Meetup Organizer Newsletter: September 2020

Hello friends,

Welcome to the September edition of our meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. 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 meetup.com will help you find options in your area. organizer newsletter!  We have a lot of exciting news and updates from the WordPress community and resources for your local meetup group.

Newsletter contents:

Organize Learn WordPress discussion groups for your local meetup

As we had shared in the last edition of the meetup newsletter, we have launched the Learn WordPress initiative. The platform offers a learning repository on learn.wordpress.org, where WordPress learning content videos will be made available. The first iteration has launched with a few workshops, with more workshops in the pipeline. In addition to these workshops, we will also be hosting supplementary discussion groups based on the workshop content – facilitated by discussion group leaders. You can learn more about the platform in the following blog post.

How Meetup groups can benefit from the Learn WordPress platform

Meetup organizers can use the Learn WordPress content for their meetup events – simply ask your meetup group to watch one of the workshops in the weeks leading up to your scheduled event, and then host a discussion group content event.

If you are interested, you can start right away by organizing a discussion group based on one of the available workshops for your meetup group. You don’t need to sign up as a discussion group leader to organize a workshop for your local meetup. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Take a look at the available workshops in Learn WordPress and select one for your meetup group. If you want, you can seek help from other group members in finalizing a workshop for the discussion group. 
  2. Once you have identified a workshop for your local meetup group, schedule a discussion event in your Meetup.com group. Specify in the Meetup description that this is a discussion group connected to a workshop, and ask meetup group members to watch the workshop video before attending the workshop. Make sure that you plan the event at least a week ahead from the current date, so that your meetup members have enough time to view the workshop before participating in the discussion group. 
  3. Send a message to your Meetup group members announcing the meetup. Encourage them to see the Learn WordPress workshop video, and request them to participate in the discussion group.
  4. Organize the discussion group at the date and time. Start the discussion group by asking members about how many of them saw the workshop. You can start by providing a very brief (5-10 minute long) summary of the content. Then, ask questions to members, and try to start a discussion. You can consider innovating – some tips include organizing a quiz towards the end of the session or containing exercises as part of the meetup event.

If you would like some guidance on using the Learn WordPress platform, check out our Tuesday Training post on the topic: How to be an excellent discussion group leader.

Online Event Updates

Upcoming Online events

WordPress Meetup groups worldwide are currently organizing online events instead of in-person events due to COVID-19, which is something the team recommends as well, to ensure the safety and well being of our community members. Since meetup events are online, you can now attend meetups and WordCamps across the world from the comfort of your own home! You can find out about all upcoming online events here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/.

It would be great if organizers that host meetups with a topic focus to put it also in the event title. A format like: [Event format] Title:Brief Description of what’s happening (City Name), would be ideal. As an example, here’s a sample meetup format that organizers can use: [Online] WordPress 5.5: New Features, New Glitches, New Fixes (Portland)

International WordPress Translation Day

The Polyglots teamPolyglots Team Polyglots Team is a group of multilingual translators who work on translating plugins, themes, documentation, and front-facing marketing copy. https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/. and the Marketing team are organizing an International WordPress translation day event to coincide with the International translation day on September 30, 2020. Meetup groups can use this as an opportunity to organize their own translation day event on September 30, or on any day of that week (September 28 – October 4). It will be a great opportunity to help WordPress speak your language! Several local WordPress communities have already planned their events, but if you are looking for ideas, here are a few event formats that you can consider: 

  1. A short contributor event (even if just a few hours), day or evening time
  2. A half-day event on the weekend before or after the International Translation Day itself
  3. Celebrating it throughout the week by inviting people to one of the channels on your local SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.
  4. Holding a video discussion meeting to talk out concerns, questions, or ideas around translation projects in your locale
  5. Picking a project to finish together and working on it
  6. Or, any other format! Be creative 

Please complete the form to help the marketing team promote the events!

International AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) Day

Starting at 18:00 UTC on October 2nd, 2020, the WordPress Accessibility Team will sponsor a 24-hour online event focused on WordPress and Accessibility. If you want to learn about the future of accessibility in WordPress, join us for 24 hours of mind-expanding online learning!

Follow along at the WP Accessibility Day website, to catch up with all the updates. The team has already announced the first round of speakers for the event, and the call for sponsors and volunteers is still open. 

