Small Change to Meetup and WordCamp Organizer Applications

In today’s afternoon #community-team chat, I mentioned that it can sometimes be difficult for deputies vetting applications to find information about the applicants online and that it might be helpful to request a little additional information on the application.  It was generally agreed that this would be only an incremental change and would not make it more difficult to apply so we have decided to update the application. @camikaos has since updated both the Meetup Interest Form and the WordCamp Organizer Application to include a single question: “Where can we find you online?”.

In the interest of transparency we wanted to post about the change here. As @andreamiddleton pointed out, though the decision was made in a public meeting, we try to avoid deciding on things during a single synchronous meeting. In order to include more of our global community (and for those who don’t have access to the slack), we’re posting about it here. Let us know if you have any concerns or feedback. We will revisit the change in 6 months to review and see if it has made application vetting any simpler (or sooner if we notice any unintended impacts).

Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on February 7th, 2018

Start time stamp in Community-Team Slack

@jillbinder @dianewallace


Today’s Agenda

  • Update on core message and contact form
  • How to use HelpScout
  • HelpScout autoresponder
  • Our promotions spreadsheet
  • Looking for volunteers to start training meetups
  • Questions from testers
  • Hashtag
  • Summary

Update on Core Message and Contact Form

Our core message and form are ready to start sending out and promoting. They can be found here:

How to Use HelpScout

As of yesterday the HelpScout system is set up for us. This is so that we can have several people be in correspondence with meetups who are interested in running the workshop.

I’ll be looking for a few people to be on the HelpScout team. Preference will go to people who are interested in taking leadership positions in our group to replace me within the year, though that is not required.

The interface looks like this. It’s mostly fairly standard email-looking.

The part we’ll need to pay attention to is “Status” and “Assigned”.

By default the status is “Closed”, but we want to keep them “Active” until we are certain there is no more communication that we need to have with them. [Edit: Have since set this to Active by default.]

Initially we want to keep it assigned to “Anyone” so that any of us can jump in and reply next. There may be certain circumstances where there is something a particular person needs to be in action for, so that’s when we would assign it to someone.


HelpScout Autoresponder

I’ve had a couple of requests from the testers for autoresponders so that people know their message went through.
Edit since meeting: @iandunn and I set up the autoresponder.


Our Promotions Spreadsheet

When someone messages us, we will put it right away into our spreadsheet:

As well as messages we will keep track of our promoting in the spreadsheet on another tab. Mark down what you’re planning on doing and when you did it.


Looking for Volunteers to Start Training Meetups

I’m going to start looking for people to start being “train the trainers” so that when meetups ask for training, we can help them. Please tell me if you’d like to do this.


Questions from testers:

Q: Where can we find the materials for the pitch and description of the workshop to send out when you’re holding it for your local group?

A: It’s the “Description” at the top of each module. I wil try to make that more clear.

Q: Where can we find the handouts?

A: I haven’t put those up yet but I will very soon.

Also when I’ve trained people on this material lately they’ve been wanting slides, so I have talked with the #training team about how we can put up slides. We are going to use reveal.js, and soon the lessons will be moved over to github and everything will be hosted there.

Seattle gave me their slides, so I will use those as a starting point. I may call out for volunteers to help with slides.



We have a tweet from the last recap to use and we have a hashtag: #WPWomenSpeak.

If you want to see all the recaps easily in one place, we’re using that same tag to mark them. So they’re all here:


In Summary:

  • Looking for volunteers for replying to meetups in HelpScout
  • Looking for volunteers to start training meetups on our workshop
  • It’s time to start promoting. Let me know how and by when you’re planning on sending it out and we’ll keep track in the spreadsheet.


