Calling European WordPress Communities

Hi, I’m Sabina Ionescu, a member of 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. 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 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./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!

#wceu

WordPress Community Summit 2017

As you might have read already, the 2017 WordPress Community Summit (CS) will take place a few days before 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. 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 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. 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.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/ 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

Community Team Slack Channels

Hi all,

I want to propose that we rename #outreach to #community-team and follow CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. in their sub team channel naming convention which for the Community team would be #community-usage.

For example, the events room would be renamed to #community-events. The way 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/. works means that any channel name changes will not effect or kick anyone out of any room they are currently a part of, just that they will see the name has changed.

Part of the reason why is because many people who are looking for the community team do not look or realise we are in #outreach. This includes a core committer who i would label as an advance Slack user. In fact, when I told them the community team uses #outreach for our community channel their response was

Oh, that’s what that channel is
Weird
I’d expect #community and #community-usage
#events I can see potentially being different
But #outreach I always thought was like for engagement with the wider community
Kinda like #marketing

They also pointed out that when searching for a channel, people automatically search for community and get a response of No match found. Did you spell it correctly?

Screenshot of the result when you type Community into the Slack channel search. It responds with No match found. Did you spell it correctly?

I have also noticed that the #outreach gets messages regarding people doing outreach for their products. Although not often, the mistake is understandable considering what the channel is called. Back when 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/ took to Slack, we were called #community – but many people thought it was a water-cooler location for anyone to have a natter. This was the reasoning behind the switch to #outreach. Instead, I would like to propose we call it #community-team which makes it clear that the channel is for the Community team.

The other reason why I would like to propose these changes is because I’ve been trying to get into updating the handbook, but it’s a really boring process to do on your own and talking about it in #events or #outreach, the conversation gets lost in all the other conversations that are happening in there.

I think that the Core team and the Meta team’s use of #team-thing has meant that conversations are kept focused on the channel topic. It allows for people to only follow conversations that they are interested in and helps with the timezone issue where we have people across the world wanting to follow one particular topic.

At a minimum i can in vision the following channels

It could be extended to – if people feel like it could be helpful to 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. mentors #community-mentors – a support location for people mentoring WordCamps in a similar vein to the forum support for the moderators.

And later maybe #community-deputies – a support location for people who are doing deputy work in a similar vein to #community-mentors. It would also give a clearer view of what it is that deputies do for anyone wanting to join the deputy program as they can see the things deputies discuss and talk about.

All these channels will still be accessible to everyone so there is no issue with transparency.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this.

Jenny

#deputies