The Training Team is incredibly grateful to everyone who helped to launch Learn WordPress and has contributed valuable and solid content. Not least because Learn WordPress is going to be the first place that many people encounter in the WordPress project. Indeed, it may be the only part of the WordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ network that they ever engage with. This is due to the fact that many users will come looking for training on how to do something with WordPress and won’t have any interest in the community beyond that. If people come to Learn WordPress without any knowledge of how the WordPress community works as an open-source project, they will be expecting to find videos that match the quality they could find elsewhere.
Learn WordPress content needs to be of high quality, but most people don’t have access to expensive recording equipment and it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to match the video quality of those who do. Production quality must not be a blocker for people contributing their skills and knowledge to the platform, so what can be done about it?
After thinking about this for a while, I have a proposal for how we can proceed that involves two areas of focus:
Distinguish between video types
The idea would be to distinguish between the highly produced videos and the community contributed ones in a similar way to how TED and TEDx talks are different from each other. This would mean there would be a separate taxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies. that clearly identifies which videos are produced with high-quality equipment and which ones are not. The visual distinction here would need to be discussed before we move forward with anything. My initial thinking is that there would be a section titled “Community Content” or similar that would feature the videos contributed by the community that are not of the production quality standards that are set. These production standards would need to be discussed and finalised before we implement anything here.
Collaborate on planning, but limit who can produce
The other area of focus to complement the separate video types would be to allow anyone to get involved in planning and scripting videos, but only allow approved people to actually record/produce the ones that are not included in the “Community Content” section. In practice, this could look something like this:
- Certain people are selected (through a public application process that anyone can submit themselves) to be approved as presenters & producers – this would have a few requirements along the lines of having access to high-quality recording equipment, being able to present well, etc. – this would need to be clearly defined and formalised with a vetting process for new applications. There would be a strong focus on building up a diverse set of voices for this group.
- Multiple people collaborate on outlining a video and writing a script for it – this would include anyone who would like to be involved.
- The finished outline and script is given to one of the approved presenters to record – this could be one of the people who wrote the script or it could be someone else.
- If the video is a screencast with a voiceover, we could even have a subject matter expert record the screencast and one of the approved presenters record the voiceover in order to ensure content can be written to cater to all skillsets.
The advantage of this is that anyone can get involved in creating content, even if they aren’t able (or don’t want to!) actually present/produce it, with the end result being that we have high-quality content produced to a high standard. All contributors would still be credited on the workshop video page regardless of their role in creating the video.
Please provide feedback along the following lines:
- Do you feel this proposal is a good way to ensure that Learn WordPress videos remain high-quality while also encouraging contributors to get involved?
- Is there anything you would change about this proposal?
- Do you have a different proposal to suggest?
This discussion on this post will be open until the end of the day on Wedensday, 6 October and then the comments will be summarised with a decision being made based on what is discussed.