WordCamp Cape Town Speakers

There are 12 slots for speakers. Presentations should be 20 – 25min long and there will be a short Q&A session after each talk.

Allen Jaffe

Allen started working with online businesses after graduating and let his unwavering love of the internet take him halfway around the world and back before launching R.O.I. Media in 2003.
He has been involved with both start-up and fortune 500 companies; been trained by and worked with some of the most prominent names in digital and boasts an entrepreneurial spirit and talent-spotting knack that continues to push R.O.I. to the top of its game.

A co-founder of White Hatters, which is an initiative dedicated to bringing like-minded people together and promoting and growing ethical SEO in South Africa, Allen is a firm believer in loving what you do in order to find success – a philosophy he cultivates throughout the company.

Session: Discussion Panel
Time: 15:15 – 15:55

Company Website

Anthony Somerset

 I Think this XKCD just about sums up what i do! http://xkcd.com/705/

I’m English by birth (don’t laugh!), Been living in the land of cold and rain for 24 years now, just recently moved to warmer climates (Harare, Zimbabwe) When I was 14 I experienced Linux for the first time with a Knoppix Live CD, since then I got the linux bug and started playing around with it. I got into Web Design/Development at around the same time through my A Level coursework and thats when i first took a look at WordPress. The Following 2 years I kind of messed around with WP, Drupal, and PHPNuke etc, trying to understand them and (at the time) failing!

Through 2007 to 2010 while studying Computer Science at university I got to play with WordPress a bit more (although my degree was totally irrelevant to what I do now, it was useful for something!) and finally built my personal site on wordpress and started learning how to make it go fast (and learned that shared hosting really isn’t that great in most cases)

In 2009 I started doing freelance server administration work for companies using WordPress, Drupal and Magento and consulting on various new infrastructure builds. Then in mid 2011, I joined W3 EDGE and so the Journey began in working with WP pretty much full time, building and manage infrastructure high traffic sites that have to utilise multiple scaling philosophies while maintaining high performance and I help support the infrastructure day-to-day.

I am pretty much all powered by open source and coffee!

Session: Site Speed = Success! – Optimising WordPress from the Server up
Time: 13:35 – 13:50

Personal Website

Ashley Shaw (MC)

Ashley is the founder and owner of LightSpeed, a WordPress Development company based in Cape Town. LightSpeed develops websites using WordPress, BuddyPress and other open source technologies. LightSpeed’s current focus is on building publisher websites that require eCommerce, social networking, forums, blogging and social media integration. The LightSpeed Publisher Suite utilizes the latest and best developments from the WordPress world to provide publishers (newspapers, magazine and other traditionally print publications) a unique platform to exploit the opportunities of the online environment and propel their businesses forward.

Ashley is so passionate about WordPress that he decided to organise the WordCamp Cape Town 2012 event. On the rare occasion that Ashley isn’t online, he is probably trail running and biking the mountains or spending time with friends.

Session: Mcee’s Welcome
Time: 08:50 – 09:00


Bennie Stander

 Best described as: Online marketing specialist, performance marketing strategist, Online entrepreneur

It all started in 2003 while working at an online casino that I realised that websites are not only “places” of information for companies. I dealt with affiliates that was earning 6 figure incomes by promoting other peoples products and services via the internet.

For next couple of years I experimented with the idea and also made a couple of bucks by sending out emails to my friends promoting merchants products and services. I also discovered Google Adsense, a little cost per click program offered by Google (seen by many as the initiative that helped companies overcome the “dotcom crash”). Easy money, all people have to do is click on the links and you get paid for every click – not so easy at all. You need to learn how to get people to actually be interested in what is offered and there are actually a “psychology” behind it.

I started consulting to companies and individuals in mid-2008 on how to monetize and optimize their websites to get the desired actions. Since then I have helped various clients to increase the traffic to their websites as well as increase their conversion ratios. I have a simple theory that it is not all about visitors, but about the right visitor and leading them to the desired action you want from them.

I am also one of the very few people in the country that has extensive experience in affiliate marketing, having been involved as merchant, publisher as well as from a network side as program manager.

Although I live in Mossel Bay, technology makes it possible to work and communicate with any company or individual in South Africa and helping them make their websites reach the full potential.

Session:Monetizing Your WordPress Website – Treating Your Blog As A Business
Time: 10:00 – 10:25


Byron Rode

 Co-founded Tangram, a full service development and design agency. Loving Father and Husband. Professional Photographer. iOS, Mac and Web Developer. Tattoo Canvas. Fluent in WordPress, Cocoa, jQuery, and PHP. Lover of all things Apple.

Session: Optimizing WordPress on the frontend
Time: 14:25 – 14:50

Github Stack Overflow

David Mugo

 I am a Kenyan ICT consultant mainly focusing on digital media & technology. I am currently working as an adviser to Kenya’s vice president and also the current chairman of Wikimedia Kenya. I developed and helped implement the digital strategy for Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete’s re-election campaign in 2010.

I have studied digital marketing trends and more so in the African market. A run a digital marketing agency based in Nairobi that also runs one of the biggest online technology, entertainment and lifestyle magazine, Niaje.com.

I am also the organizer of WordCamp Kenya, this year’s being the second one in the country.

Session: Pushing Your Blog into the Social World
Time: 12:00 – 12:25


Eric Clements

 Eric is the founder of Kazazoom a niche development company, specializing in Mxit Apps & Games. Eric supports the sharing of ideas and innovation in the South African, as well as African Mobile Industry. Eric has made open source tools available for the creation of services on Mxit, recently launching the mxPress Plugin, which instantly integrates a WordPress site with Mxit.

