November 1st Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

We’re still working on the update to the Support Guidelines, we’re working on them over at GitHub and feedback on issues/suggestions and Pull Requests are encouraged, as we don’t want this to be a one horse show, and the more participation, the broader an audience we hope will be able to digest the guidelines.

On the mention of time, last year we chose not to change our meeting time when daylight savings ended, and we’ve stuck with it when they began again. In light of this we plan on keeping the weekly meetings at 17:00 UTC.

The agenda post will be able to translate the time into your local time when you view it, so we hope this won’t be a major issue.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives of the Brazilian, Swedish, Urdu, Russian, Dutch, Serbian and German communities took part in this weeks discussions.

At-mentions

At-mentions trigger notifications on the forum (as the network wide notification system for WordPress.org parses posts), and not everyone is a fan of this.

That’s perfectly fine, but they do serve a purpose to identify which user you may be interacting with in a topic if there’s more than two users speaking. It is also a common pattern of internet use these days to use @<user>when addressing someone, popularized by services such as twitter etc. Because of this, completely removing them isn’t a likely option, and hiding usernames means users will end up using display names instead, inadvertently pinging unrelated third parties.

If you wish, you can control what notifications you get, and where they are delivered, at https://profiles.wordpress.org/me/profile/notifications/

There’s also a Meta ticket set up for this at https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/3899 with some proposed changes.

Please give the ticket a read, and think over potential pros and cons of various changes here, and we’ll have a quick re-visit at our next gathering.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

Proposal: Five for the Future acknowledgement page

tl;dr: let’s increase the number of companies that dedicate employee time to WordPress by building a tool that allows companies to make public pledges of dedicated time.

Background

In 2014, @matt launched the Five for the Future initiative, saying that “organizations that want to grow the WordPress pie (and not just their piece of it) should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with Core — be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress’ mission forward.” WordPress-based organizations responded by contributing more dedicated time to the open source project, which has helped WordPress grow to power 31% of the Web.

A discussion was held at the 2017 WordPress Community Summit about how we could encourage more companies to contribute more dedicated employee time. @liljimmi suggested that if there were a page where all companies participating in Five for the Future were listed, then smaller companies would see that they could have an impact too. This got a lot of people thinking about outreach to companies of all sizes, and how we could encourage participation in Five for the Future.

A year or so later, here’s a proposal that takes this concept and runs with it! Main collaborators on this program proposal include: @chanthaboune, @hlashbrooke, @_dorsvenabili, @iandunn, @angelasjin, @coreymckrill, and myself. Hand-sketches are from me; other mock-ups by @iandunn and @mapk.

Props to Tracy for the idea that sparked this, and thanks to the many people who gave early candid feedback. 

Exceptionally long proposal after the jump!

Project goals

  1. Acknowledge companies that sponsor volunteers to work on the WordPress project.
  2. Motivate more companies to sponsor more volunteers.

Potential challenges

  1. Defining the kind of contribution that would “qualify” for this.
  2. Identifying what contributions come from people whose work is being sponsored by a company.
  3. Deciding what qualifies a company to appear on the page (minimum number of hours, licensing practice, company size, etc).
  4. Holding companies accountable, if we think that’s important.
  5. Defining how we treat companies and sponsored employees on WordPress.org.

How do other projects do this?

How do other open source and/or volunteer organizations acknowledge and recruit contributors, specifically support from companies? We looked at the following organizations in a comparative analysis:

Key takeaways

  • Nearly all of these organizations make an appeal to contributors with the promises that their contributions will have a powerful impact, that they will be recognized for their work, and that their work will help the project/organization thrive for years to come.
  • Most open source projects place more emphasis on individual contributors, and don’t directly acknowledge companies that support the project by sponsoring contributors. Drupal is a notable exception to this practice.
  • Gamification is common. Badges are very popular, as well as being able to filter by the most commits (Github is a very common tool for this). Python even gives cash awards to noteworthy contributors.

Possible approaches

Option 1: The activity stream firehose

One option would be a completely automated system. All volunteers would share what company, if any, sponsored their contributions. Contributions could be shown in an activity stream, in which activities are grouped by company, and sorted by the most recent contribution. Additional sorting and filtering options would be available.

A hand-written example of the activity stream idea, with a list of contributor actions divided by company. There is a "sort by" drop-down list on the top right, with the options: company, contributor, activity, and date.

Advantages: No administrative work/moderation needed.
Disadvantages: Information overload; company visibility is low.

Option 2: Curated case studies

Another option would be a page that shares the goal and vision of the 5ftF program. Included would be rotating examples of participating contributors, like case studies curated from a broad cross-section of the open source project.

