Announcement: Reactivating Meetup Venue Support Funds

As in-person WordPress meetupsMeetup 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. reactivate in communities around the world, WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program. (WPCSWPCS The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the WordPress Coding Standards. May also be an acronym referring to the Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook.) will now restart its meetup venue support funds. Venue support is an important part of helping in-person meetups reactivate, particularly as venues tend to be more expensive at this time. Simultaneously, we need to be responsible with WordPress Community Support funds. To this end, we ask that all meetups first seek a free or donated venue. If no suitable free or donated venue is available, you may request venue support from WPCS for an affordable, inclusive meeting space.

What makes for an inclusive venue?

One of our jobs as community organizers is to create a 100% welcoming space for everyone. This includes meeting in venues that are wheelchair accessible, and close to public transportation when possible. You should avoid venues with religious or political affiliations, or any other space where someone might feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.

How to request meetupMeetup 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. venue support

You can request meetup venue support by submitting the form on this page.

If you are going to ask for WPCS to cover the costs of a meetup venue, the following conditions must be met:

  • Your group is on the WordPress chapter account at meetup.com or has been similarly recognized as official by this team.
  • Your group is currently following the 5 good-faith rules.
  • You are unable to find a donated venue.
  • Your proposed new venue meets minimum requirements for safety, adequate seating, and accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility).

#meetups

Seeking Feedback on Annual Meetup Survey for 2021-2022

We are preparing the Annual MeetupMeetup 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. Surveys and would value your feedback on the draft survey questions. Excitingly, for the first time in WordPress history we will distribute the surveys in several different languages! This will enable many more meetup organizers and attendees to respond to the survey. The previous two years, we sent out the survey by the end of Q1 (first quarter of the year). We are behind this schedule, so the survey will cover 2021 and 2022 year-to-date.

Below are the draft survey questions, which are adapted from last year:

Key objectives of these surveys:

  1. Get current information and feedback from organizers about what they need to be successful, particularly as they continue to adapt to the pandemic and look to return to in-person events;
  2. Get current information and feedback from attendees about how meetupsMeetup 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. can best support their participation, particularly in the context of the pandemic and the return to in-person events;
  3. Measure the baseline of where we are today, in the hopes that we can ask the same questions next year and measure our impact.

With these objectives in mind, please comment on this post or make suggestions on the above documents if:

  • Any questions could be revised
  • Any questions should be removed
  • There any additional questions we can ask

The working documents and comments on this post will remain open through 26 May 2022, in order to have adequate time to prepare the survey for translation at WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event. 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/. on 02 June 2022. We plan to send out the surveys by the end of June 2022.

#meetups, #annual-survey

Return to In-Person Events: Blue Sky Thinking

When we come together we step outside of our comfort zones and regular thinking and open ourselves to new, innovative ideas. When you’re gathered together, away from the distractions of regular life, your mind opens and creativity flows.

While there was lots of innovation around online events, COVID stopped in person events in its tracks, but that seems to be changing.

This post gives us a place to share ideas on how we can support organizers who are trying to restart in-person events in their communities.

What is Blue Sky Thinking?

Blue Sky Thinking is just another way to say “brainstorming”. The idea is simply that the sky is the limit to any ideas you might have to share. Even if it seems unachievable now, who knows when the right pieces might exist to make it possible.

So, for our purposes here, share your ideas below with kindness and compassion as your only limits.

The Goals of This Exercise

We have three goals to meet in this exercise:

  • support organizers as they navigate COVID concerns
  • help attendees feel safe and comfortable
  • offer resources and options that make being together at in person events exciting and interesting

If we don’t meet the first two, then the community is unlikely to use our ideas.

Why? The people we’re trying to bring with us have changed. This article from Andrea Middleton dives into that a little more.

The Organizers We’re Helping

As people, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve all made some painful choices and worked extra hard just to manage what used to be simple tasks. We’re tired and we’re more cautious than ever.

If we’re feeling that way in general, how much harder must it be for those organizing and attending events?

However, if our organizers feel supported and our attendees feel safe, they’ll more readily embrace ideas we’ve laid out for them to implement.

There’s a very good chance this could be achieved by continuing to clearly state our COVID guidelines and how we help organizers implement them, as well as easy to access channels for both organizers and attendees to ask questions.

