Meetup Organizer Newsletter: November 2020

Hello friends,

Welcome to the November edition of our 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. organizer newsletter! Read on to catch up with some exciting updates from the WordPress community and resources for your local WordPress meetup group. 

Newsletter contents:

  • Online Event updates
  • Meetup organizer resources
  • News and updates

Online Event Updates

Meetup organizers can use the hashtag: #OnlineWPMeetup to promote your online meetup on social media. You can reach out to the WordPress Marketing team in the #marketing 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/. channel if you need support with promoting your online meetup event — the team posts regular updates on local meetups in its LinkedIn page.

Featured Online Meetup Event
Several WordPress Meetup Groups in the U.S. are joining hands to organize the: WordPress “Mega Meetup”: The “Plugin Draft” Episode event on November 18, 2020 6:30 PM. The event, which features several speakers such as Adam Silver, Birgit Pauli, and Topher DeRosia, aims to highlight several useful plugins and demystify them for participants, and will also feature a host of talks and sessions. The organizers promise a fun event with a WordPress Trivia game show and a T-Shirt contest. The event is being held on Zoom, and you can sign up for it right away!

Wish to participate in more online WordPress events across the world? You can find all the upcoming online meetups around the globe at: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/.

Online 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. Updates
Check out the websites of the following  WordCamps from the past few weeks to catch up with their recorded live streams. Videos of these camps are being uploaded to WordPress.tv.

While you are at it, don’t miss the chance to get free tickets for the upcoming WordCamp Mexico Online (November 25 – 28)! Several online WordCamps are in the pipeline and will be announced soon!

Diverse Speaker Training Workshops (#WPDiversity)

Check out these upcoming workshops in November to encourage diverse voices to share their knowledge and stories to online WordPress Meetups and WordCamps:

Don’t forget to keep up with the #WPDiversity announcements on the WordCamp Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with the Marketing team LinkedIn Page

Meetup Organizer Resources

Meetup organizers can now request Community Zoom Pro accounts for their local meetup events! In order to get a Zoom Pro account for your meetup, submit a request using the zoom requests form at least a week before your event.

News and updates

  • WordPress 5.6 Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, and Beta 4 versions came out, along with the following WordPress maintenance release: Version 5.5.2 and Version 5.5.3. Feel free to help test BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. releases!
  • The Core team released 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 9.2 (the last Gutenberg release to be featured in WordPress 5.6) and Version 9.3.
  • Take the 2020 WordPress Annual Survey now! Results of the 2019 survey are also available. Feel free to remind your meetup group to take the survey!
  • 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/. has launched its 2020 Polyglots Translator Research form. Feel free to pass it on to your meetup group, translate the announcement template into your language, and publish it on your Rosetta site (if any). You can also help out by spreading the word on Social Media by amplifying these Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts.

If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community. Let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We will see you online soon!

#newsletter
#meetup-organizer-newsletter

The following people contributed to this edition of the Meetup newsletter: @chaion07 @courane01 @meher @nao and @webcommsat

+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//marketing
+make.wordpress.org/training

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: October 2020

This is the October 2020 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. newsletter. You can find the November 2020 edition of the meetup newsletter by following this link.

Hello friends,

Welcome to the October edition of our meetup organizer newsletter! We have many exciting news and updates from the WordPress community and resources for your local meetup group.

Newsletter contents:

  • Learn WordPress 
  • Meetup Organizer resources
  • Online Event updates

Learn WordPress

The Learn WordPress initiative offers WordPress video workshops that can help WordPress meetups. Check out our new workshops on Contributing to WordPress, Using the WordPress Block Editor, WordPress Troubleshooting, and the Diverse Speaker Training, topics! Have questions on these workshops? Participate in our upcoming discussion groups to get answers!

All community members can now submit their workshop ideas for the program in any language of their choice! Meetup organizers can also organize discussion groups based on workshops for their local meetup groups. You can also contribute to Learn WordPress by helping the Training team update screenshots on existing lesson plans.

Meetup Organizer Resources

  • Sponsored Zoom Pro accounts for Online Meetups: In the light of WordPress events moving online in April 2020, the Community team started offering Zoom Pro accounts for online WordCamps and special WordPress events. The team has opened up a discussion to investigate if these accounts can be made available for meetup groups. Please comment on the post to share what you need to successfully run your local meetup online, if you would like to get Paid Zoom accounts for your local meetup or if you have ideas on how to improve the process.
  • WordPress 5.5 marketing resources: Meetup groups can make use of the WordPress 5.5 marketing resources from the Marketing team and other teams. The resources consist of video presentations, slides, questions & answers, social media posts, and more – aimed at both developers and non-developers. If you would like to help out with WordPress 5.6 outreach, reach out to the team on the #marketing channel in the Make WordPress Slack.
  • Videos to help onboard WordPress contributors: Step-by-step video instructions on how to set up accounts 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/ and 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/. are now available on YouTube in the Marketing Team’s YouTube channel. The captioned videos are available in several languages. If you wish to add captions and voiceovers in your language for the video, get involved through the #marketing Slack channel.

