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  • Jerry Bates 1:47 pm on July 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: last post, make:community,   

    Picking up the conversation on make:community 

    Howdy ModSquad.

    Today is the day! This is our last post on

    As discussed here it is not possible for us all to post on our new home. Currently myself (@jerrsarcastic) and @myroseapple are the only mods with that ability. I am looking into getting a Trac instance set up for tracking any issues we have with videos, but until then we still need to be able to communicate!

    With that in mind, I will be starting a weekly Issues thread on make:community where you can leave a comment if you have a question, need feedback, or have something else to say about the videos you are working on.

    Here is the link to this week’s thread:

    Because I don’t want things to get out of sync (we have already imported all content to make:community) I have change everyone’s role here so that you will not be able to publish, though you can still comment for the time being. This home has served us well, but it is time to say goodbye!

    Stay Tuned

    It probably goes without saying, but be sure to visit and subscribe in the sidebar widget, so you don’t miss any updates. We’ll be getting ready to roll out a post-production team to help rescue missing WordCamp videos, plus add some more subtitling/translating muscle. Stay tuned on make:community!

    Thanks again squad; is nothing without your help! :)

  • Christian Rüggeberg 1:50 am on July 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Yeah! :) It looks like all videos of WordCamp Chicago are all complete now!
    There was one of them where i’m not 100% sure because 5 minutes before it ends the speaker disabled his microphone so we only hear the sound from anywhere … It is not the best one but think we could take it: ( it happens at ~34:25 )

    • Jerry Bates 12:49 pm on July 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, that is a bummer. Well I think given how well the video is presented to that point, and the fact that slides are already edited into the video, we can go ahead and publish.

      • arkonisus 12:55 pm on July 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Jerry, i would do the same but it is always good if another one confirms it ;)

  • Jerry Bates 5:32 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: community,   

    Mod Squad, now with more community power! 


    There is no summarizing this post, because we have a lot to discuss. Sorry for making it so long, but please take the time to read it and comment. Your feedback is important. Thanks! :)

    Once a long time ago (November 29th, 2012 to be exact) there was no ModSquad, and the job of posting videos on fell upon the shoulders of one very overworked person:  @andreamiddleton.  Clearly that wasn’t ideal so our merry band of moderators was born, with the mission of putting the power to publish videos in the hands of the community!

    Once under way, we quickly realized that we needed a way to communicate as mods, so this P2 was established.  The plan always was to move to, where the other community groups had their P2s, but for one reason or another that did not happen, and here we are more than a year later.  Now I am happy to say, it is time to move to our new home at where we belong! :)

    Returning home

    If you look now, you can see that all the posts from this P2 have already been moved here:
    Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 4.08.45 PM

    This will our new home, and where we will communicate from now on. I can’t tell you how awesome this is, because even though we are a part of the larger community, our P2 has been hidden from view, and no one really knows about us. Now that we are moving, everyone will see us know about the awesome work we do.

    What is changing?

    Soon all traffic from this site will be redirected to our new home, so this is the last post we’ll be making here. But before that happens, I wanted to discuss with you one of the changes that this move will bring about: Communication

    Unlike this remote and forgotten P2, where everyone is an author and has the ability to post. The Make:WordPress community is a much bigger site though (comprised of many smaller project teams) so it would quickly get out of hand if we all were able to post. Basically, we would be clogging up everyone else’s stream with our chatter. If we were a very small group, giving everyone the access to post would not be so problematic, but as we grow (and we are definitely doing that) it would quickly become unmanageable.

