Contributing to the WordPress Forums

Everyone who contributes to the WordPress Support Forums is a volunteer. Some people are encouraged to do so by their companies, and their time is donated to help. Other people jump in to answer questions in their off hours or downtime. Some people post on the trains while commuting, others do it in their lunch break. Some people are plugin and theme and core developers, others just love helping people and figuring out problems.

But at their heart, everyone is a volunteer who wants to give back to WordPress in some way. And we welcome each and every person who wants to help, even if they sometimes give bad advice.

Forum Moderators

If you’re interested in being a forum moderator, that’s awesome! We don’t have a formalized process for getting new mods, but here’s how we handle it:

We’re a team. We pick people we feel will work well with the current members, uphold the high level of support and friendliness of the forums, contribute with no adverse ulterior motive, and be a polite member of the forums in the face of raging anger.

What do we mean by ‘adverse ulterior motive’? It’s actually pretty simple.

  • Contributing to the forums to help people while learning more about WordPress is good.
  • Posting replies only to get people to use your plugin/service/product is NOT good.
  • Using your moderator powers to determine a poster is hosted by your company, and asking them to contact you/your company is good.
  • Using your moderator powers to get a poster’s email address to contact THEM about your product/service is NOT good.
  • Asking to be a mod because you’ve been tagging posts for spam cleanup, email/personal information/passwords removal, and make sticky posts for major issues is good.
  • Asking to be a mod because it will make you contribute more is NOT good.

If you can’t tell, the idea here is to do good for the sake of doing good. It’s not that we’re looking for people who have no higher aspirations, it’s that the aspiration we’re looking for is very self evident when it exists. And certainly you don’t have to be altruistic about WordPress to be a moderator. Some of us are encouraged by our companies to volunteer, in order to help the community. But that’s really the point. We’re looking for people whose goal matches ours: Make WordPress better for everyone.

Not being asked doesn’t mean you lack those qualities, however, nor does it mean we feel you’re a bad person. There is no magical combination of actions to be picked as a mod, and many people, even those who ask about being one, are surprised the day that they’re asked if they’d like to be one. The reason is that the absolute best moderators are the ones who are just going to do what they do, regardless of formal recognition. They see something that needs doing, and they do it.

And THAT is what we look for.