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Allie Nimmons

8 Podcast Episodes

Latest 19 Jun 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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#172 - Finding Power in Your Community ft. Allie Nimmons

Heart + Hustle Podcast

0:00 - 22:50 - We talk about the problems with small Black-owned businesses outrage and the Brandon Blackwood drama by giving tips for patrons ass well as small business owners to avoid large mix-ups and we also discuss the importance of protecting your mental health and how we support Naomi Osaka.22:50 - 90:41 - Today we are talking to Allie Nimmons who has been working in the WordPress community as a power user and advocate for the open-source CMS and its people. Allie shares her journey in the WordPress community, how 2020 changed her view on her career, and what it was like to get married during the pandemic.You can find Allie at www.allienimmons.com on Twitter at twitter.com/allie_nimmonsFor show notes and a list of everything we talked about, visit www.heartandhustlepodcast.com.Meet the hosts: Angelica Yarde (instagram.com/studio404paper) and Charisma O'Keefe (instagram.com/charismaokeefe)

1hr 30mins

2 Jun 2021

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GROW Your Technology Business by Leaning into Diversity featuring Allie Nimmons

Press This WordPress Community Podcast

"Many of us already see the moral and social benefits of diversity within our teams, but what are the business benefits of doing so and what are you missing as you try to achieve diversity within your organization?In this episode of PressThis, we interview Allie Nimmons of WPBuffs about her thoughts on achieving diversity within your technology teams and how you can make better technology decisions by embracing more points of view. Allie shares tips around making the language you use more welcoming, the research you do more universally meaningful, and how unconscious actions can be keeping you from achieving your diversity AND business goals.If you're too often seeing the world through one set of eyes, you're limiting your technology and your potential for growth. I've you'd like to expand your perspective and deliver more value in the technologies you build for yourself or your clients, listen to this episode of PressThis now!"


