It's been ridiculous for stack about WordPress to not actually have a community blog. I cited dire lack of human resources in the past, but we are slowly pushing past that. Also I am on sabbatical. I am nice human resource or what?

So let's go over setup dance for starters. Following are my thoughts and up for discussion.

What are we writing about

Simply put for topics we have WordPress and our stack. Combination of, as well as them as completely separate topics.

Example formats that I think can do well:

  • original in-depth technical tutorials. We all have few of those posts bookmarked, that completely kill specific topic and which people reference and come back for years. We can make such.

  • highlighted answer(s) and question(s). Sometimes answers are so good that they deserve their own spotlight and more accessible form, than slowly drown in depths of the site.

    • top content digests. Top (most voted / most viewed / hand picked ) content for the month (or other period).
  • about us (meta). We've been around for a while, but a lot of non-participating people in WP circles still have quite a weak grasp on how it works and what they can get into and out of site.

  • interviews with prominent users. I am not huge fan of the format, but it seems to be popular.

    • round tables. As more lively twist on interviews - poll people for opinions (real time in chat or, probably more robust, async) on specific issue and compile results.
  • editorials and guest posts. Simply put great topics and discussions that don't make good questions, but really deserve to be posted somewhere.

What are we NOT writing about

  • news coverage. I find it boring and useless type of content, especially on resources that aren't completely dedicated to it.

  • overly local events coverage. I went to WordCamp, there were slides and more importantly party after. Too much of it around, too little interesting in it. Of course this is prone to exclusions for really good posts and writeups from events SE sponsored/sent our people to.

  • I slapped something together, can I have my backlink now? Go die in a fire.

Our values

Best practices. Bulletproof technical competence. Peer review from hell.

Everything, lack of which makes WordPress web resources out there pitiful thing to watch.

Target schedule

I'd say quality over quantity. We can aim for weekly (maybe less? biweekly?) post for starters and see how it goes.

Who runs the show

I'd say mods are natural suckers to get this added to their responsibilities, but given some lack of English nativeness we would probably add more willing people with blogging/writing competence to edit and review.

Next steps

Please comment/answer if you are interested in writing content for the blog.

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Interested? Absolutely. –  EAMann Sep 27 '12 at 18:16
    
"Best practices. Bulletproof technical competence. Peer review from hell." +1 –  Ian Dunn Oct 3 '12 at 18:57

7 Answers 7

I support this idea.

One request

Allow a proper link to the author/user profile.

Seeing as asking for an external back link will have you burning in hell, it would be more appropriate to link to the author/user instead.

Looking at other community blogs, I saw no easy way to view the authors -> user profile page albeit having a glorified "author" archive on the community blog, which does nothing to help.

Am I missing something or...?

Before you smash this to bits, there are benefits to linking back to a authors -> user profile, in that...

  • readers can be exposed to other answers authors have given on the parent site
  • which may help them in their pursuits to achieve _______________
  • and provide a greater over all learning and user experience
  • it wont selfishly promote external links possibly diminishing the quality of submissions

Also, I'll add that there is an intrinsic benefit to the author to be had, which is some minor exposure.

Even though it should not be the aim of the contributor, the user bio box can be left to do the self-promoting (should anyone actually read it), and if so would open readers up to potential sites, services, plugins or themes that the author may be involved with in some way.

My thinking is that because of the heavy, death-stare, peer review process that contributed blog articles will go through, we can somewhat rest assured knowing that the same quality and consistency exemplified here, should also be extended to any external pursuits authors are involved with.

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+1 to that Link thingy –  kaiser Sep 27 '12 at 20:07
    
This is more global than just blog for us. Should be probably raised and dealt with separately later. –  Rarst Sep 27 '12 at 20:49
    
I mean this in a global sense too. That any WPSE user who is approved to release an article should be linked back to his/her user profile. It will apply to any author and promotes better integration of the two elements WPSE <- USER -> BLOG so if its something we have to raise with the powers that be, lets do that - or I'd be willing to head up that initiative if need be. –  userabuser Sep 27 '12 at 20:54
    
Yes, I don't mind it in either scope. Just pointing out that it is separate issue with blogoverflow as a whole. Go scour global meta, probably been raised. –  Rarst Sep 27 '12 at 21:07

FIRST!

Ok. I'll even write the first post and make the first dance. Why do I offer you my blood? Simple: I've always been one of those people pushing the idea back as much as I could because of lack of resources. And I feel that if I support this idea, then I'll jump into the cold water first. Topic: Who the hell is driving this site so far? Suggestions still welcome :)


Here're some of my answers to the questions asked in the ... well: question.

What are we writing about

I'm missing the most important thing: Controversial things. We got a lot of discussions about a lot of things in questions, that we have to close vote as "not a real question". But hey! Opinions have a place where comments are allowed. More than that: We'd all love to have a lot of comments in discussions in our community blog, right?

What are we NOT writing about

Yeah, that's not that eays, but we sure have to write a tight cook book at the beginning. Else I see us having the next metas coming in, where people complain, why they couldn't write about »foobar WYSIWYG pro« and their experience with it.

Another thing: As Andrey already stated, there seems to be the "interview rockstar coder"-topic that people might be interested in. So question: Who decides who's famous enough? From being on the site since close to its birth and knowing you old timers in here for some time now, I know that all of you are just too modest to call yourself "famous". So: Whom to cover/interview? One of our "famous" 101 rep users?

Well, that's it. Go, comment, up- and downvote, bash me.

Important! As already covered, a lot of us (including me) are not native speakers. We really need some people who can speak this länguitsch perfectly to go over my blabla and your articles.

