How do you: Community Driven Development?

Here’s a question I’d love input on. The best projects often are the ones that can have people who believe in its value and worth. People with a common cause or goal. How do you recommend bringing together people to work together in an Open Source project? People are typically self focussed, so we each are interested in our own things. But how might one be selfless and lead others to be selfless into setting aside personal time to bring Community Driven Development into being? Specifically with one project in mind (any one not yet community driven)… what factors in to making this fellowship happen?


Good question.

I think it depends on the project, but one thing I do think is important is being clear or setting out mission goals right at the start - so everyone knows what they are getting involved with and to avoid conflict further down the line. This way people who believe in the same goals can get involved, and those who don’t don’t have to find out half way through and after hours of contributed work (which could lead to animosity and bad feeling).

I am currently doing a community orientated project (screencasting outfit). It’s different because it is an unusual commercial-stroke-not-for-profit, so while it isn’t open source or your usual CDD, it does have similarities and it’s what lead me to what I said in the first paragraph - I would personally prefer to set out my visions and then see if anyone else is interested, because it’s time consuming trying to get people to see things your way and also, if you reach a point where you feel your idea is being compromised a little too much you lose heart and interest in the project, and that is something I would want to avoid (what good is the project if you abandon it?).

Does that help or makes sense?

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Like AJ says, you have to set a clear vision. The other thing would be to get buy-in from others who might share your vision but are reluctant to contribute due to self-centered reasons. You have to make people see they contribute to something bigger than your own personal vision, you have to make your vision, their vision. This is usually achieved by engaging people on a personal level. Encourage people to take ownership of parts of the project and give them some creative liberty to do their thing. Listen to their suggestions and take them on board. Treat people as “Dave from Manchester who’s an ace with CSS and likes football” instead of “@FastCoder on Twitter”. This is actually quite a broad subject with many nuances.

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I was thinking along the same lines as you guys. I believe having a vision and communicating it well is the core building block for creating successful Community Driven Development. So communication skills would probably be the most important factor in the success of it.

I need to find more like minded individuals in general. I think that would help greatly.

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Why not start a thread about it to gauge interest? You can be as vague or detailed as you want :slight_smile:

Isn’t open source already community driven?

The pattern I’ve noticed is that most projects start with a core team (1 to 5 people) who design and define the goals of the project to make it useful enough for their specific use case.

And like you said, because people are self-centered, they’ll use the project and only contribute when what you already have doesn’t meet their needs.

You’ll find contributors faster if people have a clear path of commercializing the project. Think development shops, hosting providers etc.

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