    However, communication on this team is very important, so I wanted to start a quick discussion here about how we can work around this change in how we do things before our move is complete. Here are a few options:

    • Creating posts just for comments: Because everyone has the ability to comment on existing posts on make:community (for now only @RoseAppleMedia and myself have the power to create new posts) we could start a weekly “issues” post, where anyone can leave a comment regarding what they are working on, or any questions they have. Simple to implement, and allows us to communicate easily as we do now, we just wouldn’t be creating a new posts for every issue or question we have.
    • Create a Trac instance just for Since most of the things we discuss on the P2 currently are around issues with the videos we moderate, instead of using a blog to report that (not an ideal situation) we could use a “bug tracker” system similar to what the core developers use to work on the source code. This is a little more complicated to set up, but we’d be able to create a new ticket any time there is an issue with a video, or something that needs discussion within the group to sort out.
    • Regular “office hours” in IRC: We have just started this again (today in fact) but I think it is an important way to keep the lines of communication open, and in some ways, just pinging someone in IRC is much easier and more appropriate as a way to resolve issues and get feedback. This would not be the same as team meetings (where we usually have some agenda to discuss) but instead a time and place where you can go to get any questions you have answered by a senior mod, or get a second opinion on a video issue if needed.

    This is not an either/or choice; we could choose to implement any of these in combination, or perhaps you have an idea I have not thought of. So now I turn the microphone over to you. What do you think is the best way for us to communicate now that we have a awesome new home?

    • Michael 5:55 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It looks like you have given this a lot of thought. All these things sound great.
      I think the difficult part will be getting use to a new system without getting lost and frustrated in the process.
      It may take a lot of guidance and hand holding for everyone.

    • stk 2:29 am on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      First of all: WOW! and THX!

      Entering this group last week I’d no idea on how fast things could (and do!) evolve. If one (just like me) get a daily summary and only take some short stops during the week here to get the latest comments and maybe reply as well you’re just overwhelmed … new community plattform, levering feedback, language-naming cleared, another IRC session I missed (even the announcement :-o), stratetic discussions on subtitleing …

      I love this really target-driven way of work and I’m grateful for your job @jerrysarcastic (and who else may by concerned, I’m sure that you’re only the tip of an [wp-]iceberg) putting the loose ends of our discussion that quickly and precise together. Thank you very much!

      If’d a wish free for working on moderating the videos a direct link from inside the to this meta-level would be nice. Something like a »I need feedback from my mod-squad on this video« link maybe. With this it would be easier to refer to individual questions, probs, annotations to a single video. So I guess the trac-system could be a solution for the operational part of our job.

      This would enable us to use the P2 for more strategic topics, like the naming of languages or a »masterplan« for the subtitles, etc. etc. To unburden the mods with posting-rights (i.e. they have to drive the whole development of!) an open topic for collecting ideas from the squad would be fine. If we find a way to prioritize them and discus them more detailed in separate posts I see no drawback on the new P2 within the community.

      Both tools – P2 and trac – have in common that they are asynchronous, means: I can read and write whenever I want to (having time and motivation left ;-)). Even if it may delay decision making or problem solving a bit (which I presently learn isn’t necessarily so) it’s the right approach for me.

      IRC is a good enhancement to this, but forgive me if I couldn’t be present on any meeting, as I still have a real life. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with this matter, so this could be (or get) a mixed blessing if over the time only some of the team could participate. Of course it’s another good method to create and collect new ideas. If IRCs will happen regularly a prominent linked (in the P2) transcript afterwards would be helpful to stay at eye level of the discussion. IRC could IMHO also be used in important and urgent cases as I perceive this channel as a face to face meeting-room where binding appointments can be found fast and on a widespread foundation of participants.

      I’m really looking forward to the new challenges these shifts will bring :-D

      • Jerry Bates 10:10 am on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for that well-thought out comment, Stefan. :)

        IRC is a good enhancement to this, but forgive me if I couldn’t be present on any meeting, as I still have a real life.

        I would definitely like to expand the office hours to be more friendly to the schedules of global team, especially not having office hours on Friday anymore. Perhaps mid-week?

        Ideally, we would be better off having some other senior mods who are able to help cover the broader range of hours. Perhaps @myroseapple or @philerb (both on the east coast) could help out here until someone from the Euro timezone feels comfortable with being a lead for office hours? I say this because I am in California, so it’s hard for me to be early enough.

