Tuesday Training: Compassionate Communication Online

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to better get directly at the issues that seem to be on the minds of folks in our community. How are we doing that? Great question. We’re either seeking to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly heard complaints, concerns, and confusions.

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

Contributors to the WordPress project are no strangers to communicating online. From weekly contributor team 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 hallway hangouts and Meetups in Zoom, remote communication has become second nature. So much so that it’s easy to forget that communicating effectively and compassionately online is a skill in and of itself.

The past year has put our online communication skills to the test more than any other. For all it empowers us to do, relying solely on text-based communication – especially without the regular cadence of in-person Meetups or WordCamps – can introduce challenges or gaps in understanding each other. This can be especially true at times when emotions are running high or when communication styles differ deeply.

As community organizers and contributors, it’s important to fill our toolboxes up with trusty, reliable methods to navigate difficult or sensitive conversations, or times when your usual communication style isn’t working. I’ve gathered a few of my tried-and-true methods in this post, and would love to gather more tips and tricks that have worked for you in the comments. 

Try using different methods of communication.

Something that can contribute to frustrations or misunderstanding is using only one form of communication. Slack is home to most of our direct communication, but it also doesn’t provide a lot of context. If I’m having a hard time bridging the gap between myself and someone else, I like to suggest some alternatives.

For example:

  • Writing things down and collaborating in a Google doc (with comments) as a way to process asynchronously.
  • Using Zoom or other voice calls. This allows the other person to process out loud, while I take on the task of sorting through concerns or blockers, and vice versa.
  • Creating a collaborative mind map or another visual tool to list out related issues, priorities, and solutions in a more visual way.

Take notes on the conversation.

When there’s a lot of information being shared, I like to literally take notes – by hand, even! This helps me process what is being shared and reformat it into something that resonates more clearly for me. It also forces me to get out of my head and take stock of what’s actually being communicated instead of the feelings behind the communication. It takes time, but I find it invaluable for creating space and clarity.

Slow down.

When navigating communication challenges, the speed in which you communicate can have a big impact on the tone of the conversation. Rapid-fire communication can come across as urgent and tense, especially if the topic itself is a sensitive one. 

Responding to something non-urgent from an excited or anxious place can make the whole conversation take on a more hectic tone. To counter this, I force myself to pause. After confirming it isn’t actually urgent, I’ll set aside a specific time to come back to the conversation. This gives me more mental space to process and highlight the important parts of what the person shared.

Prioritize what you respond to.

In conversations with a lot of information, I often need to fight against my desire to respond to every single point. This is especially true when I know the person I’m talking with is feeling frustrated, disappointed, or even angry – whether with me, or in general. 

As much as it’s driven by a desire to help, it’s often not realistic nor helpful to address every single point and can sometimes make things worse by getting lost in the details. To help combat this, I like to give each issue a priority – and may sometimes even share that with the other person. When I share my interpretation of the priorities, two things happen:

  • I’m able to make progress on what I think is important and model that for the other person.
  • I learn if our priorities are in alignment and, if not, we can adjust that going forward.

Redirect unrelated conversations to a sustainable location.

It’s not uncommon to deal with more sensitive conversations via direct messages. This can help increase the feeling of safety between the two (or more) folks working on an issue, but DMs frequently grow in scope. To keep these conversations sustainable, it helps to move non-sensitive issues to public forums – like Make team blogs or public Slack channels – whenever possible through gentle reminders. 

It helps break the habit of sharing things in private, but also ensures that folks mediating a sensitive conversation can enforce boundaries around what they are poised to talk about, and what others can help with. The more these boundaries are enforced, the more I find I have time and mental energy to devote to the challenging components of a discussion.


Many of these things sound simple when I write them down, but I find it helpful to identify them as potential tools in my toolkit when a tense or complex situation arises. 

Do any of these communication strategies resonate for you? Are there any that don’t? What tools would you suggest to fellow community organizers navigating difficult conversations, or plain ol’ Zoom fatigue?

#tuesdaytrainings

Discussion: Companies who run competitive ads against WordPress and apply to sponsor WordCamps

Recently, 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. organizing team raised a question to Community Deputies about a potential sponsor’s product, a WordPress derivative, being promoted in competition with WordPress and putting WordPress in an unflattering light. This question naturally prompted some discussion around where our expectations could be clarified to address WordPress derivatives and how they are promoted by sponsors, speakers, and organizers.

A WordPress derivative can be defined as any software that is built on top of WordPress – this primarily consists of plugins, themes and distributions.

