Capture of conversation between Patricia BT and Remkus de Vries

Patricia BT in Within WordPress with Remkus

GatherPress was recently featured on Within WordPress” by Remkus de Vries with Patricia BT as a guest.

They talked about many topics related to WordPress events, in particular Meetup events, and how the GatherPress proposal would solve many issues. You can read the transcript below!

Watch

You can also watch it or listen to the audio only, on Within WordPress site.

About GatherPress from 12’16” in the video.

Chapters related to GatherPress

As mentioned on the episode

12:12 Introducing GatherPress: A New Initiative for WordPress Events
20:10 The Future of WordPress Events and Community Integration
28:30 Exploring BuddyPress and WordPress Community Contributions
30:00 The Technical Backbone of WordPress Community Sites
30:58 Anticipating GatherPress: A New Era for WordPress Events
33:55 The Journey to GatherPress and Community Impact

Transcript

Copied from YouTube transcript. Related to GatherPress from 12’16” to 39’00” =

12:12 I’m I’m kind of curious for a project that you

12:19 because that sort of sparked my uh uh like hey I  need to ask Patricia about that you shared uh on

12:26 the make WordPress Community blog you shared a  new initiative initiative GatherPress right now the

12:34 name sign kind of says already I think a little  bit about what it’s intended to do but please

12:40 explain what is GatherPress okay GatherPress is  a plugin done by members of the community for the

12:50 community this is how I said they but we actually  describe it yeah um some people have been working

12:58 on that uh just since just before the pandemic  and then a bit stopped and started again in 2022

13:06 the main leads are Mike Auteri and Mervin Hernandez  both from the US and uh the goal is to uh to to

13:17 have an alternative to meetup.com for our meetings  like monthly local meetings why there are several

13:25 uh reasons the first reason is to not depend on  our proprietary platform that is meetup.com we do not

13:32 own our data there and yeah so there is I think if  you if you have a look at events.wordpress.org you

13:40 see more than you see more than 500,000 um members  I think is an automate like a calculation of all

13:48 the groups total number of members events events.  wordpress.org and all these people have

13:58 there data in meetup.com that is a commercial  product a propriatary platform and by the way

14:06 that was just acquired I some months ago by the  same company that owns now um Evernote okay but

14:15 still it’s um yeah the data of our members are  there they even lost some of the statistical

14:23 data and it costs $200,000 per year to uh WPCS  which is WordPress Community Support yeah PBC

14:35 in the US means like a public something for for  profit is not it’s a branch of the Foundation but

14:41 is separated from the Foundation yeah it runs  the money of for the the WordCamps and meetups

14:47 yeah this is the biggest expense of WPCS that’s a  lot of money I know that some uh people say what

14:58 about the discoverability of WordPress meetups um  by people who are on Meetup for other things yeah

15:05 like for the don’t that’s one of the questions  I had yeah okay so yes so yes it’s true that at

15:12 least in the past it helped to to to discover new  groups and new events it is especially I guess in

15:21 the US because I saw a statistic uh the traffic is  60% from the US to Meetup to meetup.com okay what

15:29 we experience here I I can say for Geneva and  Lausannean meetup groups most of the people discover

15:36 our events from the the widget in the dashboard  our sites’ dashboards show the events close you are

15:45 yeah depending on IP geolocalization and um  most of the the people come from that and also

15:55 because we publish our events on social media  and then they have to if they are new uh to

16:03 our group they have to register on Meetup so for  them it would be the same actually if they had

16:08 to register to a new place they have a WordPress  account wordpress.org account that then they would

16:14 register there instead of having to register on  another a third party um platform one last month

16:22 in in Lausanne there was one person who said I don’t  want to register on meetup.com so she was not

16:28 registered it was okay because there was enough  seats but if the venue is limited and we have a

16:34 waiting list yeah you have to have registered people so  what what does the plugin do okay so it it mimics

16:42 a bit the the the features of meetup.com so it  means you can publish your event you can um mail

