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 Mentor 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 Mentors?

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 Meetups: 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 All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. 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 Team 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 WCUS 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 hours 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 deputies 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 deputies 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 Organiser Newsletter: Online Events Edition

Hi there folks!

Welcome to another meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. 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 meetups, 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 Team 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 Foundation 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_action event, you can apply for one here.

If you have any questions or concerns, Community Team deputies 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 Support 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

2019 Annual WordPress Meetup Organizer Survey

A similar message to this post was sent to all WordPress Chapter MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. Organizers via meetup.com, but we are also sharing below.

If you are a Meetup Organizer, please feel free to share the survey link with your co-organizers.

Hello Meetup Organizers!

It’s time for the annual meetup organizer survey, and we have a bunch of other stuff to tell you about, too! 

Organizer Survey

The annual survey is how we track progress in the meetup program. If your meetup group has multiple organizers, each organizer should fill in the survey, but please decide among your group who will be the main point of contact with WordPress Community Support in 2020 — we ask for that information in the survey. Here’s your organizer survey:

https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/2019-annual-meetup-organizer-survey

In order for your feedback to be included in the results, please complete the survey by 15 March, 2020!

Member Survey

We’ve recently shared the annual meetup program survey with all members. We’ve revised the questions and edited it down to a shorter survey that takes less than 3 minutes to complete. It would be great if you could mention it at your next event and encourage people to respond! In the email to members, we’ve reminded them that all meetup group members are encouraged to plan events that interest them so that there are more things happening in each group without the primary organizers having to do more work. If members of your group offer to organize events, we hope you will encourage them and make sure they feel welcome on the organizing team!

Organizing Team

Speaking of the organizing team, it’s time for a round of clean-up on your meetup.com leadership team. If there are any organizers on your team who haven’t planned an event in 2019, please communicate with them about changing their role to Member so that people can see who is active and can help answer questions. 

WordPress Global Community Sponsors for 2019

A big thank you to our 2019 global sponsors! Their generous support keeps the meetup program free for the whole community and helps to make sure ticket prices for WordCamps stay affordable.

  • Jetpack *
  • WooCommerce *
  • Bluehost *
  • Liquid Web
  • GoDaddy *
  • HubSpot *
  • GreenGeeks
  • DreamHost

* These sponsors support WordPress events worldwide.

Meetup Sponsorship

  •  If a venue is donating space, it is appropriate to list them as the venue sponsor.
  • It is not appropriate to list any company as contributing to the meetup.com dues, since we pay those through the central account.
  • Companies providing refreshments or financial support to cover the cost of refreshments are appropriate to thank, but should be recognized on an even level with their support. Paying for snacks all year? SidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. recognition is great. One-time sponsor? Leaving them listed as a sponsor all year doesn’t quite match; it’s better to thank them in the event listing for the event they are sponsoring.
  • Organizers of the meetup group and its events are volunteers, and should not be listing their businesses as sponsors unless they are providing a venue or financial support/refreshments like an outside company. 

Venue Rental Costs

We encourage organizers to get free or donated space, but if your venue charges a fee, you can submit a request for payment, which we will review and let you know if that is something we can help cover. Keep in mind that the guideline for cost is about $5 USD per person. Venue rental costs are paid from the central budget. If you’d like to submit a payment request, you can do so here by completing the Meetup Venue Approval Request form.

Event Host Designation

This is a small thing, but sometimes meetup organizers set the “WordPress” user as the event host for their meetup events. Please set the event organizer as the event host — when WordPress is the event host, people try to ask us questions about the event that we can’t answer.

Community Team Blog and 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/.

Meetup organizers are considered part of the community team at WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/. If you don’t stop by the community team’s blog often, please drop by every once in a while! In addition, if you haven’t joined the WordPress Slack instance, you can do so at https://chat.wordpress.org. The #community-events channel in Slack is where meetup and WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers can chat with each other, ask questions of Community Team deputies, ask for community feedback, etc. 

