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B-san's Blog

The work and life of a Community Education Manager in Japan

Starting Out on the WordPress.com Forums

In my last post, I talked about my first interaction with a Happiness Engineer (HE) from Automatic. (You can check out that post here: My Initial Contact with an HE) I will talk about my second contact with an HE and how it got me started thinking about working as one myself in a another post soon. In the meantime, I wanted to mention that I have taken on the advice I received at the very end of my (unsuccessful) application – to start volunteering in the WordPress.com Forums.

In the final mail I received at the end of my application process, my interviewer gave me a couple of points to work on, should I decide to apply again in the future. (You can see the exact advice I received on this post: My Introduction) One of those was working in the WordPress.com forum to gain experience and see if the job was really a good fit for me. As I still had to look for a job in the meantime, it took me a couple of weeks before I finally got around to doing so. But on November 20th, exactly 10 days ago, I finally made my first post! (My first forum post: Static home page and Blog?)

I was pretty nervous, to be honest. Once I post something on the WP forum, I cannot go back and edit it or remove it. (It seems you can contact a staff member asking them to do it for you. But as a general rule, they don’t usually do that except for some very specific cases.) Whatever I mention would be placed on the internet for everyone to see for… forever! I carefully chose a topic I had confidence in answering, double- and triple-checked my answer and pressed “Submit”.

Just a few minutes later, the inquirer swiftly replied with a hearty “Thanks!” and that completed my very first post there. That was it.

Wow! I just managed to help somebody out! I have always enjoyed helping others, but have never done so on an “anonymous” online forum. But this actually gave me satisfaction. The “Thanks!” at the end was a definite confidence boost, too. Shout outs to dramaticartsstudio and their blog Dramatic Arts Studio!

Since then, I have created 12 replies so far. (Well, actually, I posted one or two more explaining forum rules to some users, like no advertising or spamming. But when a staff member deleted their posts, my reply count decreased, too ?. Oh, well.) My goal is to be consistent, rather than just trying to gain numbers. I want to be able to learn and grow, observing what others say on posts I didn’t know the answer for. I have a dedicated bookmark folder just for posts that catch my attention and I am eager to see someone else’s response. I plan on sharing some of those in the future. I look forward to seeing how this part of my journey will turn out from here.

In closing, I just wanted to mention, WordPress.com actually have some support pages dedicated to volunteers like me, looking to start out helping on their forums. It took me a few days before I found them, but I wish I had read them sooner. If you are interested in starting out on the forum too, make sure to check out the following pages before you do.

Thanks for reading!



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