Thursday, November 3, 2011

Survey says: we need community

I think one respondent captured the problem quite well:
I would need to see signs of momentum: users downloading it and asking questions, reporting bugs, asking for features and chipping in, writing the odd .NET wrapper here and there, complaining about and contributing tooling, and talking/blogging about how they hope to use it, strengths and weaknesses, why it's viable, etc.
 Yeah. Me, too.

Community building takes effort.  In the beginning, I hoped that if I just took care of questions coming up on the mailing list, the rest would develop with a few hardy individuals starting to contribute.    I didn't (and still don't) have time to hang on IRC.  I was usually behind bringing ClojureCLR up-to-date with Clojure and felt that the best thing was for ClojureCLR to be as close to feature-complete as I could make it.  Hence, I neglected the community building.

I asked two questions on the survey about specific community activities:
  • Separate ClojureCLR forum/mailing list 
  • Blog or other forum for articles and commentary 
Twenty of 53 respondents checked the ML question;  29 of 53 indicated a blog or similar is desired.
Action item: Now that there is blog (here!), use it to inform and educate the community.
The comments on the survey give some ideas on what would be useful:  best practices, examples of interop, progress reports, roadmaps, etc.

Please use the comments to give input on what you'd like to see.

Several people had suggested prior to the survey that people primarily interested in CLR might be put off by the high volume of irrelevant traffic on the Clojure ML.  So I put in the question on forming a separate ML for ClojureCLR.  I hesitate to create a mailing list at this time.  Nothing says "not viable" like a mailing list that has no activity.  Is this something that should wait until there is more of a community need?
I'd love to hear what others think will be effective in building the ClojureCLR community.

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