Email newsletter service selection: Announcement and Next steps

The Community team uses email newsletters sent through Meetup.com to connect with 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. organizers. However, Meetup.com’s newsletter service can be unreliable (with several pain points like non-delivery of emails, lack of formatting options, and other issues). Based on community feedback, we decided to start looking for a newsletter service for these emails. Upon finalizing the features and evaluating service providers, we have chosen Mailchimp as the newsletter service for Meetup newsletters going forward.

Why Mailchimp?

We picked Mailchimp from a list of 15 services that we had shortlisted, for the following reasons:

  • It met almost all of the features in our wishlist, including (and especially) a native Meetup.com integration, which makes it easy to send monthly meetup organizer newsletters and annual surveys.
  • Mailchimp offers Pay as you go pricing, which proved to be one of the cheapest choices from amongst the options. It will cost US$2500 for 2 million emails (valid for 12 months), which is more than sufficient for the needs of the program. We can also purchase credits for smaller amounts (starting at $100) to test things out.

Mailchimp is not without its cons. As @sippis reported after his research, it can also have email deliverability issues (with emails sometimes going to spam and the promotions/social tab in Gmail for people that use those tabs). Its user-interface can be confusing, and as users we will need to create email templates from scratch.

Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead with Mailchimp primarily due to the relatively affordable pricing and features, not to mention the native Meetup.com integration. If Mailchimp does not prove to be a good fit, we are open to trying out other platforms in the future. This will be especially easy considering that we are using the pay as you go pricing and not a recurring subscription.

What does this mean for Community members?

Only existing meetup organizers and community members who subscribed to Meetup.com emails will receive the emails. So for them, things will continue with emails as usual. We will be sending the next edition of the Meetup newsletter and other emails to the community using Mailchimp.

We typically send the following emails to Meetup groups:

  • One meetup organizer newsletter every month (12 emails per year). This email is sent only to meetup organizers (currently at ~2,000 members)
  • One annual survey sent out to all meetup group members (one email per year to all members). This email is sent out to  ~430,000 members of the meetup chapter program.
  • One annual survey sent out to all meetup group organizers (one email per year to all organizers). This email is sent out to  ~2,000 organizers in the meetup chapter program.

Additionally, we reach out to members of a particular meetup group in these exceptional cases:

  • To address a code of conduct violation.
  • In case the group is inactive, or if the existing organizer wants to step down, we reach out to members to see if they are interested in stepping up to organize meetups.  
  • In other circumstances where it is necessary to email a whole meetup group, or selection of groups.

Subscribers can opt-out of these emails at any point in time. If you would like to opt-out of emails (if you are either an organizer or a member), please follow the link in the emails (linked here as well) to do so. 

Addressing potential GDPR concerns

One of the most significant concerns that we heard from community members was about the legality of moving our subscribers over to a different service. We discussed this in detail with the WordPress Foundation’s legal team, and received  feedback that switching the vendor used to deliver newsletters for email services (where the recipients have opted in for emails) is entirely within the GDPR guidelines. 

Meetup organizers and community members have already signed up to receive emails through Meetup.com so there is no issue there. But as noted above, if members no longer wish to receive the emails, they are welcome to opt-out.

Action items

  • If you are a meetup organizer that has already subscribed to Meetup.com emails, you do not need to take any other steps if you want to receive these newsletters. You will continue getting emails as a meetup group member/organizer. 
  • If you would like to sign-up for these emails (or if you would like to check if you are signed-up), you can do so through the following form
  • If you would like to opt-out of these emails, or to check if you are already subscribed, you can do so by following this link.

Do you have any questions or concerns about the Meetup newsletter project? Let us know in the comments. If you have any sensitive feedback that you’d like to provide us, feel free to email us at support@wordcamp.org.

#newsletter #newsletter-service #mailchimp

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Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on September 9, 2020

Summary: Intermediate speaker series next week. We could use volunteers for it (both experienced in speaking and not). We have workshops going up on https://learn.wordpress.org/, posted on Wednesdays. We are going to use these workshops for October: people watch on their own time and join us for a few synchronous discussions. We are looking for more people to lead these discussions in the future.

Continue reading

#wpdiversity

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, 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. organizers, 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. wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team 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/. and ask for help!

