Freelancers Meetup: Setting Boundaries with Demanding Clients, November 2, 2016

Freelancers Meetup
Every First Wednesday of the month, 5:30pm
250 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler

November 2nd discussion topic:
How to set professional boundaries with demanding clients.

December 7th discussion topic:
How to craft a compelling “About Me.”

Freelancers Union SPARK is not your average “here’s my business card, we should talk” networking group. We seek to inspire, so we work together to ensure everyone leaves with insights and connections that will help their business thrive.

Join us on the first Wednesday of every month to meet other entrepreneurs in the area, get inspired, and learn stuff like how to turn pro at filing quarterly taxes! #FreelanceSPARK



For more info, message Eileen.

Gangplank Mondays@4: The Business of Storytelling with Amber Pechin, October 24, 2016

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a business who heard the distress calls of a community in need of a solution. Donning their suits of armor, they put their helmets together to develop a solution to save the day.

Fighting dragons and evil witches, pressing forward for months of sleepless nights and endless cups of coffee, they climbed mountains and forged rivers to bring forth a product that would change the world… if only the world would listen then we would all live happily ever after.

What strategic story should you tell to reach happily ever after for your business?

Join us @4 p.m. Monday October 24 at Gangplank Chandler for an interactive business storytelling workshop with Amber Pechin from Amplitude Media.


Simply publishing content isn’t enough to reach your business goals. Crafting the right story and telling in the right tone of voice and in the right places is key. In this interactive workshop participants will join Amber from Amplitude Media for a crash course in strategic storytelling for business.

The workshop is part of Gangplank Mondays @4, as series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.

Amplitude Media is a strategic business communications agency, partnering with businesses to share strategic stories that make a difference.

GangplankMondays@4:Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business, October 17, 2016

Can games bring in more customers and boost sales? Can augmented reality lead users to patronize small, local businesses they otherwise might not visit?

Join Carol Stambaugh & Kameron Williams Monday, October 17, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a talk about the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go and how startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses can capitalize on this and other trends in the gamification of business.


Carol Stambaugh, Principal and Owner of FreeUp Web Studio, is the current Arizona WordPress Meetup Organizer with a membership of 1400+ around the Phoenix metro area. FreeUp Web Studio handles website design needs from concept to full implementation, hosting and ongoing management.

Kameron Williams is the Creative Director and originator of Lillimedia. His passion is to tell the stories of the businesses that Lillimedia works with, and to provide web based solutions to help businesses grow.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the talk.


Gangplank Mondays@4: Machine Learning with Chris Murray, October 10, 2016

Can we build never-ending learners? Can machine learning theories and algorithms help explain human learning?

Join us Monday, October 10, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a talk about Machine Learning, exploring the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data, with Christopher Murray of Gangplank resident company Hiring Solved. The talk is part of our Gangplank Mondays@4 series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.


HiringSolved makes it faster and easier to find the right person for any job. Its people aggregator gathers data from across the web and filters the most relevant information into a database of candidate profiles.

Chris will discuss HiringSolved’s artificial intelligence tools as recently profiled in FastCompany as well as address the future of machine intelligence for small business.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the talk.

Upcoming Gangplank Mondays@4:

Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business with Carol Stambaugh of FreeUp WebStudio, and Kameron Williams of Lillimedia, October 17, 2016.

Gangplank Mondays@4: The Business of Podcasting, October 3, 2016

Join our panel discussion with local podcasters: How do I get started podcasting? How can I use podcasting to highlight my business or passion project?

Join us Monday, October 3, 2016, 4PM at Gangplank Chandler for a panel discussion with local podcasters, part of our Gangplank Mondays@4 series of business talks for startups, entrepreneurs, makers and freelancers.

Our panelists will include:

Jason Gunn of Gangplank anchor company, Attribytes. Jason produces the Talking the Plank podcast;

Garret Godfrey of the Crowdfunding Christian Music Podcast, “On this video and audio podcast, I cover active crowdfunding campaigns and pre-orders for bands & artists worth backing & believing in so you can find and fund the music you love. Great music doesn’t ‘just happen’. I help you get involved;”

Robert Tabb of ConAirRadio, a podcast for friends of conventions. “If you’re into ComicCons, SciFi Cons or Media Cons, this is the podcast for you. “

Gangplank Chandler provides a podcasting studio and equipment for public use as part of the Gangplank Studios Initiative. The Studios Initiative strives to build culture and vibrancy in cities, creating cities where people desire to live, work and play.

Refreshments, Q&A and networking follow the panel discussion.

Upcoming Gangplank Mondays@4:

Machine Learning with Christopher Murray of HiringSolved, October 10, 2016.
Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality & the Gamification of Business with Carol Stambaugh of FreeUp WebStudio, October 17, 2016.


New Website Coming (Real) Soon

For years we have struggled with creating a site that helps people all over the world engage with Gangplank. Having multiple locations, each with a different set of initiatives, numerous events, and so many things happening in the Gangplank movement can be intimidating.

Instead of waiting to be perfect, we are going to Be Dangerous. This month you will see some major changes to our site. We will be launching a new, extremely simple, theme. We can figure out what is and is not working, and quickly iterate to improve the site for everyone.

Visit our github project to get involved and make the Gangplank experience better for everyone. Any and all skillsets are welcome.