Online Event Updates

Upcoming Online WordCamps
Don’t miss the chance to get free tickets for these online WordCamps! 

Upcoming Online meetups

You can find all the upcoming online meetups across the world at: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/.

Past Online WordCamps
Several online WordCamps were held successfully in the past few weeks. Did you miss these events, and would you like to catch up with them? Check out their websites to follow their recorded live streams. Videos of these camps are being uploaded to WordPress.tv.

The WordPress Translation Week

As part of the International Translation Day celebrations on September 30, a host of WordPress translation events were held from 28 September to 4 October. After a couple of weeks, the celebrations are still ongoing! You can catch recorded talks and interviews with Polyglots on YouTube. In response to requests, the Polyglots and Marketing teams are considering month-long translation periods once or twice a year to promote translations. Follow @TranslateWP, and use the #WPTranslationDay tag on Twitter to share your translation adventures. The Translation week event highlights will be published on: https://wptranslationday.org/2020-events/.

Diverse Speaker Training Workshops (#WPDiversity)

More workshops will be in October and November to encourage diverse voices to share their knowledge and stories to online WordPress Meetups and WordCamps. Here’s a list of upcoming events for you or your members:

Don’t forget to keep up with the #WPDiversity announcements on 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. Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with the Marketing team LinkedIn Page

If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community; let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We will see you online soon!

The following people contributed to the newsletter this month: @angelasjin @chaion07 @courane01 @harishanker @hlashbrooke @jillbinder @lmurillom @meher @nao @oglekler @webcommsat and @tacoverdo

#newsletter #meetup-organizer-newsletter

Addressing Mailchimp and Newsletter service privacy concerns

A few weeks back, @hlashbrooke and I jointly-published a post that announced Mailchimp as the chosen newsletter service for the Community Team. In the following days, members of the community shared concerns about the lack of transparency in the newsletter service selection process and the privacy implications of using a newsletter service. I had published a follow-up post last week, to shed more light on the process behind the 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. newsletter service selection. The current post is a second follow-up that will hopefully address the concerns that were raised by community members about community organizer and meetup group member privacy.

I have privacy law concerns about using a third-party service such as Mailchimp for contacting Meetup organizers. Is this move legal and GDPR-compliant?

WordPress chapter meetups are part of Meetup.com’s “Meetup Pro” network. When people join a WordPress meetup via Meetup.com, they agree to their privacy policy which states that, “Members who administer a Meetup Pro network, known as ‘network administrators’ have access to the content within their groups, including information about group participants.” (see 3.2 Group Networks). Meetup.com also makes it possible for WordPress chapter group members to share their email address with the network administrators of the Meetup Pro account.

The Community Team has been sending monthly newsletters to WordPress chapter group organizers since 2018. The reasons behind the suggestion that the quality of those newsletters could be improved if they were sent via a dedicated email newsletter platform are outlined in this blog post.

According to privacy consultants (in this case, people who oversee Automattic’s various privacy policies) who gave pro bono advice on this question, GDPR and other privacy laws do not require an organization to seek data subject consent (consent from subscribers) to change email platforms. It is not a legal or GDPR requirement to obtain consent for which platform is used to send emails, just as an individual is not required to obtain permission for which email platform they use to send emails to their friends, family, and other contacts.

Thus, it was clear to us that there are no privacy issues with changing the newsletter vendor. Hence, the list of meetup organizers, who had already given permission for meetup.com to share their email addresses with WordPress chapter network administrators, was exported to Mailchimp. Ongoing email newsletter preferences will be managed there.  

What is the privacy policy of Mailchimp?

One of the concerns raised was that Mailchimp could potentially use the contacts we upload for their marketing purposes. As mentioned in the Privacy for contacts section, Mailchimp support confirms that contacts will not be used for marketing purposes. Their usage is restricted to the following cases:

  • To enforce their terms
  • To protect the rights and safety of Members
  • To do anything required to protect itself legally and to fulfill its legal obligations
  • To provide support and improve the service
  • For internal data analysis purposes
  • To fulfill other business obligations

However, as mentioned in the privacy policy, Mailchimp may use data collected from those community deputies, who use the community Mailchimp account to send newsletters to the community, for marketing purposes. This is common with many third party services and it does not pose privacy risks to the larger community.

Furthermore, if any community member does not want to have their contact information being used for the internal data analysis purposes of Mailchimp or wants to get their personal information erased, they can get this done by submitting a Data Subject Access Request.

How does someone know that an email from WordPress Community Support is being sent through Mailchimp?

All newsletters sent through Mailchimp will have a notification included in the footer of the email. The footer for all future Mailchimp emails will contain the following information: 

This email was sent to you via Mailchimp. You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website: https://central.wordcamp.org or through https://meetup.com/pro/wordpress

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit the following URLs:

https://wordpress.org/about/privacy/
https://central.wordcamp.org/
https://make.wordpress.org/community

What emails will be sent using Mailchimp?

