Proposal: What’s next for the Outreach program

Following the post Evolving the FSE Outreach Program, there was a transition period of six months after the 6.4 release and the end of Phase 2. Now let’s discuss what could happen after this period. 

This post recommends the next steps. Before that, some clarification of terms might be in order: 

  • Site builder = No code/low code user who builds sites for others
  • Extender: Developers/designers who build plugins and themes or work for agencies or as freelance developers/designers.

Because site builders and Extenders regularly intersect, the channel’s content and discussions will be relevant to both groups of users. 

A good first step could be to rename the channel from #fse-outreach-experiment to #outreach, as it will be about more than FSE, and no longer an experiment. 

Several projects could use SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at support in the WordPress space for discussion, clarification, and overall ruminating on future features coming to WordPress. A list of discussions, sharing, and information that could be shared in the channel follows. None of them are exclusive, but they made the list because they don’t necessarily fit other channels. 

The ideas also don’t warrant a separate channel, but all ideas come from knowing that non-contributors need to connect with contributors. As noted in comments on the previous post, a clear outcome of the FSE Outreach program was that connecting in this channel facilitated participants’ first contributions and lowered the barrier to connecting with the open-source project. 

  1. The channel is a place for attendees and viewers of regular Developer Hours to connect with presenters. The discussion could cover the event’s topic beyond the live event. The same is true for the Hallway Hangouts. Resources for both events will be shared in the channel.
  1. Once the Test team, or any other team, issues a new call for testing, the feedback would be surfaced here in a conversation about challenges and to help answer questions.
  1. There might be a breaking change in an upcoming release that needs attention from extenders.The channel can provide space for additional discussion on workarounds, etc.
  1. Excerpts from the Dev Chat agenda/summary of the user-facing updates from contributors can be shared, if they are relevant for site builders and extenders.
  1. The channel can subscribe to the What’s New for Developers round-up posts feed, so posts are shared upon publishing.
  1. In collaboration with design and engineering teams, discussion from GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. and TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. can be raised in the channel to solicit input from those interested in the topics.
  1. The outreach channel is also the place to point people to from other networks (X, Mastodon, or Facebook) when there is a need to discuss issues/topics that are outside the scope of the Support team and require a WordPress space to get a few people in from other teams involved. 
  1. The channel could also be a resource for MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. Organizers who have questions or need advice on facilitating local discussions about upcoming features. 

Independent of the list of activities, the #outreach (working title) Slack channel will continue as a central point of contact with the community.

This can only be a group endeavor if we want to broaden the reach and be a welcoming place for people interested in particular focuses of the software. Quite a few people raised their hands to be part of a continuation of the outreach program, be it to participate in discussions or to follow future calls for testing. If you are interested, please let us know in the comments! 

All feedback on this proposal is welcome. Here is a set of questions that could get you started: 

  1. Naming things is hard, so what do you think about the future name “outreach”? Any other ideas for a name? 
  2. What do you think about the eight ideas shared about what a conversation might look like in the channel? 
  3. Do you have any other ideas for community outreach that could have a place here? 

Feedback by February 12th would be appreciated. 

Nick Diego, Justin Tadlock, and I would like to invite contributors to a Hallway Hangout on February 20th, 2024, at 15:00 UTC to discuss this proposal, the comments, and the next steps. 

Props for review and input to @ndiego,@greenshady, @angelasjin, and @cbringmann.