Existing Expectations

The Community Team asks that everyone associated with a WordCamp in an official capacity — organizer, speaker, sponsor, or volunteer — uphold the principles of 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, including the 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.. This helps protect users/attendees, who might not realize that by using a non-GPL pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party or theme, they are giving away the rights that WordPress provides them.

Additionally it is important to ensure that this community remains safe, inclusive and welcoming. To ensure that these values are reflected in WordPress events, the WordPress Community team has long stood by the following expectations for individuals and companies who want to be a part of the WordPress events program as found in the WordCamp Organizer Handbook:

  • No discrimination on the basis of economic or social status, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.
  • No incitement to violence or promotion of hate
  • No spammers
  • No jerks
  • Respect the WordPress trademark.
  • Embrace the WordPress license; If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business officially associated with WordCamp should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides: 100% GPL or compatible, the same guidelines we follow on 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/. ***Note: this is one step above simple compliance, which requires PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. code to be GPL / compatible but allows proprietary licenses for JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/., CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site., and images. 100% GPL or compatible is required for promotion at WordCamps when WordPress-derivative works are involved, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org.***
  • Don’t promote companies or people that violate the trademark or distribute WordPress derivative works which aren’t 100% GPL compatible.

This brings us to our two questions!

In the comments, please share your thoughts on the following questions to help make decisions on how to move forward on this topic.

Should the WordCamp and 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. programs accept sponsors, speakers and organizers who engage in competitive marketing against WordPress?

How should competitive advertising be defined in the WordPress space?

This discussion will remain open and ongoing until April 29, 2021. At that time we will close comments and summarize the discussion for final review. 

Thank you to @sippis @angelasjin @andreamiddleton and @hlashbrooke for their contributions to this post

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!

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on April 14, 2021

Attending: @jillbinder @onealtr @tantienhime @katiejrichards @wpfangirl @webcommsat @nalininonstopnewsuk

Start: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1618419674460400

End: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1618423983015700

#wpdiversity

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: April 2021

Hello friends,

April has been an exciting month for WordPress lovers so far! Read on to stay updated with the latest tidings from the WordPress community, along with resources for your 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. group!

Newsletter contents:

  • Fill out the 2020 Meetup organizer survey
  • Calling all Meetup groups to help test Full Site Editing
  • Online event updates
  • Tuesday Trainings
  • News from the WordPress world

Fill out the 2020 Meetup Organizer Survey

As we’ve reached a full year of online Meetup events, we would like to get your feedback on WordPress meetups in 2020. The survey contains general questions relevant to the global WordPress Meetup program and takes less than 5 minutes to fill out. Here is the link: http://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/annual-meetup-program-survey. We have also published and sent out the Meetup Program Survey to all Meetup members – please amplify it and encourage your community members to fill it out. The deadline for both surveys is 30 April 2021.

Calling all Meetup groups to help test Full Site Editing

Contribute to the upcoming Full Site Editing (FSE) feature in WordPress by testing it! The fifth call for testing as part of the Full Site Editing outreach program is out! Check out the testing call and join the #fse-outreach-experiment 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 to participate. Deadline for testing: May 5th, 2021. Here is how your local meetup group can contribute:

👉 Organize a dedicated testing sprint meetup. At the event, ask all the attendees to test FSE following the testing instructions and share your feedback with the FSE team!
👉 Encourage individual community members to test FSE. Amplify the latest FSE Testing call amongst your local community, and encourage folks to test the feature. 

Online event updates

Don’t forget to catch up with online meetups across the world! If you’re organizing an online WordPress event, use the hashtag #OnlineWPMeetup for social media promotions. The WordPress Marketing team can help promote your online meetup – if you wish to avail of their assistance, reach out to them in the #marketing Slack channel for more information.

Featured WordPress meetup
The South Florida Meetup group has joined forces with other nearby meetup groups to organize mega meetups for the last few months. The group recently organized another edition of the event – titled “The New Site Builder Episode,” on April 15. The event provided a detailed overview of the upcoming Full Site Editing feature and had around 266 RSVPs!

Upcoming WordPress events 

Check out these upcoming WordCamps that are coming up later this year. 

Diverse speaker training workshop for The Philippines and South East Asia
The Diverse Speaker Training Group (#WPDiversity) is organizing an Interactive, Transformational Watch Party on the topic: How to Own Your Expertise & Start Speaking at WordPress Events. This workshop is for marginalized and underrepresented folks (based on gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, etc) in the Philippines and South East Asia. Meetup 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. organizers are also invited to attend. Date: May 16th, 2021, in the afternoon (exact time TBD). Want to join this event? Express your interest by filling out this form! 

