Why do we review organizer applicants?
Our approach is always to trust but verify, and investigating the people who apply to organize a meetup or WordCamp on behalf of the WordPress open source project is the “verify” part.
Event organizers are community leads, and our community leaders work fairly autonomously on things like finding meeting sites, designing events, selecting event content, communicating with the larger community, and building event organizing teams. The more we know about an applicant, the better we can understand whether this person will be a trustworthy representative of the WordPress project.
The Review Process
Follow this checklist to research the applicant. Add the relevant URLs as you find them.
The Review Checklist:
- organizer name
- group location
- wordpress meetup + LOCATION:
- ORGANIZER NAME + wordpress:
- ONLINE PRESENCE
- WordPress.org profile: https://profiles.wordpress.org/USERNAME
- personal site:
- business site:
- Trademark violations:
- check for WP activity on Meetup.com:
- Google Plus:
- Violating the WordPress trademark policy
- Distributing non-GPL WordPress derivatives
- Sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted statements on social media
- Jerk-like behavior on social media or in the community
- Not a member of the meetup
What if the person’s name is really common? How do I know I’m vetting the right person?
- The applicant will always provide their wordpress.org username, which usually helps you see their avatar. You can use that to match them up with the correct Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. profiles.
- Add `WordPress` and/or their city name to any Google searches you do and that helps to narrow things down. If you really don’t know then ask for help.
- You can always email the applicant, explain why we are reviewing their online presences, and ask for the account URLs.
What if the person is active online in a language I do not speak?
Use Google Translate. It isn’t perfect, but it is fine for our purposes here. Chrome auto-translates into your own language for you when you load a page, so that makes it easy. If you’re really stuck though, ask a Community team member in Slack who does speak that language to help you out.
What if I miss something?
Don’t worry; nobody’s perfect! Even veteran deputies miss important information sometimes. The first 2 to 3 applications you vet will also be reviewed by an experienced supporter, and you’ll get some feedback on your work. Remember, it’s always best to be too detailed than not detailed enough, and it’s always ok to ask for a second (or third) opinion!
What if the event they’re applying to lead already exists?
If you find the applicant is not a member of the local meetup (or is not aware of the local meetup), you can use the predefined reply called “MEETUP: Join existing group” to respond to them.
Similarly, if they’ve applied to lead an event that’s already in planning, notify them of the other event and ask if they would like to be introduced to the other organizing team to work alongside them.
What if I find something that seems like it might be a problem?
If you find one or more red flags while reviewing an application, note the issue(s) and finish the vetting process. Then record your findings with in the Flags section at the top of your checklist.
If an applicant is violating the WordPress trademark or the GPL, and you’re comfortable doing so, send them an email from email@example.com with an explanation of how they’re violating the WordPress trademark or the GPL and tell them that when the issue is resolved, we can continue with their application.
What if an applicant has expressed sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted statements on social media and/or displayed jerk-like behavior on social media or in the community?
Mention it in your role’s Slack channel and discuss the best next steps with the supporters there. Possible steps are:
- A supporter schedules a meeting with the applicant to explain how that behavior differs from our set of expectations for WordPress community organizers and asks them to refrain from behaving this way in the future.
- A supporter responds to the application that we’ve decided the applicant isn’t a good fit for the role of event organizer, and we decline their application. This rarely comes up, but it’s important to look for because having a conflictive or bigoted person in community leadership can create problems for a local community for many years to come.