A mock-up of a Five for the Future page with a WordPress.org header, a short description of the program, and some lorem ipsum, and Featured Contributor case studies (Helen Hou-Sandí and Jan Dembowski) on the right side bar.

Advantages: compelling content, lots of useful information.
Disadvantages: selecting contributors to highlight could be contentious; limited number of companies acknowledged; lots of administrative work to maintain content.

Option 3: Pledged contributions

Companies make a public pledge to dedicate a certain amount of time to the open source project. Then their employees complete and confirm the information about intended team and intended time. All pledges would be public and listed on WordPress.org.

Advantages: Company/volunteer reported & verified; would not require much ongoing moderation.
Disadvantages: Potential for abuse/misrepresentation.

Proposed approach

After considering these three possible structures for a Five for the Future program, I think the most effective method is a pledge program: allowing companies to publicly declare how much dedicated employee time they plan to donate to the WordPress project.

This approach would work towards key goals for the Five for the Future initiative:

  1. Recognize the companies that sponsor volunteers to regularly work on the WordPress project.
  2. Ensure a stable contributor base, by motivating more companies to sponsor more volunteers.

The program would allow companies of any size to submit a pledge indicating the number of hours they intend to commit to the WordPress project. After making the pledge, the company notifies its contributing employees, who then edit their WordPress.org profiles to indicate the company that is sponsoring their time. This will allow a contributor’s sponsored time to be credited to the company that is enabling them to contribute much more time than they (presumably) could give, if unsupported.

On their profiles, all contributors will be able to share how many hours a week they dedicate to the project, and on which team(s). If a contributor’s work is part of Five for the Future, they will be able to link to their company’s pledge on their individual profile.

Privacy note: The intent here is that a contributor must intentionally link their individual profile to a published pledge. No matter what a company pledges, the individual contributor won’t show up on that pledge unless they link to the pledge and save. Then the company contact associated with that pledge will have to accept the link — active consent should be required on both sides.

This will help contributor teams identify what people have been pledged to work on their projects, which should help with recruiting people to work on specific, possibly longer-term, team projects. Once a pledge has been made, companies and individuals will be encouraged to keep their details up to date as needed.

A hand-sketched example of a WordPress.org profile, with the added feature of a section on the right-aligned sidebar that says "Dedicated time: (box with "40" inside it) hours to (box with "community" inside it).

Historically, we have recognized individuals for their contributions to WordPress, without connecting that work to their companies, even if their time has been sponsored. By asking companies to make a pledge of time, we hope to offer increased recognition to all parties who actively participate in the Five for the Future initiative.

Companies that have made a pledge will be listed in a public, searchable, and filterable archive that displays:

  • company name & logo
  • company size
  • number of contributing employees
  • number of hours pledged
  • teams contributed to

Here’s an example:

As we receive more information from Five for the Future companies, we can consider whether we recognize companies further by publishing individual company pages. We hope that this will also encourage additional companies to make their own pledges and commit employee time to the WordPress project.

Companies and sponsored contributors will be expected to update and resubmit their pledge after a period of time – this will make sure that the page remains current at all times. For privacy reasons, individual contributors won’t be listed on a pledge unless they choose to link to the pledge. Companies that wish to make a Five for the Future pledge will be asked to agree to follow project etiquette and meet our expectations for promotion on WordPress.org.

And another thing…

Despite the disadvantages of the curated case studies idea, that’s still a great way to show organizations what kind of impact their participation in Five for the Future can have. If possible, we’d like to include a case study or two on the Five for the Future landing page on WordPress.org, which would also include some persistent content like: “Why donate employee time to the WordPress project?” and/or “Convince your boss to donate your time to WordPress.org.” For case studies, we’d want to rotate the content at least every 6 months. We may want to feature contributors who are doing some of the less “glamorous” or visible work that nevertheless has a strong positive impact on WordPress.

Measuring Success

How will we know this is making a difference — what can we count?

  • number of people whose paid time was pledged to the project
  • number of companies participating
  • percentage of teams with at least 1 sponsored contributor
  • number of pledged hours
  • number of people sponsored at least 20 hours/week ; number of people sponsored for 40 hours/week

Feedback!

We’d love your thoughts on this approach to Five for the Future acknowledgement! Here are some specific questions, but please ask about anything that concerns you, in a comment on this post.

  1. Should we require users to be logged in to wordpress.org to be able pledge? (This would stop spam and make editing easier in the futur.e)
  2. Should we auto-publish pledge submissions, or should a moderator review them first?
  3. Should we set a minimum company size for participation in this pledge program?
  4. Do you think this might help teams find people to work on less “glamorous” contributions?

