Support Team Community Summit 2017 Summary

Getting More Support Contributors

@bethannon1 is now our official Volunteer Coordinator, and she’ll be taking point welcoming new volunteers to our support community. We have received a fair amount of negative feedback about our “somewhat robotic” handbook links for new channel joiners, so instead, Bet will now be reaching out to new joiners directly with a more personal welcome.

A new Forum Welcome (now live), which will be far less guidelines-based than the current Forum Welcome, will be a huge help here too. We will maintain a separate page for the guidelines (also now live).

Later on, we’ll be exploring adding some sort of call to join the meetings which appears to WordPress.org users after a certain number of support replies, and also email notifications to plugin/theme developers when their support forums fill up.

As for meetings, let’s open them with a note to clarify that everyone watching is welcome to participate, and on low-agenda days include community-building items like “What cool things have you done with WordPress?”

We’re taking steps to become a more international community overall, rather than separate communities of separate languages. To start off, we’ll be referring to the “English Forums” as the “International Forums” from here on out. We’ll no longer immediately redirect questions asked in other languages. Instead, try to answer them yourself in your native language if you can successfully translate the question. If you can’t do that, and the question goes unanswered for more than a day, use the pre-defined reply under “Non-English Support Request”. In the future, we’ll add language tagging once tagging is fixed so that we can tag topics without replying to them.

As for meetings, all languages are now welcome. We all know how to use translators, so we should allow everyone to participate in their own native languages. Additionally, sarcasm and cliches don’t translate well, so we should avoid those from now on.
We won’t be getting rid of specific locales, participation in the overall International Forums and meeting is only a recommendation.

@bethannon1 will also be taking the lead on organizing monthly volunteer orientations, geared as both an introduction for new volunteers and a reminder for established volunteers. They will cover a training-like Handbook walkthrough, sample questions with group answers and feedback, and an overview of cultural tone differences when it comes to English.

We’ll also be planning monthly plugin/theme support workshops, led by representatives from some very recognizable names in the WordPress community (a different one each month). The workshops will be held at a time that is comfortable for the leader and cover how they provide support for their plugins/themes. The first such workshop has been scheduled for August 23.

Support Style Guide

After a good discussion, we decided not to pursue a style guide. Instead, best practices will be conveyed as part of the monthly volunteer orientations and plugin/theme support workshops.

We also plan to encourage collaboration via Slack when an issue could be between two items (conflicting plugins and/or themes for example), and may consider exploring joining Slack as a requirement for having a plugin or theme hosted at WordPress.org.

The remainder of this session was largely a re-hash of the plugin/theme support workshops that we discussed in a previous session, including how we’d schedule them (that will be up to each person running each session) and how we’d announce them (on the applicable Make P2s and hopefully get some help from WP news sites).

Remaining Forum Fixes

We managed to knock down our previous very large list of things we miss from bbPress 1 and new things we need down to this much smaller (and far more possible to complete) list sorted by priority:

  1. Allow moderators to add notes to users – 2272 (Finished)
  2. All w.org users should be able to report posts or topics – 1956 (Bring back ability to add a tag (including the special “”modlook”” tag to flag issues for moderator attention) without having to add a reply, as was the case in bbPress 1. Fixing this would also allow posts in languages other than English to be specially tagged for polyglot volunteers.)
  3. Forum RSS Feed Issues – 2204 (There are multiple issues in this ticket, Meta – please let Support know if any items should be split out into separate tickets. Especially important: include replies in RSS Feeds, include plugin & theme name in subject (as in bbPress 1). @sergeybiryukov will look into how feasible are replies in RSS re: performance.)
  4. Add a way to sort topics in forum profiles by recent activity – 2470 (Finished)
  5. Option to set default value of “Notify me of follow-up posts via email” in profile – 6 (Finished)
  6. Old topics are no longer automatically closed after 1 year – 2265 (Finished)
  7. Moving a topic from one forum to another forum results in a 500 error – 1955
  8. Last Post ignores post status – 2043 (Finished)
  9. Add support for custom titles on support forums – 1950 (Finished)
  10. Moderators should have a way to edit user profiles – 1985 (Finished)
  11. Spamming a user should flag topics and replies as spam and remove custom profile data – 1960