Free software communities

Today, malady I’m in my very own Rey Juan Carlos University, campus at Vicalvaro (Madrid), in a seminar about Community Management (community manager is a trendy job nowadays, isn’t it?). I’ve been invited to speak about free software communities.

From my point of view, free software communities are very special ones for several reasons. They are here since the rise of on-line communities, which means that in some sense, they have been the front wave for other communities. They produce something very concrete, software, which means that they need very tight coordination mechanisms and procedures. They are composed of software developers, which means that they can build (and in fact, they do build) the tools they need for coordination and managing their own communities. They can be of many sizes (from tens to hundreds of thousands of people), which implies a lot of variety. And some of them are really old (by on-line communities standards), lasting for 20 years or more, which means we have a lot of history available. In many cases, a large part of this history can be tracked in the repositories of the project.

Well, I’ll be talking about all of this. Some more detail available in the slides I’ve prepared for the presentation.

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