WPATX Meet-up Notes — Feb 7, 2012 — Hosted by CoSpace
2011 was a great year for the Austin WordPress Meetup. We’ve seen our numbers grow, with the attendance for our meet-ups at capacity almost every month. Since adding the Hands-On WordPress Beginners meet-ups, we are seeing new folks discovering the Wonderful World of WordPress every month. Over the past year, Austin WordPress Founder, Pat Ramsey, has expanded the WPATX leadership team to include Nick Batik, Sandi Batik and Jackie Dana. Nick is helping Pat with the WPATX general meet-ups and Jackie and Sandi are the organizers for our WPATX Beginners meet-ups.
The Austin WordPress group started with seven guys around a table at the Halcon Coffee House. It soon graduated to handful of people sitting around several tables at the old Gingerman. Maybe it took the lure of great beer to draw the interest of WP Dev’s of the female persuasion to the group. Pat soon lead his growing band to Conjunctured Coworking Space, but we quickly out-grew that facility. Eventually Pat settled his ‘Happy Pressers’ into Cospace, where we currently host 50 to 60 folks twice a month. WPATX is now 870 members strong, with two sold-out meet-ups a month. Austin WordPress Meet-ups has grown into a welcoming, diverse and rich community of WordPress enthusiasts and developers. Pat thought this meet-up would be a good opportunity brainstorm what we want the future of WPATX to look like.
The Hands-On WordPress Beginners meet-ups (the second meet-up of the month) will move from second Tuesdays of the month to the fourth Tuesdays of the month. Scheduling against Refresh Austin made it very hard to get presenters — ’cause, well, we all wanted to go hang out with the other web developers at Buffalo Billiards.
Tonight’s Meet-up in Review
- Who is WordPress Austin?
- Where are we going?
- How can we improve things? What can we do that’s different? What do people want to see?
Who are we?
- WordPress Austin established March 2007
- 880 members through the WordPress Austin group on Meetup.com (meeting announcements)
- 307 members on the WP Austin Google Group (discussion and questions about WordPress)
- 2 meetups a month: 1st and 4th Tuesdays
- This website: wpaustin.com
Website could be improved:
- Allow registration on website
- Give registered users profile pages
- Weekly roundup of what members are writing on their blogs
- Continue with postings of meetup summaries
Your ideas? Let The Brainstorming Begin…
These are some ideas that came out of our discussion, as people brought them up. It’s a rough list to be sure. Please add your own ideas or feedback on these in the comments for this post.
- All of our ideas on the google group don’t get searched by google in a way that’s searchable outside of the group. Would be great to have the discussion archived under WP Austin. However, the google group option does allow nice functionality including search functions, email or web access. How best to handle this?
- Videotape meetings and post on website; registered members can view. Also livestreaming. We have been livestreaming many of our meetings but some still need to be posted. We need to make sure the links to slideshows, videos etc get posted on the WP Austin site.
- How do we generate meet-up topics? Could we use the website to generate ideas/wishlists?
- Can we do an annual survey for topics and presenter wish lists?
- Discussion forum? Needs development time, moderation.
- What are the goals of the organization? Maybe we need to consider this question…
- We like the idea user/member created content. Build an audience for our topics/conversations on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Do we want original blog posts from members or do we link to other blogs?
- We can build up the WP Austin group and our reputation.
- We don’t publicize our site. Our online presences (google group, WP Austin, meet-up, etc is spread apart and not connected). How do we fix these things and tie everything together? Need to bring content channels together.
- Can we get away from Google Groups?
- Code snippets, tips
- Places to volunteer!!
- Blog AND Forum
- What is uniquely WordPress Austin? What can we offer that isn’t just reinventing the wheel?
- Burning question list… what do we want someone to answer?
- Resource database and Q&A
- Voting on what topics do we want, opportunities to break away to do smaller topics; really important for the user to make decisions and steer the direction of the site, the meetups. We have a great and vital community!
- Membership directory – put that into profiles, everyone can put their specialties in their profile; needs to be searchable
- Don’t forget the beginners!! Beginners’ corner of website?
- Open mic night… membership all contributes ideas on a topic, such as plugins, themes, etc. Five minute presentations on how to solve problems, etc.
- If we bring in new content, we need to be able to index it in an effective and agreed-upon tagging system
Please use the WP Austin Google Group to discuss these ideas more! And if you weren’t at the meet-up, feel free to chime in!
This is a VERY BIG WISH LIST!
If WPATX is going to grow, it needs folks willing to VOLUNTEER their time. We need help for even the small stuff like setting up and taking down the tables and chairs for the meeting. We have to leave the room the way Cospace left it. We need volunteers to take meeting notes and post them, we need web scribes and photographers. We need sponsors for soft drinks and goodies. If the group wants livestreaming, then we need someone willing to do live streaming. If you have a skill or time WPATX needs you.
We look forward to seeing you at a WPATX meet-up soon.