8 Sep 2020

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Episode 5: Allie Nimmons


Allie Nimmons is a Tech Support Team Member at Give WP and a GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador. She owns Pixel Glow Maintenance where she provides WordPress maintenance services to growing businesses. Twitter: @allie_nimmonsWordPress Slack: Allie NimmonsTeams: CommunityWebsite: allienimmons.comWebsite: pixelglowmaintenance.comWorkshop: Creating a Welcoming and Diverse Space Part 1 Part 2Favourite Wapuus: Mascot Wapuu, Headless Wapuu TranscriptClick here to open up transcriptChristina: Me too. Christina: Okay, so I’m gonna do my five seconds of silence again. Christina: Hello and thanks for listening to WP_contribute. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Allie Nimmons. Allie is a Tech Support Team Member at Give WP and a GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador. She owns Pixel Glow Maintenance where she provides WordPress maintenance services to growing businesses. Welcome, Allie! Allie: Hi, Christina. Thank you for having me. Christina: Thanks for being here. So is there anything else you wanted to touch on in that introduction, other than what we’ve already said? Allie: No, I think I think you really touched on all the things that take up most of my time in any given day. So that’s a good representation of who I am and what I do, particularly in the WordPress space. Christina: Excellent. I’m curious if you can tell us more about what it means to be a Speaker Ambassador. Allie: So I like to joke that I am a I’m a GoDaddy employee, but they pay me in plane tickets to WordCamps. Because basically, I am an advocate for the GoDaddy Pro product, not necessarily GoDaddy as a company or any of their other you know domain or hosting products, but specifically for GoDaddy Pro, which I use to maintain my sites and my client sites as well. And yeah, they, they send me to Camps, that they are, some camps that they are sponsoring, not all of them. But they sponsor a Camp, they send me they usually send a couple of other people as well. And I get to be there as an ambassador for the product. And a lot of times my talks are kind of geared so that they are appealing or helpful for people who might also be interested in the GoDaddy Pro system. So people who are managing multiple websites and need to backup multiple websites and you know, those sorts of people and so I get to have a lot of really, really cool conversations with people who either use GoDaddy Pro or are interested in GoDaddy Pro and I get to connect them with this really, really neat tool that I really love. And I get to travel, like this past year I’ve traveled. I’ve never been to Boston before I got to go to Boston. I’ve never been to Seattle before and I got to go to Seattle. Next weekend, I’m going to Phoenix for the first time I never been to Phoenix. I never been to St. Louis. I get to go to WordCamp US last year thanks to GoDaddy. And so it’s really a pretty sweet gig. I don’t know how I how I lucked into what I did, but it’s kind of my dream because I really really like speaking and I really really like traveling. And I’ve met like people like yourself through those experiences and so it’s really opened up the, the world of WordPress as far as the people to me, which is pretty fantastic. Christina: That’s amazing. That sounds really great. I wouldn’t mind doing something like that at some point down the road. I’m not as a big speaker yet though. This this podcasting is sort of that’s my limit right now. Allie: Well, if you ever if you ever want some some advice or help or anything like that I’ve been speaking in some way shape or form in front of people since I was five. Christina: Wow. Allie: So being up on stage and having people pay attention to me is like nothing. Christina: That’s impressive Allie: Yeah, I find it really fun. Christina: Yeah, I’ve spoken at our local Camps and, and, and at our meetups, but that’s sort of the extent of it and certainly not confident in that area. At this point. Yeah. So anyways, um, so how long have you been contributing to WordPress? Allie: um, I guess, I guess it depends on what, what we define as contributing, right. Um, I’ve not yet contributed to WordPress in kind of the way that people think about immediately, like contributing code or participating in, like a contributed contributor day or any documentation or any of those kind of really direct things that you can like, look at and be like, I wrote that or like I did that, you know, I think I’m more of a community contributor, which I think is still pretty great and pretty awesome and really fun and helpful. Christina: Very important. Allie: Thank you. Um, I do my best. I feel like since I’ve since I’ve become more active in the community, meaning since March of last year, which is really when I met like everyone that I know now, I met for the first time starting in March of last year. I’ve had just a lot of conversations with people. And I’ve tried to have a lot of conversations with people about the nature of community and what it means to be a community member and what it means to be a helpful community member and impactful community member. I talk a lot about diversity in this space. That was the the talk that I gave at WordCamp US with Jill Binder and Aurooba Ahmed and David Wolfpaw. We all did a workshop on making more diverse and inclusive spaces. And that really began from conversations that I’ve had with lots of other people about how do we make our WordPress space more diverse and inclusive. So if I can, if I can leave this planet, having contributed something to WordPress, hopefully it will be making it a more diverse and inclusive space. And so that’s the way that I try to contribute it is one of my goals for this year to contribute in a more physical sense, like contributing code or contributing documentation or something, something along those lines. I do really want to do that and you’ll get that little badge thingy, right? Yeah, as of right now, it’s a lot of community stuff, which I find to be really really rewarding. And it’s it’s like easy for me to have these conversations. It doen’st feel like like work or an inconvenience or anything like that, to have these conversations and that’s one of the things I like the most about going to WordCamps and going to meetups is talking to other people, which I never thought I would say because I’m very much an introvert and like I’ve said a bazillion times like I do not like people I don’t like talking to people and hanging out with people in social situations, but WordCamps are just different for me. Christina: I agree Allie: There’s so like, if you talk to any anybody else that knows me outside of the WordPress space, they’re like, yeah, Allie doesn’t, Allie doesn’t go to like parties or networking events or you know, I’d much rather stay at home in my pajamas and drink tea and read a book. But when it comes to WordCamp it’s like, ya! I’ll spend three solid days talking to people. Christina: There aren’t enough hours in the day. Right? Allie: There are not! Yeah, like, WordCamp US was fantastic. I got to talk to an inordinate amount of people that I never would have gotten to meet before. And it was so unbelievably gratifying and interesting and fun. And yeah, that’s, that’s what I really like doing right now. And I hope that every camp I go to I can have more, more of these talks with different people as well. So yeah, I think I think that’s the that’s the main way that I feel like I contribute to WordPress. Christina: Right. Awesome. And if I remember correctly, you are an organizer for WordCamp Miami? Allie: Um, I started to organize WordCamp Miami. And it wasn’t really the right fit for me, which I think was really interesting because WordCamp Miami is my home Camp. I live in Miami and it was the first Camp that I ever attended. I went to 2017. I’m sorry, 2015 and 2017 2019. And then I started to go to lots of other Camps. So with that is the Camp that got me into the WordPress community. It’s the Camp that got me into WordPress in the first place. And so I was really, really, really eager to join the organizing team. And this is this is something that like, I have to just make sense, like, I have to do this. And I realized that I didn’t really like organizing. And that’s not anything against organizing or against that team or against anything. It just wasn’t the right fit for me. And that was a really interesting lesson that I had to learn, was that just because I love this space, and I love this event. And I like these people and I want to spend time with them, it doesn’t mean that I have to do everything, right, it doesn’t mean that I have to take on every single responsibility that that’s put out there to me. And I can expend my energy. Christina: And you can’t. Allie: Yeah, exactly. And I could spend my time and my energy and my focus, doing something that I would rather do and as a result can do better. Like, I think that when we like something that we’re doing and when we feel passionate about it, and we feel confident, we do a better job than if we’re kind of struggling through it, you know, and I realized at a certain point, like I’m a volunteer, and if I’m struggling here, I don’t have to do this. I can give this position to somebody who would probably be much better at it than I and so I made that decision. And it was a weird decision to make because it kind of it was that moment where it was like am I failing at this, is this a bad thing? Like, did I fail? Am I giving up? You know, like, everyone always says like, don’t give up when things get hard, but, you know, sometimes it’s not the right decision. And so Christina: Yeah, it’s not giving up. Allie: it is kind of a weird thing. Yeah. And I eventually got around to that way of thinking and it is a weird thing because I was super super gung ho about it and like told everyone like, I’m going to be an organizer, or Miami, this is so great. And so I still to this day, people will like DM me with a question and I’m like, I’m actually not doing that anymore. But I can tell you who is and they definitely help you. Christina: Yeah, which is still helpful. Allie: Yeah, it was. It was a interesting experience. I did learn a lot about not only myself but about the process of organizing the WordCamp, which is not a small feat in any way, shape or form. It is a lot of work. Christina: And Miami is one of the bigger ones right as far as the local ones go Allie: if not the biggest, I think it’s the second largest in terms of attendance. Christina: Yeah. Allie: And, you know, for people who are doing this as volunteers in their free time, you know, in between work, family, kids, self care, all of that stuff, like, hug your organizers everybody. If you go to a WordCamp find every organizer you can and just give them a hug and say thank you because it is it is a gift. What, what, what people do, and I don’t Christina: Yeah, Allie: I