Plugin Review Team – 5 Nov 2018

Hello one more time from the UK! 🇬🇧

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 179
  • Plugins rejected : 14
  • Plugins closed : 9
  • Plugins approved : 110

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 653
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 596
  • → (2018-10-29 – 2018-11-05) : 46
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 4
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 649

SupportPress Queue Stats

  • Total open tickets* : 32
  • → (with no activity in last 7 days)** : 0
  • Within defined 7 day time window:
    • Total : 208
    • Closed : 207
    • Open : 1

Plugin Review Team – 29 October 2018

Hello from England!

We have a rather high number of closed plugins (and about the same again to be closed) due to bounced emails following the 5.0 testing email.

As always, please make sure your email works.

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 177
  • Plugins rejected : 11
  • Plugins closed : 711
  • Plugins approved : 118

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 652
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 603
  • → (2018-10-22 – 2018-10-29) : 35
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 5
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 647

SupportPress Queue Stats

  • Total open tickets* : 4
  • → (with no activity in last 7 days)** : 0
  • Within defined 7 day time window:
    • Total : 363
    • Closed : 362
    • Open : 1

Theme Review update for October 29, 2019

Currently

  • 203 new tickets are waiting for review.
    • 90 tickets are older than 4 weeks
    • 134 tickets are older than 2 weeks
    • 169 tickets are older than 1 week
    • 187 tickets are older than 3 days
  • 38 tickets are assigned.
    • 33 tickets are older than 4 weeks
    • 36 tickets are older than 2 weeks
    • 36 tickets are older than 1 week
    • 41 tickets are older than 3 days
  • 11 are approved but are waiting to be made live.

In the past 7 days

  • 307 tickets were opened
  • 297 tickets were closed:
    • 264 tickets were made live.
      • 24 new Themes were made live.
      • 240 Theme updates were made live.
      • 5 more were approved but are waiting to be made live.
    • 27 tickets were not-approved.
    • 6 tickets were closed-newer-version-uploaded.

Most recent meeting was October 23. Items discussed were:

  • Child themes
  • Team Lead selection
  • Theme readme file
  • Removing the button:Review a theme
  • Twenty Nineteen issue
  • On-boarding discussion

Community Team Chats – October 18 2018

(Note: We made it! This is the last chat we had in the backlog and now the Community Team is all caught up with recaps.)

The Community Team meets twice a month, first and third Thursday, at two different times to cover different timezones.

Agenda and Slack logs from October 18th: 11:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC

Deputy Check-in

P2 posts needing review/feedback

Should WordCamp Websites Publish Sponsor-Provided Content?

The post was published after last month discussion. There are quite a lot of comments right now, with different points of view. We discussed this at length also during the chat but we haven’t reached a conclusion yet. Main points brought up:

  • Sponsors want ROI and branded content could help out
  • Added burden for organisers in terms of editorial control
  • Sponsor interviews instead of sponsored posts
  • We should have guidelines and make this absolutely optional
  • We all want to set up sponsors for success, and content that seems like “paid content” isn’t going to help them (or WordCamp) much at all
  • We could write a page for sponsors, to help them understand what kind of approach is most effective with our audience
  • People might think less of the event because of the sponsored posts

Conversation is ongoing if you want to add your opinion!

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for October?

We are accepting ideas for what should go in the next newsletter for Meetup organisers. One point raised: content shouldn’t be behind a wall (no need to sign-up to get the content).

WordCamp US 2018 – Community Team Plans

We are less than two months away from WordCamp US: what should the team work on in Nashville? Let us know 🙂

Converting WordCamp Shortcodes to Gutenberg Blocks 

With the imminent release of Gutenberg, the Meta WordCamp team is planning to convert the WordCamp shortcodes into blocks and we need WordCamp organisers feedback!

Call for Volunteers: 2019 Global Sponsorship Working Group

It’s that time of the year! We are working on the new package for Global Sponsors. People were asked if they wanted to volunteer for this and we now have a team who is working on assessing the situation and propose changes, if needed. It’s a fun group full of spreadsheets and speculation 🙂

Contributor Day Handbook

If you have any ideas how we can make this better, please reply to the thread. 

How can we handle toxic community members.

A group is working on the Community Code of Conduct and it will also address unacceptable behaviour in the online space. It was remarked though that toxicity can be very pervasive without breaking any rules.

One resource that can be helpful if folks are struggling with conflict in their communities: https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/guide-to-calling-in/

Drupal Community Governance Initiative

Is this something we should explore in WordPress?

Highlighted P2 posts

Announcement: monthly chat for WordCamp organisers

Bulk Ticket Purchasing

#community, #community-team

Community Team Chats – October 4, 2018

(Note: I am almost done posting four months of chats after a period of inactivity. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone in the team to do this task, so bear with me while I update everything!)

