TOOLS – Community Planner

Part of the Community Planner for Community Building / Teil des Community Planers für das Community Building


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TOOLS: Community Infrastructure & Support. English version hopefully available soon. Meanwhile use a translator to read the german one below. Read the introduction.


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Kommunikationsdesign und Projektstruktur.

Werkzeuge auswählen

Zusammenarbeit braucht Werkzeuge, Kommunikationskanäle und Struktur.

Ist die Hardware verfügbar? Kann sie erworben oder selbst zusammengestellt werden (z.B. aus leicht zu erlangenden Recyclingmaterialien)? Gibt es Zugang zu allen notwendigen Werkzeugen und Hilfsmitteln oder muss der erst hergestellt werden? Ist es leicht für potentielle Verkäufer Kontakt aufzunehmen?

Ist alles notwendige Wissen auffindbar? Z.B. die Design-Files, Dokumentationen, eventuell Lernressourcen, funktionierender Support, Metainformationen über das Projekt (vermittelt z.B. über eine FAQ, ein Mission Statement, ein Zukunftsplan oder ein Governance Model (siehe unten), ein Release Management Guide, eine Contributor License Agreement (siehe unten) oder ähnliches.

Es gibt eine Vielzahl von digitalen Kommunikationswerkzeugen, die man für eine Zusammenarbeit nutzen kann. Je weniger es sind je besser in der Regel. Möglichkeiten sind z.B. Websites, Online Shops, Mailinglisten, Versionskontrollsysteme, Wikis, Issue Tracker, Foren für Austausch oder Support, FAQs, IRC Channel, Support Telefonnummer, Archiv für Project Memory, Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Umfragen, Soziale Netzwerke, externe Plattformen für Open Innovation oder Projektmanagement und andere.

Darüber hinaus gibt es auch analoge Kanäle, die eingesetzt werden können wie Veranstaltungen (z.B. regelmäßige Treffen oder Konferenzen oder auch unregelmäßige wie Hackathons oder Themen-Workshops), offene Werkstätten, ein Laden oder Showroom und leicht erreichbare Ansprechpersonen.

BACKLINK: Werden alle in der Story erwähnten Handlungen unterstützt?

Zitate & Weiterlesen
Succesful open source communities know that attracting external contribution depends on the ease by which software code, documentation, project memory and other outputs can be accessed and improved by others.  (OSS Watch)"
In a community-led project, people participate in order to satisfy their own needs – you might call it ‘scratching an itch’. So an individual’s main driver will not be to build a community, but to solve a specific problem they face in their job, studies or hobby. For this reason, projects should be run in such a way that process and community overhead do not get in the way of people pursuing their interests. (OSS Watch)"
The key is to use tools that are appropriate to your community and to keep them to a bare minimum. (…) Tools should facilitate, not dictate.  (OSS Watch)"
Many projects fail to address software sustainability issues appropriately or in a timely manner. Some of the most common issues include failure to attract third party interest, poor management of community infrastructure, lack of project memory and inefficient release management. To prevent such problems in your project, you need to ensure that key items, such as a governance model, infrastructure tools, project memory, and release management are included, and properly budgeted for, in your project bid. (OSS Watch) "
Once interest has been secured, the barrier to entry must then be low: for example, simple things, like the installation procedure, need to be extremely slick. (OSS Watch) "
You are hackers, you know what to do. Stop slacking and set up a mailing list, a wiki, and an IRC channel. You will need all three. Think about a platform for discussion, storage for documentation and real-time communication. (OSS Watch) "
Early and frequent releases are crucial for building a sustainable open source project: releases attract users, some of these users become contributors, and more contributors make the project stronger. The downside of releasing early and often is that one needs to manage user expectations. Projects need to be clear about the status of their releases and draw attention to any known bugs in the documentation. (OSS Watch)"
WEITERLESEN: On Community Tools for Software
WEITERLESEN: About Release Management for the example of Software


Projektstruktur und Einstieg

Um eine Community zu gewinnen, braucht man eine klare und übersichtliche Projektstruktur. Je weniger Tools desto besser daher in der Regel. Übersichtlichkeit kann besser sein als komplexer Funktionsumfang.