Gangplank Domain Exchange Recap

On Wednesday, February 23rd, a few members of the Gangplank Community gathered together for the Inaugural Domain Exchange. The Domain Exchange was a loosely organized event setup as an opportunity for individuals to “exchange” ideas about domain names or clean out their URL library.

The importance of a quality domain is often overlooked by many online professionals. Owning a domain name is a chance to own a truly unique identity or online property, in addition to being wise investment strategies. Domain names are a powerful part of search optimizing a website, not to mention domains act as great vehicles of advertising and promotion.

The goal of the event, organized by Gangplank and local design firm Drawbackwards, was an attempt to connect people interested in buying or selling domains or developing out an idea with a domain. The gathering was also an attempt to express the importance of a quality domain name to ad agency professionals, brand managers and all creative people.

Bret Feddern, a developer and aspiring domainer, listed a few domains from his portfolio during the silent auction. He listed, and from his portfolio. “I’m a bit anti-social myself, but Secrets of Social Media would be a great title for an eBook where someone more social than myself could write about the ever-evolving world of Social Media,” Bret explained.

Eric Anderson also attended the event, and had several quality domains featured in the auction. In his portfolio are the domains,,

Nathan Sauser was also in attendance, and listed the domain for anyone interested in a self help site or online tutorials site. A few of the other domains listed in the silent auction were:, and

While the silent domain auction could not generate a noteworthy sale to attract local news headlines, it was successful in connecting like-minded people and generating ideas.

Never underestimate the importance of an effective domain name. If you are interested in any of the domains mentioned in this post, or listed below, please contact

Engagement for Nonprofits

Gangplank was pleased to host the ‘Engagement for Nonprofits’ seminar as part of WordCamp Phoenix 2011. The event was sponsored by Cox Communications and Gannett Local.

Greg Ensell of Cox Communications spoke on social media sites and how best to utilize the various mediums, providing examples for the Phoenix community.

Kevin Spidel of Gannett Local followed with specific CRM strategies.

Thank you gentlemen for the valuable information and for sponsoring the event! You can view their slide decks below.

Intel AppUp Application Lab: MeeGo series

Thank you to Wendy Coneybeer for this submission.

On the evening of Thursday February 3rd, Gangplank had the honor of hosting one of the stops along the Intel AppUp Application Lab: MeeGo series world tour. The purpose of this event was to introduce the AppUp Center and Developer Program, and to educate the Phoenix-area developer community on the tools they can use to create applications for the company’s upcoming mobile phone and tablet PC operating system, aptly named MeeGo.

Before the event, the main room was transformed from collaborative workspace to auditorium, trading the numerous tables and office chairs for two sets of large projectors and screens hanging from the rafters, and rows of white chairs to accommodate the 140+ attendees. San Tan Brewing Company also came in to cater the event, providing plenty of good eats and keeping our complimentary Intel beer mugs full.

Some of the key takeaways from Intel’s presentation:

  • AppUp a marketplace for applications to run on mobile devices that use Intel Atom or ARM processors
  • Apps can be developed in C+, Java, .NET, or Adobe Air
  • MeeGo is Intel’s new open source, Linux-based mobile operating system
  • Applications submitted to AppUp will be available to MeeGo users
  • Smartphones and tablet versions of MeeGo will have different user interfaces, but will use same API
  • MeeGo is on a 6 month development cycle, with the next release due in April

I had a chance to talk with Intel AppUp program representatives Rhonda Peters and Kelly Woods after the presentation. “We’re excited about the opportunity to bring education to the developers,” said Peters.

“We want to bring a sense of community with our events and give the developers the tools they need,” Woods added. “They control their own destiny and set their own prices with the AppUp store.”

At the end of the event, each attendee was presented with a Lenovo Ideapad S10-3T convertible netbook/tablet PC with MeeGo 1.1 installed, so they could experience the new mobile operating system for themselves, and get started developing right away.

Other AppUp MeeGo series events have been held in Dublin, Ireland and Paris, France, with the next stop in Barcelona, Spain on February 16th.

For more information on the Intel AppUp program and the MeeGo mobile operating system, check out

More reasons to mentor

The more the merrier – that’s our mentoring philosophy for 2011.

We started out with 2 mentors in September 2010, growing that to 8 by December. Already in 2011, we’re up to 17 mentors.

If you’ve been waiting to check out the program, now’s the time.

With the addition of more mentors (and a goal to triple the number by 2012), we’ve changed the structure to make it easier for potential mentorees to choose who they would like to see.

Mentors are now divided into areas of specialty, which currently include:

  • Early Stage
  • Product Development
  • Design & Marketing
  • Operations
  • Technology
  • Legal
  • Finances

Gangplank’s mentors range from successful entrepreneurs to investors and business executives, who enjoy the opportunity to give back to the Chandler community. Gangplank mentors dedicate 3 hours a month, in 45-minute sessions, to helping entrepreneurs succeed in their business ventures.

“A lot of people feel like mentoring services are unobtainable because of the cost involved,” said Chuck Reynolds, a Gangplank mentor who specializes in WordPress and SEO. “Free mentoring lowers the barriers to access, letting more good ideas see the light of day.”

Read about our knowledgeable mentors by visiting our mentoring page and clicking on any of the areas of specialty. Appointments can be booked by emailing the Director of Operations.

If you’d like to contribute to our community as a mentor, email with a little bit about your background and what areas you specialize in.