This was our first meeting using the new topic-by-week plan, and it was definitely more focused and had more participants than the usual old, “Hey, who has stuff?” meetings we did before. In addition to existing team members, these event organizers participated: Andy (andymci) from Toronto, Andrew (andrew_cpht) from NYC, Blossom from Austin, Mark (WPNI) from Belfast, Lisa (lschuyler) from Antigonish, bastetmilo from Wroclaw.
Meetup.com chapter account update:
We have 67 groups on the account. There are a couple that are inactive or have some sketchy goings-on that need to be contacted. There are a few that didn’t fill in the form in time for the rollover so probably won’t get added until March. There are a couple of new applicants that need to be contacted for a talk about the initial commitment. And then there are the couple of hundred meetups Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. not on the chapter account that still need to contacted about joining (meeup.com limits to contacting 3 per day).
Discussed who was/wasn’t on the chapter account of the people at the meeting. Toronto and NYC are not on chapter and had reps there. Plan to set up a group chat with Andy from Toronto and his co-organizers to discuss joining. Andrew from NYC said he would ask Steve to respond to the email I’d sent him about it.
Kinds of Meetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. Events
We discussed kinds of events different from the standard lecture format that people are interested in trying, including contributor days, demo days to promote WP as a platform (perhaps with a standardized presentation created by volunteers to the project), smaller gatherings etc. Also discussed reaching out to colleges, which we’ll discuss more at the next chat since it ties in with GSoC as well. Also discussed wanting to bring the meetup groups closer to the .org project in general, so in addition to contributor days talked about lining up virtual speakers from the project via hangout to multiple groups at a time, contributor drives for specific contrib groups, etc.
During the course of this discussion Andy (Toronto) made it clear that he should be an active participant in the chapter program because his suggestions were all similar to the things we have been asking the chapter meetups to start doing. 🙂
There’s a desire to create more connections between organizers and groups between cities. Dsicussed adding forums, sister-city pairings, and organizer mentorships/buddy program. Will start the latter in the next week or two, with Andy being one of the first mentors Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. and Lisa and Mark being his mentees. More on that to be discussed in the next team chat re mentorship programs.
We discussed the possible negative outcome of opening up groups to letting anyone set events and contact the full group: scammers, spammers, and flakes taking advantage of the openness to their own ends and/or people posting meetups but not showing up to lead them. Agreed on a 3-strikes you’re out rule, with the local organizers having the leeway to boot sooner or immediately for severe actions such as harassment or other over-the-line actions.
Helping New Organizers
Previously mentioned buddy program. Also discussed resources we can provide like signage so people can find each other. Swag, sign in sheets, name badges, etc. Handouts explaining WP/Project/Community/etc to give new attendees to explain things instead of organizers having to give the spiel over and over. Will try to get a little group together to figure out what a welcome pack should include, and will continue adding pages to this site similar to plan.wordcamp.org for meetups.
We talked about how these labels are possibly becoming less useful because it sets up divisions instead of one cohesive local events/community umbrella. No decisions on this one, just some back and forth on what people thought. Will be discussed again in future.
Events on WordPress.com An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content. WordPress.com is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before. https://wordpress.com/
Discussed the plans to bring in WC and meetup activity to wordpress.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/ profiles and to an events page. Starting with wordcamp.org and meetup.com chapter events. Talked about facebook groups etc, especially where more popular with int’l groups, but lack of ability to vet content is an issue. Discussion kept coming back to wanting official meetup/local community groups to have the official presence on wordpress.org rather than 3rd party sites, and to syndicate the content out to locally-preferred channels like fb rather than the reverse. Bigger project. 🙂
Connecting with Other Local Groups
Discussed connecting with other local groups in the same general interest areas. For example, Toronto working with another group for a kids coding workshop, working with GDI in Philly (via Tracy Levesque rather than the meetup organizers), BarCamps, non-wp meetup groups, etc.
And that’s our first meetups meeting! Sorry it took so long to post these notes. The channel wasn’t being logged, and the “smart transcript” I saved from colloquy wasn’t very smart as it interleaved the dev channel activity, so it took some time to parse it all out. The channel is now being logged, so moving forward we can post summaries and link to the transcript for this level detail rather than trying to cover every little bit.