Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) Chat Agenda | Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 5-6pm UTC. The next meeting is tomorrow. It takes place in the #community-team 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.

We welcome new volunteers! Come drop in and see if you enjoy what we do.

Agenda

  1. The announcement went out and the new programs are live!
  2. Welcoming any new volunteers who come to the meeting
  3. Join our 2 channels on the WordPress Slack for our 2 new programs: #diverse-speaker-support and #community-events
  4. Our two workshops coming up: Allyship on Thurs, Aug 19th and Diverse Speakers a week later either on Fri, Aug. 27 or Sat, Aug. 28. We would like everyone on the team to have attended at least one Allyship and at least one Diverse Speakers workshop.
  5. Small volunteer ask: Help with on-boarding August Diverse Speaker workshop participants onto #diverse-speaker-support
  6. Small volunteer ask: Reach out to a list of people in our group who have qualified for the Community badge
  7. Small volunteer ask: Reviewing and editing our new Handbook doc describing our new programs
  8. Open discussion

If for any reason you cannot attend the meeting live but still want to be involved, please comment on the post to introduce yourself. Share a bit about your WP background and what area you want to help with.

Please leave a comment of anything else that should be added to the agenda for discussion.

Announcement and Call for Volunteers: Expanding #WPDiversity to three programs

TL;DR The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) is launching 3 new programs:

  1. Diverse Speaker Workshops
  2. New: Diverse Speaker Support
  3. New: Allyship program

We have great opportunities for volunteers to get involved with all three programs.


Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) in the WordPress Community Team is growing once again!

This group has been helping WordPress 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. and WordCamps attract and develop more diverse speakers since late 2017. In 2020 alone, we quintupled our impact by reaching 71 cities in 17 countries, and participants reported a 20% increase in public speaking confidence! (Check out our impact in our monthly reports.)

With your help, we will expand #WPDiversity to three programs to continue to work towards meeting the shared vision of diversity, equity and inclusion at WordPress events around the world.

We formed these three programs based on the community’s input on “Re-imagining the work of the Diverse Speaker Training group” for 2021.

1. Diverse Speakers Workshops:

Challenge

Often the speaker lineups of our meetups and WordCamps look alike and come from a similar background. There are many other voices that aren’t being heard as much: women, LGBTQIA+ individuals (which include non-binary, trans and genderqueer folk), people of color, people of different physical abilities, neurodivergent people, people who are older, etc.

Since the events of 2020, many meetups also haven’t had the bandwidth or confidence to run our workshops for themselves in their local communities any more. How can the WordPress Community Team support more diverse contributors, organizers, and leaders in WordPress?

The “Diverse Speaker workshops” from the Diversity Speaker Training working group (#WPDiversity) is a “stealthy,” highly effective way. We don’t ask people to be leaders. We bust through their impostor syndrome and help them find topics that people want to hear. Once they take that first step, many go on to do more.

Solution: Program 1 –  Diverse Speaker Workshops

The Diverse Speaker Training working group will continue to run the workshop for the global community directly, which we started doing in response to the pandemic in 2020. Now that the workshops are up on Learn WordPress, it is easier for more people to join our team and run our workshops for the global community.

We also support and encourage 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. 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 to run a live or watch party workshop for your local communities yourselves. We are happy to help you get set up.

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

– TC, Learner Advocate, @codebrother1, USA

“LOVED the #WPDiversity Workshop! It really inspired me to bring this type of content to the WordPress Mexico community and bring more diverse groups into speaking at our Meetups and WordCamps. ¡Muchas gracias!”

– Maryl Gonzalez – Co-Founder / Lead UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. Designer | Scrum/Agile PM – The App Chefs

2. New Diverse Speaker Support program:

Challenge

With the loss of in-person events, the road between Diverse Speaker workshop and public speaking was challenged, as the number of local groups running the workshop to encourage speaking at their own events dwindled. As mindset-shifting and confidence-boosting as our speaker workshops are, the most change happens when someone gets up to speak and has a good experience. We want to help people get on stage as soon as possible.

Solution: Program 2 – Diverse Speaker Support

Our working group is starting up a new 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, #diverse-speaker-support, to provide continued support for our workshop participants. There will be mentorship, networking, and most importantly, support to apply for speaker spots in meetup and WordCamps!

3. New Allyship program:

Challenge

There were events in 2020 that raised awareness and discussions about global inequality issues and social justice. As a result, our event organizers are more aware of diversity issues, but at the same time, feel nervous about being good allies and creating inclusive events.