don’t take that for I didn’t want to, you know, knowing that I wasn’t really a right fit for it. I kind of felt weird at a certain point continuing to try to power through because I was like, um, I’m not kind of like living up to what in my head a WordCamp organizer does, like the amount of work that they put into it and how much they love doing it. Like I’m sure there are so many organizers who are like, yeah, it’s a lot of work, but I really really, really love So it’s worth it. I never really felt that way. And so, it just didn’t work out. Christina: That’s all right. That’s, and that’s something like you said it took you a little while to sort of come to terms with it. That was okay. And a lot of people still struggle with that. Right. And it’s not giving up. It’s not quitting. It’s making a smart decision and prioritizing. Cuz, like you said, you can’t do everything. Allie: And I’ll still be there. If If I don’t, I’m not sure when this is coming out. But if this comes up before, February 28, I will, Christina: It might, Allie: okay, Christina: close to, or close to it? Allie: Got it. I will definitely see people there. If this goes out after I will have seen you there. I actually bought my ticket, which is the first time I’ve ever bought a ticket to WordCamp, I realized because all of my other tickets were either I was speaking so my ticket was comped or the very first time I went I went, um, because my boss at the time was speaking and so he brought me with him. So he paid for my ticket. Christina: Right Allie: Um, so it felt it felt kind of cool. Like, this is the first time I’ve ever actually financially supporting WordCamp and I was like this is, this is nice, this is good. This is what should happen. But I’ll still be there. I’ll actually be there. Give my actual job not my GoDaddy job but my actual paycheck job. They are going to be sponsors. So I’m going to be at their booth probably for a lot of the time helping out and being a Give ambassador too. Christina: awesome. Can you tell us a bit about what WordCamp Miami is like? Like, how many days is it? How many tracks? what kind of stuff goes on to the best of your experience? Allie: Yeah, so the best of my experience in the best of my knowledge as far as this year goes. Typically it’s three days, a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Saturday and Sunday are full track days. So as far as I know, we don’t do Contributor Day at WordCamp Miami. The Friday is typically workshops. Christina: Okay, Allie: um, like, for example, last year, we had a freelancers workshop, I believe we had, excuse me, beginners workshop. I don’t remember what the third one was, but primarily the workshops on the Fridays. And then there’s usually a kind of advanced developer workshop on the Sunday. And so in previous years, we’ve done JavaScript, I think in this this year. Last I heard so this is not a promise this is what this going to happen. But last I heard when we were chatting about it was we were going to move a little bit away from JavaScript and more specifically into like, blocks and Gutenberg and, you know, all of these things that are very, very topical right now as far as the WordPress community goes, because for a long time, that was JavaScript when people were really really everyone wants to learn JavaScript, which you should. But Gutenberg is the new thing. And so I believe a lot of those talks are going to be on blocks and Gutenberg and and the advanced levels of like how to build all of that stuff. And that’s going to be really cool. That’s all I know for sure about this year versus like previous years. In previous years we also do a game show, which Christina: I’ve heard. Allie: Yeah, the game show’s awesome. I’m pretty sure that WordCamp Miami is the only Camp that’s done the game show. At least it’s the first Camp to have done it. Christina: They ran it at WordCamp US Allie: They did. Yeah, it was really fun Christina: And I was doing a workshop for contri-, for contributors, for Contributor Day and contributing at the same time so I couldn’t go, Allie: it is pretty fun. We use an app called I think it’s called Kahoot something like that. And you can preset the questions and then everyone’s on their phone and you have a certain amount of time and you pick the answers. And it’s incredibly, incredibly fun. Especially because, at least in Miami, David Biseet writes all the questions. And if you spend five minutes with David Bisset, like, you know, these questions are going to be funny and they’re going to be silly, and they’re going to be clever. And he’s going to trick you. And it’s, it’s incredibly fun and like, I love it because it’s so indicative of the like, essence to me of a WordCamp. It’s like, yeah, it’s a conference. Yeah, we’re talking about like, work related stuff and professional stuff where people are networking, and you have job boards and sponsors, but it’s fun. Like, that’s always the primary goal is like, how can we make this fun and enjoyable and make sure that people have a good time? And yeah, it just, it makes me really, really happy that things like this exist, you know? Christina: Yeah. I love that. That that exists. Like you said, Yeah, and hopefully, more Camps will start to do it. I think we should try to do it. Allie: I hope so or else finding other ways like finding other finding other other things other ideas, other concepts to, you know, bring some fun and some levity, especially when you have a KidsCamp. I know WordCamp Miami, at least last year. We did it like right before closing remarks and so all the kids from the Kids Camp came over. They also participated in it and it just it brought everyone who had been separated and into all these tracks all day long, it brought everybody together to play this big game and laugh together And yeah, it’s incredibly fun. Christina: Yeah, we started a selfie scavenger hunt last year Allie: that’s cute Christina: to try to get people to interact with different people a bit more you know, things like Like you said, hug an organizer or high five a speaker or, you know, talk to somebody that that has never been to a WordCamp before to try to help get some of that going and still have some fun and we had things like dress up as a Mountie or something like that, because fo the location where we were, that was something you could do or lock yourself self in the jail, things like that. So yeah, like have a little bit of fun. Right. Allie: Yeah. Christina: Cool. So I think you mentioned you started contributing kind of last year ish. Is that what you said? Allie: Yeah, I think so. That’s about right. Christina: Cool. And did you say exactly how you started? Isn’t this hard? Like it was five minutes ago? I’m sorry. So Allie: yeah, I think. Yeah, as far as like my community contributing. It definitely did start last year at WordCamp Miami last year, because that was when I met Adam Warner. Who I give him complete credit of just changing my life entirely. He works at GoDaddy and he was the one that offered the GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador gig to me, Christina: right. Allie: And so it was through him that I’ve been able to go to multiple Camps and talk to multiple people and he’s always been super duper supportive of like me, using me and my personality and my interests and the things that I’m passionate about as a way to connect with other people and, you know, make GoDaddy look good and all that fun stuff and so that really kind of sprouted my ability to contribute and the way that I contribute sprouted out of his support and his encouragement, his friendship. Christina: Nice. Allie: Yeah. Christina: Pretty good guy. Yeah. Allie: Great. Christina: And what makes you want to contribute? Like, why? What is the deeper meaning of contributing to you? That’s my deep question Allie: Oh, man, that is a deep question. Um, there’s a lot. There’s a lot to that. I think that the I’m in a fairly unique position, being a female person of color, who is queer in the tech industry. I’m a little bit of a unicorn. And there are definitely other people out there who I’ve met. They definitely exist. They’re fantastic people. But by and large, the community is pretty homogenous as far as you know, what people look like and what their backgrounds are, and, and sometimes even the way that they look at the world. And so, it’s been interesting to be part of a community like WordPress, because we’re very privileged in that this community is a lot more welcoming, and a lot more open minded than a lot of other tech communities can be. Christina: Yeah, Allie: and so even though this, this community can be homogenous, most of those people are very, very susceptible to the idea of, you know, you’re different from me and that’s valuable rather than You’re different from me and that’s an inconvenience or that makes me uncomfortable or, you know, whatever the case may be and so the the reason I think I really like having these conversations is because they’re easy because people want to listen to me and they encourage me rather than saying like, well, you shouldn’t talk about race, this is WordCamp. We don’t need to have these kinds of conversations, we need to talk about JavaScript like, Allie: I’ve had so many conversations about race at WordCamps, it’s insane. But I think that the way, the way that we treat each other and the way that we see the world and all of these larger issues like race, they affect us, they affect everybody, especially in the country we live in the in the kind of time period that we’re going through right now, where things are very tenuous and stressful. If I can, if I can make somebody think about those sorts of things a little bit differently or open their mind to a concept that they never really thought of, or, you know, convince them that hey, you should try not to say guys, you should try and say everyone or friends or folks because it is a nice thing to do like that makes me feel good. That makes me feel like I’m putting positivity and kindness and and, you know, good vibes out into the universe in an actionable way, you know, not just singing Kumbaya, but actually saying like, hey, they’re actionable things that you can literally do every day to make your immediate space better and healthier for yourself and for other people. Like, what a privilege to be able to do that. And people are asking me to do that. Christina: right, Christina: I think a lot of people, I mean, myself included, because I am I mean, obviously, nobody can see us, although if you check us out online, you would, but being a straight white female, the only box I took is female, which is not as big of an issue. I mean, it’s still we have some, some gains to make, but you know, it’s sort of the I’m as close to a white male as you can get without the male. Right? Allie: Right. Christina: And, and so I know from, from my experience, there’s things that as much as I don’t want to be walking around acting all privileged