Discussion: Micro-regional WordCamps

After an extensive community discussion involving community members from all over the world, we put together some guidelines for the situations where regional WordCamps will be approved. These guidelines have been accepted and are the working basis for any regional WordCamp application that we receive. Recently, however, we have received applications for two WordCamps that we would call “micro-regional” as they comprise more than one city/town, but they are all in very close proximity to each other. There are special circumstances here that make these applications different to the average regional WordCamp, which is what we would like to discuss here.

What do the applications entail?

As we have two separate applications here, I’m going to explain the requests in a single instance using cities named Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

The WordCamp application is for WordCamp Beta, even though Beta does not have its own meetup group. The organisers of the WordCamp will come from the Alpha and Gamma communities, as all three cities are within 30 minutes of each other. In some cases, the Alpha community has held meetup events in Beta as well as Gamma, as these cities are so close together that travelling between them is fairly trivial. Beta was chosen for the WordCamp location as it is more central and also less costly than Alpha and Gamma.

Why do we need to discuss this?

A long-standing rule for all WordCamps is that we only ever host a WordCamp in a city that has an active and healthy meetup group. This is to ensure that the WordCamp has the support and longevity that it needs to keep its momentum going. The applications that we’re looking at here are both for WordCamps to be hosted in cities that do not have their own active meetup groups. On the other hand, they are deeply connected to their neighbouring cities that do have meetup groups, not just by proximity, but also by the fact that they have shared event locations (and even event organisers) in the past.

So, what do you think? Is the concern of the host city not having its own meetup group mitigated by the fact that the surrounding groups are so connected to them? We’d love to get some opinions on this from the community and deputies, so please weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

As both of these camps need to get going with their pre-planning, I’m going to set the deadline for concluding this discussion at next week Friday (17 November) at 10:00 UTC. At that point I’ll summarise the discussion and we can decide on the way forward.

#deputies, #feedback

Discussion: replacing volunteer equipment

Hi Community Team!

This year, we’ve received two questions from two different WordCamps about the following, and I’d like to find out what the team thinks we should do these kind of cases:

  • Case 1: One of the co-organizers of WordCamp X, in charge of social media and the official photographer of the WordCamp, got the lens of his camera broken when an attendee, by accident, pushed him when he was taking photos the day of the event. He hasn’t asked for anything, but the organizing team is asking if they can pay the 140 USD of the repair of the len as they had 500 USD of surplus after the WordCamp.
  • Case 2: One volunteer of WordCamp Y, lent his laptop for the registration table for the first day of the event. At some point, the laptop was stolen and the organizing team reached out to us asking us if they could pay for a new laptop for the volunteer as they feel this person lost his working tool when helping the community. We’re waiting to receive an email with a written summary of what happened and how much a similar machine would cost. They didn’t have a surplus in this case.

And these are my questions for a discussion:
a) Do we want to have a budget for replacing volunteer-owned equipment?
b) If affirmative, how to manage that budget in order to be sustainable?
c) How could we avoid or minimize fraud in these cases?

Thanks very much for your thoughts, please leave your comments!

Proposed experiment: allow WordCamp attendees to opt-in to a mailing list to be shared with sponsors

We’re always looking for ways to facilitate our sponsors finding value in supporting WordPress community events, and as the WordCamp program continues to grow, it’s helpful to explore new ways to acknowledge/benefit sponsors.

I’d like to propose we try out offering a new sponsor benefit at a few WordCamps, over the next 4-6 months: including an opt-in box at registration for attendees who want to share their email address with sponsors so that the attendee can receive special deals and discounts from sponsors.

This would be a completely opt-in feature. Common wisdom says that most of our attendees will not opt-in, but I suspect that we might be wrong about that, and I’d love to have some empirical data on this. The wording would need to be carefully phrased, but a first draft might be:

“Would you like us to share your email address with our top-level sponsors, so they can send you special deals or coupon codes? (yes/no checkbox)” Here’s an example:

This idea came up when I was discussing sponsor benefits with the WordCamp Europe team, in my capacity as their mentor. Rather than just trying this out with one event, however, I’d like to propose that we recruit 3-5 WordCamps to run this experiment. Trying out offering this benefit in a variety of WordCamps, with different attendee size and locations, would give us better data to use to decide if we want to add this to the list of standard sponsor benefits that WordCamps typically choose from when they’re building their sponsor packages.

All WordCamp organizing teams that wanted to take part in this experiment would need to commit to following a similar practice, so there’s not too much variation in the implementation:

  1. Use standard wording, translated to local language(s) as appropriate
  2. Limit the benefit to limited level(s) of sponsorship (I think just top-level)
  3. Share email addresses to top-level sponsors at an agreed-upon time-before-WordCamp
  4. Report back to the global community team on this P2 after their WordCamp is over

I propose we run the experiment between now and June 2018, and if the results are positive, then we can add this as one of the benefits that any local WordCamp team can include in a sponsorship package.

