Melissa and Cole Geissinger to Step Down

Cole and Melissa GeissingerDearest WIMP community,

I’ve got some news to share. On the brink of WIMP’s 5-year birthday-versary in April, it’s with a heavy heart that I announce that both myself and Cole are stepping down from WIMP leadership effective immediately.

We didn’t come to this decision lightly, and it’s probably one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do.

What we have built here collectively is amazing. I want you to reflect on that a moment. 5 years ago you were lucky to even know OF anyone else in the Sonoma County web and digital media industry. Now we have a SOLID group of local and non-local folks who have built friendships and done business, heck, even BUILT business together! We have educated each other, inspired one another, collaborated and built amazing things together, helped our community in countless ways, and pushed each other to do better.

I am impossibly grateful for the time I’ve spent running WIMP and building this amazing community with everyone. These have been the best years of my life. I’ve met some of my best friends here. I met my husband here. I’ve gotten giddy every single time I saw one of you get a job or a project as a direct result of my efforts. But it’s time for us to move on.

I’ll be focusing my effort on my new venture, One Day Labs, in which I’m lucky enough to be working with a handful of Wimps on building websites in a day through a collaborative build process, similar to WIMPgives.

Cole is going to be putting all his time and energy into his CTO position at CropMobster, another Sonoma County based startup whose mission is to create an online food waste alert system and community exchange platform for a sustainable food ecosystem (basically saving the world and feeding people in need, no big deal).

What does the future look like for WIMP? I’m glad you asked. Stormy Knight is going to be heading the event programming and will be chief moderator of the Facebook group. Event programming, however, may not be as robust as it has previously been. That depends entirely on you guys.

That’s right, if YOU want more WIMP programming then YOU will have a chance to step up and do your part to make sure it continues. You do not have to be an industry expert to be a community leader. Heck, none of us were when we started! You just need to be passionate about people in this community having access to one another, engaging in conversation about new trends and standard practices, and keeping people engaged. It’s up to you to make sure WIMP continues to grow and thrive.

I’m excited about the future and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will bring. We obviously won’t be disappearing completely so still plan on seeing us both at events and at WIMPspace. Speaking of WIMPspace, we haven’t decided what we’ll do with it yet, but for now we’ll continue to operate the coworking space as normal. If you are an existing WIMP+ member, we’ll have more info coming your way soon!

Wimpily yours,
Melissa & Cole Geissinger

WIMPgives 2015 to Donate Websites to Eight Nonprofits in Daylong Nov. 7 ‘Hackathon’

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Members of local digital media community, WIMP, to help local nonprofits create online presence

Santa Rosa, CA – Members of WIMP – Web and Interactive Media Professionals – will gather on Nov. 7 for a daylong “hackathon,” WIMPgives, during which they will create, free of charge, websites for eight local nonprofits. The event will take place at SoCo Nexus, at 1300 Valley House Dr. #100 in Rohnert Park from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

All work will be provided by WIMP members, over 50 of whom have volunteered for the event. Each nonprofit will be assigned a team of professionals in the various technical disciplines needed to build a website – project manager, web developer, designer, content strategist, online marketing specialist and a student apprentice. The goal is to build a website for each nonprofit in a single day. WIMP also plans to offer continuing support for the sites it builds.

This year’s event is the third annual staging of WIMPgives. The previous two events provided 12 nonprofits with websites. Some $75,000 worth of services were donated at last year’s event alone.

“It’s great to give back to the nonprofits that make Sonoma County a great place to live and work,” said Melissa Geissinger, President and COO of WIMP. “And the results from the first two WIMPgives events were spectacular, with the nonprofits we helped now better able to get the word out about their services and raise funds. But beyond that, we’ve found that coming together for a high-energy, fast-paced project like WIMPgives teaches us about the amount of good that exists in our world and makes WIMP a stronger community. Everybody who volunteers and sponsors tells us afterwards that they got a lot more out of the event than they put in, and I think that’s why it’s been so successful.”

The nonprofits selected to receive WIMPgives websites are Code Blue, Coast Ridge Community Forest, Daily Acts, Halleck Creek Ranch, LandPaths, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, Sonoma Valley Dog Owners & Guardians, and Sonoma West Medical Foundation. All were chosen on the basis of need and a commitment to participate alongside WIMP volunteers in the website building process.

WIMPgives takes place thanks to the commitment of the Sonoma County nonprofit community and the support of the generous businesses and individuals that donate money, food or in-kind services. Sponsors include 1 Day Web Designer, Anthroware, The North Bay Business Journal, O’Reilly Media, Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Slow Food Russian River and SoCo Nexus. Direct donations are still being accepted through a crowdfunding campaign on Plumfund: http://bit.ly/wimpgives.

WIMP – Web and Interactive Media Professionals (http://beawimp.org) – is a community of professionals working in all sectors of digital media. In addition to an active online Facebook community of over 1,000 people from around the world, WIMP also hosts a variety of meetups, classes and workshops from WIMPspace, its coworking and event space located at 201 D Street in downtown Santa Rosa. WIMPspace is a founding member of CASC, the Coworking Alliance of Sonoma County (http://coworksonoma.org).

