Now we have a sustainability channel in Making WordPress Slack, what should we do?

At WCEU 2022, Nora Ferreirós from the Spanish WordPress community, asked Matt and Josepha about their thoughts on supporting sustainability concerns within the community. Matt suggested setting up a new sustainability channel in the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. group, and there are now over 100 people in that channel! Josepha is open to discuss suggestions of specific issues that can be addressed.

This is fantastic progress! It demonstrates a growing interest in the WordPress community to come together and discuss sustainability concerns, both at leadership and community level. 

There are many questions worth addressing around this, especially as sustainability and maintaining the WordPress project are complex topics.

But before we dive into the specifics, perhaps it is best to take a moment to visualise what a sustainable WordPress community might actually be?

What are the tools, behaviours and systems we could co-create? What does being a member of a sustainable WordPress community feel like? What do other communities looking into ours observe? What are the things we want to move away from that hamper our progress to becoming more sustainable?

We wish to ignite a conversation about the art of the possible.

In the words of William Arthur Ward “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”

We invite contributors from the whole WordPress community to share their visions for what we could do together: what does a truly sustainable WordPress community look like to you?

Let’s allow ourselves to dream big!

What can I do?

Start by being part of a WordPress community who openly discusses and actively works on sustainability issues. 

Leave a comment on this post to share or link to your thoughts on what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU,

If you want to do more, join the sustainability Slack channel to take the conversation within the community further:

  • build on and discuss the visions shared by others;
  • contribute ideas on what we should do next;
  • share other sustainability work in the WordPress space that you find interesting.

 Here’s how to sign up to WordPress Slack.

You could also contribute to the on-going work of the performance team.

A few prompts to help you think about your vision

If you’re new to considering what a sustainable future might be like for WordPress, that’s ok. You’re not alone. We’re all exploring new possibilities here, and that’s the point. As a person new to this realm you are the perfect person to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table! Everyone is welcome to share their vision for what the future could be.

Here are a few prompts to get you going.

How can we help people understand what sustainability truly is?

  • Decarbonisation is often described interchangeably with sustainability. But decarbonisation is only one aspect of what needs to happen to create a truly sustainable future. This confusion leads many people to believe the only way you can make digital technologies more sustainable is by focusing on performance gains that reduce electricity consumption. The reality is this is just one aspect of what is possible. What else is possible?
  • There are many approaches to improving sustainability, some of which can be done in a way that respects the rights of people to thrive, and some of which abuse those. How can we communicate these ideas?
  • Many people still do not see sustainability as a positive move and may feel it would compromise their ability to grow a business effectively or innovate and push WordPress forward. How can we change perceptions of how a greener future for WordPress will benefit all of us?

How can we embrace the diversity of the WordPress community?

A sustainable future is one that embraces everyone’s differences and similarities.

  • The people that make up the WordPress community are multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary. Sustainability will mean different things in different contexts. For example sustainability in the Global South might feel very different for someone in the Global North. How can we embrace a diversity of viewpoints and celebrate that?
  • The WordPress community manifests both physically, through WordCamps and meetups, as well as digitally through the software and documentation we produce. What are the tools we might build, the resources we could create and the conversations we could start that would benefit all our different manifestations?

Acknowledgements

The WordPress community isn’t new to working on sustainability issues. In fact Josepha mentioned that back in 2019 a group of people came to talk to her about the topic. 

We’d like to acknowledge the work done by Abha Thakor, for leading an informal sustainability group, and the recently created performance team for working hard at optimizing the software. These are great pillars to build on.

We look forward to seeing what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU. Share your thoughts below.

——–

Post written collaboratively by @hanopcan, @littlebigthing, @noradriana, @nahuai and @Thijs Buijs

#sustainability

Proposal to remove spam/dormant Five for the Future pledges

Last fall Andrea wrote about several challenges with the Five for the Future website that are preventing it from fulfilling its intended purpose. I’d like to start working on the first challenge of addressing spam or dormant pledges.

The Challenge

Many of the pledges have no recent activity on their profiles, or none at all; many only have personal activity (maintaining a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party in the directory, asking for help in the support forums, etc); and many don’t participate in the Making WP SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/., where contributors primarily coordinate.

That inaccuracy weakens the value of sincere and active pledges. It also makes it difficult and impractical for team representatives to use the pledge lists to recruit contributors for projects. The lists for Core and Community have over 1,300 and 1,400 people respectively, many of whom seemingly have not contributed, are unlikely to contribute, and/or are inconvenient to contact.

Proposal

To help surface active pledges, I’m proposing that we email all pledged 5ftF companies to request that they review, update, and confirm pledged contributors, teams, and hours. If they do not confirm within a reasonable period of time, their pledge would be removed.

Longer term, 5ftF could better identify and credit both code and non-code contributions. That would also help to keep pledges up to date.

To do this, we could automatically detect contribution based on Profile activity, and automatically remove pledges from folks who haven’t contributed in the past 6 months. In order to do that accurately, though, we’ll have to start crediting more non-code contributions, which often aren’t reflected on Profiles.

To track those, each team could request an activity that’s important to them, such as writing documentation; making changes to a Figma mockup; moderating a WPTV video; etc. We could also add a few things that cover all teams, like attending a Slack meeting, and giving/receiving props in the #props channel on Slack.

Once those are added to Profiles, then we could add an automated task to the 5ftF site which would examine all pledges every day. For those who haven’t contributed in 6 months, we’d un-publish their pledge, and send them a polite email to let them know. If removing them was a mistake, or they’d like to start contributing again, they can contact their team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts.. Teams reps will be able to re-publish their pledge.

Feedback

What do you think of this proposed next step? Are there problems that aren’t addressed, ways to improve it, or is there a better idea altogether? Please reply before March 31st.

+make.wordpress.org/updates/

#five-for-the-future