Deputy Discussions: Raising Concerns and Resolving Issues

We have more deputies on the Global Community Team than ever before, which is so fantastic! And of course, when any group welcomes new members, people start to notice where behavior and communication norms were assumed, rather than explained.

In this post I’ll outline some of the communication paths within the Deputy group that may have only been assumed in the past. Hopefully this will help deputies feel confident when addressing problems that might arise during their work with local community organizers or other deputies.

They say “when you see something, say something…” but to whom? And how?

There’s a lot of work being done on the Global Community Team, and no wonder — there are more WordPress meetups and WordCamps than ever! Luckily, we’ve got more and more deputies involved to help train and support community organizers.

We’re all human, though, and we all make mistakes. Plus, community admin work includes a number of subjective decisions. If you notice that another deputy missed a possible issue when vetting an application, or you happen to notice a community grant is surprisingly low, etc., don’t just shrug and keep on going — check in!  Here’s how:

First, check in directly with the person who did the work. On this team, we strive to ask questions first, in an effort to understand why something happened in a certain way. (This is a great way to find out if your assumptions are correct! Sometimes they’re not!)

Once you’ve gathered additional context, if you think someone made a mistake — or you disagree with their decision — remember to deliver that feedback courteously. Critical feedback is shared with the intent to help your teammate avoid making a mistake again in the future, and should be carefully phrased to avoid hurt feelings.

I encourage everyone on this team to follow a call-in approach, rather than a call-out approach. Over the years, I’ve found it’s more effective to give my fellow contributors a chance to answer questions and correct mistakes by communicating directly and cooperatively.

Whenever possible, avoid the call-out approach with members of the local communities that you’re advising/supporting. If you’ve approached a local community organizer to raise a concern and your feedback didn’t have the result you expected, it’s not appropriate to complain about (or to) the organizer(s) in a public space. Your best next step is to ask another deputy for help in conveying your message more effectively or strategizing another approach.

I checked in with someone, and we just don’t agree. Now what?

We’re a big team! People take on this deputy role because they are passionate about the way WordPress community is built. Lots of strong opinions around can lead to differences of opinion, and that’s okay.

If you have a difference of opinion with another deputy that you haven’t been able to work through directly with that person, the next step is to reach out to another member of the team for advice and feedback. If you’re part of a deputy mentorship group, reach out to your mentor and get their opinion. If you don’t agree with your mentor, here are other highly experienced deputies you can contact for advice, a second opinion, or to raise a concern with:

@francina, @hlashbrooke, @kcristiano, @camikaos, @bph, @_dorsvenabili, @andreamiddleton

I just don’t like the decision that the team has agreed on. What should I do?

Pretty much everyone on the global community team, including me, disagrees with a few team practices or past decisions. If you’re really struggling with a situation and don’t feel that you’re getting anywhere after talking to other deputies — including multiple people on the above list — then… you’re probably pretty upset, and having a hard time. At this point, it’s time for a few reminders, and then a few questions.

Reminders:

  1. This isn’t emergency work.
  2. No one is perfect.
  3. It’s hard for any one person to know all our expectations and best practices.
  4. Everyone is trying to do what’s best for WordPress (even when we don’t agree on what that is).  

And those questions:

  1. Does the outcome of this decision have an effect on the well-being of participants? And will the outcome be noticeable to attendees in particular?
  2. What is my ultimate goal?
  3. Is there a fundamental conflict between my personal values or goals, and the expectations for my contributor role?
  4. Can I “disagree and commit” here, or do I need to step away from this role*? (Is this issue/problem so important to me that I can’t continue to work cooperatively on this team because of this decision?)  

*It’s always ok to take a break from contributor work for a short or long time, for any reason. If you need to step away from a role in which a lot of people depend on you, for any reason other than an emergency, please give the team as much notice as possible so your responsibilities can be handed off gracefully.  

Feedback

What do you think?

  1. Did I accurately describe the way people on this team aspire to communicate about and resolve conflicts or concerns, or did I miss something?
  2. Are there any steps or expectations here that you think are confusing, unnecessary, or unwise?
#deputies

The 4 “Gets” in WordPress Community Organizing

People all over the world want to organize WordPress community events, which is humbling and exciting. This comes with a lot of responsibility for the global community team, which carefully reviews all applications and vets all applicants, before moving forward with them. Part of the global community team’s process when vetting applications is to find out what motivates aspiring WordPress leaders to sign up for a lot of hard (but fun!) work — to ensure that the applicant’s goals fit well with the team’s goals.

