Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on Sept 26, 2018

Attending: @jillbinder @miriamgoldman @angelasjin @cguntur @laryswan


We have a full meeting today. We have so much high impact activities going on in our team right now!


  • Reports and updates on things you all and I are working on
  • Report on our speaker roster essay
  • Upcoming trainings statuses
  • How we should manage the Helpscout queue when there are trainings lined up
  • Get your feedback on the “a meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. has run a workshop” followup questionnaire
  • If time: Start talking about how Phase 1 is going, when we consider it to be complete, and what should be saved for Phase 2
  • Open floor for questions, comments, concerns, etc.


So first, how is it going? What things have you been working on and how are they going?

I just got back from WCLAX where I spoke about our group in various conversations. I’m preparing to lead my first training this weekend, and then I’m going to get up to speed on Helpscout.

Great work, @miriamgoldman! How were the conversations about our group at WCLAX received?

Very well! WCLAX seems to have one of the more receptive and open crowds at camps I’ve been to

Lovely! I know they have done a lot of work around Women in WordPress already. They founded the group of that name and are pioneers in this area for WordPress.
Did you moderate a Women in WordPress panel at this one?

Yep. Forgot to mention our group during the panel though.
Had a bit of anxiety right before due to the previous speaker cutting it way too close with timing

Oof, sorry to hear that happened! And glad you were still able to talk about it in other places.

@cguntur and @angelasjin
We are working on the Meetup titles spreadsheet to find any workshops that have been run that our team doesn’t already know about.

I’m communicating and scheduling the trainings in Helpscout for the MeetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. who would like the trainings coming up, and sending out confirmations and logistics.
I’ve scheduled a training for October 17th. I’m also working on creating some documentation for using predefs in HelpScout.

Had a couple of conversations at WC NYC about our work and pitched us in my session (thanks for attending, @angelasjin).

That is fantastic, @laryswan! How was it received there?

I get the sense that NYC is ahead of the curve on diversity and inclusion, so sort of gratifying to see it not be something novel 

Our speaker roster essay

After our team gave feedback that I incorporated, we sent out the essay to the WordPress community to look over for two weeks.

We had one person reply. It was @mrwweb from Seattle. They did a lot of great work in Seattle last year in particular where with their huge focus on getting more women speakers at their WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more., they broke the record with 60%.

I need to look over and incorporate his feedback.

This week my focus is on the follow up email questionnaire, so it won’t be this week. Likely in the next week or two, and then we can publish it and promote it.

So if anyone else has feedback, you still have time!

Upcoming trainings statuses

We have three trainings scheduled coming up!

Saturday, September 29th at 16:00-18:00 UTC
@laryswan and @miriamgoldman are running this one.
I believe we have 2 confirmed. There may be some more after Angela wrote to more folks about it.

October 17, 2018 at 18:00-20:00 UTC
@angelasjin is running this one.
I think we have a few signed up for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 16:00-18:00 UTC
@laryswan is running this one.
It was by special request. We have that Meetup confirmed for it. There may be more from Angela’s new Helpscout replies.

It looks like we have more confirmations this time, so I’m expecting (hoping) for a higher likelihood of folks who said they’d be there show up. ;D
And on that note…

How we should manage the Helpscout queue when there are trainings lined up

So far when people write in, @cguntur lets them know that we’ve received their response and that we’ll get back to them with training dates.

What I’d like to see happen now that we are planning trainings out a month or more in advance, we start replying with the upcoming dates.

@angelasjin created a “predef” (aka template) in Helpscout that is accessible via one of the icons in the Helpscout toolbar.

The predefs are available from here:

Yep! I made two predefs: one for sharing dates and times for upcoming trainings, and the second for confirming that folks are signed up for trainings. I’ll put together some instructions on how to use them

Yes! Following on what Angela said, the other thing I’d like to see is timely follow ups when people say yes to a training, giving them the info with their confirmation, the webinar link (or as in Angela’s case, letting them know that she sent them a google hangout invite), and that they should wear headphones if they can. She’s written this up in the other predef.

I can do that as I am the one replying to people when we get the initial emails

That would be excellent, @cguntur. So when you’re doing your daily checking for the new, initial emails, you could use the predef letting them know about upcoming workshops to reply to them in place of the current message you’ve been using.

I believe there’s a spot to change the dates of the upcoming workshops. So we need to make sure that you know all of the dates.

Maybe we can have a shared Google doc where everybody can post the upcoming training sessions? I can check that doc and update the predefs as required?