It’s Time for Your Ideas to Reactivate In-Person Events

Once people are more comfortable being together, we can move one step further and help make organizing events a little easier.

Fortunately for us, WordPress has been far from idle in the pandemic. New programs like Learn and the Photo Directory have been launched, just to name a few. Along with what’s new, there are also some resources that are still relatively unknown to the community like the do_action events.

These new and existing resources could be used to help ease the weight of planning and streamline a return to events with less additional effort on our part.

But let’s not stop there!

Through brainstorming, we can look at the resources we have with new eyes, and possibly even use them as a prompt for more ideas. Who knows where your creativity and unique perspectives can take us!

This is Blue Sky Thinking after all. Don’t let what we have done or current resources limit your creativity. Any and all ideas are welcome here. How we do it or if we can do it are irrelevant. This is a purely open sandbox.

Before You Share

Remember:

  • this is asynchronous brainstorming
  • there are no wrong answers
  • be kind to fellow brainstormers
  • the discussion on implementation will come later

Guidelines:

  • Share your Concept
  • Answer what you can from this list (no pressure here)
    • Why do you think this is a good idea?
    • Who would benefit?
    • Does this meet Community team goals?
    • Does it use any existing resources?
  • Post your response by April 22, 2022

Let the brainstorming begin!

#discussion #wordcamps #meetups #brainstorming

Updated Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps and Meetups 2022

TL;DR: The Community team has new, mandatory guidelines for all WordCamps and MeetupsMeetup 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., which include following local guidelines, checking for vaccinations where legally permissible and mandatory masks. In areas where the venue cannot legally check for vaccination status, the area must pass the in-person checklist. See “New guidelines” below for full details.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent proposal for updated safety measures for WordPress events in 2022. It speaks volumes of the WordPress community that so many of contributors shared their thoughts on this topic.

Some background

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community team has worked to continually adapt 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. program — a formidable challenge in this dynamic environment. I am grateful to the deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook., organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees who continue to support this team. 

It could make things easier if organizers were simply asked to follow local guidelines when planning a WordCamp. In reading comments on the recent post, I am reminded that many local governments are in similar situations: at the whim of when and what the next variant will bring, and debating best approaches to safety. 

For the WordPress Community team, the priority since the start of this pandemic has always been the safety of community members. 

To be clear, the Community team is not recommending safety guidelines outside of official WordPress events. That is best left to health professionals to determine. For the WordPress Community, another important consideration needs to be the health of the events program. As you might imagine, the people who support this program really, truly, deeply want events that connect and inspire WordPress enthusiasts to continue! Moving forward with in-person events that risk the health of community members is unacceptable, and also poses risks to the program itself. 

New guidelines 

It is with all of this in mind that the following new guidelines will be mandatory for all WordCamps, and all Meetups that anticipate more than 50 attendees.

  1. Follow local laws and guidelines. If your locality has suggested guidelines on top of mandatory ones, follow those too. 
  2. If you are in a location where local laws or guidelines require or permit venues to limit admission based on a person’s vaccination status and masking, then WordCamps can only happen in venues that are willing to provide staff to check for vaccination status at the door and to remind participants to wear masks during the event. 
  3. If your area or venue legally cannot check vaccination status, your area must pass the in-person checklist at the time of the application, and again at the time of the event. Additionally, the venue must be willing to provide staff who will remind participants to wear masks and check for temperature during the event. Organizers in these areas must be prepared to move online or cancel if the region fails the safety checklist.

Here is a visualization of these new guidelines.

The Community team will also continue to support online events at this time. If your meetupMeetup 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. has fewer than 50 attendees, you can move forward with your event following local guidelines/laws. The Community team recommends that you organize the event only for attendees who are fully vaccinated or recently tested negative (within 2 days). 

Next steps and feedback

These new guidelines will be added to all the appropriate places in the WordCamp organizers handbook, and a summarized version of this decision will be included in upcoming Meetup Newsletters. If you have questions, concerns, or feedback, please share them in a comment on this post.

Update (25 January) 

The WordCamp and Meetup Handbook pages have been updated to reflect these changes:

#meetups, #wordcamps

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: January 2022

Happy New Year! 