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I agree on the whole opinion conversation thing, it would be a nice breath of fresh air, I think we would need to keep it positive and light (maybe like a dev round table discussion). –  Wyck Sep 27 '12 at 18:49
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I don't like the interview rockstar bla bla topic, not unless there is a useful agenda to the topic that matches the ethos of the tutorial-like-articles we are intending to post. Possibly names and topic/agendas can be submitted for peers to vote on, so a certain amount of votes would be necessary to have an interview go-ahead. Decisions in numbers. –  userabuser Sep 27 '12 at 18:50
    
"Not a real question" stuff is what I formulated as "editorials". Interviews - really not sure about them myself, so up to someone else to suggest how to deal with it. :) –  Rarst Sep 27 '12 at 20:48
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I am generally willing to provide 'native English speaker' editorial support. Slot me in for that in the peer review process. –  marfarma Sep 27 '12 at 21:45

I'd be very much interested in helping out with this - editing, writing, forming part of a peer-review gauntlet...

My thoughts on content ...

  • highlighted answers - incredibly good idea!
  • WPSE meta? - perhaps a few posts on how the site works, what's on/off topic, how to write a good question/answer etc. I think this is related to your 'about us' suggestion.
  • Popular topics done badly - I see this as articles focused on correcting common pitfalls or those popular tutorials that just 'do it wrong'. So while not particularly original - I think it will serve the community, and WPSE well.

How we might do this...

  • Peer review - this is a must. I'd like to see a 'core' team of which every article is looked at by some subset thereof. It would be great for contributors to get feedback rather than a just a 'no'.
  • Who runs the show? I don't know - but I agree that most of the mods will certainly be interested. Those who do should be able to ensure a high standard of content - at the same time, I want us to encourage participation...
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Regarding peer review, perhaps it would be a good idea to have a requisite number of peers review an article off a panel, so that for any article to be published it might need to attract several votes from our peer group first. This would be a form of quality assurance where by not only the author is scrutinized (constructively) but also peers themselves would act as a form of checks and balances against wrongly approving articles that are erroneous - seeing as that's major point of contention in the WP community at large, standards and best practices. –  userabuser Sep 27 '12 at 18:47
    
@userabuser - I was thinking exactly the same thing - a minimum number of peer reviews required for each article. You make some really good points about needing this. –  Stephen Harris Sep 27 '12 at 18:57
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"meta" = "about us". Bad practices - I am strongly against. Enumerating badness is not productive approach, it's much better to focus on producing content focusing about how to do things right. –  Rarst Sep 27 '12 at 20:51
    
@Rarst - that is what I meant - providing the right way to do it. Though I also think there is value in explaining why the 'common' method is wrong. –  Stephen Harris Sep 28 '12 at 15:58
    
@Stephen Harris I disagree. :) Trying to hammer into people that they are doing something the wrong way is additional overhead and they often actually resist it. As for me best course of action is to focus on right ways alone and exclusively. The smart ones will follow happily, the dumb ones... their choice. –  Rarst Sep 28 '12 at 16:03
    
On the whole popular topics done badly? Yes! I'm new to coding WP and freak out when there are three in-depth tutorials that all use different functions for the same supposedly standard functionality (I'm looking at you, custom post types). I also don't have enough understanding of coding yet to figure out what's going on or which I should actually use. And a thought: instead of saying why one way is wrong, just explain best practices and why. –  Liana Mir Oct 2 '12 at 22:15
    
@LianaMir Your latter thought is covered by this Rarst's principle: "Enumerating badness is not productive approach"..::::: And the former would be a nice blog article: Dissecting 3 different paths that lead to the same result and how I learned a couple of things in the process –  brasofilo Oct 8 '12 at 9:30
    
I fail to see how saying this is a best practice because it plays nice with such and such is "enumerating badness." –  Liana Mir Oct 8 '12 at 17:06
    
@brasofilo LianaMir my initial motivation was a counter to Rarst's specification of 'original' content. I think that it would be helpful to include content that, while not particularly original, does 'do it right' - as part of that it can highlight and correct many bad practises. I still think those willing to learn, will benefit from that. Specifically, I prefer content that teaches rather than just provides 'copy and paste' fodder. –  Stephen Harris Oct 8 '12 at 20:33

I'm also in

Suggestions:

  • Discussions - on controversial issues and practices
  • Code snippets - would love to ba able to link to specific blog posts on recurring questions, god knows there are dosens with different variations
  • Overview of upcoming features in next core releases - what people should prepare for
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I'm in, I like the following.

  • Highlighted answers and questions Maybe taking a question/answer of the month that is really good and going into more depth.
  • WPSE meta I like this, a lot of new users are confused and could use some informative posts.

Maybe another idea is a dev round-table, where several experts can discuss a topic with varying opinions , pro's/con's.

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I saw other blogs doing something like digests of top questions. Might make good "filler" posts. Again "meta" = "about us". –  Rarst Sep 27 '12 at 20:52

I'm in.

I'm willing to:

  • peer review
  • 'native English speaker' editing, as requested
  • possibly write some 'original in-depth technical tutorials' - although likely not more than one per year, if I do
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As Stephen Harris and Wyck point out, I agree that Q&A Highlights is a given.

Expanding on it, the librarian in me would be interested in Editorializing the Archives.
Like a "Tag research", say an article mashing up Theme Development.
Something in the lines of this answer I wrote: Looking for WordPress System Diagrams.
Or this great post Andrea_r G+ the other day: How to do damn near anything with WordPress

  • Comment of the Day: there's a meta somewhere about this... So many gems we met in the comments threads getting lost in the dustbins of memory, it's not fair!

  • WPSE Plugin Repository: The plugins that came out of WP-Answers... Also, many little gems floating around that didn't make into that wiki. And could morph into a category, a post series or a page or something more live.

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