Tuesday Trainings: How do I start a WordPress meetup?

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to better get directly at the issues that seem to be on the minds of folks in our community. How are we doing that? Great question. We’re either seeking to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly heard complaints, concerns, and confusions.

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

This week’s question: How do I start a WordPress 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.?

Over the weekend I had the honor and privilege of speaking at and attending WordCamp Santa Clarita. The talk I gave was about growing the leadership of your meetup, but as with any related topic I wanted to cover the basics too. I didn’t have all the time I would have liked to dedicate to starting a meetup but… I do have the time to do that today!

Because thankfully we have all the info already published and ready to share in the Meetup Organizer Handbook!

It’s not a light read, there’s a lot of information there. If you’re interested in becoming an organizer or are an organizer who hasn’t read it yet I’d still encourage you to explore the entire handbook. 

How do I get started?

Before you apply to organize a meetup in your area, search for a meetup.com group for WordPress events in your area. The Community Team gets nearly as many applications to organize groups where a group already exists as we do for those in areas where one needs to be started. Just because you don’t know it exists, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

But I want to organize my own group!

Of course you do! I appreciate your enthusiasm and drive. The desire to create a group and a sense of community in your area is admirable and I absolutely think you should do it. And you can make that happen by joining your already existing local WordPress and getting involved.

We don’t want to fragment local communities, we want to help them work together. So if there’s a meetup group in your area and you want to be an organizer join the group. Contribute. Volunteer. Offer to help the organizers. Not everyone realizes this but any trusted member of a WordPress Meetup can organize a meeting. You don’t need to take over what another organizer is already doing, volunteer to take the planning of meetup events that you’re excited about.

This handbook talks a lot about “local” 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.. Does that mean we can gather in person again?

The short answer is that it depends. There is not a clear yes or no answer that will match up with every area, but we do have some new guidelines for communities looking to restart in person meetups. You can read all about that here. If you have any questions about how this applies to your area feel free to comment below or email the community deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. at support@wordcamp.org

Is there anything else I should know?

Yes. There is. Actually there are 5. I never pass up the opportunity to share the 5 good faith rules that apply to all meetups in the WordPress chapter account.

The Five Good Faith Rules 

 

  1. WordPress Meetups are for the benefit of the WordPress community as a whole, not specific businesses or individuals. All actions taken as an event organizer are with the best interest of the community in mind.
  2. Membership in the local Meetup group is open to all who wish to join, regardless of ability, skill, financial status, or any other criteria.
  3. Meetups are volunteer-run with volunteer speakers.
  4. Meetup groups allow events to be organized by any reliable/trusted member of the community.
  5. Meetups are welcoming places where everyone works to foster an accepting environment which is free of discrimination, incitement to violence, promotion of hate, and general jerk-like behavior.

Okay… but it’s also important to know what we ask everyone that organizes WordPress Chapter Meetup to uphold the principles of the 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, including the GPL. This helps protect the user/attendee, who might not realize that by using a non-GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party or theme, they are giving away the rights that WordPress provides them.

Let’s do this!

Ready to sign up? Complete the application form here

As always if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or requests for future Tuesday Training posts leave them in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org 

#tuesdaytrainings