WordCamp Incubator 2018 Update Thread: October edition

Hola Community Team!
I’m sure you were wondering how the WordCamp Incubators are going…
So, yes! this is the moment of our monthly updates about the two WordCamp incubators in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) 😉

Pinging @remediosgraphic and @emanuel_blagonic for you both to tell us how your Incubators are going. Thanks in advance!

#incubator #wordcamps #monthly-updates

WordCamp Incubator 2018 Update Thread: September edition

Howdy Community Team!
Are you wondering how the WordCamp Incubators are going? You’re lucky, because this is the moment of our monthly updates about the two WordCamp incubators in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) 🙂

Hi @remediosgraphic and @emanuel_blagonic can you both tell us how your Incubators are going? Thanks in advance!

#incubator #wordcamps #monthly-updates

Payment Intermission: 1-7 October 2018

The Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who routinely handle WPCS banking, will be at a company offsite meeting from 1-5 October 2018. During this time we’ll stop WordCamp and Meetup vendor payments, reimbursements, and sponsor payment attribution.

If you’ll need to pay for goods or services at the start of October, please submit all requests no later than Friday, 28 September 2018 at 16:00 UTC.

Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Tuesday, 9 October 2018. Sponsor invoices paid during 1-7 October 2018 won’t be marked paid until 8 October 2018.

If you have an urgent payment request that must be handled that week, but did not submit your request prior to 28 September, please reach out to @kcristiano or @adityakane on Slack.

Deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on Slack in the #community-events channel as usual.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Tuesday, 9 October 2018, though it may take us a day or two to get fully caught up.

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups

WordCamp Incubator 2018 Update Thread: August edition

Hi all! If you’re wondering what’s going on with the two WordCamp incubators in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), this is the moment of our monthly update 🙂

Here’s where @remediosgraphic and @emanuel_blagonic will post their updates for August 🙂

#incubator #wordcamps

WordCamp Incubator 2018 Update Thread: July edition

Wondering what’s going on with WordCamp incubators in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia)?

Here’s where @remediosgraphic and @emanuel_blagonic will post their updates for July 🙂

#incubator #wordcamps

WordCamp Incubator Program 2018: locations announcement

I’m very happy to announce that we have identified the locations for the WordCamp Incubator program 2018 — and I’m particularly pleased to announce that we’ve been able to select *two* incubator locations! 🙂

The communities which will take part in the WordCamp Incubator program this year will be:

The other locations that were short-listed have been encouraged to explore the idea of organizing a local meetup group and/or WordCamp in their communities, and have been promised extra help from mentors if they are interested in giving it a shot. So we hope to hear from some groups on that list! 🙂

A rough outline of how this will go:

Montevideo and Kota Kinabalu will work with their respective co-leads to start a monthly WordPress meetup group to the chapter account program. Once the local WordPress user group is meeting regularly, each team will work on finding a venue, setting a date, recruiting speakers, and spreading the word about the upcoming WordCamp. I’m thinking all two of these events will happen in the last quarter of 2018, but that’s flexible based on the preferences and needs of each local community.

Each organizing team will meet with their co-lead on a weekly/biweekly basis. The co-lead will act as a sort of a project manager and mentor for the local team, training them to organize a WordCamp and following up on their progress regularly. Co-leads who are mentoring incubator WordCamps will report the progress of their teams on a monthly Incubator Update thread that I’ll initiate here.

In addition to the extra-extra support we’ll provide to the local team around keeping on schedule and thinking of All The Things, we’ll help them find speakers and sponsors.  Our goal will be to feature no more than 3 non-local speakers at each event. As for sponsorship, the global sponsorship grant for these events will cover 100% of the event’s fundraising needs, so that organizers don’t need to spend much time drumming up sponsorship. We’ll accept local sponsors of course, but incubator events won’t be given a local fundraising goal that they need to meet.

As a reminder, the goal for these events is to organize an easily reproducible, one-day, one-track event with about 50-75 attendees. Hopefully by the end of the organizing/incubating experience, members of the local community will feel confident that they can organize an annual WordCamp independently in the years to come.

If you have any question about the incubator locations or our expectations for the program, please ask them in the comments!

