The Lost Openmoko Community: Official newsletter?

Kostis Anagnostopoulos ankostis at
Tue Oct 7 11:19:45 CEST 2008

Excellent and creative post Alex about the resposibilities of an Editor!

Just a thought along your lines:

- We do not need a PR Manager to *insualte* the community from the enginners.
- We need an Editor to ease communications among those 2 groups.


On Mon 06 Oct 2008 11:11:20 Alex Osborne wrote:
> Steve Mosher wrote:
> > Question: what functions do you see a community
> > manager performing. Write his job spec.
> As I see it there's two main points that Risto and others have usually
> brought up on this topic, communication and leadership.
> Communication
> This is the big point that everyone always mentions.  You can't have
> leadership without first a way to communicate effectively.  In my
> opinion, the wiki is being covered pretty well now and is becoming a
> really good _reference_.  So what is missing?
> News!  News!  News!  The engineering updates are excellent once you've
> discovered them.  The community updates by Steve leading up to the
> release of the FreeRunner were also good.  The planet, as several people
> have mentioned is a mixed bag, now and then there's good blog posts by
> various people but there's too much off topic or personal stuff that
> shouldn't be there and it's in desperate need of a way to filter by
> language.  Sadsammy also pointed out in a reply to Risto's "Lost
> Openmoko Community" blog post that these guys are doing fantastic job:
> But they're not even in the planet!  (I just filed a bug to
> admin-trac).  There's also not enough stuff from within Openmoko itself
> in the planet, it should be a central place to look for news.
> How is news handled elsewhere?  For small specialised projects a mailing
> list and the lead developer's blog is fine.  But the Openmoko community
> is extremely diverse covering lots and lots of different bases and is
> rapidly growing in size.  It's not just a single software package, heck
> it's not even a single distro!  So lets look to the big diverse
> communities.  For general Linux stuff there is the absolutely fantastic
> Linux Weekly News [1].  In addition to that, virtually all the large
> community-style projects have their own newsletters, either weekly,
> bi-weekly or monthly: Debian [2], Gentoo [3], Ubuntu [4], Fedora [5],
> Mozilla [6] and so on. GNOME [7] and KDE [8] have a continuous
> planet-style news rather than a newsletter, but they are edited by real
> humans and serve much the same purpose and have recurring feature articles.
> Lets look at what they have in common:
>  * Visibility: If not directly on the front page, then a big fat link at
> the start of the navbar "News".  Not hidden away in some mailing list
> (although usually mirrored or announced on lists).
>  * Well edited: Typically they have one *human* editor who puts
> everything together in a consistent easy to read way and filters out the
> rubbish.
>  * Sections: The details vary a bit between the projects but in some
> form they usually have the following.  Theses don't have to be
> particularly long.  A paragraph or two on each section would do.
>    -  Table of contents with highlights of the most important stuff from
> the other sections.
>    -  "Corporate" news:  What's happening in the core company (Mozilla),
> council (Gentoo) or core developers (Linux kernel).  These decisions
> have been taken.  This is the new policy for X.  We're opening a new
> t-shirt store.  We're looking to hire a community manager and two kernel
> hackers.  We will be having an IRC or real-life meeting to discuss issue
> X at this time and place.  John Smith has moved to the Foobar team will
> now be working on X.  This should help a little to give a voice to the
> company, what are its interests and where it is going.
>    -  Special features:  Two or three more in-depth articles on a
> particular topic.  This could be a review of a new program, discussion
> on a debate about a particularly tricky technical problem or a round-up
> from a recent conference or event with a few photos.  It would be good
> to have maybe one or two by the newsletter's editor and then some
> good-quality articles by guest authors.  If there's a good article on
> some random person's blog, ask them whether you can include it.
> Offering some incentives (merchandise, gear or even a small sum of money
> like LWN) could help encourage people to submit good articles.
>    -  Development news:  Digest of the more interesting commits to the
> repositories of core projects.  Bug tracker statistics (list of fixed
> bugs, how many news ones etc).  LWN has the mailing list quote of the
> week, which often mixes a few funnies (whatever creative way Linus has
> told someone their code stinks this week) with rather interesting
> mailing list threads worth reading.
>    -  Software release notices:  Generally submitted from the community,
> but edited, or at least with a policy of how they should look to be
> accepted.  Kept short and to the point.  One sentence description of
> what the project is (maybe a little longer if its a new project), list
> of big changes, link to the project's website or install instructions.
>    -  Community events/announcements:  OpenMoko community get-together
> in Sydney.  Upcoming mobile computing conference in Denmark.  New users
> group in Italy looking for members.
>    -  Tips and tricks:  This is not so general, but something I noticed
> in Gentoo's newsletter and may be useful at this stage where we don't
> have obvious GUI methods for doing everything.  We get useful hints on
> how to do stuff all the time in the mailing list.  Just aggregate some
> of the good ones with an attribution.  This could also be a could
> oppurtunity to add them to the wiki as well for later reference.
> This might be completely different to what you were thinking, but in my
> opinion we need more of an editor than a "manager".
> Cheers,
> Alex
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
> [7]
> [8]
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