Calling European WordPress Communities

Hi, I’m Sabina Ionescu, a member of the WordCamp Europe Communications Team, and we have a project that we’d love your feedback on. Here goes:

Supporting local WordCamps

If you are a local meetup/WordCamp organizer, at some point, you might have faced at least one of these challenges:

  • Not finding enough sponsors for the local meetup
  • Facing challenges for WordCamp fundraising
  • Having trouble attracting WordCamp speakers
  • Not enough WordCamp tickets sold or tickets selling slower than expected

In 2017, the WordCamp Europe Communication team saw the opportunity to support local WordCamps around Europe. The @WCEurope Twitter account was used to promote local WordCamps and send our customized tweets expressing the needs of local WordCamps.


To send out a tweet like the one above required several actions like finding out which are the events of each month, identifying the lead organizer contact details, explaining how WCEU team can help and finally posting the tweet a few weeks before the event.

Identifying Meetup/WordCamp needs

So far, this initiative was well received and the WCEU team plans to continue to show this support as we not only see the value in promoting WordCamps, but also the importance they have on building local European communities.

However, there are 50 countries in Europe with sometimes several WordCamps organized in the same country which makes the process of reaching out to local communities quite difficult to go on like before. That’s why we’ve come up with a proposal for managing this process better, which consists of two simple steps:

1. Collecting local communities details

We’ve prepared a form to collect community data (like Twitter official hashtag, Twitter handle, lead organizer’s name) and keep it for further reference for both #Communications and #Community teams. Please take a look at it and comment below this article with your ideas and suggestions:

2. Getting in touch with the WCEU team

Unlike the form above where we collect info needed for promoting communities (like hashtags, Twitter handles, etc.), we’ve also prepared a way of them to directly get in touch with the WCEU team. This form can be used by organizers or WordCamp mentors to reach out to us. The idea behind this form is to be used when facing a challenge (i.e. “we need to sell more tickets”, “we need two more silver sponsors” etc.).

Next steps

After your feedback, our suggestion is for these two links to go in the community handbooks/WordCamp guides and be included in the emails with the local organizers as well as with the mentors mentoring European WordCamps.
Local meetup/WordCamp details
Get in touch with WordCamp Europe

And that’s basically it! Hope this collective effort builds up into a database of local WordCamps that we’ll be able to use over the coming years to help strengthen WordPress communities across Europe. Also, this initiative could easily be replicated by other major WordCamps to support their closeby events.

We’ve notified @andreamiddleton about this and she mentioned @bph has a similar initiative in mind. Also, anyone who has a suggestion on how we could roll this is welcome to contribute!

Monthly Newsletter Marketing for the Community Team to WordCamp

Editorial Calendar for Community Team to Empower & Educate Meetup or WordCamp Organizers

At WordCamp US’ Contributor Day, the Community Marketing Team came up with this basic structure for an editorial calendar for Meetup Organizers.

It’s important to note that whatever is currently working for you should continue on. This may help spur ideas for new organizers or those who feel like they need a nudge. In no way was this meant to be mandatory.

How to Use This Editorial Calendar

This editorial calendar is designed to help (You) the volunteer community team create a monthly newsletter directed towards Meetup organizers & WordCamp organizers. The goal of the newsletter is to empower & educate organizers.

We have created a suggested format for the newsletter that will update the organizers with current happenings, helpful tips / resources for their events, and a recurring summary paragraph remind them of all accumulated resources as they grow.

When you are writing the newsletter use the outline below. There is an example email template following this format included in this document.

There is also a series of ideas organized by month to help you create your monthly newsletter. These include things such as community happenings, initiatives, & resources. If there is a more relevant topic feel free to use that instead.

Expectations

January is an example month with completed content of how your newsletter might look after following all of these guidelines.

Monthly Newsletter Format

  1. Hello & Happenings
  2. This month’s tip & resource
  3. Complete resources
    1. Checklist
    2. Swipe Files
    3. Best Practices
  4. Call to Action / Open Loop

Monthly Newsletter Template (AKA Swipe File)

Hello Organizer!

This is what’s happening this month in WordPress. We have had another successful WordCamp in [location]….FILLER HERE

As part of our continuing series to help you be awesome at Meetups & WordCamps we have created [AWESOME RESOURCE]

As always we have compiled all of these tips into one amazing resource which includes [RESOURCE 1 LINK], [RESOURCE 1 LINK], [RESOURCE 1 LINK], and even more.

