Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting more people involved

cc-by Frank Karlitschek

Akademy is over since a week or so. (Damn, time is running so fast...). After a little trouble with some personal belongings (car broke down, fridge malfunctioning, water boiler defect and at last the death of my laptop screen) I finally could go after some ideas born during Akademy.

On Akademy tuesday we had some community related BoFs. The following summary was made by Diederik (of KMess fame) and me.

One of the main question was, how we could get more people involved in KDE. The "get involved"-pages already give a good overview about the possibilities to contribute. Although we thought that this site could be improved.

Camila did a short survey why the attendees were contributing and how that begun.

Reasons for participating:
The main three reasons were:
  • "Friends invited me to do something for free software."
  • "I feel accepted. / The members of the KDE community were open."
  • "It was not hard to start. (There were no imposed barriers.)"
In the following discussion barriers to enter were summarized.

Why are people not contributing?
  • They were afraid. (See talk from KDE women).
  • They don't know that they could contribute.
  • They didn't know how / where to start.
  • The steps to take for a new contributor were too big (e.g. the advice: "Fix umbrello") and scare them.
In our community we have potentially great contributors, who could use just a little assistance in the right direction. Getting these people aboard could really help us reach new levels.

We decided to enrich that page and to add some emotions and some "selling" points for new members. Working in our community is not only work but gives you something back.

Selling points.

For example, we show people behind the movement, enthusiastic people, learning and working together and having fun! Together with Neja and Ivan we drafted some text and collected pictures.

If you have any ideas or nice photos, expressing the fascination, passion and fun we all experience in KDE, please let us know in the comments section.

Stay tuned to see the final result.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In addition to the things you mentioned we need to give the potential contributors a feeling of a personal relationship, show them that they don't have to do a perfect application they maybe would have to do for a big company like IBM or Microsoft, but that a little "Hey guys, I wanna contribute." maybe enough.

Beyond that we have to show them that there is a friendly community they can ask any question to, how silly it may sound...