Community Team Chat Agenda | Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Hello Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 15 November 2018. Meeting times are detailed below. We use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.

Asia-Pac / EMEA friendly Thursday, November 15, 2018, 11:00 UTC

Americas friendly Thursday, November 15, 2018, 20:00 UTC

Deputy check-in

What have you been doing and how is it going?

P2 posts needing review/feedback

  • WordCamp US 2018 – Get Involved Table – As always we are going to have a Get Involved table at WordCamp US. If you can staff the table for a few hours please leve your name in the file
  • WordCamp Blocks: Round 1 Designs – After a fruitful conversation about all the blocks that we could use to replace shortcodes in the WordCamp websites, the first round of designs is here!
  • Discussion: Logos in WordCamp Videos – A few days ago a question in the Community Events channel sparked this post, please leave your feedback about sponsor logos in WordPress.tv frames
  • Proposed 2019 Global Community Sponsorship Program – The Global Community Sponsorship working group has a proposal, please read, leave feedback. Especially if you have been a global sponsor or are considering becoming one.

Highlighted P2 posts

Should WordCamp Websites Publish Sponsor-Provided Content?

There’s an interesting discussion happening around the WordCamp Seattle 2018 website. The organizers recently published two blog posts written by sponsors:

As I was reflecting on conversations about this with some friends in the community, this Guardian newspaper headline showed up in my news feed:

“‘It’s not a billboard’: anger at use of Sydney Opera House for ads”

That’s sort of how I feel about WordCamp websites. They should showcase the event, not serve as a place to host sponsor content-marketing copy. (For the record, I’m not actually angry about this – just curious about others’ thoughts on the issue.)

The WordPress-event ecosystem offers a refreshing retreat from the world of commerce. Yes, WordCamps and meetups accept sponsor contributions and let companies exhibit at their events. But the stated intent of the sponsorship program is to let companies support the event, not to get traditional quid-pro-quo marketing benefits.

These posts feel different to me than an organizer-written post about a sponsor, or a video interview with them (as we did in Seattle last year). Like giving them the keys to the car instead of a ride to the store.

I don’t recall seeing posts like this on other WordCamp websites. But then I haven’t done a thorough search.

Have other WordCamps published posts like these?

I see a few potential problems with providing sponsors with this publishing opportunity:

  • placement of native advertising on a WordCamp website seems to me to go counter to stated community intent about sponsorship benefits
  • if this became a standard practice, every sponsor might expect a similar benefit and WordCamp sites could get overwhelmed with sponsor content requests
  • if sponsors placed the same post on multiple WordCamp websites, the sites and sponsors could face the SEO issues that can arise from duplicate content
  • it might require WordCamp.org to take on additional publishers’ liability, editorial oversight, etc.

I can also see some benefits:

  • it gives WordCamp websites free content
  • it could serve as an additional sponsor benefit, like an exhibit table or event shout-out
  • it could augment the information that exhibiting sponsors share at their tables

A couple of other community deputies asked me to elaborate on our conversation about this topic on the MakingWP Slack. I’d love to hear what @remediosgraphic, @francina, and others think.

I’ve also talked a lot over the past few years with several WordPress event sponsors about these kinds of issues and hoping some of them share their thoughts, too.

Proposal to Increase the Maximum Ticket Price for WordCamps

In order to make WordCamp 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.

Input Requested: “Building A Diverse Speaker Roster” Document

Hello! The Diversity Outreach Speaker Training group is creating a document for WordPress Meetups and WordCamps entitled: “Building A Diverse Speaker Roster.”

Before we post it in the handbook, we would like to get your feedback on it, please.

Deadline: 11:59pm Pacific time Sunday, Sept 23 (6:59am UTC Monday, Sept 24)

I am posting the content below. You can make suggestions by commenting on this post or by doing it directly in the Google doc:
https://t.co/I9kqujqHpq


Document: “Building A Diverse Speaker Roster”

Lack of Diversity

Have you noticed that there is mainly one kind of speaker at your WordPress events?