Welcome to the January 2022 edition of the monthly MeetupMeetup 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. Organizer newsletter. 

Last year brought many exciting updates and events to the WordPress community, from State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/. watch parties to the first in-person 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. since the pandemic—we have high hopes for 2022 as well. Read on to learn about the latest news and resources from the WordPress community, and share them with your local meetup groups!

Here’s what’s inside this issue:

  • Second release candidateRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. for WordPress 5.9
  • WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event. 2022: Call for Speakers
  • WordPress events
  • News from the WordPress community

🚀 WordPress 5.9 is on track to release on January 25, 2022

WordPress 5.9 is nearing its release on January 25, 2022, with the second release candidate now available for testing. 

The 5.9 Field Guide has also been published recently. You can find a compilation of all the developer notes regarding 5.9 in this guide. If you’d like more information about the performance improvements in WordPress 5.9, head over to this page

As always, your support is appreciated. Please help spread the word about WordPress 5.9 by hosting a release-focused meetup or organizing testing sprints.

Share WordPress 5.9 with your meetup group!

Spread your excitement for the latest WordPress release by organizing a WordPress meetup highlighting the release features! Read the talking points for WordPress 5.9 to learn more.

Looking for inspiration? Check out the following WordPress 5.9 events from our community!

Upcoming events:

Previous events:


📣 WordCamp Europe 2022 needs speakers

With an eye on the rapidly evolving situation with Omicron, WordCamp Europe (WCEU) 2022 is still set to take place in person at Porto, Portugal—with solid safety protocols in place. 

WCEU recently announced its call for speakers. Organizers are looking for talks on various topics related to WordPress, such as technology, design, marketing, content, accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), and more. Have questions? Watch the Q&A session that took place recently to learn more about being a speaker at WCEU.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a speaker at WCEU 2022, apply now.


📷 Submit your images to the WordPress Photo Directory

The WordPress Photo Directory is a collection of high-quality, CC0-licensed images first introduced by Matt Mullenweg in State of the Word 2021. It’s also the only submission tool for Openverse powered by WordPress.

Although it hasn’t fully launched yet, you can now submit your images to the WordPress Photo Directory. You can also contribute in other ways, as there’s currently a call for volunteers.


🌍🎪 What’s happening with WordPress events

With the rise of Omicron, in-person WordCamps are cautiously scheduled for 2022. We strongly urge you to follow additional safety guidelines if you plan to attend a WordCamp or meetup. As a reminder, if you’re an organizer, learn about the legal protections available to you for in-person events. Don’t miss these helpful resources for organizers from our global sponsors!

Interested in widening your pool of Meetup and WordCamp speakers from underrepresented groups? Join the #diverse-speaker-support channel on the Make WordPress 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/. workspace.

WordCamps on the horizon

📚 Join the Learn WordPress initiative

Help make Learn WordPress the official resource on WordPress! Join in on the fun and share your knowledge with others by organizing a social learning space based on any of the Learn WordPress workshops. Meetup organizers can also use lesson plans on Learn WordPress to organize WordPress meetupsMeetup 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..

Attend some upcoming WordPress Social Learning Meetups:

Check out the latest Learn WordPress course, “Simple Site Design with Full Site Editing.”


🗞 News from the WordPress Community

  • GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ version 12.3 is out. This release includes three brand new blocks, more customization controls, and a coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. blocks reference, among other exciting features.
  • WordPress 5.8.3 is now available. This security release features four fixes.
  • The Polyglots TeamPolyglots Team Polyglots Team is a group of multilingual translators who work on translating plugins, themes, documentation, and front-facing marketing copy. https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/. announced that WordPress 5.9 is also ready to be translated.
  • The Core Team began a discussion on the release dates this year and the possibility of having four major WordPress releases in 2022.
  • The December 2021 edition of the Polyglots Monthly Newsletter is out.
  • The latest edition of People of WordPress featuring Collins Agbonghama from Nigeria was published recently. 
  • The Design Team summarized some of the key changes behind the Openverse redesign.
  • The following teams announced their team representatives for 2022: Themes, Support, Polyglots, and Community.
  • Version 19.0 of WordPress for Android and iOS is available for testing.

