Overview of Casual Online Gatherings

Outside of the more official online gatherings that WordCamps and meetupsMeetup 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. offer, the community at large has embraced some creative ways to gather more casually to talk through ideas, create a sense of belonging, and more. If you’re interested in holding these kinds of sessions or joining in, this overview is for you! Before diving in, it’s recommended you join WordPress slack as well since most of these sessions are wrangled there.

Types of Sessions

These sessions range from community building to information sharing. Read over each to get a sense of what might work best for you.

Coffee Breaks

Both the Documentation and Marketing teams have been experimenting with virtual coffee breaks to help welcome new members and build a sense of community amongst the team at large. These are casual, come as you are sessions to get to know each other and to get to know the wider team. You don’t have to drink coffee to join the fun! Anyone is welcome to join and each team has their own approach for announcing:

Scavenger Hunts

The marketing team has led the way here with fun, creative ideas including an online scavenger hunt. In this case, they simply setup a form for people to fill out, reminded people in the month leading up to join in, and sent out a link for people to join at the time of the event. This is a neat way to do something different and create some classic team bonding from afar.

Hallway Hangouts

We’ve all likely had that moment at an in person event where you’re moving in between sessions during a break and you run into someone you know pausing in the hallway to share a design, think together about a complex technical problem, talk through the latest proposal, or simply catch up. Hallway Hangouts are meant to help replicate this aspect of WordCamps that many are missing. Here’s more information:

These sessions can range from chit chatting about a topic, pair programming, giving a demo, and more.

Twitch Streams

Turns out Twitch is no longer just for gamers to livestream themselves! If you haven’t yet explored Twitch think of it as the ultimate live streaming platform. Currently, there are a few community members running Twitch streams and you can expect to see them sharing when they are starting up in the community slack channels. These streams cover everything from what it’s like to be a coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. contributor to design jam sessions.

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General Best Practices

  • Try to align as best as you can with an already active team in the project. If you aren’t aligned, please try to have a team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts. from a relevant team there.
  • Share when the session will be ahead of time and set expectations early. The earlier you share, the better chance people have to join.
  • Keep the session under an hour ideally to be respectful of time.
  • Be thoughtful about what format it will be in and make sure the format is known ahead of time. It’s never fun to join something not aware of what format it’ll be in!
  • Recap what was covered appropriately whether that’s in a 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/ issue, a recap Make post, or a message in 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/.. This helps include those who couldn’t make it and helps preserve whatever was discussed.
  • Change what time of day you hold sessions so different community members have the chance to join.
  • Password protect and manage who can get in (resharing from this post) to prevent any mishaps.
  • Avoid holding sessions at the same time as community meetings so people aren’t having to pick and choose favorites.

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