A community of practice network on Drupal.org

I often wish Drupal.org had more social networking features. I feel they would enhance my ability to act as a productive Drupal community member, both benefiting and benefiting from the great platform that we're using.

For example, when I receive a new issue in my modules' queues, I usually check the interaction record of the posting member, just by looking at the "Track" tab of their account. It gives me a context through which I (think I can) better interact with the member towards resolving the issue positively.

Social networking has connotations of frivolity - think Facebook. What's needed is a more practice-oriented network, which is of course well-known in the social development sector, but from which the Drupal community might also benefit.

Here are some of the features I'd like to use:

  • A "buddies" list where I would add people, that I get to know primarily through interaction on issue queues and forums, that displayed behaviour that I appreciated. Maybe a "bully" list for the rude ones :-) I would turn to buddies to resolve certain of my issues, or lend them a hand with theirs.
  • A reputation system based on flagging comments in issue and forum threads, Slashdot-like. But whereas the Slashdot culture favors certain qualities, such as humour or inventiveness, the reputation system I am thinking of would present others, such as helpfulness, factuality, efficiency, etc.
  • A simple skill system where members can advertise their main skills (theming, graphic design, site building, documentation, module development, core development, information architecture, etc.) and maybe subject to community rating.
  • A better-organized module recommendation system. Right now the forums are swamped with requests from people looking to implement some functionality but being lost in the thousands of existing modules, relying on other members to recommend something, or looking at module comparisons which are hopelessly unstable. Getting one recommendation from a knowledgeable source is multiple times more useful than getting many recommendations from mostly anonymous people. Using the buddy lists, reputation and skill components above, I would be able to better assess the answers that are given to my queries.
  • A clear team roster for each project. The "last commit 8 days ago" mention is hardly sufficient to know who's doing what.

Of course, implementing these features in Drupal is almost trivial. But the challenge is to agree to deploy them on Drupal.org, rather than third-party community sites that attract but a tiny fraction of the whole community.

I wonder if the long-awaited redesign of Drupal.org includes any of those things...