WordCamp Application Vetting Sprints | 23 & 25 October 2019

We currently have an abnormally large backlog of WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. applications that need their initial vetting (27 at the time of writing this!) and we need the help of all deputies to get this sorted out. To that end, we will be holding two WordCamp application vetting sprints this week:

Each sprint will last for 2 hours, and we will collectively vet as many WordCamp applications in that time as possible. If you are a deputy and would like to coordinate a sprint at another time this week (or any other week), then please comment on this post and I’ll add it to the list.

All deputies are welcome and encouraged to join! Please comment on this post if you think you can take part.


What is a Vetting Sprint?

A vetting sprint for WordCamp applications is a scheduled session where all available deputies meet together in the #community-team channel in the WordPress 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/. group. Over the course of the sprint, we will all work on vetting applications and use the Slack channel as a central place to discuss what we’re working on and support each other.

Who can take part?

Any deputies who have access to the WordCamp central listings can take part. That means people who have completed the deputy training, signed the deputy agreement and been given access to the dashboard.

If you are a deputy who has been active in the last year, then you should have access to this. If you don’t have access and still want to take part, please comment here or ask in #community-team and we’ll sort out your access.

How Does it Work?

As mentioned above, we will be going through the open WordCamp applications that still need vetting – you can find all of those here. We also have some handy notes to help you with the process.

As always, deputies can work on these things at any time that suits them, but these dedicated sprints help to provide some direct focussed time for it.

WordCamp US 2019 – Community Team Plans

We are less than a month away from WordCamp US 2019, which means it’s time to get organised!

WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. 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.

Please add in the comments ideas and suggestions for tasks we could work on together while in Saint Louis.

We also need at least two, three Team Leads to coordinate the different activities:

  • Deliver the Team initial presentation
  • Onboard new contributors
  • Help coordinate work during the day
  • Deliver the end of day recap of what was achieved during the day

Please raise your hand in the comments if you are available for this.

Deadline to comment is October 17 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!

#contributor-day, #wcus

Application Vetting Sprint | Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Deputies! Your help is needed! We currently have 20 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. application and 8 WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. applications that have not yet been vetted – that’s a lot of people who have applied, but have yet to receive an update. In addition to that, we have received the requested feedback from a number of applicants and have not followed up further, so we need to get back on those threads and make sure we bring them to completion.

@sippis hosted a vetting sprint on Sunday (thank you!) and we’re planning another one for Wednesday, 2 October (that’s tomorrow at the time of writing this). This sprint will be 2 hours and will begin at the following time:

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 at 11:00 UTC

 

All deputies are welcome and encouraged to join! Please comment on this post if you think you can take part.

What is a Vetting Sprint

A vetting sprint for Meetup and WordCamp applications is a scheduled session where all available deputies meet together in the #community-team channel in the WordPress 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/. group. Over the course of the sprint, we will all work on vetting applications and use the Slack channel as a central place to discuss what we’re working on and support each other.

Who can take part?

Any deputies who have access to the Meetup Tracker can take part. That means people who have completed the deputy training, signed the deputy agreement and been given access to the tracker (details about the tracker here).

If you are a deputy who has been active in the last year, then you should have access to the tracker. If you don’t have access and still want to take part, please comment here or ask in #community-team and we’ll sort out your access.

How Does it Work?

As mentioned above, we will be going through the open applications that still need vetting, as well as following up on applications that have not had any movement in a little while. To that end, here are the relevant links to the queues that we will be working through:

  • Needs vetting: WordCamps | Meetups
  • Needs orientation: WordCamps | Meetups – we need to check Help Scout to make sure we have sent an orientation scheduling email to these groups.
  • Awaiting feedback: WordCamps | Meetups – these applications should have threads in Help Scout that are needing further vetting and/or replies.

As always, deputies can work on these things at any time that suits them, but these dedicated sprints help to provide some direct focussed time for it.

Proposal: Changes to application workflow for better communication

Our 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. and WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. vetting queue might sometimes be a bit long. It causes a delay, sometimes almost a month, between sending the application and deputy vetting it. The long gap between submitting the application and receiving an update might be frustrating for some applicants. Some do also come to #community-events 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/. channel and ask to confirm that their application is received.

Public application report page helps a little with this, but not all applicants know about it. Even if they do, it does not feel like personal contact with Community Team.

I propose the following change to our application workflow, to keep applicants informed and to add a bit more personal touch after sending the application:

  • Create a HelpScout ticket and in that ticket:
  • Send a short warm confirmation that the Community Team has received the application.
  • Keep ticket open and mark it with the tag “application-confirmation.”
  • The application tracker on central.wordcamp.org is updated with a link to the ticket for later communication.

