Things You Need to Know

WordCamp Milwaukee, 2016 is upon us! WOOOOHOOOOO!

Tonight it kicked off with a speaker/sponsor dinner which was a laid back affair with lots of good conversation. It was held at the Milwaukee Waterfront Deli, and from all accounts, a good time was had by all.

Saturday, registration will start at 8:00 AM with the first session starting at 9:30. This will give you all plenty of time to get that cup of coffee, socialize, and get to know each other. We expect it to be a nice, casual, intimate day with plenty of time to unwind throughout after having all of those knowledge bombs dropped on you. I’ve never been more excited about a speaker/topic lineup as I am this year, with very little redundancy and all sorts of diversity. And while we realize that we’re not covering EVERYTHING, we know we’re covering a lot of new and exciting things.

Here are some things you need to know for WordCamp:

Directions to the venue and parking information can be found here. Please bring your parking ticket in with you and have it validated for $6.00 parking (all day).


This year lunch is on your own. We decided to do this for a couple of reasons. For one, frankly, it costs less. Adding a meal to the venue costs would have meant a price increase in your ticket. This would be well and good if the venue was in an area where there were no eateries. However, as many of us who live here know, Milwaukee is quite the foodie city, and the venue is smack-dab in the middle of downtown. Therefore, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. We’ve created a short list here for you to choose from, but there are plenty of other options. And with two days, you’ll get the opportunity to try two different places (or more!). These are a few of our favorites, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try others and let us know what you found:
Mo’s Irish Pub
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Kiku Japanese Restaurant
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
George Webb Restaurant
Skyway Cafe
John Hawks
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
BB’s (Build-a-Breakfast/Build-a-Burger)

WordCamp Milwaukee Photo Booth

One of our traditions is our photo booth. This year, our theme is 50s Television Shows and so our photo booth theme will have some 50s props. We’ll be shooting photos all day which can be printed, emailed, and tweeted to you. It’s loads of fun and these photos have become a favorite keepsake from our annual shindig!

Wordcamp Milwaukee BACON Bar!

We’ve already posted about it, but just as you can not have too much bacon, you also cannot have too many posts about our other big tradition: the bacon bar. At 2:40, the venue will bring out bacon and other deep-fried munchies which will remain out until it’s all gone. Get it while it’s hot and don’t hold back. The bacon bar has become one of the favorite “events” at WordCamp Milwaukee!

That’s it for now! Now let’s make WordCamp 2016 the BEST ever!


The After Party


Photo by William Rieselbach, local Milwaukee Photographer (and friend). His turned out better than mine.

Let’s face it. WordCamps are great, but many times, it’s about the after party. Two years ago, we had a REALLY awesome speaker/sponsor dinner held at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub in the old Pabst Brewery, located in Downtown Milwaukee. Personally, I think it was one of my favorites. This year, we figured, why should we only limit it to speakers and sponsors? We decided to make it the venue for the after party. We know you’re going to love it! Continue reading The After Party

Leon’s Frozen Custard

LeonsIt’s a bit of a drive from the venue, but one of the things that Wisconsin is known for is its custard. And one of the best places to go for custard is Leon’s. Located on 27th Street in Milwaukee, it’s been a mainstay since 1942 and, rumor has it, was one of the landmark food establishments that served as the inspiration for “Al’s Diner” in “Happy Days.” Continue reading Leon’s Frozen Custard

Pokémon GO

The crowd was just starting to gather as the evening began

The crowd was just starting to gather as the evening began

According to my son (11), Milwaukee’s Lake Park was rated as the 8th best place in the U.S. to go hunting. I have googled it and have not found any absolute verification of the fact, but if my son says it, it must be true.

Here’s what I know. Last Thursday night, I took 4 of the kids to go hunting with me and it was nuts. After finding a parking spot, I got out and saw the path that goes along the lake crowded with hundreds of people, all looking at their phones. They were not there for a formal event. Rather, they were out to capture virtual creatures in virtual balls. There were families, vendors selling their “unofficial” wares, grandparents, kids, and real animals walking the path. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it.

Walking the path, there were several Pokéstops all appropriately “lured” and the little buggers were everywhere. About every ten minutes you’d see an ever growing crowd of people running in the same direction as shouts of “Charmander” or “Snorlax” could be heard. At first I was laughing at everyone, but before I knew it, I was caught up in the action, looking for that “rare” or “legendary”  Pokémon.

Beyond the searching, I’d find my kids talking to others about what they had as they shared the contents of their Pokédex with each other.

We wandered around for about three hours, when, at 10 O’clock, the park closed and we loaded up the van and went home.

If you’re coming to WordCamp Milwaukee, and play Pokémon GO, I highly recommend you check out Lake Park. It’s a beautiful walk by a beautiful lake, and the sense of community you’ll experience is not at all dissimilar to that of the WordPress Community.

What’s So Cool About Milwaukee, Anyway?


One of the Milwaukee Locals. Photographer William Rieselbach

I have to admit, when my wife made the suggestion that we move from the Northwoods to Milwaukee, it took me a while to wrap my mind around it. Growing up and spending many summers in Wisconsin, Milwaukee was always one of those cities where we went to visit people, but didn’t hang out much. My only real memory of it from my childhood was the one time we went to the Ice Capades with my cousin’s maternal grandparents. Other than that, pretty much nada. Continue reading What’s So Cool About Milwaukee, Anyway?