Showcase Content Moderation Efforts
The Showcase aims to show the world what can be done with WordPress and help demonstrate the capabilities of WordPress as a publishing platform with a vast array of use cases of sites for personal bloggers and small businesses to enterprise companies and national governments.
With efforts made throughout 2022 to highlight the incredible capabilities of the WordPress platform, solidifying its values and identity, many eyes have been drawn to the opportunity that it presents.
WordPress is a brand that many people are unaware of, but interact with daily. Within the WordPress ecosystem, it’s known for its flexibility, popularity, and freedom to own one’s content. From personal blogs to enterprise websites, millions of sites are powered by WordPress. To highlight the power and breadth of the CMS, the project ought to showcase stunning and unique sites from all across the open web. What better way for WordPress to become a household name than to share and celebrate some of those stories?
The showcase represents the best of what’s possible with WordPress. Infinite possibilities of what you can create on the platform. Millions of sites could make it. Great, right? There are already some guidelines in place for submissions. A little more polish through a few updates could have added benefits to the collection. There are lessons from the guidelines for Moderating Photos that can serve as a beneficial example. First, remember that keeping the guidelines flexible and short can encourage people to submit. Second, it would be overly prescriptive to say things ought to be from specific categories or regions. By design, the Showcase should be diverse in every sense.
Knowing what’s worked well for the Project in the past, like the WP Photo Directory, while aligning it to WordPress brand values will make the Showcase one of WordPress’s most valuable marketing and communications assets.
Despite this goal, the existing WordPress.org Showcase has faced long-standing technical and moderation hurdles which made it difficult to keep updated. A variety of discussions about the Showcase’s purpose, design, and moderation are cataloged in Github.
The moderation process is cumbersome, relying heavily on a fragile automation process that has had issues over the years. Editing has been very manual, and elevated editor privileges have created bottlenecks over the years. Revisiting the showcase now should help alleviate some of the issues.
The Showcase receives hundreds of new submissions every year, about a third of which are spam/broken, and many more which do not meet the submission guidelines. Note too that current submission guidelines are open to a lot of interpretation, thus making the entire process of moderating Showcase far more complex than it needs to be.
The Showcase is a valuable asset for the WordPress project and re-starting efforts to keep it current and fresh will surely inspire others of the infinite possibilities of a WordPress-powered website.
A companion post outlining the proposed guidelines for the WordPress Showcase has been posted to the Make Marketing blog. If you want to weigh in and get more involved in revitalizing the showcase, the Make Marketing team looks forward to hearing community voices!