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  • Jen 5:38 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: annual survey,   

    2015 Contributor Survey 

    Hi support folks! Thanks for all your hard work and contributions in 2015. Could you contribute few more minutes to fill in the 2015 contributor survey? It will help us establish some baselines around the contributor experience so that we can see how things change over time.

    This is being posted to all the Make teams, so if you subscribe to a bunch of p2s and keep seeing this post, know that you only need to fill the survey in once, not once per team.

    The survey is anonymous (so you can be extra honest), all questions are optional (so you can skip any that you don’t want to answer), and we’ll post some aggregate results by the end of January. It took testers 5-10 minutes to complete on average (depends how much you have to say), so I bet you could knock it out right after you read this post! πŸ™‚

    There are two sections of the survey. The first has questions about team involvement, recognition, and event involvement, and is pretty much what you’d expect from an annual survey (which teams did you contribute to, how happy are you as a contributor, etc).

    The second section is about demographics so we can take a stab at assessing how diverse our contributor base is. All questions are optional, but the more information we have the better we can figure out what we need to improve. If there’s some information you’d rather not identify, that’s okay, but please do not provide false information or use the form to make jokes — just skip those questions.

    The survey will be open until January 15, 2016. Whether you have 5 minutes now, or 10 over lunch (or whenever), please take the 2015 contributor survey. Thanks!

  • Jen 5:51 pm on October 20, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    WCSF Team Planning 

    If you are not attending WCSF this year, you can ignore this post. If you are coming and planning to participate as part of the supportΒ team, please click through and read it all. πŸ™‚

    (More …)

    • James Huff (MacManX) 4:53 pm on October 23, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Updating this with final info, @macmanx will be the point person and giving the intro/how-to bit for support. I’ll need 20 to 30 minutes for that, let’s say 30 minutes with questions and the hope that we’re done early because there are no questions. πŸ™‚

      Participants will need a browser and WordPress installed somewhere, either a test blog or their primary blog, it’s just for reference.

      Agenda stands as set above: https://make.wordpress.org/support/2014/10/wcsf-team-planning/#comment-164080

    • James Huff (MacManX) 7:35 pm on October 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I volunteer for either giving the intro/how-to bit for support or being the point person, understanding that the two should not be shared, with a preference towards giving the intro/how-to bit.

      IOW, I want to do the intro bit, but if no one wants to be point by the deadline tomorrow, I suppose I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

      • Jan Dembowski 9:54 am on October 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aside from me nominating you @macmanx as the point person, would you and @Clorith mind splitting the rest up between us three? πŸ˜‰

        I’m a bit shy for the intro (at WCNYC Contributor Day I was a little tongue tied) and my coordination skills lately are lacking. But I’d like to see both Contributor Day and the Team Meetup go off with out a hitch.

        For the Team Meetup agenda I think we’ve got :

        1 – Work on the Troubleshooting Handbook
        2 – Discuss the sub-forums and ideas to improve them (I like the Meetup sub-forum conversation and really want to discuss Your WordPress.)
        3 – IRC presentation on make/support for i.e. getting that more prominently displayed.

        And I’d like to toss in this one

        4 – What can we do to make support easier for end users to find/use/take advantage of?

        Thoughts and comments?

        • James Huff (MacManX) 5:33 pm on October 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          All sounds good to me. πŸ™‚

          I can totally give the “welcome to support” talk. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve given that, and I suppose this time we’re actually presenting to people who *want* to do it, a plus! πŸ˜€

        • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:58 pm on October 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I can be the power behind the throne… Sorry, I can help all y’all. The more people who do this and have the experience, the better IMO.

      • Marius (Clorith) 10:22 am on October 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No worried, I’d b happy to take point so you don’t get -too- much to tackle πŸ™‚

        • James Huff (MacManX) 5:34 pm on October 21, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Works for me, thanks! If you need to delegate anything to me, please feel free. Things can sometimes get larger than you’d ever imagine at WCSF. πŸ™‚

  • Jen 1:22 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: support team meetup,   

    WCSF Tickets, Support Meetup 

    Anyone planning to attend WCSF this year from the support team, please read the post at https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2014/09/08/wcsf-tickets-and-stuff/ for information about WCSF ticket sales and the contributor days following the main conference. Please click the link and read that post *before* asking questions on this thread. πŸ™‚

    If you are planning to attend the support team meetup but I have not been in touch with you regarding hotels/travel dates, please ping me in IRC (jenmylo) or shoot me an email (same username @wordpress.org) so I can include you in the planning.