Listen to the latest episode of the WP Briefing podcast, “A Carol of Thanks,” with Executive Director Josepha Haden.


That’s all, folks!

If you have any questions, Community Team deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. are here to help. Please email us at support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow and support the WordPress community—let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions!

See you online soon!

#meetup-organizer-newsletter
#newsletter

The following people contributed to this edition of the Meetup newsletter: @rmartinezduque @eidolonnight and @harishanker

#meetups

Proposal: Mandatory Safety Measures for In-person WordPress Events in 2022

Last year, the Community Team opened up a pathway to return to In-person WordPress meetups, WordCamps, and do_action charity hackathons. In addition to following local laws and safety guidelines, the Community team’s current guidelines recommend that only individuals who are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered from COVID-19 could participate in in-person WordCamps. However, 2022 has brought in new challenges related to the pandemic such as new variants that are more contagious, in addition to a spike in infection rates in many regions. 

To address the safety concerns around in-person events, Community DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. have been discussing potential, additional safety measures for in-person WordPress events. These safety measures include:

  • Mandatory masks for all attendees (even in regions that do not have a mask mandate at this time). 
  • More prominent messaging in 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. websites, emails, and social media posts about COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Mandatory temperature checks for all attendees at the event (if permitted by local authorities).
  • Accessible hand sanitizing stations in the venue.
  • Maintaining social distancing practices during the event (Larger meeting rooms and seating arrangements with good spacing can be a good way to implement this).
  • Having a plan for contact tracing measures in case of infections (can be done using WordCamp registration data, meetupsMeetup 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. are a bit tricker).

I propose that, for regions that do not pass guidelines on page one of the in-person safety checklist (but where vaccines and testing are available to everyone), these guidelines become mandatory for all in-person WordPress events, going forward.

In addition to these proposed guidelines, I also recommend that we remove our existing guideline of allowing recent-recovered community members from attending a WordPress event since new COVID variants like Omicron are known to cause reinfection.

Please note: These guidelines are in addition to any local laws for events.
For example, if a region requires mandatory vaccination proof for attending the event, organizers must be willing to verify the same, even though they are not a part of our guidelines. Alternatively, even if a region does not have a mask mandate, organizers must be willing to enforce the same for their event since our guidelines specify the same. 

To support organizers in these important safety measures, 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. is prepared to budget for additional safety measures such as free masks (providing masks as attendee swag for example), hand sanitizing stations, etc. The Community Team is also continuing to support online events, and encourage your community to explore multiple ways to connect online. 

Please share your thoughts

What questions or concerns do you have about the proposed guidelines? What more can WordPress Community Team do to support organizers in organizing safe in-person WordPress events? If you are planning an in-person WordPress event, what safety guidelines would you follow? Please respond in the comments with your thoughts by January 22, 2022. Based on your feedback, the team will finalize the guidelines and publish them in our handbook by early February 2022. 

This post was jointly written by: @angelasjin @harishanker @mauteri @mariaojob @mpc @samsuresh @sippis @sunsand187 @tacoverdo and @yoga1103 

#in-person #meetups #wordcamps #safety-guidelines

WordPress 5.9 Talking Points for Meetup Organizers: Six Features You Will Love About This Release

As you know, there’s a new version of WordPress coming soon. This update brings some exciting features your way. As we get closer to the major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. of WordPress 5.9, we’d love the support of community members and meetupMeetup 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. organizers like you to spread the word!

As with all releases, WordPress 5.9 can benefit from your help in the following ways:

  • Plan release-focused meetupsMeetup 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. to share the latest features in 5.9 with your community.
  • Organize 5.9 testing sprints to test the release features.
  • Email your local meetup groups to inform members about the upcoming release.
  • Individually test 5.9 release features, share your feedback, blog about release features, and amplify them on social media. 

Your testing and feedback of WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 (and the Release CandidateRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. when we get there) is important and appreciated. Or you can use the Beta Testing Plugin and be the first to see all new features in action.

1. Experience the Power of Full Site Editing

WordPress 5.9 marks the first version of Full Site Editing in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. This version includes holistic support for block themes. You can find available 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. themes under the “full site editing” tag in the Theme repository. 