Don’t forget, if you have any other questions or need help with your Meetup, feel free to call [???] ??? [???]. Check your inbox next month for even more great stuff. (Remember, some of our emails go to your spam folder.)

 

Monthly Content Ideas for Happenings & Resources

Remember, these ideas are not set in stone. If something is more currently relevant, feel free to make that the focus topic for the month. You are responsible for finding links from the greater WordPress community that can help organizers cover the topic. Note: January is an example month.

January

Hello Organizer!

This is what’s happening this month in WordPress. We have had another successful WordCamp in the Pitcairn Islands. It was their first camp and they attracted over 100 people with the main focus on growing WordPress in Micronesia.

Happy New Year! As part of our continuing series to help you be awesome at Meetups and WordCamps, this month we’d like to focus on the new possibilities for your Meetup group: how to attract new people and newly energize the ones you already have.

As part of our continuing series to help you be awesome at Meetups & WordCamps we have selected our favorite three suggestions of getting new people to your meetup this month:

  1. Ask three to five current members to present a 5-7 mins on the favorite new thing they learned that has helped them with WordPress during the past year. Make sure the items are varied to hit a variety of perspectives from blogging/content, to SEO, to plugins, to security. Pick your favorites.
  2. Ask each of your current members to invite a friend, even if that friend doesn’t work with WordPress. Ask that person to share what’s the best new thing they learned this year. We are betting that item has great WordPress possibilities.
  3. Remember to Tweet your Meetup using hashtag #WordPress and the words “local help and community support.”

As always we have compiled these tips into one amazing resource which includes: 11 Ways to Get People to Meetings, Six Ways to Make Meetings Fun…or at Least Not Suck, and even more.

Don’t forget if you have any other questions or need help with your Meetup, feel free to contact our Meetup point person this month who is [name]. You can catch her on Slack at [username], Twitter [username], or [email].

Check your inbox next month for even more great stuff. When we are going to tackle WordPress Love and Design.

February

Theme: WordPress Love and Design

Hello Organizer!

This is what’s happening this month in WordPress. We held successful WordCamps in [insert locations]. Meetups and WordCamps are changing people’s lives! Thank you for your contribution to making them happen!

This month we’d like to focus on how you can continue to grow your Meetup group, by sharing the love of WordPress! Tell a story about how you’ve made friends and felt community support as you attended a WordCamp.

Here are three ways you can spread the love of WordPress this month:

  1. Reach out to three to five active members and ask them to share your group on social media and how attending the Meetup has helped them to make friends, gain knowledge, get professional feedback and support or anything else.
  2. Ask each of your current members to invite friends. Explain that we are an inclusive community and that we know we can create amazing things together. WordPress newbies are encouraged to come and learn.
  3. Remember to Tweet your Meetup using hashtag #WordPress and the words #community #techsupport #learn. Make sure all levels are welcomed.

As always we have compiled these tips into one amazing resource which includes: 11 Ways to Get People to Meetings, Six Ways to Make Meetings Fun…or at Least Not Suck, and even more.

Don’t forget if you have any other questions or need help with your Meetup, feel free to contact our Meetup point person this month who is [name]. You can catch her on Slack at [username], Twitter [username], or [email].

Check your inbox next month for even more great stuff. Next month we are going to tackle Updating WordPress and Keeping Code Current.

March

Theme: Earth, Sustainability – Updating WordPress and Keeping Code Current

Hello Organizer!

March is a time to turn inward and express gratitude for the word in which we live. As usual there is much to witness in the WordPress world. WordCamps were held in [insert locations] in February, inspiring more users and leaders in our ever growing community. We are so grateful that YOU have chosen to be a WordPress Meetup organizer and want to assist you in any way possible. Please let us know specific ways we can support and sustain your efforts.

This month we’d like to focus on sustaining membership and enthusiasm in your Meetup group! Take a few minutes to let your members know what is happening with WordPress as a whole and with WordCamps worldwide. Let them know that as they spread the word, they are growing a community that contributes and makes WordPress even better!

Here are three ways you can sustain your members and WordPress this month:

  1. Honor one another’s contributions. Take time to highlight special projects or specialties of your members. Each one has something valuable to contribute to the group and everyone loves a little recognition.
  2. Share a snippet of a talk from a local or far-off camp and discuss the value of learning and working together. We sustain one another as we contribute to the worldwide discussion and share code with one another. Remind your members that WordPress extends far beyond a 40 mile radius and that help is there, across the globe, should they need it.
  3. Remind your members to update their website code and use tools such as GitHub, make.WordPress.org and WordPress.tv to further their own knowledge. Ask tyour members to invite friends in person and on social media to your Meetup using hashtags such as #WordPress alongside #community, #techsupport, #websitehelp and #dev.