Tuesday Trainings

Through Tuesday Trainings (#TuesdayTrainings), the Community team publishes a different topic on the WordPress Community Blog to help organizers and interested community members learn various skills. Don’t forget to check out our latest Tuesday Training posts: 

News from the WordPress world


If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community. Let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We will see you online soon!

#meetup-organizer-newsletter
#newsletter

The following people contributed to this edition of the Meetup newsletter: @angelasjin @_dorsvenabili @jillbinder @meher @rmarks and @webcommsat

Community Team Meeting agenda for 2021-04-15

The Community Team bi-weekly meeting is happening today. The meeting is meant for all contributors on the team and everyone who is interested in taking part in some of the things our team does. Feel free to join us, even if you are not currently active in the team!

Asia-Pacific / EMEA friendly meeting: 2021-04-15 12:00
Americas friendly meeting:
2021-04-15 21:00

Note the Daylight Savings Time and how it might affect which time the meeting is taking place for you! The above times should be presented in your local time.

Below is a preliminary agenda for the meeting. If you wish to add things you’d like bring to into discussion, comment below or reach out to team reps @sippis or @kcristiano. It does not need to be a blog post yet, the topic can be discussed during the meeting nevertheless. We use the same agenda for both meetings.

Preliminary agenda

Deputy / Mentor / Contributor check-ins

What have you been doing and how is it going? What you got accomplished after the last meeting? Are there any blockers? Can other team members help you in some way?

Highlights

Improving the Learn WordPress Working Group meetings
It’s been about four months since the Learn WordPress Working Group started meeting at its current frequency and schedule. Erica is looking for feedback about a possible change of meeting time. Please fill the doodle poll before Tuesday, April 20th if you are part of Learn WordPress Working Group or interested in contributing to Learn project.

Discussion: The Community Team Contributor Ladder
Angela put together a post that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of Community Team contributors. Good reminder and worth checking out.

The Community Deputy Round Table is Coming in June
One of the WordPress Community Support (WPCSWordPress Coding Standards A collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) to validate code developed for WordPress. It ensures code quality and adherence to coding conventions, especially the official standards for WordPress Core.) team goals for Q1&Q2 is to host an online deputy round table. Currently, a small team of experienced contributors is planning to organise this round table. Please fill the doodle poll to select the times tomorrow at the latest.

New and ongoing discussions

Frequency of these meetings
Currently, our Team Meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of every month. In some months like April, this sequence does cause three weeks gap between the meetings. After today’s meeting, the next one would be in three weeks on 2021-05-06 instead of having two weeks gap like we usually have. Should we change the first and third Thursday rule sequence to every second week, in order to avoid the long gaps between? Comment your thoughts in this post 🙂

Proposal: Adding topic-based meetup groups as part of the Meetup chapter program
Typically, WordPress Meetups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on at least a monthly basis. The 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. Chapter program requires that a meetup be hosted for a city or a specified location. However as COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, changes were made to the events program to allow for online Meetups. Recently, the Community team received two applications to start a meetup group globally for a specific topic that is not tied to any city. Sam opened an discussion around topic if we should allow these kind of Meetups in our chapter program.

Request for feedback: Team goals check
As we enter Q2 of 2021, it seems appropriate to check where we are with the action items set for Q1 and Q2 in our Team goals. If you are working with some action item or do know the progress of one, please leave an update in the comments of the post.

Open floor

Opportunity to bring things into discussions that weren’t on the meeting agenda and if anyone has something they would like to share with the team. If you have a topic in mind before the meeting, please add it into the comments of this post.

Hope to see you on Thursday, either on Asia-Pacific / EMEA or Americas friendly version of the meeting!

#meeting, #meeting-agenda, #meetings, #team-chat, #team-meeting

X-post: Learn WordPress Working Group agenda – April 15, 2021 (19:00 UTC)

X-post from +make.wordpress.org/training: Learn WordPress Working Group agenda – April 15, 2021 (19:00 UTC)

Recap of Contributor Working Group on Apr. 7, 2021

In attendance: @amethystanswers, @daisyo, @annezazu

Meeting start: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1617822118403600

Agenda: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2021/04/07/contributor-working-group-agenda-april-7-2021/

Goals

Two groups have passed their target deadlines. How can we help each other achieve the goals that were set? How can we modify the goals?

Is anyone feeling burnt out?