or anything, there’s just things that I’m not aware of, because I haven’t thought of because I haven’t experienced it, right? So being able to talk to somebody like you and or other, you know, I’ve had conversations with other people where it’s really interesting and helpful to understand situations that you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. Allie: Yeah. And I, I tried to be very mindful of the fact that, you know, it’s not, it’s not a bad thing. If I meet somebody who is in the best way to use the word ignorant of Christina: right, Allie: you know, a situation or, you know, maybe saying this is not the most sensitive thing to say, you didn’t know. And if you can say, I didn’t know, thank you for telling me I’ll try to do better. Like, I can’t get mad at you about that. You know, I don’t fault people for not knowing I fault people for not being flexible and not being willing to learn or even acknowledge that, you know, there’s room to learn. You know, I mean, I don’t mind having disagreements I like having disagreements with people, I want to understand where other people are coming from and why they think the way that they think. And I’ve definitely had those conversations where it’s kind of like, we’re not going to agree on on this particular topic. And so I’m going to walk away because I’m just not really here to get into arguments. All right, there’s some people who can who can handle that, I can’t really do that. Um, but I remember kind of getting back to like the deeper meaning I remember being in the first grade. And for some reason, my teacher looked up all of the like, kind of Latin meanings to our names, like I guess the origin for our names, and my full name was Alexandra and she told me that Alexandra is derived from Alexander because obviously it is, and but Alexander means helper of man or helper of people, Christina: right? Allie: And I remember being like six years old thinking like, wow, like, that’s thank you for telling me my purpose in life, like my purpose on this earth is to help people, cool. And I’ve always carried that with me. And so I’ve always derived a lot of joy and satisfaction from helping other people and being able to contribute to WordPress in this way of feeling like I could help somebody even just to get a more clarified idea of how to how to move about their their immediate space is very gratifying to me. Christina: Yeah. And I think I hope that just as you know, you’re, you’re sharing all this information and helping to, what’s the right word, de-homogenize the WordPress space Allie: I’ll take that. Christina: That just like it starts with one person. If we as we have that happening more and more in the WordPress space, then the WordPress space being a small part of the tech space, the more it happens with WordPress, the more it will start to become the norm elsewhere hopefully right like it kind of hopefully will continue to that whole thing. Allie: I hope so too. I hope that there is definitely a ripple effect. I mean, WordPress is 35% of the internet and so if if I can make 35% of the internet more diverse like that is that is definitely a that’s definitely great. And and what’s what’s even better is that I know that there are other people in the space who are actively doing the same thing. Like I I’ve never had to feel like oh, well I’m the only black girl in the room and so this is entirely my job. Like there are tons of other people who in in their own ways, are also doing this kind of contributing. I mean, Jill and Aurooba and David, we all did that presentation at WordCamp US together, because those are the kinds of conversations we like to have. And so knowing that I have a little kind of support system of other de-homogenizers is really, really nice. Christina: Yeah. And just for anybody who’s interested and wishes that they were at that workshop, I do believe it is on WordPress.TV. Allie: It is. Christina: So I’ll try to make sure to include that in the show notes. Allie: It’s split in half, Christina: Right. Yes, because it was a longer workshop. Awesome. We talked you mentioned that Miami, you don’t think had a contributor day but have you been to a contributor day with all the WordCamps that you’ve gone to? Allie: So I’ve been to one and that it’s also another one of my goals this year is to go to more contributor days, but I went to contributor day at WordCamp US. And um, that was an interesting day because I remember starting the day thinking like, I’m going to go to contributor day, and I’m actually going to contribute and I’m going to do stuff that’s going to be great. And so I went, and I ended up in a tiny, like mini workshop with Cami Kaos and a bunch of other people. And Cami was talking to us about organizing because at that point, in my mind, I was like, Oh, I’m going to be a WordCamp Miami organizer, I should go to that. And so she gave us like, this immensely efficient crash course on being an organizer, all of the things that you need to know, all of the things you need to be aware of. It was amazing like she had, everything came out so smooth and so quick and like this, this, this, this and this, everybody get it. Cool. Let’s move on to the next this. You’ve done this before. So that was really, really handy and really, really useful information. A cool view on how the these events are actually put together and how they’re built. And I remember every time I tried to sit down in front of the computer and like try to start working on something, I would find like somebody wanted to talk to me or I want to talk to somebody else. And there were all these conversations going on. And there were there were kind of things happening at that point for me, like professionally that I was like, Oh, I wanted to talk to this person about this opportunity. And I remember getting pulled away to talk to the guys from WP and Up because I was doing a raffle where I was raising money for themselves. I gotta go talk to you guys. And so I kept jumping up to go talk to people. And then before I knew it, it was time to go. And so I felt like I had done everything under the sun and talked to so many people and I hadn’t actually gotten any like contributing done. But that was, I guess, me doing my community contributing. Christina: I was going to say I would challenge anybody who thinks that that means you didn’t contribute to re-examine what it means because all of those conversations I’m sure that you had, in even in small ways have helped move things forward. Right? Allie: I hope so. Yeah. Christina: Yeah, you contributed. Allie: Well, next time I want to contribute digitally. Christina: Okay. That’s a good way to put it. One of the things. One of my goals with this whole podcast is to sort of dispel that myth that some people have that contributing is only doing something with core, doing the code, contributing with developing and that kind of stuff. There’s so many different ways that people contribute. I mean, like you said, 35% of the internet, that’s huge, which means this whole project, this whole community, everything about this is huge. And there’s so many different moving parts to it. So there’s a lot of ways. Allie: Thank you for doing this because I’ve definitely always had that mentality that contributing is a very like the definition of contributing to WordPress, WordPress is very strict and very specific. And you’re totally right. It’s not. And I think we will all be better off thinking about it that way and realizing that we can contribute in all sorts of different ways. And we probably already are and not even realizing it. Christina: Yeah. Right. I mean, like taking the example of you talked to WP and Up they’re helping with people with, like, the whole idea around mental health, right. And so, if you just think about that, if if the people in our community who are doing the core contributions, if they’re struggling with their mental health, then they can’t contribute the way that they would like to, as well as they can, or maybe at all, and so then that starts to fall off, right. So like, going back to your ripple effect before, it’s a whole ripple effect. And so every little piece helps and it’s there’s so many, so many different ways that people can contribute, Allie: you’re totally right. Christina: Cool. So with that being said, Do you have a proudest contribution? Allie: Oh boys Christina: that you’ve made so far? Allie: I have a lot. There’s a lot of things I’ve done in the past year that I’m really proud of. Christina: Pick a couple. Nothing is strict on this show. Nothing has to be just one. Allie: I Okay, last year, some point last year, I don’t remember when exactly. um kind of jumping off of it was kind of when I first started contributing and started going to Camps and meeting people. And I was really kind of taken aback by all these conversations that I started having, because it wasn’t ever really a conscious decision that I was like, I need to have these conversations. They would just sort of happen. They would just kind of come up like I felt like people for some reason were just really comfortable to ask me tough questions about what it’s like, for somebody like me to occupy a space like this? And so I kind of felt like okay, if this is what the universe is putting on me. I need to I need to kind of figure out a way to to organize this. And so I wrote a blog post. And I still have a, it’s right here up on the wall. From WordCamp, Jacksonville. Me and Christie Chirinos were sitting and we were having ramen. And we outlined this blog post together she helped me plan it. And it’s about how to be an ally in the WordPress space and why it’s necessary and what it means and why having privilege is a good thing and you should use it to help other people and the actionable things that you can do to help other people. So I wrote this post and it was it was a like within our you know, little community like on Twitter kind of went viral and Christina: right Allie: tons of people read it and I got tons of great feedback from it and it’s kind of like my Magnus Opus like, it’s it’s this little, like, what do you call it like a like a thesis that I wrote on what it means to be an ally. So yeah, that’s something that I’m really proud of, because people have told me that it really helped them and that it helped them to see in a objective but kind way what they were doing wrong or where they could improve and where they could find improvement and all of that sort of stuff. And so that made me feel really good to know that I could kind of condense a lot of these conversations that I had into this, you know, shareable piece of media that people could refer back to and things like that. Um, that was pretty that was pretty excellent. Um really anytime somebody reaches out to me which has happened a good handful of times and half a dozen times. When people reach out to me like on Twitter and in Twitter DM and say, I’m struggling with this issue that has to do with