WordCamp Talk Proposals weekly slack chat notes 18/01/17

The last weekly slack chat took place Wednesday Jan 18 at 5pm UTC. The archive starts here.
Present: Mathieu VIet, Ian Dunn, Andrea Middleton.

This meeting focused on following up on comments from Ian on previous meeting notes :

  • Clarifying the login interface and what’s meant by “micro plugin”
  • Code base: slimming things down
  • The need for applicants to be site users

The summary here is pretty brief:

  • The necessary login and redirects are already in place, so no need for the development of any additional plugins or addition of any code.
  • Users can be logged into WordCamp sites without being assigned roles. This will avoid any undesirable accumulation of sites in their toolbars. Applicant interaction is entirely front-end.
  • We have a new directive to get the codebase down to approx 10k lines. There is still a lot of code written specifically for the original WP Idea Stream plugin that isn’t necessary for our purposes here, so we will whittle away and cut any fat, focusing on the main goal of this plugin: the talk submission and selection process.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday January 25 at 5pm UTC. I’ll be away so Tom Nowell will facilitate, who now has access to post notes here to the community blog.

Cheers! <3

Update

Here are some of the things Ian suggested we delete in order to streamline the code.

  • images and featured images
  • links
  • pretty links
  • network user settings
  • …and lots more

most of those things could probably be “decisions, not options”, which would remove a lot of code

WordCamp Location Consistency

The location data on the Past WordCamps page is inconsistent. Take this screenshot of a few of them:
Screenshot 2017-01-19 09.33.17

Here we can see examples that are indicative of the rest of the page, that:

  • Some events in the US do not have a country, some do.
  • Some US states are abbreviated, some are not.
  • Events in some non-US countries include a state / region, some do not.
  • There’s a comma missing.

My understanding is that these locations are set at the time of the application. I’d argue though that there is value in normalising the location at some point during the acceptance process (orientation?).

There’s no reason for events in the US not to have a country; that shouldn’t be an implied default. Including the country means it’s easier to search on the page for events in the “USA”, in the same way that I can search for “UK” events. In the case of “Atlanta, Georgia”, there may be confusion since there is a country called “Georgia”.

In the case of abbreviations, I’d suggest that US (and non-US) states are not abbreviated. Abbreviations like this tend to only be useful to those who know what they mean. Removing these abbreviations would:

  • Make it nicer for screen reader users.
  • Make it clearer for those who aren’t familiar with state abbreviations to have a better idea of what it refers to.
  • Avoid confusion that US state abbreviations with possible country abbreviations (CAlifornia, or did they mean CAnada? Indiana or India? Pennsylvania or Panama? Colorado or Columbia? There’s more too). This might seem silly, but someone living on the other side of the world may genuinely not know.

In terms of country abbreviations, I think “USA” would be acceptable, but otherwise country names should be written in their typical non-abbreviated (not official) name, including “United Kingdom”.

States / regions for other countries can be optional, if the submitter feels that the location needs clarification (though it’s rare, even the UK has a couple of places that are clarified with the county too).

My suggestion would be to have it documented such that the person doing the application, and the person processing the application follow rules such as:

“The location must include the city and country. Events in the USA must include the state. States / regions in other countries are optional, if it adds necessary clarification. Abbreviations for USA
are accepted. Don’t abbreviate US states. Include commas between each part.”

Whatever rules you discuss and ultimately choose, should be retroactively applied to these past WordCamp entries to update them as necessary. The aim is to have consistent, accessible and non-ambiguous data.

(Obviously, the changes here would apply to upcoming WordCamps too, but the issues were easier to see in the Past WordCamps page.)

Here’s what the previous screenshot would then look like:

Screenshot 2017-01-19 10.11.36

Discussion: Should We Pay for Speaker Travel

It’s been many years since we last openly discussed the question of whether or not to pay for the travel and expenses of out-of-town speakers for WordCamps. I’ve seen a few discussions around (and have had quite a few with people, myself), so I thought it was time to have a post about it.

The Background Info
Speaking at a WordCamp has always been considered a volunteer contribution. In the same way that developers donate their time writing a patch for core, speakers donate their time sharing knowledge with the greater WordPress community. If a speaker chooses to submit their talks to WordCamps where travel would be required, the expectation is that they will cover their own expenses.

