Contributing on the WordPress Community Team


Learn what the WordPress Community Team is and how it contributes through education, connection, and support. We’ll tell you about WordPress events, working groups, and contributor roles. Highlight the importance of our Diversity and Inclusion programming. And share with you how anyone can get involved with the community team!

Links:

Learning outcomes

  • What the Community Team does for the WordPress open source project
  • What WordPress events contribute to the project
  • The importance of the 5 Good Faith Rules for WordPress meetups and the Code of Conduct which extended to all events in the program
  • The importance of Diversity and Inclusion
  • How you can contribute to the WordPress Community Team

Comprehension questions

  1. What is the Community Team responsible for?
  2. What are the 5 good faith rules for Meetups?
  3. Who organizes official WordPress events?
  4. What working group holds training sessions for members of underrepresented groups?

Transcript

Courtney P.K. 0:03
Welcome to all of you taking the time to join us for this workshop today. So today we’re going to talk about how to contribute to WordPress as a member of the WordPress community team. It’s only one of many contributor teams, and many ways to contribute. So if you’re looking for other ways to contribute to the project, be sure to check out our previous workshop, which is called introduction to contributing to WordPress, we’ll be sure to link that video below. Keep in mind that with all the ways there are to contribute to WordPress, this is one of those areas that you do not need to be a developer or designer to make a significant contribution. If once we’ve gone through today’s content, you’re interested in discussing it further. Make sure you join a discussion group. We’ll put a link to where you can find those discussion groups below as well. So joining me today for this workshop is Cammi. And I’ll let her introduce herself.

Cami Kaos 1:04
I’m Cami Kaos. I live in Portland, Oregon in the United States. for almost eight years, I’ve been a community organizer for the WordPress open source project sponsored by Automattic. And before that, I was a WordPress enthusiast. I’ve been using WordPress since what feels like the beginning of time, but was really about a year after WordPress launched, which is something that Courtney and I have in common, among other things, Courtney?

Courtney P.K. 1:28
Yes, hello, everyone. My name is Courtney Patubo Kranzke, also known as Courtney PK. I also based in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004, and a full time contributor to the WordPress open source project since 2016. Most of my contributions are on the community team, which is the team that we’re here to tell you about today.

Cami Kaos 1:56
I like to think that at the heart of the WordPress open source project is the community team. It’s probably actually the software though. But the reason I like to think that maybe because it’s the team to which I’ve been contributing since about 2008 when I helped with the first WordCamp Portland, or it could be because we’re the ones that help feed contributors to all the other teams while doing outreach to new users, and educating people on how to use and make the most of WordPress. Simply put, the community team is responsible for overseeing official events, mentorship programs, diversity initiatives, contributor outreach and other ways of growing the community that surround WordPress. And one of the first and most active ways we engage with and grow that WordPress community is through WordPress meetups. Courtney, would you like to tell us all about WordPress meetups?

Courtney P.K. 2:46
Absolutely. So WordPress Meetup groups are locally organized groups that get together for events on a regular basis, commonly once a month. So anything that brings together two or more people together to share their WordPress experiences, counts as a Meetup. There’s no minimum number of attendees or required format for Meetup. So these events are commonly referred to as meetups which can be confusing since people often use the same word to describe the group itself. So these meetups take many formats. The most common formats are presentations or lectures, and WordPress help desks, but social gatherings, workshops and co working are also good formats. Even the discussion groups that we run for Learn WordPress workshops such as this are also considered new Meetup events. So for Meetup groups that are hosted on meetup.com there’s an official WordPress chapter account that they can join. Official WordPress Meetup groups receive certain benefits, including having the meetup.com dues paid by WordPress community support. Having a Meetup group on this account does require honoring the Five Good Faith Rules of WordPress meetups which I will go over with you. So the first rule of WordPress meetups are for the benefits. The WordPress meetups are for the benefit of the WordPress community as a whole and not specific businesses or individuals. All actions taken as an event organizer are with the best interest of the community in mind. Rule number two, membership in the local Meetup group is open to all who wish to join regardless of ability, skill, financial status or any other criteria. Rule number three meetups or volunteer run with volunteer speakers. Rule number four Meetup groups allow events to be organized by any reliable and trusted member of the community. And rule number five meetups are welcoming places where everyone works to foster an accepting environment. Which is free of discrimination, harassment, incitement to violence, promotion of hate or any general negative behavior. So if you’re a Meetup organizer, you’re considered a contributor to the community team. And we encourage all Meetup organizers to gather a group of CO organizers. As mentioned in the Five Good Faith Rules, any trusted and reliable member of a chapter Meetup group can organize an event for their community and they’re encouraged to do so. The more events group that a group has at different times the more people will be able to be involved in some kind of WordPress Meetup activity. So typically, WordPress meetups take place in person in order to foster the growth of local WordPress communities. But during the time of COVID-19 Meetup events have been taking place online. We have lots of resources available to help guide organizers and hosting online events. meetups are a great way to get involved in your local WordPress community. And we encourage established WordPress Meetup groups to consider organizing a WordCamp. So Cami will tell us a little some more about WordCamps.

