WordPress Global Communities

Attendees:

Andrea Middleton, Takayuki, Remkus, Katia, Eric Mann, Viper, Ze, Xavier, Scribu, JJJ, mitcho (notetaker), Jorge Bernal, Scott, Tenpura

Discussion Notes

The first suggestion for visibility of WordPress as a global solution was to create something like global.wordpress.org, which doesn’t exist right now. Its objectives would be to present how WordPress exists around the world, where the latest localized versions are available and who is involved in which language.

The user profile issue was raised and explained where we’re at by JJJ: it’s originally a project of Automattic, uses BuddyPress and the profile page information is pulled in by feeds. He also mentioned that it’s slow and prone to crashes.

The idea is that all activity, including posts in international forums, translation work and event organizing should go into the wordpress.org profiles.

Zé noted that we are on hold as far as new international forums are concerned until we can figure out how to integrate bbPress (plugin) into the Rosetta sites.

The problem isn’t just one of profiles, however.

There is often the need for a visitor, beginner or not, to be able to look at one of these regions/countries where multiple languages exist, and see what the status is and what the community is like. Right now, if you want to know who’s the Russian person in charge, you have no idea.

Also, translators sometimes feel left out of some decision-making in core, despite being often (if not always) the first contact in local communities. According to Xavier, one of the issues is that many documents (such as WordCamp guidelines, handbooks and so on) are in English.

Translations need to be recognized as equally valuable contributions to core. Some formal liaison maybe necessary; in fact some language communities already have unofficial leaders and liaisons with core or even Andrea. One question was raised if one problem might be that there needs to be an “owner” of a language/local community? Some places have that, others don’t.

Following that, the suggestion was made to have group profiles by region. Zé mentioned that it might not be feasible, as the relationship between languages and countries is not one-to-one, nor is it one-to-many, but rather many-to-many. It would be better to have profiles searchable by region and language.

This all could be helped by having a place for communities to live inside of WordPress.org, as opposed to meetup.com or other solutions. JJJ mentioned that BuddyPress could be used for this.

Rosetta sites: Even though WordPress.org (in English) is now sexier, and the roadmap seems to say that it’ll be even more so, Rosetta sites are three years behind. Cátia made it clear that it is very important to give more freedom to Rosetta administrators; it can be frustrating to not be able to do what you want.

As the discussion veered towards languages, Zé reminded that communities can be different things and most of the time are actually a mix of countries speaking the same language, different languages spoken in the same country and so on. This is not clear to visitors right now. As an example, the ISO code for Georgian inside Georgia (the country), is not the same as the code for Georgian spoken outside the country. This could mean two language communities and one country community ir any combination of those.

Historically, however there seem to be not many formal connections between various communities in different varieties of the same language, e.g. Portuguese from Portugal and Portuguese from Brazil.

Finally, many of the community sites are not on the WordPress.org infrastructure. They may even look like they are, but their domain is mapped. However, to be able release a language pack (and core upgrades), they need to be on xx.wordpress.org (Rosetta).

Forums (or maybe even a P2?) for language/translations, per locale, would be a good place to have discussions for that community. Also, those contributions could feed into a user’s profile. Xavier warned that many communities have totally different sites, and this content archive is important.

Cátia asked the question about the Foundation and transparency and representing WordPress inside a community; what should a community leader do if people don’t follow guidelines? Are there “semi-official” capacities in different places? There seem to be none. Andrea said that right now, in core, we have a team rep system, which is transparent, but none of these people then represent the foundation. A community leader/rep’s importance is determined by the time he puts in, and the better he becomes at his tasks, i.e. “if you’re here (at the summit), it’s because you are perceived as a leader”.What about a team rep system around communities or languages?

Zé suggested there should be a global/international P2/make/forum site, written in English, but global. A place where polyglots can voice their opinions on the global reach of WordPress and how to make it more visible. The Polyglots P2 is not the place to do that as it is where Nacin and Zé deal with technical issues and fix various stuff.

The kinds of questions discussed there should be, for instance:

  • How do we make reps in a region legitimate?
  • Viper: What happens if a community ends up creating a fork? A different looking site?
  • How do we reach out to those communities and make them more legitimate?
  • How do we make reps in a region legitimate?
  • Should we implement voting per language community like for the other team reps? (Cátia and Remkus noted that voting might be different for other cultures)

The general consensus:

  • Having profiles and a make/global site is a good start
  • The other stuff is more about the particular community itself
  • Communities need to be made visible and open
  • Transparency is important
  • “This is how I got to be Nacin” would be very helpful for local communities/international contributors

Summary

  • There were lots of discussions of where international conversations occur, about transparency, and on how to get involved.
  • Profile integration and a make/global, or similar, were seen as a good start
  • There should be more discussions about community structure and legitimacy

Action Items

  • Create make.wordpress.org/global
  • In the long-term: beef up profiles to show who is active in language communities and region communities

(if people want to talk about technical stuff, they should talk to @JJJ)