WordCamp Incubator Program 2018 announcement

As it was pre-announced some months ago, we’re very happy to say that the WordCamp Incubator Program is back!

The WordCamp Incubator program was born in 2016 as an experiment and it was described as:

The intention of the incubator program is to help spread WordPress to underserved areas through providing more significant organizing support for a first event. In practical terms, this experiment means we’ll be choosing three cities in 2016 where there is not an active WordPress community — but where it seems like there is a lot of potential and where there are some people excited to become organizers — and will help to organize their first WordCamp. These WordCamps will be small, one-day, one-track events geared toward the goal of generating interest and getting people involved in creating an ongoing local community.

You can read about the sucess of this first phase in this report. Based on our experiences in Denpasar (Indonesia), Harare (Zimbawe) and Medellín (Colombia), we’re very excited to open the:

Call for Incubator cities

So, where should the next incubators be? If you have always wanted a WordCamp in your city but haven’t been able to get a community started, this is a great opportunity. We will be taking applications for the next weeks, then will get in touch with everyone who applied to discuss the possibilities. We will announce the  cities chosen by the end of March.

To apply, fill in the application by March 15, 2018. You don’t need to have any specific information handy, it’s just a form to let us know you’re interested. You can apply to nominate your city even if you don’t want to be the main organizer, but for this experiment  we will need local liaisons and volunteers, so please only nominate cities where you live or work so that we have at least one local connection to begin.

Call for Incubator co-leads

This challenging job will be an exciting opportunity for experienced WordCamp organizers that particularly enjoy the “start up” phase of the community, and who have successfully transitioned out of active leadership in their local community. (This is frequently “start a community from scratch” work, and the communities have to be self-sufficient at for the project to be effective).

As mentioned in the pre-announcement post, this role is very time-intensive, requiring consistent and frequent interaction with the local team. Not everyone can commit 250 hours in a year to a volunteer role. But if you’re willing to become an Incubator co-lead and are committed to it, please apply here filling in the application by March 31, 2018.

Thanks, and good luck!

#2018, #announcement, #incubator, #wordcamp

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

WordCamp Volunteer Guidelines relating to GPL

In the comments on this post a point was raised that warrants further discussion:

A person works for a marketplace that sells non-GPL WordPress products. They want to help organize or volunteer at a WordCamp.

When vetting all Volunteers for a WordCamp we use the 100% GPL vetting checklist and the GPL Primer We define Volunteers as organizers, speakers, and volunteers. We have a belief that our events should reflect the core projects beliefs and philosophies, especially with regard to the GPL. Anyone associated with WordCamps in a Volunteer role is our representative. It is important that they reflect the projects values. We look at all Volunteers and review and WordPress derivative products and ensure that they are GPL. If not, we ask them if they can change the license to GPL. If they cannot, they cannot be a Volunteer at a WordCamp.

In the Comments a comment thought was repeated:

link Personally I think I should be judged on my own software, which is all 100% GPL, rather than my choice of employer.


link I think individuals who work at such a marketplace should be able to organize, participate, get involved etc. as long as they are representing themselves and not their company.

My employers do not exist within the WordPress realm so that’s easy for me to write. It just does not come up and when I participate in support at an event, it’s just me.

But if my employer was against opensource (they’re not, I checked), I don’t want my participation to be evaluated on that basis. My involvement as an individual contributor should be an option.



link there are two key things to bear in mind here:

The current rule that requires all WordCamp organisers, speakers, sponsors and volunteers to be 100% GPL compatible, extending to the company that they work for, is one that we cannot currently make an exception for. That’s how it is at the moment and individual exceptions cannot be made right now. Which brings me to the second key point…
While I think I can safely say that we will never change the rule that individuals must be GPL compatible in their personal capacity, there is a valuable discussion to be had with regards to how we handle individuals who are personally compatible, but their employer is not. This is the case that @stephencronin explained above with his employment at Envato. As @kcristiano has stated, this is a discussion better held in a dedicated post and I think it is a discussion that we need to have. I’m not sure what the outcome would be at this stage, but we definitely need to talk about it and make a firm decision that both upholds the principles of the WordPress project and remains as inclusive as possible.