Upcoming Online WordCamps

Don’t forget to grab your free tickets for these events! Many of these events still have their call for speakers, sponsors, and volunteers open. If you are interested in contributing to these events, please don’t forget to sign up. You will find more information on the camp websites.

Diversity speaker training

The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) holds workshops in July to support diverse voices to share knowledge and stories at online WordPress meetups and WordCamps. They have the following events scheduled for September – October 2020:

Intermediate speaker topics:

  • September 15: Improving Your Pitch
  • September 16: Intermediate Online Stage Presence
  • September 17: Answering Questions Online

For WordPress meetups:

  • September 24: WordPress Meetups: Hold Your Own Diverse Speaker Workshop (APAC/EMEA)
  • October 24: WordPress Meetups: Hold Your Own Diverse Speaker Workshop (AMER/EMEA)

You can find more details in the Make/Community Blog post. To learn more about the workshops that will be announced soon, check: https://make.wordpress.org/community/tag/wpdiversityworkshops/

Diversity speaker videos are also available on the Learn WordPress platform. Do check them out! Based on these videos, discussion groups are being planned for the following dates: 

  • October 6: Who am I to be speaking & Finding a topic
  • October 7: Creating a pitch
  • October 8: Online Stage Presence

Check out the Learn WordPress discussion group to catch up with the discussions and when they are posted.

Past online events

Several online WordCamps were held successfully in the past few weeks. WordCamps across the world are going the extra mile to experiment with the online events landscape and are coming up with innovative ways to offer an unmatched experience. Videos of these WordCamps will be available in WordPress.tv soon! Did you miss these events, or would you like to relive the experience of attending the events virtually? Check out their recorded live streams below!

do_action India & Nigeria Online

The maiden edition of do_action India online, which was held online from August 15 to 23, had 94 participants who built fully functional websites for five NGOs from across the country. Following the India event, Nigeria’s WordPress communities organized do_action Nigeria online from August 31 to September 11, where 146 volunteers collaborated online to build websites for 9 NGOs. You can read more about 2020 do_action events on this August blog post on the WordPress Foundation blog.

Featured Online Meetup

The Seattle WordPress Meetup group has been able to pivot their meetup group and their events online successfully. The group, which started in 2010, used to have large in-person meetups with 100+ attendees that pivoted to at least five smaller meetups/month aimed at different audiences: Fundamentals, DIY/Bloggers, Freelancers, Developers, and Help Desk that are spread out geographically for easy access. The team 3-person Leadership Team meets regularly and leads quarterly meetings with the Meetup Hosts to support them. 

With COVID, members of the group are meeting regularly on Zoom. The organizers have decided to go ahead with an online “mega meetup” for the fall (planned initially as an in-person event pre-COVID).  Instead of meeting in person and breaking out into physically separate rooms, the team will have each of their Meetups running virtually. The group uses this opportunity to sample all their Meetups and hopefully build and sustain their sense of community during this difficult time. The Mega Meetup is one of the quarterly events that help keep the community active by organizing Meetups and WordCamps. You can find more information and subscribe to updates on their website.

Want to feature your local meetup group in our newsletter? Send us a brief write-up to support@wordcamp.org, and we’ll feature it in the next edition of our newsletter. 

Inactive WordPress Meetup groups

The community team regularly reviews groups in the WordPress meetup chapter to ensure we’re remaining up to date and relevant. We are in the process of reaching out to those groups in our chapter that haven’t held an event since the end of 2019 (or earlier), to either prompt more activity or remove any groups that are not interested in organizing events. One of the primary motivators here is that, due to COVID-19, the global sponsorship program has been pulled back, so there are less funds available than in previous years.

We contacted inactive groups by sending messages to organizers, allowing two weeks for responses. If there was no response, we emailed all group members that were subscribed to notifications and cross-posted the message in the message boards, leaving it there for another two weeks. After four weeks, if we had not heard back from the organizing team or the members of these inactive groups, and if no meetup events were held in the group, we removed them from our Meetup chapter. Those groups that had followed-up with us by sending at least one response were kept activated. You can read more about this initiative in the Make/Community P2.

If your WordPress meetup group has not been active, you can consider organizing online meetup events to reactivate your group. Please check out our blog post on the Make/Community P2 to get some tips on reactivating your meetup groups by organizing online events.

News and Updates

If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community; let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We’ll see you online soon!

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