Cami Kaos 6:15
First of to tell you that I love WordCamps. WordCamps for the first thing that ever pulled me into the WordPress open source project so excited to talk about them. WordCamps are the official event of the WordPress open source project. And that is true whether they take place online or in person. While 2020 has deeply impacted the WordPress contributions or their WordPress events programs. WordCamps continue to be a source of education for WordPress users and makers as well as the place to connect to one another. WordCamps are typically casual events that bring together the WordPress curious and WordPress experts alike in your area, or around your area of focus. They’re not white glove events where everything is perfect, you’re not going to be drinking fancy water and you’re not going to be having plaintive meals. Sometimes they can be as simple as 50 people getting together at a coffee shop or online watching a single track of speakers. Sometimes they can get pretty complex though with multiple tracks, multiple days, workshops, ancillary events added in to bring people together from around the world to listen to WordPress experts from a similarly far reaching geography.

With that in mind, WordCamps tend to fall into three main types. The first one is what people usually mean when they say the WordCamp. And what we’re most often talking about when we say WordCamps, and that’s local WordCamps. These are local to a community and are meant to showcase the WordPress talent in that area while growing the community and educating and connecting all who gather there. And the geographical community. It’s usually located in one specific city, especially WordCamps. These events focus on a main discipline or a theme like WordCamp for journalists, or WordCamp for developers, and they bring together word processors of those communities to connect and learn in a very similar way that local events do. And then our third and final form of the WordCamp, our flagship WordCamps, these are much larger events that bring together more than 1000 people from all over a specific region or the world to celebrate what people are doing with WordPress in that region. WordCamp, Europe and WordCamp US have been staples of this type of event for years. Within those events, even sometimes the smaller ones, there are also special tracks or days that we commonly see added in and I want to share a few of those with you. The first is contributor days. This is an event where attendees go to give back to the WordPress open source project. There can be a single team contributor day one with all of the contributor teams represented and anything in between. The two most important components of this event are an organizer that’s ready to help onboard new contributors and attendees and people with a passion to contribute to the project. There is almost always something for somebody of any skill level to do at a WordPress computer. contributor day You don’t have to be a designer, you don’t have to be a developer, you don’t have to be a specialist of any kind. And you can look for a video from Courtney and I in the near future on how you can contribute by can by organizing contributor day near you online near you online. We all know in your mind right now. It’s okay. Alright. The next type of specialty event is the KidsCamp or a teen camp. And it’s a WordCamp that’s specifically geared towards educating the youth in our community. special care is taken to provide content that’s geared toward the represented the age of the kids in the groups. And so it’s going to be different if you’ve got seven year olds than it is if you’ve got 17 year olds.

These tend to be a single track event, they tend to have shorter days with more breaks in between to accommodate younger wordpresser as you might need to have something else to do. While we always take great care with the safety of all of our attendees, with KidsCamp, we take extra special care to make sure that everything is safe. And All right. All kids camp organizers, speakers and volunteers must undergo a screening process. And the kids are never to be left unattended with one adult only that goes for in person as well as it does online. And then the third kind of special event that we often see within work camps are workshops. workshops are more like attending a class than sitting through a traditional conference session or a lecture. They tend to have a limited number of spaces and can range of length from an hour to a full day class. This is where you may get something like WordPress one on one lessons and start a blog from scratch. Or you may learn how to build a theme or a plugin. Well, it’s common to see any of those events attached to WordCamp. They can also be run as standalone events. Either way, they bring immense value to the WordPress community around the world. And while we’re busy working on things around the world, it’s important to remember the importance of hearing voices from an array of people. So the community team finds that diversity and inclusion outreach are one of the most vital parts of our efforts. Courtney will tell us more about that.

