One of the things I'd like to see happen in 2010 in the WordPress community is the formation of some new ways for people to help each other use WordPress and get involved in the WordPress open source project. Some ideas I've had floating around my head for awhile include:
- Welcome wagon/buddy system - when someone joins the support forums, a volunteer greets them and offers to help them as they get used to how things are set up (forums, Codex, reporting bugs, etc). The buddy would check in with the new member every couple of weeks to see how things are going. Buddy assignments would last 2-3 months. If we add geodata to profiles, people could potentially request buddies in their general location.
- Developer mentor program - similar to the buddy system idea above, but for developers interested in contributing to core. The elder buddy would have excellent coding skills, and would have had x number of patches accepted to core before becoming a buddy. Buddies would check in with their new developers every couple of weeks to see how things are going, provide guidance as needed (direct them to appropriate resources, help brainstorm approaches, etc), and would provide feedback on tickets that the new developer submitted. This last would help speed up the revisions process before a committer looked at the patch, and could help prevent the unfortunate possibility of a patch being rejected and not looked at again before the next dev cycle.
- Support forum moderator mentor program - similar to the way the dev buddy program would work, this would help groom the next generation of support forum moderators. Experienced mods would buddy up with active volunteers who just need a little help around the edges and give feedback on their advice, point them to resources to help them fill in the gaps in their knowledge, etc.
- Local user groups/meetups - I know there are a bunch of these already, organized via meetup.com or individual people, but it would be nice to have something people could find from the official hub.
So maybe all of you can think of some ideas and post them here, discuss, and after the new year we can pick a couple of ideas to try.