Office Hours during WordCamp Europe

WordCamp Europe is happening next week, which means that many of the members of the Community Team will be offline for much of the week. This affects Office Hours in particular, so I would like to make sure that we have at least one deputy who can commit to being online to manage for each of the four sessions next week.

If you can commit to any of the times, please tick the box next to the relevant one(s) below. if the box is already ticked by someone else, then please comment on this post to say with which one(s) you will be able to assist. The checkboxes here are to make absolutely sure we have at least one person available, but having more than one person managing Office Hours is always a good thing.

Note that the times above will be displayed in your local timezone.

Office Hours is simple enough to host and we even have some handy documentation about how to do it.

Community Team Chat | Thursday, May 3rd 2018

Hey Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, May 3rd 2018. Meeting times are 11:00 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 doing and how is it going?
  2. P2 posts needing feedback/discussion:
  3. New posts on P2 (no feedback needed, but reading appreciated to be up-to-date!)

Please add any additional items to this agenda by commenting on this post as needed.

#meeting #agenda

WordCamp Europe 2018 – Community Team Plans

Yesterday I was reminded by a nice poem that WordCamp Europe 2018 is 50 days away. Woot woot!

😱
The day has yet to come,
but we can already hit the drum.
You may or may not know,
that today marks 50 days until the show.
So, it’s time to plan your stay,
hey, you don’t want to miss the day.
Book the hotels, get your flights,
and get ready to see Belgrade’s lights.
#WCEU pic.twitter.com/dPt8xKNz1i

— WordCamp Europe (@WCEurope) 25 aprile 2018

 

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.

This year, in addition to the Contributor Day, there is a Community Room, which sounds like an amazing opportunity to continue conversations or start new ones in a nice environment. Here is the info we have from the WCEU team:

Jenny

The Community Room will be open all day on both days of the main conference. It is located just off the area where both the Get Involved table and the Happiness bar will be set up, so is the perfect place to take any longer conversations that start there over to. The room will be set up with tables and chairs as well as some more comfy seating. Any Make groups who want to continue work in this space left over from Contrib day can. If you think some paperboards or whiteboards might be useful, let us know, we can probably work something out. Note, like last year, Contrib Day is the day *prior* to the conference. So the Community Room is thought of as carry over from Contrib day as desired. It won’t be a restristed space either – someone who needs to take a work call or shoot off some emails or whatever would be welcome to hang there.

Milana

This room is not “mandatory” for any team, it’s meant to be for people who’d like to continue contributing, or who weren’t able to attend Contributor Day, or haven’t heard of Contributor Day, etc It is mostly to create bridge between conference days and Contributor Day and to generally increase awareness for contributing to the project.

As we did last year, please add in the comments ideas and suggestions for tasks we could work on together while in Belgrade and ideas for the Community Room: again, presence there is not mandatory, so there is no pressure to “staff the table”, but it is definitely a great initiative and we could think of something cool for it as well.

Deadline to comment is May 18 so we can discuss this during the next two Community chats: after that date I will summarise in a post (like the one we had last year) and we will go from there!

#wceu, #wceu-contributorday

WordCamp Nordic Proposal

With the advent of regional WordCamps like Europe and US, we have had many discussions about the possibility of holding other regional WordCamps. One of the regions that has often been mentioned in these discussions is the Nordic region – comprising of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. After many years of talking about this as a possibility, a team got together at the WordCamp Oslo contributor day to make a formal, structured proposal for this event to see if they could turn it into a reality.

You can view the full proposal here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QsRFmapjfKIKcroAmJun9ibrgUweHcE0HIYa0bAg4Ds/edit?usp=sharing

Now that we have this proposal and the team has done some real work in establishing a concrete vision for how this event would work, it’s time to have a discussion about this as a community. With that in mind, please have a thorough read through the proposal and then comment on this post with your thoughts. We would like to know if you think this is a good idea or not, and if you feel it is a realistic goal for the WordPress communities in the Nordic region to work towards.

While you read the proposal and think about your comments, please bear this excerpt from the WordCamp Organizer Handbook in mind:

The goal of a Regional WordCamp is to celebrate, represent, and grow local WordPress communities in the affected region. A primary goal for the WordPress Global Community Team is to help support the creation and growth of  WordPress meetup groups and annual WordCamps in as many cities as possible in the world. Regional WordCamps work toward that goal by connecting people who weren’t already active in their local WordPress community and inspiring attendees to start communities in their hometowns.

Growing local WordPress communities in the Nordic region must be the ultimate goal here, so that’s a good idea to keep at the forefront of your mind while thinking about this.

The deadline for this discussion is Friday, 27 April – at that stage we will summarise the comments and move forward with the best decision based on what we have discussed.

