Improving WordCamp.org: Notes from the 2014 Community Summit

At the 2014 Community Summit there was a breakout discussion that focused on ways to improve WordCamp.org. You’ll find the notes from that discussion below, which are being posted here so that the discussion can continue with the participation of everyone who’s interested (not just those who were able to make it to the Summit).

Kudos to @dimensionmedia for taking the notes. It’s impossible to catch everything, though, so if anyone remembers any ideas or remarks that didn’t get recorded, please post them in the comments (but please don’t reveal the identity of the person who made the remark, since the Summit was a safe space.)

* * * *

Most of the discussion centered around the desire of organizing teams to customize their site more than they currently can, or making it easier to customize.

The top 5 pain-points of people present at the discussion were:

  • CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. Editor
  • Lack of custom JS
  • Lack of 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)
  • Theme Repo Is too small
  • Possibility of crafting default theme

Customization of WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. themes

This was more of a passionate subject than you would think. First we discussed best ways to share code with other WordCamp sites that already have great designs, because not every camp has access to a designer. Since WordCamp sites only allow CSS as custom code, right now it’s a copy/paste process.

We talked about two main areas of customization: design and functionality.

Design wise, we talked about how extendable current themes are and maybe aren’t. We talked about the hacking that needs to be done in certain situations. And we talked about having a potential gallery of WordCamp sites that organizers can choose from – greater availability of choices than what we currently have. Offering themes that have already been audited by WordPress.comWordPress.com An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content. WordPress.com is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before. https://wordpress.com/ (but are also available in the WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ repository) might be an easy way to add more choice.

We also talked about maybe making certain large sections of a theme as a 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 begin to allow custom HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. in addition to the custom CSS. Or possibly creating more page templates that meet common needs.

Functionality wise, we came up with some potential interesting ideas for WordCamp sites. We talked about how some customizations have come about and been implemented. And also possibility of allowing WordCamps to experiment with a concept or idea, and then bring it to the attention of the WordCamp development team, which is by the way run only by two people and they deserve a ton of praise for that. Some of the more simple ideas, like commenting for asking questions.

So our takeaway was understanding current limitations, primarily for security. But also allowing flexibility for great designs and concepts for future WordCamps.

Why we disallow custom PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. code: every single 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 would have to be maintained forever and also looked over to make sure the code is secure. If there was a security vulnerability on WordCamp.org, then that would put WordPress.org in a position to be hacked, since they’re connected. We also try to create solutions that work for all WordCamps, rather than just a single camp doing something on their own. Contributions can be made to the Meta trac and integrated for all WordCamps to use.

Miscellaneous

  • We also discussed perhaps converting each site to static HTML after the camp is over, which would allow us to remove the burden of constantly maintaining plugins. Maybe use commenting for archives.
  • MailPoet has the ability to integrate with WordPress, providing basic functionality that could be useful for other WordCamps. CampTix has some MailChimp integration; it collects stats, and delivers information back to WordCamp.org. We want to own that data, not a third-party.
  • Sessions might be extended be custom post types.

So say we all.

* * * *

After the Summit, @ryelle built a prototype for a way to easily clone another WordCamp’s CSS and other visual elements, to help organizing teams get a quick start on their own site. Kelly, could you please post that code to MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/., so that everyone can check it out and collaborate on it? A couple screenshots in the comments would be awesome too, for those who aren’t developers.

I’ve also spent some time thinking about how we could improve the CSS-editing experience, but that’s a big enough topic that it warrants a separate discussion, so I’ve started another post for that.

If you have any thoughts on anything mentioned above, or have an idea to improve WordCamp.org that hasn’t been mentioned yet, please post it in the comments 🙂

 

Everyone is encouraged to particpate in the discussion, but I’m pinging the people who took part in the original discussion to make sure they don’t miss the post: @ryelle, @harbormark, @chanthaboune, @nvwd, @kovshenin, @rafaehlers, @davidjlaietta, @dimensionmedia, @mj12982, @iandstewart, @miss_jwo, @topher1kenobe

#accessibility, #customization, #improving-wordcamp-org, #jetpack-css-editor, #maintenace, #official-websites, #security, #themes, #wordcamp-org

WordPress meetup organizer newsletter: May 2019

Hello 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. organizers!

Welcome to another meetup organizer newsletter full of news, information, and inspiration for your local meetup.

Newsletter contents:

  • Organizer Best Practices: Make the most of your feedback!
  • Call for Organizers: Introduction to 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. Workshops for 2019
  • Diversity Outreach Speaker Training Workshops
  • Reminders

Organizer best practices: Make the most of your feedback

On the Make Community blog, there is a discussion that has been kickstarted about some best practices as organizers, around collecting and acting on feedback that we receive.