As always we have compiled these tips into one amazing resource which includes: 11 Ways to Get People to Meetings, Six Ways to Make Meetings Fun…or at Least Not Suck, and even more.

Don’t forget if you have any other questions or need help with your Meetup, feel free to contact our Meetup point person this month who is [name]. You can catch her on Slack at [username], Twitter [username], or [email].

Check your inbox next month to see how our theme of Spring Is in the Air allows you to Create Change with WordPress.

April

Theme: Spring Is in the Air

May

Theme: Accessibility

June

Theme: Soft skills

July

Theme Celebrating Summer

August

Theme: Community – International Friendship Day

September

Theme: Back to School

Talk Like a Pirate

World Gratitude Day

October

Theme: National CyberSecurity Month

International Music Day

World Mental Health Day

November

Theme: Gratitude

December

Theme: Holidays

Vacation

 

Alternative Themes:

  1. New things (skills, tech, plugins)
  2. Why Accessibility Matters to a Small Business Site
  3. Design
  4. Support
  5. Localization
  6. Community
  7. Training (ie Speaker Training – see curriculum https://make.wordpress.org/training/handbook/speaker-training/ )
  8. WordPress Security
  9. Soft Skills
  10. Giving back
  11. Backup Solutions and Best Practices
  12. How to ask for Support
  13. Googling as a Resource for Solutions
  14. Converting to https.
  15. Getting ready for http/2.
  16. Site Speed for Developing Environments (3G, 2G)
  17. Must needed plugins for nonprofits, small business, blogs, etc.
  18. How to apply conditional logic to your forms
  19. Changing Themes and The Struggle with Shortcodes
  20. Why Child Themes are Important
  21. How to use the Customizer in WordPress Themes
  22. Page Builders: The Good, The Bad, The Needs Improvement
  23. Moderated Forums: Why have password-protected on-site forums instead of a blog or Facebook Group?
  24. Project Management Tools for the Overworked Freelancer
  25. Partnering Up: Building Sites and Gaining New Client Work with Meetup Friends
  26. If SEO is more than a plugin, how do I start to rank?
  27. How often should I blog?
  28. Content Marketing: Long-form versus Short-form
  29. Design for Accessibility: Color Blind, Nearsightedness, and vision-impaired.
  30. Teaching Tech to Kids
  31. Hackathon  Night — Bring your worst problems, we’ll fix them.
  32. JavaScript Libraries and WordPress Theme Development
  33. Leveraging the REST API in your WordPress Site.
  34. Building Your First Plugin
  35. PH What? An Introduction to the beginner.
  36. What is WordPress Really? An introduction to LAMP.
  37. No Stupid Question Night. Seriously. Ask. Let’s chat.
  38. Mentorship Night. Let’s pair up and keep ourselves accountable to continuous learning.
  39. Empathy in Tech – Why Marketers should learn Dev and Devs should learn Marketing
  40. WordPress as a Platform for Apps

 

Original GDoc. 

#marketing-community

WordPress Community Summit 2017

As you might have read already, the 2017 WordPress Community Summit (CS) will take place a few days before WordCamp Europe 2017 in Paris, France (final dates to be determined).

What is the WordPress Community Summit?
Unlike the main WCEU conference, which can have as many as 3000 attendees, the Community Summit has historically been an smaller, discussion-based event. Active contributors to WordPress, the open source project, gather to discuss and work on issues that the WordPress project faces.

The purpose of the Community Summit is to hold face-to-face discussions about issues or subjects that are difficult to discuss online. The last three summits have used an unconference format, without slides, pre-selected speakers, or planned presentations. Because of the format and the goals of the Summit, it’s necessary to cap registration at a much lower number, and to that end the past three events have been invitation-only.

Challenges in past events
Because the purpose of the Community Summit is to hold face-to-face discussions about issues that divide or challenge us as a cooperative community, it’s necessary to limit the number of attendees to ensure that true discussions can happen. In the past, we made sure that key voices were heard by sending invitations to specific people.

Unfortunately, this can create an air of exclusivity around the Summit, and many people assume that anyone who attends the Summit is a more valuable contributor than those who aren’t invited or don’t attend. This can reinforce an “in-crowd/out-crowd” paradigm that the WordPress project works to avoid.

