Hello Colleagues -
Excellent discussion, thoughts and brainstorming. Thanks. Kudos to Chris and Gene who have helped me since I started with Thematic. Some thoughts...
WIKI: Agreed that an expanded Wiki would be very helpful, and strongly insist on making it illustrated, at least with screenshots. Joperron is right, that many answers are already on the boards here, so what we need is a strong Editor to lead the project. That's right -- crowd work is OK (anyone could have contributed to the current wiki), but leadership is essential. I will assist with some technical illustrations. Did you know that several popular WordPress books have large sections covering Thematic? More on that below, but check out "Wicked WordPress Themes", published by SitePoint, and "Smashing WordPress", by Smashing Magazine.
THEMATIC GROWTH & FUTURE: Without wandering into the whole open-source vs. commercial debate, I think that Chris has made a good point about the comparison themes being commercial endeavors. I know people have to pay bills. I like using money to reward fine work. I therefore suggest that Thematic enable a donation mechanism (to keep the open-source spirit) mechanism (keep it simple with PayPal), so that the core programmers may at least enjoy some coffee, beer and pizza money. I have suggested this in the past, but had it brushed off. Nice sentiment, but we need to ensure the future of the platform. Let's do this.
OPPORTUNITY: There are a number of people here who do make a living off Thematic. There are a number of paid child themes out there. And, a number of authors are making royalties by covering WordPress in their books. This spells opportunity to do more than buy a few beers, for those entrepreneurial souls here, and opportunity for the future of Thematic.
* I wonder how much those authors might give back to continued development of Thematic which they relied on so heavily in their books if a donation system were in place?
* Why couldn't the community of board pros here (talking about us) write a book and split the profits, making sure that Thematic gets paid back? We're really all talking about the "Missing Manual", right?
* Is there a way to create a kind of "foundation" like wikipedia has, to keep Thematic great for the future?
* Note that Wikipedia has teamed with a a one-off book company who will print custom books from wikipedia and kick back some of the profits. If our enhanced wiki for Thematic is done well, this is another way to get money back to the Thematic "Foundation".
We all support and appreciate Chris and Gene, but let's face it -- there's a big risk here if something happens to one or both of them. Then what? We really need to address this.
- Scott, WebFadds.com