16:49 all your members about a new event you can remind  the people for registered to a a given event but

16:57 what is good is that it use WordPress and it is  very much um it’s simple and use the blocks for

17:07 for the venue and for the events and you can add  whatever you want in in a given event or a given

17:13 venue there is a map um yeah it’s so it’s if if I  if I’m um if I’m smashing it down into one thing

17:23 it is a events manager inside of WordPress that  mimics um all the specific functionalities that

17:30 meetup.com has so you can list the events you can  subscribe to the events you can say I’m attending

17:37 uh and as an administrator you have the option to  um communicate with people uh whether they’re have

17:44 signed up for the group in itself or the actual  attendee the registered attendees you got it

17:51 right there is also the the waiting list feature  and some of the features would be added as addon for

17:59 example the the possibility to import the past  events from meetup.com and addon and actually

18:07 the proposal that we published on 22nd of January  is to propose to the Meta team to have that on

18:18 a multisite inside the wordpress.org networks  yeah so so that every group which is interestes which

18:28 is interested to participate to the pilot program  because the proposal is for a pilot program first of course yeah so we have uh had some  interest from some meetup groups uh so and

18:40 even from uh learn the training team the all  the events that learn.wordpress.org is

18:47 organizing I very recently did a podcast with  uh Jonathan Bossenger nice and we had a interest from

18:56 them as well but that would be every group would  have their own subsite in a multisite managed on

19:04 the wordpress.org network by the Meta team so for  this at the time of recording this conversation

19:11 for now we yeah March 4 we are uh awaiting an  official approval from leadership and then

19:19 um it would we would need to work with the meta  team to implement it on the on the network but the

19:26 plugin itself pretty much already works with some  features possibly needing expanding yes and it

19:34 works also as a standalone if you want to use it  for your own something else not even related to

19:42 to WordPress you can also use it for for example I  have a friend Michelle here in in Switzerland she

19:49 use it uh she uses it on a um music um like for  the music event that she co-organizes so essentially any

19:59 events so it’s not just um um specifically meant  mimic Meetup in of itself but um the added value

20:07 is that you can use it for literally any type of  events that have this particular uh requirements The Future of WordPress Events and Community Integration

20:14 are there and first off I I I really enjoy these  types of proposals because oh I think probably

20:23 10 years ago um I think at the time with Andrea  Middleton I already had a conversation with why

20:29 are we using an external system and I didn’t  even know how much money it cost just that it cost money I don’t think that ever got anywhere  that conversation and and I know others have

20:37 spoken and raised um their voices about this as  well but to now have something that is a proper

20:44 proposal the plugin that works with an idea behind  it is it the is it the goal that it actually lives

20:50 on events.wordpress.org yes on our network part  of wordpress.org and then it would be tied to the

20:58 profiles and do the WordPress um profiles of users  so if you have a wordpress.org account then you just

21:09 click RSV sorry RSVP and then you are registered  to an event I know in the past some people have

21:16 mentioned to use the Fediverse like Mobilis Mobil  Mobilizon I don’t know to pronounce that and um I

21:25 think that discussion went nowhere but at least  open source you know that’s what is important and

21:31 not a third party proprietary system speaking  of the Fediverse are there ideas to include those

21:39 types of features in this plugin as well yes uh  we just had a a contact with someone who is doing

21:47 a plugin that fetch all kind of events on the  Fediverse and then we can publish about it I he

21:56 told it he told us that he going going to work on  this in a few weeks so on that but that’s really

22:03 interesting because the Fediverse the the fun  thing about uh having such a place in house means

22:09 um whatever that you can do to make it better  or to make it integrate with uh other systems

22:15 and for those who of you are listening who don’t  know what the Fediverse is it’s essentially

22:21 a protocol that um um different types of software  use for instance Mastodon is a is a good example

22:30 it allows you to sort of bridge from one social  network to another or one site to another even