The  community organizer handbooks have lots of public information about how we suggest people achieve these goals (what the organizers will “give”), but doesn’t outline very clearly what our volunteers can reasonably expect in return for their work (what the organizers will “get”). While everyone knows that WordPress is made possible through volunteer time, that doesn’t mean there is no reciprocity — for everything that someone gives, there are things that they also receive.

In this post, I’d like to start a conversation about how we can better clarify expectations for new and experienced contributors in our group. Here’s my first attempt at explicitly outlining our volunteers’ main “get”s.

What WordPress community organizers get (for all their hard work)

  1. Impact. WordPress community events are promoted by the WordPress project and tap into resources that other tech events don’t have — like being marketed on the WordPress dashboard. WordPress community event organizers choose the topics that are shared at monthly and annual events,  and who will lead those conversations. Your choices affect who will feel comfortable in the spaces where people connect. WordPress events change lives, and your choices define what kind of change might happen, and for whom.
  2. Growth. Volunteers are given opportunities based mainly on their interests, not their experience. WordPress community organizers aren’t required to have organized an event, or have managed a team, before taking on a leadership role in their local communities. WordPress community event organizers have the opportunity to develop a broad array of skills: leadership, communications, design, logistics, marketing, fundraising, management… the list goes on. Every one of these skills can create opportunities in someone’s professional career or personal life.
  3. Training/Support. Learning to organize WordPress community events is a very open process, and unusually short compared to many other global volunteer programs. All of our training, documentation, best practices, and tools are produced by experienced organizers. And when organizers run into problems they don’t know how to handle, there is a team of experienced helpers available, practically all the time.
  4. Protection. Back before 2011, WordPress community organizers took on a lot of risk in their work — more than any other WordPress contributor. Event organizers experienced financial loss, inquiries from tax authorities, lawsuits, and other life-damaging problems as a result of unexpected things happening at/due to their events. Our current fiscal & logistical infrastructure shields our volunteers from financial and legal risks they might suffer when organizing WordPress community events.

Those are some pretty great things you can expect when joining this courageous team of leaders! But there are things that no one gets, or that only come with time or experience — and it’s important to call those out too.

What WordPress community organizers don’t get (right away, and sometimes ever)

  1. Complete autonomy. Local organizers make a lot of powerful choices when creating events and building community. However, organizers aren’t free to pick and choose which 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. or 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. program expectations they follow through on. If you accept the WordPress community organizer role despite disagreeing with some parts of the program, you’re still expected to do the things that everyone is asked to do — they’re part of the job.
  2. Commit-level access. WordPress community organizers are full of bright ideas, which is a lot of what makes this project so great. Not every bright idea meshes well with WordPress community values or works on a global scale, though. The WordPress community programs — just like 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 as a whole — are open source, but they’re not “open commit.” Even if you are certain that your idea is a good one, it still might not work at a WordPress chapter meetup or WordCamp. By the way, there is a way to earn “commit-level access” on the community team — and it starts with becoming a community deputy.
  3. And other things.  There are other things, too, but those all come up in orientations and in our handbook (they’re outlined in the 5 Good Faith Rules for meetups, and Should You Be An Organizer? and Representing WordPress docs in the WordCamp organizer handbook). To summarize, it’s best not to try to establish a leadership position in WordPress for self-serving purposes, such as trying to make a profit off the local group or to promote your business or friends’ companies over other local businesses. Likewise, if your leadership approach includes hateful or very controlling behavior, this organization probably won’t be a good fit for you.

Share your thoughts

What do you think about this list of “get”s and “don’t get”s — does this help clarify the kind of personal return that contributors can reasonably expect for the time and attention they invest in our programs? What did you expect you’d get out of participating as a WordPress community organizer, and what did you actually get?

#community-expectations

Who wants to test the new WordCamp blocks?

The WordCamp.org GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ blocks that were discussed and designed some time back are now ready for betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. testing!

Please note that currently Speaker, Session, Organizer and Sponsor blocks are available for testing. Development work on the schedule blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. is in progress, and will hopefully be available for testing in a month or so.

Beta testers, please report issues and bugs on Meta Trac or in the #meta-wordcamp channel on WordPress Slack.

Leave a comment on this post if you’re interested in testing these new tools on your 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. site. Thanks in advance for helping to improve our tools via testing and bug reports!

#blocks, #wordcamp-org

WordCamp Europe 2019 – Community Team Plans

We are less than two months away from 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. Europe 2019, which means it’s time to get organised!

WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US are what we consider flagship events and are always a great opportunity for teams to get together, contribute and onboard more people. There are going to be a whole lot of us present and we should take advantage of that and maximize our time together.

As we did last year, please add in the comments ideas and suggestions for tasks we could work on together while in Berlin.

I will be available to lead the table: do the initial presentation, take on one macro task of group of people to work during the day but I think there should be at least other two Community Team experienced members that can help with guiding people throughout the day.

Deadline to comment is May 19 so we can discuss this during the next two Community chats: after that date I will summarise in a “squad goals” post (like the one we had last year) and we will go from there!

#wceu, #wceu-contributorday

#contributor-day

Request for Public Post Preview on WordCamp Sites

Hey all,

The 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. US team has run into several times recently where it would be super helpful to allow people outside our team to be able to see and offer feedback on draft posts. A great example of that is the contributor team is about to write 18 posts, one for each WordPress contributor group, that summarizes what they do and what their current projects are. It would be amazing to be able to get direct feedback from each team as we do.

I made a Meta Trac ticket requesting to have the Public Post Preview plugin installed for this purpose, and @iandunn said there’s no technical problems with it but suggested that I get buy-in from the community team first. If you all are on board, he would be able to add it to the list of plugins that is off-by-default but can be turned on by any WordCamps that want to make use of it.

Any thoughts? Worries? Cheers? General feedback?

Thanks,
Aaron

#wordcamp-org

Call for Organisers – WordCamp Asia

We’ve opened the Call for Organisers process at https://wpasia.org/call-for-organisers/

We’re looking for organisers with some experience and have set some guidelines to help everyone apply. We think it makes sense for community lovers fresh to 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. organising to start off via supporting their City WordCamps.

Diversity is our key focus: We’d like to include as many countries in this team as possible.

There are a few ways you can help with this effort:

  1. We’ve got a tweet going – so help us retweet please!
  2. We’ve also written up a draft announcement that 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. organisers can publish via Meetup’s email tool.
  3. Sharing this post on Social Media and directly to community organisers you know
  4. Encouraging all the awesome people to apply

Like any other WordCamp, we need to select a lead organiser who will fill out the application for WordCamp Asia. For those who missed it – we wrote a proposal for this effort and you can read about it here.

(Forgive us for the website with no-design, we’d rather spend effort on the actual WordCamp website)

The Get Involved table at WCEU 2019

Do you love contributing to WordPress? Do you love telling other people about how much you love contributing to WordPress? Would you like those people to start contributing to WordPress themselves? Then do I have the opportunity for you!

tl;dr: Sign up for one or more Community Volunteer shifts at the WCEU 2019 Get Involved table here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PAts7eeSKYcBgI-NmLMWBj70_utBFjwq5uVXPTxieWE/edit?usp=sharing (note that there are 2 tabs in the sheet – one for each day).

If you’ve been to 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. Europe or US before you’ll be familiar with the Get Involved table – it’s a central location (an actual physical table) where attendees can find out more information about contributing to WordPress. The table is staffed by community volunteers, and we aim to have it staffed by at least one person (but preferably more) from the start of registration to the end of the final session on each day of the WordCamp, not including Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/..

People working at the Get Involved table simply need to be able to explain how WordPress contributions work and help people find a good fit in the project for their particular set of skills.

What we’re looking for here is for community members to sign up for volunteer shifts at the Get Involved tables for WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin. We have split up the two conference days up into 1-hour shifts to make things easier and it would be great to have a selection of people from across the project (not just the Community team) involved here.

The schedule and sign-up sheet is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PAts7eeSKYcBgI-NmLMWBj70_utBFjwq5uVXPTxieWE/edit?usp=sharing – simply add your name to the white blocks in the “Community Volunteers” columns for any shifts that you would like to take. Note that there are 2 tabs in the sheet – one for each day. You can reference the event schedule to make sure you don’t miss any sessions that you particularly want to attend.

+make.wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org//docs +make.wordpress.org/support +make.wordpress.org/metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. +make.wordpress.org/updates

#get-involved, #wceu

Logos in Slide Decks and WordCamp Videos

A while ago, there was a discussion about the use of logos in slide decks and 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. videos. A consensus was reached as to what the permitted guidelines should be, but this was never documented in the handbook and has not been made clear to both organisers and speakers.

