Suggesting, Volunteering, and Making a Process Here

As @andrea_r posted, we had a chat about possibilities for this group. She’s going to head up the Welcome Wagon project, and posted some of the things we discussed there. In addition to suggestions about things that could be done, though, we need volunteers. It’s a given that there are a million great ideas that would improve the project and the experience of contributing to it.

What’s not a given is that there are enough hours in the day for a handful of people (many of whom are volunteers with day jobs, families, and other responsibilities to juggle) to make all these things happen — especially since most things are not as trivial to implement as most people assume. In reality, most suggestions that come in have been made before, have been discussed, and are either waiting on implementation because of a lack of warm bodies to do the work, or have been rejected for some reason.

We have traditionally sucked at making suggestion follow-up transparent, and need to do better (that’s part of the hope with team reps). That said, the handful of people who get suggestions and requests lobbed at them 24/7 aren’t servants, and shouldn’t be treated as such.

To that end, when commenting with a suggestion, I’ll ask that commenters on this blog follow the same rule I used to use for the core team scoping posts: if you make a suggestion, include whether or not you are willing to help with the work to make it a reality if the suggestion is accepted, and if so, indicate how much time you have to give to the project.

So moving forward, try not to say, “I think think it would be great if you did [idea],” but instead say, “I think it would be great if we did [idea]. I [describe the skills you have that you can use to make this idea happen] and I can give about [say how much time you can give to working on this project].” It’s also okay to make a suggestion you’re not willing to help with (or don’t have the skills for), but you should still give this information.

Examples of what not to say:

You should have a prancing unicorn on every make site to welcome people, like a modern-day Clippy.

Make the Showcase better, it’s lame.

You should make it so profiles show all the activity people have at community events.

Examples what would be better:

We should have a prancing unicorn on every make site to welcome people, like a modern-day Clippy. I’m willing to help with this, and have the necessary JavaScript/CSS skills. I could throw about 20 hours at this over the next couple of weekends.

The Showcase would be better if someone weeded out the sites that have changed and aren’t Showcase-worthy anymore. I’m not a coder, but I could contribute an hour or two a week to moderating this if someone else made a form or something so people could report sites that should be removed.

It would be great if wordpress.org profiles showed WordCamp and meetup activity. I don’t want to be involved in the project to make this happen, just wanted to make a suggestion.

This will help us move forward faster, and create more actionable comments since they’ll have more context. Thanks!