Community voice

What is community for should be a easy question. But if you think a little longer, for example in context of Liferay the answer is not so easy to define. There are many thins you can used it for but there are only few options that will get you most benefit. As a proud member of  The Community I can say that in my opinion those options are:

1. Community can be used for getting requirements for next release of your product.

At Liferay: in my opinion last year was a one way road. There were requests from Community, there were Wiki proposals pages and Liferay used those for preparing roadmap but we didn’t get any feedback or questions. It was more dictatorship than democracy. I know that WordPress is like dictatorship too but there is a big difference because WP is more narrowed product and there is so big community that you wont be able to filter those good ideas (one WP Forum thread contains more posts than whole Liferay forum).  It changed since James Falkner took role of Community Leader. He started 100 Paper Cuts program which will help Liferay to define at least part of our needs. He’s also a person responsible for hearing us out. So now this is starting to look as two-way highway. +1pt for James here.

2. Community can be used as part of marketing.

At Liferay: well it was not. If you don’t speak with Community Community won’t speak about you. Maybe it will be but not the way you want. If you want people to talk about you you must give them a good cause. You can give them a super fast, good documented product (works well with WordPress), you can give them superb functionalities (like RIAK) and / or you can give them loads of information to process (I love how Magento is doing that with their daily updated blog).  In my opinion Liferay didn’t used all power of Community in this case. Product is good but information flow is terrible. There are of course Liferay LIVE sessions but  if their are announced a day before it’s not very useful for you (-1 pt for Paul for not telling soon enough about today Liferay Influencer Briefing).  I hope this will change for better with Community Leadership program and revamp of Community landing page

3. Community can do part of your job

You can achieve more if you stimulate Community to do part of your job in role of developers, testers or analytics. It’s a nice example of barter when company gives basic product and support (in meaning of patches) and Community gives code, tests or planning job. Actually this is the part where Liferay is doing a great job.  There are many partner companies that contribute good quality code. There is a clear information about how you can contribute. Two things missing are Liferay employee that will commit all those Community Contributed solutions to trunk and Liferay Marketplace (Paul we want to sell portlets!).

So to summarize you can get many things from Community but first you must put your own work into building a proper relations with it. As you can see on example of Liferay you can do it in a wrong way but changing that always pays up and it’s never to late for doing that. Working with Community is a never ending process like SEO positioning so never leave you Community alone without proper attention or you will get such negative and frustrated opinion like this one. Talk to us, work with us, give us tools that will help us make more money and we will share that revenue with you in form of good feedback, word of mouth, additional code for you and licence (if you sell those 😉 ).

 

And one message to the Community: be active and give Liferay staff a chance to correct their previous misdeeds 🙂

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2 Responses to Community voice

  1. Hey Szymon, thanks for your thoughts on making the community work for you (and others). Let’s see where we can take it this year.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Community voice « eo Networks about Liferay -- Topsy.com

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