The WordPress Community Team sends email newsletters to meetup organizers every month. The newsletter contains news, updates, and essential information for WordPress community organizers all over the world. As outlined in an earlier post, Meetup.com was being used to send these emails previously, so there is no change in the number and types of emails that will be sent now that Mailchimp is being used. Each month, Mailchimp will be used to send the meetup organizer newsletter to approximately 1,600 meetup organizers (out of 2,000+ organizers) who have subscribed to emails from Meetup.com. Please note: only people who have subscribed to Meetup.com emails will be contacted via Mailchimp. That’s a total of one email per month (typically sent on every second Friday of the month), which amounts to 12 emails per year.

It would also be ideal to use Mailchimp to send the annual meetup organizer and member surveys (aimed at meetup organizers and meetup group members respectively), as well as any critical announcements that are relevant to the entire community.

What is the benefit of using a different platform, such as Mailchimp, for sending newsletters?

Meetup.com has been an unreliable platform for sending newsletters with several pain-points like non-delivery of emails, lack of formatting options, inability to reach out to specific meetup groups, lack of data on engagement, and lack of separate email lists, to name a few. Many organizers complained to us about missing the newsletter emails. During the recent meetup group inventory, many organizers did not receive the emails that were sent to them via Meetup.com. Using a dedicated email newsletter vendor, we can communicate with meetup group members more reliably about the program and convey any urgent and time-sensitive information without worrying about organizers missing our emails. We can also make those messages easier and more enjoyable to read. 

Can I unsubscribe to emails from Mailchimp?
Yes, you can always unsubscribe by following this link, or by clicking the “unsubscribe” link in the footer of any email received via Mailchimp. The team will be implementing a widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. on make.wordpress.org/community that will make it easier for community members to subscribe  and unsubscribe from emails. 

Additionally, community members can also submit a Data Subject Access Request if they wish to prevent their data from being used for internal data analysis or if they want their personal data to be erased from MailChimp servers.

Will Mailchimp be used for marketing emails to organizers?

No. This list will only be used for emails that support the legitimate interests of the global community team: to help people learn to use and contribute to WordPress. Community organizers and meetup members will only receive messages that support this mission. 

What if I want to revisit the email newsletter vendor discussion, and suggest a different approach? 

One of the reasons why Mailchimp was chosen as a newsletter service was because it offered a Pay as you go plan that allows us to effectively ‘test’ the service without lock-ins. We have only spent $150 with them for 5000 emails. We can always choose to cancel our plans of using Mailchimp and move to a different service, if there are better options. 

If you feel that there is a different newsletter service that the team can use, please feel free to share more about them in the comments on this post. Feel free to refer to the past discussion in the Make/Community blog on newsletter services, and the list of shortlisted services for reference.


The Community team remains committed to protecting the privacy of our event attendees and group members, and it’s great that the members of the WordPress community  help hold us accountable on this. 

Are there any concerns about this project that you would like to see addressed? Do you have any feedback on the project to share? Share your thoughts and concerns in the comments. 

This post was prepared jointly by @hlashbrooke and I.

The following people contributed to this post: @adityakane @andreamiddleton @bph @camikaos @courtneypk @francina @kcristiano @rmarks and @sippis

#newsletter #newsletter-service #newsletter-service-selection

Mistakes were made: Clarifying the Meetup Newsletter selection process

Some weeks back, I posted a public announcement about selecting Mailchimp as the email platform for communicating with 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. organizers and members. Unfortunately, the selection process lacked transparency and was not communicated properly. I’m extremely sorry about this mistake. In a bid to implement efficient connections with the WordPress organizer community during the COVID-19 pandemic, I made the call to pick Mailchimp as the selected newsletter service without finalizing the decision in an open, public discussion with other community members. This was an oversight from my end, and I apologize unconditionally. 

The idea of using a third-party newsletter service was initially proposed and accepted as a solution to address the limitations of Meetup.com emails (such as non-delivery of emails and lack of formatting options). Based on further feedback from community members, potential newsletter service features were discussed, and an initial list of 15 services was prepared. After researching these services, @hlashbrooke (who supported me on this project) and I shortlisted Mailchimp, MailJet, and MailPoet for their competitive features and pricing. Mailchimp was the final choice because it met almost the requirements, offered a native Meetup.com integration, and was affordably-priced (Mailchimp offers Pay as you go pricing, which allows us to test it out without long-term commitment). Then the decision was announced to the broader community.

Looking back, it is clear that this decision-making process (that led to the selection of Mailchimp) and the privacy implications of newsletter services should have been discussed in the open before a decision was made. Thank you and kudos to all those community members who brought this to the attention of the team. @andreamiddleton @bph @camikaos @courtneypk @francina @kcristiano @ryanmarks @sippis and anyone else who was affected by this oversight: I hope you will accept my apology. 

Maintaining transparency and openness in the community

The Community team is committed to being transparent and open in all communications. Personally, I’m taking this as an opportunity to double down on the commitment to stay transparent and open.

I’ve learned a lot by re-reading the “How decisions are made in the WordPress open-source project” section on the WordPress Contributor Training, which shares some ways to ensure transparency in the project, such as: documenting 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/./in-person discussions, gathering specific & actionable feedback from community members on projects, and sticking to team blogs for making decisions. 

