2017 Community Summit Support Team Brief Summary

There will be a more detailed and official roundup of the 2017 Community Summit topics posted in the not too distant future, but with our meeting coming up shortly, I figured it would be good to briefly summarize items that will affect the Support Team directly.

I hope you’re all as excited about them as we are. 🙂

New Forum Welcome

The current Forum Welcome has become a bit overbearing from a “welcome” standpoint. Over the next few weeks, we’ll re-title that to Forum Rules and create a new Forum Welcome with two short sections on both Getting Support and Giving Support.

Along with being more welcoming in the handbook, @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.

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?”

An International Community

We’re taking steps to become a more international community overall, rather than separate communities of separate languages. To start off, we’ll being 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.

Orientations and Workshops

@bethannon1 will 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.

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
  2. All w.org users should be able to report posts or topics – 1956
  3. Forum RSS Feed Issues – 2204
  4. Add a way to sort topics in forum profiles by recent activity – 2470
  5. Option to set default value of “Notify me of follow-up posts via email” in profile – 6
  6. Old topics are no longer automatically closed after 1 year – 2265
  7. Moving a topic from one forum to another forum results in a 500 error – 1955
  8. Last Post ignores post status – 2043
  9. Add support for custom titles on support forums – 1950
  10. Moderators should have a way to edit user profiles – 1985
  11. Spamming a user should flag topics and replies as spam and remove custom profile data – 1960

One More Thing

It is with great pleasure that I present to you your new Support Team Representative: @clorith!

The role should change regularly, and after a quick vote of summit attendees, Marius won unanimously!

Representing support for software that powers over 28% of the web is no easy task. Marius has been a great deputy representative for times when I was unable to cover my duties, and I have no doubt that he will continue to lead the team to great things.

I gladly pass the microphone to you, my friend. 🙂