Try These Two Weird Tricks To Get More Speakers For Your Meetup!

Well, now that I have your attention, check out something we’re doing at our meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. to broaden our speaker pool.

I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we’ve had a WordPress meetup since sometime in 2011. The coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. organizers have pretty much stayed the same, but attendees have come and gone over the years. The size has stayed pretty consistent, varying from 4 or 5 people to 20-25 people in an evening, depending on the topic, etc.

The speakers tend to be the organizers, or one of several regular attenders. We ask people to speak, we work with them, and sometimes it works and they speak. Once.

To make a long story short, after a few years I got tired of hearing ourselves speak.

Then one week it was Brian Richards’ (@rzen) turn to talk, and it turned out he had to be on the road. So he recorded his talk, and I simply played it from my laptop to the giant TV in our venue. It worked flawlessly, though we couldn’t ask questions at the end. Brian even turned to his right and looked right at me sitting next to the TV to hand it off at the end, it was perfect.

That’s when I thought “Why can’t we have remote people do this over a live Hangout or something?”

Option 1: Live Remote Guests

I didn’t do much about it until some months later when we were talking about WordPress frameworks and WP Rig and someone said “Man, wouldn’t be cool if we could get someone like Morten Rand-Hendrickson to speak at our meetup?”. So I pulled out my phone, pinged Morten on LinkedIn and said “Hey man, would you be willing to do a short presentation about WP Rig for our meetup over Hangouts?” And he said “Why sure!”.

So, a couple weeks later Morten talked about WP Rig, all the way from Vancouver.

Then someone asked about Membership plugins, so I reached out to Jason Coleman from Paid Memberships Pro and Pippin Williamson from Restrict Content Pro.  Pippin said “I don’t really run RCP anymore, you want Ashley Gibson”. So I contacted Ashley. Everyone involved said they’d love to take part.

Rather than spread the topic out over 2 weeks, I had Ashley and Jason on at the same time. It was a bit more of an interview than presentation, but great stuff was shared. I recorded it, and it’s on our YouTube channel.  Check it out here:

Ashley is in the UK, and Jason is in Pennsylvania. I quickly realized that I never really had to feel stuck finding a speaker again.  As long as I plan well, the entire global WordPress community is available to our meetup (more on that below). 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) talks, technology talks, business talks, design talks, all right there for the asking. Of course some people will say no, but there are enough people in the WordPress world that SOMEONE will say yes to just about any topic.

Important: don’t just go after people who are well-known. There are plenty of people who are really excellent at what they do who aren’t “internet famous.” These people will almost certainly bring new perspectives and information that will be extra valuable and thought-provoking for your group, because they may not have published it before.

Here are some tips on how to make this work smoothly.

  1. Try to stay booked 2 months out. This should be true whether you’re digital or not, people are more likely to be available if you ask before they’ve had time to fill up their calendar.
  2. Place the speaker’s needs first. If they say no, say thank you and move on. If it’s REALLY important to you, explain that it’s important and ask if there’s anything you can do to make it easier or more comfortable. Sometimes they’ll say yes, sometimes no. Always walk away after that second no.
  3. Once you have a speaker lined up, make it clear to attendees that the speaker will be remote or recorded.
  4. Have the right tech stack in your venue. Projectors are great, but rarely have speakers. We use a giant TV with speakers built in, so we’re good.  If you use a projector, get some computer speakers and plug them into the presentation laptop.
  5. If you do more than a little talking to the presenter, try to get a microphone, you’ll sound WAY better. A catch is that the mic will also want to record the TV and you end up with double audio. See point 5.
  6. Try to use real recording software. I use Screenflow. It gave me a video channel and two audio channels, one from the hangout and one from my mic.  So even though my mic recorded the TV also I was able to clean it up with some tedious editing. If you’re SURE you can remember, you can turn your mic on and off when using and not using. I would forget, I’m sure if it.
  7. Once it’s recorded and cleaned up, publish it! Put it on your meetup blog, or meetup.com.  It could go on YouTube, or even WordPress.tv. It’s not just 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. talks, it for any valid WordPress teaching video. Now you’re not only getting the very best people in their field to talk to your local group, you’re adding to the global knowledge pool.

When You’re Ready To Speak

One of the purposes of a local meetup is to help people become more comfortable speaking in front of others, potentially so they could speak at a WordCamp. But what if you want to practice, and don’t live near a meetup? I have it on good authority that if you contact a meetup organizer and offer to speak at their meetup, they’ll say YES before you can finish your sentence.  Generally.

