Application Review

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Reviewing Applications

The first step for organizing a WordCamp or getting a Meetup group added to the chapter program is an application. To get started reviewing applications, you’ll need the following things:

Conduct some research and do some interviewing, see if that applicant is a good fit for a community leadership position, whether they would organize good Meetup events, and how active their local community is currently.

  1. 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.
  2. Check the applicant’s presence online: Look for how long the person has worked with WP, if the person has any trademark or GPL violations, and how active the person is in the local community. Check all social media including LinkedIn, Meetup, Twitter, Facebook,, and personal blogs. Especially be on the lookout for anything that indicates bigoted or discriminatory behavior.
  3. Check any background you can in Support Press/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.
  4. 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.
  5. Did they have a role in last year’s camp? We now have a two-year rule. Lead organizers need to step back after two years.  If this organizer has been leading two years in a row, let them know.  They can still be on the team, they just can not lead.
  6. 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.

Things you want to know in the end:

  1. Is the person community-oriented?
    1. Keep an eye out for people who seem to want to lead for recognition or business purposes.
    2. Keep an eye out for people who want to have very closed groups or events.
    3. 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 people?
    1. The community is open to all races, genders, creeds, and ages. Organizers should support that idea with their words and deeds.
    2. 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.
    3. 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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Meetup Things to Look For

  1. Prospective organizers who don’t know about an existing local community should be introduced to that existing community rather than starting a new one.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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WordCamp Things to Look For

  1. 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.
  2. 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 if you are outside North America. This, however, can get you started. Feel free to copy and paste it into your Staff Note in Help Scout 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):


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
    • Facebook groups as well
  • LinkedIn
  • .org profile
  • GitHub profile
  • personal site
  • business site
  • check for WP activity on
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Instagram


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


  • organizer name
  • organizer email address
  • group location
  • WordCamp Location



  • .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 conduct is posted.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • No previous Help Scout history

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

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Next Steps

After vetting a WordCamp or meetup, update the Help Scout ticket and tracker page as described here.

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