Heya community team. Here’s some news.

@andreamiddleton and I are going to be transitioning out of our WordPress.org community roles over the rest of the calendar year. We love what we do and the people in the community, but after years of being referees, counselors, leaders, and guides, it’s time for a change. We think this will be good both for us and for the community, since it’s gives a great opportunity to assess how we’ve been doing things and to re-configure some processes to be better.

As you know, we’ve been trying to de-centralize a lot of things that the two of us have been directly overseeing for a while now, and empowering community volunteers to lead various programs is really exciting in tons of ways. That said, we’ll probably need more people to get involved in the various ‘clone Andrea’ projects, and we haven’t even started to clone me yet. To that end…

Cami will continue in her role as a .org community organizer (and will make sure all your WC/meetup bills get paid!), but let’s face it, this is a large community and things come up. Until we can see how the cloning experiment and the new policy/process shifts pan out, leaving Cami on her own to handle things would be mean, so Automattic is going to hire someone on contract to work with Cami for a couple of months as a community organizer and help figure out the new lay of the land. My guess is that this will wind up turning into a full-time job, but who knows? That’s part of the excitement of change, you never know what will happen. 🙂

So what does this mean for the team?

  • We’ll be spending the next month and a half trying to get as much information out of our heads and into documentation so that our collective 10 years of institutional memory doesn’t leave when we do.
  • We’ll spend the next month and a half trying to wrap up projects we’re on and/or pass them on to a new project leader/deputy.
  • We need more deputies (I like deputies better than clones). The first batch of clones are awesome, but there aren’t very many, and the key to keeping volunteers engaged is to make sure they don’t burn out.
  • We don’t want anyone to take on too much or burn out, so we want lots of deputies. Experienced WC/meetup organizers are really the only people we’ll consider deputizing. New-to-contributing volunteers just won’t have the necessary background.
  • You can help us identify all the stuff we need to pull out of our brains and pass on to you. I’ve created a page where you can add suggestions for things we should document. Just add your ideas in the comments, and we’ll go through it weekly to add to our to-do list (and we’ll put the to-do list in the body of the page to track what we’ve completed and link to it).
  • By the time we get to January, we will have handed off all our day-to-day responsibilities to various deputies and teams, but we know things will still come up that might require us. At that point we’ll plan to set aside a few hours a week (probably in the form of office hours on the community team chat day?) to be available to the team to answer questions, give advice, weigh in, whatever — kind of like an advisory board — for the first few months.
  • If anyone is interested in applying for the job, check out the job description. Our goal is to take applications for 2 weeks, do a 2 week trial in December before the holidays to find the right person, and have the contract start at the beginning of January.

Thank you to everyone here who has made our jobs wonderful over the past years: you are all exceptional contributors, pure of heart and with more competence than we could shake a stick at. We know you’ll do amazing things as you take the reins.

#community-management