Solution: Program 3 – Allyship

Our working group is launching a new Allyship program. We will train our WordPress meetup and WordCamp organizers with the Learn WordPress workshop “Creating A Welcoming and Diverse Space.”

This program will be in quarterly cohorts:

  • Month 1: A private, supportive, hands-on, interactive workshop over Zoom. You will walk away with an action list to start making changes right away.
  • Month 2: Public Slack coaching on #community-events
  • Month 3: Public Slack accountability on #community-events

Once people have gone through one cohort, the WP Community would love it if they continue participating in the Slack coaching and accountability sessions in future quarters. People are also welcome to re-take the workshop at any time as well.

“As an organizer of a large event, we’re overwhelmed with many challenges and often overlook diversity. But building a diverse and inclusive event is at the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. of what makes an event extraordinary. This workshop helped me understand these benefits while also providing simple concepts that are easy to comprehend and implement step by step.”

—Eric H., New York

“Before I took this workshop, I thought to have done a good job organizing inclusive and welcoming events. Thanks to this session, I realized how far I am from that. This workshop gave me a lot of inspiring ideas to put in place! I would recommend this workshop to anyone looking to achieve more diversity in their events or communities.”

—Alessandro R., Italy

Call for Volunteers

In order to accomplish these ambitious goals this year, the Diverse Speaker Training working group would like to invite you to participate!

Why volunteer with our team?

  • Our work is inspiring and feels good.
  • We make a difference in the community — with tangible results to show it.
  • We are a highly driven group with high impact. We get the right things done.
  • You will learn a lot! You get great experience and training that you can use. Past volunteers have gone on to lead other groups or get job promotions. 🙂
  • We value your ideas and input.

Volunteers

What: Our working group has all kinds of roles, from helping us develop the new programs to maintaining our current program. Workshop trainers, 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., translations, marketing, behind-the-scenes admin, and more. We also welcome people to just hang out in our meetings to participate in discussions and be available for small one-time contributions. Specific roles come up organically as we move forward, and you are also welcome to suggest creating a new role that inspires you and will assist the team in our mission.

When: You can participate as much or as little as you would like. We’d love it if you could attend meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5-6pm UTC. Not required, but very valued.

You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events, and you want to help shape how that happens. You do not need to have any prior experience, but a willingness to share ideas, collaborate, and help define and tackle tasks would be amazing.

Please Note

Our working group needs volunteers to help move this important initiative forward. If you have signed up for something, we are relying on you! We understand that things do come up, so if you commit to a task and are unable to complete it or fulfill your role, please tell us as early as possible. The sooner you tell us, the easier it is to make sure your task is covered.

Estimated time commitment:

  • Group meetings: 60 minutes every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5pm UTC.
  • Attend our Diverse Speaker workshop at least once (est 2 hours).
  • Attend our Allyship workshop at least once (est 2 hours).
  • The rest is up to how much time you would like to give.

If you’d like to take part in this working group, please comment on this post or come and attend our next meeting (2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5-6pm UTC on the #community-team Slack channel). I will then reach out to interested folks. If you have questions, please also feel free to comment on the post. I look forward to working with you and together creating something wonderful!

Thanks to @angelasjin and @evarlese for their feedback on this post!

#highlight

Tuesday Trainings: All About Community Deputies

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.

The WordPress Community Team is well known for hosting WordPress events around the world. Whether in-person or online, since 2006, volunteer organizers have hosted incredible events that connect WordPress enthusiasts to each other, inspire them to do more with WordPress, and encourage people to contribute back to the project.

Community organizing, however, is a multi-faceted world of wonders. Beyond the logistics of organizing an event, community organization involves excellent leadership skills, as well as knowledge of marketing, project and program management, and much, much more. 

So how is it possible that the WordPress Community team regularly welcomes new event organizers, many who may not have any previous experience?

It’s in large, large part thanks to the amazing people we call 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.: 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. and/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. organizers who enjoyed organizing so much, they wanted to help others around the world! 

Who are the Community Deputies?

Community deputies are organizers themselves, and many continue to be very active in their local communities. They participate in extra training around best 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. community building practices, and how the Community Team brings that to WordPress. This training, combined with their familiarity with the WordCamp and/or meetup chapter program, allows them to become experts in how to bring WordPress enthusiasts together.

Community deputies are, unsurprisingly, people-oriented. From everyday decisions to complex situations, 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. are guided by what is in the best interests of the WordPress community. Deputies frequently reflect on what would make things easier for contributors, and how to better support them.