  • Jen 5:04 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    WCSF/Team Meetup 

    Howdy again, folks. We’re working on making sure we have enough room blocks to make sure all the contributors who are coming in October can get a decent rate (or have a room provided by us if needed). Some of you replied to my post from last week and filled in the survey so I’d know you were planning to come, but some haven’t. I just want to make sure we count everyone. For example, @jdembowski, @podz, @clorith, and @jerrysarcastic didn’t fill in the survey. Maybe you guys don’t plan to attend due to timing conflicts or other reasons, or maybe you do but didn’t fill in the survey. Help me help you! πŸ™‚

    Hit the survey if you are an active member of this team so we can count you and see if you’d be able to stay for the whole time etc while we are creating room blocks. If you are not going to attend at all, please leave a comment on this post saying that and I won’t bug you anymore. If you would come but are concerned about the cost, hit the survey to be counted, and then go fill in the application for travel assistance. We have a budget for this, so let’s not allow money to prevent active contributors from attending.

    If you didn’t read the post before, the plan is:
    Sat/Sun — WCSF conference
    Monday — community summit
    Tues/Wed — team meetups (i.e. the support team being together in a place to talk issues, make plans, work together, etc)

    • Siobhan Bamber (siobhyb) 9:23 pm on July 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi @jenmylo: I held back on applying to the Community Summit as I haven’t contributed actively to the Open Source project in the past couple of months, however, this was only due to some personal commitments taking my time rather than not being interested in contributing any more. I’ve filled in the survey to hopefully attend the Summit, I’d be able to fund my own travel and accommodation.

    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz 12:11 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I work for Photocrati, so I’m involved with support for NextGEN Gallery.

    • Jen Mylo 5:21 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Also: In that survey, a lot of people say they’re active with the support team, but I don’t necessarily see recent activity from them, so I wonder if they checked the box just meaning they’d done support at some point vs being an active part of the team now. One of these days we’ll get around to making team pages for all the teams, but in the meantime, could you folks (esp @jdembowski and @ipstenu) tell me who on this list is actually active in support? It’s not to deny anyone a place at the event, it’s to coordinate our rooms blocks since we’re going to be spread among 3-4 hotels, and if I can I want to put teams in the same hotel to make it easier for them to connect. Some people are or have been active with more than one team, so this is step 1 of figuring out who to put where.

      People who identified themselves as “actively involved with the support team, including forums, irc, etc”:
      Cousett Hoover, Paul Clark,John Jacoby, Chris Olbekson, Drew Jaynes, Asif Chowdhury, Keith Messinger, Scott Wyden, Kivowitz, Valent Mustamin, Christine Rondeau, Jose Castaneda, Mika Epstein, Ed Caissie, Sergey Biryukov, Ayman Al Zarrad, Russell Fair, Otto.

      • Sergey Biryukov 6:43 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        To be clear, I checked the support box mainly because of my activity on ru.forums.wordpress.org. I also monitor the Alpha/Beta forum, but my main focus is core.

        • Jen Mylo 5:31 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Cool. I already have you grouped with core on my plan, I just didn’t want to edit the response lists in case there was something I was missing. πŸ™‚

      • Christine Rondeau 11:07 pm on June 23, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve been active’ish now and again, but not as much as I used to. I’m coming to SF for sure, but I’ll be staying at a friends place.

  • Jen 11:37 pm on June 12, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    WCSF 2014 Update 

    Heads up, support team! We’re getting ready to publish details about the plans for WordCamp San Francisco this October (which includes a mini team meetup), so if you’re thinking of attending, please read the post at https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2014/06/12/wordcamp-san-francisco-travel-contributor-days/ and take the short survey linked at the end of it so I’ll know how many team members to plan for (don’t worry, this isn’t a commitment or anything, I just need to get some rough numbers for budgeting purposes). Thanks!