Learn WordPress working group kick-off meeting recap

Slack meeting

In attendance:
@chaion07 @courane01 @hlashbrooke @rmarks @rickyblacker @sippis @adityakane

Purposes

Learn has three main focuses

  • Recorded workshops
  • Discussion groups based on the workshops
  • Lessons plan that people can use to teach others

Responsibilities for this group are:

  • Overseeing the development of the site, ensuring that the needed features are built in a timely manner.
  • Managing the workshop submission and review process.
  • Managing the discussion groups and working to keep them active and relevant.
  • Ensuring that the lesson plans remain up to date, and new ones are added as the need arises.
  • Seeking out contributors for all areas of the site – lesson plans, workshops, and discussion groups.
  • Planning and implementing enhancements to improve the experience and effectiveness of the platform.
  • Attending regular meetings 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/. to update on progress and engage in real-time discussions around the work being done.

Current State of Learn

Workshops

We currently have 7 workshops live on the site with the plan to release at least one a week going forward. There are 3 or 4 in the queue right now from the Speaker Diversity working group, as well as a few others who have been approved and we are waiting on their recordings

Discussion Groups

We have a dedicated meetup group for this with workshop presenters (and others!) running discussion groups about the workshop content. We could really do with more volunteer discussion group facilitators at this stage, but we’ll discuss that in a moment. 

Lesson Plans

We currently have 60 lesson plans published on the site that have been developed by the Training team and a whole bunch of dedicated volunteers. A visual breakdown can be found on the team’s GitHub repo. Those have been developed on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can 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/ and ported over to the Learn site. The state of what is ready to be live can be found on the team Trello.

Volunteers Needed

we need someone (from this group) to take a leadership role with managing the discussion group process – that would entail making sure each workshop has at least a couple of discussion groups scheduled, recruiting volunteers to facilitate the discussion groups (which could be the original workshop presenter, or could be anyone else) and reviewing applications for discussion group facilitators

Open Discussion

  • Lesson plans on GitHub being a barrier to contribute (directed to the Training team)
  • Slides for the lesson plans
  • Workshops need discussion group leaders
  • Learn site development handled by Meta team. Log issues at https://github.com/WordPress/learn/issues.
  • Consideration of using a learning management system on the Learn site https://github.com/WordPress/learn/issues/108

Lead Responsibilitites

  • @rmarks is taking lead on the workshop submission and review process
  • @courane01 is taking lead on managing the lesson plans (along with the #training team)
  • @sippis will be taking lead on managing the discussion groups

Additional ways to contribute

  • Assisting any of the leads in their work – can include getting workshop presenters, discussion group facilitators, and lesson plan contributors
  • Logging (and commenting on) issues for improving the site
  • Recruiting volunteers all round
  • Reviewing applications for workshop presenters and discussion group facilitators
  • Making decisions about the platform

Learn WordPress Working Group Kick-off Meeting Agenda | Friday, 4 September 2020

As previously announced, a working group is being formed to focus on the maintenance and management of Learn WordPress. The responsibilities of this group will include:

  • Overseeing the development of the site, ensuring that the needed features are built in a timely manner.
  • Managing the workshop submission and review process.
  • Managing the discussion groups and working to keep them active and relevant.
  • Ensuring that the lesson plans remain up to date, and new ones are added as the need arises.
  • Seeking out contributors for all areas of the site – lesson plans, workshops, and discussion groups.
  • Planning and implementing enhancements to improve the experience and effectiveness of the platform.
  • Attending regular meetings 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/. to update on progress and engage in real-time discussions around the work being done.

The individuals who volunteered for this working group are: @hlashbrooke, @courane01, @iignacio, @rmarks, @rickyblacker, @kpdaa, @adityakane, @manzwebdesigns, @chaion07 & @sippis

Our first meeting will take place on Friday, 4 September 2020 at 10:00am UTC in the #community-team channel in the Making WordPress Slack group (register for Slack here). The primary purpose of this meeting is for everyone to meet for the first time and to deicde what areas each individual will focus on. Here’s an agenda we will follow, but I expect plenty of discussion branching off this:

1. Welcome and introductions
Who’s in the group?

2. Group responsibilities
What are the group responsibilities and what do they each entail?

3. Volunteers for leadership roles
Are there any areas of team responsibility that you would like to take a leadership role in?

4. Next steps
What are we going to do next? How is Learn WordPress going to grow?

5. Next meeting
When will we meet again? What regular schedule would work well?

See you there!

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for September 2020

We’ve started working on the September 2020 edition of the 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. organizer newsletter. We would love to get some suggestions from you all for the content!

This newsletter typically includes:

  • An interesting event format that organizers might want to try
  • News about global community team projects
  • News about 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
  • News about upcoming online WordCamps or meetups, in the recent months.
  • Any relevant updates from the community team.

If there are any topics you’d like to see included, or if you’ve come up with or participated in any interesting meetup event formats that you think are worth highlighting, please share that with us in the comments on this post.