End meeting Time Stamp


Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on January 24th, 2018

Start time stamp in Community-Team Slack

@jillbinder @caroleo @andreamiddleton @sheilagomes

Today’s Agenda

  • Our final core message
  • Our online article and form
  • Testing the HelpScout system
  • Support for those of you running workshops and train the trainer sessions
  • Next promotion actions that people would like to take
  • Our promotions spreadsheet

Our final core message

We discussed on the last meeting if we should use “women” or “people who identify as women.” I checked in with a few people and we decided on “women and other underrepresented groups.” I have kept the mention of “people who identify as women” later in the message.

Our online article and form

Our core message is now up online along with a form that I have put together:

I think the core message is finalized now, unless someone has a burning “this must be changed.”

I put together a version of the form based on @BlogAid’s suggestions in a previous meeting, along with some other things I think we need. I am open to feedback.

Feedback ~

@caroleo: Sixth question I would rather say: “Would you like us to train you…” as this should be a question if the answers are yes or no

@andreamiddleton: It might be useful to add a field for URL. Sometimes people will identify as one city but their meetup is in a suburb, especially with big cities.

@sheilagomes filled out the form and wasn’t sure if it was done right. I got Sheila’s feedback after the meeting.

Testing the HelpScout system

The other thing we’ve been working on is how the form is going to work. Currently it’s forwarding to my email address.

Soon @andreamiddleton will have it set to go to HelpScout. My understanding is this is a system that allows us to all see the correspondences easily so that nothing is getting repeated nor lost. That way any of us will be able to go in and pick up where the last one of us left off with corresponding to someone.

Through this system we hope to:
a) Keep track of which meetups are running it so we can keep a tally on how close to our goal of 27 meetups this year we are getting

b) Keep track of who would like us to train them how to run it

There’s a trade-off. We need to maintain the spreadsheet of meetup replies and statuses manually. The trade-off will be worth it though for the easier communication.

The first tab of this spreadsheet is where we will put in their answers:

Currently it’s viewable by anyone with a link and will make it editable by invitation only.

@caroleo volunteered to be the gatekeeper for giving our team access to edit the spreadsheet. Anyone outside of our team, she will check them with me.

Support for those running workshops and train the trainer sessions

Many of the people in our team are planning on running the workshop themselves. If you’re the contact for your city and you’re planning on running a training, please fill out our form after it is hooked up to HelpScout so we can test this system.

Next promotion actions that people would like to take

A number of people on our team are ready to start promoting as soon as our message is up online and ready.

Let’s start promoting next week. That way we can make sure HelpScout is ironed out and also we have the chance to test the system amongst ourselves. [Edit: It is not yet ready. I will edit this once it is.]

Also let us know how we can support you in running the workshop and train the trainer trainings.

The second tab of the spreadsheet is where we’ll keep track of who is doing what promotions. I’ve put a few people in there that I know about. You can talk to me to get yours into it or ask @caroleo for access to be able to edit it yourself.

@caroleo: I can help with promoting here in Europe

@sheilagomes: We had our last local meetup on Saturday and I mentioned the workshop on February, inviting everybody, and I talked to some people on Slack, but not broadly yet. I had said I would write en article based on the first video of the training. Is that video going to be available publicly?

@jillbinder: It is not available publicly. I will create another one that will be or get permission from the current people to use this one. TBD.

Please feel free to reach out to me (@jillbinder) on Slack, in the #community-team channel, or by comment on this post.


End meeting time stamp


Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on December 27th, 2017

Start time stamp in Community-Team Slack

@jillbinder @BlogAid @meher

Goals of Today’s Meeting

Reviewing the core messaging that @cguntur and @jillbinder wrote, and talking about moving the plan moving forward long term.


Core Message

We are choosing to focus for now on reaching out to meetup organizers to run this training at their local meetups.

The current version of the message for us to send out, with the call to action edited by @blogaid and @meher is:

Have you ever had trouble getting women to speak at your meetups and WordCamps?

We are looking for meet up organizers to run the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training workshop. It is a workshop to help more women want to speak. We will train you and provide the materials.

