Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., 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 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. 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!

2021 Global Sponsors: Q3-Q4 Update

I’m thrilled to announce the Global Community Sponsors for Q3-Q4 2021! Thank you so much to all the sponsors who support the WordPress community programs, including WordCamps and WordPress Chapter MeetupMeetup 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. groups.

Please join me in welcoming Yoast as our newest Global Sponsor, and thanking all of our wonderful sponsors for their support.

Full details on the 2021 Global Sponsorship program and packages can be found here.

The Global Sponsor information for event organizers page in the handbook has been updated, and we’ll be updating the rest of the handbook pages in the coming days. WordPress Chapter Meetup group pages have also recently been updated to acknowledge our global sponsors.

#global-sponsors#global-sponsorship

#highlight

Community Team Meeting Agenda for 2021-07-01

The Community Team bi-weekly meeting is happening this week. 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: 2021-07-01 12:00
Americas friendly meeting:
2021-07-01 21:00

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.

DeputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. / MentorMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. / 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

Tuesday Trainings:

Updates:

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!

#team-meeting

In-person meetup events for vaccinated community members

Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion of the proposal to allow fully-vaccinated people to hold in-person meetups, where local health authorities permit. I’ll summarize the concerns and opinions shared in the post, and then discuss a decision.

If you don’t want to read that far, here’s the tl;dr:

The WordPress community team is removing the barrier to organizing in-person meetupMeetup 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. events for fully-vaccinated people, in places where vaccines are freely available. 

Discussion Summary

Some commenters mistakenly thought that local organizers would be collecting health care data from group members, and expressed concern. It was clarified that while the community team would encourage local organizers to set the expectation that only fully-vaccinated people should attend in-person meetup events, no organizer should request or collect information from members about their vaccination status. Meetup events for fully-vaccinated people would operate on the honor system. 

A question was raised around what should happen if organizers somehow discovered that someone who was not vaccinated, was attending in-person events intended for fully-vaccinated people. While it’s certainly possible that this will happen, I think it should be handled just like any other mismatch between expected behavior and actual behavior — with a private discussion to explain the expectation and a direct request that someone meet that expectation next time. Again, local organizers should not request or collect vaccination status information from members. 

Some people shared deep concerns that this would result in a “two-tier” meetup program, dividing local communities between the vaccinated (meeting in-person) and unvaccinated (meeting online). It was pointed out that as vaccination rollout continues, transmission risk will inevitably fall. The research seems to support this, showing that vaccination is effective in “preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.” (See also this example.)

Holding in-person 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. for fully-vaccinated people would only be possible in local communities where vaccines are freely available to all. And when infection levels fall to a point that a local community would pass the safety checklist, then both vaccinated and unvaccinated people would be free to meet (with the appropriate precautions). So while I agree that it’s only a matter of time when fully-vaxxed-only meetups are a thing of the past, I do think it’s important to make that possible for our communities. If nothing else, it might encourage WordPress enthusiasts to get vaccinated as soon as they can! Organizers are welcome to include an online component to in-person gatherings if the event format and venue allow it. 

Some tenured community organizers shared their support for this idea, and at least one person shared that they would not yet be comfortable with organizing in-person events, even for fully-vaccinated people. I think it’ll be important to share with organizers that local communities can continue to meet online, or organize online event series, for the foreseeable future — if we ever go back to an expectation that WordPress meetup groups meet in-person only (and I doubt that we will), then I think that will happen a long time from now. 

Context

When COVID made it unsafe to meet in person, WordPress event programs responded more quickly than many public health authorities were able to. In fact, many governments didn’t provide safety recommendations until long after WordPress had asked local organizers to refrain from gathering people in-person. It’s not unusual for governments to move slowly in response to new crises, but luckily our organization is a little more nimble. 

As we all know, the world has spent more than a year responding to the pandemic, and vaccines continue to roll out globally. The WordPress global community teamGlobal Community Team A group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps. must eventually return to our previous expectation that local organizers will simply follow local laws and public health guidelines. 

Many countries are still fighting a pitched battle against COVID, and not all of their governments are willing or able to set safe public health standards. For organizers in those countries, please know that the global WordPress community is concerned for your health and safety. You are welcome to continue to use the in-person safety checklist if it is helpful, even when all WordPress program-based limits on in-person gatherings are lifted globally. We trust our organizers to make wise choices, and hope to provide you all the tools you need to make those choices easier. 

Decision

This proposal is somewhat contentious, and one of the ways I serve the community team is to make potentially-unpopular decisions. I am comfortable doing so in this case, as enough tenured, active members of the community team seem to agree with this proposal. I realize there are some on the team who do not agree, and I hope that these guidelines are flexible enough that you are able to disagree and commit in this case.  

The WordPress community team is not expecting or requiring local organizers to organize in-person events for fully-vaccinated people — we’re simply removing the barrier to doing so. That barrier is removed only under certain conditions, though, so I want to communicate those clearly. 

