I have a few important questions and suggestions in relation to CP and its organisational structure, plans to survive, and plans to thrive.
In no way my post here should be taken as an attempt to offence, while it might sound like I try to attack with my writing, this is not my purpose, my purpose is to bring clarity into the doubts, and bring the project forward. I am just critically thinking and picking the structure apart.
Several discussions with other members of CP community and my own experience have contributed to my motivation to write this up in the public forum, because I believe it requires a public interaction and feedback
I’ve read here the general purpose of CP’s leading team but also that CP is a decentralised structure where teams can take decisions and implement things, as well as members can and should interact, propose, and be ready to roll up sleeves.
Well, me and several other members of this community are ready, but I feel we have not been given the full opportunity to deploy our potential, leading into frustration and even some people leaving the project behind.
So here are my concerns, questions and suggestions, in no particular order and without intention of directly hurting or criticising anyone. However, I expect some improvements or at least response to these concerns, and again, as many probably know already, I am ready to help wherever I can.
At any point I might miss or misunderstand something, thus, I apologise ahead if that is the case, and please do not hesitate to correct me if necessary, or harshly criticise - I can take it.
I think that “thread” (like so many others) or at least a summary thereof should be within the “about” of CPs website, so everyone can quickly learn how things work. I needed to google “how does ClassicPress standing committee work”, got another, external blog post, which then linked to @BlueSkyPhoenix’s post. Too many “documentation” threads are on the forums. This needs to change, I believe, and forums shall be only “discussions/asks/support”. Regulations, How To’s, and the like, have to live somewhere in the site, directly accessible thru links that are discernible. It shouldn’t take long to do that when we publish stuff. If will however now take days to gather the spread out information and put it to a centralised place, not to speak of all the sudden redirects or 404s that such “reordering” would provoke
I do not see the majority of those standing committee members being very active in CP.
This might be due to a lot of things going on in the background, but then, if that is the case, I would say “I miss a public report of those committee members outlining the goals, progress and achievements of the past [month,quartal,semester,whatever]”.
At least one of the committee members actually officially “left” CP.
In at least some cases, I see regular members of this project being exponentially more active at least in the publicly visible face, than the members of the committee.
However some of these very active and invested community members have been building up a feeling of wasting their time because their contributions where/are stalled with “will [maybe] do/will do once[…]”, which does then not happen (example: docs, social groups, etc).
This ended in some of those very invested members to actually “leave” CP. Which is not good at all. It also contributes in still active members becoming sceptical of the actual “will” and “reason” behind CP.
This brings me to my point, I do understand that we are all volunteers, but I believe a committee members should take on more responsibility and commit more than a regular member.
Thus, it should be of less importance what else tasks the committee has outside of CP and CP should be their main focus.
This is only possible if there is time free to be invested.
And when there is time, the project can grow faster, and in more directions.
Thus my suggestion here is that there should be a rule added, that standing committee members do have to have a certain guaranteed time at disposal to invest for CP.
Letting CP slowly choke because our other (real?) jobs take too much time would not be a acceptable “thing”, IMO, for a committee member.
I am not asking to work 100% for CP for free. No one can and will do that. But at least a weekly report, or meeting, would maybe contribute to a more felt “it is alive” than “CP is dead anyway”.
It also would probably speed up things generally, if a meeting is expected weekly, because to have a meeting you need to have things to present, discuss and announce.
This brings me to: where can we see updated, open reports of sponsored finance usage, progress updates, plans and roadmaps for CP?
In a democracy, all process and investments should be continually communicated and if possible in a central place accessible to anyone.
It is the death of every democracy when bureaucracy, disorganisation or lack of actual information obfuscates the facts, or facts are not made visible at all
In the current standing CP Committee Members list I cannot see if any of those members is actually team lead of something.
I know some of them are actually team leads, I know someone does not have to be team lead to get committee member, but I think it would be helpful to link to their team or profile, at least, and also the public report of progress (if any) written up by the single members (weekly, monthly or whatever it will be), which I believe every democracy should have, mandatorily.
It is one of the main concepts of any anti-totalitarian motivated community (such as democracy) to transparently communicate what was, what will and what maybe shall be done. I cannot see such reports of any of the teams, unless scarce occurrences spread thru forum and/or blog.
Also it would just be nice, to have a list of prior members, and current members, in a “view”, with avatars and links as mentioned to profile or engagement reports.
I cannot find any occurrence of members voting to committee for the year 2021. I can find it for the year 2019 (list of candidates to be voted for 2020), but same seems to be missing for 2020 > 2021. Perhaps it is hidden somewhere, or I miss something.
I know above is a rather messy mix of complaints, questions and suggestions, let me state again:
- I am ready to help with whatever work necessary where possible, and so are other members of this community. I think the opportunities however are rather restricted, slow motion, or not existent/considered.
Again, this shall not be any offence, it is intended to make CP better, and to keep it alive.
I do not like the current common statements made mainly in slack repeatedly that “CP is basically dead”.
If it is dead, then let’s delete this project and focus on things we can actually maintain.
If it is not dead, lets stop saying that, and make it go great, possibly before WP 5.8 is a thing of reality
This brings me to my last closing point.
Relying on “When WP will [do x] we will get more users” is not really a sustainable approach.
No one will leave WP behind for a project that is not even objecting to “CP is dead” phrases in its own slack channels , even if Block Editor nukes WP into pieces.
CP needs to distance itself so to give an incentive as of why to leave the trusted and sucessfull WP behind.
This can only be done by doing those things better that WP is not good at, one of those is “accepting new input”.
WP leadership is (often) dead stuck on old dinosaurs opinions like “nothing wrong, it was like that for the last 12 years”. I think we need to “sell” this aspect of CP more.
Of course there are many other things to attract users, such as having stable themes and plugins made for CP, and unfortunately that takes time (because users expect plugins like full fledged page builders, not small “do single task” plugins). But this is topic for another discussion and requires active work (which is in progress, as I know and see). Lets hope that with a more active “core” of CP, we can speed all this up.