In addition to these ideas, I’d love to open a discussion about what could be done to ensure that communication and decision-making processes are transparent. Your feedback would be incredibly helpful for me personally, and possibly for other members of our community. Please comment on this post with your thoughts, by October 31, 2020. 

Once again, sincere thanks to Community team members for the time you put into mutual accountability and for your dedication to the success of WordPress community programs in these uncertain times. 

This post was written jointly by @hlashbrooke and me.

Thank you to the following people who contributed to and gave early feedback on this post: @adityakane @andreamiddleton @bph @camikaos @courtneypk @francina @kcristiano @rmarks and @sippis

#newsletter #newsletter-service #newsletter-service-selection

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: September 2020

Hello friends,

Welcome to the September edition of our 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. organizer newsletter!  We have a lot of exciting news and updates from the WordPress community and resources for your local meetup group.

Newsletter contents:

Organize Learn WordPress discussion groups for your local meetup

As we had shared in the last edition of the meetup newsletter, we have launched the Learn WordPress initiative. The platform offers a learning repository on learn.wordpress.org, where WordPress learning content videos will be made available. The first iteration has launched with a few workshops, with more workshops in the pipeline. In addition to these workshops, we will also be hosting supplementary discussion groups based on the workshop content – facilitated by discussion group leaders. You can learn more about the platform in the following blog post.

How Meetup groups can benefit from the Learn WordPress platform

Meetup organizers can use the Learn WordPress content for their meetup events – simply ask your meetup group to watch one of the workshops in the weeks leading up to your scheduled event, and then host a discussion group content event.

If you are interested, you can start right away by organizing a discussion group based on one of the available workshops for your meetup group. You don’t need to sign up as a discussion group leader to organize a workshop for your local meetup. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Take a look at the available workshops in Learn WordPress and select one for your meetup group. If you want, you can seek help from other group members in finalizing a workshop for the discussion group. 
  2. Once you have identified a workshop for your local meetup group, schedule a discussion event in your Meetup.com group. Specify in the Meetup description that this is a discussion group connected to a workshop, and ask meetup group members to watch the workshop video before attending the workshop. Make sure that you plan the event at least a week ahead from the current date, so that your meetup members have enough time to view the workshop before participating in the discussion group. 
  3. Send a message to your Meetup group members announcing the meetup. Encourage them to see the Learn WordPress workshop video, and request them to participate in the discussion group.
  4. Organize the discussion group at the date and time. Start the discussion group by asking members about how many of them saw the workshop. You can start by providing a very brief (5-10 minute long) summary of the content. Then, ask questions to members, and try to start a discussion. You can consider innovating – some tips include organizing a quiz towards the end of the session or containing exercises as part of the meetup event.

If you would like some guidance on using the Learn WordPress platform, check out our Tuesday Training post on the topic: How to be an excellent discussion group leader.

Online Event Updates

Upcoming Online events

WordPress Meetup groups worldwide are currently organizing online events instead of in-person events due to COVID-19, which is something the team recommends as well, to ensure the safety and well being of our community members. Since meetup events are online, you can now attend meetups and WordCamps across the world from the comfort of your own home! You can find out about all upcoming online events here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/.

It would be great if organizers that host meetups with a topic focus to put it also in the event title. A format like: [Event format] Title:Brief Description of what’s happening (City Name), would be ideal. As an example, here’s a sample meetup format that organizers can use: [Online] WordPress 5.5: New Features, New Glitches, New Fixes (Portland)

International WordPress Translation Day

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/. and the Marketing team are organizing an International WordPress translation day event to coincide with the International translation day on September 30, 2020. Meetup groups can use this as an opportunity to organize their own translation day event on September 30, or on any day of that week (September 28 – October 4). It will be a great opportunity to help WordPress speak your language! Several local WordPress communities have already planned their events, but if you are looking for ideas, here are a few event formats that you can consider: 

  1. A short contributor event (even if just a few hours), day or evening time
  2. A half-day event on the weekend before or after the International Translation Day itself
  3. Celebrating it throughout the week by inviting people to one of the channels on your local 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/.
  4. Holding a video discussion meeting to talk out concerns, questions, or ideas around translation projects in your locale
  5. Picking a project to finish together and working on it
  6. Or, any other format! Be creative 

Please complete the form to help the marketing team promote the events!

International 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) Day

Starting at 18:00 UTC on October 2nd, 2020, the WordPress Accessibility Team will sponsor a 24-hour online event focused on WordPress and Accessibility. If you want to learn about the future of accessibility in WordPress, join us for 24 hours of mind-expanding online learning!

Follow along at the WP Accessibility Day website, to catch up with all the updates. The team has already announced the first round of speakers for the event, and the call for sponsors and volunteers is still open. 

Upcoming Online WordCamps

Don’t forget to grab your free tickets for these events! Many of these events still have their call for speakers, sponsors, and volunteers open. If you are interested in contributing to these events, please don’t forget to sign up. You will find more information on the camp websites.

