After running Cobbler for 4-5+ years, observing countless other OSS projects, and now starting up Ansible, here is my current operating theory of the way Open Source projects should REALLY be run. I have refined this over the years.
I offer this up in that people can look at it and say “wow, that is not how I run my project” and maybe look at it differently. For if you are giving away code and NOT reaping the rewards of community contribution, maybe you gave away some code… but what else did you get? If you’re just developing a project and it happens to be free code, you really should learn to expand your horizons a bit, and you can be surprised at what comes.
I’m long away from my days of drinking the Open Source proverbial Flavor Aid, so this is intended to be extremely practical advice to a project leader.
Do not create an application. Create a framework for like-minded people to create an application. The application matters but if random folks can’t easily contribute to it, you have failed.
Have all your documentation in line when you launch the application/tool/whatever. Contributors generally do NOT write documentation, so you may end up spending 50% of your time on docs. The documentation IS the project. Anything that is not documented does not exist, so take honor in this. When something new gets added, document it immediately.
Consider your audience when writing everything. Don’t just explain how something works, teach your reader why they should care, and inspire them to use your tool.
Offer amazing quality support at first, to build an audience.
Do NOT offer amazing quality support later, to build a community that is self sufficient, or it will consume you. Cobbler’s self sufficiency improved later when I wasn’t giving everyone answers all of the time. I hate to sound like Machiavelli or something, but cultivating inavailability is pretty important. Let issues and concerns sit and they resolve themselves sometime, devote your attention where it can cause the most good. If you are always there, your community will depend on you, and you do not scale. Help out when no one else can. Do the important things.
Realize that you can’t please everyone. Aim for pleasing yourself and a lot of other people with similar needs. It is fine to dominate half of the world, be like Napoleon and don’t try to take Russia. You know what happened there. He made a bad quality software product by incorporating too many user requests.
Always build simple code because your ultimate goal is not to become a developer of a project, but a manager of a project. Mostly just merging pull requests and having things done before you can think about them is ideal, because, let’s face it, one person doesn’t scale. Communities DO. Your goal should be about making things happen, and coding is not the only way to make things happen.
Leave some tickets for RFEs open for a while. Folks need to be coaxed into learning to contribute code. The “Little Red Hen” phenomenon is big in OSS, where users can be taxing — demanding, but sometimes not giving back. Encourage them to contribute by being an occasionally scarce resource. You should be doing the big stuff, not the small stuff.
Deny any features that will become a support burden or cause too many user questions. User questions are bad for two reasons. They take your time, and two, they make your product be perceived as to be hard to use. It is much better to have a small project that just does what you think it does, than a big one, that is a support burden.
Marketing is something most developers suck at, but it’s more important than you think. I don’t think Requests is a very interesting Python library, but it’s one of the top followed things on Github because it was marketed very very well. Also, I would venture many rails products ARE more successful due to the high number of bevels and drop shadows on their web sites. Bringing contributors to your project is the most important thing, so invest in this.
Don’t do anything small. Even if you’re doing something small, have confidence and aim for changing major things. You don’t know what can actually happen.
Yeah, so I realize that is kind of jaded in places. Most people don’t see that, but open source projects should be all about how you, as the project leader, can make yourself scale, and give people tools to empower themselves.
I think it’s important to not create end products, but to start avalanches, and empower people to create better things where someone wasn’t previously rallying them and enabling them to create better things. It’s about bringing people together and then being surprised at what they do, and what you can learn from them. I get much better reward from working with people than with the software.
Actually, that isn’t very jaded at all.
It’s about bringing people together and then being surprised at what they do, and what you can learn from them.It's about developing & fostering autonomy.
Author: friendica <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun Nov 11 19:12:20 2012 -0800
hush-hush ultra top-secret mode
Eric Johnson Nov 9, 2012Needless to say, I was most amused by that particular comment.
Ever since Google+ came about, I've felt that it is a little backwards in its use of Circles. I've felt that we should be able to signal to others what we are looking for FROM them. When someone follows me, I have no idea why, so I'm sure they'll get a bunch of noise as I have varying interests.
We need a way to publish "channels" of related content, so poeple can subsribe to just those channels.
Robert Scoble Nov 9, 2012
+J. Rae Chip Yeah, Google+ has many things to fix. So does Facebook. So does Twitter. I just wish one social network was perfect.
Robert Scoble Nov 9, 2012I happen to agree with his points.