The global community team stresses a local focus for WordPress events, to not only keep costs manageable, but also to foster that sense of community that makes our project so unique. We ask organizers to do the following things:

  • Focus on having primarily local speakers at your event
  • Choose high quality speakers (and presentations) over quantity
  • Crowdsource potential speaker suggestions from your Meetup members

The Current Info
The conversations I’ve been seeing/having lately often are focused on paying for speaker travel in the name of diversity; thought diversity, racial diversity, and gender diversity in particular. These are all worthwhile pursuits, without question, but it does seem to suggest that our own, local WordPress communities have none of this diversity on their own.

Some Pros

  • Increase diversity at WordCamps
  • Potentially provide assistance to those who need it
  • Perhaps increase attendance at the WordCamp

Some Cons

  • Run the risk of “tokenizing” a small group of people (tokenism, refers to an empty gesture that implies a solution without addressing the root problem. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokenism)
  • Potentially discourage local speakers on accident
  • Perhaps remove incentive for organizers to cultivate local speakers and relationships with groups that promote diversity locally

The Discussion
If you’ve got suggestions, or alternative solutions, please share them in the comments. We are interested in viewpoints even when they are opposing!

Camptix is ready for language packs! Let’s get more locales to 100%

As of today, the Camptix plugin, which is used on all the WordCamp.org sites, is live in GlotPress, and all the translation files that were already bundled with the plugin have been imported. This is great for several reasons, chief among them being that it is now a lot easier to translate the plugin into additional languages and keep existing translations up to date.

Camptix has interfaces both for organizers who are managing a WordCamp’s ticketing process, and for the public when they are purchasing WordCamp tickets, so these translations can have a big impact. If you would like to help us get more locales up to 100%, get started here:

Translate Camptix »

Also, if you know any community members who might be willing to contribute a translation, please ping them in the comments!

FAQ

If Camptix is compatible with language packs now, why does it still have the bundled translation files in its languages directory?

The language pack for a locale will only be available when 95% or more of the the plugin’s strings have been translated for that locale. Bundled translation files take precedence over language packs. So the plan is to remove the bundled translation for a given locale, and thus start using its language pack, once it reaches 95% in GlotPress.

Open Call for Deputy Help

Is there anyone who would like to sort through our brainstorm of 2017 goals and write up a summary?

It should be an impartial summary of all the ideas here, so we can prioritize them, posted by the end of the week.

Pinging the folks who responded as well as a few deputies: @amylaneio, @adityakane, @gounder, @andreamiddleton, @brandondove, @bph, @courtneypk, @emanweb, @francina, @hlashbrooke, @iandunn, @miss_jwo, @chanthaboune, @karenalma, @kcristiano, @vc27, @mdg2, @casiepa, @coreymckrill

Collecting ideas & methods for Meetups promotion / growth

Hi Everyone,

We would like to share ways that people are promoting, growing and sustaining their local meetups.

The idea will be to collect what people are doing in their local areas and turn them into information we can share with everyone via our meetup handbooks and the way we give meetup support to all the organisers we meet.

Let us know below how you are organising your local meetup and share your ways of promoting, growing and sustaining the local community where you are!

Thanks!
#meetups

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

Community Team Chat Recap: January 12, 2017

We held the monthly Community Team Chat today (January 12, 2017) at 19:00 UTC in #community-team on the Making WordPress Slack. You can view the full Slack logs here (Slack account required to view).

2017 Goals

A reminder that we’d love to hear about your 2017 goals for the community. Please add your goals to the 2017 Goals post! (Slack logs):

Deputy Training

@chanthaboune gave an update on the Deputy training program (Slack logs):

@andreamiddleton wrote up the foundational modules for deputies which got some editing and testing at WCUS in December. But we have designs on about six more modules to create and test that are specific to the tasks that deputies do:

  1. Vetting
  2. Office hours
  3. Mentoring (which might get broken into some sub-modules to include budget review)
  4. Shipping swag
  5. Orientations
  6. SupportPress triage

If you’d like help test, please let @chanthaboune know!