Additionally, 5.9 comes with more than 30 theme blocks, such as the navigation editor, site logo, and site title, that allow you to build and customize all parts of your website. 

The introduction of block themes is only the beginning. We plan to add more exciting features in future releases to build on this solid foundation.

What’s Exciting about Block Themes?

You can now personalize your entire website using blocks. Block themes are endlessly customizable—your imagination is your only limit. Once you’ve installed a block theme, you can modify it through the site editor and the styles interface. The components of block themes include its block templates, block template parts, and the custom styling offered through theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.. Learn more about block themes in our documentation.

Say Hello to Twenty Twenty-Two, the New Default Block Theme.

To usher in the next generation of themes, we’ve released the new default theme of WordPress 5.9–Twenty Twenty-Two. The inspiration behind its subtle design is the playful yet resilient nature of birds.

This default theme is among the first to be built with Full Site Editing at its heart, and it requires minimal CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site.. By using the incredible power of patterns, you can customize this theme in countless ways without needing numerous skills.

2. Change the Look of Your Site With the New Styles Interface and theme.json Enhancements

If you liked theme.json, you would be happy to know that the new styles graphic interface provides greater global design control. 

You can now completely customize the styles on your site, changing the look of different elements and blocks. Edit everything, from the typography and the colors of the button blocks, such as block-specific styles, to the layout on your site—all from the same interface without switching themes.

Moreover, 5.9 sees various improvements to theme.json, such as support for child themes, increased duotone support, and new settings and styles, to name a few.

3. Make Your Site Stand Out with a Multitude of Design Tools

With more design-focused tools, WordPress 5.9 provides you with the power to tailor your content precisely the way you want it; Size your featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts. a certain way, evenly space a menu, or modify your paragraph to a different size. Moreover, you can customize these design tools site-wide rather than each block individually with the styles interface.

From layout control, block gap, typography options, border support, and dimension controls to enhanced cropping tools and duotone filters—all these features are here to help you get your site just right.

4. Customize Your Site’s Navigation Using the New Navigation Block

Accessibility is at the center of the new Navigation block, with full keyboard navigation support and a responsive option with the ease of an on/off toggle. 

The Navigation block enables you to control your menu’s design, location, and function from a single interface.

5. Leverage Patterns to Build Your Site Efficiently

Patterns will continue to be a gamechanger in helping you create your site. With patterns, you don’t have to build each site page from scratch—save your basic block groups and personalize the individual blocks to suit your needs!

In WordPress 5.9, you can create simple blocks containing images, lists, and paragraphs, or complex full-page layouts with overlapping content.

Browse from a library of existing reusable patterns or build your own. You can also share your creations by submitting your very own patterns to the pattern directory with open submissions.

The possibilities are limitless. Build a new mailing list call to action (CTA) with a few clicks or change entire site sections without switching themes. These enhancements simplify site creation, editing, and management, saving you plenty of time and effort.

6. Enjoy User Interface and Performance Improvements

Version 5.9 includes important enhancements to the user interface and platform performance.

With new updates such as rich URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org previews, refined settings modal, intuitive icons and animations, and the lazy rendering of search results and patterns, you can enjoy better responsiveness and user experience. 

Try the improved publishing flow, List View (including a drag and drop capability with collapsible sections), and a new language switcher, among other updates. The List View has undergone improvements in performance and accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) as well.

Share Your Feedback about WordPress 5.9

Now that you know about the features in the pipeline, we hope you’re as excited as we are. 

What do you like about this release? What have you planned for sharing WordPress 5.9 with your local meetup group? Are you organizing an outreach meetup, or would you be interested in scheduling a testing sprint? Let us know in the comments.


Thanks to @callye, @cbringmann, @chanthaboune, @dansoschin, @harishanker, @priethor, and @rmartinezduque for reviewing and contributing to this post.

#meetups, #meetup-organizer-resources, #outreach, #resources, #wordpress-5-9

Organize a State of the Word Watch Party for your WordPress Meetup

State of the Word 2021 is just around the corner! This year, WordPress’ annual keynote address delivered by the project co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, will be live streamed from New York City on December 14, 2021, between 5 pm and 7 pm ET (10 pm and 12 am UTC)

State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/. used to be an in person event at 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. US and was limited to attendees at the camp. But due to the pandemic, the event will be streamed online this year. As a result, millions of WordPress fans worldwide have the opportunity to join the event live, interact with each other, and even ask Matt questions directly. 

