What does “governance” mean to you?

The goal of this project is to define what governance can look like for WordPress. An important part of that process is to clearly define what “governance” means in a WordPress context.

A good place to start that conversation is by discussing what the term “governance” means to each of us. When you hear someone say the word “governance”, how do you understand that term?

Let’s have that conversation. You can leave your thoughts in the comments below, or write a blog post on your favored site and leave the link to your thoughts in the comments below.

What does “governance” mean to you? Share your thoughts and see what others think!

Agenda for first #internal-gov meeting: 1/18/19

The first meeting of the Internal Governance working group will take place Friday, January 18, 17:30 UTC (12:30 pm EST) with a one hour meeting in Zoom.

The meeting will be conducted and moderated by provisionary team lead Rachel Cherry.

Meeting Location

We’re going to use Zoom for the meeting as a provisionary meeting location/format pending group discussion.

If you have any technical issues, please ping the #internal-gov Slack channel.

All Zoom connection information is included at the end of the post.

Agenda

The following is slated for discussion:

  • What leadership means for the project
    • Structure, responsibilities, mission, ec.
  • How to appoint leadership
  • Location, format, and transparency of project meetings
  • Open call for leadership

Connect to Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/655476993

  • Meeting ID: 655 476 993
  • Maximum 100 connections

One tap mobile

  • +16699006833,,655476993# US (San Jose)
  • +16465588656,,655476993# US (New York)

Dial by your location

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aeJqs6p4iK

  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
  • +1 647 558 0588 Canada
  • +44 203 695 0088 United Kingdom
  • +44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
  • +61 8 7150 1149 Australia
  • +61 2 8015 2088 Australia
  • +33 7 5678 4048 France
  • +33 1 8288 0188 France
  • +49 30 3080 6188 Germany
  • +49 30 5679 5800 Germany
  • +49 69 8088 3899 Germany
  • +34 91 198 0188 Spain
  • +34 84 368 5025 Spain

General meeting minutes: 1/15/2019

The following are minutes from the general project meeting on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

The next meeting of The WordPress Governance Project will take place Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 1600 UTC (11 am EST).

All documents for The WordPress Governance Project can be accessed on the project’s Google Drive.

Props: Rachel Cherry, Pat Lockley, and Ahmad Awais

Agenda

Minutes

  • We established initial meeting rules:
    • Please refrain from distracting conversation/comments.
    • Stay constructive. No bashing allowed.
    • Treat others with respect.
    • Do not thread conversations as they are not accessible.
  • We created an #introductions channel in our Slack account for members to introduce themselves.
    • Members were encouraged to tell us about themselves, share their background and skill set, and place their info in their Slack bio.
  • A Google Drive account was created for the project.
  • A brainstorming document was created.
    • Members are encouraged to use this document to store ideas they have about the project.
  • Three working groups were created to begin research and management of the project. Each group has a channel within the Slack account.
    • #internal-gov – Will discuss/research how to best manage the project. They will research project management models and the code of conduct, among other things.
    • #research-wp-gov – Will focus on research and documentation of existing WordPress governance.
    • #research-gov-models – Will focus on research and documentation of existing governance models.
    • A research group to gather feedback from the WordPress community at large on existing governance was proposed but not finalized.
  • A blog post was proposed to research existing project leadership models for the project’s internal governance.
    • If you would like to help, join the #internal-gov working group in our Slack account.
  • After the meeting, the #internal-gov group discussed options to archive discussions since Slack is a free account and limits message archives.
    • Ryan Marks (@rmarks) volunteered to explore this topic and submit a write-up for the group.

Future meetings

You can view all meetings on the project calendar.

Action Items

  • #internal-gov: Publish agenda for next general project meeting
  • #internal-gov: Publish agenda for first Internal Governance meeting
  • #internal-gov: Publish blog post with researching on project leadership models
  • #internal-gov: Submit write-up/proposal on options to archive discussions
  • #internal-gov: Choose team leader(s), schedule recurring group meeting(s), and define group objective(s)
  • #research-wp-gov: Choose team leader(s), schedule group meeting(s), and define group objective(s)
  • #research-gov-models: Choose team leader(s), schedule group meeting(s), and define group objective(s)

Agenda for first meeting

The first meeting of the WordPress Governance Project will take place January 15, 1600 UTC with a one hour meeting in the project’s Slack channel. The meeting will be conducted and moderated by provisionary team lead Rachel Cherry.