It is a common phenomenon in technology for those who belong to the major population of an area to become the ones to do most of the public speaking. Those who do not fit into that group have many reasons not to step up to speak, – for example, they may not view themselves as belonging to that group, or they may not believe they have anything of value to contribute. As a result, the kinds of speakers at tech events – in our case WordPress events – can frequently become homogeneous.

In North America, for example, many speakers at WordPress events are young, white, cisgender, straight men. There are so many other voices that aren’t being heard as much: women, non-binary and trans folk, genderqueer folk, LGBTQ+, people of colour, people of various physical abilities, people with varying mental health, folks who are older, etc.

Why?

Why does it matter who is at the front of the room speaking?

  1. The audience is not represented by the speakers

Many WordPress events are successfully expanding the kinds of folks who are in the audience. For example, there have been more women-identifying WordPress event attendees in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal, Canada. That doesn’t mean that everyone in the audience is reflected in the speaker roster – a different group may feel like they don’t belong there. But there are many folks with a wide range of knowledge to share and everyone can feel included.

  1. Users are not represented by the speakers

WordPress is amazing in that it is open source and so all sorts of people use it. We want a more fair representation of our users among the people who are speaking.

  1. Our speakers help shape our technology

One of the ways in which WordPress is being shaped is by the people who speak about it publicly. Many diverse folks, by nature of having had different life experiences, would approach problems differently. Just as how a developer’s point of view is different from a user’s point of view, so are our viewpoints vs the standard speaker. Many people have experiences that aren’t necessarily being shared right now.

  1. Diverse technology needs

If only one kind of person is speaking about the technology, they may be missing key issues that don’t affect them but would prevent other kinds of folks from having the same, positive experiences and success. Size of text and color contrast are two simple, but significant examples. There is much more that can be considered if folks who are affected have the opportunity to speak up.

  1. Unique perspectives benefit everyone

Different kinds of people bring in different kinds of ideas that benefit everyone. A famous example in the physical world is the curb cuts that were first installed to help disabled veterans in the 1940s. They turned out to benefit many more people than the group for which they were originally intended.

By bringing in more diverse people, there’s also an increased chance of bringing in folks who straddle several roles, thus creating unique things with unique perspectives. Power users who use technology in interesting ways, front-end developers, business people who use plugins to make specific kinds of sites, typographers who use WordPress to do cool things with typography… People to talk about running a business in WordPress, how developers can communicate with designers, different things you can do with WordPress… etc.

Now that you know why it is a great idea to build up a diverse speaker roster, let’s look at some challenges in doing so and some potential solutions.

None In My Community

There are no diverse folks in my community

  • There are no diverse people coming out to your events, and you don’t know any personally who do WordPress.

Solutions:

  • Ask your network for folks they know of those groups who do WordPress that they could introduce you to.
  • Find those communities in your area – online and in person. Try to form genuine, friendly relationships with members so that they can then help you reach the WordPress enthusiasts in their communities.

None applied to speak

No diverse people have applied to speak for my event

  • There are diverse folks who do WordPress in your community, yet they are not applying to be speakers.

Solution: Ask them directly. They may tell you their reasons they wish not to and if they do, listen. The following replies can help. See the next few points.

Nothing to talk about

I ask them directly and they say no because they think they have nothing to talk about

  • Typically, when member of the dominant group of a region knows a little bit about a topic, they feel like they know enough to give a talk about it. Conversely, frequently when someone from an underrepresented group knows a little bit about a topic, they don’t feel they know enough to talk about it.
  • Thus, when we ask diverse people: “Would you like to apply to speak at our WordCamp?” we often get these two answers:
    • “What would I talk about?”
    • “I don’t know enough to give a talk,” or “I’m not an expert in anything”

Solutions:

  • Mentor them on the spot. Suggest things you know they could talk about. Explain that you don’t need how-tos but rather stories. Stories are more engaging for audiences. Everyone’s an expert in their own story. Ask if they have a good story about something that they’ve learned or mistakes they’ve made. If they feel they haven’t learned anything yet, one idea is to suggest that they take notes as they start to learn so that they can tell their story about it.
  • Run our Speaker Training [& Diversity Outreach] workshop that will help them see they have many things they could talk about, and also helps them through many other obstacles they may have currently to public speaking:
http://diversespeakers.info/


(Please tell us you’re running it so we can track how many trainings happen in a given year and/or request help with it here:

     http://tiny.cc/wpwomenspeak )

Nervous about public speaking

I ask and they say no because they don’t feel comfortable public speaking yet

  • They have no experience with public speaking or have had bad experiences with it and are not feeling comfortable doing it (but they do want to).

