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. deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook..

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

Discussion: Revisiting In-person Regional WordCamps

The Community Team is seeing a renewed interest in in-person regional WordCamps in the light of a slow but steady return of in-person WordCamps. This post aims to take another look at our existing guidelines for regional WordCamps and to explore whether the process for organizing an 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. could be improved or simplified. 

Context

Traditionally, WordCamps have been local, city-based events that had active 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, with the exception of flagship camps such as WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe. In pre-pandemic times, several local communities expressed interest in organizing regional events, which helped our team prepare guidelines for regional WordCamps. Established communities with experienced organizers could organize a regional camp by submitting a formal proposal, which would be reviewed by deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. before proceeding further. WordCamp Nordic (which was held successfully in 2019) and WordCamp Asia are two camps that were born out of these guidelines. Our team also discussed the possibility of organizing micro-regional WordCamps where multiple cities could come together to organize a single camp. As a result of these conversations, our enthusiastic Dutch community organizers paved way for the return of WordCamp Netherlands in 2020, which was later canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Online Regional In-Person Events

In 2020, the Community team relaxed the pathway to regional online WordCamps, allowing communities to organize regional events without a lot of hassle. This resulted in a bunch of online regional WordCamps in Centroamerica, Greece, Finland, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Taiwan, among others. These events were quite successful in bringing together local communities even despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approaching In-Person Regional Events in 2022

WordCamp Netherlands (which was originally approved in 2019) is back on the schedule for 2022 as an in-person event. Some local communities have also approached 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., expressing their interest in organizing regional events. At this time, our organizers are still encouraged to plan smaller city-based WordCamps over larger regional events (especially in the light of COVID restrictions that are still in place in many regions). However, I strongly feel that the Community Team should revisit the existing guidelines for regional events due to a renewed interest in the same. I would like to listen to your feedback on how, as a community, we can proceed with in-person regional events, going forward. 

  1. What guidelines should a community meet to organize a regional event?
  2. How can the team better define micro-regional WordCamps, and can we do anything to simplify their process? For example, would a relatively smaller region – such as a state or a group of cities in countries like the USA or Canada, OR a country in Europe such as the Netherlands or Italy – qualify as a micro-regional WordCamp? Additionally, should we even have micro-regional WordCamps – can we just define regional camps using a uniform language and uniform guidelines?
  3. Is there anything that should be changed or simplified about the application process for regional WordCamps? (For example, are proposals still required for a regional guidelines, or can these guidelines still be enforced in orientations?)
  4. Are there any learnings from online regional events in 2020 and 2021 that can be applied to in-person regional events going forward? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments by April 4, 2022 (Monday). Based on your feedback, our team will explore the possibility of revamping guidelines for regional WordCamps and will share the next steps shortly. 

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

#regional-wordcamps #discussion

WordCamp PWA : An update

This is an update about plans to enhance 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. Europe website as a Progressive Web App for the 2019 Camp. Plans were first announced in this post in February 2019:
https://make.wordpress.org/community/2019/02/13/wordcamp-pwa-plugin-proposal-and-designs/


The organising teams from WordCamp Europe 2019 have been working on plans to enhance WordCamp websites by adopting Progressive Web App (PWA) features.

The plan is to provide contextual information for attendees that is served from and integrated with the main WordCamp website, and which can be stored locally on the user’s devices for offline access. This would allow attendees to access key event information in a more immediate and flexible way.

Initially, we had conceptualised this as an additional “layer” of content, which would load “over the top” of the existing Camp website for the duration of the event.

After sharing these original plans, we received a lot of feedback and suggestions from the community. Thank you!

There was much support for adding these progressive enhancements and contextual information for attendees. However, community members felt that progressive enhancements should be made to the existing site website and web pages themselves, rather than creating a separate and additional layer of content.

Based on your feedback, we now intend to take a more integrated approach to this project.