@daisyo would like to know if the Events Best Practices group would be interested in meeting in the off-weeks

Updates

@annezazu continues working with Codeable

Next Meeting

Wednesday April 21 at 19:00 UTC

#WPContributors

Proposal: Adding topic-based meetup groups as part of the Meetup chapter program

The purpose of this post is to discuss proposed changes to the WordPress Meetup Chapter Program

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. Chapter program is part of the overall 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. Meetups are an opportunity for people who love and value WordPress to get together to learn from and connect with each other. As of today, there are 745 meetup groups with approximately 460,351 members under the chapter program. 

A group is not required to be in the WordPress chapter program to host WordPress meetups. However, if a meetup is in the chapter program, it has some benefits which include Meetup account dues being covered by 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., and events being displayed in the WordPress dashboard, among others.

Background

Typically, WordPress Meetups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on at least a monthly basis. The WordPress Meetup Chapter program requires that a meetup be hosted for a city or a specified location. It is also expected that meetups be in-person events attended by local community members.

However as COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, changes were made to the events program to allow for online Meetups. Today most meetup groups are running online events and it has become a new norm. 

The Learn WordPress Meetup Group

Recently, the Training and Community teams launched the Learn WordPress project which focuses on Group Discussions, Workshops and Lessons. 

The Learn WordPress project has its own Meetup.com Group to host the group discussions. This new meetup group is a break from how WordPress meetups are historically held, and have led to some new, exciting meetup group ideas.  

Proposed changes: Allow non city-based meetup groups to the chapter program

Recently, the Community team received two applications to start a meetup group globally for a specific topic that is not tied to any city. The purpose of this post is to discuss whether or not to allow a non city-based Meetup under the Chapter Program. 

As the pandemic affected face to face events and online events have become the new norm, meetups that are topic-based could be an alternative way to move forward. 

A topic-based meetup group could;

  • Allow organizers to start Meetup groups based on topics such as SEO, Hosting, etc. (Excluding brand based groups such as WooCommerce, Divi, etc. However you can host such meetups outside the chapter program)
  • Be a global meetup group rather than a city-based one
  • Focus on only one niche / topic / be a Focus group
  • Allow multiple organizers globally to organize events in the same group
  • Allow multilingual events for the same group (TBC)

Also such topic-based global meetup groups can co-exist with city-based meetups even after the pandemic is over.  

Things to consider

If topic-based meetup groups are allowed, the following changes might be required; 

  • Meetup Application form need to be amended
  • Meetup handbooks require updating with new guidelines
  • Require some workaround at meetup.com as it requires a city for each meetup
  • Changes in the events widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. to display online event timing correctly across the globe.
  • How many topic-based meetup groups can the Events API support?  Should the Events APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. handle each topic-based meetup group equally? 
  • How do city-based and topic-based meetups coexist?

Request for Feedback

Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on including topic-based meetup groups in addition to the existing city-based meetup groups. The discussion will be open until 2021-04-27. 

Thanks to @nao @camikaos @angelasjin and to all other deputies helped to put together this post.

Tuesday Training: How to organize an online do_action charity hackathon?

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to better get directly at the issues that seem to be on the minds of folks in our Community. How are we doing that? Great question. We’re either seeking to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly heard complaints, concerns, and confusions.

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

As announced last week, we have a live panel discussion on the topic: “How to organize an online do_action charity hackathon?” for this week’s Tuesday Training!

The live panel discussion is being streamed live on YouTube today – April 13, 2021, 02:00 UTC on the WordCamp Central YouTube channel. Watch it live on YouTube!

This live discussion has concluded, and you will find a recording of the video below (check it out on WordPress.tv). Captions and a full transcript of the video will be available shortly.

Participants: @hlashbrooke, @nao, and @yoga1103 – who are all experience do_action organizers. The discussion will be moderated by me (@harishanker).

The discussion tries to find answers the following questions that we’ve heard frequently from our Community organizers so far:

  • What are do_action charity hackathons?
  • Why should you organize a do_action event? 
  • How do you organize an online do_action event? 
  • How do you find non-profits and volunteers for your event?
  • Can you share a story about the impact that you’ve had based on the do_action event?
  • How do you collaborate for an online do_action event? 
  • Can you share some Project management tips for online do_action organizers? 

Want to know more about do_action events? Visit https://doaction.org to learn more or email us at support@wordcamp.org. If you wish to organize an online do_action charity hackathon for your local meetup, send in an application through the do_action organizer form!

#tuesdaytrainings #do_action