Two weeks ago, I highlighted a WordPress plugin that displays upcoming WordCamps in the Dashboard. I’ve recently discovered that the WordPress Community team is working on an official plugin that does something similar called Nearby WordPress Events.
The plugin attempts to detect a user’s location and displays upcoming events within the WordPress News dashboard widget. Events include WordCamps and Meetups from Meetup.com. If the location detected is incorrect, users can click the pencil icon and change it to their city and state.
Nearby WordPress Events Dashboard Widget
The bottom of the widget includes links to the WordPress Meetups landing page, WordCamp schedule, and the official WordPress news blog. If your site has multiple users, each one can configure the widget to display events near their locations.
According to Ian Dunn, the API includes any meetups that are within a 100 kilometer radius. For WordCamps, the radius is 350 kilometers.
Here is what the radius looks like for WordPress Meetups.
US WordPress Meetup Radius
Here is what the radius looks like for WordCamps.
US WordCamp Radius
The distances can not be modified but, depending on feedback, they can be increased to be more accommodating.
WordCamp data is gathered using an API endpoint on WordPress.org. The initial HTTP request is performed asynchronously so it doesn’t affect page loading times. The response is cached for 12 hours to avoid making unnecessary requests.
The WordPress Community team created the plugin to generate more awareness of WordPress events.
“The community that has been created around WordPress is one of its best features, and one of the primary reasons for its success, but many users are still unaware that it exists, and aren’t taking advantage of all of the resources that it makes available to them,” Dunn said.
“Inviting more people to join the community will help to increase its overall health, diversity, and effectiveness, which in turn helps to ensure that WordPress will continue to thrive in the years to come.
“We think that wp-admin is the perfect place to display these events, because that’s the place where almost all WordPress users are visiting already. Instead of expecting them to come to us, we can bring the relevant information directly to them.”
I tested the plugin on WordPress 4.8 Alpha and didn’t encounter any issues. Users can report bugs on the plugin’s support forums or create an issue on the project’s GitHub page. If you test the plugin, let us know what you think in the comments.