I had to laugh a little bit when I saw 10up’s announcement yesterday that they’ll be sponsoring Helen Housandi to work full time on the WordPress project as both a core contributor and a community leader. Not because I don’t think it’s amazing. It’s an enormous commitment and I have mad respect for them giving back to that degree.
I laughed because, not 24 hours earlier, I was writing an email to my team talking about how I wanted to give back more to the WordPress community. How we were lucky to be a part of something so amazing. And how our business wouldn’t exist without its existence. The email wasn’t only a call to arms, but a commitment from myself as well.
You see, I told everyone on our team that working in the WordPress Support forums wasn’t just something that would be nice to do “when we have extra time” (does that exist?), but that it would be mandatory for every member of our team going forward on a weekly basis.
They were all so eager to jump right in and I was stoked by their reaction. It was yet another affirmation that I’ve picked great people to work here.
Going forward, each member of our team will be working in the WordPress support forums for a certain number of hours each week, and WP Site Care will be paying for that time. You can think of it as our “20% time” or whatever you’d like, but the bottom line is that we need to be more involved in improving the community, and a more responsive forum is a great way to give new users a great impression of this amazing platform.
I’ll admit that my decision to give back felt a little insignificant when you take into account that companies like Bluehost, Dreamhost, and 10up are sponsoring full time core contributors, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, if everyone committed to giving back to some degree, however small, we’d move development forward in a huge way. Probably more than any of us realize.
I also realized that everyone has a place. We don’t employ anyone with core contributor skills here (yet), but we’re damn good at support, and that’s something we can give back in a very meaningful and effective way.
So I’m proud to announce that all WP Site Care team members will be contributing time weekly to the WordPress Support Forums and Docs.