Ok, but what exactly do Community Deputies do?

Community Deputies Deputies are charged with three areas of responsibility:

  1. Tackling an ongoing, regular list of tasks.
  2. Training, guiding, and mentoring WordPress communities and organizers
  3. Advising on direction and future of the Community team

The Community Team has a range of routine tasks that help keep everything moving slowly. This includes things like vetting applications for meetup groups and WordCamps, or sending Zoom accounts to meetup organizers. There are a number of queues that deputies maintain daily. For a full list of tasks, check out our deputy handbook.

In addition to welcoming and orienting Meetup and WordCamp organizers, Deputies are also around to help answer any and all questions from organizers around the world. There are a number of common questions (check out other Tuesday Trainings to see some of those questions and answers), and deputies leverage their training and experience to give the best answers! Deputies routinely help with topics like how to sustainably expand an organizing team, how to diversify a speaker line up, or simply how to start a local community.

Sometimes, those questions can get pretty tricky, for example, questions around how help a potential sponsor change their licence to be 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.-friendly. In many of these cases, deputies will work together to discuss and to provide the strongest community-driven responses. 

Supporting a global community allows deputies to have a broader view of the Community team and how programs are functioning. When deputies see areas for improvement, they’ll suggest them! Deputies will also bring up, discuss, and help decide bigger, whole program decisions. A great example of this is our work with exploring how to move back to in-person events

Of course, deputies rely on lots of collaboration and feedback organizers, WordCamp 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., event sponsors, volunteers, and attendees to do all of this incredible work! Across discussions and projects, deputies regularly invite participation from any WordPress community member. 

Can I be a Community 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.

Any WordPress organizer with experience and who is in good standing with the program can be a Community Deputy. To learn more about being a Community Deputy, check out the handbook. When you’re ready, submit an application! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Want to learn more? Come join us in the #community-events or #community-team channels in the Making WP 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/.! We’re super friendly people, so come say hi.  

Thank you @hlashbrooke, @sippis, @kcristiano for helping to write this week’s Tuesday Training.

#tuesdaytrainings

Request for feedback: Review for the dedicated deputy communication channel

After the discussion on my proposal about a dedicated communication place for deputies, we agreed to experiment with a private #community-deputies channel 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/.. In the discussion, we also agreed to do a public review after three and six months to see how the channel has worked and decide its continuation. The channel was created in December, so it’s time for the first review.

The purpose of the channel is to be a safe place for all 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. to discuss sensitive and private aspects of our work, get peer-support when needed and ask second opinions for event applications. It’s not meant for discussions that could take place in public forums like this blog, #community-team or #community-events channel.

Guidelines for the channel are:

  • As we all are busy and have an abundance of unread notifications, please avoid irrelevant chatter.
  • Help to create a safe and welcoming space for all deputies. Be empathetic and help answer questions when you can!
  • If you feel that the discussion should take place in a public forum, say it and help to move the discussion to the #community-team channel or Community Team blog.
  • Any decision making that will affect the broader community will be made in public. Help others be aware of when they might be making a decision that should happen after public discussion.

As this year has continued being really strange, I think we really can’t use many numeric metrics while reviewing the channel. That’s why I’d like us to have an open, free form, discussion. Here are some questions to help start that discussion:

  1. Has there been discussion about topics that should have been taken place in public forums instead?
  2. Have you got help with some issue in the channel, which you’d normally handled by yourself or asked help from another 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. in a private message?
  3. Has the channel helped you feel more connected to the team?
  4. In general, what is your feeling about the discussion that has taken place on the channel?
  5. Should we continue to keep using a private deputy channel?

Active deputies, please share your thoughts and raise new important questions to the discussion. This is also an open invitation for all community members to ask questions about the channel, which could help us with the review.

Discussion is open until 2021-03-29. If the result of the review looks like there’s no justification for private working space for deputies, the channel will be shut off at the beginning of April. In case the experiment continues, we will do another public review in three months.

Thanks to @angelasjin, @andreamiddleton and @kcristiano who helped with this post.

#slack

Proposal Update: Decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups

Feb 4, 2021 Update: The date to give feedback on this post has been extended by one week! Please share your feedback by February 12.

Following the proposal earlier this month around a decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups, there was additional conversation and questions about how an organizer would use the checklist. To help everyone better understand the process as currently envisioned, I’ve done my best to describe it below, incorporating some additional, excellent ideas that were shared. Before moving forward on this, I invite everyone to read through this process, and to share your feedback. 

