This weeks support discussion in #wordpress-sfd primarily focused on two topics that came up on the wp-forums list.
Contacting people off forum
End users posting their email addresses or asking others to contact them off forums is really frowned up. It’s to protect the users and also to prevent people form trying to solicit work or harvest emails from the forums.
PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, theme authors and contributors get a pass on that and can post their contact information in their sub-forum. If someone is part of the official support team but for some reason is not listed as a contributor then they can get a custom title to identify them too.
No one should ever ask others to post their email or login info and regular member’s email addresses do get redacted when found.
The idea really is to let official folk provide support while also protecting end users. If you’re providing official plugin or theme support and there is a misunderstanding then please feel free to escalate to the wp-forums list or pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” a moderator. That’s fine and the moderators want to help with those communication issues.
Plugin or theme authors requesting FTPFTP FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol which is a way of moving computer files from one computer to another via the Internet. You can use software, known as a FTP client, to upload files to a server for a WordPress website. https://codex.wordpress.org/FTP_Clients. or mysqlMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. access from users
Sometimes a plugin or theme author wants to see what’s going on and the author request access to a user’s installation and edits code that’s not theirs (or any code on that system).
That’s not cool and really goes too far. Access to a user’s system like that makes the author responsible for that user’s system. If the author makes changes and something breaks later on as a result then it is that author’s fault.
Get information, ask for log data, have the user contact you and seek copies of the PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. files and look but don’t touch. If it’s the author’s code that is the problem then produce a fix in your own code. If it’s another theme or plugin then inform the user, suggest a fix, offer to contact the other author and/or update your FAQ.
But don’t make changes to the user’s files that way. That’s really going to far outside of the author’s area of responsibility.
Less moderators on a topic (don’t want to intimidate forum members)
Clorith brought up a very good point for discussion. Sometimes a moderator will chime in on a topic and perhaps make a “course adjustment” (edit a post) and explain briefly why that was done. Then more mods (I’ve done it myself) will hop on the topic and back the original moderator up. That number of moderators participating can seem like the user is being ganged up on.
It is great that we all back each other up but it might not be necessary and no one wants to intimidate forum members. People don’t like it when someone else (anyone) tells them they shouldn’t do something. A small number of members (not all thankfully) push back and/or want to pick a fight.
But most really want to play by the rules and genuinely do the right thing. As moderators we just need to keep that in mind and be aware of the user’s point of view. I’ve jumped into the fray myself but less pile on and a lighter moderation may be more productive.
It’s just something to be aware of and keeping that in mind could result in better moderation.
Except for an IRC participant needing a little conversation in the virtues of patience Clorith and tw2113 didn’t have anything that needed to be escalated to the #wordpress-sfd meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area..
Time to choose or re-up the Support Team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts.
Here’s one I should have brought up. This week I actually wrote a brief cheat sheet for an agenda. Complete with spelling and grammar mistakes too. Very grown up. And naturally I forgot to write this one down and missed raising this item.
Jen Mylo posted that it’s time to choose or re-up a team rep. Tonight or tomorrow I’ll create a brief make/support post on that topic as I have some small ideas and questions myself on that topic.