  • Jen 4:35 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: mailing list, wp-forums   


    I saw Jan’s mention of the wp-forums list in the weekly update, and as I’m on the list I’ve paid attention to how it’s used, both as a call for a gut-check/backup, and as a bit of a place to vent. As one subscriber mentioned recently, the list is not just moderators, and anyone can join, and all of it’s archived. So what feels like it’s more private than this blog maybe isn’t really. Any time I see language there that’s a little more insulting or dismissive (generally about bozos/bad actors in the forums) than is really comfortable/appropriate for something being publicly archived I cringe a little bit.

    There are 331 subscribers to the wp-forums list, and there are 259 subscribers to this blog. Given that the mailing list is publicly archived, but in a way that makes it a pain to look things up and has no connection to this site, I wonder if it might be time to transition away from the list to something that actually gives you the privacy-among-moderators you desire when something more sensitive needs to be discussed and keeps the discussion in one main place?

    What we do over on the make/systems blog has kind of the same compromise. We post most things publicly, but when there’s something sensitive, we post it as Private so that only people with x role on the blog can see it. Maybe that would be a good alternative? Just wanted to throw it out there as an option.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:19 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      How many of the members on wp-forums are active, non-moderator/pluginers/themers/devs ?

      The ONLY topic I can see as being an issue would be when we report a user as moderated/banned.

      The extra level to join and reply to a mailing list tends to prevent the casual visitor which makes it LESS likely to devolve into a snit-fight about someone being moderated for behaving poorly. Posting here is public in that you don’t have to register or really look hard for it.

      Mind you, I don’t like when people get jokey about banning people. It’s generally serious business, and I’d like to find a way to record and report those that did NOT engender revenge attacks… anyone?

      • Jan Dembowski 6:01 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’d like to find a way to record and report those that did NOT engender revenge attacks… anyone?

        Except for a private section of a P2 install I don’t really see how to track that and still be accessible to those that may need to see it.

        There should be some way to report that here without making it public. Too often people focus on the one who says “could you stop doing that?” (I have no idea why some lose their minds about just one moderator) and keeping that report private let’s the problem be dealt with without making it personal.

        • Marius Jensen (Clorith) 6:41 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Luckily we’re on that fancy WordPress thingie that’s all the rage these days πŸ˜›

          Now that I have the humor out of my system; wouldn’t it be possible to set up a plugin for this purpose, sort of a watch-list plugin, I could see multiple of the make/* pages having their own use cases for something like that?

        • Jen Mylo 6:32 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Just had it come up where I needed to check on why someone was bozod, didn’t have an email with the username in it, didn’t know when it happened, and searching mailing list archives is a pain in the butt. Had all posts been in a private category or tag here, @ipstenu and I could have seen reason/date easily.

    • mrmist 4:45 pm on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There are arguments for and against both options. People should behave professionally in any case, and stick to the truth of matters.
      Also, it is possible to have invite only channels on IRC, though accounts there are not matched to WordPress accounts.

  • Jen 3:38 pm on January 19, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: conferences, oscon, outreach   

    OSCON 2014 

    Cross-posting to multiple teams, so apologies if you’ve seen this on another Make site already.*

    There are a few days left to submit proposals to OSCON. It would be great to see the sessions there that are about WordPress actually being presented by people involved in the project, so I’d like to encourage/urge/beg some of you to submit a proposal based on your involvement in the project and/or the issues you’ve tackled on the team in the past year.

    Almost everyone there has heard of WordPress, and many OSCON attendees use it for personal sites, but the way it gets talked about by the people giving WP-centric presentations, you’d think we were still the little blogging tool that could from 2003. It would be awesome if this year we could change that impression of the software and the project.

    The submission deadline is January 30, and the event itself is in Portland, OR July 20-24, 2014. To apply to speak at OSCON, go to http://www.oscon.com/oscon2014/public/cfp/308

    *If you are active enough on Make that you’ve seen this post in a couple of places, that suggests to me that you are super-involved in the WordPress project and probably have some interesting stories/insights/experiences worth sharing at OSCON, so go apply! πŸ™‚

  • Jen 7:22 pm on January 7, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Howdy support folks I was just talking to… 

    Howdy support folks! I was just talking to @coffee2code about .org profiles, and one of the things I’d like to see happen this year is for there to be one .org profile instead of 2 to reduce user confusion. To that end we’d need to be able to do all the current support profile stuff, and to *that* end, I think we’d need to be on up-to-date bbPress.

