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    I know many in this community have been around for 12+ years. I personally know many of you and have had probably hours and hours of conversations with a number of you. But I also know there are always people coming into the community, so I thought I would offer this thread as a way to share something about yourself, what name you "normally" go by in the chat room, what type of projects you do, and any other random facts that people may or may not know about you.

    Please know that this is purely voluntary and you don't have to put anything in this thread.

    I'll start...

    I've been around the WordPress world since BEFORE the fork. In fact, I knew Matt Mullenweg when he was still working at a desk at cNet. Over the years, I've worked in the video game industry and I've been a volunteer firefighter/paramedic for a number of years. I absolutely love finding new skills and tools and then sharing those ideas with the community. I'm a firm believer that any complex skill/task can be broken down and explained in multiple methods and because of that I believe anyone can learn to code. I've been a part of massive web builds, but the enjoyable part is when I get to build tools that help accomplish a task. I'm a self-taught coder that isn't afraid to break the internet live on a webinar. (I'll never forget actually causing the FBI website to experience problems because of their DNS routing issues we accidentally discovered live on the air.)


    Hi all, my name is Birgit Gerling. In chat rooms with international participants, you usually see me as "BG" (for at least 15 years) simply because I got tired of hearing my name mispronounced in so many different ways, without having a chance to correct it.

    My professional background is translation, typesetting, and publication of books (and basically all sizes and types of printed matters), as well as video productions. For a few years, I worked as management assistant and somehow "stumbled" into webdesign since I knew about layout and coding for typesetting. Eventually, I started my own company, doing publication projects for my husband and for customers, producing Excel/VBA based tools for scientific/statistical purposes, but mainly building websites. (When I first discovered WordPress ten years ago, I edited plugins, themes, and even core files if I wanted to change things ... - and was of course learning quickly that updates can kill sites.)

    The usual web projects I nowadays work on for customers are for presentation purposes or blogs and consist of five to a few hundred pages/posts. Some "adopted" sites use(d) different cms; I am hoping to drop the last "non-WordPress customer site" still this year. Presently, as I find time, I am busy working on a few projects for myself - and am trying to learn Italian.


    Howdy, y'all! I'm Paul Oyler and I live in Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Pittsburgh. In some WordPress circles, I'm known as Pappy Paul or Pappy Oyler, because PappyOyler is my Twitter handle, and I'm Pappy to 4 wonderful grandkids. (Which means I'm old enough to be "Pappy" to a great many current WordPress designers.)

    I've been a WordPress user since a month or two after the fork from b2 became known as "WordPress". I'm not really a developer or a designer, but I assemble things and have met and then learned to ask the right people how to do something so that my clients end up with a site that they both need and like. I then manage the website for each of my clients, taking care of hosting, updates, security, and, depending on the client and the contract, I'll take care of content additions and/or editing.

    Most of my clients these days are churches, ministries, and small businesses. I used to focus mostly on motorsports racing teams, tracks, and racing series, as for 15 years I was also a racing photographer and knew many of the racers personally. Over time, most of the racers I worked with either quit racing or scaled back their racing program and didn't need a website (or didn't want to have to pay for a website). I quit doing racing photography because of health issues and I just didn't have the current connections to get new clients. I do still have a couple of loyal racing operations that have been with me for close to 20 years, so I still have at least some connection to what was a major part of my past.

    Another part of my past that is often weaved into my interactions with various people in WP groups is my love for The Grateful Dead. In the 70's I was as "out there" as it was possible to be, and while my life has changed drastically over the years, I still love the music of the Grateful Dead, and a "special" brownie once in a great while. To know more about me, my past, and my present, you can always check out my personal journal at pauloyler.online.

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