Hardware sollte deutliche Versionsnummern tragen, damit klar ist, welche Dokumentation oder Kommunikation zu welcher Hardware passt.

Eine wichtige Frage ist, wie zieht man Leute in den Entwicklungsprozess herein? Der Einstieg sollte sehr leicht sein und die Komplexität dann langsam steigern. Von leicht zu schwer. Ein guter Einstieg ist das Produkt selbst – vielleicht lädt es einen ein, auf einer Website „Danke“ zu sagen oder 3 Fragen zu beantworten, die Verpackung enthält einen Link zu einem Video usw.

Wichtige Hilfsmittel für den Neueinstieg könnten sein z.B. eine FAQ, ein „How to get involved Document“ (listet erste Aufgaben auf), eine für Neuankömmlinge zuständige Person (Communitybeauftragter) oder auch ein klares Projektmanagement-Tool mit einer To Do List.

You don’t need to be a software developer to contribute to an open source project. The code, documentation and artwork that make up an open source project have all been created, tested, used, discussed and refined by members of the project community. These processes can be broken down into a myriad tasks, requiring different skills, levels of involvement and degrees of technical expertise.  (OSS Watch) "
The quickest, easiest and most significant way to provide such support in the early stages of your involvement is to answer newcomers’ questions. These are often best answered by those who have themselves recently experienced the same issues. By answering questions from newcomers, you will also be helping the project by saving the developers time. (?)
The easier the thing the smaller has to be the motivation. (…) Feedback has to follow fast.
Clear documentation explaining how one can move from passive user to contributor, then to senior contributor with commit rights, and eventually to decision-making board member, will be in place. This means that everyone knows what to do if they want to increase their role and responsibility in the project. (OSS Watch)"
For most projects, the first step is normally to join one or more of the project mailing lists, depending on your area of interest. Mailing lists are generally the main communication channel, but some projects may also use forums or other tools. The project’s website should provide clear guidelines on how to get started and which channels to use. (OSS Watch)"


Community Management

Eine lebendige Community muss gepflegt werden. Unterm Stichwort „Community Management“ hält das Web dazu Informationen viele bereit. Ein paar Tipps aus dem Web: „Seid freundlich und vermittelnd.“ „Gebt Feedback.“ „Sperrt Trolle.“ „Nutzt Kritik.“ „Bildet Coaches/Community Manager aus (siehe Rollen).“ „Baut Archive auf.“

Zitate & Weiterlesen
Acknowledging contributions immediately and addressing issues in a timely manner are equally important for the future engagement of these users. (OSS Watch)"
In their early stages, the most significant concern for projects is likely to be dealing with the inevitable support burden. Handled badly, this might, at best, lead to users turning away and, at worst, might lead to the founder giving up. If success is to be achieved, the leader ultimately has to find people to carry out this work. Employing people is one option; another is encouraging users to help out each other by writing documentation and fixing bugs. However, if this is to happen, there must be an infrastructure in place to allow them to do this. Contributions need to be proactively encouraged and leaders also need to ensure that contributions are helpful and of a sufficient quality.  (OSS Watch)"
As a new user, you may feel reluctant to make requests or provide criticism, no matter how constructive, for fear of seeming impolite or ungrateful. But most open source projects will encourage you in every possible way to contribute to discussions on user mailing lists or add feature requests to the issue tracker. At the same time, they will probably make you aware that not all feature requests will be implemented, although every comment will be carefully considered and feedback will be provided as to how important that request is.  (OSS Watch)"
WEITERLESEN: How to ask questions the smart way 
TALK (Video): How Open Source Projects survive Poisonous People



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