I’m Starting A New Far-flung Team

January 14, 2010

This post is part of the Editorial Calendar Plugin for WordPress team series. We take a first-hand look at a far-flung open source team as it forms, communicates, resolves problems, and (hopefully) succeeds. Stay up to date with the whole series.


Every new project is full of potential and risk. Extending something that already exists is always the safer move, but the blank page holds a wonderful allure. It’s a chance to create a new world; even if it’s just a small one.

I’ve started a new programming project to an editorial calendar plugin for WordPress. The idea of managing your blog as a whole instead of a set of individual posts came from Justin Evans. He taught me about organizing my blog as a single entity instead of a set of unrelated posts.

The idea is good, but I wish I had more support from WordPress. I worked up a prototype and I decided to write my first public WordPress plugin. It started as a project with my wife —we’re two programmers who met at work— and quickly expanded to include an entire remote team.

I sent the idea to Justin and he was happy to collaborate. I’ve worked with Justin in the past. We have a great working relationship and we’ve built a lot of trust even though we’ve never met. Justin lives and works a few hundred miles away from me in Montreal. We built our relationship over a few months while he helped me with marketing and promotion strategy for the book version of The One Minute Commute.

Justin introduced me to a group of people from his company stresslimitdesign, and I’ve found myself once again working with a far-flung team full of people I’ve never met. This is one of the most difficult teleworking situations, but none of us can travel for a new part-time project.

I’m starting a series of articles to show you how we communicate and collaborate virtually in a loosely organized team around an open source project. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure we’ll hit some bumps along the road, but I’m sure we’ll get there.

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