A quick note: until this process is implemented, all WordCamps and 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. are expected to be held online.The Community team knows that it is still very unsafe to meet in person in many areas. The goal of this process is to help 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. organizers assess the risk of hosting an in-person event, in the hopes that some areas that have more effectively contained COVID (like New Zealand and Taiwan) can be supported in hosting in-person meetups.

The process as currently envisioned would look like this for a meetup organizer: 

  1. Review the resources. Meetup organizers would reference some new (to be created) handbook pages in the Meetup Organizer Handbook. These new pages will include: 
    • The checklist to determine whether organizers can proceed, with caution, in organizing an in-person event.
    • Links to frequently referenced health authority data, to help organizers determine positivity rates, basic reproduction number, etc. 
    • Templates to help meetup organizers, such as language for requesting info for contract tracing, expected behavior and safety protocols, etc. 
    • Reporting mechanism that allows organizers and community members to report to 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. if they need support or see any safety concerns or broken protocols. 
  2. Use the checklist. The Meetup organizer uses the checklist (put together based off of feedback from the previous proposal), which is a CrowdSignal form embedded in the handbook page. The form will only recommend moving forward with an in-person meetup if organizers are able to answer yes to all questions. Organizers can use the handbook page with links to health authority data, or use local resources, to help fill in the checklist.
    • The checklist recommends “no”. If the checklist says “no”, organizers are expected to follow this recommendation. At this point, they can close out the survey without submitting. If they would like to provide the Community team with feedback on the form, or share what health authority references they used, they do have that option.
    • The checklist recommends “yes, proceed with caution”. If the organizer gets the recommendation that they can proceed with an in-person meetup, they will be required to submit the form, which also asks for: 
      • Agreement to the recommendations and guidelines provided.
      • Organizer name, Meetup URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org, health authority references

Although organizers do not need to wait for further approval from the Community team, submitting the form is mandatory for organizers who want to organize in-person meetups. 

  1. Organize the in-person meetup. If the organizers proceed with an in person event, they can use templates in the meetup description to explain safety protocols or measures to their meetup participants. Some examples might include expected behaviors (wearing a mask, agreeing to share contact information for contact tracing, etc), or that the meetup may move online or be cancelled if local situations change. 
  2. Reporting back to Community Deputies. If something unexpected happens, the Community team would like to know immediately. Organizers and meetup attendees can reach us in a number of ways: by pinging 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 the #community-events channel, or emailing support@wordcamp.org. Community members can report concerns or ask questions, specifically around in-person meetups, using a new, dedicated handbook page. 

Community Team deputies will be responsible for directing meetup organizers to these resources, answering questions as they come up, and broadly, to help all meetups follow these guidelines. 

Feedback requested

Please share your thoughts on this proposal update by Friday, February 12, 2021. Specifically, it would be helpful to hear:

  • Are the steps or checks missing in this process? 
  • Do you have any questions about the process?
  • What happens if organizers or attendees don’t follow these guidelines?

Thank you all for your patience and thoughtful feedback in creating this process. This is a hard, hard topic with no precedent we can refer to, so I am grateful that this considerate community is tackling this together. 

Kudos to @sippis, @andreamiddleton, @evarlese, @jenniferswisher for helping to write this post!

#meetups

Getting more Learn WordPress Discussion Group leaders and attendees

Learn WordPress is getting closer to its full launch and more workshops are being published, worked on and planned. One essential idea with workshops are discussion groups, that are a great way to share thoughts and ideas between others that have watched the recorded workshop.

Discussion groups can be held via Zoom or in #community-events 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 by original workshop presenter(s) or anyone who wants to be a discussion group leader. Virtually anyone interested in leading a discussion group on any of the workshops on the site is welcome to do so.

To make the most out of workshops and discussion groups, it would be great to have at least two discussion groups per each workshop. These discussion groups can happen anytime and even after the workshop has been published already months ago – it’s up to the discussion group leaders interest.

Currently, discussion groups are a bit hidden in the Learn WordPress platform. I’m proposing the following additions in order to raise awareness about discussion groups happening and more attendees and discussion group leaders:

1. Add “Upcoming discussion groups” section between “Recent workshops” and workshop idea submission CTA on the front page.

This new section would list three next upcoming discussion groups and link to the meetup.com page where all upcoming discussion groups are listed. This way also older workshops get some attention on the front page if new discussions groups for those are scheduled.

We already have code to get 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. from meetup.com, so it shouldn’t be a big job to get scheduled discussion groups from there as well. Of course, it needs some dev time, but I’m sure it will be worth it.