An online State of the Word also offers an excellent opportunity for MeetupMeetup 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. organizers to revitalize their meetup groups and spread the buzz by bringing people together for State of the Word.

We encourage Meetup organizers worldwide to (safely) host a State of the Word 2021 watch party for your meetup groups—read this handbook to learn more.

Why should you host a watch party?

Organizing a watch party will be a perfect way to bring your group members together and to build excitement after two difficult pandemic years, especially if your group has not had a chance to meet in a while. In addition, it will be an excellent opportunity to build engagement amongst your community members after a complex year. 

By broadcasting it to your group members, you are encouraging them to stay updated on the latest happenings in the WordPress world. What’s more, your community members also get a chance to interact with WordPress lovers worldwide and ask their questions directly to Matt Mullenweg! 

How can you organize a State of the Word watch party for your meetup group? 

You can choose to host the watch party online or in person (if your region allows in person events and meets the WordPress Community safety guidelines). We have created event templates in Meetup.com that will help you in easily creating a State of the Word watch party event for your group.

If State of the Word is happening at an odd hour in your timezone, you can still organize a watch party by organizing a replay of live stream at a date/time that is convenient for your group.

Online State of the Word Watch Party

The simplest way to organize an online watch party is to schedule an online event for your WordPress Meetup group following these instructions and add the State of the Word YouTube streaming link (available shortly on 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/) directly on your Meetup.com page. For a more interactive event, you can schedule an online event meeting using tools like Zoom and use it to broadcast the State of the Word stream, with the help of screen sharing. Doing so will allow your meetup attendees to interact with each other over video, audio, and chat as they listen to State of the Word. Learn more about how to organize an online State of the Word watch party.

Looking for a Zoom Pro account to host your online watch party? Request a community zoom pro account for your event right away!

In Person State of the Word Watch Party

If your region allows in person events and meets the guidelines for in person WordPress events (if vaccines/testing are freely available), you can organize an in person watch party (for fully vaccinated; recently tested; or recently recovered folks) as well! All you need is a venue that has a large TV screen (that can stream YouTube) or a projector with a decent audio system. 

Group members can hang out together (following local safety guidelines of course) and watch State of the Word live. Learn more about how to organize an in person State of the Word watch party.

If you are organizing an in person watch party, fill out this form so that we can ship you some swag for your meetup group to celebrate!
Deadline: November 30, 2021

Help us promote State of the Word!

Even if you are unable to organize a watch party for State of the Word, help us promote State of the Word by emailing your attendees about the event (if you are a Meetup organizer). Here are some email templates that could be useful!

Join a State of the Word Watch Party near you!

We have compiled a list of State of the Word Watch Parties around the world. If you don’t see a watch party in your region listed here, check this page on Meetup.com to see if your local WordPress group is organizing one. If not, why don’t you consider organizing a watch party on your own? 🙂

What else do you need to know?

We’ve put together a few resources to help you schedule your watch party:

  • Here’s a nifty handbook to help you schedule your online or in person meetup. 
  • Have questions for Matt? Email them to us at: ask-matt@wordcamp.org OR simply ask your question in the livechat during the live stream.

Finally, don’t forget to share on social media about your watch party events using the hashtag #StateOfTheWord

Is your group planning a State of the Word watch party?
Let us know in the comments or simply drop an email to support@wordcamp.org to let us know. We are happy to help you in any way we can, and we cannot wait to see what you come up with on December 14!

The following folks contributed to this post: @anjanavasan @harishanker @eidolonnight and @rmartinezduque

#meetups, #in-person-meetup, #online-meetup, #state-of-the-word, #state-of-the-word-2021

Tuesday Training: How to run a successful Help Desk meetup

If there is a question you would like to see answered or a topic you would like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email support@wordcamp.org with the subject line “Tuesday Trainings”. Now onto this week’s topic!

One of the most popular meetupMeetup 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. formats is the Help Desk. A good Help Desk is a huge draw for any local meetup. If you are looking to grow your group, I encourage you to schedule one. They are also quite easy to set up. All you need is a space with reliable wifi and a few folks with some expertise!

