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Want to See a More Diverse WordPress Contributor Community? So Do We.

WordPress.com News -

The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing: to make it possible for anyone — no matter their background, location, or identity — to bring their ideas to life on the internet. This mission inspires thousands of volunteers all over the world to contribute to the WordPress open source project, building and supporting the software that makes this possible. But as in most technology organizations, the people who work on WordPress aren’t always representative of all the people who use WordPress. The majority of WordPress core developers, conference speakers, and other volunteers are young men. That’s where the WordPress Diverse Speaker Training Working Group comes in. Breaking Down Barriers A group of WordPress community organizers and volunteers, led by freelance developer Jill Binder, is working to change this. They’ve developed a workshop that trains women and other people from traditionally underrepresented groups in technology who’d like to present at conferences and WordCamps. These training events are organized by local WordPress meetup groups, and are always completely free of charge. WordPress Vancouver Speaker Training Workshop, 2015 The workshops help attendees address some of the common barriers and fears underrepresented people have around public speaking: “I don’t know what I could speak about.” “I’m not an expert.” “I don’t know how to write a proposal.” “I don’t know how to create a presentation.” “I don’t have any experience speaking in front of groups.” In 2018, the group supported and advised 55 WordPress communities in 26 different countries. New speakers were trained in 12 different WordPress meetup groups in the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela.   All of the communities that held this workshop experienced a real change in the speaker roster for their annual conferences; many of their WordCamps went from having 10% women speakers to having 50% or more women speakers in less than a year. In 2017, Seattle had 60% women speakers and in 2018, Vancouver had 63%. Why WordCamps? Jill Binder, speaking at a WordCamp Speaking at WordCamps is a consistent path to leadership in the WordPress community, so having more diverse speakers directly supports the goal of more diverse leadership in the WordPress open source project. WordCamps are where many WordPress enthusiasts choose to become professionals. When more people see speakers like them on stage and feel welcome in the community, a more diverse group of people participate in the WordPress project. When WordPress events are more diverse, the WordPress project gets more diverse — which makes WordPress better for more people. Help Us Grow This Work Jill kicked off the Diverse Speaker Training Working Group at the beginning of 2018, and dedicated a year to it training facilitators and supporting organizers as an unpaid volunteer. This year, Automattic has signed on as a 50% sponsor of Jill Binder’s diverse speaker outreach and training work. Her work is already making a noticeable impact on the WordPress project, and we want to make this training as accessible as possible to WordCamps globally. Like anything worth doing, this is a marathon and not a sprint — it’ll take time to see a more diverse contributor pool — but we’re dedicated to making sure this necessary groundwork happens. Would you like to help foster diversity across the WordPress project? Automattic invites interested partners to pick up the other 50% of this project’s costs. Get in touch with Jill today!

Celebrating Pride Month with WordPress.com

WordPress.com News -

Happy Pride Month! My favorite parts about celebrating this month are the stories shared from LGBTQ+ folks, their loved ones, and organizations looking to show support. At WordPress.com, we strive to be a platform that democratizes publishing so that anyone can share their stories regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. This month is a great reminder for why we work hard to expand the open web. For me, democratizing publishing means more than just my ability to publish my own story. It’s about being able to share, but also being able to receive. As I celebrate Pride Month as a young, queer person, I think back to early online communities on which I found other LGBTQ+ people and how much I resonated with their stories. I feel lucky to be able to share my own story, but there are many LGBTQ+ folks who can’t. To this end, we wanted to provide resources, inspire, and highlight organizations to support as you celebrate Pride Month in your own way, whether that’s seeking out stories or writing your own. Resources The LGBTQ+ community is vast — I’m part of it, but I’m still learning new things daily. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, make sure you properly represent the community at large when you share your story with the help of these resources:   It Gets Better Project’s GlossaryThe Trevor Project’s GlossaryILGA Europe’s Glossary We know how important it is to find an image that perfectly fits your writing and, since stock-image libraries have historically struggled to represent all experiences, we wanted to share some free image options to ease your search this month: The Gender Spectrum Collection from VicePexels’ Pride ImagesPexels’ LGBT Images Have any resources to recommend? Please share them in the comments below! Part of our company creed is to never stop learning, and I’d love to learn what resources you all have found useful. Tip: Use the #celebratingpride tag to connect with other folks sharing their stories. Here’s more information about using tags. Inspiration from WordPress.com Bloggers If you want to write but are feeling stuck trying to find the words, take some inspiration this month from these writers with strong voices and varied perspectives: CN Lester, the author of Trans Like Me, shares their experience at A Gentleman and a Scholar. Sam Dylan Finch explores queen/trans identity, mental health, and self-care on his personal blog, Let’s Queer Things Up! Blogger and memoirist Lori Duron shares her parenting journey of raising a gender–creative child at Raising My Rainbow.Marlo Mack writes about her experience as a single mom of a transgender daughter at Gendermom. Tip: Make sure to follow these sites so you don’t miss any future posts. Organizations to Support from Around the World In partnership with Out in Tech, volunteers, including some of my awesome colleagues, have worked together over the last few years to create websites for LGBTQ+ organizations around the world. As you look to find organizations to support, remember to think globally, especially considering there are still 73 nations with laws against being LGBTQ+. We hope this list gives you a great place to start: Roopbaan (Bangladesh)Samabhabona (India)Almas Cautivas (Mexico)TransWave Jamaica (Jamaica)TweetIndia (India)Hombres Trans Panamá (Panamá)Russian LGBT Network (Russia)Diversidad Dominicana (Dominican Republic & Carribean)SAIL: Stop Aids in Liberia (Liberia)African Queer Youth Initiative (Across Africa)Rainbow Egypt (Egypt)Rasan (Iraq)The Rustin Fund (USA) Happy WordPress-ing. Happy Pride. For those of you sharing your own stories of being LGBTQ+ in this world, thank you for your bravery and vulnerability. For those of you who can’t share your story, please know that it gets better and that you aren’t alone this month. For those of you seeking out other people’s stories, thank you for being supportive, being open, and seeking to expand your perspective.

