Proposal: Adding topic-based meetup groups as part of the Meetup chapter program

The purpose of this post is to discuss proposed changes to the WordPress Meetup Chapter Program

WordPress 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. Chapter program is part of the overall WordPress 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. project. Meetups are an opportunity for people who love and value WordPress to get together to learn from and connect with each other. As of today, there are 745 meetup groups with approximately 460,351 members under the chapter program. 

A group is not required to be in the WordPress chapter program to host WordPress meetups. However, if a meetup is in the chapter program, it has some benefits which include Meetup account dues being covered by WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each., and events being displayed in the WordPress dashboard, among others.

Background

Typically, WordPress Meetups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on at least a monthly basis. The WordPress Meetup Chapter program requires that a meetup be hosted for a city or a specified location. It is also expected that meetups be in-person events attended by local community members.

However as COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, changes were made to the events program to allow for online Meetups. Today most meetup groups are running online events and it has become a new norm. 

The Learn WordPress Meetup Group

Recently, the Training and Community teams launched the Learn WordPress project which focuses on Group Discussions, Workshops and Lessons. 

The Learn WordPress project has its own Meetup.com Group to host the group discussions. This new meetup group is a break from how WordPress meetups are historically held, and have led to some new, exciting meetup group ideas.  

Proposed changes: Allow non city-based meetup groups to the chapter program

Recently, the Community team received two applications to start a meetup group globally for a specific topic that is not tied to any city. The purpose of this post is to discuss whether or not to allow a non city-based Meetup under the Chapter Program. 

As the pandemic affected face to face events and online events have become the new norm, meetups that are topic-based could be an alternative way to move forward. 

A topic-based meetup group could;

  • Allow organizers to start Meetup groups based on topics such as SEO, Hosting, etc. (Excluding brand based groups such as WooCommerce, Divi, etc. However you can host such meetups outside the chapter program)
  • Be a global meetup group rather than a city-based one
  • Focus on only one niche / topic / be a Focus group
  • Allow multiple organizers globally to organize events in the same group
  • Allow multilingual events for the same group (TBC)

Also such topic-based global meetup groups can co-exist with city-based meetups even after the pandemic is over.  

Things to consider

If topic-based meetup groups are allowed, the following changes might be required; 

  • Meetup Application form need to be amended
  • Meetup handbooks require updating with new guidelines
  • Require some workaround at meetup.com as it requires a city for each meetup
  • Changes in the events widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. to display online event timing correctly across the globe.
  • How many topic-based meetup groups can the Events API support?  Should the Events APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. handle each topic-based meetup group equally? 
  • How do city-based and topic-based meetups coexist?

Request for Feedback

Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on including topic-based meetup groups in addition to the existing city-based meetup groups. The discussion will be open until 2021-04-27. 

Thanks to @nao @camikaos @angelasjin and to all other deputies helped to put together this post.