        Also, I am on IRC all the time, so if you have a question, and happen to see ‘jerrysarcastic’ online, feel free to ping me! :)

        • Philip Erb 12:38 pm on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

          I’d be more than happy to help out with leading an IRC. Other than business hours US eastern time, I’m generally available 9pm and later, though that’s a little early in the morning for our friends in Germany.

          • Jerry Bates 3:59 pm on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

            Thanks Phil, I think what I would like to do is have someone more east than me start in the morning, which is afternoon for most of Europe.

            Hopefully this avoids anyone needing to reschedule dinner plans, etc, as they do now. So maybe from 10:00 EDT to 2:00 EDT? If you could start it off, when I get up I could take over, so this would be a split shift.

            Again, this is not exactly like holding a meeting, but you’d be signing up to be available on IRC between those hours (say 10-12) to answer questions and help out, so it should not be too demanding of your time

            EDIT: I forgot to mention that we need to pick a day still.

            This would not be M-F :)

            • Philip Erb 12:57 pm on July 28, 2014 Permalink

              Wed, Thur, or Fri are generally best for me at that time.

            • Jerry Bates 3:57 pm on July 28, 2014 Permalink

              Great @philerb then I think Wednesday is the best for my schedule. Want to kick it off this week at 10:00 EDT?

    • arkonisus 3:52 am on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey @jerrysarcastic that’s really cool! In the beginning the “new type of comminication” could feel a little bit uncomfortable but it should be the best way if we use P2, Trac and IRC together as you proposed. I think the tracker could also give us more structure in some cases. So, let’s do it! ;)

    • Philip Erb 5:23 am on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think @stkjj hit the nail on the head. Though it’s a little more work up front to get everything setup, I like the idea of:

      • Using Trac for operational problems/questions
      • Using IRC for (semi-)regular office hours – the timing on these could even be changed up to facilitate participation from team members around the world (and with real lives!)
      • Using P2 for announcements (hey – we’re meeting at this time … or … hey – we have this fancy new feature) and to summarize items from Trac and IRC

      And I like the idea of keeping a generic P2 post open for comments that we can use in a pinch to ping each other. This may need to get rotated out every once in a while (weekly… monthly… depending on traffic) to keep it fresh.

    • Philip Erb 6:01 am on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      One thing I might add though … since the sidebar on the Make Community site is shared by all of the community teams, maybe we could create a sticky post and put the links to our moderator manual and similarly useful things there – the things that we’ve traditionally put in our sidebar here.

      • Jerry Bates 1:10 pm on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        We can’t do sticky posts because everything we post on that site also appears on the main community page here:

        So if we did that, we would add a sticky to the home page too. So everything is shared! Our posts are only collected under the tab because I applied the category “” to them all.

        But you bring up a good point; our sidebar housed a lot of things that we no longer have access to. So a solution for that will need to be devised. Perhaps a custom category page template with a widget area added?

  • Christian Rüggeberg 2:39 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    External sources: Where is the right place? 

    There is a video from WordCamp Chicago without slides, so i tried to find them on the official WordCamp site. There is also a link, but it points directly to the server of the speaker. These slides were build with Reveal.js, so nobody has a chance to upload them to a slide-hoster.
    I’m not sure if this presentation really has slides? I think about it because a link to a slide-hoster could be more secure than pointing to a “private” server because there the files could be deleted much easier.

    What do we do in such a case? Is it always better to show some slides, or is it better to prevent possibly dead links?

  • Jerry Bates 9:18 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , update,   

    Languages: No more duplicates 

    I have consolidated the languages taxonomy on to now use the native language name and script, rather than English naming. As you can see, this cleans up the widget on the page quite a bit:



    For those that are curious, here is the list of English names, and what they were changed to:

    Arabic – اللغة العربية
    Bulgarian – български език
    Czech – čeština
    Danish – Dansk
    German – Deutsch
    French – Français
    Dutch – Nederlands
    Italian – Italiano
    Hebrew – עברית
    Japanese – 日本語
    Norwegian – Norsk
    Portuguese – Português
    Romanian – Română
    Spanish – Español
    Russian – Русский
    Slovak – Slovenčina
    Swedish – Svensk

    • ubernaut 8:15 am on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      looks cool but you also must have gotten rid of some were those language (tags?) empty?