I do agree with @hlashbrooke that we should take a look and decide how to handle individuals who are personally compatible with the GPL license, but work for a Company that is not. We’ll hold this post open until April 3rd for comments. Please chime in with your thoughts.


Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on March 7th, 2018

Start time stamp in Community-Team Slack – https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1520441905000866

Attending:  @jillbinder @cguntur @zoonini

Today’s Agenda

  • Co-leader!
  • Meetups update
  • Promotions update
  • Train the trainers update
  • Workshop material update
  • Discussions, questions, volunteers, etc.

Co Leader

I am happy to say that I am stepping into the role of the co-leader along with @jillbinder. If anyone else would also like to join our co-leading team, please shoot a message to @jillbinder.

Meetups update

8 Meetups have filled in our form to let us know they are going to run the Diversity Speakers workshop.

Places that have run it so far this year:

São Bernardo do Campo
A private company’s internal team

Places that are about to run it in the next couple of weeks:

São Paulo

Our goal is to run 27 workshops this year, and we are right on track. It looks quite likely we’ll have 7 or 8 in the first three months.

Promotions update

The promotions for our form are going well: http://tiny.cc/wpwomenspeak

@andreamiddleton sent it out in the brand-new newsletter for Meetups. @miriamgoldman promoted it on Slack for Canada and in Canadian Facebook communities. @jillbinder promoted it in Vancouver Slack and Facebook Canada and @jenswish posted it to WordCamp US Twitter.

It will be awesome if more folks can re-tweet this – https://twitter.com/WordCampUS/status/966753658519027712

If there have been any other promotions, please let @jillbinder know about that.

Train the trainers update

In the last meeting we were discussing the format for training Meetups to run the workshop…

We now have a new Train the Trainers team who are coming up with a plan.

They are working on some ideas based on the discussions from last time about how to run a hybrid training. It won’t be too long before this finalized as there are a couple of groups who would like to run it fairly soon and would like to be trained.

It will most likely be a recording that we can spread around. Jill will talk to the team to see if they would like to be “participants” in that recording. Having two participants would be ideal and Jill will reach out to the team if she needs people for that recording.

Workshop material update

Jill has been working to finish up the workshop itself and also on how to handle the workshop when it is split into several modules. That helps if people want to run just one part of the workshop or run them consecutively. The handbooks are now up at https://make.wordpress.org/training/speaker-training

The slides are almost ready. They are based on the work that Seattle did when they ran the workshop. Jill is working to refine them.

@sheilagomes has run the workshop twice and is about to do a third. She has her own version of the slides in Portugese (first module only).

Just a reminder of the types of promotions we can do:

  • Writing articles
  • Speaking about it in the Slack groups of countries
  • Speaking about it in Facebook groups
  • Speaking to people about it at WordCamps
  • People who are already doing Diversity work, ask for a mention in their talks or a tweet out to their followers
  • Asking former workshop attendees to write articles about how attending the workshop affected them
  • WordPress.tv which posts to YouTube


You can use this hashtag for your promotion tweets: #WPWomenSpeak.

If you want to see all the recaps easily in one place, we’re using that same tag to mark them. So they’re all here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/tag/wpwomenspeak/

In Summary:

  • We need more people promoting the workshop
  • We will soon have a recording (likely) for the train the trainers workshop

End meeting time stamp – https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1520443932000450


Guidelines for Speaker Thank Yous

We’re often fond of saying that the primary benchmark for WordCamps is the quality of our content, and a large part of our content is our speakers. Even though speakers are WordCamp volunteers, the same as everyone else who works on a WordCamp, it makes sense that the organizers do something special to say thank you.

We have found that speaker dinners and speaker gifts (let’s call them ‘Speaker Thank Yous’) have become commonplace components of the WordCamp model. The origin of the speaker dinner was twofold: to ensure that all speakers were in town and ready to speak, and to thank them.

When setting up WordCamp Budgets, we have one guideline that affects the entire event: Is this a responsible use of funds, and does it benefit the attendees. We’ve never had a rule about what amount you can or should spend on speaker thank yous, and that has led to vast differences in how WordCamps acknowledge and thank their speakers. There is some concern that this sometimes large discrepancy in spending on speaker thank yous from event to event causes more competition than collaboration. Financially, that competition can have further reaching consequences than might, at first, be apparent.