Thank you for your efforts in 2019, and here’s to an even better 2020!
–The WordPress Global Community Team

#meetups, #survey

Program Wide Payment and Contract Intermission — December 21-29

With most of the Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community, who routinely handle WPCS banking, and many deputies offline to celebrate end of year holidays we’ll be pausing our payments programs Saturday December 21 through Sunday December 29.

During this time we’ll halt 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. and MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. vendor payments, reimbursements, sponsor invoicing, sponsor payment attribution, and contract review and approval. If you’ll need to pay for goods or services during that time please submit all requests no later than 9am Pacific Friday, December 20, 2019.

Payments submitted leading up to the payment intermission may have additional delays from year end postal, bank, and business closures so expect additional processing time.

Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Monday, December 30, 2019. Sponsor invoices paid December 21-29 won’t be marked paid until after December 30. Contracts will not be reviewed and approved until the following week.

Some deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or 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/. in the #community-events channel but response times are expected to be slow.

Additional note: Our banking is done through US accounts and all US banks will be closed Wednesday, January 1, 2020. No payments will be processed that day.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Monday, December 30 2019 though it may take through the end of the week to get fully caught up.

If you have any concerns or question please let us know as soon as possible!

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups-2

How to contribute to the Global Community Team

These are some of the different options for getting involved with the WordPress Global Community Team 🙂

1) The best way to start is by organizing Meetups and/or WordCamps in your city. If you feel like you can represent WordPress, follow the code of conduct for WordPress events, and follow the five good-faith rules for WordPress meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. organizers, then you can apply to join the program: 

  1. a) Check if there is a WordPress Meetup group in your city – if there is one, join it, attend the events, and step up by either helping the organizers or becoming an organizer yourself!
  2. b) Check if there is a WordCamp in your area – you can attend, apply to speak, volunteer, sponsor and/or help organize your local 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.!
  3. c) If there is not an existing WordPress Meetup group (or if there is an inactive group) in your town/city and you want to start one, you can apply here – you’ll receive a reply within a couple of weeks.

2) If you already have experience organizing a successful WordCamp and have an availability of 2-3 hours a month, you can apply to become a WordCamp mentor here: – you’ll receive a reply within a couple of weeks.

3) If you have had at least 1 year of experience as a Meetup organizer and/or have been a WordCamp lead organizer, you are familiar with the WordPress Open Source project and philosophy, you have at least 2-3 hours a week available for contributing, and you accept our Code of Conduct, you can apply to become a Community Deputy. We are a team of community-minded people around the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at 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.. You can apply to join the Global Community Team as a deputy here – you’ll receive a reply within a couple of weeks.

Note: if you have any additional questions, join us in the #community-events channel of Make WordPress Slack, we’ll be happy to help you there!

#contributors

Proposal: Changes to application workflow for better communication

Our MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. 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. vetting queue might sometimes be a bit long. It causes a delay, sometimes almost a month, between sending the application and deputy vetting it. The long gap between submitting the application and receiving an update might be frustrating for some applicants. Some do also come to #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 and ask to confirm that their application is received.

Public application report page helps a little with this, but not all applicants know about it. Even if they do, it does not feel like personal contact with Community Team.

I propose the following change to our application workflow, to keep applicants informed and to add a bit more personal touch after sending the application:

  • Create a HelpScout ticket and in that ticket:
  • Send a short warm confirmation that the Community Team has received the application.
  • Keep ticket open and mark it with the tag “application-confirmation.”
  • The application tracker on central.wordcamp.org is updated with a link to the ticket for later communication.

This can be done pragmatically leveraging HelpScout APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways., so manual deputy work is not needed.

After this process has been set up, we could use HelpScout workflows to do different things. For example, send a short message if there hasn’t been any activity for two weeks after the application was received. This message could contain an apology that we have a bit of queue right now and promise that we will vet the application as soon as possible.

Possible advantages for deputies:

  • Deputies can view the queue from HelpScout and not require to visit the application tracker queue to figure out which one to conduct a vetting
  • Easier and trackable way to assign applications to deputies

What do you think, is this a good idea? Do you already imagine how the messaged are phrased? Tell it in the comments! Deadline for comments is 2019-10-04.

Thanks to @adityakane for brainstorming this proposal with me and commenting the draft.

