Claire riding Mozart

Riding Beyond Fear

I made a commitment to do 30 days of ClickPublish, which arrived serendipitously at a time when I could really use a jumpstart and some discipline in my own personal creativity, so I’ll be posting every day for the next 30 days. If you’d like notification of when I publish, you can follow me on Twitter, and if you’d like a digest of what I’ve written and the TL;DR, I’ll be mailing that out on Saturdays. Yesterday, Claire texted me that she had forgotten her water bottle at home, and asked if I could bring it to the barn. Usually, I’m deeply focused in the middle of the day and I don’t have bandwidth to watch her ride. But yesterday was different, and I needed …

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The Rock Wall

The Rock Wall: Being Kind in the Face of Conflict

In Mount Shasta, the house we lived in had a lava rock wall in front of it, a defining feature of the property. It was difficult to mow around and there were more chipmunks per capita living in that rock wall than in all of Northern California, but it was beautiful. There were a lot of rocks; it took months to bring them from the lava fields to the property according to the people who helped to build the house. The man who built our home there had built the house as a labor of love, and often I felt as if I was living in a museum rather than a home. Hardwood countertops, amazing tilework throughout, a homesteader’s dream garden. It was hard to …

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security of who you are

WordCamp Rochester 2020 Keynote

I am immensely grateful to the team at WordCamp Rochester for inviting me to present the keynote address for the virtual WordCamp Rochester 2020. If you missed the keynote, or the event at all, you can find it on WordPress.tv right here. I recommend checking out some of the other speakers at WordCamp Rochester. There were quite a few amazing folks from whom we can all learn a lot! If you want access to the slides, you can find the PDF here. Immediately after the keynote, I recorded a short podcast episode about the security of who you really are. This was my first keynote, and it checks off one of my personal goals for 2020. Which, given the crazy of 2020 is even more …

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Kathy Zant Newsletter

An Experiment: The Newsletter

Everything old is news again, and email is hip in 2020! As such, I’m conducting a little experiment. A newsletter. You can subscribe, or not. You can read, or not. It’s more about reconnecting old school. I have thoughts, and I don’t necessarily want to add them to the din of social media where I’ve amassed a group of “friends” over the years with whom I don’t necessarily connect. And yet, I still connect with people I knew before I was familiar with multiplication tables. Life is weird that way. I can’t go to coffee shops or WordCamps or even hang out with friends because everyone is so locked down. So, let’s try this old school. I might not be able to handwrite a letter, …

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Photo by Amal George on Unsplash

Turn off your television

The television news. It is there to inform, but it is also incendiary. It incites emotion. To see the tragedies, we cannot help but be moved and inspired for action to make it stop. The television news. It has often been used to not inform, but to influence. To tell a story for a purpose, to persuade and skew opinion. The television news. It is only powerful when you believe it, when you allow the emotional influence often based on half truths vying for views and ratings and advertising dollars. And online news sources such as Buzzfeed, etc. are even worse, clicks and measurement and heat maps and marketing. I live there. We know what’s up. We’ve talked a lot about “fake news” over the …

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Good boy

I walk the dog at 5:30 every morning. The sun is barely up, it’s cool outside and there are few (if any) people. This morning, we ran into an older gentleman who wanted to say hi to the dog. I have a golden retriever. I cannot be antisocial with a golden retriever no matter how cranky and tired I am. If someone wants to say hi, we say hi. There is no social distancing in the golden retriever world. In the midst of Bodhi’s excitement, the gentleman asked me, “So what do you think about all of this?” Knowing that could mean anything, I said, “All of… what?” “This virus. The economy. America. What do you think? Are we going to be ok?” he clarified. …

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Security Amidst Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

Every time I check the news, this COVID-19/coronavirus scare gets a little worse. It has already impacted so many lives, in China and beyond. Even if you don’t know someone who has immediate family infected by the virus, you’re likely affected somehow. Grounded travel, panic buying, mask hoarding, closed borders, stock market crashes… even if you’re not directly affected, you’re somehow directly affected. I read yesterday that the supply chain disruption and panic will likely kill more people through limited access to medication, clean food, and sanitation than will die from infection by coronavirus. Even if that isn’t true and this virus is as dire as they say, do we really want to go out of this world in fear? As I contemplated this, I …

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WordCamp US

I’m sitting in a Sheraton hotel room in downtown Seattle. I’ve got a cup of Starbuck’s Pike Place in front of me, and my eyes and brain don’t want to focus. After WordCamp US, I worked a few frantic days at home and then grabbed yet another flight, this time to WordCamp Seattle. I had a blast at both WCUS and WCSEA. Right this moment, I am tired. I am not sure if I’ve been this tired before in my life. And yet, it’s been worth it. Open | The Community Code At WCUS, we premiered our documentary short about the WordPress community, Open | The Community Code. It started as an idea and recognition of our friends in the WordPress community that give so …

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Thank you, Sacramento

I had the opportunity to speak at WordCamp Sacramento, which holds a special place in my heart. Sacramento was my introduction to the WP Community, thanks to the amazing Jennifer Bourn. I am always happy to come back. It was great to have a fun Star Wars theme! Jose Castaneda did a fantastic job as lead organizer of the event at the Falls Event Center in Roseville. Thank you to the organizers for inviting me; I am always honored to come to WCSAC. Here are my slides. You can copy them, you can share them, you can reuse them or parts of them for your own talk wherever you want to spread the good word about WordPress security. A reminder: Use unique passwords everywhere. Use …

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The Hacker Mindset

WordCamp Boston, Thank you!

This might have been my most fun talk yet, and I owe it all to the audience. I had a great time! Thanks for the hospitality! Here are my slides. And I promised some other links to resources during questions, here’s hoping I remember them. Chris Teitzel’s interview on Think Like a Hacker, episode 31. Have I Been Pwned. 1Password. Leverages Have I Been Pwned and checks for your passwords in breaches. Also has 2FA time-based one time codes in the interface. Last Pass. Another good password manager. Has a stand-alone 2FA app that can be used instead of Google Authenticator. The Most Expensive Lesson of My Life. Why you need to avoid SMS 2FA. Our banks need to get with the program. You can …

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