Kazazoom’s apps rate in the top 10 of Mxit 3rd Party Apps, with a registered user base of over 600,000 South Africans. Eric holds a honours degrees in computer science from the University of Pretoria, and has focussed on the Mobile Industry the last 10 years. For his sins, Eric spent the majority of that time at a Management Consulting firm working with Mobile Operators. Also an ultimate frisbee player, Eric is based in Joburg, working in the fun Greenside area. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Session:Open Source mxPress Plugin
Time: 09:00 – 09:25

Fred Roed (KEYNOTE)

 Fred is currently the CEO of digital marketing agency World Wide Creative, with clients such as Virgin Mobile, Old Mutual, Fancourt, Exclusive Books, Democratic Alliance and HSRC, and is also the co-founder of The Heavy Chef Project, dedicated to demystifying digital marketing. Fred is obsessed with brand strategy and digital media – with side habits of pizza, Hawaiian shirts, movies, Danish beer and fine wine. Fred also happens to do a mean version of ‘Angie’ by the Rolling Stones at 3am in any randomly selected Korean karaoke joint (there’s a video somewhere on YouTube). See his website.Follow him on Facebook, Plus, Twitter, & LinkedIn.

Session: Midgets On Unicycles, Steve Hofmeyr & Elvis In Tableview
Time: 10:50 – 11:25

Jeffikus Pearce

 Most know me as Jeffikus. I’m a lead developer at WooThemes where I focus on PHP and JQuery. I have a background of web application development and WordPress customization. I pre-dominantly work on the engine behind all our 95+ themes – theWoo-Framework. Code is beautiful.

Session: The Best Tools for the Job
Time: 15:15 – 15:40


Mark Forrester

Mark Forrester is a co-founder of WooThemes – a leading WordPress theme and plugin provider. With a background in design Mark still pushes pixels around from time to time, whilst collaborating with industry leading designers on theme developments, and heads up the Woo marketing machine. Mark is a husband, dad, photography, gadget & sports fan.

Session: Panel Discussion
Time: 15:15-15:55

Personal Blog Company Website

Mark Henderson

Mark is the CEO and founder of Kaluma, a software company building process-based business apps. Mark started his first web company in 1996, launched the world’s second web-based email service shortly afterwards, and has since started and run technology companies in San Francisco, New York, London and Cape Town. Mark believes in ecosystems, open-source building blocks, and surrounding himself with really smart people.

Session: Panel Discussion
Time: 15:15-15:55

Company Website

Mark Slingsby

 Mark Slingsby is co-founder and Technical Director of local Internet Service Provider RSAWEB as well as Financial Director of RAMP Group, a holding company that invests in technology startups. Through his passion for entrepreneurship and technology, Mark has worked for over 11 years in a variety of technical and strategic consulting roles for various IT companies, including, RSAWEB, Even Flow Distribution and White Wall Web.

Mark also co-founded Net Prophet, SA’s largest free to attend Tech Startup Conference.

Session: Scaling WordPress
Time: 13:55 – 14:20


Personal blog Tech blog

Matt Bush

 Matt has played a variety of musical instruments since the age of 8, attaining a BA (Hons) in Music from the University of Southampton in 2000. Over the years, he played with bands in a multitude of grotty UK venues, and DJ’ed in the UK, Europe, Africa and Australia (he’s still waiting for Asia and the US to give him a call). In 2001 he blagged a job at the legendary Good Looking Records building their website, running their IT and pestering DJs for tunes. It was here he took his first steps into coding (as well as dealing with network and server issues by hitting restart and saying a prayer). In 2005 he moved to South Africa and in 2006 he started his own web developement company, Haycroft Media. In 2012 Haycroft Media is still going strong, and Matt still owns a drum kit.

Session: How many drummers does it take to build a website?
Time: 16:15 – 16:40


Matty Cohen

 By day, I go by Matty. I’m a lead developer over at WooThemes, where I work predominantly with PHP and JavaScript. I keep a keen eye on all products released at WooThemes and have a strong focus on coding standards and best practices. While my background is in design and music, a strong love of code and web development captured my heart. I spend most of my time working on the engine that powers all themes at Woo, known as the WooFramework, as well as WooDojo and various other exciting WooProjects. Fueled by punk-rock and a love of guitars and good music… as well as coffee.

Session: Shifting the WordPress Mindset
Time: 15:45 – 16:10

Personal Website

Neil Pursey

 Neil is the owner of WebGrowth, co-partner in Foxy Tonic and co-partner in the GROW Academy. He is passionate about search and website usability. He discovered SEO by chance in a previous business of his, realising the need for SEO skills in South Africa he founded WebGrowth in 2006. He has a deep desire for helping businesses succeed through search marketing as well as education & social development. He came across WordPress in 2008 and has never personally built a website in anything else besides it since then. Follow him on FacebookPlusTwitter, & LinkedIn.

Session: Are Social metrics really affecting SEO?
Time: 11:30 – 11:55

Riaan Knoetze

 Riaan is the founder and owner of Tiny Giant Studios, a SA/UK based web development company that primarily specialises in WordPress answers to website questions. In addition, Riaan is also a front end developer with Appthemes, a San Francisco based WordPress development company focused on making app-related themes.

Prior to entering the world of web design and development, he gained experience in psychology, paramedicine, photography, business management, recruitment and even did a stint as futures trader on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. As a self-taught front end developer, Riaan quickly realised the value of leveraging existing themes / plugins in business as opposed to building everything from scratch – an attribute which he brings to every project and meeting.

Given this background, Riaan would like to see more businesses (especially African ones) use basic web development and wordpress knowledge to enhance, and compete with established theme shops.

Session: How to Highjack a Themeshop
Time: 09:30 – 09:55


Stack Overflow Website