[theme-reviewers] Question: Someone Want to Take Benefit From a'Top Reviewer of the Month'.

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 21:06:57 UTC 2014

I understand the frustration from all sides, and everyone has made a good
point or two, but in my opinion, I think *that*, in and of itself, is proof
that the incentive program is working.

After all, even if things have gone from friendly competition to more
aggressive competition, it's still working. The very point of the incentive
program is to drive up the number of reviewers and reviewer participation
and ultimately get more themes live, which in turn is what leads to more
incentives for WordPress itself making more money and more incentive for
the WordPress community, more themes. That's all being accomplished,
whether you take issue with the method or not, that's a fact.

Half of us on the CyberChimps team were indeed already reviewing themes
individually well before the incentive program was introduced, but now that
it has been, we've of course pooled our resources together to try and win.

"Win" is the key word here, I personally feel like there's no such thing as
"fair" in competition. The rules have been set, and we're abiding by them.
Both Otto and Chip have already ruled that it's both ethical and allowed
for theme shops to compete in the incentive program.

Hate to disagree with ya boss (@Trent) :P, but I think overall the
incentive program has done more good than harm... even if/when it's retired
it will have brought in a lot of interest from theme developers who never
reviewed before and some of which I bet will stay and continue to volunteer
after there's no incentive anyways, because they enjoy it and it's a great
way to stay knowledgeable on theme quality, deprecated code and the like.

I've actually encouraged the CyberChimps support team, who are the ones
doing reviews under *cyberchimpscode* to help out in all ticket priorities
regardless of whether it's going towards the incentive just to be overall
helpful. I've also carefully instructed them not to ever review any of
CyberChimps' themes, obvious competitor themes and our own individual

No matter what, I think the program drives positive interest and learning
in the community overall. As far as review quality, I wholeheartedly agree,
but I think that's always been an issue even before the program, only a lot
more people are signing up, hence a larger number of beginner reviewers all
reviewing at the same time which obviously stands out more.

Even I'm to blame for some of those bounced approvals because I hadn't read
http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Review in a while and it really needs to
read top to bottom, not just once, but periodically as things change.

I think despite grievances, we're all learning and getting better as we go
along. And that's the true spirit of a volunteer-based community like this.
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