WordPress Community January Newsletter
Sent via Meetup.com to all members. We repost it here just in case you didn’t receive it.
Hello, WordPress community!
Welcome to the new monthly email from the WordPress.org community team. The feedback we’ve gotten from meetup members around the world is that there is not enough of a connection between local groups and the overall WordPress community, so this is an experiment to see if we can create more connections.
Each month we’ll be talking about:
That month’s contributor drive weekend
An event type you could try in your group
The community team that supports the global meetup and WordCamp program
A featured WordPress meetup group that you can check out for inspiration
We hope this will help you feel more connected to the broader WordPress community and provide more opportunities for you to get involved!
Support Team Weekend
In just over a week, our very first worldwide contributor weekend will take place January 30-31. The focus for this month is on our support team, the volunteers who answer questions in the WordPress.org support forums and in IRC. We’re starting with the support team because it is the easiest team to get involved with, and doesn’t require a lot of setup or specialized knowledge. If you use WordPress, you know more than someone who is just getting started and can probably help answer questions for those people. If you are a more advanced user or a developer, then you can help answer some of the more advanced troubleshooting questions. In short, just about anyone can help!
To participate in the support team weekend, you can get together with other people in your meetup group, or you can go it alone. The goal is to answer 20 questions over the course of the weekend, but there is no minimum requirement. The main goal is to have people helping each other through the WordPress support channels, and during the contributor weekend we’ll have volunteers online to help if you get stuck. We encourage you to give it a try next weekend and get together with some folks from your group. You can get more information on how the weekend will work at https://make.wordpress.org/support/20-questions/. Good luck!
Teaser: The next contributor weekend will be the last weekend of February, and will be focused on the Video team that manages WordPress.tv.
One of the things we’ve heard from a lot of meetup organizers is that it’s a challenge to line up speakers and plan events in advance. To help with this we’ll be suggesting an event type each month that has worked well for other meetup groups and that doesn’t require a speaker – the kind of event that anyone can organize, and we hope you will! This month’s suggestion is the WordPress.tv brown bag lunch.
- Event Type: WordPress.tv Brown Bag Lunch.
- Difficulty Level: So easy.
- Venue Requirements: Conference room, monitor or projector with sound.
- Prep Work: Choose a video to watch from WordPress.tv, and reserve a conference room.
Description: Have people show up and bring their lunch. Play a video from a recent WordCamp that has been posted on WordPress.tv, making sure you choose one that is going to fit in your time allotment. Have people eat their lunch while the video is playing. When the video is done, have everyone discuss what they just watched. When your time is up have people clean up their lunch stuff and head out. That’s it! Could it get any easier?
Notes: The brown bag lunch works well when you have a location that is easy to get to during the lunch hour, for example a downtown office building. While our suggestion here is specific to a lunchtime event, you could do this anytime, and there could be any number of these in your Meetup group each month, with different events in different parts of town, on different days, and/or with different areas of focus (blogging, theme development, core development, etc.) – it’s up to you. If you’re interested in organizing an event like this on a weekend day or an evening rather than during a lunch hour, a good video to use might be Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation and Q&A from WordCamp US in December: We hope you’ll give this event type a try!
The Community Team
This month, a general intro to the team. The WordPress community program is supported by a team of volunteers from around the world called the community team. This team oversees WordCamps, meetups, trainings, and other community-focused events. These volunteers, experienced organizers from all over the place, are available to answer questions in the #events channel on the WordPress contributor Slack instance. If you’re interested in organizing an event and need support or would like to talk with other organiers, join us there! If you’re not already on the WordPress contributor Slack instance, you can sign up here: https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.
All event organizers are considered part of the community team, and we choose our deputies (the people that handle WordCamp and Meetup applications and help run the program) from this group, so if you are interested in getting more involved with the community program on a broader scale, hanging out in the events channel and supporting other organizers is a great way to get started.
Featured Meetup Group: Seattle WordPress Meetup
Our featured Meetup group for January is the Seattle WordPress Meetup. While this is one of the larger meetup groups in our community, that’s not why we are giving it this recognition. The Seattle group has put into practice many of the goals that we have identified for the Meetup program, which some other groups have struggled with, so they’re a great group to kick off this feature and provide inspiration to other WordPress meetups.
If you look at their Meetup.com site you’ll see there are a dozen organizers organizing different types of events in different parts of town on different days of the week and at different times. That is a lot of variety, and it means that more members of the meetup group can find an event that interests them. There are events tailored for users, developers, beginners, experts, you name it. There are study groups for people to learn together, contributor events, presentations, and workshops, and they’re not afraid to experiment, which is how they have managed to grow their group to this level of activity.
The organizing team is diverse, which ensures that multiple points of view are represented when decisions are made for the group, and they welcome new organizers, rather than having one or two people control the group. In short, the Seattle meetup provides something for everyone in their group, has worked hard to be a welcoming community, and is worth checking out to see if they have any ideas you can copy. (Good work, Seattle!)
Want to check out other WordPress meetup groups? They’re all listed at http://www.meetup.com/pro/wordpress/
That’s it for now — see you next month!
– Your friends on the Community Team
P.S. One last thing — check out our new #ilovewp testimonials page at https://wordpress.org/about/testimonials/ and if the spirit moves you, add your own!