New Ubuntu community toys

I have always believed in open community processes. As I have banged on about in How To Herd Cats, those companies who have shown a commitment to open processes have been more successful in the Open Source and free software world. Here I am thinking of companies such as Red Hat, Novell and Canonical. Companies who have been less open have struggled.

Creating an open community is only half of the challenge though – an open yet disorganised community does no-one any favours, so I am keen to ensure that we have a well organised community that is adept at sharing best practise and knowledge and working hard to do things the right way. I am keen to achieve the dizzy heights of open and effective community.

With this in mind, I have two things to announce that I have been working on for a little while:

  • Community Question Time – in a similar vain to Prime Ministers Questions in the UK, this will be a session in which I will answer questions from the community in a public and open meeting. I hope to hold these sessions monthly. This will ensure the community can gather together for the questions. The first session is pencilled in for 1st March 2007 at 3pm UTC.
  • BuildingCommunity Portal – this is a collection of pages on the Ubuntu Wiki in which I am documenting best practise when running community teams as well as building an extensive FAQ. Its still very new and minimal right now, but I am keen to see the site grow and cover a range of different areas. I am particularly keen to see the Knowledge Base be filled with lots of best practise articles, the FAQ cover a huge range of questions and more. If you want to help with this effort, see the Contribute page.

I believe that building effective community is about lots of little steps, and getting everyone involved in a mindset to achieve, document and share their experiences with their and other community teams. Its incredible how much can be achieved and learned just by talking to each other and sharing experiences.

As ever, feedback always welcome, and Ubuntu people, lets get these resources up to full speed ASAP! :)

  • http://wingolog.org/ Andy Wingo

    “In a similar vain” is an amusing freudian slip, Mr. Bacon!

  • asd

    This is contraproductive IMO. Having special days for Q/A makes users more aware that there IS a interface between company interns and the community, thus emboldening the separation and creating distance.

  • http://raetsel.wordpress.com Simon Stanford

    Sounds like a couple of interesting ideas there. The best Practice Wiki sounds really good.

    The question time needs careful handling I think, asd makes a valid point. Perhaps the person actually answering the questions shouldn’t always be your goodself but some other “prominent” community member.

    Oh and whatever happens I really hope it isn’t in a similar vein to PMQ.

  • jono

    asd / Simon – I can see your points, and I am keen that the session is intended for me to help with community issues, answer questions and other things. Less about me extolling information on the world, but more about sharing ideas and techniques for community building. It can also be used for people to ask questions about Canonical too if needed.

  • http://rekahsoft.org Collin Doering

    What do you think of having a bounty like the gnome project? So have a sponsored bounty system and a community bounty system where anybody can post a task they want done and put how much they will pay to have it done. This would increase development and make developers more interested which therefore will make a faster growing project that fits everybody’s needs. Just an idea :)

  • http://thejf.blogspot.com JF

    During community question time, do we get to bang on tables repeatedly, yell “Hear, hear!” and “SHAME! SHAME!” as well?

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