I thought the most interesting question in this interview was Rosso’s asking Mullenweg to follow up on his comment during the WordCamp Milan Q&A about starting a WordPress “ninja” forum. During the Q&A, Mullenweg had said that he wanted the WordPress ninjas to provide free support help to other users. Here, he says that he wants to model it after the Mac store “Genius Bar.” Unfortunately, Rosso doesn’t follow up and ask how this can be implemented, and how it will be different from the existing WordPress.org support forums.
The salient difference between the “Genius Bar” and the proposed “Ninja” forum is that the “geniuses” are being paid. Almost two years ago, the WordPress hackers list discussed the issue of getting more code-savvy folks to help in the forums, and not much has changed (although there is an “advanced” section of the forums now). As some of the hackers pointed out, expert coders often find the “noise ratio” frustrating. But even assuming the signal-to-noise issue is eliminated, what will make the “ninja” forum encourage more expert help than does the current advanced forum? I’m looking forward to seeing what Mullenweg has in mind.