Training Group, Team Reps, and Growing the Team

Hi Support Team! A bunch of things today….

Welcome Training to Support

At the community summit, we went a little bit team-creating-crazy. As such, we splintered people into groups (like docs out of support) rather than splintering into projects within larger teams. For Support, this meant that electing team reps was especially hard, since the people getting votes were repping other teams.

One of these new teams, Training, started with excitement but then petered out with no activity for a couple of months. The solution to these two issues seemed pretty clear: merge Training back into Support, and have Christine Rondeau serve as the 2nd team rep. @ipstenu was in favor, so there we go. Welcome Christine back to the fold!

Christine will be working closely with the Community Outreach group, and we’re starting to plan our first training project already. It’l be focused on Troubleshooting WordPress, aimed at leveling up people to the point that they can do more with WP professionally, and could be more confident contributing to forums. She’ll undoubtedly be asking you all for ideas and help. Note: in line with the diversity initiatives, we’re going to do this first workshop for women, a la railsbridge. It’ll also get posted online for all and sundry.

Contributor Drive

I’ve been scouring every open source project’s community sites to see how they approach things, and one had a great concept that I want us to steal modify, use, and redistribute. 🙂 The idea was this:

Weekend Project: Become a Contributor

We’ve done things like this at WordCamps (usually on dev day, and mostly focused on contributing to core), but what I was thinking of for support was something not too intensive: 20 Questions.

20 Questions Proposal:

  • Publicize the weekend project to become an official wp forums contributor, called 20 Questions.
  • People can sign up to be part of the weekend contributor drive. Current volunteers (approved as knowing their stuff) will be the mentors.
  • Their goal is to answer 20 questions successfully (mentor says yes, good answer) during the weekend before the cutoff time.
  • Keep at least 1 support person in IRC channel for team at all times during the weekend (make schedule in advance).
  • At cutoff, tally the results! People who got at least 20 right are officially congratulated and welcomed as support contributors. We can make a graphic they can put in their sidebars or something maybe. People who didn’t make it are thanked for their efforts, and pointed to resources to help them level up. The person with the most questions answered gets a prize. The person who answered the hardest question gets a prize (so they aren’t incentivized to just do easy ones). We can do wp swag and/or WC tix for prizes.

What do you guys think? I think it would be super fun.

#contributors, #team-reps, #training

Support Stats

When I go to conferences like Open Source Bridge and see the other project community managers trotting out their activity stats, a little part of me always dies, because we ain’t got none. Not this year! Yes, I know our systems aren’t set up well for automated stats. Pretend that’s not the case. For the next two minutes, pretend we live in a world where anything is possible, and suggest any and all stats you think it would good or interesting for us to start tracking. Don’t worry, Otto will bring us back to earth soon enough.

P.S. This team more than any other will likely need some infrastructure changes if we want to start measuring progress/success. Feel free to add what you think is needed in your comment, but that’ll be my next round: “Hey, what infrastructure changes would make the forum experience better for users and moderators,” since the forums is the first point of entry for a lot of people, so improvements here can have a big impact on all the projects around contributor growth.


Team Rep Voting Results

Hola! Here are the results of the voting for this team.

11 people voted. The breakdown:

Please describe your role with the support team

  • 5 – I am an active forum moderator, and have been active on the forums within the past 3 months
  • 4 – I’m an active participant and would like to level up to moderator status
  • 1 – I don’t plan to get involved
  • 1 – I have not been involved yet, but I plan to start
  • 0 – I’m a moderator who wasn’t active in the last 3 months, but I have been in the past

Describe your forums activity.

  • 8 – I troubleshoot more difficult issues
  • 8 – I troubleshoot basic issues
  • 7 – I check for spam and inappropriate content
  • 6 – I help other people learn how to contribute in the forums
  • 4 – Other Option
  • 4 – I post questions in the forum
  • 2 – I don’t contribute to the forums
  • 0 – I comment on other people’s questions/answers but don’t troubleshoot
  • The four “other” responses were 4 docs and 1 IRC

Mika won the 1st slot in a unanimous vote.

