Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on February 7th, 2018

Start time stamp in Community-Team Slack

@jillbinder @dianewallace


Today’s Agenda

  • Update on core message and contact form
  • How to use HelpScout
  • HelpScout autoresponder
  • Our promotions spreadsheet
  • Looking for volunteers to start training meetups
  • Questions from testers
  • Hashtag
  • Summary

Update on Core Message and Contact Form

Our core message and form are ready to start sending out and promoting. They can be found here:

How to Use HelpScout

As of yesterday the HelpScout system is set up for us. This is so that we can have several people be in correspondence with meetups who are interested in running the workshop.

I’ll be looking for a few people to be on the HelpScout team. Preference will go to people who are interested in taking leadership positions in our group to replace me within the year, though that is not required.

The interface looks like this. It’s mostly fairly standard email-looking.

The part we’ll need to pay attention to is “Status” and “Assigned”.

By default the status is “Closed”, but we want to keep them “Active” until we are certain there is no more communication that we need to have with them. [Edit: Have since set this to Active by default.]

Initially we want to keep it assigned to “Anyone” so that any of us can jump in and reply next. There may be certain circumstances where there is something a particular person needs to be in action for, so that’s when we would assign it to someone.


HelpScout Autoresponder

I’ve had a couple of requests from the testers for autoresponders so that people know their message went through.
Edit since meeting: @iandunn and I set up the autoresponder.


Our Promotions Spreadsheet

When someone messages us, we will put it right away into our spreadsheet:

As well as messages we will keep track of our promoting in the spreadsheet on another tab. Mark down what you’re planning on doing and when you did it.


Looking for Volunteers to Start Training Meetups

I’m going to start looking for people to start being “train the trainers” so that when meetups ask for training, we can help them. Please tell me if you’d like to do this.


Questions from testers:

Q: Where can we find the materials for the pitch and description of the workshop to send out when you’re holding it for your local group?

A: It’s the “Description” at the top of each module. I wil try to make that more clear.

Q: Where can we find the handouts?

A: I haven’t put those up yet but I will very soon.

Also when I’ve trained people on this material lately they’ve been wanting slides, so I have talked with the #training team about how we can put up slides. We are going to use reveal.js, and soon the lessons will be moved over to github and everything will be hosted there.

Seattle gave me their slides, so I will use those as a starting point. I may call out for volunteers to help with slides.



We have a tweet from the last recap to use and we have a hashtag: #WPWomenSpeak.

If you want to see all the recaps easily in one place, we’re using that same tag to mark them. So they’re all here:


In Summary:

  • Looking for volunteers for replying to meetups in HelpScout
  • Looking for volunteers to start training meetups on our workshop
  • It’s time to start promoting. Let me know how and by when you’re planning on sending it out and we’ll keep track in the spreadsheet.


End meeting Time Stamp


Group Meetup Orientation at WCEU Contributor Day

Greetings potential meetup organisers!

At the Contributor Day for WordCamp Europe this year (which will be taking place on 15 June), we will be holding a group meetup orientation at some point during the day. So, if you’re planning on starting a meetup group in your area and you will be attending the Contributor Day, then please get your meetup application in as soon as you can by filling in this form. That way we can process it before the day and you can join in the group meetup orientation along with the other new organisers who will be doing the same thing.

Even if you are attending the Contributor Day as part of a different contribution team, you can still attend the meetup orientation as it will not be longer than 1 hour. We will decide on the time of day for the orientation closer to the date, and will let those of you who are going to be a part of it know when it will be.

This will be a great way to kick start your meetup group as you will immediately have a friendly network of other organisers who you have chatted to in person 🙂

#meetups #training #deputies

Call for Deputy Training Group Leaders

We’re excited to open up the second call for experienced community deputies to lead study groups for new and experienced community deputies using the self training program. Our first call for training was in February, and while we had some response, there were many deputies and would-be-deputies that didn’t have availability to complete the program and meetings at that time.

All deputies — experienced, new, and those who have been wanting to get started — need to complete the training . To make it a more collaborative experience we’ll be recommending that each deputy join a study group. Ideally each group will have two meetings 1 week apart. This first an introductory meeting and the second a meeting to discuss what you’ve learned. We anticipate that these groups will work best with no more than 5 deputies taking part in the individual discussion groups.

Round 2 of these discussion groups should begin the first Week of May and wrap up prior to June 5, 2017.

If you’re an experienced deputy we’d like to invite you to lead a conversation group with other deputies. In the comments please indicate your interest and what days/ times will work best for your groups. We’ll announce a schedule and allow others to sign up for your groups by the end of next week.

#deputies #training

Deputy Training Feedback

Now that you’ve signed up for a Deputy Training study group you’ll likely have some feedback or notes you’d like to share with everyone. Let’s share them all here for ease of updating and discussion.

If you’re providing thoughts or feedback on a specific lesson in your comment please reference the lesson title so we can all be certain we’re on the same page.

Study group leads please post a recap here after your final meeting.

#deputies, #training

Deputy Training Module Feedback

A team at WCUS edited and tested the current deputy training materials. This post is for gathering the feedback we’ve received so we can integrate it and make it an amazing and useful tool.
#training #deputies

More on the Tuesday Training

Okay, so the first training coming up will be aimed at giving new helpers an overview of how we currently process meetup applications, walking through our vetting and setup processes, and seeing who’s up for pinching in. We’re starting with this because the backlog of email in the WordCamp/Meetup SupportPress is really bad, so our greatest need right this minute is for incoming email triage and starting the vetting process for applications that have been waiting. As we get the queue under control, we’ll do more trainings around other aspects of the program and gradually spread everything out as much as possible.

As mentioned, the first training will be Tuesday June 16 at 6pm UTC. We will record the video of that session and post it so that the Australia side of the world can view it in the morning, and we’ll do a 2nd training Q&A at 11pm UTC the same day (that’s Wednesday morning for Australia, during the time block @andywashere suggested).

If you are up for being trained on meetups, please say if you are planning to come at the 6pm UTC time or the 11pm UTC time, or if you want to get involved but can’t make either of those times. Thanks!

#community-management, #meetups-2, #training

A Community Core Team

While gathering feedback from the deputies/mentors (also, can we just say deputies instead of separating that into two different labels? “people helping with community wrangling” is the definition for both despite different tasks) is important in deciding what changes to make to this program, there is plenty of low-hanging fruit that we can start knocking down.

Here’s an apple dangling from its branch:

We need to make leadership of the community team more decentralized, more globally distributed, more reliable, and more transparent. 

Starting the deputies program was a step in that direction, but we need to go a lot further, and I think we are ready.


Right now, the “official” leadership of this team rests with Josepha and Cami, with me and Andrea coming back in for awhile to help catch up the backlog and try to organize some stuff to be more efficient. All four of these people are in the US, and all four are employed by Automattic. Then we have a handful or two of deputies that help out a little or a lot, depending on what else they’ve got going on. Most of these deputies are not employed by Automattic, and a few are not US-based, but we don’t necessarily know how much time they can give each week, and the core people for whom this is a full-time job wind up feeling overwhelmed when the backlog grows and they have to try and catch up when the volunteers have other things to do that week. The vagaries of wrangling volunteers and making up for when they won’t or can’t deliver should be familiar territory for all our deputies, since you’ve been in this position yourselves when organizing WordCamps or Meetups. It’s frustrating, right? I have an idea.

Expand the Team Leadership

What if we decide as a group that we want a little more structure on this team, and create a community core team made up of the people who are able to commit to x hours per week of the various tasks involved in running the program? Obviously that would still include the current full-time 4, but just like the core team that makes the software we all know and love (on good days, anyway), we would include people who have some dedicated time donated by their employers, and the self-employed/freelancers who’ve decided to make this a commitment as equally “official” members of the team, where some people do it full time and others are just a couple of hours per week (but they are good hours 🙂 ). If we knew for sure we could count on these people, we could start decentralizing responsibilities that are time-sensitive or that touch sensitive information to be shared by more people. This could get the full-time 4 out of the never-ending pit of backlog/reactive customer support, and we could focus some time on creating tools and processes to make things easier instead of always treading water (sometimes less successfully than anyone likes). Sound like a plan?