  • Jerry Bates 5:20 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: IRC,   

    Office Hours: Stop by tomorrow if you have the time! 

    Howdy ModSquad, given how many new mods we have now, plus all the new things we are working on, I thought it’d be a good idea to have some office hours on IRC if you have any have any questions, need feedback, or want to talk shop. :)

    Details: #wordpress-getinvolved in IRC (Freenode) Friday at 9:00 Pacific or 18:00 if you are in Germany.

    What are office hours?

    This is not exactly the same as our moderator hangouts, so there is no agenda, and it’s optional for you to stop by. But I will be around in IRC and if you feel like stopping by and saying hi, it’d be great to see you. :)

  • Jerry Bates 4:08 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , translation   

    What can we do to improve translations/subtitles? 

    Howdy ModSquad,

    While we have added a lot of muscle to help with moderating international videos, we still don’t have nearly as much of those coming in (though this is growing) as we do in English. We are also getting close to a critical mass where we have more mods than videos, as I have a ton of interested applicants I have been holding off on welcoming to the squad. How many? 24 applications so far. :)

    That’s the good news (the other good news being that most of those mods are international as well) but what do we do in a situation where me have way more mods around than videos to mod?


    You may not know this because we don’t get too many submissions, but it is easy to add a caption file to videos on

    With that in mind, how do we feel about starting a new sub-team within the ModSquad aimed at translating our current (and future) English language videos by adding captions, so that we can start sharing the wealth of WordPress knowledge we see every day.

    Since so many of us are involved in local Meetups and Contributor Days (at local WordCamps) another key role this translation team could help with is local outreach. For example, how cool would it be to have a “Translation Party” at your next meetup,?

    Anyone interested in helping to build this new team? What else can we do to take our current library of videos and expand it’s reach globally?

    • Kyle 4:44 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a pretty legit idea there @jerrysarcastic. Lovin’ it. What can I do to help?

      • Jerry Bates 12:01 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Are you fluent in any other languages? if not, I think creating captions in English are still very helpful for a couple of reasons:

        • Opens our videos up to anyone with accessibility issues, so they can enjoy them too
        • Since a caption file (with timestamps, etc.) is already attached to that video, it makes translating it to another language much easier for another contributor.
        • Jerry Bates 3:44 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

          I should add that I am firmly in the English camp here as well. I speak a bit of Spanish, but not to the degree that I can translate WordCamp videos, alas.

    • stk 11:20 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I already have the subtitleing on my agenda whenever the present german vids are finished.

      That’s BTW the sense of my comment @ on @glueckspress call for contribution:

      Looking at the variety of languages the focus for (new) mods should be to cover at least two languages (no matter which) to get (speaking in really long terms) all vids subtitled in all languages i.e. we also need folks speaking both czech and french e.g.

      Meetups/WordCamps: good idea in general. Looking @ our meetup it will overstrain most of our participants.

      • Jerry Bates 11:58 am on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Looking at the variety of languages the focus for (new) mods should be to cover at least two languages (no matter which) to get (speaking in really long terms) all vids subtitled in all languages i.e. we also need folks speaking both czech and french e.g.

        I want to avoid turning this into a full time job, so perhaps we could all start by picking a favorite video in English and translating it? Right now there are no translations happening, so starting small is better than no start at all

        We can then start featuring these in the weekly moderator updates that @myroseapple has started making on and get the word out that way.

  • Jerry Bates 11:51 am on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    When is a new mod no longer a n00b? 

    A long time ago, there was a mod (let’s call him super-mod) who used to schedule all videos for publication, and all the other mods tagged their videos READY FOR PUBLICATION, to let super-mod know that they, well, ready for publication.

    That didn’t scale very well, so we implemented what we have now. All mods schedule their own posts, no super-mod needed with one exception: New mods.