+Kenton Smith sigh. Facebook has granular sliders. For instance, I turned my brother Ben completely off cause all he talks about is his bar. But I still see everything from him on my family list. Other family members, I told Facebook to "show all." Yeah, the Google+ way is also cool (turn up everyone on a circle, turn down everyone on a circle). The Google+ filters, though, aren't nearly as good as Facebook's are. I can't wait for them to get better...
Alexander Hamilton, Warren Harding, F.D.R., Ike, L.B.J., Representatives Mark Souder, Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner, Senators Gary Hart, John Ensign and David Vitter. Maybe a first lady, Grace Coolidge. And now, David H. Petraeus...Amirite? :rofl (just kidding)
[Update 11/12/12 11:20 a.m. PT - Facebook responded with the following statement, "It is an old link that allows you to access your News Feed operating on an earlier version of our ranking algorithm. This feed does not show all posts."]:rofl
Cerf has worked for Google as a Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005. In this function he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.
Here's what Facebook had to say in a statement: "It is an old link that allows you to access your News Feed operating on an earlier version of our ranking algorithm. This feed does not show all posts."I'm glad I got a chance to see it. Just proves to everyone that ER was, is, & will always be about $$$. Nothing more & nothing less.
The company strenuously denied an earlier report in TechCrunch that incorrectly called it an "unfiltered version" of the feed.
Facebook did confirm, however, that the link will not function as of Wednesday. Check it out while you can.
Facebook's long-term problem is that it is trying to make money via advertising, even though Facebook simply isn’t a very good vehicle for advertising.Now, if it takes them this long to take G seriously. How long do ya suppose it'll take before they even begin to catch a glimpse of F/R's kung fu? Hmmm?
And while there are things Facebook could do to make itself into a nice platform for advertisers, those things would drive away members. That's the conundrum...
Meanwhile, you know who stands to benefit in all of this? Google. See, Google is approaching social in a different way.
Google lets you - not some algorithm - control which posts you see. And Gogle doesn’t put ads in your Google+ news feed.
Instead, Google pulls info out of Google+ and uses that data to improve the results people get when they do a search...
ou know, I don't really mind ads, or certain types of ads, like banners and links.
What I hate are:
a) pop-ups the disrupt my use of a site;
b) videos that automatically play (hate these with a vengeance!!);
c) being tracked without my knowledge or permission.
I don't think FB blocks profile posts as much as page posts anyway
Brands with small fanbases of fewer than 10,000 people can get nearly 20 percent of them to see any individual post. But brands like Coca-Cola and Walmart, who have more than 1 million fans, can only get about 6 percent of them to see any given post -- unless they pay:
Cathcart explained that which News Feed posts pop up depend on several factors -- the user's reaction to the post's publisher, other people's reactions to the specific posts, and what type of story the post is. When it comes to mobile, Facebook also considers what kind of content is best for a device. If a user has a feature phone, Facebook figures that the user won't want to see photos and puts less importance on showing those posts.
... If I were a betting man I’d put my money on wearable computing as the platform of the future — something like Google Glass plus Kinect, bearing in mind that each of those is but the Altair II of its field, and I’m talking about their descendants a decade or more hence.Full of WIN...
I doubt Facebook will survive that shift; but at the same time, it’s hard to imagine something else replacing it between now and then. The world is yours for a decade, Mark Zuckerberg. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Let's not be so myopic:
Come on folks, DISCO was so freaking huge in the 1980s, it put Rock-n-Roll out of business - for awhile.
When people got tired of Disco, a new 'social norm' developed: "disco is a has-been, disco is not 'cool' anymore" and disco vanished quickly.
Anyone who thinks that a large percentage of FB's users "Simply will not vanish overnight, it can't happen" are very very foolish.
The 'switching costs' to change to a viable alternative are LOW -- because the content is YOU, YOUR LIFE, and only you experience it, it is always with you -- not with Friendster. Not with MySpace. Not with Facebook.
'Switching costs' means "the difficulty of switching from A to B".
'NETWORK EFFECTS' are not "MOAT" for investing purposes. AOL had a huge network. SO WHAT.
Friendster had a huge network effect. USERS LEFT ANYWAY.
Myspace had a huge network effect. USERS BAILED FOR Facebook.
Facebook has no 'moat' technology -- Facebook is 100% based on COMMODITY TECHNOLOGY.
They make money NOW -- but so did Compuserve -- for awhile.