In practical terms, we will build on the great work of Weston Ruter and his Progressive Web App feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins., which brings PWA capabilities – including service workers and the web app manifest – to WordPress. Rather than create a new and separate “layer” of context based information over the WordCamp website, we will instead enhance key pages of the existing WordCamp site – for instance, the Schedule and Speakers pages – to be stored locally on a user’s device for offline access.

In addition, we intend to create a new website homepage for the duration of the WordCamp event to display context based content on the Sessions that are “on now” and “up next”, alongside the latest Posts from the Camp website, to put this key information at the fingertips of attendees.

WordCamp Alerts & Announcements

There was initially some discussion of creating an alerts feed for important announcements at the Camp itself. During the feedback phase, a number of people felt this was unnecessary, overly complicated and could prove a barrier to wider adoption of the PWA functionality by other WordCamps.

As a result, a decision has been made to use the existing Posts functionality from the WordPress installation for the news and alerts feed during the Camp.

Visuals

Below are some visuals of how the home page of the website might appear during the Camp itself. Whilst these designs here are specific to WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event. 2019, the content would of course take on basic styles – fonts and colours – from its WordCamp site.

Plans for the WordCamp Europe 2019 website homepage (mobile version)
Plans for the WordCamp Europe 2019 website homepage (mobile version)

Plans for the WordCamp Europe 2019 website homepage (desktop version, screen 1)

Plans for the WordCamp Europe 2019 website homepage (desktop version, screen 2)

We intend to complete this work in time for WCEU 2019. Beyond that, we hope that this enhancement to WordCamp websites would be available to WordCamps around the globe.

#apps, #improving-wordcamp-org, #progressive-web-app, #pwa, #regional-wordcamps, #wordcamp, #wordcamp-sites, #wordcamps

WordCamp PWA: Plugin proposal and designs

Planning is well underway to create a new look Progressive Web App (PWA) 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. events. The PWA will make accessing and providing content on mobile devices much easier for attendees and organisers.

This builds on the work to create a PWA for previous WordCamp Europe (WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event.) events.

However, rather than developing a standalone PWA at a separate URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org to the WordCamp site, as has been the case in the previous years, the plan is to create a layer of contextual information for Camp attendees that is served from and integrated with the WordCamp website, and which can be stored locally on the user’s devices for offline access.

WCEU Blog post on the PWA development

The PWA will present a better mobile experience, taking advantage of touch screen gestures, and will put the most relevant information “at the fingertips” of Camp attendees. The PWA will enhance a WordCamp website, and will allow users to bookmark the website to their device’s home screen for offline access.

This PWA functionality will initially be created as a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, displaying an additional visual ‘layer’ of content aimed specifically at attendees, in an ‘App like’ way over the main WordCamp website content. However, both online and offline users will have access to this same layer of content.

WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 - PWA landing page displaying PWA controls over the main WordCamp website
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 – PWA landing page displaying PWA controls over the main WordCamp website

The plugin should be simple to set up and configure, so that – in the longer term – any WordCamp event can take advantage of its features.

This initiative is being led by the WordCamp Europe 2019 Organiser teams, with design prototyping by the WCEU Design team and development by the Attendee Services team. The Communications team is also actively guiding the design and development of the PWA.

The plan

  • The WordCamp PWA plugin will present an additional ‘layer’ of mobile friendly content over the main WordCamp website – inheriting the basic colours and fonts of the website. However, individual WordCamps should be able to customise the look of the PWA further using CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. overrides.
  • This PWA layer can be switched on/off from plugin settings within WordPress admin, so that it is only available for the duration of the Camp. When viewing the site on touch screen devices during the Camp, users will see the PWA layer appearing over the top of the WordCamp site.
  • The PWA controls will look very like a native smartphone App, and will be optimised for touch screen devices, employing swipe gestures.
  • On loading the website on touch screen devices, the user would be presented with a range of PWA control, docked to the foot of the screen, offering PWA menu options as icons around a large, central, ‘always visible’ circular button that will be used to open/close the PWA layer.
  • Using the power of PWA, the content of the App will be downloaded and stored offline on the user’s local device, and can be bookmarked on the user’s home screen to be accessed at any time, with or without an internet connection.
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 - Screen layouts
WordCamp PWA plugin design proposal v1 – Screen layouts