    For new mods joining our merry band, we ask them to use the old READY FOR PUBLICATION tag so current mods can double check to make sure everything is great, and then schedule the video if it is. After an ill-defined period of time we let these new mods know that they are good to start scheduling their own video, and all is good with the universe

    The problem though is that this doesn’t scale well either.

    Given the possibility of growing our squad even more, and expanding our role to include other activities like post-production and translation, I wanted to ask you all (new and current mods alike) what you think a better system for on-boarding new team members could be? How can we create a system that makes new mods feel welcome and gives them a place to go for questions, ensures that videos are moderated correctly, and is a little more sustainable than the current READY TO PUBLISH tagging system?

    • Michael 1:05 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      One issue is giving faster feedback to new mods so they can get up to speed. Most issues I have seen is just consistency (missed the slides in this one and in another missed the description).

      At one point (briefly) a new mod was assigned to a super-mod who monitored the new mods videos. After a few videos when they were consistent, according to that super-mod, they were ready to schedule their own videos (be a super-mod).

      Since the super-mod is familiar with the new mod this does make individual feedback easier and gets new mods scheduling (or publishing if we stop scheduling) videos faster.

      • Jerry Bates 1:59 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I was also remembering this in the distant past, something like a “buddy system” or a mentorship of sorts. Do you recall why this fell by the wayside?

      • stk 11:07 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I agree on “giving faster feedback”. The only one I (n00b-Mod) see is: the moderated items are scheduled. Everything correct? Some corrections made? Which? Not corrected but still incomplete just to get it online as fast as possible? I don’t know. E.g.: I adjusted 2 posts I moderated after being scheduled as I mentioned that I forgot to adjust the thumbnail (because this can’t bei done on the iPad). Who ever published these posts felt they’re ok even they weren’t in my own opinion.

        On behalf of “faster publishing”: as far as I can see 4 posts are published en block within 24 h. As we cover the world – why not using an interval of 12, 8 or even 6 h? May be with less videos per release.

        • Jerry Bates 12:23 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

          Those are good points @stkjj and @arkonisus: We have had added so many mods lately that I admin that is has been hard to keep up, both with feedback and with keeping track of who is doing what, and where.

          That is what prompted this post. :)

          Regarding feedback, I think restarting the “buddy” system that @myroseapple mentioned is a good place to start, so that something of a mentorship is created between new mods and experienced ones.

          Regarding faster publishing, we are looking at doing away with the scheduling system we use now, in favor of publishing as soon as the content is ready; no more scheduling.

          We are not ready to start doing that yet, but soon.

          • ubernaut 12:29 pm on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

            i think that having a regular schedule is beneficial to returning users especially.

      • arkonisus 1:52 am on July 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, the faster feedback or feedback at all as Stefan said would be good. If there are not so much new mods at a time i think the READY FOR PUBLISH – System should work. But, if there are more and more mods it could be necessary if there are some “senior-mods” regarding quality issues.

    • ubernaut 5:53 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      i think the system you have makes sense from a noob perspective i think with the uploaded videos being pending posts already not sure how the workflow could be improved much but maybe ill have more opinions once I’m not as noo.

  • johnparkinson 11:45 am on July 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    @myroseapple I read your post dated July 15th about self promotion videos. There is a video in Pending called Sam Moog: Introduction to CM Answers Q&A Forum. I tagged it How To and Question & Answer. Could you please take a look at it when you have time and see if this is OK to publish? Thanks!

    • Michael 7:07 am on July 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yes it is more appropriate. It does have a TV commercial feel to it though.

      Can someone else take a look and give an opinion?

    • arkonisus 3:38 am on July 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, in my opinion it is only a commercial for the shown plugin. As i remember it is also the same author/company of the video discussed in the thread of @myroseapple at the 15th of july.

  • Christian Rüggeberg 3:39 am on July 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The following video is not complete. It ends suddenly at ~31:00. I tagged it as “INCOMPLETE” and informed the uploader about it.

    @jerrysarcastic If you like there are some german videos waiting for you ;-)

    • arkonisus 3:26 am on July 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Today Ralf from WordCamp Hamburg told me that he will take a look at the video. So we have to wait for his answer …

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