Running a successful Help Desk, however, can be quite challenging, especially when you draw lots and lots of people. As someone that has run lots of Help Desks (and made lots of mistakes), let me share a few pointers to help you be successful.

Introduce the Helpers

If you skip this step, you will have a free-for-all on your hands. I start every Help Desk meetup asking everyone who wants to be a helper to stand up, introduce themself, and tell the group what they can do to help others. I also mention that to be a helper does not require you be a master coder or an expert in a field. Simply knowing how to do something and helping someone solve a problem is enough. This can be coding, SEO, blogging, social media, content creation, etc.

I also try to encourage people that have started gaining knowledge from attending Help Desks regularly to be helpers. This goes a long way to helping people gain confidence in their skills, give back to the community, and be inclusive to all.

Once everyone has been introduced, the folks that are looking for help probably have a good idea who the best person is to get help from. This really does keep things moving smoothly.

Keep Things Safe

This especially applies to anyone that is touching a website. Make sure your helpers know to ask some very important questions to the folks that are receiving help… like, is this your website or a client’s website? Do you have a local or staging environmentStaging Environment A staging environment is a non-production copy of your site. This is a private place to build the site -- design, copy, and code -- until your client approves it for production or live. Sometimes used in addition to, or as a Development Environment. we can try things on? Do you have backups of the website?

Things can go very wrong very fast, so it is best to err on the side of caution. Make sure all your helpers know this, so you do not have a mess on your hands.

Help Everyone Get Helped

There’s nothing worse than attending a Help Desk meetup and not being helped. You will have some people that will do everything they can to flag someone down to get help, but you will have others that will sit quietly, never speak up, want help, and never receive it. It is your job as an organizer to help everyone that wants help to get it.

To do this well, keep track of who your helpers are and what they can help with. If you see someone that is not being helped (or someone you suspect has not been helped), go over and ask “Has anyone helped you yet?” If they say they need help, ask them to explain the problem in a couple of words. With that information, find the right person that can help them and get the person that needs help on their radar.

Be aware that some helpers will stay with the same person for the duration of the meetup if left unchecked. Try to limit the time a helper spends with a single person as this can lead to excluding others and supporting only a few. It is important to encourage helpers to make the rounds. Especially your more experienced helpers.

Depending on the breakdown of helpers to folks that need help, you may want to adjust your approach. For instance, if you only have a few helpers and lots of folks that need help, you might want to limit things to 5-minutes for each person until everyone has received some level of help.

You Cannot Solve Everything

Questions at Help Desks run the gamut. Some problems can be solved quickly, but others cannot. It is important to set expectations. Everyone that is a helper is a volunteer and will do the best they can within reason. Sometimes it is important to remind people that are being helped that their problem might be out of the expertise of your helpers, or they might need to pay a developer to do what they are requesting.

Virtual Help Desk

Approaching Help Desk in a virtual environment (like Zoom) can be very challenging. Many of the things mentioned above like introducing helpers will keep things orderly, but I would say utilizing breakout rooms with a helper or two in each should be your approach.

How many breakout rooms will depend on how many people are in attendance, and how many helpers you have. I have found 10 people in a breakout room to be the limit before things can feel a little chaotic.

The idea is to keep things small, so folks do not get lost in the crowd. As an organizer, you should move between breakout rooms and ensure folks are happy and getting helped.

Also, if your group has a 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/. account, I would encourage creating a #helpdesk channel where people can ask their questions. Especially if you decide a virtual Help Desk meetup is too much work.

Final Thoughts

As your group grows, you will be amazed at how popular your Help Desk meetupsMeetup 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. become. It can feel overwhelming and chaotic at times. That is why it is very important to go in with a process, so everyone has a positive experience, feels they were helped, and knows they belong.

Are you a Meetup organizer and have more tips for organizing a Help-Desk-style event? Share your thoughts in the comments!

#meetups #tuesdaytrainings

Tuesday Training: How to Promote WordPress Meetup In Your Local Tech Community To Get More Attendance [Meetup Marketing Guide]

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email support@wordcamp.org with the subject line “Tuesday Trainings”. Now onto this week’s topic!

