The book The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work has a nice description wordpress culture and distributed team.
A behind-the-scenes look at the firm behind WordPress.com and the unique work culture that contributes to its phenomenal success 50 million websites, or twenty percent of the entire web, use WordPress software. The force behind WordPress.com is a convention-defying company called Automattic, Inc., whose 120 employees work from anywhere in the world they wish, barely use email, and launch improvements to their products dozens of times a day. With a fraction of the resources of Google, Amazon, or Facebook, they have a similar impact on the future of the Internet. How is this possible? What’s different about how they work, and what can other companies learn from their methods?
The github post linked here is along the same line. It is an academic (grant- funded) project described as “Dat is an open source project that provides a streaming interface between every file format and data storage backend”.
Key points -
Stuff used everyday - github, irccloud (for irc discussion)
Stuff used a few times a week - slack (for occasional private discussion, such as paycheck), screenhero (to share screen), google hangout
Stuff not used consciously - email
On importance of travel and face-to-face meeting
Note that there are a lot of people who write about remote working on the internet, and this does not claim to be authoritative on the subject, I am just sharing what works for us.
Everyone on our team lives in a different city, and we are in many different time zones. Choosing when and where we work is great for a while, but it’s also nice to balance that out with intense periods of face-time. We try to meet up 6 times a year for between 2 and 4 weeks at a time and hack in-person. These trips are not mandatory, and there are no quotas, but we like to encourage these ‘hacker visitations’ as much as possible.
We generally rent a whole apartment on AirBNB and house 1-2 out of towners there, and pick a location where one of the other team members lives so they can be the local guide. I’m actually currently writing this from a pancake restauraunt in Taipei, which is an excellent city for remote working due to it’s low cost and large number of cafes. Nobody from our team lives here, but two of us who normally live in different cities are currently visiting and working together here.