Organizing a community - checklist
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.
Tip: You can work on all of these out in the open however ... 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.
- Initial governance.
- Contribution policy.
- 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).
- 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.
- Source control:
- Content (could be wiki), includes artwork, audio, and so forth.
- Issue tracker is a general tool or method for the community to keep track of important issues (projects, problems, tasks) in a central way.
- Wiki for community, collaborative documentation.
- Weekly IRC meeting time.
- Team planet/blog feed.
- Open roadmap for the project on the wiki.
- Simple open marketing plan, posted on project wiki, talked about on main mailing list.
- Conferences to submit talks to.
- Events to attend
- People to talk to now that there is something to talk about.
- Local events (user groups, meetups) to attend or organize.
- Articles for magazines or websites.
- Hosting online seminars.
- Expose interesting and easier tasks.
- Leave smaller work undone and ask for help on such tasks.
- Look for ways to encourage peripheral participation.
- Volunteer mentors wiki page.
- How to participate and contribute page.
- Community information page:
- Communication methods listed (mailing lists, IRC channels, etc.)
- Events attending.
- Meetups happening.
- User group events.
- Participant and contributor improvements and needs page - wish list and roadmap for how things can/should improve for contributors and participants, over time.