Proposal for a Unified Sponsorship Initiative

Purpose: This proposal aims to enhance support for 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. organizers by forming a task force focused on streamlining sponsorship efforts, ensuring sustainability, and improving the overall sponsor experience. This is not intended to diminish the autonomy of WordCamp organizers but to offer them additional resources and support.

Flagship WordCamps have become an essential item in all our calendars throughout the year. They are the largest gathering of WordPress folks in the community and attract a lot of attention from the Media and our partners/sponsors. One of the biggest issues with becoming bigger is the need for more money and therefore more sponsoring activity, while still relying on the work of volunteers to organize this. Selling all the required sponsor spots gets harder and harder from year to year due to inflation and corporate consolidation in the WordPress ecosystem.

Those volunteers are facing the same discussions and questions from year to year when it comes to approaching sponsors:

  • What companies to approach for sponsorship?
  • How can we reach them? Is the list shared?
  • What are the sponsorship packages, what are the benefits to sponsors and what are some rules around them?
  • How can we make sure that sponsorship is sustainable for the community and the sponsor?
  • Why is [ACTION] allowed on WordCamp [Flagship Location] but not in WordCamp [Flagship Location]
  • How to approach this topic?
  • How to handle global sponsors for the flagship even if the rules are written down?

Each flagship is organized by those who apply to be an organizer and therefore follow the call. In the worst case, the whole team is different from the previous year’s and needs to rely solely on the documents of the previous year.

This proposal is to create an initial small task force inside the community that supports sponsorship teams; for now, this would focus on the three flagships (WC Asia, WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event., and WCUSWCUS WordCamp US. The US flagship WordCamp event.) but have relevance to WordCamps and WordPress events, to help streamline the sponsor experience for everyone involved. The proposal is to open a call for volunteers for this task force as well as directly approach community members who might be a great fit. I’ve structured the possible tasks for a task force to work on it:

Sponsoring itself

  • Harmonize sponsoring benefits across the Flagships with fine adjustments to local e.g.: pricing, booth size, local things, …
    • Successful benefit ideas like tweets, social events, booths,…
    • Unsuccessful benefit ideas should be centrally listed.
    • Common & best practice 
  • Establish clear rules for sponsorship
    • Booth regulations
    • Handling larger companies with multiple brands
    • Designing Sponsorship packages for small businesses while ensuring availability
  • Support for Sponsors and WordCamps Global Lead
  • Crafting wording around “Partner” or “Sponsoring” not “Exhibitor” packages

Sponsor Lifecycle

  • CRM of up-to-date sponsoring companies incl. contacts besides the Global sponsors
  • Guidance for first-time sponsors
    • Crafting detailed onboarding and sponsoring documents
  • Support for “frustrated” sponsoring questioning value
    • Example: More visibility by attending than sponsoring
  • Active outreach for potential sponsors outside the current sponsors but benefit from WordPress
  • Crafting detailed onboarding and sponsoring documents

Support for Sponsor Teams

  • Mentorship for Sponsoring Teams, also available as sparring Partners – a global sponsor mentorship team.
    • Focused on Flagships
    • Available for all WordCamps
    • Trainings on learn.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/?
  • Handbooks on how to approach local companies best
  • Collecting testimonials and ambassadors for the flagships
    • Bring them to the Media Partners 
    • Work with PR Team ahead of Call for Sponsor 
  • Support the sponsor team in the reflection of a WordCamp and centralize their feedback. 

Tooling & Processes

  • Align contract and tooling with Sponsoring benefits
  • Streamlined processes and define the same tools to use for all flagship events, or at least for each one of them
  • Include in the process a survey/inquiry for sponsors that didn’t come back to better understand why

Goals: By implementing this initiative, we aim to:

  • Foster better relationships with sponsors.
  • Attract new sponsors and grow the ecosystem. 
  • Provide a consistent, improved experience across all flagship events.
  • Ensure financial support for the growth of the WordPress community, facilitating impactful, inclusive, and rewarding WordCamps.

TODOs:

  • Better Mentoring for New Sponsors: Provide guidance and community insights.
  • Engage Sponsors: Encourage sponsor participation beyond sponsoring as speakers and media partners.
  • Feedback LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop.: Implement clear communication and feedback mechanisms for sponsor teams.
  • Sponsor Communication: Emphasize the importance of sponsors sharing their work through their booth, recaps and active engagement.