If you have feedback, concerns, questions, and suggestions about this idea, please share them in a comment on this post! If you’re on an organizing team that would like to take part in this experiment, please also comment here! 🙂

#experiment, #sponsorship

Gutenberg on WordCamp sites?

A couple of weeks ago, @jorbin suggested that we install and activate Gutenberg on the WordCamp.org network. This would make it available on every WordCamp site to use for creating/editing posts and pages. It would not be initially available to use for other post types, like speakers and sessions, because these use meta boxes for some of their content, which are currently an unresolved issue in Gutenberg.

Some WordCamp sites only have a couple of users (generally the lead organizers), while others have scores. It would be an opportunity for these folks to try out the new editor with a real use case, get a feel for how it works, and help the Gutenberg team as it continues to improve the plugin.

It would, of course, be completely optional. Since the Gutenberg plugin is intended for testing and feedback, it lives on a separate screen and the normal editor would still be available.

So the question for the community is, should we activate Gutenberg on WordCamp sites?

Handling Office Hours on 11 – 19 September

As mentioned in this post the Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who usually (but not always) handle Office Hours, will be at a company offsite September 11-18 (next week). This means that we need to make sure that we have deputies who can commit to being online and available for Office Hours at the following times:

Office Hours are very simple to run – we just need at least one deputy (but preferably more) to be on Slack for the hour. It means that, at the set time, you would announce in the #community-events channel that Office Hours is opening so people can ask any questions they like and there will be a few deputies around to answer them.

If you can commit to being online at any of the times listed above, please tick the box next to it. We would love to have more than one deputy at each time slot, so please comment here even if someone else has committed to the same times that you can make it to.

Payment Intermission September 11-18

The Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who routinely handle WPCS banking, will be at a company offsite September 11-18. During this time we’ll halt WordCamp and Meetup vendor payments, reimbursements, and sponsor payment attribution. If you’ll need to pay for goods or services in mid-September, please submit all requests no later than 9am Pacific Friday, September 8, 2017. Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Sponsor invoices paid September 11-18 won’t be marked paid until September 19.

If you have an urgent payment request that must be handled that week, but did not submit your request prior to September 8, please reach out to @kcristiano. He can be found on slack “@kcristiano“.

Deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on Slack in the #community-events channel.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Tuesday, September 19, 2017 though it may take us a day or two to get fully caught up.

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups-2

Sponsor agreements: New WordCamp Organizer Handbook’s page

If you’re a WordCamp organizer, a WordCamp mentor or an active deputy of the Global Community Team, this new page on the WordCamp Organizer Handbook will be of interest for you.

Most of WordCamp sponsors don’t need a sponsor agreement, but there are some cases when one is required. Please check the Sponsor Agreements page on the handbook to learn when a sponsor agreement is necessary and how to create it.

Note: I’ve added a paragrapgh at the end of the page Agreement among WordCamp Organizers, Speakers, Sponsors, and Volunteers with a link to the new page above in order to be found easier when looking for info about this matter.

WordCamp Bologna 2018 – Developer Focus

Today I had my first mentorship check-in with Enea @overclokk, lead organiser of WordCamp Bologna 2018.

As discussed a few months ago (but I am not sure I documented this on a post, boo me), Enea feels that Bologna could have a more devlopers focused event.
I agree with him especially because WordCamp Bologna will be squeezed between four WordCamps in Italy that have a very varied schedule that caters to a broader audience.

During the last WordCamp Torino, many developers expressed the desire to have a WordCamp dedicated to learning and growing together as a community: Bologna is a great place to do that, it’s home to a great Computer Science Department at the University and boosts a nice start-up scene.

This wouldn’t be strictly a WordCamp for Developers, like WordCamp for Publishers was in Denver, but certainly it would help to have a more focused area of interest, both for speakers and attendees: we talked about the possibility to build up during the day, starting with talks that are for beginner devs or people that are interested in development and don’t know where to start and move on to more complex issues throughout the day.

I offered to document the process and report on the check-ins, so we can see if the format works.

Thoughts? Ideas? We are here to listen and learn together!

X Post: https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2017/08/15/community-conduct-project-kick-off-meeting-scheduled-for-1700-utc-on-the-5th-september-2017/

X Post: We’re kicking off the project on the 5th September 2017 at 17:00 UTC on the WordPress Slack #community channel

Please see update post for more details.

Community Conduct Project – Kick off meeting scheduled for 17:00 UTC on the 5th September 2017

Community Team Chat Agenda | 17 August 2017

Hey Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 17 August. Meeting times are 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC in #community-team on Slack – we use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.

Agenda

1. Deputy check-in – What have you been working on? Any blockers? Anything that you need help with?
2. Welcome pack for new contributorsWe’re putting together a welcome pack for new Community contributors. Thoughts need to go on the post, but this would be a good time to throw some ideas around in real-time.
3. P2 posts – Some P2 posts to highlight:

Call for Organizers: Introduction to Open Source
Global WordPress Translation Day #3
Uploading WordCamp sponsorship agreements
New weekly deputy report

If you have any other items to add to the agenda, please post them in the comments below!

#meetings #agenda