WordPress Clinic was awesome, and so will the Hackathon be

Tech month has been going awesome!

The Hack for Western Mass Hackathon, part of the National Day of Civic Hacking June 1-2 is organized by an independent group as a  several of whom met at Owl and Raven’s Code-In! It  is being held at the Integrated Science Building at UMass Amherst this weekend, so that’s coming right up! See what projects will be available on the “Challenges” page: http://hackforwesternmass.org/challenges

Here’s the schedule for the weekend: http://hackforwesternmass.org/schedule

Our Code-In group is taking a ‘field trip’ to be there (registered, of course). There are already over 100 people from all over this area registered to also attend, it’s going to be amazing.


In other tech news, we had a great time last week at the WordPress clinic. Between “clinicians” and attendees who brought their sites to work on, we had 7 happy folks intensively working away in the space. Each of the attendees said it was really helpful and supportive! Many thanks to the talented and friendly people, most of whom come to the Code-In regularly, who came to help share their knowledge of WordPress.

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Becky Sweger, one of the volunteer “clinicians” (left photo, pointing, behind in teal) is leading the organization of the Hackathon this weekend!

Greg Perham, another of the volunteer “clinicians” (middle photo with two computers, on the right) wanted to share for folks interested in WordPress that there is a meetup happening for WordPress users in the Valley: http://www.meetup.com/nohowebdev/events/120311222/ the next WordPress meetup is Wednesday, June 19th at 7!

WordPress clinic

May is Tech Month this year at Owl and Raven!*


We will be holding a WordPress clinic to empower beginners who already have WordPress sites on Sunday May 19th, 12:15 to 1:30.


Just another WordPress blogThis event is designed to help people who already have a WordPress blog or website that is set up, practicing a specific skill they would like to feel more comfortable with. Call up your website onscreen, and a volunteer will help you get better at a basic WordPress function, or to gain more overall confidence editing your site. Make sure you come knowing the web address of your site, and how to log in to it for editing. Bring a laptop computer if you have one — we will have a few here.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon

This event requires people to sign up beforehand so that we can have a good ratio of clinicians to people coming in with their sites.

(To sign up, all you need to do is click the link below and fill out the simple form:)



*Tech Month is being held to help promote Hack for Western Massachusetts, a two-day event June 1st and 2nd, being organized by area folks for the very first time this year! See http://hackforwesternmass.org/ to get involved or to attend, non-techies and techies alike are all needed!


Tea and Game Design tomorrow– Sunday

Tea__anyone__by_NinLuvs_SHMPhoto credit: NinLuvs-SHM.

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 7, we will have Tea & Game Design at Owl and Raven! A random assortment of local game designers (aspiring, amateur, novice, and professional), players, and fans will get together to talk about the design, play, and publishing of games. It’s an open event that typically has between 4 and 20 attendees, so join us to become between 5% and 25% of our population!


We will make tea, hang out with people we like, and talk game design from 1:00 to 5:00. Come join in!


Cardboard Art Day!

Tomorrow is Cardboard Day! Owl & Raven is hosting a Community Imaginative Cardboard Art Building Day tomorrow morning for adults, kids, everyone to come make something fun from cardboard! We will gather at Owl & Raven in Northampton, MA at 11 AM on October 6th and make art from cardboard together until 2.

We will supply lots of big cardboard, please bring your ideas and collaboration enthusiasm, and perhaps some masking or duct tape, a cutting tool that is safe for your level of cutting skills, and anything you would like to add to our creation(s)! Some tools and tape will be provided. If you would like to bring small cereal or shoe boxes and cardboard tubes to make features and details or other art supplies, feel free!

All ages are welcome to help plan and build, full family participation is expected! We will be outside right in front of Owl and Raven to the left of the Maplewood Shops, weather permitting. If it’s too rainy we will be inside. Either way we will be easy to find. Click here for Map and Directions to Owl and Raven.


Outdoor Edibles!

In a skillshare held mid-September, Owl and Raven members and new friends learned what’s edible in the wild in the fall and a couple of things to plant in the garden as it gets cooler.

it has a herbal scent
Some plants, such as Wormwood, have a distinctive scent.

We headed out with a Peterson’s guide to the bikepath to check out the growing habits of grapes and see what else we could identify. It was a great opportunity to talk about only eating what you’re very sure of, where to (and not to)  gather from, and how much to leave behind for foraging animals. Read more