The Community Team meets twice a month, first and third Thursday, at two different times to cover different timezones.

Agenda and Slack logs from October 4th: 11:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC

Deputy Check-in

Even busier when the Automatticians are not around 🙂

P2 posts needing review/feedback

This month was quite light in terms of discussion, so we focused again on two posts that were already brought on September 20th Chat

Proposal to Increase the Maximum Ticket Price for WordCamps
Note that we are not telling WordCamps to increase their ticket prices, but we are having a (long) conversation about the possibility to raise the maximum possible price that would be allowed to go for if they need to. 
All Camps are still encouraged to make their prices as affordable as possible.

Most of commenters are up for 5 $/€ increase and emphasize the importance of sponsors – which are bit hard to find for some camps. We maybe should focus and have some effort on how to help camps find sponsors easier.

Input Requested: “Building A Diverse Speaker Roster” Document
The Diversity Outreach Speaker Training group created a document for WordPress Meetups and WordCamps about Building A Diverse Speaker Roster and they need our input.

Highlighted P2 posts

Open Floor

The issue of branded content from sponsors in WordCamps website was brought up: there are some concerns about the marketing nature of the posts. A post will be published on the Community Team blog to discuss the matter.

#community, #community-team

Community Team Chats – September 20 2018

(Note: I am almost done posting four months of chats after a period of inactivity. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone in the team to do this task, so bear with me while I update everything!)

The Community Team meets twice a month, first and third Thursday, at two different times to cover different timezones.

Agenda and Slack logs from September 20: 11:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC

Deputy Check-in

All good, busy with tons of applications and we are trying to catch up with those!

P2 posts needing feedback/action

Proposal to Increase the Maximum Ticket Price for WordCamps
Note that we are not telling WordCamps to increase their ticket prices, but we are having a (long) conversation about the possibility to raise the maximum possible price that would be allowed to go for if they need to.
All Camps are still encouraged to make their prices as affordable as possible

Input Requested: “Building A Diverse Speaker Roster” Document
The Diversity Outreach Speaker Training group created a document for WordPress Meetups and WordCamps about Building A Diverse Speaker Roster and they need our input. 

Announcements/Updates/Highlighted posts

#community, #community-team

Community Team Chats – September 6 2018

(Note: I am almost done posting four months of chats after a period of inactivity. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone in the team to do this task, so bear with me while I update everything!)

The Community Team meets twice a month, first and third Thursday, at two different times to cover different timezones.

Agenda and Slack logs from September 6: 11:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC

Deputy Check-in

We have a large number of Meetup applications, we asked all deputies to go look for threads in Help Scout that needs vetting to speed things along.

It was brought up that sometimes the pages on the handbook still needs some clarifications, which should be addressed in the orientation but organisers don’t always ask questions. A document has been started with some FAQs . It’s an ongoing project and you can see the progress here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zbYYEErMX9Qq-hS1i01eUSZej8tlTGxjOu43Kp-UcAg/edit

A meta ticket was open to add a deadline field to Make blogs: this is something we do in the Community team when we have a time-sensitive discussion: you can see it on the Meta Trac

P2 posts needing feedback/action

  1. Office Hours and Team Chat for first week of October
    We are looking for volunteers to cover office hours and to run the first chat of October since our friends at Automattic will be at the Grand Meetup. Found them and all went well!

Announcements/Updates/Highlighted posts

  1. Payments offline for a week
  2. WordCamp Incubator 2018 Update Thread: August edition 
#community, #community-team

October 25th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

WordPress 5.0-beta1 has been released, please make sure you read the beta post properly, as there are some considerations you may need to take for this beta period.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of the Swedish, Russian, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, German, Serbian and Greek support communities took part in this weeks support chat.

Links in reviews

Our big ticket item, links in reviews.

We’ve long had a guideline mention that we do not allow links in reviews, but they’ve not always been upheld the same way. Basically, a link in a review to a persons own website is often used as an attempt to get a free link and some free visitors, which is why we’ve drawn a hard line to avoid spam.

There can be nuances here though, so evaluating things on a case by case basis will help in the long run. A link may not always be bad, it may have value in relation to the experience at hand.

Also, when redacting a post or flagging a user, always leave a post explaining what is happening so the user isn’t confused as to why their post has changed.

If in doubt, feel free to ask the rest of the team on Slack, we’re here for each other!

Open floor

Don’t forget about our work on improving the support guidelines, we’re collaborating on GitHub (https://github.com/Clorith/wporg-support-guidelines) for it, but discussions can also happen on Slack. If they do happen on Slack, please someone summarize them on to GitHub as well for visibility.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)