This can be done pragmatically leveraging HelpScout APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways., so manual deputy work is not needed.

After this process has been set up, we could use HelpScout workflows to do different things. For example, send a short message if there hasn’t been any activity for two weeks after the application was received. This message could contain an apology that we have a bit of queue right now and promise that we will vet the application as soon as possible.

Possible advantages for deputies:

  • Deputies can view the queue from HelpScout and not require to visit the application tracker queue to figure out which one to conduct a vetting
  • Easier and trackable way to assign applications to deputies

What do you think, is this a good idea? Do you already imagine how the messaged are phrased? Tell it in the comments! Deadline for comments is 2019-10-04.

Thanks to @adityakane for brainstorming this proposal with me and commenting the draft.

Request for feedback: What data our team updates should contain?

In the last Community Team meeting, we discussed about our team updates in make.wordpress.org/updates, how those are lagging behind (last update is from January 2019) and how to revitalize Community Team updates there.

Updates with our chat recaps and general information to make/updates from our team are important, because other teams and Josepha does read those. Our updates makes assessing the project as a whole easier.

We agreed that updates should be made after every team chat. That means bi-weekly updates consisting of team chat recaps and also some other important details about how our team is doing.

My idea about other details to include in updates is:

  • Count of active deputies (from Deputies list)
  • Count of active WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. mentors (from Deputies list)
  • HelpScout total conversations (from HS reports)
  • HelpScout messages received (from HS reports)
  • Meetups in chapter program (from WordCamp Reports)
  • Meetups needing vetting (from Meetup Tracker)
  • WordCamps in the schedule (from WordCamp Tracker)
  • WordCamps needing vetting (from WordCamp Tracker)
  • List all new Meetups after the last update (from WordCamp Reports)
  • List all new scheduled WordCamps after the last update (from WordCamp Reports)

Am I missing some important number? What you’d like to add to our team updates? Leave your thoughts and ideas in comments before next team chat on 18.7.2019!

For the first three months, me (Timi) and Hugh are responsible for making the updates. After that, we are going to shift the responsibility to two other Community Team members for the next three months. Responsibility is intended to be rotating thing every three months with two persons, so we can be sure that someone will do the updates.

If you’d like to be the person making our team updates after these first three months, please raise a hand in comments!

#meetings

Community Team Chat Agenda | Thursday, 4 July 2019

Hello Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 4 July 2019. Meeting times are detailed below. We use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.

Asia-Pacific / EMEA friendly: Thursday, July 4, 2019, 11:00 UTC

Americas friendly: Thursday, July 4, 2019, 20:00 UTC

Deputy/mentor check-in

What have you been doing and how is it going?

P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/. posts needing review/feedback

Highlighted P2 posts

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

#agenda, #meeting-agenda

WordCamp Europe 2019 – Recap of Community Team Activities At Contributor Day + Plans for the Future

WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe 2019 in Berlin was great, thanks to all the people that joined us from all over the world to make WordPress!

Here is what the team worked on:

  1. Reviewing 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. Handbook – Project started, we have a document for it https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BOlBVqXOjtAqtpQmS_h6Khol5YOAVrDvajm43h3FRMU/edit
  2. Looking for links of posts published in the make.wordpress.org/community blog that should be added to the Meetup or WordCamp organizer handbooks. @_dorsvenabili lead this initiative. Links are added here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WDOqvOpsV6EgBbGqibxj9-p82QEsNhTDMQz2qhkaf_o/edit
  3. In person meetup orientations done by @angelasjin
  4. Improving the deputy training questions. @sippis is working on this, with @hlashbrooke and other people
  5. How WC organizers and Meetup organizers can do streaming easily: Initiative lead by Abha, from the Marketing team. There is a working document for the handbook https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P5C1meCRzB-uddjkAKn3y0_TI8MGKp0JvCCFSpTbajA/edit
  6. How to revamp the Meetup and WordCamp application form. Sam Suresh is checking with Meta team and working on it. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AXSSZrP78bSjFClfoBj4NWWAqKlXFQSBsEfwAY9QKAE/edit?usp=sharing
  7. Need documentation. Long list of desiderata here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1z3UJRaUP6ej45nOijw8U7GcxB7EfHJO9Sa8mGVMVTwQ/edit#gid=0
  8. Vetting: thanks Sam for working on vetting of 5 new Meetups!

Moving Forward with Our Efforts

Contributor Days are productive because of the face to face interaction and the urgency: we want to get things done during the day 😉

How do we keep the momentum going? Folks, I am repeating myself here… but project management is the answer!

We have a Trello board and we don’t really use it. I suggest we discuss it, again, during our next team chat, July 4th.

