress.com” and was about the things below.

10392491_318182808332475_4961973673003946086_n-1

and so on. Everything talked on the session by Mr.Menn is written in this article. การสร้างธีมที่เป็นมาตรฐาน และขายผ่าน WordPress.com « Menn Studio

Here, you can read a report of the event in Thai: สอนทำ Plugin & Theme ขายใน WordPress.com – WP Meetup

After the main session, I had a little talk in Thai about the WP communities in Japan. I talked about WordBench and people’s help and volunteer spirits and asked for help to organize the future meetups.

Now we have a team of 20 Thai people to organize the meetups. We are now exchanging ideas of the future meetups. I wish they will be the future leaders and there will be more events and community. I hope I can bring something similar to what I got at the community in Japan.

Looking a short look at WordPress.com and see how similar/different it is from .org and.
Looking a short look at WordPress.com and see how similar/different it is from .org and.
The next meetup will be on underscores ( _s )
Mr. Menn talked about almost all the criteria a theme need to fulfill.
Mr. Menn talked about almost all the criteria a theme need to fulfill.
After the session
The community grows slowly and nicely!
The community grows slowly and nicely!

Pronto Marketing on Bangkok WordPress Meet-up, March

I joined to the second Bangkok WordPress Meet-up.

The topic was more about business model than tech, and the guests were 2 co-founder of Pronto Marketing.

Pronto Marketing is a company with 70+ employees based in Bangkok which offers website/marketing solutions for small business owners in US, Canada and other English speaking countries.

For clients, they create really nice design websites, write everything, mail customers’ customers, host WordPress and keep it always updated and more. Shortly, they do almost everything that a small business would need for their websites and give the clients time to concentrate on their own business. They charge basically $247 per month.

Here’s a video which is good to know what they do.

List of what Pronto Marketing does for their clients.
List of what Pronto Marketing does for their clients.

On efficiency

The other day, I talked with Jon Brown from Hawaii about business model WordPress people can have and he showed me an interesting blog post “In Defense of Consulting Businesses – Bill Erickson“.

Continue reading Pronto Marketing on Bangkok WordPress Meet-up, March

Bangkok WordPress Meet-up, February

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing I really wanted to do after I come to Thailand was to have WordPress meet-ups. And it happened 🙂

Designed by Piti, a wonderful designer!

The organizers were 2 Juliens from N2Clic Ltd. and we got big help from Hubba, the venue of the meet-up.

Siobhan is a writer, who works at Audrey Capital, which is an angel investment and research company created by Matt Mullenweg. I had seen her speech in WordCamp Sanfrancisco 2013 on WordPress.tv and never thought I was meeting her in Bangkok 🙂

Here’s the video.

Here are other resources about her.

The talk title was “Get involved in WordPress”, was about how to contribute to WordPress and here’s a list of hows (I made memo of the talk but couldn’t write them all so I researched by myself too. It’s a bit different from Siobhan’s talk.)

And here are 2 more links which are good for new contributors and designers.

Bug Reports page contains links to somehow easy tickets for new contributors
Components list of core development going on.

It was really nice that I could talk to Juliens, Bryan, Menn and all the other WP people, Thank you~ 🙂

We went to eat dim sum after the talk and it was a nice night.

IMG_0283

Can’t wait for the next time!

Hubba town hall meeting

One day, Aim @Hubba came to me and gave me a chance to renew the website of Hubba coworking space.

I answered sure. I told him that it would be nice to have coworking members to listen to what they want, Hubba staffs to know what they think and a designer to know what the website should be like.

On the 19th of Feb, there was a Hubba Town Hall MTG.

Image by Piti, a gentle graphic designer!
Image by Piti, a gentle graphic designer!

It was nice that Maud from sent me a list of requests for the web site and everyone on the MTG gave me many voices about what it should be like.

So, let’s see when I have the time to build a plan so that we can talk one more time.

a restart

I restart this blog.

