Organizing a community - checklist

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This is a checklist to follow for starting a new community, merging two or more communities, or bringing an existing project and internal community out in to the wider open air. Giving some thought to your community's technology infrastructure (specific tools for specific purposes) needs to happen before and all along the launch of your project.

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Do this work openly, but don't start promoting the project until done
These are the elements you need in place before you make a lot of marketing noise. You may only have one chance to catch people's attentions, make sure they can find these important elements the first time they visit the project website.
  1. Mission and project vision
  2. Initial governance.
  3. Contribution policy.
    1. If there is copyright works being contributed to a commons, then a minimum contribution policy should be maintained. Some projects also use a contributor license agreement (CLA).
  4. External main project mailing list.
    • You may choose to hold-off on a general/user discussion list if it's not appropriate for the project, or until they get too annoying in the main project coordination list and need a list of their own.
  5. Source control:
    1. Code.
    2. Content (could be wiki), includes artwork, audio, and so forth.
  6. Issue tracker is a general tool or method for the community to keep track of important issues (projects, problems, tasks) in a central way.
  7. Wiki for community, collaborative documentation.
  8. Weekly IRC meeting time.
  9. Team planet/blog feed.
  10. Open roadmap for the project on the wiki.
  11. Simple open marketing plan, posted on project wiki, talked about on main mailing list.
    1. Conferences to submit talks to.
    2. Events to attend
    3. People to talk to now that there is something to talk about.
    4. Local events (user groups, meetups) to attend or organize.
    5. Articles for magazines or websites.
    6. Hosting online seminars.
  12. Expose interesting and easier tasks.
    1. Leave smaller work undone and ask for help on such tasks.
    2. Look for ways to encourage peripheral participation.
  13. Volunteer mentors wiki page.
  14. How to participate and contribute page.
  15. Community information page:
    1. Communication methods listed (mailing lists, IRC channels, etc.)
    2. Events attending.
    3. Meetups happening.
    4. User group events.
  16. Participant and contributor improvements and needs page - wish list and roadmap for how things can/should improve for contributors and participants, over time.
Personal tools