This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Building Vibrant Open Source Communities
As we work on some new initiatives for 2009 (news to come later!), I recalled a presentation I gave in March at the SDForum Open Source SIG with Fabrizio Capobianco from Funambol. Read on for highlights and to see the slides.
Basically, I lay out a few basic principles that I’ve noted over the years from successful companies. Note that this is from the perspective of a company-sponsored project, not a community-sponsored one:
- Create a project with room to grow outside of the bounds of your commercial offering. If it’s entirely constrained within your commercial product, then it is designed to fail
- ie. – make your product hackable and don’t constrain how it’s hackable. You may be surprised by the creativity of strangers
- Reach out beyond your (insular, echo chamber-bound) corporate community. If you’re not part of the conversation that other communities are having, then you’re out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
- Your community is your business, so treat them like it. They’re your partners, not a duck for you to shove your marketing messages into.