Diversity speaker training

The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) holds workshops in July to support diverse voices to share knowledge and stories at online WordPress meetups and WordCamps. They have the following events scheduled for September – October 2020:

Intermediate speaker topics:

  • September 15: Improving Your Pitch
  • September 16: Intermediate Online Stage Presence
  • September 17: Answering Questions Online

For WordPress meetups:

  • September 24: WordPress Meetups: Hold Your Own Diverse Speaker Workshop (APAC/EMEA)
  • October 24: WordPress Meetups: Hold Your Own Diverse Speaker Workshop (AMER/EMEA)

You can find more details in the Make/Community Blog post. To learn more about the workshops that will be announced soon, check: https://make.wordpress.org/community/tag/wpdiversityworkshops/

Diversity speaker videos are also available on the Learn WordPress platform. Do check them out! Based on these videos, discussion groups are being planned for the following dates: 

  • October 6: Who am I to be speaking & Finding a topic
  • October 7: Creating a pitch
  • October 8: Online Stage Presence

Check out the Learn WordPress discussion group to catch up with the discussions and when they are posted.

Past online events

Several online WordCamps were held successfully in the past few weeks. WordCamps across the world are going the extra mile to experiment with the online events landscape and are coming up with innovative ways to offer an unmatched experience. Videos of these WordCamps will be available in WordPress.tv soon! Did you miss these events, or would you like to relive the experience of attending the events virtually? Check out their recorded live streams below!

do_action India & Nigeria Online

The maiden edition of do_action India online, which was held online from August 15 to 23, had 94 participants who built fully functional websites for five NGOs from across the country. Following the India event, Nigeria’s WordPress communities organized do_action Nigeria online from August 31 to September 11, where 146 volunteers collaborated online to build websites for 9 NGOs. You can read more about 2020 do_action events on this August blog post on the WordPress Foundation blog.

Featured Online Meetup

The Seattle WordPress Meetup group has been able to pivot their meetup group and their events online successfully. The group, which started in 2010, used to have large in-person meetups with 100+ attendees that pivoted to at least five smaller meetups/month aimed at different audiences: Fundamentals, DIY/Bloggers, Freelancers, Developers, and Help Desk that are spread out geographically for easy access. The team 3-person Leadership Team meets regularly and leads quarterly meetings with the Meetup Hosts to support them. 

With COVID, members of the group are meeting regularly on Zoom. The organizers have decided to go ahead with an online “mega meetup” for the fall (planned initially as an in-person event pre-COVID).  Instead of meeting in person and breaking out into physically separate rooms, the team will have each of their Meetups running virtually. The group uses this opportunity to sample all their Meetups and hopefully build and sustain their sense of community during this difficult time. The Mega Meetup is one of the quarterly events that help keep the community active by organizing Meetups and WordCamps. You can find more information and subscribe to updates on their website.

Want to feature your local meetup group in our newsletter? Send us a brief write-up to support@wordcamp.org, and we’ll feature it in the next edition of our newsletter. 

Inactive WordPress Meetup groups

The community team regularly reviews groups in the WordPress meetup chapter to ensure we’re remaining up to date and relevant. We are in the process of reaching out to those groups in our chapter that haven’t held an event since the end of 2019 (or earlier), to either prompt more activity or remove any groups that are not interested in organizing events. One of the primary motivators here is that, due to COVID-19, the global sponsorship program has been pulled back, so there are less funds available than in previous years.

We contacted inactive groups by sending messages to organizers, allowing two weeks for responses. If there was no response, we emailed all group members that were subscribed to notifications and cross-posted the message in the message boards, leaving it there for another two weeks. After four weeks, if we had not heard back from the organizing team or the members of these inactive groups, and if no meetup events were held in the group, we removed them from our Meetup chapter. Those groups that had followed-up with us by sending at least one response were kept activated. You can read more about this initiative in the Make/Community P2.

If your WordPress meetup group has not been active, you can consider organizing online meetup events to reactivate your group. Please check out our blog post on the Make/Community P2 to get some tips on reactivating your meetup groups by organizing online events.

News and Updates

If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community; let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We’ll see you online soon!

#newsletter

#meetup-organizer-newsletter

Email newsletter service selection: Announcement and Next steps

The Community team uses email newsletters sent through Meetup.com to connect with 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. organizers. However, Meetup.com’s newsletter service can be unreliable (with several pain points like non-delivery of emails, lack of formatting options, and other issues). Based on community feedback, we decided to start looking for a newsletter service for these emails. Upon finalizing the features and evaluating service providers, we have chosen Mailchimp as the newsletter service for Meetup newsletters going forward.

Why Mailchimp?

We picked Mailchimp from a list of 15 services that we had shortlisted, for the following reasons:

  • It met almost all of the features in our wishlist, including (and especially) a native Meetup.com integration, which makes it easy to send monthly meetup organizer newsletters and annual surveys.
  • Mailchimp offers Pay as you go pricing, which proved to be one of the cheapest choices from amongst the options. It will cost US$2500 for 2 million emails (valid for 12 months), which is more than sufficient for the needs of the program. We can also purchase credits for smaller amounts (starting at $100) to test things out.