Solutions:

  • Small steps to build confidence are valuable. Suggest that they speak first to:
    • the mirror
    • a video camera
    • pets
    • friends and family
    • smaller Meetups
    • your local WordPress Meetup (before speaking at a WordCamp)
    • etc.

  • Suggest they be the moderator of a panel of a topic that they are interested in.
  • Suggest they give a lightning talk. Ten minutes is a great way to start.
  • Suggest they give a duo talk with someone who is a confident speaker.
  • Remind them that just about every public speaker is nervous, even if they don’t look like it!

Q&A

I ask and they say no because of the Q&A section

  • Handling the Q&A section is preventing them from being willing to speak

Solution:

  • Read through our info about that in our workshop material. We have solutions for:
    • Tricky questions
    • The smarty-pants
    • Unrelated questions
    • Silence
https://github.com/wptrainingteam/becoming-a-better-speaker#handling-qa
  • Let them know that they don’t have to have a Q&A section. Some speakers and events have done away with it.           

Being An Effective Ally

I want to help with diversity but I don’t know how.

You are in a position where you can offer to do more to help, and don’t know what to do.

Solution:

  • Offer to help them with their talk proposals. Their talk may be great, but if the proposal isn’t good, it won’t even be considered.
  • Offer to help them with crafting their talks and slides.
  • Offer to be a person they can rehearse with.
  • Read over our workshop materials at http://diversespeakers.info/ and use that info to help them.

Call For Diverse Speakers

How can we write our Call for Speakers in a way that encourages a diverse range of applicants?

  • You don’t know how to write up the speaker call-out on your WordCamp website to encourage more diverse applicants

Solutions:

  • Let them know they don’t need to be experts. You’re interested in all range of experiences. Everyone’s voice is valuable and interesting.
  • Encourage stories.
  • Encourage them to talk about anything in WordPress that they are passionate about. Remind them that non-technical talks are also welcome, such as users, community, design, marketing, and others.
  • Folks with impostor syndrome – which is more common amongst people of diversity – will self-select themselves out when they see words like these:
    • Rock star
    • Superhero
    • Ninja
    • Jedi
    • Guru
    • Genius

Use a tool like https://textio.com/ to make your writing more inviting for more people.

  • Be mindful of using photos throughout the site for your event that show different types of people so that it is clear that diverse people are welcomed at the event. Be sure to include them on the call for speakers page.

Accessible Events

What invisible things are preventing a more diverse group of people from attending and speaking at our events?

  • We don’t know what invisible things are preventing more kinds of people from attending and speaking at our events

Solutions:

  • Don’t use gendered words like:
    • Guys
    • Girls
    • Women
    • Men
    • Ladies
    • Gentlemen
    • Etc.
  • Instead opt for words such as:
    • Folks
    • People
    • Friends
    • Assembled guests
    • Colleagues
    • Esteemed colleagues
    • Y’all
    • Guests
    • Esteemed Guests
    • Collaborators
    • My companions
    • Partners
    • All assembled
    • etc.
  • Offer childcare.
  • Have the event at different times that work for people with families. Don’t hold them all at 9pm at night. Weekend afternoons may work. Ask those with children what works for them.
  • Elevators and ramps rather than stairs.
  • Washrooms:
    • Have washrooms that are trans friendly
    • Have single stall toilets available for trans women who may prefer it and for non-binary folk.
    • Washrooms that are power wheelchair accessible
  • Request no one wear scents for the folk who are allergic.
  • Live captioning.
  • Sign language interpreters.
  • Pronouns on your name badges so that people who don’t use the binary pronouns feel welcome. One suggestion is to make this optional so that folks who don’t feel comfortable outing their pronouns in public yet won’t feel obliged, and those who don’t feel comfortable without proper pronouns will feel included with the majority of folks sharing theirs.
  • Not everyone may want their photos online. It could be for personal reasons or even in some cases, safety reasons. Allow a way for people to opt out of being photographed, such as having a different color lanyard.
  • Anything else you can think of that expands the kind of person who can speak at and come to your event.

