[Web Comm] Website map ...

Auke Jilderda auke at collab.net
Tue Oct 17 17:55:14 EDT 2006

On 17 October 2006 20:52, Jody Garnett wrote:
> Indeed Auke, part of leaping into a foundation based on already
> running projects is that the software development side is fairly
> covered already (and porting to CN an overhead). What we are
> describing here is more on the order of a content management site
> focused on our "customers".

Well yes.  My point is that I have the impression that quite some people
in the OSGeo community are not satisfied with CN but mainly because they
are trying to use it for something that it was not designed to do.  As
with many Open Source tools, CN focusses on one area (distributed, large
scale software development) and tries to do a good job at that.  In my
opinion, the version control and tracking parts are fine, the
communication bit could be better (and CN has improvements on its way as
well as more improvements on the roadmap).

In addition, especially Open Source communities can benefit a lot from
complementary functionality, mainly for marketing and community
fostering.  More about this below.

> A nice approach, we may need to break it down according to kind of
> users (since we have a couple categories already and the language we
> need to speak to them with differs.
> This is an interesting cross, I had not thought of separating it as a
> seperate concern (prefering to think of community being one and the
> same as development (but you are correct), or one and the same as the
> "marketting" content - not sure if the two need to be distinct for an
> open source foundation?

I very purposely distinguish marketing and community.  I think it works
best to distinguish to target audience and the audiences any succesful
Open Source community has are the following three:
- (Candidate) users: People who are simply interested in using the
  applications as is.  It has to be as easy as possible for a potential
  user to (a) find the community and the application of his interest and
  (b) start using the applications.
- Testers and potential contributors: Expert users who are fiddling
  around with it, filing defect reports and potentially fixes and
- Developers: Developers who spend time developing the applications.
And of course there are typically orders of magnitude between the sizes
of these groups; so tens of developers, hundreds of testers and
contributors, and thousands of users.  And it's a natural evolution in
which a person evolves from user via tester or contributor to then to

The Marketing site aims to address the immediate needs of the
(candidate) users; the community site aims to address the needs of the
testers and potential contributors, getting them in contact with the
right developers and other contributors; and the dev site facilitates
the active development.

So it's all to enable these three target audiences, make it as easy as
possible for them, and help them to evolve to the next level if and when
they want to.  This is the life blood of any successful Open Source

> Ah but perhaps you are thinking of the "regional" groups, and
> "foundation committees" ... I could see that.
> Indeed.
> Do you have any recommendations for managing a "straightforward web
> site"? I suppose we could look into what eclipse.org uses ...

Ehm, there are many ways to do it.  My main message here is that, in my
opinion, it would help OSGeo to make the distinction into marketing,
community, and development and not try to shove all three into a single
solution or a single blend of solutions.  The three are fundamentally
different, have fundamentally different target audiences, a
fundamentally different dynamic, and fundamentally different

Does that make sense?


More information about the Webcom mailing list