Proposal: a new approach for 2017
If we have to limit our attendance to have productive, collaborative discussions at the Summit, then choosing the participants becomes a challenge if we don’t know what the teams are going to discuss ahead of time. Therefore, this year I suggest we try something new:

Let’s ask teams to decide on the challenging, controversial, or sensitive issues they want to discuss at the summit before the summit is held. Then, once the teams know what they want to talk over in person, they can nominate and select the people needed to represent all points of view in each of those discussions. This way, the event stays small, hard topics get discussed, but the selection process is more transparent and functional.

Here’s how I think that could work:

1) Each make.wordpress.org project team creates a list of relevant topics/issues which are relevant for the progress of the team and the WordPress open source project as a whole, prioritizing topics or tasks which are sensitive enough to specifically require in-person discussion.

2) Each team rep will post their final discussion topic list on the Community Summit blog: https://make.wordpress.org/summit/. Deadline: December 20th

3) After this, each team will decide on a group of representatives to attend the Community Summit (not determined yet, and depending on the team), with selections based on several factors, including: providing representation of a wide, diverse range of opinions (based on the agreed-upon topics selected by each team), diversity, inclusion, and activity of the contributors.

4) Each team rep will post their list of participants as a comment to a dedicated post which will be used to wrangle the attendee list on https://make.wordpress.org/summit/.

5) Of the above list of participants, each team will select two participants who are willing to help with the organization of the event: posts, communication, travel assistance, finding sponsors, etc. The intention of this approach is to propose a more open and team-focus Community Summit with transparent participation from all active contributors and reps of each team. This way we can hopefully anticipate barriers and cross-team difficulties that might come up, and avoid them.

Safe Space
One of the things that made the first summit a unique experience was that it was named a safe space, protected from photos, tweets, blog posts quoting people, etc. This allowed participants to have very candid conversations without people worrying about how their words might be taken out of context later online, or about looking bad if they got into a heated argument for a change instead of tiptoeing around a topic. It also meant that people put their devices away and were 100% present in the conversations. The goal of the summit was to be very candid and blast through community issues, and being distracted by devices or worrying about someone tweeting what you said wouldn’t have been conducive to that. We’ll have a similar privacy request this year, and will ask anyone signing up to agree to it.

Diversity
One of the things organizers of the first summit tried to do when issuing invitations in 2012 was to create a participant group with diverse points of view. A travel scholarship program helped to bring people who might not have been able to afford the trip. Our community has grown more since then, making it even more important to include diverse voices in a summit of leaders and doers. To that end, we’ll be trying to provide travel assistance this time again. Our hope is that in addition to bringing contributors who are financially constrained, we can bring more people from the groups that tend to be underrepresented at events like these.

Note: It’s not the purpose of this post to discuss any logistics or implementation details of the event, that will be handled later in the year and in coordination with the WCEU logistic team.

Do you have thoughts, concerns, or suggestions about this proposal? Please share them in the comments!

#community, #summit

Payments and contracts needed September 14-18?

Andrea, Cami, Jen, and Josepha will be on our yearly support rotation the week of September 14th and will not be carrying out our normal duties. For the most part things will continue to run smoothly but a few items will be impacted. If you will need a payment, contract, or insurance certificate for your WordCamp anytime between September 12-20th please submit the request no later than Thursday September 10.

The Tuesday and Thursday Office Hours with Josepha and Cami will also be canceled. If you have any questions let us know, sooner is better than later.

#community, #wordcamps

Community Chat recap 5/21/15

Chat was brief today.

@iandunn is waiting on more responses to the WordCamp organizer survey: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2015/05/05/wordcamp-organizer-survey/

@chanthaboune updated us on Meetups. All groups will have received info on the annual survey results in the next couple of weeks. And you should be on the look out for a new sponsors page.

#community, #community-management

Thursday happenings!

Community chat at 19:00 UTC

Office hours with Cami at 20:00 UTC. Today’s topics are WordCamps and finances!

#community

Community Team Meeting Reminder | January 22, 2015

Today at 19:00 UTC the community team meeting will be held on slack #outreach. Bring your updates!

#community, #community-management, #team-chat

Community Team Meeting reminder

Tomorrow at 19:00 UTC the community team meeting will be held on slack #outreach. Bring your updates. I won’t be online at that time but the meeting will be in good hands! 🙂

#community, #team-chat

I just posted Licking the WordCamp Cookie over…

I just posted Licking the WordCamp Cookie over on the community group site.

If you have not already subscribed to https://make.wordpress.org/community/, I highly suggest it. 🙂

#community, #events-2, #wordcamps