Why the heck we need marketing guys at our perfect IT company?

I am sure you know this modern company structure scheme:

modern company structure

пидорась == faggot
IT отдел == IT crowd/department/section

The past
I remember when I was younger and I was writing some bytes for living. I still know that there are just 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

WTF?
I was wondering all my life why the heck we need a marketing and community management droids at our team. We create a kick-ass products that we can sell them via our web-page using 33 lines of HTML code an an Paypal account.

I am on the dark side of the force now and I know why.

The truth in 5 points*

If there is no marketing droids:

  1. Less people know about us – our clients are our friends and peers and visitors from Google are welcomed too.
  2. 1 = Less money – well, I don’t have to explain this, do I?
  3. 2 = No salary++
  4. 3 = No beer money NOR I just got an invitation to work for another company that has a great marketing department.
  5. R.I.P  GPWGFTCCW (Great Product with great functionalities that can change the world.)

If there is no community management guys:

  1. No community around us = We have to test our product by ourselves in any possible OS, CPU, RAM, ….
  2. No community around us = How to know what to improve and what the clients really need from our products?
  3. No community around us = How to get ideas for new products?
  4. No community around us = How to find someone that will tell you honestly “You’re wrong”
  5. No community around us = How to find someone who will help you with documentation, bug hunting, beer drinking, and to cheer you up – “You’re good. I love your product.”

 

* I am so sorry, but someone should change the ordered list to start from 0/zero/. Starting from 1 is so lame.

The future of Java – a community perspective

Ah memories

I’ve started my interaction with Java a long time ago – in 1998 (*), when a friend of mine show me thr good ‘ol Borland JBuilder and how to write Swing applications. I was using a very very old computer that I bought a day before that and my first compilation took 30 min or so.

Couple of months after that I betrayed Java and I’ve start using PHP and other easy to learn web languages, because my employer requires that, but I never forgot my loving Java.

14 years after

14 year after that I had the opportunity to be a part of Java community again. Of course I followed what’s going on with Java during the years and when the Oracle bought it I was shocked. They did the same with MySQL…

What is the future of Java NOW?

Last couple of months I am working with JUG and other Java boys and girls and I see that most of them are not happy, enthusiastic and don’t care about the spirit of Java (if I may use that expression).

I don’t want to start a technology flame war and I am not a Java tech person at all, but I am worried about the community around Java.

The Example
There are JUG’s with 1000 and more members, from which 50 are active online and 10 coming to an offline meeting.

Community?
Most of you can say Java is only about the technology and maybe they are right, but this is not what I think. Java is about the community also – There is no technology that can survive without a community around it and the community plays a big role to make a technology kick-ass.

That’s I want to find the way to scream “WAKE UP” and to push the technology forward.

So, where is the problem?
Is it Oracle politics about Java? Are you afraid of them?
Is it Community Management – most of the JUG lists are used as one way communication. There is no active engagement from the leaders at all. Sad!
Is it the “threat” of other languages? Really?

What do YOU think? How to bring back the passion?

I have my own vision, but I’d love to hear more about yours. Can you share it with me, please?

P.S I’d love to discuss this at FOSDEM and I may buy you a beer :)
(*) in my 1.0 version the date was wrong, sorry for that.

Announcing the Kolab Server 2.3.0

“For the plane in the fog, the mountain is unforeseeable, but then it is suddenly very real, and inevitable.”

Simon Forster, Minister for foreign relations

WHAT IS KOLAB?

Kolab is a personal information management solution, also referred to as groupware. It can provide and manage your information including email, address books, calendars and tasks.

The Kolab server acts as the central information repository and thanks to its uniquely powerful design can host up to tens of thousands, theoretically even hundreds of thousands of users.

All these users can freely share email, address books, calendars and/or tasks with all, some, or none of the other users. This allows Kolab to provide the support base for a wide variety of activities, such as coordinating appointments, working on common projects and ensuring consistency in customer contact.

FEATURES

The new Kolab 2.3.0 server includes a lot of new features, namely:

  1. Z-push synchronization for mobile devices
  2. A reworked webadmin
  3. The possibility to have multiple accounts with the same name.
  4. Modular packaging of the webclient
  5. Many updated core components
  6. Tons of bug fixes

A detailed list of changes is available here

UPGRADING

Because of the changes in LDAP, upgrading from 2.2.4 is not trivial and requires manual intervention. Please make sure you read and follow the upgrade instructions in http://files.kolab.org/server/release/kolab-server-2.3.0/sources/1st.README

Documentation and OpenPKG packages are available from here as shown on http://kolab.org/download.html.

DOWNLOADS

Binary packages for Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 (Squeeze/stable) and 5.0 (Lenny/oldstable) on x86 platforms can be found next to the sources.

Support for Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (etch/oldstable) was dropped because it is no longer supported by Debian ether.