Next Steps

Feedback Deadline: Please provide your feedback on this proposal by July 10th, 2024.

Specific Feedback Needed: Is this initiative worth pursuing? How should the task force be staffed? What are your expectations from this task force?

Post-Feedback Actions: Based on the feedback, if there is general support, we will ask the community team for nominees and open a call for volunteers to form the task force. We aim to establish initial actions before the next sponsorship teams for WordCamp Europe and US begin their work.

Thanks again to @juliarosia @peiraisotta @_dorsvenabili @devinmaeztri for your contributions to this proposal.

#flagship-wordcamps, #global-sponsors, #proposal, #sponsor-team, #sponsorship, #wordcamp

Proposal: [Experiment] Adopt Standardised Team-wide Project Management Tools – already utilised by other Make Teams for a Quarter.

This proposal is focused towards improving our project management and goal and progress tracking by using the same transparent tools that other Make Teams already utilise.

Background and Skeleton

Currently we have many spreadsheets, trelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the make.wordpress.com/marketing team uses for example: https://trello.com/b/8UGHVBu8/wp-marketing. boards, 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/. groups and many other disparate ways of working on our various ongoing projects outside of helpscout.

From my personal experience having returned as a Community DeputyProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. and now as Community Team RepTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts., I believe that the first action – before further planning and goals discussions – is to standardise and fully utilize the power of the tools already available to us. We can benefit by learning from other teams that already consistently use these tools.

…and possibly this demo of a Make Community Team →

Benefits of adopting GithubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/:

GitHub is a powerful and widely-used platform for project management and issue tracking already in full use by @WordPress.

Adopting GitHub for these purposes within the Community Team would bring a number of benefits, including:

  1. Improved collaboration and communication: GitHub provides a central location for team members to access and work on project tasks and issues, as well as a built-in system for commenting, tracking progress, and assigning tasks. This makes it easy for team members to stay informed about the progress of a project and to contribute to it, even when working remotely.
  2. Increased transparency and accountability: With GitHub, team members can easily see the progress of tasks and issues, as well as who is responsible for them. This increased transparency helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks and issues are not falling through the cracks.
  3. Better organization and prioritization: GitHub provides a number of tools for organizing and prioritizing tasks and issues, such as labels, milestones, and project boards. These tools make it easy for team members to understand what needs to be done and when, and to focus their efforts on the most important tasks.
  4. Standardisation: By adopting GitHub for project management and issue tracking, the Community Team will standardize our way of working, making it easier for new team members to get up to speed and enabling more effective cross-team collaboration. This standardization also makes it easier for Community Team members to track progress, identify issues and make data-driven decisions.

Overall, adopting GitHub for project management and issue tracking would bring improved collaboration, increased transparency, better organization, and standardization, ultimately leading to a more efficient and effective team.

Next Steps, the Experiment:

I propose we adopt these tooling methods similar to other make teams, and experiment with its usage for a month, having monthly meetings reviewing its success or not, and gathering data for more data-driven decision making

If after the first Quarter the consensus is that this does not suit our team, we will revert back to initial project and tracking practices and explore more.

Update: Other teams using github already were kind enough to share some of the resources they use and workflows which would be extremely beneficial should we move forward with this adoption standard.


Proposal Adoption Feedback Form

Please comment on this proposal!

What excites you about potential Community Team adoption of GitHub?

What concerns do you have?



Thanks to @mysweetcate @juliarosia @megabyterose @peiraisotta for their help editing, offering invaluable advice, and their support for this proposal by @leogopal

#community-management, #community-team, #github, #proposal, #team-goals, #team-projects

Proposal: CampTix Attendee to Google Sheets integration

As a 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, I would like to see CampTix Attendee data populate in a Google Sheet instead of only being available as a downloadable CSV file. This would allow organizers to make a live set of data available for their needs including but not limited to on-demand badge printing.

Integration with on-demand badge printing solutions

I am an organizer of WordCamp US 2022 and am posting this during 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/.. Over the last 3 days, I observed the process we had in place between WCUSWCUS WordCamp US. The US flagship WordCamp event. and the vendor we used to print our badges.

  • About two weeks before the event, a CampTix export was created.
  • Unnecessary columns in the export were removed leaving only the columns the vendor needed: name, pronouns, company, Twitter handle, and ticket type (attendee, sponsor, speaker, media, volunteer, organizer).
  • A review of the export was performed, by hand, and removed characters that the vendor couldn’t print (leaving only UTF-8 characters).
  • About one week before the event, the modified export was sent to the badge vendor.
  • The badge vendor uploaded our CSV file to Google Drive, and mapped the various columns to positions where text would appear on the badge.

Due to last minute changes to ticket details, the export from two weeks before the event was stale in a few cases:

  • Attendees that update their ticket information (name change, company change etc.) caused old information to still appear on the badge.
  • Attendees that refunded their ticket still had a badge available to be printed.
  • Attendees who purchased an available (recently refunded) ticket weren’t able to print their badge.

A manual process was necessary to update incorrect information, or add missing people to the vendor’s Google Sheet.

Organizers only need to create an “export” once

Recent exports I have in my Downloads folder

Over the course of planning a WordCamp, I find I am often pulling a fresh CampTix export. For the same reasons that I spelled out in the section above, an export becomes increasingly less valuable as time passes. While the CampTix Summarize tool is useful when looking for a count of attendees and how they answered a particular question, sometimes more specific information is needed. For example, it’s useful to see the attendee’s name and their answer, especially in the case of:

  • Microsponsors
  • T-shirt sizes
  • Life-threatening allergies
  • 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) needs

For me, the export CSV file isn’t usable until I open it in a spreadsheet application and I don’t have one installed on my computer. So, I end up uploading the file into my WordCamp’s Google Drive and open the file with Google Sheets before I can begin working with it. It would simplify the workflow by having the data immediately available in Google Sheets.

Integration Proposal

We already allow a non-logged user to access CampTix data through the Attendance UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.. This proposal adds a new tab on the screen below called Export Integration. It would have a radio field titled Enabled and a text area field titled Secret Link similar to the screenshot.

CampTix Attendance UI

Once the Secret Link from the Export Integration is generated, it should be embedded inside the Google Sheets function IMPORTDATA() which would populate the sheet. If there are multiple use cases for Google Sheet integrations, additional Google Sheet files can be created that invoke the IMPORTRANGE() function. If only a select number of columns or rows are needed for a particular use case, the limited access use case could be wrapped by a QUERY(). Here’s an example that might make sense for the microsponsor scenario:
=QUERY(IMPORTRANGE("1gcuSqpN-x1NCn5ZaEKc_IhoBFQAlMhpjtjE1eUL4ZJo"),
"SELECT C, D, E WHERE B='Microsponsor'", FALSE)

Feedback

I’m seeking feedback on this proposal through the end of September. Please let me know if you have any questions or need clarification.

Thanks to @newyorkerlaura, @katiejrichards, and @jyoansah for their help editing this post.

#camptix, #contributor-day, #proposal, #wcus

Regional In-person WordCamps Going Forward

In March, I kicked off a discussion in this blog on revisiting regional in-person WordCamps. A big thank you to all of you for sharing exciting and diverse perspectives and concerns on regional in-person events. I have attempted to summarize your feedback in the wrap-up comment. The goal of the WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. program is to connect WordPress enthusiasts with each other, inspire them to do more with WordPress, and encourage contribution to the WordPress project. Per your feedback, regional WordCamps would help us achieve this goal in 2022. Hence, the Community Team has decided to simplify the guidelines for regional in-person WordCamps. 

Moving forward, regional WordCamps will not need to go through additional steps (such as writing a proposal), and can directly apply to organize a camp for their region using the regular WordCamp application form

Regional WordCamp applications will continue to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by 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. deputiesProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook..

Importance of Local Communities While Organizing Regional WordCamps

I would like to specifically highlight that ongoing regional WordCamps cannot be held at the cost of local 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. and local communities. Local communities offer more accessible ways to connect over WordPress, and more supportive pathways to participation in larger, more complex events. If a local community wants to continue organizing regional WordCamps, they should follow these guidelines: 

  • The local 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. groups that constitute the region should continue to meet regularly and be active (they may continue to meet online).
  • A regional WordCamp will not be a replacement for local WordCamps in a location. We strongly encourage local communities to continue organizing WordCamps. As opposed to traditional multi-day WordCamps, they can organize smaller events that are akin to a meetup-day format, yet benefit from WordCamp benefits such as sponsorship, etc. 
  • Local communities should encourage new volunteers, and continue to add new members to positions of leadership. 
  • If a community wants to organize a local WordCamp, it should have adequate representation from all local meetups and should have a fresh set of organizers. The community should be very strict about two-year term limits for lead organizers. 

