Community Team at the Community Summit

There will be about 50 people who declared themselves members of the community team at the summit happening over the next two days in Philadelphia. This includes deputies as well as local WC/meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. organizers. I think there are also some people listed as community team who are not tied to our team at all and meant they were part of the WP community and just wanted to attend, but in any case it’s a lot of people. I wanted to post some things to think about for unconference discussions tomorrow and our team working day Wednesday.

The summit format of safe-space conversations — no presentations — is intended to make it easier for us to talk about hard subjects that are difficult to communicate about using our normal online tools. This might mean things that are unpleasant, or things that inspire passionate contradicting opinions, or things that are sensitive and need a little more privacy to discuss fully. Let’s try to focus on that kind of stuff as much as possible tomorrow, vs general program planning ideas, which we can hit the next day on our own without cross-project collaboration.

Aside from the ones proposed in the summit forum, here are some topics that might be worth discussing tomorrow:

  • Inclusive/welcoming venue rules for WP events. This most often comes up when someone wants to use a religious venue owned by a church that has doctrine that is not welcoming to LGBT folks, though that’s not the only example. This issue was at play in what happened with Austin this year, so let’s talk about it and figure out what makes sense as a rule to ensure that everyone will feel welcome at official events.
  • WC/Meetup organizer location. Do they really need to be local to the community in question? We’ve always said yes, for the sake of being present in the community, having a stake in the game, being a local leader and resource. Some people think this shouldn’t be a requirement at all. Where should this line fall?
  • Meetup/WC relationship. Should meetup organizers need to have moved to the community program vs. privately owning meetup groups to be approved as a WC organizer or does it really matter?
  • Deputy duties/automation. What tasks should volunteers be doing, what tasks should people getting paid be doing, what tasks should a computer be doing instead of all this one-on-one communication? In short, how can we make the program more efficient and effective while making it more inclusive?
  • Escalation, code of conduct, poisonous people. This is really a working session, since we have some people identified to work on it already as an escalation team (and can add more volunteers to a working session) but some people may want to talk about goals and such vs. getting down to business.
  • The future of community summits. The first one was standalone. The second surveyed past attendees and decided to experiment with tying itself to a WC. This year is similar to last year, but we skipped over the taking stock of past attendees to see if people thought it was better with a WC or as a standalone event. Let’s discuss what future experiments with community summits might look like.
  • URLs. It took years of complaints about the format to be changed to city./year. Now we’ve been asked to revert that change (you may have noticed WCUS uses the old format). There wasn’t much discussion on posts about this, but I know there are a lot of people with opinions about which format is preferable and why.
  • Diversity and inclusion. We talk about being a welcoming community, and we are more welcoming than many open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. projects, but it’s also true that a majority of project leadership is white male programmers. What can we do to diversify the contributor pool, to be more inclusive with the people who are here, and generally be less homogenous?

Some potential working projects for Wednesday (we can also see what we come up with in Tuesday discussions before deciding anything about Wednesday):

  • Escalation/CoC update/reporting form. Needs @mor10.
  • Organizer self-training/quizzes. We have been talking about turning orientations and trainings into self-guided online learning for years. Let’s just start.
  • Payments pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party. Plan the UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it. of payments/invoicing plugin improvements.
  • Sponsorship terms. Building off the levels reently posted, nail down the benefits that will go with each, since we won’t have IRS rules anymore to restrict us.
  • Course planning. Plot out courses we could run as diversity inititatives. Consult with training team.
  • Speaker gender review. I have done this by hand by myself manually in past years, to track how we are doing with regard to percentages of WC speakers who are women. I have started on this year’s review, but a couple of volunteers (especially from Europe and Asia where you might already familiar with speakers) to help fill in the spreadsheet would be great.
  • Redux of all predefs in supportpress. Survey of them started a while back by Josepha, need email rewrites and clearing out the ones that are not needed/not good.
  • Redux of auto-emails to WC org teams. Adding extra organizer roles will allow us to send more specific auto-emails to people volunteering in specific roles on org teams to make sure the right people are getting the information they need. Review existing emails, break them up as needed, and/or write new ones based on our organizer rules, checklists, etc.
  • Community Hub take II.We tend to use this as a catchall term — is it a replacement? A way to track org teams and communicate with them? More? Less? Other? Let’s reconvene on this topic and narrow down what is really needed, based on the infrastructure we have to work with.
  • Make homepage redux. Revisit ideas of a couple years back around content for Make landing page to feature interviews, contributor drives, etc.
  • Email editorial calendar. Make a calendar of planned communications to meetup and other organizers for the coming year and identify who’s responsible for writing them (thinking a handful of deputies could be involved and rotate rather than one lone figurehead representing the program).
  • Contributor outreach planning. Get Involved tables at WCs, regular contributor drives publicize through meetups, other ways to get more activities in place to help people become contributors.

Some of these may resonate strongly with you, some may sound like a waste of time, and many will fall somewhere in between. There will be more conversations going on at once than anyone can be a part of — try to be okay with not being in every discussion, and know that no final decisions about the community program will be made by discussion groups on Tuesday without being reviewed here first to allow input from team members who weren’t able to travel here for the event.

#community-management, #community-summit, #wcus