I’ve started reaching out to some business owners in the wp ecosystem that seem like a good fit for donating an employee’s time. It doesn’t need to be full-time (though wow that would be great); even a few hours each week can make a big difference if we know we can count on them no matter what. So:

  • If you have a business and would be willing to donate some employee time
  • If you are already volunteering on company time (or your own) and would like to make it official
  • If you are already volunteering but not on company time and would like help convincing your boss that it’s a good idea
  • If you are not yet volunteering but would like to, if you can convince your boss (or are willing to make the commitment on behalf of your own time)

…let me know. You can leave a comment here, or if you’d rather raise your hand less publicly, you can email me at jenmylo at I am happy to reach out to your boss if it seems like a good fit. We’re especially in need of people outside the US for both time zone and language reasons, but also just because our community team leadership should be representative of the community team itself, which spans dozens of countries.

Getting Trained

In the meantime, we are going to start training more people on how to do more stuff here, whether their bosses are paying them for it or not. We’ll do the first of these trainings (video format) on Tuesday, June 16 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern, 6pm UTC and cover how to process meetup group applications and get organizers started with new groups or roll their current group into the chapter account. If this time doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, we’ll record it and post it, and will set up a another training in the future that’s friendlier to the Asia/Australia side of the world. If you are interested in attending the training on the 16th, please let us know in the comments so we can decide which format will work best (hangout, hangout on air+slack, zoom, etc) and we’ll give you the link to join that day. We’ll work out the topics of future trainings as we get feedback from the deputies and can take a more educated guess at which tasks will make the biggest impact if they are shared more widely.


When we have more people doing the work, we’ll have more available time to work on things like tools for managing stuff, tracking progress, etc, and we can say goodbye to private google docs forever in favor of transparent information posted right here on this site. But first we need more people we can count on so that we can plan appropriately. Can you help?


#deputies, #community-management, #mentors, #training

When is a new mod no longer a n00b?

A long time ago, there was a mod (let’s call him super-mod) who used to schedule all videos for publication, and all the other mods tagged their videos READY FOR PUBLICATION, to let super-mod know that they, well, ready for publication.

That didn’t scale very well, so we implemented what we have now. All mods schedule their own posts, no super-mod needed with one exception: New mods.

For new mods joining our merry band, we ask them to use the old READY FOR PUBLICATION tag so current mods can double check to make sure everything is great, and then schedule the video if it is. After an ill-defined period of time we let these new mods know that they are good to start scheduling their own video, and all is good with the universe

The problem though is that this doesn’t scale well either.

Given the possibility of growing our squad even more, and expanding our role to include other activities like post-production and translation, I wanted to ask you all (new and current mods alike) what you think a better system for on-boarding new team members could be? How can we create a system that makes new mods feel welcome and gives them a place to go for questions, ensures that videos are moderated correctly, and is a little more sustainable than the current READY TO PUBLISH tagging system?

#new-moderators, #training, #wordpress-tv

Please welcome new moderators Alejandro Mozo @woobyn and…

Please welcome new moderators Alejandro Mozo (@woobyn) and Jose Freitas (@josefreitas2)! Alejandro speaks Spanish and Jose speaks Portuguese, so they’ll help round out our staff of moderators who can review non-English language videos and subtitles.

Guys, please review the Video Moderator Manual and watch @myroseapples great instructional video.

Are any of the newer moderators ready to “graduate” to admin and able to mentor Alejandro and Jose? @philerb and @myroseapple, could you please weigh in on that? I don’t want to overwhelm you two. 🙂 Or perhaps longer-time mods like @defries or @maharzan could help mentor this time?

#training, #wordpress-tv

Welcome new moderators in training @lorenzocaum and @metodiew…

Welcome new moderators-in-training @lorenzocaum and @metodiew! Lorenzo applied to be a moderator way back when we had a slow period with videos being submitted, and Stanko applied recently to help us moderate the videos from WordCamp Sofia, as he speaks Bulgarian.

Guys, please review the >Video Moderator Manual and then watch @myroseapple‘s great instructional video.

Have @meaganhanes and @adavis3105 reviewed enough videos to understand the process and be allowed to publish videos without someone looking over their shoulders? If so, perhaps their trainers – @myroseapple and @philerb – can take care of training Lorenzo and Stanko?

Also, have we had any luck finding a trainer for @pr0v4? @ericmann @theadityajain @andrewmorris @maharzan, do any of you have time to help train some new mods?

#new-moderators, #training, #wordpress-tv