Content

The PWA plugin will display a range of key content sections relevant to conference attenders. Each content section will animate open as a panel from the icon at the bottom of the screen. This will initially include the following screens (which relate from left to right to the icons in the image above):

  • Attendees: a full list of attenders with Gravatars, sorted alphabetically, with search field to look up attendees by name. For GDPR reasons, attendees should not be downloaded and stored offline on the local device – although this may be reviewed in the future in line with GDPR and privacy regulations and with any permissions requested during attendee sign-up.
  • Speakers: a full list of speakers with GravatarGravatar Is an acronym for Globally Recognized Avatar. It is the avatar system managed by WordPress.com, and used within the WordPress software. https://gravatar.com/., biog and links to relevant sessions, sorted alphabetically, with options to filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. by schedule date/topic group and search field to look up speakers by name.
  • Schedule: a full schedule for the WordCamp, with a single column per schedule date, and option to filter by Track. Users will have the ability to ‘favourite’ sessions, and these preferences will be stored on the local device. Columns can be swiped left/right to view previous/next day, and the sessions should be filterable to show just the sessions which the user has marked as their ‘favourite’. Depending on when the schedule is viewed, the schedule list should visibly scroll/animate down to the current time/session, so users can see ‘at a glance’ what is ‘on now’.
  • Venue Map: one or more graphical floor plans of the venue, with the ability to swipe/pinch to resize and re-position the maps within the viewable area of the screen.
  • Announcements: a chronological listing of announcements for attendees during the WordCamp, filterable by type (that is, catering, sessions, social, and so on) and can be determined by the WordCamp organisers.

These five sections will be arranged as icons around a large central ‘Start’ button, docked to the bottom of the screen, to allow users to turn the PWA layer on/off. This circular arrangement would allow us to add additional buttons/sections at a later date, and have these icons ‘revolve’ around the main circular ‘Start’ button with swipe gestures.

The content for all the above sections is already present with the WordPress database for WordCamp sites, apart from ‘Announcements’, which will need 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. to be added, potentially with its own custom taxonomyTaxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies. (to allow users to filter different types of announcements). Venue Map images may also require the use of one or more custom fields for storage and display.

Tablet view proposals

Timeframe

The ambition is to pilot a version of the WordCamp PWA plugin at WordCamp London in April 2019, followed by a full launch at WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin in June 2019.


Questions

  • Would you use this PWA plugin for your WordCamp event?
  • Is the content detailed above the most useful for WordCamp attendees – is anything missing or unnecessary?
  • Is the design/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. proposed intuitive and accessible?
  • Any other feedback or observations?

UPDATE: 17 April 2019

After posting these original plans to enhance WordCamp websites with Progressive elements, we received a lot of feedback and suggestions to enhance this development work. Thank you!

Based on this feedback, we now intend to take a more integrated approach to the project.

In practical terms, this will build on the great work of Weston Ruter and his Progressive Web App feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins., which brings PWA capabilities – including service workers and the web app manifest – to WordPress. This will mean that, rather than create a new and separate “layer” of context based information “over” the WordCamp website, we will instead allow key pages of an existing WordCamp site to be stored locally on a user’s device for offline access.

In addition, we would intend to create a new homepage for the website for the duration of the WordCamp to display context based content on the Sessions that are “on now” and “up next”, alongside the latest Posts from the Camp website, to put this key information at the fingertips of attendees.

We intend to complete this work in time for WCEU2019. Beyond that, we hope that this enhancement to WordCamp websites would be available to WordCamps around the globe.

#apps, #improving-wordcamp-org, #progressive-web-app, #pwa, #regional-wordcamps, #wordcamp, #wordcamp-sites, #wordcamps