This workshop has been run in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and Montreal. The combination of running this workshop and putting in other related efforts, these cities all had a significant increase in the number of WordCamp speakers who identify as women. In particular, Vancouver has had 50% for 3 years in a row, and this year Seattle had the highest so far, 60%.

Now we are bringing it to Meetups in other cities. We want to hear from you! Let us know if you’re interested in conducting this workshop for your local meetup or any hesitations you have. Please fill in this form.

Along with a form that has some required radio buttons for:

  • “I’m in”
  • “Not now” or “Later”

And a text box for “Anything else you want us to know?” for more open ended responses.

We would contact them a couple of days later.

@blogaid asked where this will be posted. @jillbinder will check with @andreamiddleton. She’s thinking probably using a google form, and doesn’t mind using her google account if that is appropriate. If not, Andrea will be able to tell us which account to use. Likely it will be posted on the community P2. Again, Jill will check with Andrea.


Long-Term Plan

Our long-term plan suggestions so far:

  • Reaching out to the meetup organisers from different places
  • WCUS Twitter
  • Possibly WCEU twitter
  • Writing articles (coordinate with marketing for their help)
  • Speaking about it in the Slack groups of countries
  • Speaking about it in Facebook groups
  • Speaking to people about it at WordCamps
  • People who are already doing Diversity work, ask for a mention in their talks or a tweet out to their followers
  • Leveraging the monthly or quarterly email newsletters to chapter meetup organizers that may be starting
  • Asking former workshop attendees to write articles about how attending the workshop affected them
  • which posts to YouTube. Creating a YouTube playlist.

@jillbinder said that for Twitter we need a shorter message.

@blogaid suggested: “Want to encourage more women speakers at your next WP MeetUp?” along with a link to an article that explains more. The article will include the form. She suggested that if we use Bitly, we can create the shortlink for the article, video, etc and have a better time tracking the spread of the word too, or even have a hashtag to track shares, such as #wpwomenspeaker or #wpwomenspeak.

@blogaid suggested that we activate everyone in our working group to post on their social media accounts when there is a new article, video, etc. We can post the tweet to #community-team for our team to use.

@blogaid belongs to about 40 industry related Facebook groups and says this would be appropriate to post in several of them.

@meher has access to multiple social streams that she can post to.

@jillbinder suggested that we look at the long-term plan in the next meeting (second week of January) with the larger group. For starting in the new year, the first steps can be the easy-to-do items:

  • Contacting meetup organizers directly (If we have access to them. She’ll find out from @andreamiddleton)
  • Tweets out to WCUS and WCEU (@newyorkerlaura has access to WCUS and we can ask WCEU)
  • Writing to Slack and FB country-specific groups. Jill has access to Canada on Facebook and Vancouver on Slack. We can find out who else in our group (or anyone reading this meeting) has access to other places.



The next meeting will be second week of January where we look at the plan as a group.

In January @jillbinder will also be holding the second part of the workshop training for those who took it either live with her or watched the recording after. It will be a half hour wrap-up of the work people did on their own after taking or watching the first module with her. Date and time tbd.


End meeting time stamp

Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on November 29, 2017

Recap written by @sheilagomes

This is the recap of the the first Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting, which took place in the Slack #community-team channel on Nov 29.
The link for the whole meeting is here:

These people were present:

  • Jill from Vancouver, Canada
  • Chandrika from Cupertino, CA, USA
  • Simona from Milan, Italy
  • Kathy from Atlanta, USA
  • Diya from Bangladesh
  • Hardeep from Kanpur, India
  • Sheila from Brazil
  • Mahesh from Ahmedabad, India
  • Meher, From Mumbai India

@jillbinder said she would explain the project and the general proposed planning, then open for:

  • First questions people had
  • Talking about when the first online training would be (1.5 hours for the first one, then half an hour for a follow up a couple of weeks later)
  • Thinking together how to promote this to get at least 27 communities running it this year

Up to this point there are thirteen people who said they could make this time work for the Slack meetings. A few of them wouldn’t start until after WCUS.

