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Looking at the wetware stakeholders in communities - fossa2011


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Looking at the wetware stakeholders in communities - fossa2011

  1. 1. MacuariumLabs! community action research Looking at the 
Understanding stakeholders" for succesful communities Miguel Cornejo Castro! fOSSa 2011, Lyon! November 26th 2011! !1
  2. 2. Evolution: closed communities into conversation spacesMacuariumLabs!community action research !2
  3. 3. Wetware is what defines OSS • The code itself is agnostic. The difference is how it gets built, and why. The relationship between the software and the wetware.! • There is a pesky, irreverent, egotistic, creative, rather wonderful thing between the keyboard and the chair. Mostly water. And lets not mention users. Not corporate sponsors. Nor the wider ecosystem.! • Most often, OSS is the result (and the driving cause) of a healthy community. But communities take so many different shapes. And are so fissiparous.! • "I dont expect wetware to work as logically as software". Orson Scott Card, "Speaker for the dead".! • Allogical? Illogical? Really?MacuariumLabs!community action research !3
  4. 4. Community and your project • Communities as people and conversations and something else. The channel and tools are (sort of) irrelevant.! • When the project is just you…! – … “the community” is a friend and some geeky early users.! • When you’ve got a product…! – … “the community” helps you make it useful.! • When you’re established…! – “the community” is the engine and main channel of the value-adding ecosystem.! • When you’re staid (or when you least expect it)…! – “the community” breaks apart and walks out on you.! • When you think the community just takes care of itself...! – "the community" fails and your dream project falters.MacuariumLabs!community action research !4
  5. 5. Community? Owner.! Manager.! Member.!Conversation space. Sponsor.! Core.!Power contributors.! Ecosystem.! Dev community.! User community.MacuariumLabs!community action research !5
  6. 6. Wetware is a host of stakeholders • The sponsor. In one way or another.! • The (original or current) vision leader.! • The trusted, involved core.! • The wider, variegated contributors.! • The (hopefully many) ecosystem units that add some value.! • The end users, more or less unlettered.MacuariumLabs!community action research !6
  7. 7. Different stakeholders, different reasons • For the individual coder it may be a job, but in the aggregate its volunteer work.! – Even when paid, most in the community work at it because they want it. Beyond the core, it’s often quite close to volunteer work.! – Logical, driven, (usually) product of many hands and minds: the tool you build because you want to use it… and no two uses are alike.! • For the sponsor, OSS may not be (only and necessarily) a religion…! – It can just be a business strategy to level the technological field or make prevalent your standard (Apple’s work with Konqueror or -sort of- FaceTime)! – It can be just a business estratega to facilitate access to the technology at the lowest cost, so you can build an early user base of future upgraders (Alfresco, OpenBravo…).! – It can be just a business strategy to make your professional services widely known to custom-development prospects (mySQL in Oracle).! – It can just be a business strategy to cheaply build a base of customers you can sell services to (Auttomatic with, and so many others).! • And the ecosystem is another WIIFM planet.! • Any which way, it needs a community. And if it doesn’t, it gets one anyhow. Pesky things, communities..MacuariumLabs!community action research !7
  8. 8. Alignment, alignment, alignment • Just what are we building?! – The goal, and the philosophy. Either share or don’t join. Needs to be clear.! • What are we doing it for?! – The reasons driving us and paying our hours. Need to be compatible.! • How are we doing the work?! – Dev methods, processes, tools. Some are religions. Need to share a core creed.! • Who is in charge, at each level?! – And why? And to what extent? And how well? Remind me about the mission thing.MacuariumLabs!community action research !8
  9. 9. Affinity, competence, firepower... Servant leadership for the wetware • Negotiate, choose, drive competition.! • Shared? My dream?! – Motivation stems from shared decisions. Not just absent leadership. You need your people to reliably do the boring useful tasks too. You need them to share the big idea.! • Your creature, your call?! – Decide what you want to decide upon. And remember that what you set free, you cant control.! • Participation?! – Or delegation. Or implicit trust. No contribution without representation (you can get it, but motivation, innovation and quality will not be the same).! • Changing course?! – Beware the fork. Watch you traction. In short, listen. And be ready to lose excess weight rather than a clear focus.! • Are manners important?! – With brain workers? Every day.MacuariumLabs!community action research !9
  10. 10. Affinity, competence, firepower:! The alogical wetware • Are we divided?! – Separate work groups set agendas and see things differently.! • Are we compatible?! – Some people just can’t get along. Even engineers.! • Do we share a vision?! – Whatever our reasons, are we seeking the same creature? With a passion?! • Are the gurus properly packaged?! – The OS worker has a right to be heard. A silenced contributor is halfway a mutineer.MacuariumLabs!community action research !10
  11. 11. You work for yourself, yes, but if you want scale... • Do you know your users and their priorities?! • The creator of Wordpress was a Drupal early user and community member. He left because Drupal gave no priority to ease of use. Now, Drupal is spending so many hours building ease of use back in.! • Are you talking to them?! • The survival of an OS tool (and even of SAP) depends on its being useful to users at every level. That depends on support: the user community.! • Who is keeping an eye on the end users?! • The kind of collaborator who can drive a user community is not the one who can code best. Its the user wrangler. And theyre delicate beasts.! • And it not in one place: it makes up a "conversational space". Not a sigle space.MacuariumLabs!community action research !11
  12. 12. Mind the ecosystem... and the sponsor • Theyre involved for a sound business reason. And they contribute along their own needs.! • They need the project to be a certain way (from licensing to features), expect to be heard, and measure results.! • They can switch horses... or directly fork (Konqueror to WebKit).! • Theyre useful: they wield lots of brain hours.! • They are usually needed to make the project useful tp the wider public.! • They (especially the main sponsor) feel entitled.MacuariumLabs!community action research !12
  13. 13. In short: many types of wetware, different motivations and expectation End user: features, support quality. Ecosystem: quality, WIIIFM, business strategies. Contributor: representation, appreciation, participation... And vision. Core: mission, vision, power, togetherness. Sponsor: pragmatic measurable goalsMacuariumLabs!community action research !13
  14. 14. More on this point of view! " and please let me know your experiences:! " Miguel Cornejo!! Managing partner! " MacuariumLabs is a project of! Macuarium Network!!community action research !14