Encourage development of an official ClassicPress Secretary

Moving @voltaire’s petition here:

Every Non Profit Organization (NPO) has someone who organizes events, marketing plan execution strategies and helps everyone streamline and better organize so people aren’t butting heads or repeating efforts. In smaller agencies, we’d call the person a Project Manager. The Secretary would keep meeting minutes (summary notes, record video discussions, etcetera). Goes without saying person would need to be vetted and agreed upon by people above my pay grade, the current Committee or whomever Mr. Bowler thinks would be a good fit. It’s putting more structure behind what’s being done, how things are done, coordination,etc.


1 Like

Pinging @Directors

Previously: Idea: who is doing what?

I think the status is still the same: we need a volunteer.

1 Like

I think this topic is more clear, so let’s move discussion here and close that topic.

1 Like

Guess that means you like the idea, Wade?:sunglasses:


Before a volunteer is recruited, (personally I think) there should be more structure to what would be specifically needed in the position to make sure a) everyone on the Committee knows what the person’s responsibilities are, and b) so the person doing it, knows what s/he can or cannot do, what expectations are, and where input on their part begins and ends…

And that kind of speaks to James’ “who is doing what?” point and really what makes up the onus of what I feel I can most contribute to. Not everyone may agree with my ideas, and I may be wrong on some things, but I have a ****load of experience in marketing. I’m rusty as a bag of old nails, but it’s my feeling that this project needs more structure, more revenue streams, a top down structure that everyone agrees upon and some level of delegated workflow and consistency across duties - like a distributed team.


@voltaire: I have, in the past, been a member of an organization that has the following rule:

Whenever someone asks “when are we have a meeting”, that person automatically becomes the new president of the organization. The main role of the president is to coordinate the time and place of the next meeting.

In practice it worked really well, and was a fun way to use a very simple organizational structure to get things done.

ClassicPress has a bit more structure, but the guiding principle is the same: if you want to see that something gets done, then the best way is to make it happen.

So, I’m recruiting you as a volunteer :slight_smile: If you’re up for it, of course. Your role here could be as small as helping to define what the responsibilities of a secretary could be, or it could include giving it a try.

knows what s/he can or cannot do, what expectations are, and where input on their part begins and ends…

I think it’s important for someone in the role of secretary to follow as many sources of information as possible (Slack, forums, petitions, GitHub) and ask questions when something comes up that they’re not sure about.

As far as limits, it makes sense to me that we define this more organically by trying it out and seeing what works and what doesn’t work.

This is going to be a really good learning opportunity for whoever ends up doing it, and having another pair of eyes on what we’re doing will also help us keep the project more organized.

1 Like

Some thoughts…
When I was a Project Manager, I knew (and let it be known) I did not have all the necessary skills to run an agency by myself. I can’t be a master programmer and developer, security expert, database administrator, writer, designer, lawyer, manager, pr person, answer the phones, and so on. But I could sure as **** be the “ram rod” or crack the whip in a generous hearted way - basically saying that we have a business to run at the end of the day and we need work done to keep it running and profitable. Profits are the fuel of business, whether it’s a typical business or a non-profit. If it’s a Non Profit Organization, the only difference is you put profits back into the business and decisions must be made by committee vote and you get audited more often.

I could help define what a secretary should do, sure. And if you like it, great, if not, great. Could I actually be the secretary…I don’t know yet. It’s a time issue for me…

One of the issues in being a secretary is all the communications channels with forums, email, Slack, it’s important to tidy up all of that for regular monthly updates and defining tangible objectives.

I see motivation and sincerity but I also see alot of people (myself included) worrying about CP a few years out. How will updates work or not work? Security issues? Automattic is not going to blow kisses our way (and they surely aren’t doing it now); and most people other than developers don’t know what CP is or that it even exists. That makes marketing important. It makes fundraising important. It makes active recruitment and solicitation of new developers important in order to build a roster of new plugins and get more help.

All those factors makes an organized plan very important, and execution of such a plan just as much if not more important. Those things matter to me, and why I keep asking about them. I want CP to maintain as I have a vested interest in its perpetuation. Without a gameplan for going forward that is “lean and mean,” I have serious concerns. That’s something I’d want to be a part of certainly, but even more so, having some input in trying to get going beyond talking about a plan or implementing one. I was the whip-cracker so to speak at agencies because I"m driven and always have been and grew up around military people who were very objective-minded - so it’s tough to not continue that way when it’s done me alot of good so far. I’d really like to see more of that somehow. It’s a tough time of year to have meetings and get things moving, but messages can still be relayed and some work can still be done.

So I guess I can try to help by more clearly defining what I think a CP Secretary can or should do, even if that role is divided between two people. That’s okay. I don’t know if I’m the person for that job - since there are so many channels for communication to monitor and different aspects I’m not informed on. I’ll submit something back to you in a few days and see what you think. In my heart, very sincerely, marketing is more vital to me; and that to me is primarily organizing and executing on a plan for moving CP forward as if it were a force of nature that can and must grow.

