Application Review

We are currently updating the names of our contributor roles throughout our resources. The new role names are Community Team Event SupporterEvent Supporter Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. (formerly MentorEvent Supporter Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues.), Community Team Program SupporterProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. (formerly DeputyProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook.), and Program ManagerProgram Manager Program Managers (formerly Super Deputies) are Program Supporters who can perform extra tasks on WordCamp.org like creating new sites and publishing WordCamps to the schedule. (formerly Super DeputyProgram Manager Program Managers (formerly Super Deputies) are Program Supporters who can perform extra tasks on WordCamp.org like creating new sites and publishing WordCamps to the schedule.).

In this page you will find a step-by-step guide to review event applications.

Reviewing Applications

The first step for organizing a WordPress event or getting a MeetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. group added to the chapter program is an application. To get started reviewing applications, you’ll need the following things:

  • Help Scout access
  • Event tracker access
  • The internet
  • Some stellar searching skills

Conduct some research and do some interviewing, see if that applicant is a good fit for a community leadership position. 

  1. Check if it is worth it to go through the entire vetting process.
    1. If applying for a new Meetup, check if there is already an active Meetup in the same city. If there is, use the saved reply Existing Meetup (Applicant Not Aware) on HelpScout, and update the tracker status as “declined”.
    2. If applying for a 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., check if they already were Leads in the past 2 WordCamps. Lead organizers need to step back after two years. If this organizer has been leading two years in a row, let them know by using the saved reply WORDCAMP: Third event in a row for lead organiser on HelpScout, and update the tracker status as “declined”.
  2. Check any background you can in Help Scout. Look for unusual email conversations, lack of response, and anything else that might indicate inappropriate behavior. Feel free to ask the Community Team if there is a ModWatch or additional history you should know about.
  3. Check the applicant’s dot org profile. Look for activity in the support forums, any contributor badges, and how long the applicant has been a member. If you see an alert icon from the support team (ModWatch), it might indicate that the applicant has been involved in some forum incidents. In this case, ask for guidance in your Supporter 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.
  4. Check the applicant’s presence online. Look for how long the person has worked with WP, if the person has any trademark or GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. violations, and how active the person is in the local community. Check all social media including LinkedIn, Meetup, Twitter, Facebook, about.me, and personal blogs. Especially be on the lookout for anything that indicates bigoted or discriminatory behavior.
  5. If it’s a WordCamp application:
    1. Check the applicant’s local community. Look for local WordPress activity on Meetup and Facebook. Make sure it is healthy and happy and without signs of ownership; for example, running the user group/meetup for the organizers’ personal gain rather than for the benefit of the overall community. Good leadership is key when looking for organizers.
    2. Is the person a first time lead? Check to see who was lead last year and contact them before approving the applicant. This allows us to get feedback from the prior lead (who may have stepped back due to the two-year rule) and involves them in the process.

What you want to know in the end:

  1. Is the person community-oriented?
    • Keep an eye out for people who seem to want to lead for recognition or business purposes.
    • Keep an eye out for people who want to have very closed groups or events.
    • Generally look out for people who talk about organizing events and groups as a tool or means for personal gain rather than as something that is giving back to the community.
  2. Are they good examples of the Five Good Faith rules?
    • The community is open to all races, genders, creeds, and ages. Organizers should support that idea with their words and deeds.
    • Keep an eye out for bad publicity. While applicants do not have to be well-known in their local community to become part of this global community, they should at least not be infamous.
    • Trust your gut sometimes. Just because you can not put your finger on what makes you feel uncomfortable, it does not mean something is not there.

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When Reviewing a Meetup Application

  • Prospective organizers who don’t know about an existing local community should be introduced to that existing community rather than starting a new one.
  • Feelings of disdain or negativity toward the local community will not serve people well as a leader in the long run. Talk to people about why they feel the need to start a group given those feelings.
  • If the person’s entire social presence is focused on their business or the company they work for, be sure to ask questions that get at the heart of why they want to volunteer for the community.

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When Reviewing a WordCamp Application

  • If there is no local community or an inactive community, then the organizers should be directed to start a local group and re-apply after 4 to 6 months.
  • If the organizer is not very involved in the local community, have them recruit more community members for the organizing team and then get back to you with that list before approval.

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 Review Checklist

The list below is a starting point to begin your application review. Not all of these places will be used in all instances. Additional sites might need to be checked depending on the Country. This, however, can get you started. Feel free to copy and paste it into your Note in Help Scout,or in the private notes on the Tracker if you have access, so you have something to reference. There is also a Saved Reply on Help Scout called ‘NOTE: Vetting list’ that you can use—which provides a similar list below and has some examples per section.

