I was unable to attend today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup but there was good representation and a lot was covered. Mika wrote a really good amount of material and sent it to the wp-forums list. I also wanted to thank @Ipstenu for driving the meetup but it’s really more than that.
Mika? You’re fantastic and inspiring. Some days volunteer work (any work) can be a drag so if that happens just read this: Thank you for everything you do. It’s really appreciated.
The Troubleshooting Handbook
Much of the Break/Fix site is now imported into the Troubleshooting Hanbdbook
This is a work in progress please feel free to volunteer content. This remains a great idea.
Sock Puppetry is when one person (or company) makes duplicate accounts to either troll others or bump their own plugin or theme. It’s not cool and those new accounts get blocked when found and their posts deleted.
When a moderator comes across that and it’s related to a plugin author then please notify the plugin team at plugin [at] wordpress.org with the details. If a theme author is doing that then I think you can ping the theme reviewers list.
I don’t think I’ve come across a theme author engaging in sock puppetry myself. You can always notify the wp-forums list if you’re not sure.
How to Pick Moderators and some Handbook Cleanup
Mika wrote a good and lengthy email to the wp-forums list and I’m going to include that here in today’s update.
Since this DOES get asked now and then, we banged around an idea to not so much formalize the process, but explain what’s going on.
That said, before I get to the new thing I’d like to add, I’ve fixed the structure of the handbook so we have forum moderation under the ‘Contributing to the WP Forums’ section. I also cleaned up a lot of the stuff that was in the “I …” format, since that was from my emails ages ago, and needed updating. I also consolidated some pages and added a couple new ones.
Added: Rule 6: You’re here to help people, not preach about right and wrong.
Added: We have guidelines, not rules, for a reason: guidelines should be followed, rules <em>must</em> be followed. Never let the literalness of the guideline override your common sense. After all, we’re here to help people, not build a wall to keep people out.
Added a reminder: We don’t like to call it bozing in public (even on this list) becuase it’s 99.99999% of the time taken the worst way possible. Try to call it b-tagging, and never ever EVER tell them they were bozo’d, tell them their account was set to require moderator approval on posts.
If you’re interested in being a forum moderator, that’s awesome! We don’t have a formalized process for getting new mods, but here’s how we handle it:
We’re a team. We pick people we feel will work well with the current members, uphold the high level of support and friendliness of the forums, contribute with no adverse ulterior motive, and be a polite member of the forums in the face of raging anger.
What do we mean by ‘adverse ulterior motive’? It’s actually pretty simple.
- Contributing to the forums to help people while learning more about WordPress is good.
- Posting replies only to get people to use your plugin/service/product is NOT good.
- Using your moderator powers to determine a poster is hosted by your company, and asking them to contact you/your company is good.
- Using your moderator powers to get a poster’s email address to contact THEM about your product/service is NOT good.
- Asking to be a mod because you’ve been tagging posts for spam cleanup, email/personal information/passwords removal, and make sticky posts for major issues is good.
- Asking to be a mod because it will make you contribute more is NOT good.
If you can’t tell, the idea here is to do good for the sake of doing good. It’s not that we’re looking for people who have no higher aspirations, it’s that the aspiration we’re looking for is very self evident when it exists. And certainly you don’t have to be altruistic about WordPress to be a moderator. Some of us are encouraged by our companies to volunteer, in order to help the community. But that’s really the point. We’re looking for people whose goal matches ours: Make WordPress better for everyone.
Not being asked doesn’t mean you lack those qualities, however, nor does it mean we feel you’re a bad person. There is no magical combination of actions to be picked as a mod, and many people, even those who ask about being one, are surprised the day that they’re asked if they’d like to be one. The reason is that the absolute best moderators are the ones who are just going to do what they do, regardless of formal recognition. They see something that needs doing, and they do it.
And THAT is what we look for.
Mika A Epstein (aka Ipstenu)
The transcript of today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup can be read at this link.