So, to bring that discussion full circle, here is how the discussion concluded regarding logos appearing in WordCamp videos:

  1. Speakers are allowed to include their company logo in their slides, but only in an optional opening/closing informational slide and not throughout the presentation. This is fine even if their company is not a sponsor of the event.
  2. Sponsor logos at the venue (banners, podium, etc.) that are captured on video are fine to leave in the published video.
  3. Similarly, a speaker can wear clothing with their company logo on it, even if their company is not a sponsor.
  4. No company logos of any kind are to be added in post-production. This includes the speaker’s company, event sponsors, the post-production company, or any other company logos.

With that in mind, we now have two additional pages in the handbook – one for speakers with the full slide deck guidelines and one for organisers specifically focussing on what can be included in videos.

Going forward, all organisers will be expected to ensure that speakers follow these guidelines with their slides. You can do this by making them aware of the guidelines and vetting their slides before the event.

This rule will apply from today only, so it will not affect to any videos filmed before today (Monday, 8 April 2019).


UPDATES FROM THE COMMENTS:

The intention of these new rules was clarified:

To clarify the intention here – this isn’t to stop companies from gaining exposure (that happens naturally when someone is speaking), but rather to make the content the main focus and intent of the slides rather than any kind of company promotion. It’s also worth noting that WordCamp speakers are chosen based on their knowledge and experience as individuals and not their company affiliation, and company promotion throughout a slide deck suggests that the opposite is true. An informational slide with the speaker’s company makes sense as information about who is speaking, but the rest of the slide deck should be dedicated to the content being presented.

A few other points were clarified from questions:

  1. “Logo” also includes plain text names of the company and social media handles.
  2. Personal names are fine to include on every slide if you wish, even if you are a freelancer and your name is your “brand”.
  3. These rules do not (currently) apply to presentations at meetups.
  4. Contextual mentions of your (or any) company are still fine as they will be a part of the talk content, which is what this rule is designed to enhance.

#speakers

WordCamp Asia Proposal

Dear all awesome community members,

In short

We’re looking to run 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. Asia in 2020!

Introduction

In 2015, at the Community Summit in Philadelphia, a few of us got together and started talking about how great it would be if a WordCamp would happen in Asia that would serve to bring everyone together across the many separated land masses.

We continued talking through various regional WordCamps (WordCamp US, Europe) and other city WordCamps around the world.

We had a pretty major meeting in WordCamp Europe (Paris) with a fair bit of WordCamp organisers in Asia present alongside key WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. deputies to talk about working this through. This spawned a P2 post last year.

We were recommended by prominent members in the WordCamp Central team to keep growing new city based WordCamps to make this a sustainable approach.

Our CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Belief

WordCamps in Asia have reached a critical mass that will enable a successful regional WordCamp. We believe that running this WordCamp will contribute directly to long term efforts in fostering WordPress interest in countries that lack it.

With the continued successes of WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe, alongside the newly established and incredible WordCamp Nordic, we believe that Asia complements the effort created by all these regional WordCamps.

What we’ve done

  • The WordCamp organisers in Asia have gone around volunteering, co-organising at other WordCamps.
  • Many have also actively become mentors for new WordCamps in Asia.
  • We’ve been discussing this approach with many WordCamp organisers in Asia across all the WordCamps that we go to

Current Stage

We have a proposal (hugely based and forked from the Nordic one) that is ready for Asia and the rest of the WordCamp community members to look at and help with. (This is available here – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bAyUa7Ya9xAvPa2krNN6WYGOoks5B2dAio7DyDWG6sg/edit?ts=5c88948e# take note that we’re still actively improving the proposal)

We have a Slack instance whereby quite a few WordCamp Organisers in Asia are present and actively discussing the future of this setup. (You’re invited)

We also have mentorship support from a Lead Organiser of WordCamp Europe.

Next Steps

  • We will look at the feedback on the proposal and make improvements
  • We will elect a Lead Organiser within the Global Team
  • The Lead Organiser will then submit the official application to WordCamp Central
  • The Global Team will be re-organised (ensuring a proper allocation between organisers in the region) and an official Local team will be formed

Please help us!

We want to ensure that the WordCamp Asia is successful – and we’d like for you to tell us how!

We’d like to leave this post and the proposal open for comments until 12 April 2019.

After which, we’re hoping to get the go-ahead from Central to get things moving!

WordCamp Incubator 2018-2019 Update Thread: March edition

Howdy Globlal Community Team!

Are you wondering how the last 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. Incubator went last weekend?

You’re very lucky, because this is the time of our monthly update about the WordCamp incubator and WordCamp Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) happened less than a week ago 😉

Pinging @adityakane and @bee for letting us how your Incubator went.

Thanks in advance! 🙂

#incubator #wordcamps #monthly-updates