The community

In the last months I have been a participant in several communities, forums and the like. And I also have left some. I want to share some experiences:
  1. The community behind a software product (or any other thing) is a crucial factor for success of the product and motivation of the members.
  2. The spirit of the community is important. For the Ubuntu community (to give an example) there is the code of conduct to which most members admit to. It is the philosophy behind the group, a big picture that holds the people together.
  3. Nobody knows everything. With the contribution and help of each single community member the community gets smart.
  4. In good communities, members focus on the matter, not on blaming other persons or other products - their main target is to solve problems. Of course I like that. :-)
  5. In good communities it is easy to get involved and it is easy to be integrated (if you handle the members with respect).
  6. In good communities you are respected and your opinion is valued.
  7. There is a mass contribution effect in larger communities: While a company could hardly finance project teams with more than 30 or so members, in a big community there are many people adding value - even if it is a small contribution for each person, those contributions some up to enormous results.
There are two communities that I am proud to be in - the Ubuntu community and the Java community. I do not only participate in forum posts etc - I am also attending local events. Those events are usually very interesting from the technical point of view and also from the way community members deal with each other.

Don't forget, that no product and no system can be successful without the people behind it! - It's all about the people!

Related posts: The Open Source idea, The Open Source movement, Paying for free and Open Source, User lock down, Going Linux, The future of Java, Popular Ubuntu desktop myths.

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