The Art of Community Management (Credit for image: Lumaxart at www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart)
Code, collaboration and community are the pillars of open source. Every successful open source software project has an active community around it that reflects the project’s priorities and character. Since the core concern of most open source projects is code, their communities are typically focused on developers and on producing good code.
But other areas also important. Many open source software communities also look at tools and infrastructure to support the community’s needs as well as ways to create marketing buzz and how to grow and maintain a healthy ecosystem for users. One of the signs of a successful community is the emergence of a community manager who fits the outreach needs of the project.
In its LQ Community Manager Interview Series, LinuxQuestions.org has published a series of excellent interviews with some of the community managers of popular Linux distributions — Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Fedora. These interviews highlight the strengths that each community manager brings to their particular project.
Ubunchu - A Ubuntu Manga Comic Book (Credit: Ubunchu)
Earlier this month, Ubunchu, a comic book for Ubuntu, was published in Japanese. Ubunchu is about three students in a sysadmin club who are learning about Ubuntu. Japanese Manga artist (Mangaka) Hiroshi Seo is the creator of this comic series and his first edition has already been translated into English, French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese. Translated versions can be found here.
The comic book format has become an interesting, if novel, way to popularize technology. For example, when Google released Chrome, it introduced its new browser accompanied by a wildly popular comic book. I believe this format could also help kids in middle school and high school learn about the latest technologies like Linux and open source.
Calling on our Indian language localizers… Are you ready to translate Ubunchu? Ubunchu comes with a Creative Commons license and has the SVG source available too. So it should be easy to translate and spread the word.
And here is what Hiroshi says to translators…
If your are planning to translate the manga into another language, my consent is not required, for it is released under Creative Commons BY-NC license. Though I’d really appreciate if you let me know it when it’s done. Then I would add the link of the distribution site to the list above.
Both English version’s are distributed with it’s SVG sources. You will find it very easy to edit with SVG editing software like Inkscape. Thanks to DoctorMO & C-quel’s work! When using these sources, please don’t forget to add the credit for them.
In his keynote at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit at Google, Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth focused on the importance of collaboration. For Mark, collaboration inspires innovation and tools and processes that help collaboration are key to maintaining the edge of innovation in FOSS. I couldn’t agree with Mark more. Mark observed that barriers to collaboration include too many interfaces to communicate with, rigid community structure management, attitudes of “us vs. them”, poor project management, and insufficient standardization. He said that while there are many collaboration techniques and tools WITHIN global open source projects, there are not many ACROSS these projects. Many of his efforts try to connect islands of eyeballs through the tools the Ubuntu community is building – Launchpad, Bazaar, Rosetta, UbuntuForums. Otherwise, a lack of tools and standards across projects are hampering bug tracking, submission of translations & patches and testing. He cited the GNOME project as a great example of communication across projects especially in helping downstream developers.