#incubator, #wordcamps

WordCamp Incubator Program v2: input on a new role name and a call for volunteers

When we launched the experimental WordCamp Incubator program, we didn’t know what to expect. We hoped that after attending a WordCamp where there wasn’t already a WordPress chapter account meetup group, WordPress enthusiasts would be galvanized into forming a community that would sustain itself in the future. This certainly happened in two of the three communities that hosted incubator events in 2016. Plus, SIX communities that applied to be part of the program ended up organizing new WordCamps with the support of our amazing mentors!

New iteration, new challenge

In 2018, we’d like to launch a v2 of the WordCamp Incubator program, but we have an added challenge this time: finding people to support/co-lead/oversee each Incubator event.

In the first iteration of this program, we assigned 3 fully-sponsored volunteer staff to provide leadership and support to our incubator communities. But since the number of events and communities that the global community team supports continues to grow so quickly, our full-time sponsored volunteer staff is already fully committed for next year (and then some), mostly with maintenance projects. Therefore, we need to come up with another way to provide the support that made the incubator program successful in 2016.

The job

This is a time-intensive volunteer role. We estimate that lead organizers spend about 170 hours on a WordCamp, and I figure that the folks working to support the growth of an Incubator event needs to dedicate about 200-250 hours over the planning cycle. The job is that of co-organizer, mentor, and ambassador — since it’s probable that no one you’re working with has ever actually attended a WordCamp. You’re working as a community founder in a community that isn’t your own, which requires a lot of sensitivity, experience, and wisdom. The person absolutely must have experience organizing WordCamps, preferably more than one, as well as experience mentoring WordCamp organizers. Experience collaborating with people from other cultures is also very important.

What do we call this job?

Because this is such a distinctive role, I think that going forward, calling these folks “incubator mentors” isn’t a good idea. Mentorship is part of this job, but typically I think a mentor probably spends 1-4 hours a month working with their “mentee” WordCamp, whereas this role is more likely to require 25 hours a month. So! we need a new name for this program role. Here’s some very initial brainstorming that happened in Slack today.

1) Please comment below with your suggestions for a good name for this organizer-coach-midwife-counselor-guide role! I’m certain the right word is out there, just waiting to be found.

Where do we find these people?

My hope is that this challenging job will be an exciting opportunity for experienced WordCamp organizers that particularly enjoy the “start up” phase of the community, and who have successfully transitioned out of active leadership in their local community. (This is frequently “start a community from scratch” work, and the communities have to be self-sufficient at for the project to be effective.)

As mentioned above, this role is very time-intensive and high-touch. Not everyone can commit 250 hours in a year to a volunteer role, and I suspect that we may need to lean on volunteers who might be sponsored part-time to work on the incubator program. Maybe we could even help interested volunteers pitch their companies on sponsoring a certain number of hours a week to work on an incubator event.

Alternately, perhaps a team of 5-6 people would be interested in working with multiple incubator communities over a period of a year, and share some of the workload. (This makes me a little nervous, because sometimes when everyone is in charge, it means no one takes responsibility, but maybe there could be a rotating lead position on that team?) I’m open to suggestions.

2) Do you have some ideas of ways we could recruit people to take on this work and ensure their success? Please share your ideas in a comment on this post!

3) Interested in this role for 2018? Please also comment on this post to let us know!

Next steps

Once we figure out A) a name for this incubator-mentor-guide-organizer role and, B) a solid plan for recruiting enough incubator-mentor-guide-organizers to support a v2 of the Incubator program, then we can open up a call for communities who’d like to be considered as sites for a 2018 incubator WordCamp.

I’d like to set us a goal of completing our discussion by October 6, with an eye to publishing the results by October 11, and maybe we can even make the call for incubator communities by October 16.

 

#community-mentors, #incubator, #wordcamps

Payment Intermission September 11-18

The Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who routinely handle WPCS banking, will be at a company offsite September 11-18. During this time we’ll halt WordCamp and Meetup vendor payments, reimbursements, and sponsor payment attribution. If you’ll need to pay for goods or services in mid-September, please submit all requests no later than 9am Pacific Friday, September 8, 2017. Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Sponsor invoices paid September 11-18 won’t be marked paid until September 19.