The 2nd slot is not so clear. 9 of the 11 voters entered a name for the 2nd slot.
Both Siobhan and Jan got more than one vote. Since we just broke out docs into a separate group, Siobhan will be the rep for that team. Jan hadn’t said he was interested and voted for someone else. 🙂 Other names put forth only got one vote each (and a couple of those are reps on other teams now, too). I’ve pinged Jan to see if he wants to take the 2nd rep role, but probably won’t know until after the holidays. If Jan chooses not to take the role, I think it makes the most sense to have Mika choose from the other names that were proposed (if they are interested).

Eventually I think we should rethink the “team” vs “project” designation, as we have already spread ourselves into so many teams (and so many people work on multiple teams’ projects) that appointing team reps is hard, which wasn’t the intention of creating teams/team sites. When we get to June and it’s time to vote again, we should consider consolidating some teams. I think the main reason separating them out seemed better now is because P2 makes it that way. If we had a modified theme that made it visually easier to have site sections for various projects (vs the plain text pages/cat list in the sidebar widget), we could bring more of the groups together.

Anyway, Mika is re-upped! 2nd slot TBD.


Team Reps

Howdy, support team! It’s that time again, for your group to elect a couple of team reps to communicate on behalf of of forum folks. You can vote for 2 people. They should not be responsible for any other team rep duties, so to that end, of your current reps, Ipstenu is still eligible, but Andrea_r and Esmi are already taken by other teams (assuming they keep those roles). Who else has stepped up lately that wants to join in the fun?

These folks will be responsible for reporting on the progress of the group to the other team reps via weekly updates, as well as occasional chats and such. If you haven’t seen the spiel on one of the other team blogs about how team reps/voting/terms work, the longer explanation is after the jump.

Note: It should be people who want the responsibility. Anyone interested in being a support team rep should leave a comment saying as much so people know who they can/should vote for. Voting is open until December 15, and results will be posted here once voting closes.

Go vote!

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Per discussions at the community summit Documentation is…

Per discussions at the community summit, Documentation is now a separate official contributor group. @raggedrobins will be the acting team rep. Have at it, folks!

#documentation, #teams

Hello world!

Welcome to This is the new blog for the Support contributor team, made up of support forum moderaters and documentation contributors, as decided on the mailing lists. Anyone helping in the #wordpress IRC channel is included as well. @Ipstenu is the team rep for this group, with @esmi and @andrea_r as the backup reps per the votes we took a while back from members of the two mailing lists. I’ve added them and a couple of other people as editors on this site, and they will be adding the more active contributors in turn.

I think it would be good for us to set up a weekly IRC chat time to get things started, gain some momentum, and round up some new contributors in the process. We can identify some common goals among the more active contributors to focus on at first, and put together a schedule for how to move forward.

I have several goals for this group based on the surveys and feedback from the community that I’d like to see accomplished over the coming months:

  • Create a guide to contributing to WordPress support.
  • Start a mentorship program for potential support volunteers to help them ramp up with confidence.
  • Handbooks! Field Guides! Whatever we call it, discrete, targeted pieces of documentation tied to specific releases and each curated by a single editor for the sake of consistency and accountability (separate from the ongoing wiki that is the Codex), that can be viewed, downloaded, or printed. This will take a lot of discussion, so we should schedule a chat about this sooner rather than later to get started on the one for end users. Other contributor groups will also be tackling handbooks specific to their areas (core contributors, etc.).
  • Start tracking stats around support activities and sharing them with the broader community.
  • Make a plan for improvements to the support forums.
  • Make a plan for how to best bubble up support issues to the core development team.

What are your goals for this group? Introduce yourself so everyone knows who everyone else is, say a little bit about your background and your general activity level as a WP support volunteer, and let us know your goals for the group are and what you think we should focus on first. Also mention your location/time zone, for the sake of being able to set up an IRC chat. Thanks!