First off, I'm really glad to see someone step up to the plate to finally help make sense of the WordPress Spaghetti project. I've been waiting for this day for awhile now and am pleased to have the opportunity to voice my suggestions. This is a complex problem given the size and scope of the WordPress community. As others have already mentioned, I strongly believe that there are TOO MANY channels of communication. Mailing Lists, IRC, Forum, Ideas, Trac, Blogs, WordPress Dashboard, my head is already starting to spin.
I believe that it's time to consolidate. Time to trim the WordPress tree and remove some branches in order to bring the information and interaction back to the trunk of the project. The more I think about all of the possibilities to solve this problem, the more I think that BuddyPress could serve to be most of the answer. I've heard Matt a number of times share the idea of WordPress.org having an installation of BuddyPress and tying all of the various parts of the projects together into a registered users activity stream. I think now would be a good opportunity to see this realized.
I'd like for WordPress.org to be the ultimate social network/hub for WordPress. I should only need to register one account which will provide me with my typical BuddyPress profile. The WordPress.org forums should be integrated with BuddyPress, as should the Ideas section. If not integrated, just start over from scratch with those two bits of the project integrated right into BuddyPress. IRC should be reserved for power users. Instead, Prologue 2 would be a much better solution. You could schedule chats, have an archive, and overall do a better job organizing the discussions. No more searching for log files published on the Codex. Using BuddyPress, I could have the ability to create mini groups inside of the main project and I could configure how much or how little I want to contribute.
Ultimately inside of this social network, I would like to see a core group created which consists of the core developers or those close to the project with no other members added to the group. You could throw the developer blog in for good measure. I want to see the end of each major developer of WordPress publishing bits and pieces of information and it shows up in the dashboard where in the end, we have a bunch of fragmented information. It would serve the community better if we keep that stuff off of the developers blogs and put into a central repository aka the developers group in this BuddyPress install.
With regards to the Codex, I'm not sure of the best way to get more people contributing to this evolving manual. As it stands, I hate everything about the Codex except the information that is their. The Codex would be so much better if it contained HALF of the information which is presented on a weekly basis on blogs that are part of the WordPress community. Again, a problem of fragmented information. Their either needs to be an incentive for people to publish that information to the Codex, or the Codex needs to somehow link to these in depth blog posts sometimes providing better information than what is found in the Codex. Again, not sure how to fit this into the social network/hub of WordPress but their has to be a way.
I think WordPress should create an official hashtag to utilize Twitter. Perhaps #wpideas or #wpfeedback or things like that and then aggregate that Twitter information into BuddyPress where I could choose to follow or ignore that information. Maybe taking into account some other social means of participating would be cool as well.
I think this is getting a little long in the tooth so I'll just end it by saying I think BuddyPress could serve as an awesome platform to help reform the way people contribute to the project and provide a means of Two-Way communication that many people would be able to partake in without a PHd in Coding.
But, if there are not enough people to manage things which apparently has been the case for the forum, the ideas section, and other channels of communication, it doesn't matter what WordPress does, it will fail.