If you have an urgent payment request that must be handled that week, but did not submit your request prior to September 8, please reach out to @kcristiano. He can be found on slack “@kcristiano“.

Deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on Slack in the #community-events channel.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Tuesday, September 19, 2017 though it may take us a day or two to get fully caught up.

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups-2

WordCamp Incubator Report

It’s been about 18 months since we announced the experimental WordCamp Incubator program, so we wanted to give a long-term review of the results of the program.

We announced the program and opened applications on February 18, 2016. We received 182 applications for this program. Interesting data on that application list: We received applications from 39 locations that did not have an active meetup groups. We responded to applicants in those locations with an invitation to start their own WordPress meetup groups, with minimal results. Three of the locations that we heard from, however, did get a meetup started in 2016 — Cardiff, Wales; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; and Monterrey, California, USA — but not by the people who applied for the incubator program.

23 proposed locations had already hosted a WordCamp in the past, or had a WordCamp already in planning, and another 28 locations already had an active meetup group. (A large number of applications were duplicates.)

From the short list of 16 candidate communities which we announced in April, we selected 3 incubator sites in May of 2016: Denpasar, Indonesia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Medellín, Colombia.

Another six cities on that short list (Kochi, Nairobi, and San José in 2016, and Nagpur, Udaipur, and Colombo in 2017) have organized or are currently organizing WordCamps. (WOW!)

In the comments, we’ll provide a report on how the each of the WordPress communities in our three incubator locations has developed, since their WordCamps were held. Then in another post, we’ll discuss what it would look like to continue this program.

 

#incubator #wordcamps

Feature Request: Give WordCamp attendees ability to mark/save sessions of interest on camp schdeule

Attending WordCamp is great, but as an attendee I have to repeatedly refer to the schedule to see which talks I wanted to go to next and which room I should be in, etc. I’d like to suggest a new feature to enable users to create a custom track from a published schedule on a WordCamp website. A way for users to select their desired session and somehow save this “custom” track or collection of sessions.

What does saving mean?

I think the MVP would be save and print or email the custom schedule/agenda. The user would select one talk (maybe more? if they’re interested in multiple sessions) per time slot to attend by clicking that slot in the schedule, and visually the schedule would highlight marked sessions. Perhaps selecting a session would even create a new list of sessions as that attendees custom agenda for the Camp and that agenda can be printed. I’m sure proper UX would deem it necessary to include some type of buttons or interface to add a session to an agenda and then to remove selected sessions too. As MVP, this could be front-end only and not even save any data. It could populate an email or be ready to print – or even simply allow users to keep the page open on their phone for quick glances during the conference.  I especially see this agenda layout being useful on mobile, where it’s tough to fit a complex schedule.

For a nicer experience though, the site would save the user’s selections and allow them to return to the schedule to see their saved/selected sessions. Ideally this would be tied to their .org account or something so either on the computer or phone they could log in and view their saved agenda.

How could it be useful to more than just the attendee?

Then if we end up being able to save this data, why not allow users to opt-in to share their schedule with other attendees or even the public. Attendees and sessions are displayed, let’s connect them. Each session abstract could indicate interest either by how many attendees have selected this talk or even list all interested attendees. I could see this being useful information to gauge general interest for talks and may help ensure to have ample space for each session. For example, if one session has a high level of interest it could be moved to a larger room to account for more attendees. Anyways, I digress…

Here I’ve mocked up a quick and ugly schedule with some marked sessions:

wordcamp raleigh schedule with marked sessions

Here’s a nasty screenshot of a schedule for WordCamp Raleigh with sessions marked as proposed. Notice there are two sessions saved at 11am, while only one session for later times.

The main point here is to have a way that when viewing the WordCamp schedule, attendees can select which sessions they are most interested in to create their own agenda during a WordCamp, and then a convenient way for users to save this agenda for quick reference during WordCamp. Sharing this interest may help attendees network and connect with others before and during the event. This data could possibly provide general feedback to organizers for planning purposes too.

I don’t believe this is the first time this type of idea has come up and I’ve had positive feedback from others and hope this can generate a useful discussion and roadmap. Thoughts?

#improving-wordcamp-org, #wordcamp-org, #wordcamps #feature-request