Advisory for wire transfers to Canada

If you are organizing or mentoring a camp in Canada, please take the below advisory into consideration when submitting vendor payments or reimbursements:

For Canadian clients paying U.S. Dollar Wires to beneficiary bank Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank) , the only valid SWIFT BIC code for beneficiary bank is TDOMCATTTOR. Any other BIC will be rejected by TD Bank and the wire will need to be recalled less correspondent bank fees. Please call your payees to confirm beneficiary bank details to avoid delays.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Global Community Team, or ask in the in the #community-events channel in the WordPress.org Slack.

Feedback needed:

Should this advisory be added to the organizer handbook, in the sections about Vendor Payments and Reimbursements?

#payments, #wordcamps

Organizer Best Practices: How to address panic

Organizing community events is fun, but not always relaxing. Every 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. organizer has experienced the atmospheric shift on their team, from casual and breezy at the beginning… to focused and pressured as the event date approaches. When mentoring organizers, I find myself frequently sharing techniques that can help lead a team through the “storm” of those last few months of WordCamp organizing (or really, any storm at all) — so I thought it might be helpful to document that information in our team blog. Here we go!

Recognize “stressed” behaviors

Many of the people on your team will respond to “the event is just around the corner!” stress with a tendency toward one of the following:

  1. Panic
  2. Withdraw/go silent
  3. Lose flexibility/get combative

In this month’s edition of the Organizer Best Practices series, we’ll talk about that first stress response: panic. Next month, I’ll share some ways to reactivate organizers who have withdrawn or stopped communicating; and then in October, we’ll talk through what to do when a previously relaxed or easy-going person suddenly becomes argumentative or inflexible. 

Addressing panic

WordCamp organizers generally dream big and take risks, which is how our events stay fresh and keep innovating. Yay! Combining those behaviors with hard deadlines and actual money… can lead to some scary moments, though! If you see someone (or your whole team — it’s contagious) start to panic, you’re not lost, but you need to act fast.

  1. Stay calm. You can’t help the team make rational decisions if you’re also panicking. Your job as a leader is to keep your cool so that other people can, too. It’s totally OK to say, “OK, I don’t want to panic right now, so I’m going to ask some questions/think this through/ask someone for help.”
  2. Analyze the risks. What are we afraid might happen? How likely is that outcome? What is the worst that could happen, and what’s the best that could happen? This activity also allows you to contextualize the situation. Very few conference organizing “disasters” end in physical harm, loss of life, or even long-term consequences.
  3. Gather data. You make your best decisions when you have all the facts. When you come to the end of the risk analysis process, you will probably have collected at least one or two “I don’t know”s. Get as much information as you can, before the team has to act. If it takes a while to get the information you need, and you don’t have to make a decision right away, that’s a feature — not a bug. Slowing down will usually result in calming down.
  4. Identify your options. This is best done after you’ve gathered all the data, but you can identify some “if… then” options while you’re waiting for answers to questions. Rarely are you restricted to one possible option — even if your list of options includes things you absolutely don’t want to do, include those “definite no”s in your list. Knowing what you have the power to do (cancel the event), even if you choose not to (please don’t, I bet we can find a solution), is empowering and will bring people out of their fearful mindset. 

Help your team build their skills

In your work as a leader, try not to swoop in and solve people’s panic for them. Once you think you’ve got a handle on this process, try to bring your team with you through the steps as well, so this can start to come more easily to everyone. That way, if you’re not around for some reason, another organizer can spot the signs of panic in other people and help!

Connect with the Global Community Team

Remember that this team has a huge group of experienced community leaders and event organizers. It is very rare for a WordCamp team to run into a situation that no other WordCamp organizer has faced in the past, so don’t be ashamed or shy — ask for advice or help!

There are office hours in the #community-events channel in the WordPress.org Slack 4 days a week, but lots of organizers hang out in that channel ready to help (we really love to help). You can also reach out via this contact form, or ask your mentor for help. 

Ideas

Do you have any tips for addressing panic or keeping calm in an emergency? Share them in a comment on this post! 

#organizer-best-practices