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

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

Recognise volunteers in WordCamp websites

Hi!
I have been thinking about ways to recognise the volunteers at WordCamps. Beside getting them all on stage during closing remarks, what do you think about having a page where we can list them as we do for Attendees via their email or WordPress.org username?
Before opening a trac ticket I would like to hear your feedback about it.
Deadline: August 16.

Solution is built-in in WordCamp websites 🎉: use Admin Flags!
Thanks!

Community Team Decision Making Process

In the past the members of the Community Team had some informal discussions about the decision making process: the conversation is very broad and we haven’t tackled it in a structured way up until now.

Since April, the Community team switched from having a single monthly chat that didn’t always had an agenda, to a bi-monthly chat, held at 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC to take into account different timezone, with an agenda that covers topics that might come up in our channels and highlights the latest from our blog. Attendance is good, people are engaged in the discussions and in general it seems that so far this has been a welcome change in our workflow.

It also helped us approaching broader subjects, about the Community team itself and its organisation.

One question that resurfaces every now and then is: how do we come to decisions? How do we wrap up all the discussions that float around us and come to conclusions? From comments in our Slack channels or P2 posts to issues that might be brought up to our support email, there is a lot going on in the Community team!

This is a broad conversation that touches on different subjects. The following are only a few:

  1. Media: the different media we use to communicate have different purposes, the Slack channels are for bouncing off ideas and replying to direct questions, but when we need to agree upon something we direct the person that has raised the issue to post in our P2 to gather feedback. Sometimes delicate issues are not brought in public but are dealt via email between the interested parties and then made public when a decision is made.
  2. Who: some issues are easily solved, everyone says what they think, either via a poll or comments, there are no major roadblocks (usually financial or technical), the majority of the feedback is positive so we move on. This is what happened when we decided to change the chat model. Some issues though require a more structured approach, especially if the outcome has a great impact on the whole WordPress community, not only the Community Team. Who is involved in this kind of decisions?
  3. How: after we identify the who, how those final deciders actually make the decisions they make? What processes and tools and tools can we use?
  4. Tracking: we use our P2 to gather feedback, how do we track open issues? Let’s say we come up with a workflow from now on, how do we deal with the threads that were opened in the past and never reached a conclusion?

The above items are just a few and they are mostly related to a practical workflow that defines roles, capabilities, procedures to gather feedback and come to decisions. But what about the emotional side of things? Who is taking the heat for unpopular decisions? How are they seen in the Community?

So, lots of food for thought!

Let’s set ourselves a goal of spending about two weeks on this discussion, closing it on August 3, in time for our next chat. After that I’ll gather all the comments and we’ll go from there to determine our next steps.

Thank you!

#community-team