Following these suggestions will help in the road to including more people; that kind of radical inclusion creates an amazing space of respect and innovation for everyone.


Thank you in advance for your help!

#wpwomenspeak

Idea: Meetup Recap P2

How about creating a new P2 for any meetup organizers to post event recaps/reports?

Japanese local groups used to post event recaps on wordbench.org (e.g., https://wordbench.org/category/tokyo)
Now that the site is shutting down, I realized I don’t have a good place to write a blog post about the event we just had last weekend.

I think it would be great if we had a P2 dedicated to meetup (and WordCamp too?) organizers where they can share event recaps in their language.

make.wordpress.org/events/? /meetups/? or any other URL?

Pros:

  • Recaps posted on the P2 will stay there permanently
  • Meetup organizers don’t have to maintain their own blog/site but can still write a blog post
  • It promotes sharing of ideas among the global network of organizers
  • I personally want to read more about & see photos of other WordPress Meetups! Having a central place to do so would be great (Remember the WP15 Live page? It’s like that but with blog posts)

Cons:

  • Meetup groups that already run their blog/site will have an additional place to post (solution: have them post or comment with a URL to the post on their site)
  • Some groups may be ok with just using Meetup.com features; if there aren’t enough organizers to blog on the new P2, some of the pro points are missed
  • It may become a bit chaotic to have a single P2 with posts in multiples languages (but why not? 🙂 Google Translate can help us read them too)

@pskli said on Slack (thanks for the feedback):

Having an official platform for publishing Meetup material, just like Meetup.com for organization, would be really smart

and being able to see “what’s happening in the WP meetup groups all around the world” would be inspiring and a great resource for organizers I guess

What do you all think?

Call for volunteers: Contributor Drives Document

Hi Team

we have been contacted by Angela Jin, who is putting together some documentation for small scale contributor drive events for individual Make WordPress teams.

The goal is to create a how-to resource which hopefully will make organising contributor drives an easier process for everyone involved .

This documentation will consist of:

  1. A “Contributor Drive Community Team Overview”, which will provide information about your team and the projects available for contributor drives
  2. A general “Contributor Drive Overview” that introduces what contributor drives are and how to organize one.

Feedback from the Community Team is needed to identify projects within the Community Team that are suitable for contributor drives: we should be also able to explain how each project fits into the overall team goals, what steps contributors would need to take to tackle the project, as well as what resources/tools/skills contributors need to do so.

Angela is working on a document and it would be great if someone within the team could lead this effort.

If someone is interested in working on this, please say so in the comments 🙂

Thanks!

#contributor-day, #contributor-meetup, #contributors

Proposal: how to use this blog for discussions and task management

Re-reading I think I made the mistake of bringing two topics in the same post 🙁 Right now I think we should mostly focus on streamline how we use this blog more efficiently and go back to see if we had some good ideas that got lost in time. Then we’ll work on the task management and Trello and what not… Bear with me 🙂 Sometime I do get completely OT

Last summer I started keeping a record of all the posts here in our blog because I had this nagging sensation that a lot of the things that we post fall a little bit between the cracks.

I also proposed to use a Trello board to follow project work within the team because sometimes we set out to do something and we get a bit lost on the way.