Promoting your WordPress meetupMeetup 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. and getting enough attendance might look more challenging at this moment because of COVID-19, but there are a handful of things that you can do and increase participants. The Marketing team previously published WordPress Meetup Tips & Tricks to help you promote your meetup and we hope it helped you. 

In this guide, we will focus more on how to promote your Meetup Event in a non-WordPress community and reach a new audience in order to increase attendance.

First Things To Do: Tailor Your Meetup Event Page For New Audience

  • Catchy Meetup Title & Featured ImageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts.: Meetup titles and featured images are very important to grab initial attention. Make sure you are utilizing that properly to make people sign up. 
  • Compelling Description to Welcome Anyone: Please make sure you have a proper description for your meetup event and a basic agenda. Mention clearly that anyone, even folks that are new to WordPress, is welcomed to join.
  • Information About Speakers & Expertise: Gather diverse speakers with different expertise to make people interested in the event.
  • Pick a Suitable Time & Date: Consider adjusting the time and date for your event to ensure that it is convenient for your targeted audience. Even though many organizers prefer hosting their events during weekends, the perfect date/time for scheduling a meetup changes from place to place.

10 Ways to Promote Your Meetup To Non-WordPress Community

1. Embrace The Power of Social Media

  • Share on Facebook Local Groups: In many countries, Facebook groups are very popular and a great way to engage with people. Find the relevant tech groups in your local area and share your meetup links with some customized caption to connect with that specific community.
  • Share in LinkedIn Feed: Unlike other social media, LinkedIn is popular among professional people. So sharing WordPress meetupsMeetup 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. on your LinkedIn feed might be helpful to spread the word to different professional individuals. 
  • Share on Instagram: In these days, people love to share about attending events and their experiences on Instagram with images. A photo from a previous meetup can be intriguing and could be a great way to invite people to join your next event.
  • And Tweeeeet: Twitter is commonly very popular among the WordPress community and you should leverage this to promote your meetup. Use hashtags and share them multiple times on Twitter with your meetup event link.

2. Find Diverse Speakers & Empower Them To Promote Meetup

There are a lot of people who are involved in more than one technology community or use CMSes other than WordPress. Find them and invite them to participate in your WordPress Event. Once they are onboarded, ask them to share about your meetup with their networks, especially out of the WordPress community. Help the speakers with blurbs to share on social media to promote to their followers. You can check out WordPress Diversity Speaker Training Workshop to learn more.

3. Leverage Your Sponsors To Spread The Word

It’s very common to accept sponsorship for the venue or refreshments for in-person meetups. Ask your sponsors to spread the news about upcoming Meetup events.

4. Partner With Local IT/Tech Companies

Reach out to local IT companies, even those that are not focusing on WordPress. Invite them to join your WordPress meetup for FREE and connect with fellow programmers

5. Help Attendance to Promote With Pre-written Text Messages

We are all busy. If you can prepare some pre-written text messages that anyone can easily share to promote your event, then it can be very helpful and a lot of people can quickly share with their networks. 

6. Collaborate With Other Local Communities

In most countries, there are multiple tech communities. You can partner up with them and promote your WordPress meetup in their community to get some new attendees. 

7. Reach Out to WordPress Experts In Your Locality

As they are passionate about WordPress and have long experience, request them to spread the word or ask for suggestions if they have any plan to promote WordPress.

8. Invite With Local Universities Or Educational Institute

Reach out to the IT department or club of the local institute and invite them to attend the meetup. It could be helpful and eye-opening for students and potential users.

9. Utilize The Meetup.com Message Feature

Request your existing member to join and share your event with their friends and colleagues. Using the Meetup.com ‘Contact Members‘ feature, you can easily send emails to current members of your meetup chapter.

10. Turn Attendees Into WordPress Ambassadors

Your attendees liked your event enough to register in the first place and they are the most passionate advocates of WordPress. So, it should be easier to convince them to spread the news and become WordPress Ambassadors.

Questions?

Contact the Community Team, or come join the conversation in the #community-events channel in the Making WP Slack!

Are you a Meetup or 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 and have more tips for promoting WordPress events? Please share your ideas in the comments!

#meetups, #tuesdaytrainings