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David Eaves thinks that community leadership is the core, make-or-break competency of an open-source software project. I agree.
He shares a story that illustrates a pattern I’ve rarely seen in the Plone community, and hope to continue not seeing.
One of the key ideas Iâ€™m interested in pushing is how â€œopenâ€ open source communities are – and how they can make themselves easier to join. I actually had an interesting experience while at FSOSS that highlighted how subtle this challenge can be. During one of the lunch breaks Mark Surman and I ran a Birds of a Feather session on Community Management as the Core Competency of Open Source Communities. In the lead up to the session, a leader of a prominent open source community (I knew this because it said so on his name tag) walked up to me and asked: â€œAre you running this BoF?â€ (Birds of a Feather) Not being hip to the lingo I repliedâ€¦ â€œWhatâ€™s a BoF? Iâ€™m not super techie so I donâ€™t know all the terms.â€ To which he replied â€œEvidently.â€ and walked away. And thus ended my first contact with this particular open source community. With its titular leader nonetheless. Needless to say, it didnâ€™t leave a positive impression.
At some point everyone has to have a first contact with a community - that first impression may be a strong determinant about where they volunteer their time and contribute their free labour. Any good open-source community will probably want to get it right.
Thanks to some nice work by Vincenzo Barone and Christian Scholz, the slide decks from Plone Conference 2007 are now online at Slideshare.net. Not only does this provide a nifty platform for viewing the slides, but you can also easily embed them in blog posts.
Like this: My presentation, called “Best. Plone. Ever!” about Plone 3, is here:
Plone Conferece 2007 on Italian TV!
I’ve played around with PloneFlashUpload a bit, and it’s a really handy utility for letting users upload multiple content objects in one fell swoop. It’s particularly handy when you’re uploading Images or Files into a site.
Getting a solid, stable version of PloneFlashUpload for Plone 3.0 will be a really nice win for anyone who’s setting up a new Plone site, or maintaining a site with lots of Files and Images.
It appears that Google has started offering IMAP connectivity for Gmail. If so, this removes one of the last technical reasons not to adopt Gmail as a high-quality, low-cost (free!) email provider for a small organization.
Concerns about privacy will always linger in the background, but unless you want to run your own mail server in house, you gotta trust someone, I suppose. And I’d trust Google a lot more than most ISPs. (But not as much as Electric Embers!)
Now that I’ve had a chance to recover from jetlag and get back up to speed at work, I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect on Plone Conference 2007, held October 8-12 in Naples, Italy.
Vincenzo Barone and the crew from Abstract Open Solutions were wonderful hosts.Â The venue was great, internet access was solid, and everything ran quite smoothly.Â Naples is a charming, rough-edged city with amazing architecture and fantastic food.
But what really got me was the electric energy of the Plone community.Â This was the first big Plone community event since the release of Plone 3 in August.Â Â It’s been a year of tremendous change and growth in Plone, and people are finally starting to wrap their heads around the incredible powerÂ and potential of the new Plone, and its underlying Zope 3 technologies.
The thing that surprised me the most was how unified the community was around one big idea: in the year ahead, we need to take advantage of the power of our framework to build out a new generation of tools that make Plone more approachable for first-time site builders.
From the buzz over beers to Lennart Regebro’s amazing talkÂ “What Zope Did Wrong (and what to do instead)“, there was a tremendous amount of excitement about the many ways we can drive more control and flexibility up into the Plone UI without compromising the safety, stability and manageability of filesystem-based code.
I’ve got a big laundry list of “easy wins” (and a few harder nuts to crack) that I’m going to try to post over the next few weeks.Â I’m really excited to see what this community can accomplish when we align our vision around a common goal!
Scott Paley liveblogs from Plone Conference 2007 at CMSWire.com
build and manage Xen virtual server instances with preconfigured Plone & Zope instances
I’m thrilled, humbled and honored to have been elected to the Plone Foundation board of directors! I’ll be joining an amazing team of people, including:
- Nate Aune
- Geir BÃ¦kholt
- Joel Burton
- Darci Hanning
- Alex Limi
- Steve McMahon
- (and me!)
Plone Conference 2007 has been an inspiring, energizing, brain-filling week. I’ve talked with dozens of people and heard a ton of amazing ideas. I’d love to hear more, though. Please leave a comment and share your vision of what you’d like to see happen in the Plone community over the next year.
I’m looking forward to working with all of you to help make those visions happen, and I can’t wait to read the next chapter of the incredibly story we’re all writing together!
Update: Christian Scholz captured the announcement on video; you can watch it here!
Tom Moroz, Open Society Instiute
- Intro by Alan Runyan: the future of open source software looks very much like the path that nonprofits and civil society organizations have blazed.
- Heard a lot about Seattle 2006 conference and the strong community. At first I wondered what the connection between open society and open source was, but the more I’ve gotten involved with Plone, the more I’ve come to see that we share the same path.
- A few months ago, we met Peter Hollands from Cisco Foundation who helped Oxfam work on Plone. Helped him see the relevance of the work we’re doing for the broader NGO/social change space.