    We’ve talked about updating a number of times in the past since the plugin came out. The last time we had this conversation, the high-level agreement was that yes, running current software is good, but the current bbPress plugin has changed some of the workflow stuff that would be annoying for the support team to have to work around. Let’s kick this off!

    @ipstenu: you ran down the things that made you say no to bbPress upgrade last time, could you repeat them so we can identify the things we’d need to discuss and/or put in a plugin to make upgrading bbPress on the support forums feasible from the team’s perspective? Let’s not talk about infrastructure stuff here, that’s the /meta domain. Just want to identify any features/workflow changes that would be a problem if we upgraded, so we can spec out a plugin to address those things before we do anything else.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 8:14 pm on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know if these are still unable but… (oh good, of course I can’t find my list from yonks ago and I don’t use bbPress as much as I once did). What we need:

      • Be able to bozo people (that is make all their posts moderated)
      • Block people from posting (a ‘blocked’ role)
      • Dropdown selector of WP version

      At some point we would also want/need to go through the forums and determine WHAT sections we should recreate, since we’re not really going to want to port everything over (I think locking it as we did the old wpmu ones would be fine).

      Also we have our tools wishlist: https://make.wordpress.org/support/2013/01/what-forum-tools-would-make-support-better/ (I still want that Kill it With Fire button to ban a person and nuke all their posts, for those Ugg boot spammers)

      And then what I remember being sticking points with @otto42:

      • Integration with theme and plugin SVN for support
      • Integration with plugin SVN for reviews
  • Jen 2:28 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink

    Gnome Outreach Program for Women 

    Hi support team. I would like to include Support in our Gnome participation this summer if there are any applicants interested in working in the forums etc over the summer. @ipstenu and/or other experienced team members: Head over to https://codex.wordpress.org/Gnome_Summer_Program_for_Women#Support and fill in project ideas (optional, I made a default idea that basically covers answering questions and beefing up support docs) and info on whoever from this team is willing/able to mentor an intern (ideally we put more than one mentor with each student so the time commitment isn’t too heavy). No idea yet how many student slots we’ll get.

  • Jen 4:06 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: 20 questions, contributor drive   

    People seemed to like the idea when I… 

    People seemed to like the idea when I pitched it. Can we pick a weekend to do it? Having at least 2 weeks notice would be good so people can clear time in schedules, read up on docs if they want, etc. Maybe weekend of February 15?

    • Aditya 2:52 am on February 19, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Am I late?
      If you have a space I would like to contribute, count me in too.

    • masonjames 2:42 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So, this is coming up? Discuss on IRC tomorrow? πŸ™‚

    • Aaron Nimocks 11:54 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I know you all were anxiously awaiting to see if I will be around that weekend and I am please to inform you that I will be. My trip to Japan got cancelled, so game on. πŸ™‚

    • Brandon Kraft 11:24 pm on January 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not directly related, but the post got me thinking about this. Overall, there’s no way for a volunteer to “ask for backup” when they’ve started answering a thread and either they’re not sure or it ends up being outside their comfort zone.

      For the weekend, the mentor would be the new volunteer’s fallback, but outside of that weekend, should there be a way to do that? Either a tag, or an established practice of pinging someone in IRC, or something?

      I e-mailed the listserv and seems there’s no practice short of saying I don’t know and hoping someone else checks on the thread.

      • Jen Mylo 10:15 am on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, setting up a contributor buddies/mentors program is on our list over in the /community group. Once the welcome wagon IRC channel staffing is done (hopefully this week) I think that’s one of the next projects.

        Realistically, yes, the right answer is that if you have started helping someone and then you hit a dead end, it’s time to tag someone else in. The problem with using actual tags for this is that people figure out the system quickly and suddenly everyone is tagging their posts with the special team-assist tag in the hope of getting more immediate senior attention. Leaving a comment that says, “I don’t know the answer and have run out of ideas for what to try next,” is the best thing. Pinging the list to ask for an assist or hopping into #wordpress to see if anyone there can help is an option, too.

