Discussion: Pro/paid Zoom accounts for Online Meetups

In April 2020, WordPress Community Support (WPCS) began offering the use of Pro accounts on Zoom for special events, such as the Diverse Speaker Training workshop, do_action charity hackathons, or Contributor Days. These accounts are also offered to WordCamps that need them.

For regular chapter 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. events, the Community Team has been recommending the use of free tools, and still recommend the use of these free tools as much as possible. However, I would like to explore the idea of offering the use of these Pro Zoom accounts to WordPress chapter meetup organizers.

When I brought this topic up in the Community Team chat last week, it sparked a lot of discussion, and I’d like to continue that conversation here!

  • While the current process has been working fairly well with special events, it doesn’t seem like it will scale if it is opened up to all meetup groups. What parts of this process can be improved upon and automated?
    • @brandondove asked if we can leverage the Zoom dev APIs to make this a self-service process. What do the devs amongst us think?
  • When we previously discussed community Zoom accounts, a concern that came up was how to handle password management.
    • I have been trying out 1Password Teams for the past month, which I think it would work well for any trusted deputy to be able to manage the passwords (and therefore not dependent on a small group of deputies). 1Password has offered us a non-profit discount after the free trial.
  • @tacoverdo asked a great question: Why do we need Zoom for this? Are there free/open alternatives that don’t require password sharing tools?

Let’s hear what you think!

Mentioning @sippis @jenniferswisher @kcristiano @camikaos as you all participated in the discussion in 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/.. But this discussion is open for everyone’s feedback! 🙂

#meetups, #online-events, #community-management

Proposal: Asking confirmation when registering for a free ticket

In a discussion on WordCamp.org Github repository @coreymckrill brought up an idea about asking a confirmation when an attendee registers for free 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. ticket.

The discussion started from mitigating the special accommodation request notice flood, especially with larger events, but soon shifted to the direction where it was realised that it might not be so inclusive to ask confirmation only from attendees ticking the special accommodation request box.

Because free tickets don’t have money transaction that verifies the purchase and registration, our online WordCamp registrations are more open for different kind of abuses. For example, a bot registering with unwanted link as their website that will appear on attendees page, or someone doing a blackhat SEO tricks.

Adding a step of confirmation would prevent the abuse to some extent and as well work as a reminder for the attendee that they are really enrolling for an event that some team has organised with lots of love towards it.

Only after the attendee would have clicked the link directing to page that does the confirmation, their information would be shown on public attendees list.

How about ticket quantities? When attendee registers, ticket would be reserved and removed from the available pool. If confirmation page isn’t visited within 12 hours after registration, the reservation will expire, reserved ticket returns to available pool and attendee is marked with “Cancelled” or “Timeout” status.

Any thoughts? Concerns? Please share those and your opinion about wheter we should ask confirmation when registering for a free ticket or not before 2020-08-20.

#online-events, #confirmation, #registration, #tickets

Pilot Program: Production Vendors for Online WordCamps

Now that organizers and deputies have spent some time exploring the challenges and opportunities unique to online conference organizing, it’s time to explore ways to make life easier for organizers. At the same time, it’s important to help communities to continue meeting and inspiring one another during this global pandemic. With this goal in mind, I’m excited to announce a new pilot program for online WordCamps. 

Through this program, WPCS (WordPress Community Support, PBC) will pay the production costs of online WordCamps hosted in 2020 with the hope that this will result in more online WordCamps during this time of uncertainty and in-person disconnection. Removing the barrier to entry for online event production should help 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. organizing teams focus on the things that matter most: community, connection, and content. 

Online WordCamps will still need to go through the same approval process they normally would and will need to meet 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) expectations (just like other WordCamps).

How will it work? 

Once an online WordCamp is in pre-planning, organizers can contact a production company from a list of recommended vendors, or request estimates from a local online conference production vendor of their choice. In the budget review stage, if the team wishes to use a local vendor, the budget will be reviewed just like any other WordCamp budget. Once an online production company has been selected, the organizing team and production company will work together directly to stage the event. WordCamp teams will recruit speakers, sponsors, emcees, and live chat moderators, as well as handle site design and communications. The production company will handle the production of the stream & captions, and process the recordings.

Next steps?

This is where you come in. While our community of dedicated organizers and volunteers work through this pilot program, they’re bound to stumble upon more questions and brilliant ideas. Perhaps you already have some of those questions and ideas based on past online event experience. Do you have suggestions for making this pilot more successful? Any questions about details?

Please share your ideas, concerns, or questions in a comment on this post!

#online-events

Showing online workshops in the Events Widget

This post is similar to @iandunn‘s post, “Showing Online WordCamps in the Events Widget”, but in this case we are talking about Community workshops. The topic has come up because of the Diverse Speaker workshop on April 14-16. Other online global community workshops are likely to follow.

In the second Community Team chat Thursday, we were discussing how to promote this Speaker workshop. I suggested it could be possible to use the Events 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.. Some discussion occurred in #meta-wordcamp as well which parallel’s Ian’s post.

A few differences to note from online WordCamps:

  • This workshop is being organized from Vancouver. I think the location of the organizers should be ignored since a typical radius would exclude potential interested participants.
  • This workshop will be held April 14-16 for one hour each at 1800 UTC / 2pm EDT.
  • This workshop will be offered in English.

I propose similar questions to Ian’s post, with a few modifications.

Questions

  1. Should Community Team online training workshops show up in the widget?
  2. If so, who should they be shown to? Here are a few potential criteria:
    • Everyone within a timezone where the event would occur between 8am – 8pm in the user’s local timezone.
    • Everyone who speaks the same language — or locale? — as the workshop.
    • A combination of the above? Some other criteria entirely?
  3. Should the timezone and/or language of the event be displayed in the dashboard?

+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//metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress.
+make.wordpress.org/coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.

#events-news-widget, #online-events, #learn-roadmap