22:35 there’s ways to connect your WordPress site to  the Fediverse with the the wonderful plugin with

22:41 from Matthias Pfefferle yeah Activity Pub yeah thank you  in conjunction with the Friends plugin so you can

22:49 follow and be followed from yeah basically it’s  a distributed network of servers that communicate

22:57 with yeah and it’s and and it’s in my opinion  the way the all the social networks should have

23:03 been designed um yeah should have been designed  like that uh from the get-go um we we now have

23:11 all these huge content silos um there’s some uh  interoperability what is the word uh probability

23:19 no interoperability interoperability there you go  but but it’s it’s so limited um like for instance

23:26 uh one of the things that I’m excited that’s up  up and coming is the I forgot what the protocol’s

23:31 name but there’s a there’s um directive to  make WhatsApp for instance communicate with

23:37 Signal like why didn’t it do that in to begin  with like why why why are we not having nice

23:42 things why cannot we why can’t we not have nice  things and um um the Fediverse is essentially an

23:48 answer to that but more from the social um social  media perspective and it it goes really into the

23:57 the the Four Freedoms and open source you know  so there is no a big company behind that that

24:03 will use our maybe data and advertise advertise  all the time so that’s also what is very good I

24:10 just wanted to mention about the plugins um that  there it’s just been a proposal on the polyglots

24:17 um um make site yeah about a plugin so plugin  that they develop to to uh register all the

24:26 translations submitted during an event it also has  the possibility to create an an event and then

24:33 tie it to that built-in GlotPress then yes with  GL press but what what is nice and we are going to

24:40 be in contact with them with let me let me first  properly understand this GlotPress which if you

24:47 don’t know is the software that runs on translate.  wordpress.org uh is also a plugin inside a

24:52 WordPress installation but GladPress is intended  to communicate with um GatherPress so there is

25:00 a way to have events around translation how how  am I seeing this no sorry for now uh not with GatherPress

25:07 with that plugin that uh that person who  posted that proposal on uh yeah PolyglotS team

25:16 P2 site the Make site his name is Jesús Amieiro I hope I  don’t do something with his name um so the idea with

25:30 GatherPress is on the wordpress.org uh network it can  integrate with a lot of new type of ideas and uh the

25:39 limit is the sky actually we could do everything  that is related to wordpress.org users yeah and

25:47 integrates with our profiles that use some of the  BuddyPress features you you could have a list of all

25:54 the events you went to you are participating in  and it could be tied to that um plugin that Jesús Amieiro

26:03 proposed and so that’s why we’re going to to to  to work with them but at the moment it’s not on

26:10 the wordpress.org right but but the intention is to not just  have uh here’s meetup.com we want to replace that

26:18 this is the plugin that does it but then also move  forward to thinking different directions of what

26:23 types of integrations we could also start yeah  doing so I’m not a developer and actually I joined

26:31 the GatherPress team only last December so we  have done a lot in two months especially to make

26:37 it public you know to to to make it yeah to make  the world know about it but I’m not a developer so

26:43 I’m not sure exactly uh what is possible but if I  understand what Mike and Mervin and the team uh of

26:52 developers say anything is possible because it’s  really done with WordPress coding standard out you

26:58 can hook things into it yeah yeah so it’s so it’s  fully flexible in in in every single way what I

27:05 really like about this is that um so for the for  the longest time um you if you have a WordPress

27:12 account sorry a wordpress.org account uh you  have a profile and that profile lives on the

27:18 profiles.wordpress.org slash and then your username  um if you go to that one so in uh you will see

27:28 the the stuff that you do inside the WordPress  ecosystem meaning if you respond to comments on

27:34 the forums if you create a forum post if you go to  an event if you approve translations if you not

27:43 if you go to an event if you organize an event  for now is only for organizers and speakers but not

27:51 for attendees for now and I think the integration  for volunteers is not complete for for now there