Community Team Chat Agenda | Thursday, 5 April 2018

Hey Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 5 April 2018. Meeting times are 11:00 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 doing and how is it going?
  2. WordPress 15th Anniversary Plans:
    We want to support the community in celebrating the 15th anniversary of WordPress, so we have some resources to assist with that – see the announcement post and handbook page. Let’s use this time in the meeting to clarify any questions so all of us are on the same page when community members ask about it.
  3. P2 posts needing review/feedback:

Please add any additional items to this agenda by commenting on this post as needed.

#meeting #agenda

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.

 

Edit – 10 May 2018:  Link to Summary Comment

Community Team Chat | Thursday, 1 March 2018

Hey Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 1 March 2018. 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.

This site has enjoyed a lot of activity in the last few weeks, yay! There’s a lot we *could* talk about, but a few topics that folks have raised specifically for discussion, so this agenda will focus on those. As always, if you’d like to suggest a topic, please do so in the comments below!

Agenda

  1. Deputy check-in:
    What have you been doing and how is it going?
  2. Calls for volunteers:
  3. Proposals for discussion:
  4. In Case You Missed It (ICYMI):

Please add any additional items to this agenda by commenting on this post as needed.

#meeting #agenda

A Trello Board for the Community Team

During our first chat of February we discussed the idea of opening a Trello Board to check on our progress for projects and working groups.

The idea is not to use it for daily tasks, like vetting, emailing, etc… but more for broader tasks. These could be some of the goals we have in mind for 2018 and other ideas that will pop up in the next few months that need followup.

We are not sure this system will work for us, so we are setting a trial period of 3 months from the moment we create the board to see if someone uses it.

We have two models to look at:

As you can see the different lists have projects in it and not simply “To Do/Doing/Done” which is the default you get when you open a Trello board.

Proposal

  • open a Trello organisation under the support@wordcamp.org email, so it’s not linked to a specific individual
  • create two boards: “Start here” with the workflow “Community Tasks” with the actual tasks
  • after we do a summary of the 2018 goals, see which ones need project management
  • the person who will work on a specific task will start a list

As far as the “Start here” board goes, I think we can see what Design and Marketing did and adjust that to our needs. I am no project manager, so if someone here is, please point us in the right direction of an efficient Kanban board use 🙂

Deadline

Please leave your feedback before Thursday, Match 8th. We can discuss this during our next chat, on March 1st and then I’ll summarise comments and move to the next step.

Thank you!

Handling secure access for inactive deputies

We’ve been checking in with most of our deputies over the past month or so and, while many of you are able to continue donating your time to the Community Team, there are some deputies who are not able to do so anymore. This is entirely understandable of course, as we’re all volunteers here, but it leaves us with the question of how to handle inactive deputies.

Right now, deputies have access to our central Help Scout instance where all community support is handled and most deputies also have author or editor access to this P2. To that end, we have a few options for how we can handle this kind of access for individuals that are not actively involved for the moment:

  1. Leave everyone in their current state with full access to Help Scout and whatever user role they have on this P2.
  2. Remove inactive deputies from the “WordPress Community Team” inbox in Help Scout, and demote them on this P2. This will mean they are still a user on Help Scout, but they can’t access anything, which makes it easy to reactivate them in the future with very little friction – it should also preserve their interaction history in Help Scout.
  3. Completely delete inactive deputies from Help Scout, and demote them on this P2. This will mean reactivating them on Help Scout in the future would be like starting all over again and we will most likely lose their interaction history in Help Scout.

Option #2 seems like the best bet to me, for security and accountability purposes, but a case could be made for either of the other options. Please comment here with what you think would be the best way to manage things going forward – if you have any different ideas, please share those as well.

This discussion will remain open for 1 week – until Friday, 2 March at 12:00 UTC – then we will wrap it up and go forward with the best option.

#deputies

Changing the time of the Community Team Chat

Hey folks,

We currently have the twice monthly community team chat scheduled for 8:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC – this is to ensure that everyone can be involved in the discussions no matter where they live in the world.

The problem we have been encountering lately is that the 8:00 UTC edition of the chat is very poorly attended and has even needed to be cancelled on occasion due to no one showing up for it. We understand that everyone working on this team is doing so as a volunteer, so we obviously don’t expect everyone to show up for every single meeting, but we do also need to be pragmatic and holding meetings that very few people can attend isn’t really a very good use of our time.

To that end, we would like to revisit the time of our earlier meeting to see if we can find one that would work better for more people. In order to facilitate this, could everyone who would like to attend the earlier Community Team Chat please select their preferred option from the poll below.

The poll will remain open until 28 Feburary, at which point we will go with the preferred option for the meeting time.

If you have a different idea of how/when we should do this that is not mentioned in the poll, please comment on this post with your thoughts.