Mailchimp is not without its cons. As @sippis reported after his research, it can also have email deliverability issues (with emails sometimes going to spam and the promotions/social tab in Gmail for people that use those tabs). Its user-interface can be confusing, and as users we will need to create email templates from scratch.

Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead with Mailchimp primarily due to the relatively affordable pricing and features, not to mention the native Meetup.com integration. If Mailchimp does not prove to be a good fit, we are open to trying out other platforms in the future. This will be especially easy considering that we are using the pay as you go pricing and not a recurring subscription.

What does this mean for Community members?

Only existing meetup organizers and community members who subscribed to Meetup.com emails will receive the emails. So for them, things will continue with emails as usual. We will be sending the next edition of the Meetup newsletter and other emails to the community using Mailchimp.

We typically send the following emails to Meetup groups:

  • One meetup organizer newsletter every month (12 emails per year). This email is sent only to meetup organizers (currently at ~2,000 members)
  • One annual survey sent out to all meetup group members (one email per year to all members). This email is sent out to  ~430,000 members of the meetup chapter program.
  • One annual survey sent out to all meetup group organizers (one email per year to all organizers). This email is sent out to  ~2,000 organizers in the meetup chapter program.

Additionally, we reach out to members of a particular meetup group in these exceptional cases:

  • To address a code of conduct violation.
  • In case the group is inactive, or if the existing organizer wants to step down, we reach out to members to see if they are interested in stepping up to organize meetups.  
  • In other circumstances where it is necessary to email a whole meetup group, or selection of groups.

Subscribers can opt-out of these emails at any point in time. If you would like to opt-out of emails (if you are either an organizer or a member), please follow the link in the emails (linked here as well) to do so. 

Addressing potential GDPR concerns

One of the most significant concerns that we heard from community members was about the legality of moving our subscribers over to a different service. We discussed this in detail with the WordPress Foundation’s legal team, and received  feedback that switching the vendor used to deliver newsletters for email services (where the recipients have opted in for emails) is entirely within the GDPR guidelines. 

Meetup organizers and community members have already signed up to receive emails through Meetup.com so there is no issue there. But as noted above, if members no longer wish to receive the emails, they are welcome to opt-out.

Action items

  • If you are a meetup organizer that has already subscribed to Meetup.com emails, you do not need to take any other steps if you want to receive these newsletters. You will continue getting emails as a meetup group member/organizer. 
  • If you would like to sign-up for these emails (or if you would like to check if you are signed-up), you can do so through the following form
  • If you would like to opt-out of these emails, or to check if you are already subscribed, you can do so by following this link.

Do you have any questions or concerns about the Meetup newsletter project? Let us know in the comments. If you have any sensitive feedback that you’d like to provide us, feel free to email us at support@wordcamp.org.

#newsletter #newsletter-service #mailchimp

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for September 2020

We’ve started working on the September 2020 edition of the 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. organizer newsletter. We would love to get some suggestions from you all for the content!

This newsletter typically includes:

  • An interesting event format that organizers might want to try
  • News about global community team projects
  • News about the WordPress 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
  • News about upcoming online WordCamps or meetups, in the recent months.
  • Any relevant updates from the community team.

If there are any topics you’d like to see included, or if you’ve come up with or participated in any interesting meetup event formats that you think are worth highlighting, please share that with us in the comments on this post.

We’ll leave this post open for comments until Wednesday, September 9, and send the newsletter out on Friday, September 11. If any deputies are interested in helping us put together this newsletter, awesome! Just let us know in the comments.

#newsletter

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: August 2020

Hello friends,

It’s time for another edition of our 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. organizer newsletter, packed full of updates from the WordPress world and our community!

Newsletter contents:

  • Check out the brand new Learn WordPress Platform
  • WordPress 5.5 is now available
  • Online Event Updates
  • Tuesday Trainings

Check out the brand new Learn WordPress platform

Learn WordPress is a brand new cross-team initiative led by the WordPress Community team, with support from the training team, the TV team, and the meta team. This platform is a learning repository on learn.wordpress.org where WordPress learning content will be made available. The first iteration has launched with a few workshops, and more will be added each week. The four initial workshops are:

In addition to these workshops, we will also be hosting supplementary discussion groups based on the content of the workshops – facilitated by discussion group leaders. Anyone can be a discussion group leader, including workshop presenters themselves! The first of these discussion groups have been scheduled,and you can join an upcoming discussion on the dedicated meetup group. More will be added as new workshops are published. Each workshop page will link to the meetup group.

Want to contribute to the Learn WordPress program? Here’s how:

You can learn more about the background and the roadmap of the Learn WordPress program in the following Make/Community P2 post.

How Meetup groups can benefit from the Learn WordPress platform

Meetup organizers can use the Learn WordPress content for their meetup events – simply ask your meetup group to watch one of the workshops in the weeks leading up to your scheduled event, and then host a discussion group for that content as your event. If you do this, you do not have to apply to be a discussion group leader using the form above – you can just go ahead and do it as an existing organizer.