The discussion includes answering the following questions

  • Where does feedback come from?
  • How to get better feedback?
  • What to do with feedback once you have it?

You can read the entire blog post here.

This is part of the on-going Organizer Best Practices series of discussions on the WordPress Community team blog.

Call for Organizers: Introduction to Open Source Workshops for 2019

Last year, in an effort to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software (OSS), the WordPress Foundation helped fund four “Introduction to Open Source” workshops in Ghana, India, Colombia and St. Lucia.

The goal of this workshop series is to highlight the potential of open source software in regions where there is less participation in OSS projects.

Last year’s workshops were quite successful, so in 2019 we’re expanding this program to support up to ten separate events.

If you want to organize the “Introduction to Open Source” workshop at your meetup, please read this announcement and fill in the form.

We’ll select and notify our first round of shortlisted groups by the 31st May 2019 and the second round of shortlisted groups by 31st August 2019.

The application form will be closed on 15th July 2019.

Diversity Outreach Speaker Training Workshops

Have you ever had trouble getting women and people from other groups underrepresented in tech to speak at your meetups and WordCamps?

Check out the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training workshop: https://make.wordpress.org/training/speaker-training

Write to us to sign up for this or find out about future training sessions here: http://tiny.cc/wpwomenspeak

To sign up and get more details, either fill out our form and comment with which date you’d would like to attend a training email the working group at speaker-training@wordcamp.org

Reminders

That’s it for now — chat to you next time!

Your friends on the Community Team

make.wordpress.org/community

#newsletter #meetup

How can we better reach our community organizers

Recently there have been some concerns raised with staying in touch with our community organizers, specifically 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. organizers:

  • It has been discovered that some meetup organizers are not receiving the meetup newsletter
  • The annual meetup survey has a fairly low open rate
  • Messages from meetup.com get marked as spam in some email clients

It might therefore be useful to look at how to better reach our community organizers, not just with the survey, but the monthly newsletters too!

Some ideas where proposed during recent community team chats:

  • @hlashbrooke considers the best solution to be to get all organiser’s usernames so we can track things properly, but then we can use our own platform for sending emails, which would be way more reliable.
  • @bph suggested using ‘bitly’ links to see how many actually follow links and reduce the information.
  • @andreamiddleton wondered how much pushback would we get if we started syncing meetup organizer emails between meetup.com and MailChimp.
  • @jillbinder pointed out that this is a circular problem: Any of the ways we have to inform organizers of new processes for communication relies on finding ways to communicate with organizers, which is the problem.

After some initial investigation @courtneypk has also found out that if members have chosen not to share their email addresses on meetup.com, they won’t appear in any MailChimp lists we create from there. This should alleviate any privacy concerns, however it might not solve the problem we’re experiencing.

We would really like to find a workable solution to effectively communicate with all our meetup organizers in a non-intrusive manner, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, or comments on the above, please do leave them in the comments below this post.

WordCamp Europe 2019 – Community Team Plans

We are less than two months away from WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. Europe 2019, which means it’s time to get organised!

WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US are what we consider flagship events and are always a great opportunity for teams to get together, contribute and onboard more people. There are going to be a whole lot of us present and we should take advantage of that and maximize our time together.

As we did last year, please add in the comments ideas and suggestions for tasks we could work on together while in Berlin.

I will be available to lead the table: do the initial presentation, take on one macro task of group of people to work during the day but I think there should be at least other two Community Team experienced members that can help with guiding people throughout the day.

Deadline to comment is May 19 so we can discuss this during the next two Community chats: after that date I will summarise in a “squad goals” post (like the one we had last year) and we will go from there!

#wceu, #wceu-contributorday

Remembering Kim Parsell

Matt has approved the proposal for a travel scholarship to WCSF (or it’s new equivalent once that’s announced) in Kim’s memory. Here are the details:

  • It will be a scholarship for a woman contributor with financial need who has never attended the event before.
  • It will be limited to WCSF’s replacement event rather than available for any WC.
  • When we announce travel scholarships for the event, this specific memorial scholarship will be mentioned in the post.
  • It will cover the ticket cost, flight, and lodging.
  • We will award one per year.
  • It will be funded by the Foundation.
  • It will be awarded by the community team (or whatever people within the project are overseeing travel scholarships that year) to the recipient 3 months in advance of the event.