2. Add “Interested in running a discussion group?” CTA next to current “Have an Idea for a Workshop?“ CTA on the front page.

I’d like to have many discussion group leaders, so running those won’t fall into the responsibility of a workshop presenter(s) and a small group of an active group of Learn WP 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.. With this new CTA in place, we make it more visible that virtually anyone can run a discussion group if they find a workshop they’re really interested in and there’s no scheduled discussion group for that workshop.

Quick mockup showing how upcoming discussion groups and new CTA could be places on the front page.

3. Add details about discussion groups in workshop pages.

Currently, the page of a single workshop only has a button “Join a Discussion Group” which is a bit vague. We should add a small blurb on top of the button explaining what is a discussion group. Below the button could be a small text, much like the 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 notice, saying that if there’s no scheduled discussion group for this workshop, apply to be a discussion group leader to run one.

4. Create a new “Be a Discussion Group leader” page

As you might notice, two previous proposals contain a link to a page that doesn’t exist at this time on Learn WP platform. We should create a new page where it is explained what discussion group is, what it means to be a discussion group leader and how to apply. Currently, this information exists only in this make/community posts.

Tracking all the upcoming discussion groups and keeping an eye that each workshop has at least two groups

It would be nice to have at least two discussion groups for each workshop. These can happen anytime after the workshop has been published, even months later.

To keep track of upcoming discussion groups, we’ll use meetup.com where all scheduled discussion groups are being added.

In parallel to public listing on scheduled groups, I suggest that we create a new Google sheet with each workshop listed on it. In the sheet we can track if;

  • Zoom discussion group has been scheduled/held
  • Slack discussion group has been scheduled/held
  • Additional discussion groups have been scheduled/held

It would fall mostly under my lap, as I promised to manage discussion groups, but everyone who schedules a new discussion group in meetup.com should update this sheet.

With this sheet, we can track if a workshop hasn’t had any discussion groups and we can reach out to our discussion group leaders and workshop presenter(s) (not too) regularly asking whether they would like to schedule one. In future, the list of workshops needing a discussion group leader, could be added to the new “Be a Discussion Group leader” in Learn WP platform.

What do you think? Thoughts, ideas, comments, questions? How we could attract more discussion group leaders and attendees in your opinion? Please share your feedback before 2020-11-09.

#discussion, #discussion-groups, #learn, #learn-wordpress, #learn-roadmap

Tuesday Trainings: Thoughts on WordCamp Mentorship

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. Mentorship program is invaluable; the WordCamp gets the experience and thoughts of an experienced WordCamp Organizer and the 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. always learns something from each WordCamp they work with. The mentoring program can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have contributing to the Community Team. 

Why do WordCamps Need 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.?

The WordCamp program changes all the time. Not just in these unprecedented Pandemic Times, but even in ‘normal’ times the program is ever-changing and evolving. WordCamps can benefit from a mentor so they can understand and learn about the latest changes to the program and any exciting new addons that we have added.

WordCamp Mentors are a great sounding board for new ideas. Have a great idea you have never seen at a WordCamp? Run it by your Mentor. Talking (or 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/. chatting an idea) will help define it and make it happen.

With a mentor you will have a person to reach out to and help you through the rough times. It’s crunch time and you need an answer right now! Don’t panic – that email you sent to support@wordcamp.org is not being ignored, that slack 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.” you dropped into #community-events isn’t being ignored either.  It’s just that those are monitored by volunteers who are focused on everything instead of a single thing. Your WordCamp. Your mentor is your connection to 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., they’re there to answer your questions and keep you on track in planning.

What should a mentor do?

A mentor acts as your guide to a successful WordCamp. “Guide” is the key word. A good mentor will create a safe space for your team to explore ideas, keep on track in planning, and become innovative without the fear of innovating yourself outside of the expectations for WordCamps. It’s also the mentors job to ensure that the event follows program guidelines, and expectations.

Perhaps most important of all, a mentor listens. Even when you have an idea that seems crazy or out of the box. Even when you want to try something no other WordCamp has tried before.  They listen, talk the idea through, and see what it will take to make it happen. You could be surprised what we can work out when we work together.

If a WordCamp starts having worries about money, the mentor is the first person they’ll go to.  The goal is not to say no, nor to cut expenses, but to be a helpful reviewer of what needs to be done.  Money issues can be solved. The purpose of a WordCamp is to engage people in the WordPress project, provide valuable content to the attendees, and to grow the WP community.   When deciding budgetary issues these are the primary things that should be kept in mind. A mentor can help you do that.  