If you are interested, you can start right away by organizing a discussion group based on one of the available workshops for your meetup group. If you would like some guidance on how to make use of the Learn WordPress platform, check out our Tuesday Training post on the topic: How to be an excellent discussion group leader.

WordPress 5.5 is now available

WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” (named in honor of Billy Eckstine) came out on August 11th 2020. The release is a major update with a host of features like automatic updates for plugins and themes, enabling updates over uploaded ZIP files, a 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. directory, XML sitemaps, block patterns, inline image-editing, and lazy-loading images, to name a few. WordPress 5.5 is now available in 47 languages too! You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or download it directly from 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/

As organizers, you can now help spread the word about WordPress 5.5 through your local meetup groups! Contributors from the WordPress marketing team are working on slides that could be used by Meetups to promote the new release. We request meetup organizers to fill in this survey from the team so that they can support the marketing needs of meetup groups in general. The survey will also help the marketing team to come up with resources for organizers so as to help them promote WordPress 5.5. 

Online Event Updates

Updates to the WordPress online events program

The WordPress Community team has implemented some major changes to our online events program during the past couple of months. The Community team made the difficult decision to suspend in-person WordPress events for the rest of 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has decided not to accept new applications for flagship events for 2021, and to move existing flagship events planned for 2021 online. Based on feedback from the community members, the team has also decided to make changes to the current online WordCamp format. Key changes include wrapping up financial support for A/V vendors and event swag for newer online WordCamps, as well as suspending the Global Community Sponsorship program for 2020.

Featured Online Meetup

This month, Luke Carbis and Jonathan Wold organized one of the first “virtual” WordPress meetups! The event was held in a 3D virtual world (powered by a hosted instance of Mozilla Hubs – an open-source platform for creating virtual spaces), via the WordPress Brisbane Meetup. The large virtual hall, designed specifically for the event, was big enough for the 12 or so participants to break out into smaller groups, holding multiple conversations at once. The 3D audio helped participants feel immersed in the space, hearing people to the left and right, closer or further away. Most people joined from their computer, and some even joined from their VR headsets, including the presenter Jonathan who talked about the future of WordPress and the Open Web. Attendees could see Jonathan’s head movements and hand gestures as he delivered the session. Luke and Jonathan plan to organize monthly virtual events of a similar nature, and have already started planning their next virtual event. 

The picture shows a virtual “stage” where the session was held.

Would you like to highlight recent online events from your local meetup group in our monthly newsletter? We will publish a “call for content” post for the next edition of the newsletter in the first week of August on the Make/Community Blog. Please comment on the blog post when it is up or send us an email to support@wordcamp.org to share about events in your local meetup group.

Upcoming Online Events

WordPress Meetup groups worldwide are currently organizing online events instead of in-person events due to COVID-19. The team recommends meetup organizers to avoid in-person meetups for the rest of 2020, to ensure the safety and well being of our community members. However, since meetup events are online, you can now attend meetups and WordCamps across the world from the comfort of your own home! You can find out about all upcoming online events here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/

If you are holding a meetup online and would like to have a global audience, please use the tag #OnlineWPMeetup so that the Marketing team can find you and bring you some communications and marketing support. We’d also like to remind organizers of our Online events handbook page that offers a wealth of information on organizing online events. 

Here’s a list of upcoming online WordCamps. Don’t forget to grab your free tickets for these events! 

Diversity speaker training

The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) is holding workshops in July to support diverse voices to share knowledge and stories at online WordPress meetups and WordCamps. They have the following events scheduled for August – October 2020:

  • August 18-20, 2020: Beginner Speaking Topics
  • September 8-10, 2020: Intermediate Speaking Workshops
  • September 24, 2020: Hold your own Speaker workshop (Asia timezone)
  • October 6-9, 2020: Beginner Speaking Topics
  • October 24, 2020: Hold your own Speaker workshop (America timezone)

Read more and get the sign-up links as they are announced here to share with your communities: https://make.wordpress.org/community/tag/wpdiversityworkshops/

Follow the #WPDiversity hashtag on social media if you would like to keep track of diversity workshops. 

Tuesday Trainings

Through Tuesday Trainings (#tuesdaytrainings) we publish a different topic on the WordPress Community Blog to train organizers and interested community members in a variety of skills, while also adding additional training documentation to our handbooks. Every Tuesday, a different topic will be highlighted on the WordPress Community Blog. You can find links to the latest Tuesday training posts below: 

If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events 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/. channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community, let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions! 

We’ll see you online soon!

+make.wordpress.org/marketing/

#newsletter

#meetup-organizer-newsletter

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: July 2020

Hello friends,

It’s time for another edition of our 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. organizer newsletter, packed full of updates from past and upcoming WordPress events, as well as updates and inspiration for your local meetup.

Newsletter contents:

  • Reimagining Online Events: Feedback Required
  • Online Event Updates
  • Upcoming Online Events
  • Tuesday Trainings

Reimagining Online Events: Feedback required

In 2020, as the WordPress Community took big steps in moving WordCamps, Meetups, and other community events online, the focus has mostly been trying to recreate the 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. experience. We feel that this may not result in the best experience for attendees or organizers. Hence, the team is exploring different options on finding out the best ways to use online events as a platform to teach people how to use and contribute to WordPress, while connecting and inspiring WordPress enthusiasts. 