I’ll try to pre-empt a couple of anticipated questions. 🙂

Why just WCSF (WCUS)?
WCSF specifically was hugely important to Kim. A bunch of people have posted about how much being at WCSF this past year meant to her (especially being there when Matt mentioned her during State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/.), so it makes sense to choose the event that had that big impact so recently before her passing. Also, making it open to more events would mean a bigger need for logistical oversight, and we want to keep it pretty easy to manage. The assumption is that it will live within a broader travel scholarship program that can be worked on this year (SF was a test of the idea, but not intended to be the only WC that would offer assistance in the future if it worked well, which we haven’t yet worked out).

Why only a woman contributor?
Kim and I talked several times about getting more women involved, and she said that she did feel at times that some areas of WP were dominated by men that made it tough to find a place/voice for women, especially older women. I thought about making it even more Kim-specific and making for women over 40 or something, but realistically I was afraid we might not have enough people in that narrow a demographic to be able to award it each year. Related: we need to be a great place for older women to contribute!

Why is there a financial need component?
Kim had never been able to attend until this year, and she talked about how amazing it was for her to be here, and that without the travel program it wouldn’t have been possible. Kim and I also talked quite a bit about the employablility of core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org. vs. support/docs/community/etc — many of you know she was unemployed around that time — and how the areas that tended to attract more women volunteers weren’t necessarily tied to high-paying careers like “the whiz-bang kids that work on coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.,” as she once referred to them. 🙂 So making this scholarship especially for someone without a fancy tech salary to count on seemed like a good nod.

Why only someone who’s never been before?
Again, as a Kim memorial, we wanted this to be very Kim-specific, and that first-time experience is what we want to provide someone in her memory.

@siobhan: Do you want to mention this/link to it on the docs team blog rather than me re-posting?

#kim-parsell, #travel-scholarships, #wordcamps

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. organizers, 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. 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 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/. and ask for help!

Meetup Organiser Badge Assignments

A couple of weeks ago, we called for all 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. organisers to provide us with their usernames so that we can start assigning the new Meetup Organiser badge to as many people as possible.

After leaving the sheet open for a few weeks and sending out a few reminders about it, we’re pleased to announce that we have now assigned the badge to 760 organisers. If your username was added to the sheet then you will find that your WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ profile now has a shiny new badge!

There are, however, still quite a few groups that have not yet added their usernames, so we’re going to keep the sheet open for a while longer to give more people the time to add their usernames in.

There are still 251 groups in the sheet that have no usernames supplied for them, so if you haven’t done so already, please head over to this sheet and add the usernames of your meetup group organisers: This sheet is closed and we will now be doing these manually by request.

This is what the new Meetup Organiser badge for your profile looks like:

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. organizers, 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. 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 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/. and ask for help!

Request for Public Post Preview on WordCamp Sites

Hey all,

The WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. US team has run into several times recently where it would be super helpful to allow people outside our team to be able to see and offer feedback on draft posts. A great example of that is the contributor team is about to write 18 posts, one for each WordPress contributor group, that summarizes what they do and what their current projects are. It would be amazing to be able to get direct feedback from each team as we do.

I made a Meta Trac ticket requesting to have the Public Post Preview plugin installed for this purpose, and @iandunn said there’s no technical problems with it but suggested that I get buy-in from the community team first. If you all are on board, he would be able to add it to the list of plugins that is off-by-default but can be turned on by any WordCamps that want to make use of it.

Any thoughts? Worries? Cheers? General feedback?

Thanks,
Aaron

#wordcamp-org

Proposal to Increase the Maximum Ticket Price for WordCamps

In order to make WordCampWordCamp A WordCamp is a conference where the WordPress community come together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. https://central.wordcamp.org/about/. as affordable as possible for the community, the maximum ticket price for WordCamps is set at the local equivalent of US$20 per day. This has been the case for many years and it has been very effective at making sure that WordCamps remain accessible to the broader WordPress community.

To quote from the handbook page linked above:

Extremely affordable tickets allow everyone in your community to attend WordCamp, lowering the barrier to entry for attendance as much as humanly possible. This helps build your community, as people who might not be able to afford higher ticket prices can join in and share their experiences with WordPress. A large community with diverse perspectives is good for local events and activities.

This maximum WordCamp ticket price has been static for over 7 years, so perhaps the time has come to revisit it. Inflation is pushing prices up globally and we’re finding that more and more WordCamps are struggling to hit their financial targets.

If it’s agreed that the maximum ticket price should go up it doesn’t mean WordCamps have to raise their prices locally, if they don’t want to or don’t need to. We always have (and will continue to) actively encourage organisers to set their prices as low as possible and to only go for the maximum price if they absolutely have to do so.

So, the question is – do you think the maximum WordCamp ticket price should change? And if you think it should go up, what should the new maximum be?

Please comment here with your thoughts about this and, once we have a decision either way, we can move forward from there.