Mentors never forget that the WoprdCamp Organizers are volunteers and their time is valuable, because mentors are volunteers too. WordCamps don’t pay organizers, volunteers, or speakers. When you look at a budget there’s no labor cost, no speaker fees, no payments to anyone other than vendors. Mentors know this and keep this in mind when tasking their Organizers with additional work to be done. The time an Organizer spends has a cost, even if it does not show up on the budget.

While being available when organizers have urgent questions is a nice benefit of the WordCamp Mentorship relationship, that’s not the important part of how mentorship works. Ideally there aren’t urgent questions because Mentors and Organizers work closely together from the beginning of pre-planning through the execution of the WordCamp. Mentors should schedule regular meetings; regular enough so that there is a comfortable cadence to them, but not so frequently that it feels overbearing or takes up more time than is required. Typically  we recommend meeting every two weeks, but it’s a balancing act.  Be sure to have meetings around key dates:

  • Announcing calls for speakers, sponsors, and volunteers
  • Call for speakers ending
  • Checking during speaker selection process
    • Mentors should keep their thoughts on selection to themselves unless they see a speaker that does not meet the expectations for participation 
  • If an it’s an in-person even offer to let the Organizers talk through their menu with them to ensure dietary requirements are being met   
  • Be available the last two weeks for quick slack chats to help Organizers through the last minute hurdles

What shouldn’t WordCamp Mentors do?

This is not the mentors event. That’s the key thing a mentor should remember at all times. If you would do a task differently, that does not make the way this WordCamp is doing it wrong – it makes it different. Let Organizers do it their own way.

A mentor is not on the Organizing team. Mentors do not decide, they guide.

A mentor does not tell a WordCamp what to do. Mentors will advise a Camp is something they are doing is not allowed (perhaps they are planning T-shirts and want to put sponsor logos on the back and offer only Unisex sizing) by explaining why we have these guidelines. But they don’t tell a WordCamp not to have t-shirts just because they prefer non-sized swag.

A mentor does not do the organizing work. They don’t take on your work or the work of a team member. They’re there in an advisory capacity to help keep you on track in planning and give you a sounding board. Don’t assign them tasks.

Moving Mentorship Forward

As the WordCamp program evolves and changes the need for WordCamp mentors becomes more and more significant. And the need to ensure these mentors are ready and able to handle these changes as they come up is critical. To this end we’re working to update the Mentor Handbook and create a monthly meeting to mentor the mentors. 

If you’re a former WordCamp lead organizer and working on the existing documentation or becoming a mentor for WordCamps is something you’re interested in, let us know how you’d like to be involved in the comments.

Looking for more great training content? 

Check these out!

The WordPress Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) has several workshops coming up to help you in your journey to public speaking at online WordPress events, or for WordPress event organizers to support more diverse speakers at the events you are holding:

Saturday, July 11, 1-5pm in Costa Rica time: Empower Women Speakers For your WordPress Events in Latin America
Saturday, July 18, 5-7pm UTC: WordPress 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.: Hold Your Own Diverse Speaker Workshop
Tuesday, July 28: Who am I to be speaking? & Finding a topic that people would love to hear
Wednesday, July 29: Creating a great pitch
Thursday, July 30: (new!) What if someone asks me a difficult question?

#mentorship, #tuesdaytrainings

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: Online Events Edition

Hello friends,

We are happy to share with you another 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. organizer newsletter, packed full of information about upcoming online events, along with news, information, and inspiration for your local meetup.

Newsletter contents:

  • New resources for online and in-person events during COVID-19
  • Upcoming Online Events
  • Training Tuesdays
  • Call for Content for the Youth Working Group

New Resources for Online and In-Person Events during COVID-19

The WordPress Community has begun to host online Meetups, and there are guidelines for online do_action charity hackathons. Now, the Community Team has prepared a new set of guidelines for online WordCamps, and for in-person events during COVID-19. 

Online WordCamps – Resources, Tools, and Information

In order to assist organizers with the process of moving their 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. online, and to pave the way for new organizers to get involved, the Community Team has set up some tools, processes, and documentation to make things possible.

We are providing online production and captioning costs associated with any online WordCamp taking place this year will be covered in full without the need for local sponsorship. You will find more information in the documentation about production vendors, as well as what to look out for if you do look for local companies. We’ve updated our guidelines to cover the regional focus of online events and important changes to the budget review and planning processes.