We have published a post to share some ideas from community deputies (like Decoupling online events from geography and exploring shorter online events, for instance) and to solicit feedback from WordPress Community organizers on how to make our online WordCamps more unique. Please share any feedback by commenting on the post before 17 July, 2020. 

Online Event Updates

WordCamp Denver Online
The first online edition of WordCamp Denver was held on June 26th – 27th. The camp, that sold over 2,400 tickets, had 25 sessions in three tracks (Beginner, Marketing, and Power User/Developer). You can find the videos of WordCamp Denver in WordPress.tv and the recorded live stream on the event site.

Featured Online Meetup
The very first meetup group in Spain, the WordPress Sevilla Meetup group, has been meeting regularly for years now. The group that has been meeting regularly for years, pivoted online during the COVID-19 crisis. The group has two presentations a month – a formal session led by a speaker, and an informal session where attendees join hands for an informal lunch meetup. Members of the group joined together for a session on making WordPress themes and plugins compatible with RTL (right to left), organized by Said El Bakkali. The interactive session in Spanish had 38 RSVPs and offered an interesting learning experience for attendees. You can find a recording of the event in WordPress.tv.

An opportunity to highlight your online meetup events
Would you like to highlight recent online events from your local meetup group in our monthly newsletter? We will publish a “call for content” post for the next edition of the newsletter in the first week of July on the Make/Community Blog. Please comment on the post when it is up, or just send us an email to support@wordcamp.org to share about events in your local meetup group.

Badges for Meetup Organizers
Meetup organizers are eligible for a WordPress Meetup Organizer badge in their 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/ profiles. We have observed that many meetup organizers don’t have badges. If you are a meetup organizer, and would like to get a Meetup organizer badge, please reach out to us at: support@wordcamp.org with the name of your Meetup and the WordPress.org profile URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org, to request the badge.

Upcoming Online Events

WordPress Meetup groups across the world are currently organizing online events in lieu of in-person events due to COVID-19. Now you can attend online meetups and WordCamps across the world. You can find out about all upcoming online events here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/events/online/

If you are holding a meetup online, please use the tag #OnlineWPMeetup so that the Marketing team can find you and bring you some communications and marketing support. We’d also like to remind of our Online events handbook page that offers a wealth of information on organizing online events. 

Here are some highlighted WordPress events and workshops coming soon:

WordCamp Minneapolis/St. Paul 2020
The first edition of WordCamp Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN is coming up on August 21st, 2020. The one-day event has opened up their call for sponsors, and volunteers. Ticket sales for the event have also started. Get your free tickets now!

Diversity speaker training
The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) is holding workshops in July to support diverse voices to share knowledge and stories at online WordPress meetups and WordCamps. They have the following events scheduled for July 2020:

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in these diverse speaker training workshops. Sign up now! 

You can read more about the Diversity workshops here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/07/02/wpdiversity-workshops-in-july-different-this-month/

Tuesday Trainings

Through Tuesday Trainings (#tuesdaytrainings) we publish a different topic on the WordPress Community Blog to train organizers and interested community members in a variety of skills, while also adding additional training documentation to our handbooks. 

We published some tips for managing online meetups that offer organizers a lot of ideas on how to effectively manage meetups. The post talks about sharing expectations before the meeting starts, a space for check-in, being respectful of time, as well as social hangouts, among others.  

Encouraging diversity in Meetups and WordCamps is extremely important. To help organizers in making their meetups more diverse, we organized a panel discussion that delves into several ideas on how organizers can make their meetup events more diverse and inclusive. The discussion also contains links to useful resources that will help organizers in making their events diverse and inclusive. 

In addition to these topics, we also did an exploration on de-escalating conflict in text communication and Thoughts on WordCamp Mentorship as part of our Tuesday trainings, last month. 

The WordPress Community thrives from knowledge-sharing. Would you like to organize a Tuesday Training of your own? Please email us, with a brief pitch about your topic, its format (blog post/panel discussion/webinar), and an abstract of the topic to: support@wordcamp.org. 


If you have any questions, Community Team deputies are available to help. Please send an email to support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events 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/. channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow the WordPress community, let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring our 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. Community! 

We’ll see you online soon!

#newsletter

#meetup-organizer-newsletter

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for July 2020

We’ve started working on the July 2020 edition of the 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. organizer newsletter, and we’d love to hear from you as to what to include!

This newsletter typically includes:

  • An interesting event format that organizers might want to try
  • News about global community team projects
  • News about the WordPress 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
  • News about upcoming online WordCamps or meetups, in the recent months.

If there are any topics you’d like to see included, or if you’ve come up with or participated in any interesting meetup event formats that you think are worth highlighting, please share that with us in the comments on this post.

We’ll leave this post open for comments until Wednesday, July 8th, and send the newsletter out on Friday, July 10th. If any deputies are interested in helping us put together this newsletter, awesome! Just let us know in the comments.

#newsletter