If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region passes the in-person safety checklist, THEN
  3. go ahead and hold in-person events, following local health guidelines!

ALSO… If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region doesn’t pass the in-person safety checklist, BUT
  3. vaccines are available for anyone who wants one in your region, THEN

Local community organizers can (if they want to) plan in-person meetup events for fully-vaccinated people, following local health guidelines! 

Here’s a visualization of those conditions, in case it helps:

This decision tree visualization indicates that if local public health authorities permit in-person gatherings, and the region passes the in-person safety checklist, then groups can organize in-person meetups for anyone. If the region does not pass the in-person safety checklist, but vaccines are freely available to all, then the group can organize in-person meetups for fully vaccinated people. If there is limited vaccine access in a region that does not pass the in-person safety checklist, the group should organize online meetups for now.

Important:

  • No organizer should request or collect information from members about their vaccination status.
  • Additional safety measures that go beyond local health guidelines are OK! Organizers should consider meeting outside, asking attendees to wear masks, or limiting attendance of indoor events. 
  • Online meetup events can continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Keep in mind that we are still learning about the effectiveness of vaccines for people with weakened immune systems or against new variants of the virus. If there are meetup group members who feel uncomfortable going to in-person meetups but want to continue attending events, organizers can encourage and help people host online events.

Next Steps and Feedback

I’ll add the new guidance to all the appropriate places in the meetup organizer’s handbook, and write a summarized version of this decision for the next meetup newsletter. If you have questions, concerns, or feedback… please share them in a comment on this post! 

Thanks to @rmarks, @angelasjin, @kdrewien, @kcristiano, @hlashbrooke, @tacoverdo, @harishanker, @evarlese, @_dorsvenabili, and Megan Rose for their feedback on this post!

#meetups

Tuesday Trainings: How can I bring more energy to an online event?

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.

If you’ve ever been to a conference, you’ll know there’s always a point where the audience has a harder time paying attention to the speaker. Known moments for that are in the early morning, right at the start of the event, right after lunch, and late in the afternoon. You’ve probably seen an MC step up at that time and come up with a joke, a fun exercise, or something else to get the blood flowing again. 

In online events, these energizers are way harder, and all the more important! Because your attendees are staring at a screen instead of at a live human being. Because they don’t have to walk to another room or building for a session. Because it’s easier to get distracted when nobody sees you’re secretly on your phone. And many other reasons. So it requires extra effort from the event’s MC or host to get the party started. 

To help you do that, here are some energizers to try out at your next online event! Click read more to see them all.

Next week

Join us next week for a post from @nao and @mpcdigital on how to translate Community team resources!

Continue reading

#tuesdaytrainings

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., 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 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. 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 June 23, 2021

Attending: @jillbinder @onealtr @tantienhime @katiejrichards @ashiquzzaman @sparklingrobots

Start: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1624467554334000

We talked about:

  1. How @onealtr’s workshop in May went
  2. @volkswagenchick‘s workshop coming up next week (info and signup)
  3. An interactive watch party from me in July or August
  4. And 5 threads for questions about on-boarding and developing volunteers for our upcoming, expanded programs:
  • If you were to come on new now, what would you like to have happen to feel welcome and feel ready to start contributing?
  • How do you expect to be recognized?
  • What do you need to gather knowledge?
  • What do you need to level up as a volunteer?
  • For our upcoming programs that are going to be new to everyone, what new questions and needs does that bring up in order to get started?

End: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1624471405386800

P.S. We would love to hear thoughts from the community on the volunteer questions — on this post or in the threads on 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/..

#wpdiversity

Tuesday Trainings: Of Codes of Conduct and Reporting

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.

We’re interrupting our previously scheduled content to talk about something important for a safer community. I want to make all the information we have out there more accessible to all of you, so here we go with this week’s question.

Does the WordPress Community Team have a Code of ConductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia? How does that work? 

CoCCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia (Code of Conduct) is one of those, in my mind, absolute necessities for any community. But it’s one that most people tend to shy away from talking about. There’s any number of reasons for that, but I think most of the time it comes down to people not liking to talk about things that make us uncomfortable. While there is nothing uncomfortable to most about the CoC, talking about it tends to lead to talking about breaking or violating it. Then people start to think about getting “in trouble”. When I think about getting in trouble my mind slips back to my childhood days and I’m a fearful tiny human not understanding what’s happening and why. 

So let’s remove that fearful lack of knowing and talk a little bit about the CoC for WordPress, specifically for WordPress community events like WordCamps, 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., Contributor Days, and any other events in our program.

What is our CoC?

We use the same base CoC for all of our events. It can be found here in its draft form to be updated and used for individual events. It also comes as pre-loaded content in all 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. sites for the organizers to update and publish.

I won’t list the entire Code of Conduct here, though I do encourage you to read it in its entirety if you’re an organizer or it’s of interest to you. For today I want to focus on two of the sections specifically as they cover how people should and should not behave at events.

