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3.2. Community building tools - just enough to get the job done

3.2.1. Initial tooling or 'Get it going' Set up a mailing list first

An open collaboration needs a relatively low barrier to entry communication method that is:
  1. Open to all to read;
  2. Open to many to write to;
  3. Subscribable;
  4. Openly archived.
A mailing list fulfills this need.
Bonus for doing it on open infrastructure using open source software.
That is a recursive use of the value of the open source way as experienced through quality software.
Mailman is the de facto standard.
Example needed. You need a version controlled repository for content - code and documentation and art and etc.

For more information on version control, read Section 1.4.6, “Version control”
Version control is the insurance that makes you and your contributor community bold.
  1. This is a code repository (git, Subversion) and a document system that has the lowest barrier to entry (wiki).
  2. Look at existing best-of-breed hosting, e.g.
  3. Making giving access to this as easy as possible; do not let the administration fall between the cracks.
Example needed Use lightweight, open collaboration tools - wikis, mailing lists, IRC, version control, bug trackers - and give out access

To quickly gain momentum, a series of small and useful tools always trumps a monolithic, inappropriate, hard to use tool.
People are familiar with certain tools already -- give the people what they want.
The choice here does not need to be open source. If you choose a non-open solution, you incur additional risk for whatever opportunity you are trying to capture. Make sure that a move to fully open tools is part of your roadmap for the project.
Some people will show up to participate no matter what tool you choose. Another group will participate only if the tool is open source, with some preferring popular tools. Why not choose an open, popular solution and capture all groups?
  1. Default open subscription is the rule
  2. Spread admin rights to anyone responsible; try to pair with people outside of your organization
  3. Encourage people to be bold
    • Don't be afraid to roll back bad decisions, that is what version control is for
  4. Be bold yourself
Example needed