Places to check/vet organizer(s):

HELP SCOUT

  • organizer name
  • organizer email address
  • group location
  • event location

SEARCHES

  • WordPress Meetup + LOCATION
    • Make sure the location is a city, not a region.
  • ORGANIZER + WordPress

ONLINE PRESENCE

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • .org profile
    • https://profiles.wordpress.org/PROFILENAME
  • GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ profile
  • personal site
  • business site
  • check for WP activity on Meetup.com
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Example:

RED FLAGS

  • .org profile has been around since 2010 but has zero activity
  • The group is semi-closed; members do not need approval, but content is not visible unless you are a member. Some of the Five Goodfaith Rules are posted, although no code of conductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia is posted.

ONLINE PRESENCE

  • Twitter presence is very infrequent, but mostly WordPress. Nothing offensive or bigoted.
  • Facebook is equally infrequent, but more opinion/political stances. Again, nothing noticeably offensive or bigoted. Nothing that incites violence or bad behavior from others.
  • Facebook groups are almost entirely marketing related (applicant owns/operates an SEO company)
  • Linkedin is entirely business focused. No mention of WordPress, though.
  • .org profile has been around since 2010 but has zero activity
  • Personal site is only a contact form.
  • Business site is SEO-specific and has no WordPress trademark or GPL violations. Applicant does not distribute any tools or services that the GPL would apply to.
  • Meetup group was created the day before the application was sent. The group is semi-closed; members do not need approval, but content is not visible unless you are a member. Some of the Five Goodfaith Rules are posted, although no code of conduct is posted. No events yet, so be sure to check what the plan is.
  • Google Plus has no posts. Basically being used as a Local search tool.
  • YouTube has one video and no activity other than that.

SEARCHES

  • There are a few groups nearby, but they are across the river from Nyack.
  • Not active in contributing to the project, but clearly has been interested in working with WordPress for many years.

HELP SCOUT

  • No previous Help Scout history

You can use the following spreadsheet to speed up the vetting process:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10P1M-P0wWUIBFzPbR-c2xxOMwLEZAuBcvE_pFMzm8LE/edit#gid=1314661118

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Next Steps

After vetting an application, update the Help Scout ticket and tracker page as described here for WordCamp applications, and here for Meetup applications.

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Most Common Cases – Quick step-by-step guide

Meetup

  1. Review the application and save your notes to the Meetup tracker
  2. Reply to the applicant using the saved replies
    1. If everything looks good and the applicant is connected to the WP ecosystem, invite them to an orientation, using the template: MEETUP: Orientation Scheduling (DEFAULT) [status on tracker -> Needs Orientation/Interview]
    2. If everything looks good but the applicant is unfamiliar with WP, use the template: MEETUP: Applicant unfamiliar with WordPress but want to encourage [status on tracker -> Awaiting Feedback; tag -> Needs training]
    3. If it’s not a person but a company to apply, decline the application, using the template: MEETUP: Decline Company Application [status on tracker -> Declined]
    4. If there is already an active official meetup in the same city, decline the application and invite applicant to join the active group, use the template: MEETUP: Join existing group [status on tracker -> Declined]
    5. If the information provided in the application is not enough to make a decision, ask for more information, using the template: MEETUP: Request for more information [status on tracker -> Awaiting Feedback; tag ->More Info Requested]
    6. If the application is duplicated (same applicant sent multiple applications by mistake), trashTrash Trash in WordPress is like the Recycle Bin on your PC or Trash in your Macintosh computer. Users with the proper permission level (administrators and editors) have the ability to delete a post, page, and/or comments. When you delete the item, it is moved to the trash folder where it will remain for 30 days. the additional application (don’t cancel or decline them!)
  3. Paste the HS link to the tracker, updated the last contact date and user, and update the status

There might be many other specific cases, for most of them there is a dedicated template on HelpScout. You can find them all here. In case of doubt, please feel free to ask in the #community-program-supporters channel on Slack at any time.

WordCamp

  1. Review the application and save your notes to the Meetup tracker
  2. Reply to the applicant using the saved replies
    1. If everything looks good and the applicant is connected to the local community, invite them to an orientation, using the template: WORDCAMP: Schedule orientation [status on tracker -> Needs Orientation/Interview]
    2. If applicant looks good but there is no local Meetup, decline and use the template: WORDCAMP: Applicant – Start a meetup [status on tracker -> Declined]
    3. If applicant doesn’t know about the local Meetup, decline the application, using the template: WORDCAMP: Applicant doesn’t know about local meetup [status on tracker -> Declined]
    4. If applicant and co-organizers work for the same company, ask for more info, and use the template: WORDCAMP: Applicant Q23 – We work for the same company [status on tracker -> More Info Requested]
    5. If applicant doesn’t live in the same city of the proposed WC, decline the application, using the template: WORDCAMP: Applicant does not live in the city as the proposed WordCamp [status on tracker -> Declined]
    6. If the application is duplicated (same applicant sent multiple applications by mistake), trash the additional application (please don’t cancel or decline them!)
  3. Paste the HS link to the tracker with the notes and update the status.

There might be many other specific cases, for most of them there is a dedicated template on HelpScout. You can find them all here. In case of doubt, please feel free to ask in the #community-program-supporters channel on Slack at any time.

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Quick step-by-step video tutorial for application review

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