Just my humble thoughts…and I’ll let you respond whenever convenient…

The key to this is notifications. Use the platform’s built-in notifications system to keep up with everything, think of it as an inbox with unread items. This looks slightly different for each platform:

  • Slack: There is a handy list of channels that have unread messages. Keep it at zero unread messages. If you get way behind, it’s a video game and you just died. Press Shift+Esc until all the unread messages go away.
  • Forums: Go to your notifications preferences and set “Consider topics new when I haven’t viewed them yet” and “Automatically track topics I enter immediately”. Then, click the hamburger menu icon at the top right and watch the “New” and “Unread” counters.
  • Petitions site: There is a notifications page which works but it’s rough. This helps a bit as a way to mark multiple notifications as “read” at once.
  • GitHub: Watch the repositories you’re interested in, and then use https://github.com/notifications. They did a really good job with this feature.

Slack has a way to mark a channel “unread from here”. The other platforms do not. For me, it’s especially important not to miss anything on GitHub, so I also have it configured to send email notifications, which I use the same way (leave them unread until I’ve done whatever needs to be done on each issue).

Yes, this is a fair point. The above tips help, but I’m not going to pretend that it takes zero time to keep up with everything.

We have already discussed and planned solutions for most of these issues. What we haven’t always done as good of a job with is making sure these discussions and answers get to the right place. This is definitely something a secretary can help with.

1 Like

Having another pair of eyes to say “have you thought about this issue?” or “we’ve seen this before, look at X thread” or “I created a GitHub issue to track this suggestion so it doesn’t get lost” is a huge part of helping us stay organized, and making it obvious that we are executing on an organized plan.

I’m trying to do this on the technical side (I think I created about 5 new GitHub issues today…) but it is a lot to keep up with.


Just glancing through everything for now. It’s 2AM where I am and I still have to do a little bit. So I will re-read later tomorrow when fully caffeinated.

Agree with everything that @voltaire said regarding skillsets, and just want to add a quick point.

Tasks that actually require high cognitive functions should be left to the capable pros.

Tasks that are menial can be subbed out to a full time VA for about $300-$400/mo. Just need to define everything that needs to get done and SOP it, then build systems around them.

If I was running the show, I’d start with prioritizing everything (the tech is already there), add revenue streams at the top, then work down and start connecting the pieces.

Just my 2c.


Agreed 100%. And I would add one thing: I would put the pedal to the metal despite time of year because a) I’m paranoid and don’t trust Automattic not to be adversarial at worst and apathetic at best and b) there are alot of people who need informing and recruitment while Gutenberg is still driving users and developers nuts.

1 Like

Since CP is a non-profit entity (NPO) a Secretary ideally would fulfill what a Secretary typically does: https://www.nonprofitlawblog.com/duties-secretary-nonprofit-corporation/ as opposed to what a press secretary, PR, or marketing person might do. The legal definition of a Secretary is more administrative.

Having a paid VA (or a paid anyone) would be great but unfortunately we’re not there yet. What can we do in the meantime?

If you’ve listened in on the last couple of @Directors meetings, then you know that the founding committee is working toward defining a more formal organizational structure and putting processes in place to hedge against future issues such as plague our predecessor. We want to thoughtfully create a structure that serves the CP community in the best way possible. I’m sharing this to thank you for your input – the links are helpful – and let you know that we are working on it – perhaps not as quickly as you’d like (pedal to the metal) but, as we are all volunteers with full-time jobs/businesses and families of our own, I think I can speak for all of us when I tell you that we are each doing the very best we can.

I’ve already commented on other discussions within marketing and branding but I’ll just share it here as well – anyone who wants to help is very welcome to do so! We need help in every area and for anyone who has the desire, we can find a way for you to contribute. Please reach out to the team lead in the area you are interested in and get ready to implement your next great idea :slight_smile:

1 Like

Not sure how Committee meetings are structured (call/Skype, etc), but prob best to chat about options on the next one.

1 Like

Meetings are in the Slack #committee channel :slight_smile:

We post a notification on the forum a couple of days before and then once it has started.

What would you consider viable options, is what I’m asking? And, what do you consider “menial” tasks?

1 Like

@BlueSkyPhoenix thanks for your input. Please let me follow up with what you said:

I totally get the “pedal to the metal” comment. It’s just my training that I’m used to working that way, even if I"m now semi-retired. 20 years of working “boiler room” agencies and companies and being around very driven goal-focused military people my whole life, can do that.

On other points, I’ve given input to a few people and just waiting to weigh feedback, measure my own time as well, and then take things from there.

Since this is public (or at least visible to me), I’d like to ask if @tommy what he’d like to contribute to most. I see @azurecurve and @zigpress as being great assets to building a plugin repository pretty quickly. We need an infrastructure. If those three guys could work on setting up a plugin repository, setting terms for its establishment, working on what’s acceptable and what’s not, where and when to charge for premium, where and when to solicit future/further plugin development from other established WP developers, that would be a big deal, I’d think. Is that something you guys would be interested in setting up? The three could team up with someone on the Committee to building / feeding the repo development, bringing in other devs, and that in turn would further spread the CP word. If that’s interesting…