Hopefully we can find a common procedure that I believe will make us more efficient.

Did I miss something? Add it in the comments, thanks!

#contributor-day, #wceu

WordCamp Europe 2019 – Community Team Goals At Contributor Day

In a previous post we collected ideas for projects we could tackle together during Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. at WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe 2019. Thanks to all the comments we now have a number of tasks.

Here is the list of the tasks: for each one I tried to add the relevant links so we don’t have to waste time looking for them on the day. If there is already someone attached to the task I added their names as well.

Ideas for experienced contributors

Ideas for less experienced contributors

  • @hlashbrooke is available to run a real-time orientation for any new organisers who will be coming on board at the time. Same with WordCamp orientations if there are any folks due for them at that time.
  • @_dorsvenabili proposed to merge marketing team-contributed documentation or blog posts into our handbooks.
  • Review existing documentation: are the flows and procedures clear?
  • Gather all missing Meetup organizer wordpress.org usernames to 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. tracker

See you in Berlin!

#contributor-day, #wceu

Deputy Discussions: Raising Concerns and Resolving Issues

We have more deputies on the Global Community Team than ever before, which is so fantastic! And of course, when any group welcomes new members, people start to notice where behavior and communication norms were assumed, rather than explained.

In this post I’ll outline some of the communication paths within the Deputy group that may have only been assumed in the past. Hopefully this will help deputies feel confident when addressing problems that might arise during their work with local community organizers or other deputies.

They say “when you see something, say something…” but to whom? And how?

There’s a lot of work being done on the Global Community Team, and no wonder — there are more WordPress meetups and WordCamps than ever! Luckily, we’ve got more and more deputies involved to help train and support community organizers.

We’re all human, though, and we all make mistakes. Plus, community admin work includes a number of subjective decisions. If you notice that another deputy missed a possible issue when vetting an application, or you happen to notice a community grant is surprisingly low, etc., don’t just shrug and keep on going — check in!  Here’s how:

First, check in directly with the person who did the work. On this team, we strive to ask questions first, in an effort to understand why something happened in a certain way. (This is a great way to find out if your assumptions are correct! Sometimes they’re not!)

Once you’ve gathered additional context, if you think someone made a mistake — or you disagree with their decision — remember to deliver that feedback courteously. Critical feedback is shared with the intent to help your teammate avoid making a mistake again in the future, and should be carefully phrased to avoid hurt feelings.

I encourage everyone on this team to follow a call-in approach, rather than a call-out approach. Over the years, I’ve found it’s more effective to give my fellow contributors a chance to answer questions and correct mistakes by communicating directly and cooperatively.

Whenever possible, avoid the call-out approach with members of the local communities that you’re advising/supporting. If you’ve approached a local community organizer to raise a concern and your feedback didn’t have the result you expected, it’s not appropriate to complain about (or to) the organizer(s) in a public space. Your best next step is to ask another deputy for help in conveying your message more effectively or strategizing another approach.

I checked in with someone, and we just don’t agree. Now what?

We’re a big team! People take on this deputy role because they are passionate about the way WordPress community is built. Lots of strong opinions around can lead to differences of opinion, and that’s okay.

If you have a difference of opinion with another deputy that you haven’t been able to work through directly with that person, the next step is to reach out to another member of the team for advice and feedback. If you’re part of a deputy mentorship group, reach out to your mentor and get their opinion. If you don’t agree with your mentor, here are other highly experienced deputies you can contact for advice, a second opinion, or to raise a concern with:

@francina, @hlashbrooke, @kcristiano, @camikaos, @bph, @_dorsvenabili, @andreamiddleton

I just don’t like the decision that the team has agreed on. What should I do?

Pretty much everyone on the global community team, including me, disagrees with a few team practices or past decisions. If you’re really struggling with a situation and don’t feel that you’re getting anywhere after talking to other deputies — including multiple people on the above list — then… you’re probably pretty upset, and having a hard time. At this point, it’s time for a few reminders, and then a few questions.

Reminders:

  1. This isn’t emergency work.
  2. No one is perfect.
  3. It’s hard for any one person to know all our expectations and best practices.
  4. Everyone is trying to do what’s best for WordPress (even when we don’t agree on what that is).  

And those questions:

  1. Does the outcome of this decision have an effect on the well-being of participants? And will the outcome be noticeable to attendees in particular?
  2. What is my ultimate goal?
  3. Is there a fundamental conflict between my personal values or goals, and the expectations for my contributor role?
  4. Can I “disagree and commit” here, or do I need to step away from this role*? (Is this issue/problem so important to me that I can’t continue to work cooperatively on this team because of this decision?)  