As soon as they have synced, you can also use the the mirrors listed on http://kolab.org/mirrors.html

You can check the integrity of the downloaded files by importing our file distribution key and verify the OpenPGP signature and SHA1 checksums:

$ wget https://ssl.intevation.de/Intevation-Distribution-Key.asc
$ gpg –import Intevation-Distribution-Key.asc
$ gpg –verify SHA1SUMS.sig
$ sha1sum -c SHA1SUMS

NOTICE

This release marks the end of a long development cycle. After over 2 years, the master and the stable branch are (more or less) in sync again. We
introduced many new features and fixed a large number of bugs. We tested the release intensively but due to the massive code changes, we might have missed something or even introduced new bugs.

Before you use this release in a critical environment, we’d like you to test it. Please report any problems you encounter in our bug tracker: https://bugzilla.kolabsys.com/

Depending on the number and severity of bugs, we will issue an updated release soon. We already have a number of fixes in the queue such as the today’s Z-push 1.5.2 release, so Kolab 2.3.1 will come soon.

CREDITS:

I’d like to thank a few people for their help, namely and in no particular order:

Paul and Georg, for giving me the chance to work on a great project like Kolab
– Bernhard for his coordination
– Thomas and Sascha for their support, especially during this week
Bogo for the awesome new look of the webadmin
Jeroen for his input and providing me the infrastructure I need
Gunnar for responding so fast to the issues we spotted

Without these people the Kolab Server 2.3 would not be possible. Thank everybody for your hard work!

Regards,
Christoph

OKFN community and me.

I will help OKFN in building their community around CKAN ant other important topics for me and them. They really like what I did for SUMO project, when applied for a job last year and we will use this document as a checklist together with other ideas we have. (I am full with ideas, yeah)

It’s really awesome because most of the CKAN community members are programmers like me and I think we have a lot of common interests.

This project will be probono and will take 1-2 h of my free time per day, but it will be great if I can help the OKFN to spread the Open Data ideas and technologies around the World.

SUMO: make people grow through the community.

It is not a secret anymore. I applied for a SUMO community manager position at Mozilla Corp, but I didn’t get it, as I expected:)

I will share here some ideas and a project plan I prepare for my interviews. It’s a strategy for making SUMO team a community.

Presentation:

Here you can see more about me and my vision on SUMO’s objective, goals, success criteria, implementation plan, etc.

(Flash movie is embedded. If you don’t want to watch it, you can download the ODP from here.)

35 point project plan

I invest a lot of time to understand the community and to create a basic plan for community development. Here it is (.html) (as a project overview). Feel free to use it and to comment it. I’ll be more than happy if someone can execute it.

Thanks

It was my pleasure to meet and talk with Stas, David, Seth, Tristan, Pascal and William

If I were a SUMO Community Manager …

If I were a SUMO Community Manager I would have 2 main directions to work on:

Internal – strengthen the existing community and external – to get more people to the community. I think SUMO community is one of the most dynamic ones in the World and there is a lot of passion inside.

Maybe is a cliche, but we are now in the age of participation, we must give the chance for all users to participate.

OUT

I think the external priorities should be something like:

  • Teaching users what is the difference between website and a browser.
  • Better communication with them – after asking a question, for example, they can be asked to help other people if their area of expertise is good enough.
  • Get more members for the communities using existing platforms. We can communicate with people using their own language to educate them HOW and WHY to join the community. There are A LOT of people helping the users on Twitter, Facebook and different non-community forums – we must reach them and integrate them into community.
  • Better integration between crash-stats and SUMO. People expect to see more information and help when is available about:crashes info.
  • Why not greet people on their own language when joining the SUMO website.
  • SUMO welcoming parties – once a month, new members will be invited to a “virtual” welcoming party.
  • Integration between social network tools and TikiWiki.

and IN

If we are talking about internal community, we can find a way to reach every member of the community with:

  • Put a member to be responsible for a task. For example : Please make a report for latest 100 non answered questions from SUMO forum.
  • Line up areas of expertise and expect people to give feedback on that. For example if I belong to the group responsible for answering questions about UI, I can give better feedback on that issue, than other who is responsible about malware, for example.
  • We have to improve our existing web tools and we need more feedback on that. I am ok with Spark, but it is not user friendly for non-technical community members.
  • I know we have a lot of members, but the active members are not so many. So, we have to activate them with more personal and local tasks. We need something more stimulating than ‘Carma’.

How do I know such things?

I am dealing with communities since 2004 when I started organizing a Web technology conference. I t was important back then as it is now to find proper approach to reach the different community layers. The Combination between on and offline methods helps strengthening its integrity.

Currently I am managing several communities, one of them is based on our digital rights and freedoms and includes working with social network and services like FB, Twitter, Linkedin and so on, different types of people and politicians and organizing different actions such as protests, flashmobs and various topics discussions, concerning our digital rights.

I am participating in the Mozilla project since 2004. I started developing some search plugins and toolbars for Firefox, then I started to evangelize along with my open source and open standards activities in Bulgaria. I have participated in a number of meetings for Open source adoption in our government.

I am a member of an international group of organizations which work directly with the EP to stop software patents (again), the data retention directive and other violations of our digital and human rights. I ran for European Parliament in 2009.

Now I am working on building and stabilizing the Mozilla community in Bulgaria. I can communicate in English, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian