Featured Speaker: Brian Hoke

Brian has worked as a web developer at Bentley Hoke, a web development consultancy in Syracuse, New York, since 2000; he has worked extensively in WordPress for a number of years now. Brian finds that more and more of his work involves extending and customizing WordPress. He is particularly intrigued by the combination of client-side technologies like jQuery with server-side feeds in XML or JSON to enhance the user experience, both on the same WordPress installation and between foreign sites.

Presentation: Wordpress as API: how to distribute and share content for fun and profit

Twitter, Google, and other sites offer access to their content via an API, often via JSON. This presentation will explore how one might set up a similar API for a WordPress site: expose posts and other content with JSON, and offer client sites access via both embeddable code and through a more complex, authenticated API.

What do you want people to learn from your presentation?

I hope folks who attend my session see how the architecture of WordPress makes it very easy to share content with external sites, allowing simple embedding of content and more complex mashups that consume WP content via a JSON API – a separation of presentation and content.

What attracted you to WordPress in the first place?

Certainly the WP community has always been a draw for me: the fact that so many good (and consistently updated and improved) plugins exist, that WP documentation is well maintained and useful, and that there are a wealth of resources (including, especially, WordCamps!) available to those of us who work with WordPress on a daily basis.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Toronto?

The chance for focused but informal connections with peers is always a big draw – the scheduled presentations look great but the informal, between-the-sessions chats with developers and designers are, of course, at least as rewarding. And the opportunity to spend a weekend in Toronto is a huge plus.

Why did you decide to speak?

Like most folks, I can too easily stay heads down, focused on what’s due tomorrow; signing up to speak forces me to stretch a bit, delving into a topic that I use regularly but want to explore in more detail.

Presenting at a WordCamp is a chance to reflect what I know to a crowd that is both friendly and also extremely knowledgeable – an opportunity to, hopefully, offer some useful info to those attending my session but also for me to hear feedback about my own work and about WordPress in general.

What is your favourite plugin or theme, and why?

Contact Form 7, Jetpack, the Yoast SEO plugin, and Advanced Custom Fields are all plugins I use regularly – each does what it says on the tin, solving the problem it is supposed to address.