We’ll leave this post open for comments until Wednesday, September 9, and send the newsletter out on Friday, September 11. If any deputies are interested in helping us put together this newsletter, awesome! Just let us know in the comments.

#newsletter

Diverse Speaker Workshops Report – August 2020

The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) normally trains WordPress 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. organizers how to hold their own Diverse Speaker workshop in order to increase how many speaker applications they get from people from marginalized and underrepresented groups.

During the pandemic, the team is delivering the workshop to the global WordPress community online ourselves.

Each month, we are reporting at the tag #DiverseSpeakerWorkshopsReports how these workshops are going.

August 2020

August’s events consisted of a three-part workshop, one hour each day, three days in a row, and two open practise sessions.

Number who attended: 6
From number of cities: 6
From number of countries: 3 (Canada, United Kingdom, United States)

Number who attended all 3 workshops: 5
Number who attended 2 workshops: 1
Number who attended the open practise sessions: 0

Increase in public speaking confidence after taking the workshops: 38%

Testimonials

“Before taking the workshops, I didn’t have the confidence for public speaking. Thanks to these sessions, I can relax, gather my thoughts, and proceed with my presentation. I would recommend this workshop to people of color in the WordPress ecosystem. You belong here; its a no-judgment zone where you can find your authentic voice.”
– TC, Learner Advocate, @codebrother1

Thank you

A lot of people contribute to making these workshops successful. Thank you to each and every one!

September and October 2020 workshops

Love this? Come attend a workshop series!

In September, we are featuring intermediate public speaking topics and a training for meetup organizers in APAC/EMEA.

In October, we are running the regular series for people who are thinking about getting started speaking at WordPress events and a training for meetup organizers in AMER/EMEA.

https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/09/01/call-for-participants-diverse-speaker-workshops-september-2020/

#diversespeakerworkshopsreports, #wpdiversity

Community Team Chat Agenda | September 03 2020

Hello Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 03 September 2020. 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, September 03, 2020, 11:00 UTC

Americas friendly: Thursday, September 03, 2020, 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

  • Changes in WordCamp and Meetup Application tracker – Timi Wahalahti – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/20/changes-in-wordcamp-and-meetup-application-tracker/
  • Collecting and Reporting Stats for Learn WordPress Discussion Groups – Ryan Marks – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/21/collecting-and-reporting-stats-for-learn-wordpress-discussion-groups/
  • Achieving greater clarity when promoting Learn workshop discussion groups – Cami Kaos – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/21/achieving-greater-clarity-when-promoting-learn-workshop-discussion-groups/
  • WordCamps in 2019 – Timi Wahalahti – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/22/wordcamps-in-2019/
  • Learn WordPress Working Group: Call for Volunteers – Hugh Lashbrooke – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/24/learn-wordpress-working-group-call-for-volunteers/
  • Tuesday Trainings: taking a pause – Cami Kaos -https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/25/tuesday-trainings-taking-a-pause/
  • Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on August 26, 2020 – JIll Binder- https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/26/recap-of-the-diverse-speaker-training-group-wpdiversity-on-august-26-2020/
  • Meetup Group Inventory Work – Harmonyromo – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/28/meetup-group-inventory-work/
  • Call for participants: Diverse Speaker Workshops September 2020 – JIllbinder – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/09/01/call-for-participants-diverse-speaker-workshops-september-2020/
  • Announcement: Learn WordPress Orientations – Angela Jin – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/09/01/announcement-learn-wordpress-orientations/

Highlighted P2 posts

  • Learn WordPress is live. Yaay. Published by Hugh – https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/08/12/learn-wordpress-is-live/

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

Announcement: Learn WordPress Orientations

Now that Learn WordPress is live and the Community Team is working towards a full launch to announce the platform, we want to help everyone understand how they can participate and help improve and build Learn WordPress! To that end, we will have orientations to introduce the different ways volunteers can contribute to Learn WordPress, and steps to get involved. The orientation will cover:

  • What even is Learn WordPress?
  • How to present a workshop and workshop ideas
  • How to assist with reviewing submitted workshops
  • How to update and contribute new lesson plans
  • How to become a discussion group leader
  • How to organize a discussion group

If you would like to learn more about Learn WordPress or have any interest in participating, please join us for these orientations! We will host them four times a week in the #community-events channel on Slack, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 21:30 UTC, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 UTC. This is 30 minutes before our regular Office Hours, so there will be lots of opportunity to ask questions. 

These orientations will start tomorrow on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. We hope to see you there!