Request for Feedback

  • First of all, I would like your feedback on this proposal. I continue to appreciate your honest and direct feedback on this new direction for regional camps.
  • Healthy local communities are important for the success of regional events. As such, WordCamp Central will evaluate the health of local communities when assessing a regional WordCamp application. What metrics can be used to measure the health of a region? We would love to hear from you! I have shared a list of indicators that our team has considered below – but I’m sure I would have missed some important pointers. So I would love your input on any additional metrics that could help measure the health of our communities! The indicators we are currently evaluating include:
    • The number of new (and old) organizers.
    • Diversity in the organizing team (age/gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation, etc).
    • Number and frequency of events held by the local meetup groups within the region.
    • Past WordCamps in the region (if any).

Once again, a big thanks to all of our community members who commented on the original proposal and to all our community members planning regional events to revitalize our vibrant community. 

The following fine folks contributed to this post: @angelasjin @devinmaeztri and @juliarosia

#regional-wordcamps #proposal #announcement

Proposal: 2022 Global Community Sponsorship program

tl;dr: Due to the unpredictability in what events are happening and where, the global sponsorship program proposal for 2022 is similar to the pared-down 2021 program, with a single package. Sponsorship of WordCamps will be offered as an add-on, billed quarterly.

Below you will find a proposal draft for the Global Community Sponsorship program for 2022, with one package being offered as an annual commitment.

As the WordPress Community transitions to holding in-person WordCamps, the question arises of how the Global Sponsorship program will accommodate those events. Until we have more predictability in what events are happening and where, we will offer 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. sponsorship per event, billed at the end of each quarter.

Questions? Feedback?

If you have any questions, observations, or critical feedback about this proposal or the program in general, please comment on this post, no later than 15 October 2021. We hope to finalize the program details by 28 October 2021, to allow sponsors time to sign up by the end of the year.

Thanks so much for the hard work, input, and feedback by @angelasjin, @kcristiano, @_dorsvenabili, @sippis, and @courtneypk, with help crunching the numbers from @harmonyromo.

Now onto the proposal!

Continue reading

#global-sponsorship, #proposal, #sponsorship

Proposal: Link WordCamp schedule track headings to Pages

While organizing 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, I suggested that we link each of the track headings on the schedule page to the pages where attendees would see our YouTube video and chat embeds (Yukon and Columbia). Since we are using the schedule 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., it’s not possible to edit that part of the page.

To support this feature, I believe two changes are necessary:

1. Add a term 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. field

Add a field to Add Track and Edit Track screens to allow a relative URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org path to be specified. In the case of the Yukon track, the value entered would be “/yukon-track”.

The current Add Track screen.
The current Edit Track screen.

This field should not be required for many reasons including:

  1. The schedule is ready to be published but the track pages are not.
  2. The WordCamp is 100% in-person and doesn’t have a need for track pages.

2. Add the link to the schedule grid

If the a URL path was defined for a track, add a link in the respective grid column headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes..

An example of the schedule grid if only the Yukon track had a URL path defined.

Feedback requested

I would appreciate getting feedback on this proposal.

  1. Would this be useful to WordCamp organizers?
  2. Are there any reasons why not to do this?

Deadline: October 15th, 2021 Extended until October 29, 2021 to gather additional input.

#proposal, #schedule

Proposal: Centralized global do_action charity hackathons

Due to other priorities for the Community Team in 2021 (such as in-person events), we are temporarily pausing work on this proposal. We will revisit the same once the team has more bandwidth, in 2022. More details in the comment.