28:00 there’s a few badges and stuff that doesn’t work  so you there’s also a badge system and all that but what I was going to say that that whole  profiles.wordpress.org most people don’t know

28:09 but that actually is a BuddyPress installation  exactly and I love BuddyPress and if you don’t know BuddyPress is a um it’s

28:16 essentially a plug-in that allows you to transform  your WordPress site into a Facebook clone it’s

28:21 yeah not exactly but a social network yeah I  love I love BuddyPress it’s actually why it’s

28:27 because of BuddyPress and multisite that I came back  to WordPress in 2011 interesting and I love BuddyPress Exploring BuddyPress and WordPress Community Contributions

28:36 and I I personally know Mathieu iMath yeah um from  Paris who is doing a lot with BuddyPress he is and

28:47 yeah um BuddyPress actually features functionalities  power the profiles as you say yeah yeah there’s

28:55 a lot more integrations going on but um yeah for  example if you publish a photo on on on the photo

29:02 repository WordPress photo repository if you are  a plugin developer if you comment as you said

29:08 on the support forum if you uh if you submit a  translation if you take part in WordPress TV

29:16 training whatever you do a lot of stuff is either  reflected in badges or uh your activity stream on

29:24 um yeah on your on your profile with GatherPress that  would be amazing like attended that that event

29:33 spoke at that event uh for all the Meetup like  I mean all the events and not only for WordCamps

29:40 as it’s the case for now yeah I’m looking at mine  now and there’s things like confirmed as a speaker

29:45 for WordCamp Switzerland 2023 yeah so there’s  you were there with us yes um so it’s it’s um

29:53 this is a little side side step but um uh most  people don’t know how that system system works

29:59 and uh you kind of hinted it to it as well so if  we’re going down this path I’m adding one little bit of information everything whether that’s  on the WordCamp sites or the many WordPress The Technical Backbone of WordPress Community Sites

30:10 sites whether that’s the make.wordpress.org or  profiles.wordpress.org or support sites all of

30:16 those um they live inside a multisite and that  multisite is a has an extra plugin activated

30:24 it’s called networks plus which allows you to  have various networks within a network which is

30:31 a pretty cool feature yeah because wordcamp.org  is a network in itself is all the WordCamp

30:39 websites as a subsite of that network and events  .wordpress.org lives in that one as well yeah and

30:47 now you have all the make sites and everything  else well the the big advantage is that you have uh user user solve for pretty much anything  right so that’s why we can log in with all these

30:57 different on all these different sites with the  same login credentials and stuff like that exactly Anticipating GatherPress: A New Era for WordPress Events

31:02 but um back to you the the the GatherPress is there a  timeline that you’re because you’re waiting for um

31:11 approval yes we are waiting from for an approval  from the leadership of the WordPress project and once

31:20 that is given what is the trajected timeline  so um for the timeline I’m not sure sure but I

31:28 know that um the developers and the GatherPress  team are going to work then with the meta team or

31:35 meta-wordcamp yeah to implement it on the  and will there be a back import of uh Meetup uh

31:45 groups and events and stuff like that or is that  up to the Meetup uh group owners to take care of

31:53 that so that that would first that would be a  pilot program so only uh to test things just

32:01 to see if functionality works yeah so only uh  willing uh groups would be in that test and maybe

32:09 run uh in parallel with meetup.com um but yes uh  I said before there there is or there will be um

32:18 not there is actually it’s developed an addon to  import so that would I think that would be taken

32:25 care by the Meta team uh with an API to connect  to meetup.com and import import events that exists

32:34 for that group in on on meetup.com nice um yeah  that so that makes it a a a full system pretty

32:43 much taking care of everything that we need in in  the events so translation days obviously are one

32:49 of those things that will be added as well are  there other so you have meetups you have WordCamps and since we’re playing with different  formats of different types of uh events do you

33:00 know anything about that as well um I guess the  WordCamps would stay as they are now as as well as

33:07 new type of events because now it’s all for a  certain period of time since last year it was