With that in mind we’d like to propose a practical guideline for how much is appropriate to spend on speaker gifts, and also what is appropriate to gift to speakers.

Deciding the amount to spend is not about how much can we spend, the question is how much should we spend. Even if the Camp has funds available, and that camp can afford to spend $100 on a speaker gift, there are programmatic considerations to be made here. What do we mean by that? WordCamps that are able to charge higher amounts for sponsorship and raise more sponsorship funds may be able to afford more for Speaker Thank Yous than camps that cannot. There are many valid reasons for certain camps to raise more money from sponsorships. The only venue available for the Camp may be super expensive, or have a caterer that must be used thereby charging a king’s ransom for a box lunch. A concern at the WordCamp Program level, is that Camps having larger Sponsorship Goals for discretionary items rather than event necessities could be taking sponsorship money from others. While we have increased the total number of unique sponsors over the years, we must recognize that sponsors are not a bottomless pit, and each sponsor will have a budget they can spend on all camps. So, if WordCamp Camelot raises a ton of money and can afford to buy custom leather bomber jackets for their speakers not only could it be taking money from the smaller, less financially stable WordCamp Knottingham event. It’s also setting a precedent with speaker gifts that other, smaller or more financially responsible events can’t meet.

While we’re looking at what we should spend on a speaker gift, we should also have a discussion of what makes an appropriate speaker gift. We don’t want to suggest a list of items that should be forbidden, instead suggest that we keep in mind the inclusive and family friendly attitude of WordCamps when selecting a gift. We would therefore discourage gifts with a gender bias, items that directly correlate to drinking or smoking, and anything that would encourage illegal activities.

WordCamps are intended to be welcoming, low-cost events accessible to and appropriate for everyone who loves WordPress. With that in mind, we ask that organizers are transparent with their spending, and that they keep budgets lean, focusing their spending on what will benefit attendees most instead, of competing to see who can do the coolest thing. We are not proposing a hard monetary limit, that would be arbitrary (due to price differences and world currencies a limit is not practical). A good practice to follow would be that if the Speaker gift exceeds the price of a one day ticket, this should be reviewed by the organizing team, and discussed with your mentor and at your budget review.

How do you feel about the guideline of the per day ticket price for speaker gifts? Are there any concerns or ideas you’d like to express? Please share in the comments.

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

Proposal to Simplify Training for WordCamp Mentors

We currently have 27 folks listed internally as “active” WordCamp mentors. At this time, 11 of the people on the mentor list are not mentoring any events. Earlier this week, I sent an email to all those listed on our mentor roster to determine their availability. Several folks have already asked to be pulled from the active list, and I anticipate several more will either ask to be removed or not respond. That will leave us with about 20 active mentors.

We currently have 109 WordCamps in various stages of planning, ranging from “Needs Orientation” to “Scheduled” that need or will need a mentor. Only 34 of those events have a mentor now. We need more mentors!

As WordCamp mentors, folks are asked to advise organizers, remind them about things organizers frequently forget, keep them on track in planning, and be the team’s connection to WordCamp Central. We also ask that they make regular updates about their mentor sessions on this site.

At this time all mentors are deputies, but not all deputies are mentors — while the work they do is related, it’s different. Our current deputy training process is for people who might triage our shared email, vet applications for both WordCamps and meetups, orient organizers for both WordCamps and meetups, and review WordCamp budgets. Because of all these different tasks deputies might handle, training is time consuming for would-be deputies (and for the trainers). Including all this additional content and time commitment may be making it harder to recruit and train new mentors.

I propose a change in the training for mentors to be more in line with the work we’re asking of them. Instead of asking that they undergo the entire deputy training process we would instead follow these steps:

  • Potential mentor submits an application to be a WordCamp Mentor.
  • A deputy reviews their application to ensure they meet WordCamp mentor requirements.
  • Mentor completes the WordCamp Organizer self training to ensure they’re up to date on expectations and guidelines.
  • Mentor has a call with a deputy to talk them through the mentoring process.
  • Mentor is assigned a WordCamp to work with in their preferred region.

I also propose that, for transparency, we have a Mentors page similar to our Deputies page or that we add a separate tab for mentors to show which mentors are active and what events they are currently mentoring.