Quite a few men volunteered for this project. The men can help promote and support the women running it. Ideally workshops for women should be run by women. If it’s just not possible to have a women run it for some reason, then the men can run it too.

This workshop doesn’t have to be for women, it can be for any underrepresented group.

Jill explained what the workshop is: it started as a 3 or 4 hour session in Vancouver which later evolved into 5 modules with help from other cities.
The modules can be run all together or separately.

  • The first module covers things like: why we want more women (or other underrepresented groups), the myths of what it is to be the expert at the front of the room, the types of talks, an exercise where people generate about 50 different talk ideas, choosing a talk.
  • The second module gets into writing a pitch, choosing a title, writing a bio.
  • In the third module they use that pitch to generate an outline for a talk (but it can also be run alone).
  • The fourth module is about creating great slides, and one on tips to becoming a better speaker.
  • The fifth module hasn’t been created yet. It’s on Impostor Syndrome.

The goal of this working group is to get lots of WordPress communities around the world running this.
If we aim for 5% of all meetups in the first year, that is about 27 cities.
That would be the first year’s goal. So far as it’s only been run in person, but we are going to start running it online too when running it in person isn’t possible.

Jill will start by running a session online for this team, where people will go through the material as a regular participant would, and she’ll show things they want to know when running it themselves.

There will be a first 1.5-hour online training for the same time of day as this first meeting.
That will be on a webcam Zoom call, on Wednesday, December 20th.
For the people who can’t make this time work, if the first one goes well a second training can be held for them at another time.

In the last part of the meeting the discussion turned to how the participants can promote this initiative to get 27 or more communities running it.

  • AfshanaDiya suggested reaching out to the meetup organisers from different places.
  • Sheila said she could talk about it in the slack Brazilian group, and in the next local meet up. She also suggested writing articles.
  • Simona said their next WordCamp in Italy would be on the 15th of December, and she would talk to people there. She would like to run the workshop in April during WordCamp Turin.
  • Sheila asked about using and Jill said she has a talk about this that she did at WordCamp Seattle about this that will be going up on sometime soon.

The meeting finished with:

  • The proposal to think of more ideas
  • Jill would send out a poll to figure out the time for the December training
  • Jill said that in the next Slack meeting in 2 weeks we would come up with an official promotion plan with action items assigned to people.


Meeting Time: Diversity Outreach Speaker Training

As not everyone who volunteered is on Slack (yet), I wanted to post the voting results for the meetings for the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training.

The meeting will be at 5:00pm UTC (12pm Eastern) on every other Wednesday in #community-team on Slack. The first one will be tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 29th.

We will be creating a plan for promoting the training and organize an online train-the-trainers version of the workshop.

It is not too late to volunteer. If you are interested, please comment on the call for volunteers post.

If you’re interested in the effort but would rather focus on organizing a workshop in your local community or join in on an online, train-the-trainers version of the workshop, that’s great too! Comment that on the call for volunteers post and we’ll reach out to let you know when it’s scheduled.

P.S. Those who volunteered and who weren’t on Slack yet, please PM me on Slack @jillbinder once you have your slack handle. Thanks!

Call for Volunteers: Diversity Outreach Speaker Training


Community Team Chat | 5 October 2017

Howdy, Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 5 October. Meeting times are 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC in #community-team on Slack – we use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.

Heads up! A few of the people who sometimes lead discussion in these chats will be away tomorrow (including me and Hugh). So I’m making an open invitation for any deputy who plans to attend, to leave a comment on this post (or just speak up in the chat) if they’re willing to lead the discussion. 🙂


  1. Deputy check-in (progress and blockers to progress)
  2. Decision making process discussion summary and proposal
    This post is still open for discussion; if you have not already commented, please do so! 🙂 Another big thanks to @francina for putting his proposal together.
  3. Additional P2 post discussions:

If you have anything else to add to the agenda, please add it by commenting on this post! 🙂

Community Team Chat Agenda | 21 September 2017

Howdy, Team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, 21 September. Meeting times are 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC in #community-team on Slack – we use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.