    • Aaron Nimocks 10:32 pm on January 27, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As I helped people this weekend I was trying to take note of how many confirmed “helps” I racked up and this is going to be a challenge to track and get 20. I kind of feel those ones that are going to go through and verify count the “helps” are going to spend more time doing that than anything.

      Not quite sure how it is all going to play out yet and I don’t really have any solid ideas on how to do the tracking but the only reasonable idea I can think of is when a “helper” thinks they are worthy of receiving a “help” point they tag the thread with their name or a special keyword that everyone will use. Then when reviewed the tag gets removed.

      But if something like that isn’t in place then the work for the mentors is going to be a bunch. Just an idea.

      • Jen Mylo 11:10 pm on January 27, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Since we’ve done contest things with contributors before (like GCI) there’s a pretty simple way to handle this. Each contestant makes a list of their thread URLs and that’s what gets submitted at the end for review/tally. During the weekend, the mentors are all about helping people get the right answers. Then we take a day to tally results. Mentors can be keeping a list of thread IDs as well as they are helping, and then can check them off as yes/no easily when doing the final tally. Process for grading is not going to be the burden here, it will be making sure we have people around to help with questions 24/7 for the contest time period, getting the word out, and having documentation in place that helps people get started.

    • Jen Mylo 1:53 pm on January 27, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sounds like the wekend of the 15th is the best after all. Can we make planning for this the subject of the next irc chat?

    • EnigmaWeb 10:22 am on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      15th works for me

    • esmi 7:24 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I could manage the weekend of 15th. The following weekend might be iffy as that’s around my birthday/

    • Aaron Nimocks 6:26 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I vote every weekend after the initial one. But I will be in Japan that week and flying back to US at the start of the weekend so I will miss a good day’s worth if we start on 15th.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 6:16 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The 15th-18th is tentatively good for me, ditto the next weekend. One or the other. I need to go see my Mom more often πŸ˜‰

      Whatever we do – DO NOT pick March 10th, it’s US DST and you will mess everyone up πŸ˜‰

    • Dan Bernardic 6:08 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Why not every weekend? Why only weekend anyway?

      All you really need is a way to allow helpers to indicate they just helped someone – A message containing only “yw” or “You’re welcome” is a good candidate.

      Then you parse the logs periodically for those, and as people reach a number of those, you do a check on each of their “yw”s manually, and confirm they actually did help someone – and give them the “prize”.

      • Jen Mylo 11:08 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        A “drive” is a special event that happens infrequently, and gets a big publicity push. That’s what I’m talking about. There’s no reason there couldn’t be a “weekend project” based on this that is active every weekend, but you would need to always have enough people staffing it. The minute someone tries to participate and there’s no one to review work and mentor, that’s the minute the program has failed.

        As for having an ongoing “yw” system, that is kind of the opposite of the guided mentorship for new contributors that I’m talking about. What you’re talking about is more just stats gathering, which we already gather without having people enter “yw” on responses.

        • Dan Bernardic 12:51 am on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m talking about IRC specifically.

          Anyway, OK, I understand you want to have a different focus, and don’t think my idea is awesome. Thanks for considering it anyway.

          • Jen Mylo 6:25 am on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I didn’t say your suggestion “isn’t awesome,” it’s just not in line with the project/goals we’re talking about in this thread, as I stated before.

            Ongoing support contribution isn’t a numbers game, so tying a prize system to regular contribution would incentivize people to answer more easy questions and skip over the harder ones that take more time so they could get more “yw”s on the board. We do look at the numbers of responses already, as mentioned, and the team reps and current moderators just plain notice when people start stepping more. The prize there is more responsibility and moderator status.

    • Jerry Bates (JerrySarcastic) 5:47 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sounds like fun Jen; count me in!

    • Christine Rondeau 5:09 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have family from Scotland over that weekend. Wont’ be able to make it. πŸ™

    • Brandon Kraft 4:24 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply


    • Carrie 4:19 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m down for that weekend. πŸ™‚

    • Pippin (mordauk) 4:18 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Probably not open that weekend with it being my wife’s birthday and valentine’s day πŸ˜€

    • Kathy Drewien 4:13 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Gotcha on the calendar…

    • masonjames 4:10 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Works for me!

      Will be a happy Valentine’s weekend to WordPress users everywhere πŸ™‚

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