Bisset has helped organize WordCamp Miami, meetups, and other events for more than a decade. He has accumulated a large store of knowledge, resources, and experience managing all the minutiae of conference organization. The first edition of the newsletter includes tips on badge design, lanyards, dealing with rejection as a speaker applicant, communicating special diet requests, and other miscellaneous topics. He is intentionally keeping the focus broad and not limiting it to WordPress events.
Bisset said he decided to go the newsletter route, as opposed to creating a blog, because he was inspired by some developers experimenting with the same format. Newsletters tend to get mixed into an inbox management routine and are more likely to receive attention than websites that broadcast their posts to social media.
“Perhaps with busy lives people are appreciating small emails,” Bisset said. “For some it’s hard to keep checking a website and I think people are avoiding social media (or filtering it down). So email once again is becoming a good solution for delivering tips, especially if the emails are short and happen once a week.”
Bisset said the email format is an experiment, since the website is updated with the newsletter information anyway. He plans to evaluate after a month to see if more people are visiting the website versus opening the emails.
The newsletter has already received some feedback that Bisset plans to implement, such as separating the tips that work best for small events, like meetups, and larger conference-type events.
WordCamp US announced last week that it will host a dedicated track for community-related topics, such as meetups, diversity, inclusion, and kids camps. Bisset said he sees this as a significant development in support of community members and event leaders.
“Community is the biggest strength of WordPress itself,” Bisset said. “Many people have asked for and needed some direction, tips, or general knowledge on how to better run meetups, contributor days, WordCamps, and kid’s events. I think we’ve also seen over the past year or two some communication problems in the community itself, and I think addressing all of these things on a national stage like WCUS leads us down the road of educating people on how to improve our interactions with fellow community members. Those members could be fellow organizers, fellow contributors, or just anyone that we interact with – regardless of their gender, background, or age.”