So did AOL -- for awhile.
So did Friendster.
So did Myspace.
'NETWORK EFFECTS' did *not* stop their users from bailing out.
A lot of us are too smart to invest in a dubious commodity-technology firm whose moat is "it has huge network effects and is super cool and has great revenue and Mark is paranoid."
GOOD LUCK OUT THERE, PEOPLE.
.. (anything other than FB) is "it's too complicated .."
Till know you can't communicate on post's from friendica but the intention is expressed by the coders.
It seems to me that libertree is on invitacion because they are developing the idea and don't want to deal with lot's of user's and the combined problems that appear. Actually the tone at libertree is different and "nicer" it seems to me, which is an interesting point. Also pistos stated that he is not looking out for another D* or fb-killer, so I think the goals are different.
Meanwhile the quote is true in the sense that people might say that, it's simply not true and only depends on the interest. When people wan't too(and need to) they learn very quick. I don't know if you heard about the tablet test in Africa. In half a year children hacked their tablets without getting any instructions at all.
how was it so easy for FB to motivate so many of those people to bother even registering let alone setting up contacts and doing other stuff?
.. question is how was it so easy for FB to motivate so many of those people ..
"Facebook effect"Interesting, but hardly surprising. I always find it fun to observe how people (especially the younger ones) use the web. I'll often do it without saying a word... just taking mental notes.
* He added that "it really makes a difference who runs the company. (Google CEO) Larry Page is quite good and probably in the long run will come out on top."
* Android has been increasing its smartphone market share quarter-over-quarter, with iOS seeing its share decrease due to the emergence of various handsets powered by Google's platform. During the third quarter of 2012, Android was installed on 72.4 percent of all smartphones.
It wasn't long ago that many people were arguing that Facebook was eventually going to be bigger than Google. Word of mouth, after all, is the most powerful form of marketing known to man. And people lived on Facebook, so they would soon be shopping on Facebook. And so forth.
Well, so far, anyway, that ain't happening.
• Only 0.68% of Black Friday online sales came from Facebook referrals--two-thirds of one percent. That was a decline of 1% from last year.
And how about Twitter?
• Commerce site traffic from Twitter accounted for exactly 0.00% of Black Friday traffic. That was down from 0.02% last year.
So much for the idea that Twitter or Facebook's business models are going to have much to do with commerce.
Really. "Social networks" should be for being social, not for spammy marketin bullshite.
The study also found that Business category Pages have seen a significant drop in average fan count — from 6,400 fans per Page in March to 3,233 fans per Page in October.Bingo!
It all begs the obvious question: Why is Facebook Page activity declining like this?
Recommend.ly mentions that the full rollout of Timeline this spring may be to blame. And there’s also Facebook’s move to what we’ve called paid organification — i.e., the need for brands to spend money to get more eyeballs to see their “free” (organic) posts and status updates.
There’s been a lot of debate in recents weeks/months about whether Facebook is purposely making brand/business content less visible in fans’ News Feeds. That debate continues, but one thing is clear: Facebook is pushing a lot of paid content in the News Feed. That may be a serious turn-off, particularly for the small business owner that Facebook is eager to reach.
Lists, subscriptions, notifications, page-only feeds...BTW, be sure to read the comments too -- they're hilarious & clearly prove my point.
Beware of Images is in a relationship with Facebook, and it's complicated.
Growth of web applications has been a huge improvement for social
sharing and collaborative work. Unfortunately, to enjoy these new tools,
we have traded our privacy. Newebe aims to solve this problem
by providing web applications you host at your home and that connect
to your contacts.
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"name_updated": "2012-11-02 00:10:25",
"photo_updated": "2012-11-02 00:10:25",
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.. it is unlikely that the status quo will be overthrown in the absence of violence ..
We’ve been working on decentralised and federated social networking for over two years. Unlike other more visible projects, Friendica works well today as a decentralised implementation of a social network, containing a compatible set of features with the large corporate providers. It also connects relatively seamlessly with many networks and prov...
is it possible to donate more than once?
The attorney general blocks the release of Prince Charles' letters to government departments, saying it would "seriously undermine" him when he becomes King.
But Mr Grieve said it was an exceptional case where the letters formed part of the prince's "preparations for kingship".
The Guardian said it would seek to take the government to the High Court to challenge the veto .
The Republic group called the ruling an "affront to democracy" which was "all about protecting Charles and the Royal Family from scrutiny".