Published on October 14, 2008
Social Sourcing Free Software: The story of GetPaid and creating new opportunities for Plone Christopher Johnson ifPeople | www.ifpeople.net Plone Conference 2007 Napoli, Italy October 9, 2007
Outline ● What is Social Sourcing? ● Why is it important for Free Software? ● The Story of GetPaid & Social Sourcing ● Lessons for Plone
What is Social Sourcing? Def 1: Open Source Software for Civil Society Organizations (ie NGO/non- profit)
What is Social Sourcing? Def. 2: An organizing approach that gets diverse stakeholders to participate to the software making process.
Similar Process: Charrette ● Charrettes bring together people from multiple perspectives at the design stage for an intense collaboration. – Root: French for “cart” – More than just “crunch time”, it is also core to an Integrated Design Process
Charrette ● Frequently used for: innovative building design, community planning, product design. – Key: collaborative decision making in design
Data Center Charrette ● People from hardware, software, security, energy, real estate and more – Resulting design: ● 89% energy use reduction ● Equivalent computing power ● Increased reliability – See rmi.org
Why is this relevant? ● Open Source Software projects are driven by developers ==> Developers, like architects, often reticent to get “human” input ==> Difficult for non-developers to participate in shaping outcome
Why is this relevant? ● Diverse perspectives enrich the product ==> Expectations from client clarified upfront ==> Opportunities and constraints explored fully
Why is this relevant? ● The quality of the process determines the quality of the outcome ==> How you get it done determines what you get done ==> Position product to have a strong community
● Plone: – Flexible + very useful out of the box ● Internationally... – Wide use in NGOs, though still dependent on third-party systems for donations ● 2006 PloneConf BOF – Conclusion: Need state of the art payment processing framework
● To action! But... – /me was new to community, not a developer, and with no ecommerce software experience. – “Social sourcing” helped to be transparent, inclusive, and improve the product. ● <DOCTYPE FREESOFTWARE PUBLIC...> <div id=”entrepreneur”> ...don't be afraid!
● Step 1: Get oriented – What is already out there? – What do we know about those things? – Why do we need something else? ● Result: – Reference on Plone Commerce: http://plonegetpaid.com/why/plone-commerce-backgro – Need for the product: http://plonegetpaid.com/why/need-for-this-product
● Step 2: Make a plan – What should we do? – How can we do it? – Who does it benefit and how? – Make it pretty to look at... ● Results: – Goal for GetPaid M1: Donation handling – Sponsorship plan: www.plonegetpaid.com/sponsor
● Step 3: Recruit leaders and participants – The project needs a qualified “sheperd” – Variety of expertise are needed ● Result: – Lead architect: Kapil Thangavelu – Organizer: Christopher Johnson – NGO Liason: Jon Stahl – Developers and UI: various (see Credits)
● Step 4: Refine the requirements (participative) – Get input of users, developers, user interface experts, consultants/supporters ● Results: – Architecture outline – User stories
● Step 5: Ask for money! – If you don't ask, you won't get it... – Tips for asking: ● Connect needs with value ● Be transparent ● Be patient and persistent ● Result: – Raised over US$12,000 to date – Contributions page
● Step 5: Don't forget... – Be accountable and transparent
● Step 6: Celebrate successes! – Reward and recognize people and their contributions – Communication is important! ● Results: – Blog, mailing list – Celebrations...
● Ongoing: – Make it fun! – Keep it organized! – Keep people motivated! ● Results: – 3 Sprints (UNC, Google, Argentina) – Google Code (wiki, issues) – Blog, mailing lists, channel (#getpaid)
Social Source v1.0 Alpha ● – Study the market (benchmark) – Put together a compelling plan – Recruit the right people – Engage a wide base in refining requirements – Ask for money – Celebrate successes – Sustain it: fun, organization, motivation – Regroup, review, and restart...
What does this mean for Plone? ● Plone is great! ● Lots of work heading into the future...but towards what? – Perhaps Plone could benefit from process improvements that would: ● Clarify direction and identity ● Provide more inclusive design process ● Improve the overall product ● Strengthen Plone community
Plone Creation Process ● Overall vision: – Open process associated with vision? ● How can users be more involved? – Place to document it? ● Features: – PLIPs process determines features...but you have to be a “core developer” to make a PLIP ● Something before PLIPs but more specific than vision? ● Way to involve non-developers?
Reminder ● Check out GetPaid at Naples Sprint! – Sprint for the Red Ocher Release Candidate – October 13-15, 2007
Thank you! ● Contact info: – Christopher Johnson – cjj (at) ifpeople.net – www.ifpeople.net ● Links: – www.plonegetpaid.com – plone.org
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