[wp-hackers] WordPress and Poisonous People

Eitan Adler eitanadlerlist at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 08:26:48 UTC 2010

On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 12:05 PM, Ryan McCue <lists at rotorised.com> wrote:
> Hello hackers,
> I'm sure the majority of you don't have any idea who I am. Quick
> background: I post very occasionally to this mailing list, though I do
> work with WordPress quite a bit. The reason that I post only very
> occasionally here is that I like to keep it proportional to the amount
> that I've contributed to WordPress. I feel that my one or two posts a
> year is proportional to the 6-7 commits to my name (for anyone looking,
> search for "rmccue" and "rmmcue").
> This opinion is based on a talk by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben
> Collins-Sussman on Poisonous People. (If you haven't seen it, I'd
> recommend watching it [1] ) In the talk, Brian and Ben talk about how
> people can be attention drains to projects. They also discuss mailing
> list etiquette, which includes the "noisy minority effect". This refers
> to when people can be discussing a topic, and the debate may look even
> handed, however, given a closer look, it ends up being a small amount of
> people who are on one side. They also mention as part of this the need
> to *not* reply to every message.
> The main point they raise is that there can be people who though
> capable, don't contribute to the software. These people are willing to
> complain about the software, but rarely contribute. These people tend to
> drain attention and focus away from the project itself, and more
> importantly, away from the developers. As evidenced by the stats for
> this month, this appears to be happening on this list. A small minority
> of the contributors to this list appear to be creating a large amount of
> noise with no real progress, and as such are becoming drains on the
> community. These contributors, while posting a lot to the mailing list,
> don't contribute much to WordPress itself. They contribute the majority
> of posts to the list, with the next largest contributors being so as
> they're replying to this small minority and attempting to control it.
> I'd personally like to see this stop, as this list has become extremely
> unreadable because of this. There is way too much noise on this list,
> and a very small amount of signal. These contributors are draining the
> attention of several core developers, and plenty of other developers
> too. If you think you are one of these people, please try and tone it
> down a bit. Although the list is unproductive because of these
> contributors, they is still very passionate about WordPress, and it
> would be a shame to lose them from the community. Additionally,
> regardless of whether you think you are one of these people or not,
> please **don't respond to this message**. Even if you agree or disagree
> or otherwise, please respond to me off-list if you must.
> To anyone who made it this far, thank you for reading. I really hope
> that this can be resolved, and we can go back to being a very productive
> list and one that I actually enjoy reading.
> [1]: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F-3E8pyjFo>
> --
> Ryan McCue
> <http://ryanmccue.info/>
> _______________________________________________
> wp-hackers mailing list
> wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
> http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-hackers

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list