- Eben Mogeln’s inspiration talk at Seattle 2006 helped further draw that connection.
- Hope to show that the Plone community is an “open society” organization.
- Open Society Institute: mission based on democracy, human rights, rule of law. Local policy work, plus global alliance building.
- Plone’s power: helping build alliances online.
- OSI: works in over 60 countries and in 20+ program areas/intiatives.
- Founder: George Soros, became a billionaire investor, then in the early 90s, became very interested in promoting open society in the fomer Soviet Union, then has expanded organically from there over the years. Now, 32 independent national foundations.
- Challenge: how to connect a very decentralized network?
- Many OSI programs have realized that policy advocacy is critical to social change. This is filtering across their program areas.
- Example: education program supporting everything from preschool to higher education.
- Key OSI inititaives:
- local government
- human rights
- public health
- Tom’s definition of Open Source: a set of principles that promote open access to the design and production of goods and knowledge.
- This definition applies to software development, but also to government, media, education, business… and beyond!
- Open source is becoming integrated into the fabric of society
- “Wikinomics” – you only grow by making your knowledge open and accessible.
- Strong philosophical overlap between the Open Source philosophy and Open Society Institute
- Knowledge is provisional and fallible
- Open Source: get the software out there, and then improve it. User input into software design.
- Also, tolerance of differences. Rapid improvement. All bugs are shallow in open source.
- example: Iraq Revenue Watch. Publish the numbers, improve the policy.
- Obviously at the heart of Open Source!
- Open Society is very diverse and multicultural. Respect for differences is at the core of both Open Society and Open Source. Bringing everyone to the table really matters.
- High degree of personal responsibility
- It’s up to the individual to interpret their own values. You’re self-motivated to improve both society and software.
- Open Society values that don’t (obviously) map to Open Source
- Freedom and human rights are at the foundation
- Me: Software freedom is a form of intellectual freedom — that’s what Eben Moglen argues
- Social mobility is a measure of openness
- Plone at OSI
- The problem: global intranet
- July 2006: chose Plone
- May 2007: KARL 1.0 beta release
- October 2007: KARL soft launch
- Process: extensive conversations with partners. Conclusions: we don’t know all of the great work we’re doing. We need to build more awareness of what we’re doing. Started by looking for proprietary solutions, but none could meet needs (e.g. Sharepoint), and also wasn’t consistent with organizational philosophy.
- Had great experience with using Plone for the planning group!
- Presenting KARL to OSI board next week!
- Brief demo of KARL
- User-created Communities
- Organization-wide news, events
- Local news, events, etc.
- Things we need to generalize
- Great tagging UI (del.icio.us-like!)
- Already very strong adoption, even in beta testing!
- A microcosm for the global future of collaboration
- Vision of a hosted service for smaller organizations
- Host must be a trusted consortium!
- Importance of “soft” technology and methodologies
- Peter Senge, learning organizations.
- How can we replicate effective real-world collaboration online?
- Closing thoughts
- Spiritual activism: social change comes from the bottom, motivated by internal vision.
- Cells begin to find each other during metamorphosis.
- We’re starting to find local cells of change, and they’re beginning to connect.
- Plone can be an amazing tool for connecting people.
- The journey is just beginning.
FireKiss is a Firefox extension that builds KSS inspection support in Firebug.
Not only is the technical content great, the product is amazing. It provides a powerful, way to easily apply any license terms, including Creative Commons licenses, to content in a Plone website. Site administrators can apply licenses to content types, or to individual content objects. It helps you keep track of the licensing status of all the content on your site, and also lets you add your own licenses.
If you’re already familiar with Creative Commons licenses, they’re basically open source licenses for content that isn’t software: documents, music, images, etc. If you’re creating content that you want to share with others, Creative Commons is a great way to go. And thanks to the eduCommons folks, Plone now has world-class support for Creative Commons licenses.
A big “thank you” to David, Brent and the eduCommons team for developing a powerful, useful product and for sharing not only the tool, but also the techniques for building it, with the world!
Thanks to the heroic efforts of Vincenzo Barone, Christian Scholz and the team at City of Science, we have two channels of live video from Plone Conference streaming on the web and in Second Live.
All the details for tuning in are at:
I’m off to Naples, Italy for Plone Conference 2007!
Thanks to a generous donation from Joel Burton of PloneBootcamps, I’ll be joining my ONE/Northwest colleagues Andrew Burkhalter and Veda Williams for a full week of intensive learning (and fun!) with the Plone community.
All three of us are on the agenda:
- I’m Delivering “Best. Plone. Ever! Presenting Plone 3″ — a fast paced introduction to the amazing new features of Plone 3.
- Veda is teaching her two-day class Skinning Plone, in which she’ll share the incredibe wisdom she’s built up over the past few years helping build sites like these.Â (And she’s also doing a short workshop on how we do project management for small Plone sites.)
- Andrew is giving a talk about his work integrating Plone and Salesforce.com (regrettably scheduled opposite my Plone 3 talk!)
See you there!