Updates

  • Released websites and a blog of my client in Japan
  • Preparing a website package for Japanese companies in Thailand, which is going to be my second step of my business in Thailand
  • Joined a organizer group of WordPress Meet-up in Bagnkok
  • Looking for a nice Thai language school
  • Will restart to learn Thai on my own 15 minutes per day
  • Working with Simba Russeau, who I met at Hubba

What I do in February

I noticed that I used to learn more when I was in Japan. This month, I try to get familiar with below.

About Genesis Framework

Genesis is a WordPress framework.

I was working on my original theme. A theme to be the parent theme of my future works and here is the concept image.

click the image to see detail
  • many original action / filter hooks
  • widget areas everywhere
  • custom menus everywhere
  • compatible with breadcrumb / pagination plugin

This was intended to be easy to customize, no html coding and less php coding. Now, here is the structure of Genesis plugin.

click image to see the captioned web page.
click image to see the captioned web page.

The concept looks very similar. They’ve gone far.

They have a community and plenty of child themes. Nice to know that there were people who thought similar as I did. To avoid reinventing something and to learn from former efforts and ideas, I will have a look at the theme, the child themes and documentations.

Vagrant VCCW

VCCW is for Vagrant Chef CentOS WordPress.

This is a work of Takayuki Miyauchi and it’s focused on building themes and plugins. I’ll try VVV too.

Hangout mtg, seeing friend’s grand-ma, met a WordPress geek at Hubba, went to #HubbaBarcrawl

I had a hangout meeting with my client in Japan. They say that it’s really cold in Toyama, Japan. It’s snowing and one man said that he caught cold. I come up on their screen with a T-shirt on me, nice green garden behind me and bird song as BGM 😮

I and my family went to see a friend’s grand mother and ate lunch together while our friend was out in Taiwan and Hong-Kong for his business. Children seemed happy to run around in the garden and to talk with a Obaachan.

Aim introduced to me Bow, who works for clients using WordPress. I talked about community activities in Japan and told that I want to have similar community here, too. Fortunately, we can do it together and I’m really happy.

At night Aim took us to Barcrawl, which is an event Aim take Hubba people to 9 bars and clubs local people go & drink & dance. I absolutely drank too much but it was really interesting to see Thai people drink around. Amazing that all the bars and clubs are so nice and big and bright and rich and expensive. You can see the economy here is growing and people are enjoying the growth.

Guest from Japan, UX course at Hubba, worked much.

I had guest from Japan. 4 boys visited me. I took them to a famous Thai food restaurant, สบายใจไก่ย่าง. They buy things in Thailand and sell them in Japan.

There was a nice presentation about UX at Hubba. It’s really nice to have this kind of opportunity for I can re-think about the way how I work.

photo from Aim's timeline on facebook
photo from Aim’s timeline on facebook

I talked to people in Hubba that I want to have a WordPress small meet-up and community. Aim the owner of Hubba told me that there a WordPress geek at Hubba and they would introduce her to me. Nice.

At home, we had a late christmas party. We sang songs and ate cake:)

Since I moved to Bangkok, I didn’t have enough time to do my works. It was the day before a big deadline and I needed to sit up until morning.

 

Found a nice Thai restaurant and café, Thai lesson in Hubba and the rest WordPress theme development

I’m developing 6 WordPress themes at the same time for one client and it’s really hard that I can do almost nothing more than them. I wake up and WordPress, I eat lunch and WordPress and WordPress before sleep.

I met a friend and went for lunch. I came to know him at the WordPress meet-up. He’d read the anngle post. He took me to a very nice Thai restaurant.

IMG_6044

They have many pots and pans full of delicious Thai foods and we choose from them what we want on our plate or bowl. It costs only 50-70 Baht. It’s a little bit more expensive than other restaurants but it’s much more delicious.

He took me to a nice cafe too.

IMG_6045

The cafe people were really nice. They had Japanese elementary school desk and chair set, which they’ve bought at a second hand store. Other stuff in this cafe were pretty and nice.

I’ll take my wife here when kids go to kindergarten, that is, next year.

I had a Thai lesson presented by the coworking space staff. It was really nice that they had a special paper fot the class and very kind and patient. Nice that we can ask everything.

I write Thai alphabets every night but my problem is that I don’t have enough opportunity to talk Thai. I need to do something about this big problem. Maybe having a Youtube program of Thai lesson?