Earlier this year, I proposed an update to do_action charity hackathons. My proposal was to expand the program, leveraging the WordPress FoundationWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org.’s mission (“to make sure we can continue to serve the public good through freely accessible software.”), in order to better support non-profits during the COVID-19 pandemic.  So far, three applications for do_actiondo_action do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Learn more on doaction.org. events have come in this year, out of which, one event has been completed (do_action Karnataka 2021), and yet another one is already on the schedule (do_action Nigeria 2021). 

do_action charity hackathons are a great way to make a lasting positive impact on regional local communities, because of how they empower non-profits with an online presence. I strongly feel that we can make even more of a more lasting impact on the global community by expanding this program. Towards this goal, I propose an idea (that was originally suggested by @andreamiddleton): How about organizing centralized, global do_action charity hackathons several times throughout the year, where volunteers build websites for non-profits from all corners of the world? 

The idea in brief

I’ll be clear — I do not mean to suggest that we close down local/regional do_action events. Local/regional events are quite effective and I vote for keeping them going in the current format! What I propose is that, in addition to local events, the Community Team and the WordPress Foundation could organize centralized online global hackathons that are held several times throughout the year on a regular frequency (cadence TBD).

Global hackathons can be small events held completely online and will be open to a global audience. Anyone – companies, local communities, or distributed groups of individuals can participate in this program. Similar to do_action charity hackathons, charities can apply to participate in this initiative. Based on the number of applications we receive, community deputiesProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. will pick a charity to work on and match them with a group of volunteers who will work to build the charity’s new website over the course of a month or so.

Like all other do_action hackathons, this will be a WordPress Foundation event but organized by Community Team volunteers and deputiesProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook..

Where the Community Team and Deputies come in

Community Team members and Deputies can help facilitate the program. While they need not be involved directly in building non profit websites, they can volunteer to do so if they wish to. In other words: 

  • We (Community Team members and/or Deputies) select NPOs and volunteers and match them (we will vet them just like what we do with WordCamps).
  • We oversee the project progress and periodically check in with the team to see how they are doing.
  • We do communications and outreach for the initiative and publish blog posts about each website project.
  • We arrange ongoing tech support for the non-profit by working with volunteers or sponsors.

If this sounds like a good idea, I propose that we test this out as a pilot program later this year. If the pilot turns out to be successful, perhaps we can expand the program and continue organizing regular global hackathons in 2022 and beyond.

Request for feedback

This is just an idea and is not set in stone. I would love to hear from you to see if this is feasible in the first place!

  • What do you think about this idea? Do you think this is feasible? Does the Community Team have the bandwidth to execute this?
  • What would be the best way to execute a global event like this? 
  • What guidelines should we have in place for an event like this? I know we can reuse a lot of the do_action guidelines – but how do we best match NPOs and volunteers/companies?
  • How do we handle sponsorships for a centralized event like this? Should we take a page out of our global sponsorship program? (Sponsorships for do_action are in-kind)

I know that there are a lot of questions – I just wanted to put it out there for us to brainstorm. Please share your feedback in the comments by September 24 2021 (Friday).

The following people contributed to this post: @andreamiddleton @courtneypk @evarlese @hlashbrooke @nao and @yoga1103

#do_action #proposal #do_action_online

Proposal: how to return to safe in-person WordCamps

DeputiesProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. that have participated in this post: @_dorsvenabili, @angelasjin, @kcristiano, @sippis, @adityakane, @nao, @monchomad, @mpc, @sunsand187, @andreamiddleton 

Deadline for participating in the discussion: August 20th, 2021


Thank you to everyone who has participated in our many conversations about in-person events. Your input has helped to make the current guidelines for organizing in-person meetups.

This post is a proposal to discuss how the WordPress community can return to in-person WordCamps. Please read it carefully and participate in the comments by answering the questions below, thanks! 🙂

If you don’t want to read all of this post, here’s the tl;dr:

“The WordPress community team is discussing the return to in-person WordCamps, building on current guidelines for 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. (defined in this handbook page and image below) with additional guidelines described in the section below on “Proposal for further discussion”

In-person WordPress events this year so far

  • There are 752 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. groups in the chapter program in 109 countries around the globe.
  • Since February 16, in-person WordPress meetups have been held in 3 countries: Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia using the meetup safety checklist
  • Since the latest guidelines announced on July 9, in-person events have been organized in 6 countries: Russia, US, New Zealand, Uganda, Australia and the Netherlands

The discussion so far

Deputies agree that it seems unrealistic to immediately go back to how WordCamps were in 2019. Resetting expectations for WordCamps may be necessary, as the world has changed significantly. This is a great opportunity to rebuild the program by restarting locally, and then building back up to the levels we had in 2019. Before the pandemic, WordCamps came in different sizes and scales. As a reminder, the Community Team considers the “minimum viable productMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia” for a 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. to be at least 50 people, in a room, for one day, talking about WordPress.