Both these behaviour are completely normal, who doesn’t have a to-do list half checked? The thing is, as a team, we don’t really have a to-do list that is shared with all the team members. Some of us have their own to-do list of things that they are doing for the Community Team but:

  • It’s nice to share and be as transparent as possible within the team
  • If you share what you are working on and your progress, people might join you to help out
  • During the years we discussed some ideas in our blog than were never transformed into actions

With these three things in mind, I would like to propose to:

  1. do a “task sprint” to abandon or move forwards with ideas we have entertained during the years and are somehow stuck in a limbo
  2. put together best practices to become more efficient in the future with how we propose things here, work on them, share progress, complete or abandon the tasks

Tasks Sprint

I spent a few hours analysing the posts in out blog since August 2015, added some comments, catalogued them as Announcements, Solved, Ongoing.

You can find the spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14QMlfvqX1U6OtdCB-tXP16l4LIcjx2F39kA00ao9tJg/

To my pleasant surprise the number of solved and ongoing issues is basically the same, so yay!

I think it would be great if each one of us, that has posted here in the past two years, would take time to:

  • Go through the list of your posts
  • If the proposal/issue/call for feedback is solved, please post a comment that summarises the comments, if needed, or says what is the result of the discussion: maybe we created a tool, a plugin, we gave the green light to a new event, etc… You can do so by using the Top Comment functionality
  • If the post is not solved, ask yourself:
    • Do you have the bandwith, passion, urgency, and energy to carry on? If yes, please commit to revive the discussion somehow: ping people that showed interest, post it in the community-events or community-team channel in Slack and look for other people that are passionate about this, post on your social media channels to recruit help. If necessary post an update in the blog, add the task to Trello (more on that later). Basically, take it to the end-zone!
    • If the answer is no, please also post it in the Top Comment
  • In both cases, please update the Google Spreadsheet with the open issues

Deadline: July 22nd. I will bring this up in the next three Team chats 🙂

How to manage this in the future

Obviously manually checking for new posts, writing comments, etc… is not a sustainable way to move forward with our projects.

So here is what I propose to do to streamline our task management/discussion process.

  • Write a post on how to post in the blog (how meta!) and make it Sticky
    • We will probably need to address the category/tag issue that comes up regularly so people can also add this information to the posts
    • We should use a standardised way to introduce the posts so casual readers know if this information is relevant to them in this particular moment. We also discussed this in the past and we need to formalise it
    • Will you look at that! I made a first draft 🙂 It’s open for comments, but if you want to be able to make suggestions just ask for access.
  • When people post, especially for the first few times, let’s help them follow the procedure: if any of the experienced deputies sees that the post is missing something, please help the poster out
  • Discussion follows and there are three possible outcomes:
    1. No replies, the topic for some reason, any reason, doesn’t get any traction. After the deadline (which should always be included in the post), the author can post a Top Comment to close this.
    2. Yay replies, one person is capable to moving forward with the task on their own. They’ll finish up with whatever they proposed to do and post a Top Comment to close the discussion and report on the decisions/actions. I am thinking for example of a discussion like this one.
    3. Yay replies, complex task… hello team project! If the idea gets traction, people weigh in but to turn it into reality you need a group of people, this is where Trello comes into play!

Trello

I created a Trello board after we agreed we would try it to manage more complex tasks and projects. So this is not to keep track of ongoing tasks like HS triage, vetting, orienting, etc… but for things that need to be split into subtasks and would benefit from a group of people working on it.

This is a work in progress and we probably need to review the guidelines to use it as well. So far I just copy/pasted the text from the Marketing team and I will try to get this going before our first July chat.

Examples

Changes in documentation

Often we discuss things in our channels and we say “Oh! This should be added to documentation” and sometimes we don’t follow through. Let’s have an open card “Changes in Handbook”, whenever we say this, let’s add the link to the Slack chat or any other link so we don’t forget about this. In this way we don’t rely on one person to do that, but anyone with access to the Community website can make the change and mark it as done.

Meetup Organisers Roundtable

This wonderful experiment has the potential to become a monthly appointment for the Community organisers out there, but it can not rely only on one person. With Trello, Birgit can add tasks, check what has been done, have a group of people working with her, etc

All right, cut to the chase, what do you want from us?

  • Agree or disagree with the proposal in the comments
  • Go through your open threads and try to solve them, one way or another before July 22nd
  • Read the draft I prepared with best practices for posting
  • Evaluate Trello for your Community projects

Thank you!