If you live far from any meetup, contact a friend on the internet who goes to one and ask to be connected to the meetup organizer. They’ll vet you the same way they would anyone who wants to speak, but I promise you there will be no end of places you can do this.

If you need lots of practice, do it at multiple meetups.  While I recommended recording above, most don’t, so the chances of someone getting tired of your message are really low.

Option 2: WordPress.tv Episodes

WordPress.tv is an under-rated treasure of the WordPress community. There are thousands of really excellent talks on hundreds of topics. Filtering through there can help you find people that you’ve never heard of delivering valuable information.

Here are some benefits of using WordPress.tv:

  1. Avoid all the hazards of a live presentation: computer crashes, batteries dying, etc.
  2. Scheduling with the speaker is not an issue
  3. You already have permission to use the video
  4. You can know exactly what will be covered
  5. You can know exactly how long the talk will be

What about questions?

An advantage of a live talk is that the crowd can ask questions afterward. With a WordPress.tv talk you lose that benefit. One option is to do a hybrid. Let the speaker know you’re going to play their video, and ask if they’d be willing to be online at the end for questions, whether in video or even just 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/..

Summary

We live in a digital world, where incredibly knowledgeable people are mere seconds away at any time. The WordPress community tends to be very giving as long as you don’t abuse it. If you’re finding yourself without a speaker, or need some variety in your speaker pool, reach beyond your local meetup and tap that potential. You may be surprised at how willing people are to help you.

#google-hangout, #google-hangouts, #wordpress-tv

Do you screencast or make video tutorials of how to use WordPress? WordPress.tv wants you!

WordPress.tv is a great place to go to catch up on your favorite 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. sessions, or perhaps virtually attend a Camp you could not make in person. These videos are a great way to up your game and learn about WordPress, especially if you are an aspiring developer, or established user.

However, for new users to WordPress, one thing we don’t have on WordPress.tv is videos of how to do things directly in the dashboard of their site. These are more “just getting started” kinds of videos, centered around common tasks or goals, such as:

  • How to configure widgets
  • Setting up a custom menu
  • Managing comments
  • How to insert an image gallery

These kinds of videos would do a lot to help teach WordPress to a new generation of users, and are just the kind of videos we want to host on WordPress.tv! How do we get there? That’s where you come in… 🙂

Submit your WordPress screencasts and video tutorials to WordPress.tv!

Are you a proud member of the WordPress community, who creates (or would like to create) videos that are focused on helping others learn how to use WordPress? If you answered “yes” then we would love your help in submitting your videos to WordPress.tv, so we can share them with the world in our “how to” section here: http://wordpress.tv/category/how-to/

Ready to go? You can use this handy upload form to send your video for review: http://wordpress.tv/submit-video/

What makes a good screencast or video tutorial?

We find that the following guidelines are all important to keep in mind when creating effective training videos for others to learn from:

  • Shorter videos are better – 3 minutes or less is a good guideline.
  • Focus on a single topic or task for your videos
  • Clear audio – Make sure your voice is easy to hear and understand
  • Focus on the browser window
  • No self-promotion or logos in the video

That last bit bears some explaining. While we want you to be able to benefit from your work, WordPress.tv is a non-commercial community-run website; we can’t accept videos with watermarks, logos, or self-promotion of any kind. We do have a place for you to enter your 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/ profile name as a producer credit, so you will get noticed!

Here is an example of an existing (slightly out of date) screencast that meets all the above guidelines: http://wordpress.tv/2013/06/22/how-to-use-the-image-galleries/

So why not share the love, and help train a new generation the joys of using WordPress. Good karma (and a free copy of WordPress) will be your reward for helping out! Thanks!

– Your WordPress.tv Community Moderators (aka “The Mod Squad”)

#public-submission, #screencasting, #screencasts, #video-tutorials, #wordpress-tv, #wptv-mods

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“Consistency is the most overrated of all human virtues… I’m someone who changes his mind all the time.”
– Malcolm Gladwell

We published videos from WC Lyon, WC Seattle: Experienced Edition and WC London

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego – WC North Canton – WC Portland – WC Nashville and WC Miami videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • update on the post for screencast tutorials submissions
  • discussion about the S3 video transcoder
  • update on layout for @brashrebel‘s WPTV 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

In The Last 7 Days

We published 9 videos from 3 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Ben Furfie: How to Value Price Websites

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Brad Williams: Hiring Employee Number One – From Freelancer to Agency

 

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.”
– Lao Tzu

We had 23 how-to videos submitted this week. No new 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. or WordPress Related Videos submitted this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego – WC North Canton – WC Portland – WC Nashville and WC Miami videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • updates on screencast tutorials for the WPTV 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 – 23 submitted
  • discussion on how to tag the videos for the WPTV plugin
  • feedback on layout for @brashrebel‘s WPTV plugin