33:14 called NextGen NextGen events now it’s um mixed  with WordCamps is all type of events but there with

33:23 Gatherress it would be more for the format that we  are using meetup.com so um really as an alternative

33:31 to to meetup.com so it means all the local meetups  all the the workshops that training team is uh is

33:39 doing and so other formats I think the the hackathons  do_actions and the Translation days are

33:49 organized like WordCamps so that would be on on  the WordCamp network multisite on the WordCamp site yeah I guess The Journey to GatherPress and Community Impact

33:57 all right it I’m a big fan how did you get to this  uh project cause you said I’m not a developer maybe

34:05 asked another question first what exactly do you  do with WordPress so okay so this maybe I reply

34:10 later because it’s funny actually I I had an issue  with Meetup interface and it’s not different it

34:21 was not the first time and in December I posted a  kind of a a rant on um in Slack on the Community

34:30 team or Community Event Channel yeah and because  a friend that told me you know there are people

34:37 working on a project so maybe it’s called GatherPress  and maybe one day it will come to the to to

34:45 the network yeah so I had um I had had a look  who are the project leads and I remember Mike

34:53 Mike Auteri so in my rant were people replied you know  oh I understand yes I relate yes I we have that

35:02 kind of issue as well and stuff like that and I  tagged Mike and I said maybe I we should include

35:08 Mike to our conversation and then Mike jumped  in and said you are all welcome to our weekly

35:16 meetings weekly weekly huddles and I joined the  same day because then the next one was like 90

35:22 minutes later so I joined and and they said yeah  yes indeed we need people who are not developers

35:29 and especially what I was told after what was  that I was like very useful for having uh the

35:39 eye of the user yeah uh not the developer only and  also to move forward with that proposal because

35:48 they have been talking about that for a long time  but it was necessary to have like someone who put

35:54 some energy on on the proposal I did a a demo  video as well I did the I checked the intern-

36:03 internationalization so I could report to them  this cannot this is not translatable for now so

36:10 wherever there was something uh that I could not  translate so I did that and the POT files because

36:17 for now it’s in the now March 4, 2024 it’s uh still  being reviewed um by the plugin uh team yeah to

36:28 be added to the official the the repository the  plugin repository so until it’s there it cannot be

36:34 translated obviously on translate.wordpress.org but once  it’s there it will be possible but for now we wanted

36:41 to have several languages added before to to  propose so we had we had some people translating

36:48 to uh so me to French someone translated in the  four German locals so German German formal I mean

36:57 we yes German from Switzerland so I did French  um and we had also Spanish and Catalan and I

37:05 think what what what I brought to the project is  also because I know a lot of people so I could reach out to many people say hey do you want  to help and oh I think you have a um a super

37:16 crucial role I hear the the comment a lot from  people saying I am not a developer meaning uh

37:25 well what they generally mean with with that is  uh I don’t have any big impact because I don’t

37:30 actually write the software uh I think that’s  a fallacy I think the uh the people around the

37:35 developers actually one help make the developer  shine uh but also um there’s so many different

37:43 ways that you can contribute to the project  that uh I don’t I don’t believe that sort of

37:50 self-diminishing type of language should be there I know it’s very normal  to think like that but thank you for saying this because indeed people think

38:02 I have nothing to add but it’s it’s really wrong and  also uh for me because I know a lot of people if

38:09 there is something something that so a question  if I don’t know how to do it or to solve it at

38:16 least usually I know someone who does so that’s  also a strength because when I did the draft for

38:23 the proposal I sent a DM to a lot of people to if  you have time please go comment on the draft and

38:32 that was really helpful because we had a lot of  feedback even things that we had not think about

38:38 and from experienced people from the community so  yeah that’s that’s uh that’s that good to to have

38:46 you know is it is and also ah I forgot now okay  go on no I was going to say if that concludes

38:54 that answer I’m really curious for the other one  the other answer like you said that comes later oh


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