Recap of the community team efforts at WordCamp Europe Contributor day.

A brief recap of our efforts at #WCEU contributor day:

  1. The Diversity Outreach Speaker Training group wrote some documentation and worked on videos with the TV team
  2. We welcomed two new WordCamp mentors 😉
  3. There was a meeting of the WordCamp Nordic group. If you want to get involved in WordCamp Nordic, please join us in the #community-events channel on WordPress.org Slack
  4. After a first round of online round tables for meetup organisers, we started work on putting together a second round.
  5. The team spent time working on documentation that are incomplete or don’t already exist.
  6. We had initial conversations with potential new meetup groups
  7. Thanks to some new community team members, we started working on diagrams for our many processes

 

Discussion: should Community Self-Training be mandatory?

Hello team!

In the past three years I have been part of different community events and lately I have found that some people involved aren’t very aware of the guidelines we set in our program.

This could happen in a number of cases

  1. WordCamp organisers who are not the lead, so they don’t go through the handbook, because they expect the lead to read it and provide answers
  2. Meetup organisers that joined after the initial orientation, held only with the main organiser from a group
  3. In general, people that are doing awesome work in their local community (Meetups, Contributor Days, Hackatons, etc…) without being aware of the Community team resources
  4. Deputies that were inactive for a while

In the Meetup case (2) I think it might be enough for the team member that went through orientation to give the orientation to the new members every time someone else comes on board.

I wonder if the self-training should be made mandatory for the othe cases.

Pros

Everyone is on the same page

Cons

We don’t have many people grading the quizzes

What do you think?

Deadline to comment is May 18 so we can discuss this during the next two Community chats.

WordCamp Volunteer Guidelines relating to GPL

In the comments on this post a point was raised that warrants further discussion:

A person works for a marketplace that sells non-GPL WordPress products. They want to help organize or volunteer at a WordCamp.

When vetting all Volunteers for a WordCamp we use the 100% GPL vetting checklist and the GPL Primer We define Volunteers as organizers, speakers, and volunteers. We have a belief that our events should reflect the core projects beliefs and philosophies, especially with regard to the GPL. Anyone associated with WordCamps in a Volunteer role is our representative. It is important that they reflect the projects values. We look at all Volunteers and review and WordPress derivative products and ensure that they are GPL. If not, we ask them if they can change the license to GPL. If they cannot, they cannot be a Volunteer at a WordCamp.

In the Comments a comment thought was repeated:
@stephencronin

link Personally I think I should be judged on my own software, which is all 100% GPL, rather than my choice of employer.

@jdembowski

link I think individuals who work at such a marketplace should be able to organize, participate, get involved etc. as long as they are representing themselves and not their company.

My employers do not exist within the WordPress realm so that’s easy for me to write. It just does not come up and when I participate in support at an event, it’s just me.

But if my employer was against opensource (they’re not, I checked), I don’t want my participation to be evaluated on that basis. My involvement as an individual contributor should be an option.

 

@hlashbrooke

link there are two key things to bear in mind here:

The current rule that requires all WordCamp organisers, speakers, sponsors and volunteers to be 100% GPL compatible, extending to the company that they work for, is one that we cannot currently make an exception for. That’s how it is at the moment and individual exceptions cannot be made right now. Which brings me to the second key point…
While I think I can safely say that we will never change the rule that individuals must be GPL compatible in their personal capacity, there is a valuable discussion to be had with regards to how we handle individuals who are personally compatible, but their employer is not. This is the case that @stephencronin explained above with his employment at Envato. As @kcristiano has stated, this is a discussion better held in a dedicated post and I think it is a discussion that we need to have. I’m not sure what the outcome would be at this stage, but we definitely need to talk about it and make a firm decision that both upholds the principles of the WordPress project and remains as inclusive as possible.

I do agree with @hlashbrooke that we should take a look and decide how to handle individuals who are personally compatible with the GPL license, but work for a Company that is not. We’ll hold this post open until April 3rd for comments. Please chime in with your thoughts.

Link to Summary

 

#gpl