diversity. Um, can you please help me? Because I don’t, I don’t, I’m afraid to ask for help. Because I don’t want to come off as ignorant or racist or something like that. And that always makes me feel so good because I’m like, wow, I’m, I’m the person that somebody can trust to be a safe ear. And they trust what I have to say. And like, that makes me feel like I’m really doing something right. Um, so yeah, there’s a lot of little moments that of course, I’m blanking on right now. But I’d say like, that post is something I’m really really proud of and those conversations that I’ve had in private with those people where I can tell them you know, yeah, what you what you said was insensitive, or this this mentality that you have is tainted by XYZ reasons dating back to you know, 1965 whatever. But here’s how you can move forward and take it or leave it. And, yeah, that’s a very gratifying thing for me to be able to, to experience. Christina: That sounds like something to be very proud of. Absolutely. So one of my questions is usually about any advice that you have for new contributors, but I’d like to modify that today and sort of put the slant on it of what advice do you have for people wanting to get into contributing, who do fall into that minority, some sort of a minority that maybe you’re feeling afraid or held back somehow? Allie: It’s a good question. I guess my advice is, don’t necessarily think of it as contributing Think of it as I feel passionately about something. And how can I how can I use that for good? How can I turn that into something good, that will affect other people? And I mean it that that at the core is contributing, but I feel like thinking about it that way, it takes the pressure off. And I feel like you know, if last year somebody had said to me, Hey, we need community contributors who are going to go to WorkCamps and talk to people about diversity, I would have been like, that sounds intense and a lot. And that’s scary. And I don’t want to do that. But the fact that it happened for me so naturally, and I could pick and choose what I wanted to have those conversations and I could pick and choose who I wanted to talk to. And, you know, it’s it’s, it’s mine, it comes from me, it’s not anything that anybody asks me to do or told me to do or anything like that. And if tomorrow I decided I don’t want to have these conversations anymore then you know, The world’s not going to fall down. Christina: right. Allie: So yeah, that’s, that’s what I’m saying is focus on how you can kind of make something good inside yourself that you can give to other people. Because a lot of these conversations that I have, and a lot of the community contributing that I do, came from me doing research, like lots and lots of research about. So for example, a while back, somebody asked me, you know, why is racism still such an issue in this country when we are so far away from slavery? Christina: Right. Allie: And I knew a little bit about post slavery America, but after having that conversation, I was like, I don’t I can’t speak on this as well as I feel like I should. And so I ended up doing a lot of research about why is race still such an issue in this country after we’ve abolish slavery? Christina: It’s a huge question Allie: It’s a huge question. There’s tons of answers. And so for me to grow that piece of my internal knowledge so that I can use it to help others is way more. Not to say easy, but it there’s not as much pressure involved as if you think about it like, Well, I have to contribute, if I’m going to be a part of this community, like how am I going to do that? Blah, blah, blah, find what find the thing that you want to go off and research or the thing that you want to make better about yourself and then give it to other people. That’s what I would say. Christina: That sounds good. And I’d say that kind of answers a bit of my question on how people can get involved with whatever they want to contribute to. Look at that. Two questions. One answer. Awesome. Is there anything else you want to talk about in regards to contributing to WordPress that I haven’t asked you yet? Allie: I don’t think so. I feel like we touched on a lot of stuff. I really like I’m getting used to thinking about what I talk about being contributing. It’s, So I’m still kind of getting used to shining that kind of a light on it. Christina: Right? If you ever need a reminder, you know where to find me. Allie: Absolutely, definitely. And I’m really glad that the, the community that we have is so receptive to it. And like, every podcast that I’ve been on, or every interview that I’ve ever done is talk about this and so I’m just kind of like, right this is, this is my, my lot in life. This is my place in the community. I’m very, very happy with that. So, yeah, play to your strengths, play to the things that you’re passionate about, and people will people will see that, you know, people, like I feel like even though I do want to contribute digitally, so at some point this year, that’s, that’s something that I want to do. Like, that’s a goal for me, Christina: right? Allie: Um, whereas people have sought nobody’s asking me Hey, you You’re a great developer, we need you to contribute. I’m not a great developer. But people are actively asking me to have these conversations. And so I’d say a large part of like, if you’re nervous or or you’re not sure how to contribute, what are people already asking of you? Like, what have other people recognized as your strengths and follow that. Like, I tried to be one of the people who are like, I don’t care what everyone else thinks about me. But I think there is value in understanding the way that other people see you. Because a lot of times other people see your strengths before you do. Christina: That’s true. Allie: And that’s a that’s a good way to kind of get out of your head and get out of your ego and be like, yeah, I’m, I’m good at this. And so I can do XYZ with this skill or this passion that I have, you know, Christina: Nice. All right. Now, my favourite question of the episode, I’ve stopped trying to pretend it’s not my favourite question. But it is, which is your favourite Wapuu? Allie: Alright, so I have, it’s a tie. Christina: Yeah, nobody ever has just one. Allie: Yeah, it’s a tie because one of these Wapuus doesn’t technically exist. I made him up, but he’s still one of my favorites. Christina: Okay. Allie: My first favorite is the giant life size Wapuu that we had at WordCamp US this past year. Christina: Yes! Allie: Because that was one of the highlights for me of that weekend. It’s like, I think we were having dinner and all of a sudden, everyone starts yelling and I look to my left and there’s this giant 6 foot tall yellow thing that’s ambling down the hallway. And I just remember absolutely losing my mind like I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. I’m Christina: complete with tail Allie: complete with tail and just seeing all these grown adults acting like elementary school kids at Disneyland seeing their favorite like cartoons character in real life like, yeah, it was, it was again, it was just one of those things that make WordCamp so special and fun and silly. And so I think I think real life Wapuu is is is my favorite. But tied for my favorite is headless Wapuu because. Christina: Oh, ah yeah yeah. Allie: Yeah, get it. Christina: Yeah, Allie: get it. Christina: But in case anybody doesn’t Allie: Yeah, so Christina: Carry, on. Allie: I don’t actually fully understand what headless WordPress even means, but it’s a it’s a thing that I’ve been hearing a lot about in the last few months is is headless CMS are headless WordPress, and it’s a it’s a technical development term. That’s Christina: Yeah, I think it’s when WordPress powers the backend, but what people actually see isn’t is generated from something else. Okay, something like that. I know I’ve got I’ve got like that little idea about it as well but not 100% I couldn’t lecture on it by any means. Allie: Yeah, but I just remember hearing that a lot and kind of being mildly curious about like, oh, that kind of sounds, it sounds creepy, right? It sounds like somebody walk around without a head. And so it just kind of I don’t remember when I first thought about it, but I was like, wouldn’t it be really funny if there was like a Halloween headless Wapuu that didn’t have a head and so I have a sketch of it. It’s also hanging up on my wall behind my desk. I sketched out this little headless Wapuu which is disgusting looking. It’s horrifying! And I think I sent it to, to James who, who’s kind of the resident Wapuu fairy, and I don’t think he ever like even acknowledged it. It’s just horrible. But it just makes me laugh, and I’m really proud of him. So yeah, those are those are my two favorite weapons. I think. Christina: I like it. Those I have to say are the most unique Wapuu answers that I’ve had so far. Allie: I win Christina: all right, so as we wrap up, why don’t you let people know how they can find you online especially since it sounds like people do like to reach out to you. And so if people have questions and want to know more Allie: Absolytely. So you can find me. You can find all the stuff that I’ve written in the lot of the talks that I’ve done at allienimmons.com, all one word no spaces. And my, my how to be a WordPress ally post is up there as well for you to read. And if you want to reach out to me and have a conversation or ask me a question, I am on twitter 24 hours a day, seven days a week at allie_nimmons. And, yeah, I believe my inbox is set to like open so you can just send me a DM if you want, Christina: even if you’re not both following each other. And those will be in the show notes so people can just click and Yeah. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today about all this, all this great stuff. I love it. Allie: Thank you. Thank you for having me. It was really fun. Christina: Yeah. And hopefully we’ll talk again soon. Allie: Oh, definitely. Christina: And you need to come to Calgary’s WordCamp. I think you were already. Allie: Yes. I need that’s you and Aurooba work on that WordCamp. Oh, of course. I have to get up there. Christina: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You’ve got to, I think Allie: Count me in. Christina: Definitely. All right. Well, then hopefully we’ll see you at the end of May. And if anybody is or was depending on when this comes out, and when they’re listening at WordCamp Miami, hopefully they look for you or did look for you. Allie: Oh, please do Christina: and then maybe if not this year, maybe next year at some other WordCamps cuz you get around to a couple of them. So awesome. Well, thanks a lot. Have a great night. Allie: You too. Christina: Great, thanks. Links Apply to be a guest or nominate someone Follow the podcast on Twitter Subscribe in iTunes/Apple Podcasts or in your favourite podcast app The post Episode 5: Allie Nimmons appeared first on Christina Workman.