More information about the WIMPgives event and how to donate or sponsor can be found at: http://wimpgives.com.

More information about WIMP can be found at: http://beawimp.org.

More information about WIMPspace and its coworking and colearning space can be found at: http://wimpspace.com.

Telephone number at WIMPspace is (707) 827-1334.

Life After Wimptator

A screenshot of an email: "Melissa Crain wants to be friends on Facebook."

Melissa and I first met at A’Roma Roasters on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011. It’s easy to remember, because the WIMP meetup was registered on the same day. That’s probably the first sign that we were going to kick ass. Since then, WIMP has changed Sonoma County: it’s a far less lonely place to be a technology or media professional now than it was 5 years ago.

WIMP has changed me, too. For all my labors of love, none have been as enduring or meaningful as WIMP. The friendships I forged, especially with Melissa, Randy, and Cole, are ones I can’t imagine living without.

Now it’s time for more change. After four and a half years, it’s time for me to step down from WIMP leadership. Deciding to resign is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, which I recognize makes me one of the luckiest guys alive. But giving up your baby is hard, especially when it’s doing so well.

First trace of Melissa in my life is a comment on this photo Philip Wyers posted to Facebook in 2010. Nerd humor FTW.

First trace of Melissa in my life is a comment on this photo Philip Wyers posted to Facebook in 2010. Nerd humor FTW.

I have spent the better part of my adult life as a scrappy careerman trying to overcome circumstance — and myself. While the journey continues, my time as a careerman has to end.

I still have ambitions to leave this world a better place than I found it. Hell, I’ll still be a big WIMP supporter. But my priorities have to change… As I approach my 30’s, I want to spend more time with my family and friends. I also want to think about building a family of my own.

And WIMP is growing up. What WIMP needs now is different from what it needed to get started. While I’ve got some skills, I’m no CEO — I learned that the hard way with my startup, Bluebird.

In closing, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for the support. For the creativity. For the love. I’m sure I’ll see you around.

Your Wimptator emeritus,
Josh Simmons

WIMP+ Premium Membership is Here

We’ve got some really big announcements today. SO MUCH IS HAPPENING in the Wimpverse. Just look!

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WIMP+ is here.

OMG yay!

We’ve been talking about this for ages, but we’re happy to finally announce our premium membership is live. At just $35 / month, it’s chock full of perks and we’ll continue to add to the list as we continue to grow.

Membership benefits include:

  • Membership Directory
    Build your public-facing profile and portfolio and make an impression on new clients.
  • Private Discussion Board
    Get access to a secure discussion board where clients can’t hear you scream.
  • Coworking Access
    4 days a month access at WIMPspace, WIMP’s coworking and colearning space / clubhouse in downtown Santa Rosa.
  • Discounts on Workshops
    Discounts on select classes and workshops.
  • Vendor Discounts
    Discounts from a list of awesome companies relevant to you and your business.
  • Exclusive Events
    Members only events. Who knows what could happen?!
  • Swag & Surprises
    Discounts on swag and special surprise things!
  • Direct Referral Program
    Get added to our database of hand-picked referrals and pay just 5% commission on revenue earned.
  • Support WIMP
    Show your love and support to the community you just couldn’t live without.

Sign up before June 1st and get a free ticket to WIMPcamp on July 11, 2015!*

Sign-up Steps:

  1. Sign up for a basic membership at beawimp.org/members/sign-up/
  2. Follow e-mail verification steps
  3. Opt-in for WIMP+ in your membership settings

*Offer not available to charter members and beta testers

SIGN UP NOW

WIMPcamp2015

WIMPcamp is Coming July 11th!

Sonoma County’s First Unconference for Web Technology is coming back for its third year on July 11th, 2015. WIMPcamp 2015 will feature a mix of sessions selected from proposals ahead of time, and sessions given by attendees that are scheduled the day of the event. It’s a lot of fun, breakfast and lunch are provided for just $25.

Tickets Available Soon.

RSVP Now

WIMPgives

WIMPgives Save the Date: November 7th

WIMPgives is our annual charity hackathon that gives our community the ability to use what we are good at to do good in our community. Last year we had 50 volunteers form seven teams to build websites for seven non-profits in a day!

This year we are pulling out all the stops to make this year’s event even bigger and better. We need your help. Applications for non-profits and volunteers are now open, as is our call for sponsors. If you or anyone you know wants to be involved in our third annual WIMPgives, sign up on the website.

Give Something Amazing

WordPress-wat

Professional WordPress Developer Course Announced.

This summer, we’ll be hosting our very first Professional WordPress Developer Course. We’ll be expanding your core development skills and learn how to transfer an HTML & CSS template into a functioning WordPress Theme. On top of learning how to build a WordPress theme, we’ll learn the basic fundamentals of PHP, which is the underlying language that powers WordPress.

The course will run from June 13th – August 15th.

Early bird sign-ups are just $399. This will only be available until May 23rd!

A 10% Off Discount is available for WIMP+ Members

View Course Outline

Register Now

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New Coworking Pricing

We’ve adjusted our pricing for WIMPspace memberships a bit to reflect how we think you’ll get the most out of utilizing the space and your home away from home office.

View New Membership Structure