Running an open source project
(Led by Mark Boas)
- See if a project already exists. No sense starting from scratch.
- Start small
- Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews can help you get noticed. It all comes down to getting lucky.
- Get something up for people to see. Try to make it very easy to get started.
- Echo John Resig: Make it as easy as possible for people to get started. Good "Getting Started" section and good examples.
Managing a community
- Just get something up and running. Google Groups, or anything.
- IRC is a great way to keep in touch with users.
- If you want contributions, ask for them
- Keep track of community activity. It's a good statistic to watch.
- "Chase down negative comments." Ask people what you can do better.
- Be obsessive about helping people.
- Use community for direction, encouragement, testing, promotion. Run features by them.
- Self-maintaining community is awesome, but really hard to achieve.
- Ask the community to tell you how they're using your project and publish those examples.
- Don't ever start an open source project with a goal of monetizing it. (But if you can make it work, it's a good arrangement. People hire you to implement/customize because you're the expert and then you get better and the project gets better.)
- Make cool demos and get them noticed. That's dogfooding AND publicity.
- View the competition as helpers, not competitors, especially in the open source world.