automattic, technology & web

Instagram Stories, Here I Come!

I leave early tomorrow morning for Automattic’s annual Grand Meetup. (Search “grand meetup” on this blog to see last year’s posts.) It’s a weeklong chance for me to see my coworkers (all 450+ of them) in person. We work on projects or take classes, attend workshops, and mix some fun, work-free stuff in there too. I’m flying into Vancouver Tuesday and then making the trip out to Whistler on Wednesday afternoon to stay for the week.

I haven’t used Instagram Stories yet, but I figured this adventure is the perfect time to try it out, so if you want to catch some behind-the-scenes looks at my trip and what it’s like to be at the GM, follow me on Instagram.

blogging, CSS, wordpress

Better Blogging: CSS Image Swap on Hover

Just in case you ever want to display one image and have it swap to another one when someone hovers on it, here’s how! Hover your mouse over the image below (Yay, Bitmoji!) and you’ll see what I mean. I came across this method for swapping images on hover here and it worked better (and on more browsers) than methods I’ve previously tried, so it’s the one I’d use for now.

(Note: The directions here work if your site is on and has an upgrade that allows Custom CSS.)

In the Text Editor on a page or post or a Text Widget, paste the following HTML where you want your image to appear:

<a class="imghoverswap" href="#"><img src="Insert_First_Image_URL_Here" /><img src="Insert_Second_Image_URL_Here" /></a>

Edit the HTML to include the URLs to your images in the two spots designated in the code above. Save/publish.

Then go to Customize > CSS and add this:

.imghoverswap img:last-child{display:none}
.imghoverswap:hover img:first-child{display:none}
.imghoverswap:hover img:last-child{display:inline-block}

(If you’re using your own install of WordPress, you can do this with the Jetpack plugin with the Custom CSS module activated. Once activated, paste the CSS in Appearance > Edit CSS.)

You can change the imghoverswap part to whatever you want, just make sure all four instances are changed to the same thing so they match and work together.

Happy swapping!

More CSS tips can be found here.

event notes, events, technology & web, wordpress

Additional Notes for my Session at NTC’s WordPress Day

Hi, WordPress Day-ers! As promised, here are the additional notes to accompany my slides from my session, “From Sharing to Hashtags: Social Media Musts for Your WordPress Site.” Slides are shared here. (And thanks for joining me!)

Everyone else: I made this presentation for WordPress Day at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose on March 22. Some of the information is geared specifically toward nonprofits, but lots of it is pretty universal for using WordPress & social media together, so enjoy! 🙂

Note: I’m not rehashing all of the text on the slides, so look at those for the main ideas and images. These notes include the additional things I said and things I wish I would’ve had time to say.

Click to see the notes!

about sarah, events, wordpress

Achievement Unlocked

WordPress Day was a success!

I talked about social media and WordPress:

And then I celebrated with a milkshake for dinner:

Celebratory milkshake for dinner! Also: fries & hotel lounging. #mymilkshakesj

A post shared by Sarah Blackstock (@sarahblackstock) on


It feels good to be flying home tomorrow having accomplished a goal I set for 2016. And it’s only March! 😀

events, technology & web, wordpress

NTC’s WordPress Day

I’m speaking at the Nonprofit Technology Conference’s WordPress Day tomorrow (March 22) in San Jose, California.

From Sharing to Hashtags: Social Media Musts for Your WordPress Site – Social media is a must for every organization in 2016. We’ll check out the sharing features built right into WordPress, as well as top plugins, apps, and tips, to update your social media strategy and extend your reach even further this year.


My slides are posted here. Additional notes to accompany them will be up by Wednesday.

Wish me luck! 🙂

automattic, technology & web on Instagram

Quote from Instagram

I recently started a side project at work. We had an Instagram account but weren’t using it, so I wrote up a proposal with content ideas and Instagram best practices and… ta-da!

I’m sharing standout content there now, like quotes from pieces on Discover, beautiful photos from blogs, and screenshots of great looking websites. Follow: @wordpressdotcom.

Sidenote: Add this to the list of why I love working at Automattic. It’s a real do-ocracy. If you see something that needs working on and want to be the one to do it, you can go for it and I love that.

about sarah, technology & web

Teens, Windows 95, and Hey, I’m Old

OMG. Watching these teenagers check out Windows 95, or even just figure out how to turn on the computer, is hilarious and also disturbing because Windows 95 wasn’t even my first operating system and they think it’s so old. (Basically: hi, kids. I’m your grandma.)

My first home computer was Packard Bell 386 running MS-DOS and used floppy discs. I can still remember going to Circuit City to pick it up in 1990. I was so, so excited. And considering how much that computer changed my life, and how much subsequent computers have meant to me, I’d have to say that was one of the best days of my life so far.

Within weeks I was playing my very first computer game: Leisure Suit Larry, quite possibly the most inappropriate game for an 8-year-old in existence at the time, and typing up my first family newsletter that I mailed to all of my relatives because they totally needed updates on my new haircut, the winner of my school’s spelling bee, and a kid’s hot takes on local news. Yeah, I’ve been a nerd forever.