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New Java/Linux Community Leader

Posted by kbedell on November 16, 2004 at 6:00 AM PST

Hello! I'm Kevin Bedell and I'm the new community leader for linux.java.net. I'm just getting myself organized in the project and am trying to figure out what exactly this community is and should be about.

There are a few pending projects to be created and a few that have already been created. If you have any ideas on them or are one of the project owners or contributors, please drop me a line when you have a moment. I want to try to understand what you're interested in and what you think the linux.java.net community should be all about.

I know there are a number of other community sites around -- for example the jakarta project and sourceforge. As I'm getting myself grounded here, I'm trying to understand what makes 'java.net' a special place. Why should developers host their projects here, rather than somewhere else?

And, of course, the first answer is that this site is among the best specifically if you're working with Java. That much seems obvious.

But the success of a site such as this isn't based on technology, it's based on community. The success of linux.java.net will be based on the community of users that develops around the site. Will it be an active, thriving community -- or will it languish? (I know what I'm hoping! But it's too early to tell really...)

So I hope you'll let me know what you think. Doc Searls said in the 'Cluetrain manifesto' that "Markets are conversations". Well, I'll take that a step further and say that "Communities are conversations that center around shared values". In other words, it's the things we all think are important that help shape the conversations that make up the community. In this community, it's easy to see that we all think 'open source software', 'Java technologies' and 'collaboration' are important. But what else? Is that enough?

I guess that, in the end, that's where I want to start. I want to try to generate conversations about what we all think is important and what we all want from a 'community site' like linux.java.net (or even just java.net itself). Once I can figure that out, I think the next steps to building the community will probably be obvious.

What are your thoughts?

-kevin

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