In line with these suggestions it would make sense that mentors no longer be considered deputies. While being a mentor would not prevent a community member from being a deputy or vice versa, I don’t think we should consider them the same position — or provide deputy-level access to central.wordcamp.org and Help Scout for all WordCamp mentors.

If it seems like this will work, the next steps would be:

  • Create a WordCamp mentor application
  • Post a call for new mentors
  • Create a Mentors page or update the deputies page with a mentors tab.
  • Implement new mentor process as detailed above.

If you have any concerns, ideas, or thoughts, please share them in a comment below. Let’s try to conclude our discussion by March 12, so we can begin a mentor recruitment drive on March 16, 2018.

#mentors #deputies #community-management

WordCamp and Meetup Reports

A new section has just been added to WordCamp Central for reports. These reports provide access to a variety of data related to the WordCamp program and the meetup group chapter program.

The reports currently available fall into three categories:

Financial reports

WordCamp reports

Meetup reports

There were two main goals for the reports project: reduce administrative workload, and increase transparency.

Administrative workload

Many of these reports have been generated by hand in the past. Financial reports often took up to four hours to create, compiling data from several different sources. WordCamp and Meetup reports usually took about an hour each. Because of this time burden, some of the reports weren’t generated very often. Which leads us to…


Now all of this data is available at the fingertips of every community member, at any time. Most of the reports have data sets going back to the beginning of 2015, so you can get a fairly good picture of our programs over the last 3+ years. Transparency is important in any open source community, and these reports are an important, incremental step in supporting that value.


This is version 1 of the reports tool. There is more to do as time is available (and contributions are welcome):

  • For some reports, choose either a WordCamp or a date range, but not both
  • More reports related to meetups
  • JS-driven dashboard pages, with output from multiple reports at once (all the financial reports, for example)


Find a bug? Have an idea for the roadmap? Feel free to chime in via the comments section below.

Props to @iandunn, @andreamiddleton, and @kcristiano for their feedback and contributions!

#data #report #tool #transparency

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

WordPress Meetup Roundtables scheduled for March

In an earlier post about how to assist dormant Meetup Groups, we kicked around some ideas on how to support meetup organizers in their essential community work, especially if they are struggling or suffer from burn-out.

As a test, experienced meetup organizers will host four Meetup Roundtables. Kathy Drewien, Roberto Remedios, Jim True and Ulrich Pogson have already agreed to be our hosts, and we are recruiting a couple more people right now!

The Meetup Roundtables are an opportunity for Meetup organizers to connect and discuss challenges and opportunities for their local Meetups. We’ll hold them via video chat, using Zoom.

Here are the dates and topics, all Wednesdays at 16:00 UTC

  • March 7th, 2018
    What were the more popular topics in 2017 and 2018?
    Your hosts:Karen Arnold (@karenalma) – Meetup Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  • March 14th, 2018
    How did you find your venues and strategic partners?
    Your hosts:
  • March 21st, 2018
    How do you promote and cross-post meetups in the local community?
    Your hosts:
    • Kathy Drewien (@kdrewien) – Meetup Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    • Dreb Bits (@drebbits) – Meetup Davao, Philippines
    • Birgit Pauli-Haack (@bph) – Meetup Naples, Florida, USA
    • Jim True (@jimtrue) – Meetup Tampa & St Petersburg, USA
  • March 28th, 2018
    How did you find your co-organizers?
    Your hosts:
    • Kathy Drewien (@kdrewien) – Meetup Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    • Birgit Pauli-Haack (@bph) – Meetup Naples, Florida, USA
    • Jim True (@jimtrue) – Meetup Tampa & St Petersburg, USA
    • Ulrich Pogson (@grapplerulrich) – Meetup Bern, Switzerland

The format is quite informal. We’ll kick-off the meeting with introductions, name, and location. The hosts will talk about their experiences for this week’s topic for a few minutes, and then we open it up for general Q & A from participating organizers.

For this first round, we’ll plan for these video chat Meetup Roundtables to last one hour. We will record them and make them available for those that couldn’t make it.

We hope you can join the discussion! If you’re an experienced meetup organizer in the WordPress chapter program and would like to participate as a host, please comment below!

Interested in learning more about WordPress Meetups?

#meetups-2, #roundtables