*It’s always ok to take a break from contributor work for a short or long time, for any reason. If you need to step away from a role in which a lot of people depend on you, for any reason other than an emergency, please give the team as much notice as possible so your responsibilities can be handed off gracefully.  

Feedback

What do you think?

  1. Did I accurately describe the way people on this team aspire to communicate about and resolve conflicts or concerns, or did I miss something?
  2. Are there any steps or expectations here that you think are confusing, unnecessary, or unwise?
#deputies

The 4 “Gets” in WordPress Community Organizing

People all over the world want to organize WordPress community events, which is humbling and exciting. This comes with a lot of responsibility for the global community team, which carefully reviews all applications and vets all applicants, before moving forward with them. Part of the global community team’s process when vetting applications is to find out what motivates aspiring WordPress leaders to sign up for a lot of hard (but fun!) work — to ensure that the applicant’s goals fit well with the team’s goals.

The  community organizer handbooks have lots of public information about how we suggest people achieve these goals (what the organizers will “give”), but doesn’t outline very clearly what our volunteers can reasonably expect in return for their work (what the organizers will “get”). While everyone knows that WordPress is made possible through volunteer time, that doesn’t mean there is no reciprocity — for everything that someone gives, there are things that they also receive.

In this post, I’d like to start a conversation about how we can better clarify expectations for new and experienced contributors in our group. Here’s my first attempt at explicitly outlining our volunteers’ main “get”s.

What WordPress community organizers get (for all their hard work)

  1. Impact. WordPress community events are promoted by the WordPress project and tap into resources that other tech events don’t have — like being marketed on the WordPress dashboard. WordPress community event organizers choose the topics that are shared at monthly and annual events,  and who will lead those conversations. Your choices affect who will feel comfortable in the spaces where people connect. WordPress events change lives, and your choices define what kind of change might happen, and for whom.
  2. Growth. Volunteers are given opportunities based mainly on their interests, not their experience. WordPress community organizers aren’t required to have organized an event, or have managed a team, before taking on a leadership role in their local communities. WordPress community event organizers have the opportunity to develop a broad array of skills: leadership, communications, design, logistics, marketing, fundraising, management… the list goes on. Every one of these skills can create opportunities in someone’s professional career or personal life.
  3. Training/Support. Learning to organize WordPress community events is a very open process, and unusually short compared to many other global volunteer programs. All of our training, documentation, best practices, and tools are produced by experienced organizers. And when organizers run into problems they don’t know how to handle, there is a team of experienced helpers available, practically all the time.
  4. Protection. Back before 2011, WordPress community organizers took on a lot of risk in their work — more than any other WordPress contributor. Event organizers experienced financial loss, inquiries from tax authorities, lawsuits, and other life-damaging problems as a result of unexpected things happening at/due to their events. Our current fiscal & logistical infrastructure shields our volunteers from financial and legal risks they might suffer when organizing WordPress community events.

Those are some pretty great things you can expect when joining this courageous team of leaders! But there are things that no one gets, or that only come with time or experience — and it’s important to call those out too.

What WordPress community organizers don’t get (right away, and sometimes ever)

  1. Complete autonomy. Local organizers make a lot of powerful choices when creating events and building community. However, organizers aren’t free to pick and choose which 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. or WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. program expectations they follow through on. If you accept the WordPress community organizer role despite disagreeing with some parts of the program, you’re still expected to do the things that everyone is asked to do — they’re part of the job.
  2. Commit-level access. WordPress community organizers are full of bright ideas, which is a lot of what makes this project so great. Not every bright idea meshes well with WordPress community values or works on a global scale, though. The WordPress community programs — just like the WordPress 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. project as a whole — are open source, but they’re not “open commit.” Even if you are certain that your idea is a good one, it still might not work at a WordPress chapter meetup or WordCamp. By the way, there is a way to earn “commit-level access” on the community team — and it starts with becoming a community deputy.
  3. And other things.  There are other things, too, but those all come up in orientations and in our handbook (they’re outlined in the 5 Good Faith Rules for meetups, and Should You Be An Organizer? and Representing WordPress docs in the WordCamp organizer handbook). To summarize, it’s best not to try to establish a leadership position in WordPress for self-serving purposes, such as trying to make a profit off the local group or to promote your business or friends’ companies over other local businesses. Likewise, if your leadership approach includes hateful or very controlling behavior, this organization probably won’t be a good fit for you.

Share your thoughts

What do you think about this list of “get”s and “don’t get”s — does this help clarify the kind of personal return that contributors can reasonably expect for the time and attention they invest in our programs? What did you expect you’d get out of participating as a WordPress community organizer, and what did you actually get?

#community-expectations