Publishing to WordPress from Bear Just Got Better

WordPress.com News -

Sharing is a core part of the iOS experience, and WordPress is committed to helping people share their stories, products, or services freely and widely.  So when the fine folks at Shiny Frog—makers of the excellent writing app Bear—asked for an easier way turn Bear notes into WordPress posts, we enthusiastically said yes. We’ve been working together to create a great publishing experience, and today Bear and WordPress both have app updates that incorporate this latest and greatest integration. Go ahead, give it a try! The Bear and WordPress apps work together seamlessly to turn your note into a fully-formatted blog post. Update your Bear and WordPress apps to make sure you’re using the latest versions.Open Bear, and tap the share icon at the top right of a note.Tap WordPress in the top row of options (learn how to enable app extensions on iOS).The WordPress app will open and prepare a new blog post with the contents of your note, complete with proper formatting of headings, links, formatting, lists, and even photos. To automatically give your blog post a title, make sure your Bear note begins with an H1. You’re all set—the only thing left to do is publish. How we did it If you’re curious about the technical details: our mobile team updated the app to support TextBundle files shared from other apps. On Bear’s end, the app now knows WordPress for iOS supports TextBundle, and automatically shares notes in that format. TextBundle is made for sharing plain text files that include attachments like photos, and since it’s  built on an open standard, other developers can integrate their apps with it. If you’re an app developer looking to improve your WordPress publishing experience, you can start with Shiny Frog’s open source TextBundle library, the same one that’s used in WordPress for iOS. Finally, if you try out this new integration, let us know what you think! Download the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android.

Three New WordPress.com Color Schemes

WordPress.com News -

Your website’s dashboard should be as welcoming to you as your website’s home page is to your visitors. One way to do that? Customize your WordPress.com dashboard with color schemes. Today, you’ve got three new options for adding a little behind-the-scenes zing: introducing Powder Snow, Nightfall, and Sakura, designed especially for you by our Art Director, Eriko Kawakami. Whether you prefer the gentle monotone of Powder Snow, the darker and soothing colors of Nightfall, or the vibrant, cherry-blossom-inspired Sakura, we hope you’ll find a look you love. As part of our commitment to inclusive design, the new palettes are optimized for contrast and increased legibility. Whichever color scheme you choose, your dashboard will be stylish and readable. Here’s how to customize your color scheme: On your desktop, sign in to the WordPress.com account that you’d like to customize.Click your account avatar in the upper right corner.Select Account SettingsSelect one of the options under Dashboard Color Scheme Click Save Account Settings to apply the change My dashboard, using the Nightfall color scheme. More color schemes are coming, and we want your feedback! What colors do you want to see in your WordPress.com dashboard?

WordPress.com’s Parent Company Announces Happy Tools, a New Suite of Products for the Future of Work

WordPress.com News -

Distributed teams, different geographies, and complex dynamics are redefining the modern workday. Soon, “job perks” like flexible hours and work-from-anywhere will become table-stakes benefits that every company needs to offer to stay competitive. WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic has long been ahead of this curve, growing a global software company of more than 850 people across 68 countries with no central office. Along the way, we’ve found that many business products are still locked into old assumptions about how a company runs, so we had to build our own internal tools to work the way we want. Now, we’re making these tools available to like-minded companies who need a better way to work. Today Automattic is announcing Happy Tools, a suite of products for the future of work. Each product in Happy Tools has been used internally at Automattic to grow our company. The suite is launching with Happy Schedule, a new take on workforce management. Designed to handle the complexities that come up when business goals are planned around real-world schedules, it helps you treat your employees like humans instead of resources. Using Happy Schedule, Automattic is able to plan 24/7 customer support while offering flexible working hours to our 300+ Happiness Engineers spanning many timezones. Happy Schedule helps you meet coverage goals across a distributed team. Happy Schedule is just the start. Over the coming years Automattic will release more of its internal applications into Happy Tools, with smart integrations between the products that make them even better when used together. We hope that by offering Happy Tools, even more forward-thinking companies will be able to move to a new way of working with customer support, internal communication, and people-management. You can get a 30-day free trial of Happy Tools when you sign up for a Happy Schedule demo at https://happy.tools.

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