The handbook also includes a code of conduct that has been updated to cater to this new format. There is also some new documentation on effective ways to moderate the chat during a live stream and how you can ensure your event’s chat remains friendly and inviting. We also have a handbook page that shares some excellent ideas about how to acknowledge your online event sponsors, along with some tips for speakers at online events.

The WordCamp schedule has been updated to indicate whether an event is taking place online or not, and we also have tips for WordCamp speakers

In-Person WordCamps

When in-person events are able to resume, those events will follow the guidelines that were already in place, taking note of these additional guidelines for in-person events taking place in 2020. The 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. is planning to keep these guidelines in place until Q4 2020, at which point we’ll revisit and reassess depending on the situation at that time.

Upcoming Online Events

All the upcoming online events from WordPress meetup groups are shown on this page – times will be shown in your local time zone unless otherwise noted. Feel free to participate in any event to see what other meetup groups are doing! For tips on how to organize an online meetup, visit this handbook page

WCUS Call for Speakers and Interactive Office Hours

WordCamp US 2020 will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event still runs from October 27-29, 2020, and will be free to anyone who wishes to attend. 

At this time, the Call for Speakers is still open! You can apply to speak on the speaker application site until May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm CDT (UTC-5). The WCUSWCUS WordCamp US. The US flagship WordCamp event. programming team is holding an interactive office hours this Saturday, May 16th at 11:00 am CDT (UTC-5) to help prospective speakers learn more about WCUS attendees and brainstorm topics for their talk. This interactive session will be held in the Make WordPress Slack. For more information and to sign up, visit this post. This session will be followed by a second interactive office hoursOffice Hours Defined times when the Global Community Team are in the #community-events Slack channel. If there is anything you would like to discuss – you do not need to inform them in advance.You are very welcome to drop into any of the Community Team Slack channels at any time. dedicated to helping prospective speakers create and submit their pitch, so follow the blog for the latest info. 

Bonus! The Call for Cities is also open. If your community is interested in hosting WordCamp US in 2021 & 2022, please fill out this application

WordCamp Europe

The biggest WordCamp in Europe is now fully online, 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/.! The event will be on June 4-6, 2020, and you can get the latest updates on their website, or by following #WCEU. Don’t forget to get your free tickets for WordCamp Europe now!

WordCamp Kent Online

On May 30-31, 2020, the northeast Ohio WordPress community will come together online for the first online edition of WordCamp Kent. You can get your free tickets for WordCamp Kent Online now!

Diverse Speaker Workshops and Coaching

The Diverse Speaker Training Group (#WPDiversity) is holding workshops and group coaching sessions in May and June. The workshop series will help dispel some myths about being a speaker, help you find a topic, create a great pitch, and provide tips for public speaking and being on camera. Participants are encouraged to attend all three workshops in the given week (the series will be run in May and again in June). In addition, there will be Group Coaching sessions where participants can get help with anything related to public speaking at WordPress events! These sessions are intended to train speakers who are members of a marginalized or underrepresented group in terms of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, etc. For details on dates and times, and for additional information about these sessions, please read this post. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here.

Highlighted Online Meetup:  

In this section, we try to highlight the experiences shared by meetup organizers, about their experiences while organizing an online event. 

Sam Suresh from the Kuala Lumpur WordPress Meetup group shared his experiences about the first edition of their online event: MCO: WordPress Meetup via Zoom

The meetup draws its title from the Movement Control Order (MCO) issued by the Malaysian Government to enforce a lockdown in the country. This was the first online event organized by the meetup group, and over 50 people attended the live event hosted on Zoom. The event had four speakers who each spoke for 20 minutes, followed by a 10 minute Q&A. The organizers also live-streamed the event using the Facebook Live platform, in order to attain a wider reach. Attendees found the event enjoyable and they are planning to organize more online events in the future!

Would you like to share your experiences with organizing online events? Let us know!

Training Tuesdays

WordPress 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. and volunteers are creating a new series of content to share knowledge and help to train organizers and interested community members in a variety of skills, while also adding additional training documentation to our handbooks. The content will come in a variety of formats including blog posts, recorded presentations, discussions, and workshops. Each week on Tuesday a different topic will be highlighted on the WordPress Community Blog here with the #tuesdaytrainings tag. For more information, visit the announcement post. If you’d like to contribute your knowledge for a Tuesday Training, please email support@wordcamp.org 

Call for Content for the Youth Working Group

The Youth Working Group team is looking for individuals to contribute 5-10 minute video or video snippets that cover doing something with WordPress. This could be short instructional screencasts from the WordPress dashboard, or a short tutorial that depicts how one can build something fun and creative using WordPress. If you would like to contribute to the project, please 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.” Sandy Edwards (@sunsand187) directly in the Make WordPress Slack. If you do not mind the video being used for WCUS KidsCamp, you can apply to speak here: https://2020.wcus-speakers.org/. If you have any questions, you can get them answered at the Youth Events office hours that happen weekly on Thursdays at 2100 UTC/5 pm EST in the the #community-events channel of the Make WordPress Slack

If you have any questions, Community Team 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. are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events 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.

Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community, let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring our 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. Community! 

We’ll see you online soon!

#newsletter

#meetup-organizer-newsletter

Meetup Organiser Newsletter: Online Events Edition

Hi there folks!

Welcome to another 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. organiser newsletter – in this edition we’ll be highlighting some upcoming virtual events and providing you with more info about taking your events online!

Upcoming Online Events

With much of the world either on lockdown or in recommended self-isolation, organizers all over the world are taking their events online. The WordPress community is no exception to this trend as many 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., WordCamps, and other events in the community are being streamed online for the whole world to enjoy.

WordCamp San Antonio

As WordCamps begin to move online, the first to do so is 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. San Antonio taking place this weekend – March 28-29. You can see the full schedule on their site (all times in the local time zone of UTC-5) and book your free ticket here. Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll start to see many more WordCamps be presented as live streams. If you are an organizer who would like to get started with this for your community, then keep an eye on the Community Team blog as more info about online events will be published very soon.

WPBlockTalk

On Thursday, April 2 a virtual event all about the WordPress 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. editor will be broadcast live. WPBlockTalk includes speakers from all over the world and, after the live event, will be published on WordPress.tv for you to watch (or re-watch) whenever you’d like.

Online Meetups

It’s not only WordCamps and all-day conferences that are streaming online, but local WordPress meetup groups are also doing it too! You can find all the upcoming online events from WordPress meetup groups all over the world on this page – times will be shown in your local time zone unless otherwise noted. 

Resources for Online Events

If you would like to take your meetup online, we have some resources available to help you get started with streaming your expertly-crafted content to the world. First off, we need to note that for the time being, we won’t be approving or paying venue-related costs for meetup groups, even if it is in advance for when you do ultimately start meeting in person again. We don’t know what the situation will be once in-person meetings are possible once more and it is safer to only pay for those venues once we know how it will work.

In order to assist you with bringing your meetup events online, we have put together a page of resources and tips to provide with ideas and software options for this move. Additionally, Meetup.com has published information on how to indicate that your event is taking place online. If you follow their guide then your events will be listed in the online meetup events page that is mentioned above.

During this time, when everyone is connecting virtually with each other, people are joining forces with other local communities that speak the same language. The 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. has removed location limitations and reduced the planning process to a minimum. 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. will provide Crowdcast accounts for these longer online events (more info coming soon!) and they will have free tickets for everyone around the globe to be able to join without any financial limitation.

If your community is interested, you can submit the WordCamp Organizer Application now!

Running Charity Hackathons Online

For the last few years, we have included the do_action Charity Hackathon event series in the WordPress community program, and there are some handy recap posts 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. site all about how these events have been going. In order to keep these going, we have opened the event format up a bit to allow them to be run online. You can find more information about that in the announcement, and if you would like to organize a 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. event, you can apply for one here.

If you have any questions or concerns, Community Team 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. are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Please note that our Meetup.com inbox is not monitored, so please don’t reach out by replying directly to this message.

Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community, let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring our 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. Community! 

We’ll see you online soon!

Event Cancellation Guidelines and Procedures

Given the unfortunate crisis we find ourselves in with COVID-19 (corona virus) we’ve seen as many 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. cancellations this month as we would ordinarily see in a full calendar year. Being mindful that the question of when to cancel, and what to do if cancellation is required, is on the minds of many organizers I’d like to start collecting some information on and common questions you might have around cancelling/postponing an event so we can add them to the WordCamp Organizers Handbook.

We have some existing documentation on procedures followed for WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program. which we’ll publish along with an FAQ and other guidelines.

I know @courtneypk and @sippis have a lot to add to this conversation, I invite everyone to chime in as well.

While ordinarily we would wait until a call for feedback has been completed to add an update like this, in this case I hope you all agree we should add this documentation as soon as possible and update as necessary.

Please share feedback and concerns in the comments!

#community-events #wordcamps