Courtney P.K. 11:19
So the WordPress community is diverse and global. The power of open source is that anyone can contribute from anywhere at any time regardless of their background. Even more importantly, the more diverse our community is, the stronger it becomes. With different perspectives come new innovations, ideas, and solutions. Diversity helps to create a more accessible user experience. Whether that’s a blogger setting up a site, or a contributor to our community events and meetups. WordPress community organizers are expected to prioritize inclusion and diversity by creating a 100% welcoming atmosphere at WordPress events. And we actively recruiting a diverse team of organizers, speakers, and volunteers. I’d like to briefly talk about some of our community inclusion initiatives. So first, we have the Code of Conduct which is a living community document that has been adopted to help ensure safe meeting spaces for all community members. For those who are unfamiliar with the code of conduct, it’s a helpful place to start in terms of understanding its benefit in contributing to more inclusive spaces. Next, we have the Diverse Speaker Training working group. This group holds ongoing training sessions for WordPress event organizers to teach them how to encourage members of underrepresented groups to speak at their events. Since the shift to online meetups and events, this group is currently running these workshops directly for potential speakers as well. Next, we have do action events. These are hackathons dedicated to helping charities in your local community. Through do action, WordPress communities are able to give back to those around them by volunteering their time and expertise to help others develop an online presence so that local nonprofits can be more impactful and effective in the work that they do. And as Cami mentioned earlier, we also have youth events like KidsCamp. These are locally organized events dedicated to engaging and educating kids and young adults about WordPress. So the community teams diversity and inclusion initiatives are not limited to these that I’ve mentioned. They’re ongoing and always evolving. We have lots more resources to share in our handbooks. And I will also share a link in the description below where you can learn more about diversity and inclusion in the WordPress community back to gamey.

Cami Kaos 14:05
So that’s a lot to do. And you might find yourself wondering how do we make all of that work? It’s with an amazing web of contributors. While there is a vast array of work that has to get done behind the scenes, it’s important to remember that this work is all done by volunteer contributors. Some contributors are sponsored to do this work full or part time. But for the most part, it’s the effort of volunteers giving their own time to make this happen. So I want to talk about some of the volunteer positions that we have on the community team, just to give a little more clarity and to help you name the type of role that you might be interested in. The first one we have is volunteer. That one’s pretty straightforward, because we’re all volunteers. But this role is usually someone who has some limited time to give to a one off basis but can’t commit to doing something that’s more ongoing. The types of work that they may do ranges incredibly wide. But they typically fall into helping at an event like the ones that we mentioned above, working on documentation contributing during a contributor event, or contributing their time on one of the working groups. The next is a working group lead. This is a person who takes on responsibility for a specific group to ensure that volunteers come together to accomplish goals of the specific working group that they’re leading. Right now, our three most active working groups are the Diverse Speaker Training working group, the youth events working group and the Learn WordPress working group. Next, we have organizers. Organizers will be individuals who lead the teams that bring us the events that we talked about earlier. So meetups and WordCamps, and contributor A. So my next is mentors and mentors are experienced organizers. So they’ve done it all right, who help our current organizers with their organizing organizing path. Typically, our mentors work specifically with WordCamp, or other event organizers. But working group leaders and organizers of special Meetup groups may also be assigned a mentor, a mentor, his job is to advise organizers remind them about things that are frequently forgotten, keep them on track and planning and also to be a connection to WordPress community support. from us there, we have team reps. Now, a team rep is kind of exactly what it sounds like. Team reps are representative of the community team or whatever team they happen to be serving on. Team wrap is not necessarily a leadership role. It’s mostly administrative in nature. Letting go of the team rep title is not a loss of status, just to handing off of responsibilities. So someone who is a leader in a team can lead whatever they’re doing, and do the team rep job or not to the team rep job. The community team always has two team reps in place. And you can find a current list of team reps for both the community team and any other WordPress team that you’re looking for. At a link that we’re going to have down in the description. And the last we have his deputies, deputies kind of do a lot of everything. They review applications, they run orientations oversee team meetings, communicate with other members of the community team and other members of other teams within the community. And within WordPress in general. They keep the support queue running. They answer questions in slack. They assist all other volunteers, when any kind of issue comes up and work together to create guidelines and expectations and ensure that those guidelines and expectations are being followed. I think that’s kind of all the roles coordinate.

Courtney P.K. 17:43
That’s a lot. So thanks, Cami. And thank you thank everyone for spending time to getting to know the community team. We hope that you’ve learned more about the work that we do, and hope that you’re inspired to contribute to your local WordPress communities, and in turn, the wider global community and the WordPress open source project. If you want to learn more, please check out our other workshops in the contributing series that will come in the near future. And if you want to talk with others who have also taken today’s workshop, check out the calendar on learn.wordpress.org for discussion group. Thanks, everyone.

  • Length 18 mins
  • Topic Community Team, Contributing, WordPress
  • Language English
  • Captions English

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Courtney P.K.
@courtneypk
I work with and support the WordPress Community worldwide!
Cami Kaos
@camikaos
Cami lives, works, and parents in the rainy city of Portland, Oregon. She’s had a love of WordPress and WordCamps since the last century, when she happened to stumble upon the first WordCamp Portland. Since 2013, she has worked at Automattic, as a community organizer for the WordPress open source project. In that role, she gets to work with WordCamps and their organizers from around the world, every day. She continues to write on an irregular basis at camikaos.com where she explores concepts from the plight of modern parents to mental health to marveling at the seemingly mundane. Cami is active on a number of social platforms but can be most readily found as @camikaos on Twitter.