In The Last 7 Days

We published 43 videos from 4 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed WordCamp Videos Last Week

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Kirk Wight: Fear in a Developer’s World

Eric Wolfe: Building a WordPress Theme Using AngularJS

 

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“Little one, I would like to see anyone – prophet, king or God – persuade a thousand cats to do anything at the same time.”
– Neil Gaiman (A cynical cat, in Sandman)

WC Montreal, WC London, WC Hamburg, WC Atlanta and WC Minneapolis submitted videos this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego – WC North Canton – WC Portland ME and WC Nashville videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • approving videos for a “WordPress Related Event”
  • issue with getting screencast videos for WPTV 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
  • updates on progress of post-production for WC videos

In The Last 7 Days

We published 32 videos from 5 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Michelle Schulp: Beyond Whitespace – Designing for Complex Content

Christina Fuchs: Was sind Mitgliederseiten und wie lassen sie sich in WordPress realisieren?

 

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
– Alan Watts

WC Montreal, WC London and WC Minneapolis submitted videos this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego – WC North Canton – WC Portland ME and WC Nashville videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • updates on progress of post-production for WC videos
  • proposal to transcode videos using Amazon Elastic Transcoder
  • feedback on layout for @brashrebel‘s WPTV 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
  • @bethsoderberg did a copy edit on documentation

In The Last 7 Days

We published 13 videos from 2 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Eric Wolfe: Building a WordPress Theme Using AngularJS

Barbara Schendel: Create Your Own WordPress Theme

 

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
– Henry Ford

WC Montreal, WC Atlanta and WC Minneapolis submitted videos this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego – WC North Canton videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • updates on progress of post-production for WC videos
  • the WPTV submit page uploader being slow
  • transcoding videos using Amazon Elastic Transcoder (upsides and downsides)
  • @brashrebel‘s patch that will display video producer credit on WPTV posts
  • submission guidelines for making videos for the WPTV 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
  • welcome new mods @jshipc and @blondishnet

In The Last 7 Days

We published 17 videos from 3 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Christina Fuchs: Was sind Mitgliederseiten und wie lassen sie sich in WordPress realisieren?

Gene Hammett: Being an Authority in the WordPress Market Means More Impact and More Income

 

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin

WC Atlanta, WC Dayton, WC Minneapolis and WC Seattle submitted videos this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC San Diego videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • editing the videos on the “videos to edit” page
  • process for creating videos for the WPTV 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
  • update of the WPTV plugin (wiki and goals)

In The Last 7 Days

We published 14 videos from 5 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Mike Little: Running Multiple WordPress Sites Under NGINX

Mickey Mellen and Ali Green: Planning Your Website from Concept to Launch

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein

WC Atlanta, WC Dayton and WC Hamburg submitted videos this week.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC Seattle – WC San Diego and WC Minneapolis videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • the 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 by @brashrebel that brings relevant videos from WPTV into the wp-admin.
  • the issues that need to be addressed for the plugin (relevant videos, getting existing videos tagged)
  • creating tags to help identify relevant content
  • creating new content for the plugin
  • feedback and input for the plugin https://github.com/brashrebel/wptv

In The Last 7 Days

We published 9 videos from 3 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Mike Little: Running Multiple WordPress Sites Under NGINX

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

Tom Tortorici: Awesome Images On Your WordPress Site

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv

WordPress.tv Moderator Squad Update

“I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.”
– Joseph Campbell

Videos from WC Atlanta were submitted this week with a few more from WC Paris and WC Hamburg.

WC Lancaster – WC St Louis – WC Dayton – WC Seattle – WC San Diego videos are still in process.

In the Mod Chat we talked about:

  • 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 by @brashrebel that uses tags to bring relevant videos from WPTV into the wp-admin.
  • feedback and input needed for the WPTV plugin from mods. Link to plugin https://github.com/brashrebel/wptv
  • @brashrebel has submitted a patch to make the WPTV theme responsive.

In The Last 7 Days

We published 29 videos from 5 WordCamps and WordPress Related Events around the world.

The Top Three Most Viewed 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. Videos Last Week

Christina Fuchs: Was sind Mitgliederseiten und wie lassen sie sich in WordPress realisieren?

Heather Solos: 5 Plugins For List Building

Jenny Munn: SEO for 2015 – What’s In, What’s Out and How to Be In It to Win It (For Good)

#moderator-update, #wordpress-tv