Expected Behavior

  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert conference organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you help to create WordCamp and make it your own.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct by any attendees of WordCamp and related events. All WordCamp venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

By the way, the Community team and WordPress event organizers don’t actively seek out misbehavior, nor do we actively seek out content to moderate. As a volunteer-run community, we rely on contributors to communicate expectations and report violations. We support WordPress community members by offering dedicated help when members see or experience anything outside of expected behavior. We invite you to help create a safer and more positive experience for everyone.

What happens if I do something wrong?

This is another one of those questions I see come up frequently – in public forums, in conversations with deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. and mentorsMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues., or as a private pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” 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/.. Let’s ask it out in the open. What does happen if you do something wrong? What happens if someone does something wrong?

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated whether by other attendees, organizers, venue staff, sponsors, or other patrons of WordCamp venues.

So if someone is engaged in unacceptable behavior they will be asked by an organizer to stop. Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately, and usually they do comply. They just stop. And often that’s where it stands. I find that most of the Code of Conduct violations I have seen were made  by mistake, accident, lack of awareness, not understanding, or because of an emotionally charged situation. Most are not a safety issue and can be easily resolved by saying “please stop that.” 

When a swift end is put to the situation and no harm came to anyone, that’s usually the whole story of what happens. 

If it’s worse than that? If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from the conference without warning or refund. 

What if it wasn’t so easily resolved?

When something isn’t so easily resolved, is reported after the event, or is egregious and/or causes harm, it’s often too much to put on our amazing, hard-working volunteer organizers. So we’ve created a safer space for people to report concerns or issues in the report form. 

All reports are handled confidentially to the extent possible.  Incident response teams  do not disclose or discuss the content of a report, or even its existence, without express consent from the reporter, unless in extenuating circumstances where a community member’s safety is actively threatened.

If you have witnessed or experienced a violation of the code of conduct or there has been specific behavior within the community that is alarming to you from a CoC perspective you can either email report@wordcamp.org or submit an incident report through this form.

Submitting a report isn’t a fix-all for community issues. We can’t do anything about things that happen outside of our community events and spaces. But if you experience or witness a violation of the CoC or behavior that is not okay at one of our events or in our digital spaces, letting us know at report@wordcamp.org gives us the opportunity to look into the problem and help to find a resolution. Sometimes it just helps keep us aware of what’s going on at events and online spaces. 

Do they get in trouble?

I feel like we’re back to being that scared little kid worried about being in trouble for showing up late to school or finishing the last of the cookies, so let’s try to clear that up with a little more information.

Not all of the reports we receive are actionable. Not all of the reports we receive are one sided. Some of the reports we get are more like someone waving a flag and saying “a little help here!”

In those cases we opt for research, discussion, and mediation to help clear up issues that are concerning before they become real problems. 

And yeah, sometimes someone does something that they shouldn’t. Someone may do something bad. Someone may do something that makes others feel scared, hurt, harassed, intimidated, or threatened. These we handle on a case by case basis with the help of those who have raised the issue. We listen to what they are seeking as a resolution. Evaluate the behaviors. Research. Talk to witnesses. And come to a conclusion about what we can best do to protect our community and its members.

I have more questions!

I’m not at all surprised if you do. There is a lot of nuance to working with the Code of Conduct and maintaining community safety and harmony. If you have questions I would love to hear them so I or another experienced deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. can answer them for you. What is it that you would like to know about the Code of Conduct or the incident report system? Let us know in the comments.

If you have a question about a specific report you filed or have a question you’re not comfortable asking publicly please email report@wordcamp.org and we’ll do our best toanswer you there.

Next up

Join us next week for a post from Angela and Taco sharing 10+ energizers for online events! I can’t wait!

#tuesdaytrainings

Announcement: Adding Global Sponsors to Meetup.com

There were a number of changes to the Global Sponsorship program for 2021, to reflect the current status of the WordPress events program. A new benefit to global sponsors this year was to feature sponsor logos on WordPress MeetupMeetup 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. chapter homepages and event pages. In recent months, the Global Sponsorship Working Group has been working with Meetup.com to implement some design changes so that global sponsors are featured alongside the people who make WordPress events possible: the organizers and attendees. 

I’m excited to share these changes with you! In the coming weeks, all meetup pages will have a new, rotating shelf of sponsors. Global sponsors will automatically be added to all Chapter meetups starting July 2021. Local organizers won’t be able to make edits to the global sponsors, but will still be able to acknowledge local sponsors. Local organizers will also be seeing some improvements to the user interface for managing local sponsors come August 2021, although all functionality will remain the same.

The maximum number of local sponsors that any meetup group can feature is 15, according to Meetup.com. The global sponsors do not count toward this limit. At the moment, this shouldn’t impact any chapter 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., but if you want to add more than 15 sponsors, please send an email to support@wordcamp.org.   

Please comment below if you have any questions about these changes. Major gratitude to organizers, attendees, and sponsors (both global and local!) – WordPress community events aren’t possible without your support and efforts!

#global-sponsors, #global-sponsorship, #meetup-com

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., 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 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. 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!