Topic: Open Source/
Community Building 101
“…success comes entirely from people and the system within which they work. Results are not the point. Developing the people and the system so that together they are capable of achieving successful results is the point.”
Recently, that quote stirred some controversy among my peers. The part about “results are not the point” was hard for some people to understand and come to grips with. Aren’t results always the point? Well, as with most things, “It depends”.
Many a project has gone down in flames because they failed to take the time to really think through a communication plan that educated their stakeholders of the organizational value of their project. Communication is one of the most important factors to the success of your community. Without communicating your project or program’s benefits and successes, users and stakeholders alike won’t be aware of new offerings, program progress, or the goals and direction of your project.
Making FOSS Successful
I’m a community guy in a company that has lots of products, both open source and commercial, I’m lucky enough to get paid to work on open source projects. What I’ve learned in my work with the community is that building a successful project takes more than many people think. Some folks in the corporate world have a distorted view of how open source projects work. A lot of the corporate types hear about open source and think that sprinkling magic “open source” dust on their product will suddenly make it successful. They’ll have contributors pile on and massive marketshare will follow.
Community Building Success Factors
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what establishes the foundation for communities? What matters most? Which things are the building blocks for all other activities that go on? I’ve identified what I believe to be the four most important building blocks for community: Leadership and vision, trusted converstations, infrastructure and simplicity. In this post we’ll look at each of these building blocks.