Announcement: Returning to in-person do_action charity hackathons

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, do_actiondo_action do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Learn more on doaction.org. hackathons moved online in March 2020. In the past 18 months, there have been five successful regional do_action events that were held fully online with more events in the pipeline. As in-person meetups and now WordCamps are slowly coming back, it is time to bring back in-person do_action events too. 

Since do_action hackathons are similar to 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., the guidelines applicable for in-person meetups apply to do_action hackathons as well.

In other words:

If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region passes the in-person safety checklist, THEN

Go ahead and hold an in-person do_action hackathon, 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 do_action hackathons for fully-vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered people, following local health guidelines! 

Due to the charitable nature of these events, WordPress would like to highlight do_action events (whether they are held online or in-person) on the WordPress FoundationWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org. website (wordpressfoundation.org), through social media, and whenever possible, in local media. Send an email to info@doaction.org or 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.” one of the Community 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. in Make/WordPress 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/. (in the #community-events channel) if you would like help with outreach.

Important

The most important guideline to note for in-person do_action hackathons is that in all cases, organizers should always follow local health guidelines.

do_action events could have more close contact between volunteers than regular meetups, so it is important that organizers follow local safety guidelines closely. Check out the website of your local health authority for more information. We have compiled a list of some local health authorities in our handbook.

  • 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 could consider asking attendees to wear masks, or limiting attendance at indoor events, for instance.
  • Venues should be fully refundable in case of any cancellation (Free or donated venues are preferred).
  • Online do_action hackathons can continue for the foreseeable future.

Recommendations

  • Try aiming for smaller events – a hackathon with two participating non-profits with 10-20 volunteers is still an excellent event!
  • In-person do_action hackathons have historically been full-day events, but it does not need to be that way. You could organize a half-day opening/closing event, providing light refreshments, and continue the work online, spreading things across a few days. You can still organize a full-day hackathon if you wish to, following local safety guidelines.
  • Look for a free venue to host your hackathon. Public institutions such as schools or colleges, or WordPress agencies are generally happy to provide their space for a charitable event. Such venues (especially WordPress agencies) usually have excellent internet connectivity and can be onboarded as in-kind sponsors too. Just make sure that your venue meets our guidelines. You can also find sponsors for event refreshments.
  • If you are interested, you can organize a hybrid do_action hackathon, where participants can choose to join the event remotely and collaborate online. 
  • For local, in-person hackathons, consider creating anevent for your local 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. group on meetup.com and ask participants/volunteers to RSVP in order to get an accurate headcount – this might help with contact tracing, and attendee tracking if your local laws mandate so.
  • Try to keep your in-person hackathons as local as possible. Out of station volunteers can be encouraged to participate remotely. 

You can learn more about do_action charity hackathons in our handbook. Feeling inspired, and wish to organize an in-person (or online) do_action hackathon? Apply now!

#do_action #in-person #announcement

The following people contributed to this post: @courtneypk @dansoschin @_dorsvenabili and @yoga1103

WordCamp Incubator Program 2018 announcement

As it was pre-announced some months ago, we’re very happy to say that the WordCamp Incubator Program is back!

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. Incubator program was born in 2016 as an experiment and it was described as:

The intention of the incubator program is to help spread WordPress to underserved areas through providing more significant organizing support for a first event. In practical terms, this experiment means we’ll be choosing three cities in 2016 where there is not an active WordPress community — but where it seems like there is a lot of potential and where there are some people excited to become organizers — and will help to organize their first WordCamp. These WordCamps will be small, one-day, one-track events geared toward the goal of generating interest and getting people involved in creating an ongoing local community.

You can read about the sucess of this first phase in this report. Based on our experiences in Denpasar (Indonesia), Harare (Zimbawe) and Medellín (Colombia), we’re very excited to open the:

Call for Incubator cities

So, where should the next incubators be? If you have always wanted a WordCamp in your city but haven’t been able to get a community started, this is a great opportunity. We will be taking applications for the next weeks, then will get in touch with everyone who applied to discuss the possibilities. We will announce the  cities chosen by the end of March.

To apply, fill in the application by March 15, 2018. You don’t need to have any specific information handy, it’s just a form to let us know you’re interested. You can apply to nominate your city even if you don’t want to be the main organizer, but for this experiment  we will need local liaisons and volunteers, so please only nominate cities where you live or work so that we have at least one local connection to begin.

Call for Incubator co-leads

This challenging job will be an exciting opportunity for experienced WordCamp organizers that particularly enjoy the “start up” phase of the community, and who have successfully transitioned out of active leadership in their local community. (This is frequently “start a community from scratch” work, and the communities have to be self-sufficient at for the project to be effective).

As mentioned in the pre-announcement post, this role is very time-intensive, requiring consistent and frequent interaction with the local team. Not everyone can commit 250 hours in a year to a volunteer role. But if you’re willing to become an Incubator co-lead and are committed to it, please apply here filling in the application by March 31, 2018.

Thanks, and good luck!

#2018, #announcement, #incubator, #wordcamp