I fell in love with WordPress from day one. I am a romantic in all my senses, and I describe myself as a very sensitive and sentimental person, but free software is one of the most beautiful things I have in my life.
Collaborating in a free software community, where egos are left behind, and where you share, live, embrace and feel people who like you just want to contribute to the project, is wonderful.
I don’t know if I’m really a pessimist, or maybe I was just unlucky, but many times that I shared open source projects with other people I never felt like I do with WordPress.
WordPress and open source
I’m sure there are a lot of things we can improve as a community, ourselves, and consequently open source software.
But what is clear is that free software makes us freer. In that moment in which we collaborate we are all equal, no matter what makes us different, our economic power, where we are from, our gender, our capacity, because we will all contribute together to make a freer Internet, a better Internet.
Small collaborations, but many
Yes, contributing is very nice, but it also takes time. In some cases, a lot of time. There are people who contribute many hours, others few, and others not at all.
This is not to blame anyone. In the end, everyone has different circumstances, and there are many factors that can affect this. Besides, you are free to contribute or not, nobody can force you.
To contribute, you have to have your basic needs covered: work, family, health, etc.
But what is true is that I see many people who contribute many hours and for diversity to come into play here, I think we should make (I don’t know as they are just ideas in the air) that there are many people who contribute enough.
How can we do this? The truth is that I don’t know, because companies have an important role to play here and the five to the future initiative has an important commitment here as well.
A few weeks ago, Birgit with the help of other volunteers (myself included) made a proposal to create a DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) team.
For me this is a very good decision and one that I hope we can achieve.
The #WPDiversity initiative led by Jill Binder is ultimately an initiative designed to achieve inclusive events around WordPress, but have you ever thought that maybe there are teams that are not diverse?
Now, I’m on the plugin review team, I’m the only woman, and we’re all white people.
A DEIB team what I would do would be to have a responsible person to be able to work on making sure that this is not the case. More inclusive teams and we will all win, don’t you think?
For me one of the main problems is time and consequently money.
As I said before, to be able to volunteer and collaborate, you have to have other things covered.
And many times, even if you have them covered, doing volunteer work for a long time is very tiring.
That’s why the five to the future program is great here. Although there are not so many companies that want to collaborate in this unless they hire you as one of their employees.
Now that I’m looking for a sponsor for the plugin review team, it’s hard to find someone who wants to donate hours for you to contribute.
But it’s not impossible because it would be good for everyone. It’s almost always companies that get rich in some way from WordPress. So… Why not?
Although I sincerely believe that there are companies that don’t even know that this exists, so you have to communicate it better.
I’m not talking about environmentally sustainable WordPress. I’m talking about WordPress being sustainable in the long run.
I’m talking about making it sustainable and worthwhile for both companies and volunteers.
It’s not the same to put in 2 hours a week, which is more possible to get it out, than 10 or 15 hours a week, which is already half a job.
That’s why I believe that less is more. That is to say, I would rather have volunteers who put in two or three hours a week than one who puts in 20 hours a week:
- Diversity: If there are more people, there is more possibility for other people who do not have opportunities.
- Fatigue: If we make demands on people’s time that they hardly have, that person will almost certainly end up with bournout.
This is just a thought and is meant to be thought provoking or to see other points of view.
It is just a thought out loud and I do not have the absolute truth. I may very well be wrong.
But… What do you think?