The info should also be in the shared calendar

Ok! How about: We keep the list in the shared calendar, and we also pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” you any time we schedule a new one?
That way you’ll know when there’s been a change.

That’ll be perfect!

I’m thinking that for the scheduled trainings, the person(s) who is running the training should send the confirmation.

Would that work?

And do folks think that just looking through the messages themselves is enough, or should we create a system to keep track of who we said yes somewhere? (Which still means going in and reading the messages anyway!)

For writing new trainings to people already in the queue, and for following up with folks who say yes,

each trainer should also know which trainings are available so that they can include all the dates in their messages.
Well, also we’ll have the predef.
@angelasjin, does the predef save the dates or do they need to be written in each time?

They’ll need to be written in each time

Ok. I’m wondering now if there’s a way to save them so that each time one is created, it can be added. And then the person sending it out would just need to remove any that have passed.

What do you think?
And maybe remove any that the individual they are writing to has already indicated wouldn’t work for them.

Thinking out loud and haven’t thought this all the way through, but . . . Maybe use Meetup to let folks RSVP for classes. Or Eventbrite. Or set up a site and use a class-registration 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.

I like the class registration plugin

A much simpler version of that was when I sent out the signups in a form (typeform I think). That had a high attendance rate.

existing tools are nice and existing 🙂

Yeah. Instead of sending the dates in the email, we could send a link to something where they choose which one they would like to attend. And then bonus, we have an easy list created for the trainer.
The trainer still needs to follow up with the details, if the tool we choose doesn’t include that.
Who can look for something simple for us to use?
Until we have that sorted, let’s continue with our email system that we’re creating. Easiest way to keep going, for now.

“A meetup has run a workshop” Followup Questionnaire

Next agenda item is exciting to meee. It’s been something I’ve been working on here and there for months, and now we have a deadline of end of this month so I’ve put more focus on it.

@miriamgoldman and @dianewallace said yes to writing this and sending it out back in the summer, and there have been delays. I’m happy we’ll be able to start doing this soon.

So the quick background is:

Several of us were thinking that we support Meetups up until the workshop, and then they don’t hear from us anymore.

It would be great if they could have a way to tell us how it went, tell us about any suggested changes, etc.

And then I learned that it would be even better if we can collect data for reporting to the bigger WordPress community at the end of the year some important stats about what we’re doing.

And that delayed me. Heh.

It’s a much bigger thing to think through the strategy of combining both of these needs.

And so finally I thought through the strategy on this and then @andreamiddleton and I fleshed out how to get these questions answers both quantifiably for our global report as well as get the qualitative info that our team wants.

I’d like us to take a few minutes now to look over what we’ve done up, please!

Diversity Workshops Email Questionnaire Follow Up

I believe you can comment in the doc itself, or you can tell me your thoughts here.

The last agenda item was open floor discussion, so if there is anything burning feel free to post it here while folks are looking at the document.

Looks good to me

Thanks, @cguntur!

A couple more things on this:

After we have created the Google Form, it would be great if one of the people on our team who has run the workshop in their city could fill it out and then tell us how long it took, so that I can include the time in the message. Hopefully people knowing how long it will take will encourage a higher response rate.

I will want everyone on our team who has run it to fill it out anyhow so we can capture your info too.

Can you remind me when we send this out? Is it immediately after a group runs the training?

Yes, it would be immediately after.

Plus the ones who have already run it in the past so that we don’t lose them.

It would be tricky for folks to answer questions 10 and 11, but it is also important to capture that info

Good point! @andreamiddleton and I were thinking we could flag those ones in Helpscout and then write to them again after they’ve done their WordCamps. eta 3-6 months later.

Ok cool. I think that’s a great plan!

I’ll find out from @miriamgoldman and @dianewallace how they want to track it and then handle doing those follow-ups 3-6 months later.

The other thing to mention is why there is a timeline now:

On the small chance that our findings might be reported at WordCamp US, that is two months from now. We want to give folks time to get their responses in to us. So two months is a good amount of time to give them and consolidate the info.

I’d like to get more feedback from our team before we create it and start using it. I think maybe a week from now? Is that enough time?

I am officially bringing the meeting to a close. We can always chat about any of the items after the meeting, as always.

I’m really proud of how much our team is doing. Lots of folks working on what I call “high impact” activities right now! All for forwarding our singular goal of getting 27 Meetups to run the workshop this year, and the important support items around that.

Thanks for your work everyone!