Heads up! Many of the people who usually lead discussion in these chats will be away tomorrow (including me, Hugh, and Rocio). So I’m making an open invitation for any deputy who plans to attend, to leave a comment on this post (or just speak up in the chat) if they’re willing to lead the discussion. 🙂


  1. Deputy check-in (progress and blockers to progress)
  2. Decision making process discussion summary and proposal
    This post is still open for discussion; if you have not already commented, please do so! 🙂 Another big thanks to @francina for putting his proposal together.
  3. P2 posts:

If you have anything else to add to the agenda, please add it by commenting on this post! 🙂

Community Team Chat Agenda | 03 August 2017

Hello community team!

Our bi-monthly Community Team chat is happening this Thursday, August 3rd. Meeting times are 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC in #community-team on Slack – we use the same agenda for both meetings in order to include all time zones.


Please post in the comments if you have some agenda items to add so we can update this post as we go.

1. Deputy check-in – What have you been working on? Any blockers? Anything that you need help with?
2. Decision Making Process – we posted about it on the P2 and we would love to gather more feedback, discuss this during the call.
3. Highlighting a few P2 posts – No real discussion needed, but these are posts worth highlighting for all deputies (add the posts in the comments and I’ll add them here 😉)

Recaps will be in the comments

  • 08:00 UTC
  • 20:00 UTC Notes

#meetings #agenda #meeting-notes

Community Team Decision Making Process

In the past the members of the Community Team had some informal discussions about the decision making process: the conversation is very broad and we haven’t tackled it in a structured way up until now.

Since April, the Community team switched from having a single monthly chat that didn’t always had an agenda, to a bi-monthly chat, held at 08:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC to take into account different timezone, with an agenda that covers topics that might come up in our channels and highlights the latest from our blog. Attendance is good, people are engaged in the discussions and in general it seems that so far this has been a welcome change in our workflow.

It also helped us approaching broader subjects, about the Community team itself and its organisation.

One question that resurfaces every now and then is: how do we come to decisions? How do we wrap up all the discussions that float around us and come to conclusions? From comments in our Slack channels or P2 posts to issues that might be brought up to our support email, there is a lot going on in the Community team!

This is a broad conversation that touches on different subjects. The following are only a few:

  1. Media: the different media we use to communicate have different purposes, the Slack channels are for bouncing off ideas and replying to direct questions, but when we need to agree upon something we direct the person that has raised the issue to post in our P2 to gather feedback. Sometimes delicate issues are not brought in public but are dealt via email between the interested parties and then made public when a decision is made.
  2. Who: some issues are easily solved, everyone says what they think, either via a poll or comments, there are no major roadblocks (usually financial or technical), the majority of the feedback is positive so we move on. This is what happened when we decided to change the chat model. Some issues though require a more structured approach, especially if the outcome has a great impact on the whole WordPress community, not only the Community Team. Who is involved in this kind of decisions?
  3. How: after we identify the who, how those final deciders actually make the decisions they make? What processes and tools and tools can we use?
  4. Tracking: we use our P2 to gather feedback, how do we track open issues? Let’s say we come up with a workflow from now on, how do we deal with the threads that were opened in the past and never reached a conclusion?

The above items are just a few and they are mostly related to a practical workflow that defines roles, capabilities, procedures to gather feedback and come to decisions. But what about the emotional side of things? Who is taking the heat for unpopular decisions? How are they seen in the Community?

So, lots of food for thought!

Let’s set ourselves a goal of spending about two weeks on this discussion, closing it on August 3, in time for our next chat. After that I’ll gather all the comments and we’ll go from there to determine our next steps.

Thank you!