Season 4 of the AMA is starting on March 8, and the line-up is complete. This season we have some great people joining us, Carrie Dils, Kristina Romero, Adam Warner, and Tammie Lister, just to name a few. Last season was our most popular season to date, and here is a more detailed recap of what went down.
Find out what is AMA on ManageWP.org, and why you should take part?
What is the AMA?
AMA aims to raise the bar on openness by inviting WordPress professionals to contribute 8 hours of their day so that ManageWP.org readers can ask them literally anything.
AMA is an opportunity for readers to find out useful information from WordPress professional first hand and live.
It is not directly connected to ManageWP.com, rather it’s an effort that works with the ManageWP.org motto “discover all things WordPress”. Before creating the ManageWP plugin, Vladimir wrote the first book on plugin development, and he has always been a strong advocate of giving back to the WordPress community. AMA was part of that initiative, and he has passed the torch onto his ManageWP.org team to continue the project.
How does it bring value to the WordPress community?
AMA creates a learning environment of the best kind, it’s engaging, covers all topics from design and development to blogging, and it’s run by the best teachers.
How? Well, the WordPress professionals change each week, so you can think of it as having a different curriculum each time. Each professional has an area of expertise that they are willing to talk about in depth for 8 hours. The answers readers get are direct and personalized, yet everyone is able to see them so readers don’t only learn from their own questions, but from everyone’s.
Secondly, the AMA is also beneficial to the WordPress professionals who are contributing. They are getting fantastic exposure, backlinks to their websites, and an opportunity to talk more about their product or service. In season 3 only the thread received 1,385 comments, so they can expect a lot of engagement.
Thirdly, the AMA opens the door to meeting other WordPressers, and creates an opportunity to establish new friendships and partnerships. It’s an easy way to meet like-minded professionals, who either share your skill set, or are looking to interact with someone with your expertise.
How are the AMAers chosen and what we look for in the people we invite?
AMA is not aimed at being exclusive to one type of professional, and it doesn’t depend on the number of Twitter followers. However, there are certain criteria we do look for when selecting people to take part. The most important aspect when inviting people to the AMA is looking at their past contributions, experience and openness.
Let me break that down for you.
- Contribution. As the AMA is based on the spirit of giving, we like to select people who are integrated in the WordPress community and who have in the past contributed in some way to the community.
- Experience. Perhaps this is the most important criteria. People who take part in our AMA are experts in their field. They can be business owners who built their business from the ground up, or developers who have built plugins and themes for all types of occasions. Either way, expertise is a must.
- Openness. There are a lot of successful individuals, who are not keen on sharing their knowledge, so we look for those who like helping others. Being open and communicative is a prerequisite to being invited to take part in the AMA.
Here is one of our AMAers, Matt Cromwell, with an AMA highlight from last season. When asked who has the best hair in WordPress, he sent this video in.
How is the AMA regulated?
The AMA is regulated by the ManageWP.org team. The individual who is organizing the active season is responsible for the regulation of the AMA. This includes making sure the AMAers have all of the necessary information in the form of the AMA guidelines, and feel ready and comfortable about taking part. But, most importantly it consists of constant supervision during each AMA session. This is to make sure that there is no offensive or discriminatory conversation on either side. This has never happened in the past, and we hope it never will in the future, but there is always a person on stand by from ManageWP.org to jump in if necessary.
How is the team that runs the AMA chosen?
AMA team is in fact a part of the ManageWP.org team, and so far it is made up of 2 people. At the beginning, the AMA team was a one person team consisting of Vladimir Prelovac, and now it has been handed over to the content strategy team at ManageWP. The ManageWP.org team is not wholly made up of ManageWP members, they make up 50% of the team. It is this 50% that are directly involved in organizing the AMA.
Why? Well, the editorial team is highly involved in guest blogging, interviewing, attending WordCamps and communicating with all sorts of WordPress professionals. The team was chosen based on their contacts and reputation in the WordPress community.
The perks and downs of running this type of program
The AMA is a rather complicated program to run, it requires great WordPress knowledge, friends in the WordPress community and a lot of DIY. Organizational and administrative skills are essential, juggling dates and times and catering to everyone’s’ schedule can be challenging.
The perks of running this program outweigh the downside by a mile. For someone who enjoys meeting and engaging with new people, who is inspired and motivated by the work people do in the WordPress community, this program is a rare and wonderful opportunity. The day to day workload is focused mostly on getting in touch with WordPress influencers, promoting the cause behind the AMA, and creating catchy designs to go with each AMAer. There is also a lot of writing about individuals who will take part, and about the cause itself. These I consider to be the main perks of running such a program.
However, like with anything there is a downside. The most disappointing aspect is when someone doesn’t respond or refuses to take part. Often it can be hard to convince someone to follow a cause you believe in over email or Slack. Other challenges lie with answering dozens of emails daily. These are all natural side effects when working with individuals from all over the world, but they are nonetheless challenging.
How do I join?
If you are interested in asking the questions:
- You need to make a profile on ManageWP.org
- When the AMA starts use your ManageWP.org profile to get asking questions.
If you are interested in becoming an AMAer:
- You need to make a profile on ManageWP.org
- Email Nevena at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about participating.
If you enjoy learning from WordPress professionals, here are a few more suggestions to look at.