The following is slated for discussion:

To prep for the meeting, think about what the term “governance” means to you, how you would like to see this project progress, and how you’d like to contribute.

WordPress Governance Project Launch

The WordPress Governance Project kicks off on January 15, 1600 UTC with a one hour meeting in The WordPress Governance Project Slack channel. The meeting will be conducted and moderated by provisionary team leads Rachel Cherry and Morten Rand-Hendriksen.

What is the WordPress Governance Project?

First announced at WordCamp US 2018, the WordPress Governance Project is an initiative spearheaded by Rachel Cherry and Morten Rand-Hendriksen.

The purpose of this project is to explore:

  1. the governance of the WordPress open source project and its various community components, and
  2. WordPress’ role in the governance of the open web including representation in forums where decisions about the web platform and the Internet are made.

The scope of stage 1 of the WordPress Governance Project is WordPress and its communities. Stage 2 of the project will focus on how WordPress can take part in the governance and evolution of the wider web through policy and representation.

Why is this necessary?

The WordPress Governance Project will aim to answer who “we” are and who “we” represent.

WordPress powers +32.7% of the web. Every decision made by WordPress is a decision made on behalf of those users and has a significant impact on the web as a whole. Because of this footprint, the onus is on WordPress and its contributors to ensure decisions are made in a transparent and accessible way and that governance structures are concrete, transparent, and understandable. In short, it has to be possible for anyone to find an answer to the question “who are the deciders”.

To be able to take part in the larger conversation about the governance of the web platform, the open web, and the Internet, WordPress first needs to clarify its principles through an exploration of what necessary conditions need to be in place for it to meet its goal of “democratizing publishing.” With such principles in place, representatives can be selected and sent to decision makers (governing organizations like W3C, government representatives, etc) to speak on behalf of WordPress and its millions of users.

To claim our seat at the table, we must first know what we stand for and where we want to take the web and the Internet.

For more context, view the announcement of the project as part of @mor10’s session at WordCamp US 2018.

How will this project unfold?

The goal of the WordPress Governance Project is to propose a governance model for WordPress at or before WordCamp Europe 2019 or the 2019 Community Summit (if such an event takes place).

The project will research existing governance models from within the open web community as well as local and international organizations, corporations, and government.

What is the scope of this project?

The scope of the WordPress Governance Project, stage 1, includes:

  • Propose a set of principles based on, and defining the necessary conditions for, the core philosophy of the WordPress open source project: To democratize publishing through free, open source software.
  • Propose a leadership and governance model for the WordPress open source project and its communities.
  • Propose a model for electing or appointing representatives to speak on behalf of WordPress and its users in forums where decisions are made which impact WordPress and its users.

The project will provide a model for policy making, decision making, oversight, and accountability within the WordPress project. This may include solidifying existing governance structures in teams, introducing new governance structures for parts of or the entire project, and / or creating new governance roles and responsibilities.

The scope of the WordPress Governance Project does not include replacing or reducing existing leadership or introducing democratic voting on features and other decisions within the WordPress project or community.

Will WordPress governance mean someone can make decisions about what I can and cannot do with WordPress?

Short answer: No.

Long answer, WordPress is an open source project published under the GPL which grants you the Four Freedoms. This will not change.

The WordPress Governance Project aims to introduce transparent and accountable governance structures to the WordPress project to make it more accessible and bring clarity to decision making processes. It also aims to create the necessary structures for WordPress and its users to be properly represented in the many groups and spaces where decisions are made which directly impact you as a WordPress user.

Can you impose a governance model on WordPress?

Once the WordPress Governance Project puts forward its proposal for governance of the WordPress project, it is up to the current leadership, and the community at large, to decide whether to adopt the new model.