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Follow-up Notes on Reading 30 wordpress.org Support Forum Posts Per Day for 30 Days (or “A Month Without Pants?”)
(This is a follow up to: Reading on the WordPress.org Support Forums ( w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/?p=1036 )
Today I looked on my calendar and see my reading period is coming to an end. Here are some reflections:
I read slow. 573 topics. That’s an average of 19 topics per day instead of my planned 30 topics per day. I had tried to read 1 hr per day, and largely hit that goal. This makes me sad. I think its because I read slow in the first place, and I get distracted too much by email, twitter, etc. Furthermore, I’m realizing that if I want to read 30 posts per day, then it *really does matter the speed at which I can read* (a) post(s). I need to read fast.or else reading 30 posts could take me 3 hours. Therefore my conscious take-away from this is that I’m going to work to be a faster reader from now on and I think this will help me in Life and in Career.
At times I lost focus of my overall goal, why I’m joining the forums each day and why striving to read 30 a day for 30 days. This makes me sad too. Then I remember its because it is school: Learn to be a better Software Support Engineer, meet peers, professional networking, meet friends, increase my public status as a Software Support Engineer and get noticed as a Software Support Engineer, become exposed to other opportunities, meet people online who I can later meet at in-person, etc, etc.
Points of low confidence. For example I sign on the #forums slack chat channel, and I sometimes lack confidence to write “Hi!” or “_reads a_ wordpress.org/support _forum topic_”. Specifically, sometimes I feel like since I haven’t replied to any topics in the past week, therefore I’m an impostor and If I chat with the people in the room they will look down on me. Or, I feel like if every day I write the same “_reads a_ wordpress.org/support _forum…” message, then people in the room will look down on me and disapprove because I write the same thing each day and don’t add constructive remarks.
I’ve had a some thrilling fun moments. I saw the thread about “Hi Writer, Hi Hero”. ( https://wordpress.org/support/topic/how-to-center-all-the-pagepost-titles ) I was in the chatroom and unsuspecting when WCEU 2015 Support Contributor Day descended upon the chatroom. ( https://wordpress.slack.com/archiv...660 ) I saw a new person join the room and become a fast friend of everyone and be made a moderator literally overnight.
A thing I’ve learned by reading for 30 days without replying is… …how to *not* reply to a thread! In other words, it’s helping me train myself that I don’t *need* to respond to every thread. In fact I don’t need to respond to any threads on a given day. And while the overall goal is to participate and respond and help, well, sometimes it’s better not to. And sometimes it’s hard not to. And this reading period helped train me in that.
Some of the other support contributor regulars are quick and fast- I really idolize this about some of them. It’s really inspiring how prolific some of the other members, moderators and volunteers are at replying. I feel that some of these people read, write, and hit the send button without having to proofread. And that’s fast- in a good way.
I saw someone who I know used to be a regular in the Support forums/chat, not show up as often as before in the support chat, and then appear in force in the Dev chat. And this is a good thing! I’m glad that someone who is a support champion can move into other areas of expertise- can move more from software support and more towards software development. Good for them! And good for WordPress .org for having infrastructure to allow one to do this!
At about mid-point of the 30-days, prompted by something, I started reading some on wordpress.com forum. On some days I just swapped it right out instead of reading on the wordpress.org forum. Thereupon I discovered the not-advertised fact that some people are active on both wordpress.org/support *and* on forums.wordpress.com. I also found some passionate members on the dot com forums. Members- not Happiness Engineers. Members or bloggers who are actively replying to forum posts on a regular basis. It’s got a strong sense of community just as the dot org forums do. I’m glad to see this and I immediately have more respect for the dot com community than I had before. Before reading a few dozen posts on dot com, I had mistakenly thought that the dot com forums were missing a community spirit and mistakenly thought that they were wholly supported by paid staff members. What I instead found to be true was that a large part of the dot com forums is bloggers helping other bloggers.
30 days of reading topics is going to teach me how to be good at reading topics. Thats good, but I have to realize its not making me good at replying to topics, nor at having back-and-forth-with-others-on-topics. Which is my end goal. So in other words, after the 30 days is up, in order to get good at what I want to be good at, I’m going to have to change my habit and change my main task and going to have to start replying to posts, and-or having-back-and-forth-with-others-on-topics.
I’ve seen a member respond with a style that I really admired- the style of one sentence suggesting one thing that could have gone wrong, then one sentence suggesting a next-step. On the other hand, I’ve seen a member that more than once used dismissive/bullying/attacking words.
I’ve learned that a blind person joined the slack chat channel using a screen reader, and read one of the same person’s replies to a post on the forums.
Cameraderie. I’ve seen cameraderie both on the forums and on the slack chat. On the forums a second member added their response to confirm the reply of the first member. On the slack chat support people consult each other for advice and discuss how to best reply. Also how to moderate.
Furthermore, these thoughts and realizations tell me not only about my habits on the wordpress.org/support forums but also about my day-job work habits. Because there are many similarites in my day-job role as a Software Support Engineer. So I’ll keep in mind what I’ve learned and apply it in life and in career going forward.
[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2015/... .html.]