11 Feb 2020

Episode artwork

Episode 118: Allie Nimmons

Hallway Chats

Introducing Allie Nimmons Allie is a self-taught WordPress user who has done the agency thing, done the freelance thing, done the business owner thing… and is now doing the community thing! She does support and community outreach at GiveWP and is a GoDaddy Pro Ambassador. Her biggest joy comes from talking to other community members about how to maintain and foster positive and inclusive environments on the web. Show Notes Website | AllieNimmons.com Twitter | @allie_nimmons Preferred Pronouns | She/Her Episode Transcript Tara: This is Hallway Chats, where we meet people who use WordPress. Liam: We ask questions and our guests share their stories, ideas, and perspectives. Tara: And now the conversation begins. This is Episode 118. Liam: Welcome to Hallway Chats. I’m Liam Dempsey. Tara: And I’m Tara Claeys. Today we’re joined by Allie Nimmons. Allie is a self-taught WordPress user who has done the agency thing, she’s done the freelancing thing, the business owner thing and is now doing the community thing. She does support and community outreach at GiveWP and she’s a GoDaddy Pro ambassador. Her biggest joy comes from talking to other community members about how to maintain and foster positive and inclusive environments on the web. Welcome, Allie. It’s so great to have you here today. Allie: Hi, Tara. Hi, Liam. I’m really happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me. Liam: You’re most welcome. Thanks for joining us out here in the Hallway. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself, please? Allie: Yeah, sure. I started using WordPress probably about five, six years ago. I made the transition from theater to web design. I remember finding WordPress and just thinking like, “Wow, this is great. I can build a website without having to learn how to code.” I’ve been using WordPress for work ever since. I live in North Miami, Florida. Tara and I just made a joke that even though it is pretty much winter by now, I’m in short sleeves and she’s in a sweater. I live in Miami with my fiancé. We’ve been together for three years. That’s pretty much me. Tara: Did you say theater before this? Allie: Yeah. I did theater the majority of my life. The first production I was when I was five. I did theater all through my childhood and through my adolescence. I went to Florida State University and I majored in theater. Halfway through that, I was just sort of like, “I don’t really like this as much as I thought I did. I don’t want to make a living out of this and being super competitive in this industry.” So I made a hard left turn into infotech, which is actually more similar than you would think. But yeah, I realized when I was in my very early 20s that that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Tara: I have a personal interest in asking that question because my daughter is currently a theater major in college, and she also is kind of discovering new aspects of herself. I think I don’t ever see her doing tech, but you never know. But I think that’s true, when you do it when you’re younger, as you get older and it becomes more competitive, you have to decide if you want to go all in. Like people who want to do it, they have to be all in and not do other things too. Allie: It is very intense. I compare it to sports. There are statistics about so many kids play sports when they’re young but only like 1% are going to make it to a major league or something. And very, very, very few people quote-unquote make it in the performing arts. It’s very, very competitive. It’s an interesting industry to have worked in for so long and then come into the WordPress community where, at least as far as I’ve experienced, there’s almost no competitive feelings. Like if you go to a WordCamp, you have the two host companies in the sponsor booth can sit side by side and talk shop. People give all their secrets away in their talks, in their workshops without worrying about another agency stealing their idea. There’s none of that. That’s been a really interesting comparison coming from theatre into an industry like this. Tara: Do you think that your background in theatre plays a part in what you’re doing now? Allie: Oh, absolutely. Tara: Tell us a little bit about what you might think about that. Allie: Totally. I see it almost as a one to one comparison. Because with theatre – more so than maybe film or television, but there’s similarities – with theater, you start with a plan, like a script. And you have that as an outline, and you bring together people who have different strengths and different backgrounds, and you collaborate, and you iterate and you rehearse, and you test, and you figure out what works and what doesn’t, and then you put it up for people to look at. And even then you usually perform it a few times, and you can make changes to it. I see the process of launching a product, whether it’s a website or an application or something like that, it’s identical. You start with the idea you, you wireframe it or you prototype it, you bring in different people who have different strengths, you know, designers, developers, copywriters, security experts, like whoever, and you work together and you iterate it and you test it and then at some point you publish it. But it’s always up for change. It’s always up for adaptation and tweaking and so on. Or for somebody else to fork it and do something that they want to do with it, I think it’s an incredibly similar process that I think about a lot in my process is in the things that I do. It’s incredibly similar as far as the process goes. And the community aspect of it too, where you’re relying on other people. You have to rely on other people for help and support. Something like WordPress, WordPress as a huge thing is only successful when we have people collaborating together. There’s not usually one star of the show. It’s 600 plus people contributing to core and making it something amazing. Liam: There’s a lot of talking community in the last year or two around what is the nature of the community and what is it health and is it good, is it bad, is it flourishing, is it not? Not is it intrinsically good, but more is it flourishing? Your comment just around having a star and the like…it is a challenge I see as a community to have 600 people on stage. And I don’t mean that as a negative challenge or one not worth taking. I wonder your thoughts on how do we do that so that kind of singing about 600 voices, they don’t need to all sing as one but they all need to at least sing as a series of groups so that we can understand. I wonder your thoughts on that particularly from building a community and crafting a community. Tara: You’re getting deep right off the bat here, Liam? Liam: Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. We can go lighter if you want. Allie: No, it’s such an interesting question. That is something I think about a lot as a relatively new community member who is really observing and being very mindful about exactly what you just said, like what our community is and how it grows and the goods and the bads and all of that. And I think it’s definitely a challenge. I think that when we consistently community communicate to people, that their contribution is essential and is worthwhile. Whether it is a large or a small contribution, it plays into that. So if you have somebody who contributed to course A for example, and maybe it was a very small thing that they did, and every time they use WordPress moving forward, they think about that little thing or they see that little thing that is there because of them. That feeling of not necessarily ownership, but…I’m having a hard time finding the word on the tip of my tongue. But there’s this feeling of part of this is mine, part of this belongs to me, part of me is in this thing. I think that’s incredibly powerful because it makes us care about the community as a whole. We don’t look at it now it’s just a piece of software or just a means to an end. It’s something that we feel a personal connection to. I think when it comes to having a large number of people that come in building in leadership at different levels, which is something that we would see in theater. So you have a director, but you also would have an assistant director. If you have a chorus, you’re going to have a chorus manager. If you have an orchestra, you have somebody in charge of those individuals. And so you don’t just have one director for a production that has 200 people in it. You have delegation and you have leadership at various levels. I think that sort of a structure is so imperative and it’s why we are able to succeed because you have leads in different areas who can give those people the focus and the help and the attention and the support that they need. But yeah, I think that’s a giant question that we’re going to answer over time. But that’s always the way that I see it is building in leadership to the system at various levels. Liam: That’s always a challenge when effective leadership depends on communication and transparency and accountability in any community. Even a community of two, we struggle with those kinds of things. There’s a lot to unpack there. Maybe we should back up a little bit and go where go lighter where we started. Allie when Tara read about you at the start of the show, she mentioned that you’ve done the agency thing, the freelance thing, and the business owner thing. Can you tell us through some of your experience with that? What was that like for you? Allie: Yeah. When I decided that I was going to be a web designer, because I very much woke up one day and I was like, “This is what I’m going to do,” the first job that I got I was a junior designer at a local agency – a really, really small agency here in South Florida. I learned so much. I learned so much. I was introduced to WordPress. I was introduced to things like SEO, I was introduced to things like websites security and all of these different aspects. I learned a lot about how not to run a business. I ran into almost any pitfall that you could…anybody who’s ever worked at an agency and struggled with working at an agency, I touched on pretty much every single one of those things. I left that agency knowing that “Okay, now I have, after 12 months, a set of skills that I don’t want to lose. And so I started freelancing because I was in such a place emotionally that I felt like I didn’t want to work for somebody else, but I wanted to build sites with WordPress. I started building sites for friends and family, for peanuts, for nothing just to get some experience. And every site I charged a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more, and I learned how to run my own businesses. The freelancing morphed into a business owner thing. I’ve said this before. I think that the difference between freelancing and owning a business is kind of the commitment that you’ve made to yourself that this isn’t something I’m doing on the side to make a bit of extra money. This is something that I’m going to put tons and tons and tons of work and effort and planning into. And so freelancing turned into having a business. I did that for about three years, and it was sustainable but very shaky all the time. I was always worried about all these hats that I was having to wear. This year specifically was the year that I changed absolutely everything. And it was going back to community because that’s where I end up. I started becoming more integrated in this community and meeting people and actually staying in touch with people after attending a meetup or a WordCamp. I realized that through all of these things that I’ve done, I was now marketable to another company. Like my skills were good enough that I could walk into an interview and say, “These are the things that I know how to do, and I can make your business better because of the things that I know how to do.” Being, a, activity community member opened up certain doors to me that I was able to find a place that I really want it to work and find people that I really wanted to work with. When I look back on it now, it was a very clear and smooth…I wouldn’t even say smooth. It was a very clear evolution in my career of where I started and where I ended up. But it was very not smooth. Smooth is definitely not the word I would use to describe it. Liam: Let me ask you. When you started to involve yourself more in the community, I’m guessing you probably started locally, and you shared that you were keeping up with the people more. So you’d meet them at the meetup on a Tuesday night, but then you’d engage with them and not just wait for the next time. Was that a tactical career choice or that was…I really liked that person, why do I have to wait until the next month to talk to them? So it was kind of more of an organic community and then you said, “You know what? A few months down the road, I could do this profession? What was your process? Allie: It was entirely tactical. I’m not afraid to say that. It was 100% tactical. It was that moment… Liam: Well, I don’t mean that in a negative way when I asked that question. That’s not trying to paint you as mean. Allie: I appreciate that. But no, yes, it was definitely intentional. What spurred that was meeting Adam Warner WordCamp Miami this year, 2019. He saw me speak and he liked the talk that I did. We started talking about the GoDaddy Pro speaker ambassadorship, where basically GoDaddy sends me to various camps to talk and to represent the company. I was like, “Well, I’m 27. I really want to travel and talk. This is the dream.” So I said yes right away. I realized that if I’m going to be going to all of these different camps, and I’m going to be meeting all of these different people, I need to do it right and I need to engage in the community. I can’t just make this a thing that I go somewhere and I talk and then I go somewhere else and I talk and I don’t really immerse myself in it and make the best out of it that I possibly can. So yeah, it was a very direct thought process of like, “I need to be on Twitter more. I need to dedicate 15 to 30 minutes a day being on Twitter and talking to people and following people and being a community member.” The first podcast that I was on was a result of that decision. It was Michelle William’s podcast, WPCoffeeTalk. I didn’t even know her. I wasn’t following her. Somebody that I know shared her call for a speaker and I was like, “I’ll do that.” I was her very first speaker, and through her, I learned about the job opportunity that was open at GiveWP. So again, it was a very direct line of events. My decision to become more active, completely paid off and mean as far as me getting a job but also me now being somebody that I can go to something like WordCamp US and say, “I work at GiveWP,” and people are like, “I know what that is and I know the people there and they’re great.” It was definitely intentional and it worked. It definitely worked. Tara: It really struck a chord with me what you said about freelance, the word “freelance” and that being a business owner and how that’s different. And I think I love how intentional you are and how thoughtful you are about approaching your life more as a business and as a freelancer. I think your definition is really accurate and I hadn’t really heard that before. I was just having a conversation with someone in my slack group yesterday about that very thing, about the word “freelancer,” which is a controversial term. Some people see it as not being a respected term. But I think the way you say it really