Additionally, the normal WordCamp application process requires that there be an active local community in place.  As the community has faced many changes this year, Deputies are thinking about how to handle this requirement. One possibility could  be more flexibility with WordCamp applications, allowing communities that had a meetup pre-COVID to host a WordCamp, even if they weren’t as active in the last year, to help build excitement and restart community activity again.

The deputies also agreed that organizers are encouraged to  experiment with format, content, and more! This is an excellent opportunity to innovate on WordCamps.

Proposal for Further Discussion

This is all new territory for the Community Team, and the input from the WordPress community is invaluable. At this time, the team is putting up for discussion a proposal for in-person WordCamps. Here are some ideas for discussion:

  • To organize an in-person WordCamp, the general guidelines would be the same ones approved for in-person meetups (you can read them fully detailed in the handbook’s page: “2021: Returning to in-person meetups”). 
  • Revise the guideline to allow all communities that had an active meetup before the pandemic host an initial WordCamp, even if the community wasn’t as active in the past year, to help re-energize the community. This new guideline would only apply to the first WordCamp back. Brand new communities would be directed to organize meetups instead of a WordCamp right away.
  • Financial: WordCamps in this transition period will need to be prepared to cover 100% of their expenses in order to happen. For greater context, the Global Sponsorship Program 2021 currently doesn’t include WordCamps, and the team currently does not have expectations set for the future of the Global Sponsorship program.
  • Venue: Venue fee should be fully refundable or should be able to be moved to a later date without penalty. 
  • Food: No buffets. If food is provided, it will be in individual portions (like box lunches).
  • Capacity: Limit in-person attendance or seating capacity to allow for physical distancing, or host smaller events in larger spaces, based on your local/regional health guidelines.
  • 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)/inclusion: Sessions should be uploaded to wordpress.tv and to be livestreamed when financially possible.
  • Mandatory registration, so attendees can be contacted in case of exposure.
  • Enable refunds for in-person WordCamp tickets, as many folks attending WordCamps could back out at the last minute due to potential issues. 
  • COVID-19 measures: masks, hand-sanitizer, etc., deferring to the guidance of the relevant local government.
  • Innovation: Organizers can try new event formats, for example: deliver WordCamp content entirely online, followed by an in-person social gathering/activities, outdoors sessions/activities, etc.

Additionally, the deputies proposed creating a standard operation process of handling COVID-related issues to further support organizers.

Please share your feedback!

It would be great to get some feedback on this proposal, specifically in the following areas:

  1. What do you think about the proposal? 
  2. Is there anything that you’re missing or that you’d change? Why?
  3. Are there any ideas listed above that you’d include as guidelines for in-person WordCamps in this transition period?
  4. What could the Community Team do to assist with easier and/or inexpensive WordCamp events?

Deadline: August 20th, 2021
**** Edited on Aug 16, 2021 for adding the deadline above.****

#community-team, #in-person, #proposal, #wordcamps

Proposal: Managing discussion group signups

With the launch of a new series of workshops coming up rapidly, we need to find a way to manage the signup process for discussion groups. A manual process will not be ideal considering the volume of discussion groups we’re planning to see as a result of the workshops, but we don’t have a tool in use to manage signups in an automated fashion.

Proposed immediate solution to manage discussion group signups

Create a new WordPress group on Meetup.com named “Learn WordPress”  where we can post each discussion group as an individual event. This would allow us to work with a platform we’re already familiar with while allowing attendees to easily sign up for discussion groups. An additional benefit would be that the discussion groups would show up as events in the dashboard 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. since Meetup.com events within the chapter program are already pulled into the system. It would also allow us to limit the number of attendees for each session to a size that is reasonable to hold a discussion (20?) and allow for a waitlist of attendees  who could either join the session if people cancel or be added to the next discussion group on the topic. 

