Monday, February 16, 2015

Benefits of community perspective

Seems to me when you think about community, especially a healthy one, you don't imagine people charging each other for everything. And in fact money is usually considered separately from within community though important for the community to have. And that perspective helped me out immensely when I started trying to figure out what was going on with my open source project.

When I first officially became an open source developer by putting my project Class Viewer on SourceForge back February 2004, I wasn't sure what might happen. Guessed anything from it could simply bomb or that it could bring vast amounts of attention for which I wasn't sure I was ready. And vaguely thought that if the latter there might be some way to monetize to some extent.

Over a decade later I'm puzzling over what actually happened, and gained insights by realizing that I provided a valuable tool for the Java software developers community as evidenced by continuing downloads, and it was best to push the idea of money completely out of the picture.

And from a community perspective I'm quite satisfied as I posted memorializing 10 years, where I noted over thirty five thousand downloads from over 150 countries, which I think can be considered indication of usefulness. And downloads continue.

With so many posts on other subjects some may wonder if project development will continue, and as far as I'm concerned it will as the project is still supported. Just don't have anything else I want it to do as of yet, and I've been pondering other subjects.

It's interesting to me that the more community level your project is, the less money I think will be involved, unless you can pull in advertising, as people don't tend to associate handing money over for community type things. Or that's my theory, as I sat down and worked out my own theory of money, which I've posted about before, as yeah, still need to make it, but a community type project is NOT the way, in my opinion.

And have to emphasize it's my opinion as maybe others find something different, but I've seen plenty examples by now that seem to indicate the truth of that perspective, and why wouldn't it be that way? Fostering community is a different world than trying to get people to hand over money for some product or service.

And in fact profit as a primary motivation has long been seen as detrimental to community.

So there's kind of a conflict I think where people who figure out how to make money are currently the heroes, because hey, plenty of people want to be rich, while those with more community type project, like a lot of the work to build web structure globally, which is mostly open source, are showing up in the news as being impoverished.

Of course if you understand money then you know why, and it's no more of a big deal than noting that water is wet.

James Harris
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