makes sense. I wonder how all of this relates to a question that we always ask, which is about success. It sounds like even if it’s been not necessarily smooth path, you’ve had a very intentional evolution and where you’ve come over the past couple of years. How does that relate to success and how do you define success? Allie: I think about that a lot. I think success is different for everyone and success doesn’t mean one thing. I think Allie from two years ago had a different idea of success than Allie today or Allie in five years. Even though I think about it a lot, I don’t think I have a solid definition of success because it’s like, okay, if I have a solid definition of what success is and I get to that definition, then what? I think at this point I feel successful in that I have the opportunity to do the things that I want to do and I have people who support me and support me doing the things that I want to do. One of those definitely being Adam Warner. I run almost everything I do by him and my coworkers and my bosses at Give. I think it’s a hard question for me to answer because right now I do feel successful. I feel that I can do the things that I want to do. But I know that there’s also a lot of things in the future that I want to do and there’s a lot of things that I want to accomplish. And when that happens, I’ll feel successful then. I don’t know. It’s a tough question to answer. Tara: I don’t think it has to be necessarily a concrete thing. It may be an approach. And you’re young, so it will change over time. I’m not as young but mine changes all the time as well. I think having it in your mind is what success mean to me right now or how will I feel successful this week, this month, this year, today. There are different time timeframes for success as well. Thanks for sharing that. I like Adam Warner a lot too. Allie: He’s greatest. Tara: Shout to Adam. Allie: Shout out to Adam for sure. I call him GoDad. I feel successful now being on this podcast with you guys. This is an honor. It’s really fun and it’s great to be able to have these sorts of conversations that I know my friends and new friends will be able to hear. That feels like a success. The fact that a couple of years ago, I never would have reached out and been like, “Hey, I want to be on your podcast. I think I would be great.” The overcoming of the imposter syndrome in the last few years has been a success I think to take off. It happens on a daily basis. It happens over long periods of time. I like the way that you phrase that for sure. Tara: I want to ask you about the role that you’ve played in some WordCamps as a speaker or a panel member in your participation in the conversation around inclusiveness and diversity in WordPress. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Allie: Sure. One of these days people are going to get sick of me talking about this stuff because every time I have a WordPress-based conversation I manage to steer this conversation in this direction. So I’m glad that you did that. I think more directly maybe we’re talking about the workshop that we did at WordCamp US. Me and Jill Binder, Aurooba Ahmed and David Wolfpaw did a workshop on diverse and inclusive spaces. And that came directly out of a blog post that I wrote called How to be a WordPress Ally, which is exactly what it sounds like. I broke down what allyship is, and I broke down why it’s necessary specifically in this community. Then I talked about actionable things that we can all do to be better allies for each other. That came out of a ton of hallway talks where I was able to answer a lot of interesting questions that I think that people in our community have been afraid to ask or embarrassed to ask. I’ve been able to ask them a lot of questions and try to challenge the way that they think about what diversity means and what inclusiveness means and what mindfulness means. Like being mindful of the way that you talk to people and the way that you organize your spaces. Even though I think that the WordPress community is incredibly diverse, especially compared to other tech-specific communities, we have a lot of work to do. I think it’s such an amazing opportunity because almost everyone that I’ve spoken to over the past nine months of being really active in the community, everyone has been willing to listen to me, and everyone has had questions, and everyone has expressed ideas like, “Well, I want to make my team more diverse, but I’m afraid to tokenize people. So how do I go about doing that?” That worry tells me that people want to talk about this stuff, they want to have these conversations, it’s just incredibly awkward. And people get analysis paralysis. They get so concerned about how to talk about it that they don’t talk about it. So I found myself in this interesting position where people want to talk to me about it. A few people have asked me or kind of mentioned that as a woman or as a person of color, or as someone who identifies as queer that it’s not my job to teach people about diversity because it’s something that I struggled through from that end of things. My response to that is always if people want to learn and willing to teach. If people ask me questions that are combative or disrespectful, that’s not ever a conversation I’m prepared to have. I don’t have the energy for that. But to sit down and have a conversation with somebody about how they in an active manner can make our community better, like why would I not have that conversation? The workshop from WordCamp US was a great way for me and other people with other perspectives to kind of challenged the way that people think a little bit and give them some actionable items that they can implement, not only into their everyday lives, but into their businesses, into their agencies, into their WordCamps, into their meetups that will enrich our community for the better. As long as people keep asking me questions, and people keep wanting to talk about this kind of stuff, I’m here, and I’ll do that. Liam: Thank you. Allie: You’re welcome. Liam: You shared a lot and there’s a lot to respond to and comment on. But I want to start just by saying and you were kind of self-effacing and so people are probably getting sick of you talking about it. That would be a nice problem to get to where what you were sharing wasn’t necessary anymore or was so common understanding in our culture and our different cultures that while culturally we might be different in this way or that way, our default is, how can I show the most respect to this human being? So I would love to be disappointed when I am sick of you. We saw that years ago, Allie. Well, I would love to get there. And we’re not. I know that what you’re sharing comes at a cost. WordPress community is fantastic. It’s much better than the wider society in the sense of it’s much easier to have these conversations at a WordCamp or in a WordPress meetup than it is in the office or on the street as it were. So the community is absolutely to be commended for that, but it’s not universal. I know that when you talk about things, or I talk about things, or Tara talks about these things, and we take a stance towards inclusivity, towards respect, towards welcoming, it comes at a cost. The dynamics that you mentioned, you know, you’re a woman of color, you’re a woman, you identify as queer, all of these are, in a sense, making you an even bigger target for those who don’t believe and respect and value that. Thank you very much for what you’re doing and I’m grateful to you for that. Allie: Thank you. I appreciate hearing that. One of the things that I’ve always found so amazing is that when I first started talking about this stuff more publicly than just one on one with a friend, I genuinely expected maybe once, maybe twice to get some kind of knockback. Because 9.5 out of 10 people in our community are fantastic. There’s a small margin of people who are not here for these conversations. I’m aware of that. What’s so amazing to me is that I’ve never, ever gotten any sort of blowback from anything that I’ve said. I don’t know. It makes me wonder if that’s ever going to happen. It’s not something that I obsess about or worried about overtly, but it’s just something that I’ve wondered about like, “Are there people out there who I make angry by any of these comments?” Because when you think about any time that people rock the boat, or anytime people try to shake things up, or anytime people try to ask difficult questions, there are always people who don’t like hearing it. It’s just how we are. And that has never happened, which I think is commendable to the way that our community is if there’s somebody out there who does want to say something to me or send me a nasty message, they don’t, for whatever reason. And that’s pretty awesome. Tara: I think it would be sad if there were people in this community who actually did that. I have another perspective or point and I’m almost afraid to make it because, I mean, it’s so wonderful that you’re welcoming and answering questions. For me, I’m 52 years old. I’ve been a stay at home mom for the majority of my adulthood, so I’ve kind of lived under a rock to a certain degree. I’ve been in the WordPress community for a number of years. I’m so afraid of saying the wrong thing unintentionally using the wrong terms. My daughter, as I mentioned is a theater major. I’m always feeling like I’m just afraid of my lack of understanding showing through because it’s not that I don’t respect or anything like that, it’s that I just genuinely don’t have the information and have not been in a community where that’s something that I’ve been exposed to. So I put myself in opportunities to learn that and people like you are helpful to people like me who are trying to learn more and really have a desire to be more inclusive. But there’s a fear that in that process that you’re going to reveal that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or maybe say the wrong thing. I say that here at great risk – like I feel nervous having voiced that truth about myself. But I think it’s great for similarly for you to put yourself out there to answer those questions and hopefully make people like me feel more comfortable in learning and being better. Allie: Absolutely. And thank you for sharing that. Because I think maybe that’s part of the reason why people ask me these questions is because I recognize that your experience is your experience. I can’t assume that you understand just off the bat where I’m coming from. I can’t assume that anybody does. We’ve lived different lives. That is a virtue. That’s a good thing. The willingness to learn I think is so inherent in this community. If you just look at WordPress, when you look at WordPress, and how in order for you to use WordPress, you have to learn how. It’s not a 1, 2, 3 Wix website, I just press a few buttons and I’m done. There is this constant feeling of learning in our community and admitting, “Hey, I don’t know how to do this. Can we work through this? Can somebody show me how? Can somebody point me to a video, whatever?” I think it’s the same thing in this regard. If people can admit that, “Hey, I don’t know, I don’t know something, can you explain it to me?” The worst way of handling these sorts of situations is declaring that you do know something that you don’t. That’s always when we run into problems is when people declare that they know about everything, because of the experiences that they’ve had and they can admit a gap in their knowledge. And so I think that you not knowing and asking questions makes you stronger. Tara: Thanks. Well, now I’m going to ask you a lot of questions off… Allie: Please do. That’s part of the reason that I think we need instances where people can have one on one or hallway talks or small, not super-duper public conversation is about these so that you can ask questions and not feel shame for asking the question. You should never feel shame for asking a question. Tara: Thanks. Allie: You’re welcome. Tara: I could talk about this for a long time. I want to ask you another question that we asked everyone because we are running out of time. And that is about advice. If you can think of any advice that you’ve received that’s really stuck with you and that you have implemented into your life that you’d share with us. Allie: I’ve gotten so much good advice over the past few months. Liam: Not to put you on the spot. Oh, go ahead. You’ve got something. Allie: Yeah, I kind of got something. Liam: Go, go, go. Allie: The advice that I would give is to give value to others. Like when I decided that I was going to be more active in the community, that wasn’t me posting a bunch of stuff about myself all the time, like tweeting about myself or tweeting my thoughts or this and that. It was, “Hey, I’m going to retweet this thing that this person said, or I’m going to reply to this thing that this person said” or “I met these two people and I’m going to try to connect them because they couldn’t find value in meeting each other.” I think that has made me feel way more like a community member than quote-unquote, “putting myself out there.” Which I think a lot of people get afraid about when they think about being super active on social media feel very vulnerable or going to a meetup and going to a WordCamp and speaking it feels very vulnerable, like you’re giving a piece of yourself away. I think in a way you are, but you get so much back almost right away, especially from this community. So to simply say that, don’t be afraid of giving pieces of yourself away as long as you are getting pieces back. If you’re feeling like you’re giving yourself away and you’re starting to feel drained and empty because of that, then it’s not worth it. But contributing and then taking I think is a healthy way of going about it. Liam: I totally agree with that. And I think it’s really important to say when we’re learning about the different life experiences of others is to think about what am I getting back and to try to keep an open mind on what that may look like. I’m sure we both have experiences where somebody has contributed and they throw up their hands and frustration, but I didn’t get any work out of it. Well, that’s one way to get back from the community but it’s not the only way or necessarily the most valuable way. Thank you for sharing that a bit of advice. I think it’s great to give value to others. Allie, Tara made it pretty clear earlier in the conversation that we could go on for hours but we do have a 30-minute show format and we’re over time here. Before we say goodbye to you, can you share where people can find you online and catch up with you? Allie: Absolutely. I’m most active on Twitter, @allie_nimmons and my website is allienimmons.com. I try to be pretty regularly putting out content there. Those are really the two main places to find me. Tara: Thanks, Allie. It’s been great having you on the show. Appreciate it. Allie: Thank you, guys. I really loved being here. Tara: Bye. Liam: Thanks, Allie. Allie: Bye. Liam: See you soon. Bye-bye. Liam: Thanks for listening to the show. We sure hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Tara: If you like what we’re doing here – meeting new people in our WordPress community – we invite you to tell others about it. We’re on iTunes and at hallwaychats.com. Liam: Better yet, ask your WordPress friends and colleagues to join us on the show. Encourage them to complete the “Be on the show” form on our site, to tell us about themselves. The post Episode 118: Allie Nimmons appeared first on Hallway Chats.


