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Measuring Corporate Contributions to an Open Source Project

Jan 09, 2009, 00:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

[ Thanks to Esther Schindler for this link. ]

"If 2008 had a buzzword, it was probably "community." More and more companies are looking to tap into communities for contributions to open source projects. But following the open-source trend just because everyone is doing it isn't good enough. To succeed, you need a well-thought-out community plan that details exactly what your organization needs and wants from its community, and how it can achieve those goals. And you need to do so without raising the ire of the free and open-source software (FOSS) community.

"The point of insisting on FOSS project metrics isn't to discourage enterprise open-source involvement—quite the opposite. Organizations can plan for success early on by planning to measure contributions up front. This means setting goals from the start, and then designing a roadmap to get you there. Too many organizations begin with poorly-defined or vague goals (such as "build community"), and wind up disappointed with the results. Then they blame the open-source model. In reality, that's a failure of leadership and clear direction-setting."

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