We would use the Make Meetings plugin to show all of the upcoming discussion groups on the site and link each discussion to its corresponding event on meetup.com.

We would be able to implement this immediately.

Proposed eventual method to manage discussion group signups

Create a use case specific tool (perhaps using Camptix or a fork of it so it doesn’t have to be built from scratch) to have sign-ups happen on site. The greatest benefits of this would be that everything happens in one place with no need to send attendees away to a third party site for signups and information. 

We would be able to implement this eventually.

Other ideas discussed

While I landed on proposing 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. for immediate use we also discussed scheduling and signup through Calendly and ScheduleOnce, but after reviewing each it seemed too unwieldy for our needs. I also chatted with some folx about use of CampTix but it’s only set up currently to allow one event per site. 

Questions or suggestions

  • Do you have any suggestions or input on the proposal for immediate use?
  • What do you think is a reasonable limit on the number of people per discussion group?
  • Do you have any suggestions or input on the proposal for eventual use?

We’re on a tight schedule to make this happen so I’d appreciate any feedback you have in regards to these ideas by Thursday, August 13, 2020.

#learn-wordpress, #proposal

Proposal Update: Speaker Feedback Tool

We recently posted a proposal for a speaker feedback tool to be baked into 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. sites. The proposal included some ideas and mockups, with a call for feedback, suggestions and questions. Thanks to @adityakane, @imath, @andreamiddleton, @hlashbrooke, @karmatosed, @iandunn, @mrwweb, @dimensionmedia, @samsuresh and @wpfangirl for their input on that post.

Based on the feedback from that post, we have some more refined mockups to share with you, courtesy of @karmatosed. In addition to that, we are looking for input on the data storage method here, so check out the mockups and details below.

Front-end views

Initial view before selecting a talk to give feedback on:

Full form view after selecting a talk:

Dashboard views

The following mockups are based on the idea that we would store the feedback in a new custom post typeCustom Post Type WordPress can hold and display many different types of content. A single item of such a content is generally called a post, although post is also a specific post type. Custom Post Types gives your site the ability to have templated posts, to simplify the concept. with each feedback item being a separate post in that type.

List table view of feedback items in the dashboard:

Single view of the feedback post in the dashboard:

Considerations

The main decision that needs to be made at this stage is regarding how the feedback data will be stored. The three options are:

#1 Custom post type

This would appear as shown in the mockups above. Feedback would be stored in individual posts within a new custom post type.

Pros:

  • Uses existing WordPress APIs, so no need for custom data structures
  • Easy to extend with further features at a later date
  • Familiar UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.

Cons:

  • Some WordCamp sites could get thousands of feedback items for a single event, this could slow everything down and make for a very tedious UI to look through for feedback items.
  • Individual feedback items would require a click through to a new page in order to view them

#2 Comments

This would involve storing the feedback as comments on the session post using a custom comment type and comment 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..

Pros:

  • Uses existing WordPress APIs, so no need for custom data structures
  • Easy to extend with further features at a later date
  • Familiar UI (this would use the edit-comments.php template in the dashboard
  • Dashboard comments view allows for full feedback content to be viewed in the list table, without a new page load
  • Feedback is effectively a comment, so this would be a logical way of storing the data

Cons:

  • Custom comment types and comment meta have historically been tricky to work with (although I think this has been largely fixed in recent CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. releases)

#3 Custom database table

This would involve writing a custom data structure in custom database tables – the exact data structure and dashboard UI would still need to be planned out.

Pros:

  • Flexibility of building things exactly how we want it, in the most performant way possible
  • UI can be as optimised as possible

Cons:

  • Lots of development hours for planning and building
  • Dashboard UI would likely be unfamiliar and less predictable
  • Custom database tables on a large multisiteMultisite Multisite is a WordPress feature which allows users to create a network of sites on a single WordPress installation. Available since WordPress version 3.0, Multisite is a continuation of WPMU or WordPress Multiuser project. WordPress MultiUser project was discontinued and its features were included into WordPress core.https://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network. instance can be unpredictable

Questions and Feedback

With all of that in mind, please comment with your thoughts on the following:

  1. Which data structure do you think would be a good fit for session feedback?
  2. Is there anything further that you feel should be included in the feedback form for attendees?

#proposal, #speaker-feedback, #tools