Piet, I have the same concern as you. WordPress.org was used to promote the survey, yet it appears that the results are not made available even to those of us who are contributors to the project there. Another issue regarding the State of the Word is that a Growth Council was announced last year and Matt’s update this year was that there would be meetings starting in December. There is no record of any such meetings at WordPress.org or in the Slack channels. Meta has no information about this, but a member has confided to me this week:
"The Growth Council is made up of a cross-section of community leaders selected from folks who filled out an application about a year ago. There are two councils, an enterprise council and a consumer council, each focusing on those groups’ respective needs. The overall goal is to bring together ideas and best practices from throughout the ecosystem to foster growth for all of WordPress.
I am on the Consumer Growth Council and we had a video meeting last Friday. It is about marketing in a broader sense, but it is not doing the work of this team. It is more focused on connecting the larger ecosystem of WordPress and sharing best practices."
I’ve also learned that the Growth Council groups are being chartered by the WordPress Foundation, but there’s no information whatsoever at that website or anywhere else about these groups. The problem with video meetings like this is that there is no Slack backscroll record of the proceedings.
The Foundation does not list board members, but the IRS 990 for 2015 lists Matt Mullenweg and three others including Rose Goldman as CFO who also works for Automattic.
These issues raise the question of Governance for the WordPress open source project, in the same way that many are now questioning the role of Automattic on the team driving the Gutenberg project that has become an unprecedented reengineering of the WordPress platform.
Some of us, as are you, are very concerned about this “You snooze, you lose” attitude coming from a team that has no RoadMap for the future they claim will arrive in April 2018. Complaining doesn’t help, and speaking out feels risky, or many of the smart critiques of Gutenberg are couched in the idea that we have to do this and it will somehow work out, so let’s all help move it forward.
I’m on the Marketing Team at WordPress.org, and I had to push back on the team promoting Gutenberg to the greater ecosystem: “Why would we promote a beta plugin with mostly negative reviews?” As a solopreneur with no backing nor influence, I’m at a loss on how to proceed with the project going forward. Having worked with Open Source Software for nearly two decades, I’m concerned that we’re approaching an imbalance between the monied players and the community. I remember how MySQL AB was acquired by Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle, and the project froze for the most part. It’s still a standard legacy database, but could have been much more.
So, I have to ask, is Automattic exerting undocumented authority over the open source WordPress project? And does anyone care?