19 Dec 2019

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E65 - Ginny Weasley on actively creating more inclusive WordPress world (Allie Nimmons, GiveWP)

WPMRR WordPress Podcast

Being the youngest from big rambunctious wizarding family certainly doesn't make you the weakest! Ginny flies in to spread the word on standing strong and prioritizing diversity. On today's episode we explore transitioning from your own business to working for another company, the differences between customer service and tech support, and being a POC or minority in the WordPress space. Tune in to learn how we can continue making the WP space aware and diverse.  Episode Resources: Allie Nimmons Website WordCamp US 2019 Site WordCamp Workshop: Creating a Welcoming and Diverse Space Allie Nimmons Twitter GiveWP Website


29 Oct 2019

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Allie Nimmons and Freelancing / Mental Health

How I Built It

Allie Nimmons is a freelance web designer with an unique perspective to my own. She made the transition to freelancing after losing her job, but still needing to make money. We talk about what that’s like, as well as how she’s be able to hone her offerings based on what her target customers need. We also talk about mental health, and what it’s like to be black, and female, in a white male-dominated space. … Allie Nimmons and Freelancing / Mental HealthRead More »TranscriptAllie Nimmons: Oh well. I’m going through this mentally, so I’m probably being over-dramatic, or I’m probably overthinking it. Or, “It’s probably just my anxiety, and things aren’t that bad.” Until it became apparent to me that it was that bad. Joe Casabona: That was Allie Nimmons. Allie Nimmons is a freelance web designer with a unique perspective to my own. She made the transition into freelancing after losing her job but still needed to make money. We talk about what that’s like, as well as how she’s been able to hone her offerings based on what her target customers need. We also talk about mental health and what it’s like to be black and female in a white male-dominated space. Candidly this isn’t something I normally talk about on the show or otherwise, but I think we cover some important topics. I don’t want to delay that anymore, and we’ll get right into the interview. But first, a word from our sponsors. Break: This episode is brought to you by our friends at Ahoy! The easiest way to increase customer engagement on your WordPress site. Install Ahoy! Create a message box, configure a way to display it, and start seeing conversions come in. You can create messages for cart abandonment, up-sales and cross-sells, custom support, and so much more. Ahoy! Has flexible conditions that let you choose exactly where and when you want your message to be displayed. I’ve recently installed it on my own WooCommerce site, and I’ve already seen increased engagement. I know this because of Ahoy! And it’s powerful analytics and reporting. You will see ROI within days of installing Ahoy! If not sooner. That’s even more true for listeners of How I Built It. You can get an exclusive 20% discount on any plan. Visit UseAhoy.com/HowIBuiltIt and use the code HOWIBUILTIT at checkout. Use those today and increase your engagement in sales on your WordPress site. Thanks to Ahoy! for their support of this show. Joe: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of How I Built It. The podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today my guest is Allie Nimmons, founder, owner, and designer over at Pixel Glow Web Design. Allie, how are you today? Allie: I’m great, Joe. How are you? Joe: I am doing very well. Thank you. Allie and I met at WordCamp Miami, 2019. We were both talking in the freelance track, helping budding freelancers how to hit the ground running. Allie and I spoke a little bit, and today we’re going to talk about how you built your freelance career, is that right? Allie: Yeah, absolutely. Joe: Awesome. Why don’t we start off a little bit with who you are and what you do? Allie: Yes. At the moment, I have a– I try to think about it less like freelancing and more like business-owning. I feel like there’s a point where you make that transition into a more formal agreement with

9 Jul 2019

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Websites for Small Business Owners with Allie Nimmons from Pixel Glow Web Design

Twelve Minute Talks with Lorena Tomasini

If you're a small business owner it can be daunting to build a website on your own. What to use? Wordpress, WIX, Squarespace? Listen in on today's episode as Allie Nimmons from Pixel Glow Web Design explains her unique process in helping small business owners design the website of their dreams. She goes over some interesting subjects such as Trello for project management and the importance of hiring a professional to help design and meet deadlines for your website. Allie has been in business since 2016 with a background in theater which has proven a great basis for web design. Get a 30% discount for her 90 minute website strategy session by mentioning this website. Here's her website information:  https://pixelglowwebdesign.com Follow her on Instagram at :  https://www.instagram.com/pixelglowwebdesign/ Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/askallie I'm Lorena Tomasini, owner at MALM Life and Health Insurance Agency, where we help families and small business owners with their financial protection needs. I'm also a big fan of all things tech and that's how Allie and I met at the 2019 Wordcamp in Miami. Visit my website to learn how I work virtually with you. https://www.malmins.com To watch this podcast on video go here:  https://youtu.be/E8GYJCF46Hg 


17 Jun 2019

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WPCoffeeTalk: Allie Nimmons


Allie Nimmons is a fantastic WordPress Web Designer, working with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She has been a WordCamp speaker, pay-it-forward WordPresser, and loves the WordPress community.


6 Jun 2019