WordCamps

@courtneypk reported on the status of WordCamps at the moment (Slack logs):

  • 3 WordCamps Scheduled for January: Pune, Waukesha, and Udaipur
  • 2 camps needs vetting
  • 1 camp needs an interview/orientation
  • 73 camps are in pre-planning

Meetups

@francina gave an update on Meetups (Slack logs):

  • 374 total meetup groups with 127,952 members and 1004 Organizers
  • 12 applications received
  • 12 new meetup groups
  • We have Meetup groups in 73 countries!
  • 34.2% groups in the US (128)
  • 65.8% groups are outside the US (246):
    • 6.4% Spain (24)
    • 5.9% Italy (22)
    • 5.1% Germany (19)
    • 5.1% United Kingdom (19)
    • 3.7% Canada (14)
    • 3.7% India (14)
  • We’re averaging about 443 events a month

It was brought up the issue that some of the smaller meetup groups struggle to stay around, and we should gather ideas for how to support these groups (Slack logs). @miss_jwo will be posting to this P2 to gather more thoughts and ideas for meetup group promotion and growth.

Finances

@andreamiddleton shared her Sponsorship and Finances report for November and December 2016 (Slack logs).

To note: In December we executed a one-time equity transfer between WordPress Foundation to WPCS (WordPress Community Support),the subsidiary corporation we use to run WordCamp/community funds through. The transfer was for $900,000, which was partly 2015 WordCamp revenue and partly surplus funds from 4+ years of WordCamps, to be a kind of a “nest egg” for WPCS.  This explains why the December revenue is quite high (without the transfer it is more in the $200,000 range).

Mentors

@brandondove gave a report on WordCamp mentors (Slack logs):

  • Active camps being mentored: 44
  • Active camps without a mentor: 29
  • Total mentors: 27
  • Active mentors: 19
  • Welcoming 1 mentor this cycle: @kenshino

We’re losing a few mentors in the very near future, and most of current mentors are at capacity. We’re hoping to pick up some new mentors as lead WordCamp organizers term out. Brandon will be contacting some folks soon.

There was additional discussion that deputies could benefit from more peer support and communication with other deputies (Slack logs). @andreamiddleton created a post to gather suggestions for ways to put deputies more closely in touch with each other. Please chime in!

Incubators

@chanthaboune shared a roadmap for the Incubator program (Slack logs):

  • Incubators were originally on a 12 month cycle when suggested, but since one of the main goals was to kickstart the local communities, it seems like an 18-24 month cycle would be best.
  • We have write ups about the WordCamps themselves coming, but are wanting to wait until 2018 for the next class of them.

Remember that these monthly Community team chats are on The first Thursday of every month at 19:00 UTC in #community-team on Slack. Check out the “Slack Chats” section on the sidebar of this P2 for other meeting & office hours times.

Support for Community Team Mentors

According to @brandondove‘s excellent mentorship program report at today’s meeting, we have 27 deputies volunteering as mentors in total, with 19 people actively mentoring WordCamps. We hope to have a crowd of new deputies join the ranks once we launch the new deputy training materials early this year.

Both now and in the future, it’s been suggested that deputies could benefit from more peer support and communication with other deputies. Some suggestions for ways to put deputies more closely in touch with each other have included:

  • weekly meetings in #community-team slack
  • mentor hangouts
  • a private slack channel for deputies on wordpress.org slack
  • a public #community-mentors channel on wordpress.org slack
  • DM groups on wordpress.org slack

Do you have a suggestion, preference, comment, or concern? Let’s discuss!

Sponsorship and Finances report for November and December 2016

Here’s that weekly monthly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we now post monthly. (You’d be amazed at how much more efficient it is to do this report on a monthly basis.) This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite, very, extremely manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

In the month of November 2016, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $45,440.79 USD (1,128 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $38,077.46 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $37,450.00 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $21,030.31 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $141,998.53

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 33 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 24 invoices have been paid, 1 voided, and 8 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 21

Total payments (in USD): $173,169.04

In the month of December 2016, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $13,909.53 USD (2,199 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $182,861.68 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $4,814.41 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $12,556.72 USD

We also received a one-time $900,000 equity transfer from WordPress Foundation. This included income from 2015 WordCamps, but also included some “getting started” money for WPCS from the Foundation.

Total revenue (in USD): $1,114,142.34

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 20 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 9 invoices have been paid, and 11 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 64

Total payments (in USD): $642,827.39

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments! I’ll add the list of Global Sponsorship Grants that were set in this period in a comment, later today. 🙂

#finance