Roll Your Own Docs Improvement Meetup

The Seattle WordPress Meetup is holding monthly WordPress Docs Improvement Meetups at a local coffee shop. So far, around 6 – 8 people attend each meetup, and the group has worked on docs in the Codex, Handbooks, and Function Reference.

The Docs Team would love to see other WordPress Meetups and local WordPress groups hold their own Documentation Meetups. Of course, Docs can use all the help it can get.

Things to keep in mind when organizing a Docs Meetup

  1. Your location needs good internet access and power outlets. Duh, right?  Great coffee also helps.
  2. Figure out what to work on in advance. The hardest thing about contributing to these meetups is simply figuring out what to work on. So, as an organizer, prepare in advance by finding a handful of specific things that the group can work on. Keep it small and manageable.  You can touch base with one of the Handbook editors, Docs Team Members, @hanni or @siobhan or @sewmyheadon to help make your list. There’s always plenty to do, but some things need quicker attention.
  3. Publicize it. Ask people to contribute and encourage participation of all user levels. You don’t have to be a developer or designer to contribute. There are plenty of things you can do to help including:
    • Screenshots – we need folks to take, and edit, screenshots to augment written documentation
    • Examples & Code Snippets – need formatted code snippets and examples
    • Editing / Proofreading / QA
    • Transcribing video to text
    • Developer support – non-devs need coders to help clarify functions, hooks & filters.
  4. Post pre-meetup instructions. Before your meetup date, make sure to post some pre-meetup instructions so new contributors can be prepared when they come.  Here’s an example of a Docs Improvement post from the Seattle WP Meetup site. At minimum, you’ll want to make sure people have reviewed the
  5. Prepare to be a helper. Organizers should expect to spend about 30 to 50% of their time at the Meetups just helping others get situated, reviewing other’s docs, answering questions, etc.
  6. Be okay with slow progress. Writing docs isn’t always a quick task, in fact, it’s usually the opposite. It’s a win if you can complete one or two documents in one 4 – 6 hour Meetup.
  7. Join the #wordpress-sfd IRC chat room. During Docs Meetups, we  encourage folks to login to IRC so they can ask questions, post progress, request docs reviews, and generally help out.
  8. Be encouraging. Face it, writing docs can be relatively thankless and sometimes tedious work, so make sure to be positive, thank people for their participation, and be encouraging.  The sooner someone feels like they’re contributing and their work is appreciated, the more likely they are to continue helping.
  9. Have fun.

Join Us

If you’d like to participate in any of the already-scheduled Docs Improvement Meetups in-person in Seattle or virtually via IRC, here’s when we’re meeting:

  • Saturday, September 21 (10am – 4pm PDT / 5pm – 11pm UTC)
  • Sunday, October 20 (10am – 4pm PDT / 5pm – 11pm UTC)
  • Saturday, November 16 (10am – 4pm PST / 6pm – 12pm UTC)
  • Saturday, December 14 (10am – 4pm PST /  6pm – 12pm UTC)

Hope to see you there!

#docs