Nearby WordPress Events

In an effort to grow awareness of WordPress community events like WordCamps and meetups, a group of us have been working to upgrade the WordPress News widget, adding WordCamps and meetups, as Matt mentioned in his recent post. We’ve created a plugin (background) called Nearby WordPress Events for testing and iteration. It turns the existing News widget on the Dashboard into WordPress Events and News, with a short list of upcoming nearby events above the usual news items.

WordPress Events and News widget

Why?

The community that has been created around WordPress is one of its best features, and one of the primary reasons for its success, but many users are still unaware that it exists, and aren’t taking advantage of all of the resources that it makes available to them.

Inviting more people to join the community will help to increase its overall health, diversity, and effectiveness, which in turn helps to ensure that WordPress will continue to thrive in the years to come.

We think that wp-admin is the perfect place to display these events, because that’s the place where almost all WordPress users are visiting already. Instead of expecting them to come to us, we can bring the relevant information directly to them.

How does it work?

In order to display events that are “nearby”, the plugin uses a determined location for the current user. If a site has multiple users, each one will be shown the events that are close to their individual location. The widget tries to automatically detect a user’s location, but they’ll also be able to enter any city they like.

The WordCamp and meetup event data for the plugin is provided by a new api.wordpress.org endpoint [source, documentation].

Feedback

We’ve solicited the Community team for testing and feedback and have made several improvements. Now we’d like to take it to the next level and get feedback from the Core team, in preparation for a proposal to merge it into Core, perhaps for WordPress 4.8.

Specifically, we’d like to get testing and feedback about:

  • UX: What is the user experience like? Is it easy to find a local event near you? Do you have trouble changing your location? Have we built the widget in an accessible way? (cc +make.wordpress.org/design)
  • Location detection: Does the widget accurately detect your location? If not, be sure to report your approximate location at the time you started using the plugin/widget.
  • City search: Does it find the city nearest to you with the name you searched? How well does it work when searching in languages other than English? Character sets other than Latin? (cc +make.wordpress.org/polyglots)

The best place to file issues is the GitHub repo.

 

Kudos to everyone who worked to make this a reality: @andreamiddleton, @azaozz, @camikaos, @coreymckrill, @chanthaboune, @courtneypk, @dd32, @iandunn, @iseulde, @mapk, @obenland, @pento, @samuelsidler, @stephdau, @tellyworth

#nearby-wordpress-events