Every project has to be maintained by some people. The project has a way to contact the maintainers privately, and could have a forum for others adding their doubts, contributions or specification of tasks. These tasks could be published in a tracker repository waiting there for someone else to come to do them at some point, without previous private virtual or presential contact.
Maintainers want to make their project known to a broader audience and every project wants to increase commits to their tasks, that is why projects organize promotional and production gatherings.
1-Promotional events about a project are a few of the total events around the project and are normally open to all public
2-Production gatherings are events for doing tasks, they are more than a few and they are not that much publiced nor attended, so finally tasks are normally done by a small group of the same people. Maintainers feel scarcity of human resources (task commiters, helpers) in comparision to the abundant love they are giving to the project and the level of participation in the project’s public events. This scarcity of helpers causes a hidden frustation that intimately closes up the project to other future newcomers, since the maintainers counterattack finally feeling the patrimonial contribution they have already done as a hierarchical condition of a belonging to such a community of people formed around the project (i.e. the project becomes their property as in a exclusive family or as a revenge)
Project’s gatherings limitations
When developing a project, there is not only the conflict between maintainers and participants, there is also the conflict of the project relationship with other projects. In this sense, there is an increasing trend of «general gatherings» for presenting your project in a gathering where a lot of other related projects will be also presented.. So when someone goes to such a general gathering, we have some additional problems:
– The relationships between presentators and atendees are very stressed due to lack of time and floods of information around.
– Atendees are flooded with simultaneous presentations imposible to attend them all. Organizers do also normally fail in organizing the documentations of the presentations.
– Presentators don’t merge related presentations with theirs and use their space for reading their already published website and ask for feedback in the same presentation by splitting atendees into groups or by finally begging when they conclude the presentation asking people to help them. If people is splitted in groups for getting deep into issues, the core presentation is not on, so people lack information about the general framework. If the presentators ask for help at the end, the standard payback is: It has been one hour atendance from 50 people, and the presentator gets an average of 15-1 hour minutes conversation in exchange at the end of it. (S)He gave 50 hours and receives 1. Atendees could have contributed to the project itself while listening, or leave a message after the presentation, but they were there as if they were watching TV or frustated because they were not the first ones in going to talk with the presentator… .
– Communitty gets reinforced with common events within the gathering, but since the gathering relies in a hierarchy between Organizers, project presentators and atendees, these common events don’t get deep in making that community to thrive as a whole as much as it could be. Also despite there is a communitty building effort there, everyone should solve their basic needs individually (transport, food, sleep, etc), so the sense of community is not fully felt even if there is a bit more friendly environtment than normal. And also, since any communitarian gathering tends to a further celebration, partying is no present or it is too artificialized or separed from the gathering itself.
Since projects need more tasks promotion, relating and tasks commiting and atendees want to add their bit, and everyone specially including gathering organisers want to enjoy the experience deeper, we have to intervene in making lovelier standards for a more productive presentational gatherings, or parties for projects.
What could be best than offer your help and get some currency to get some products that are only sold in a party where you commit the task you offered your talents for? Will this not promote to more easily suggest new open tasks for free projects driven by an affinity group that tends to infinity because they don’t feel such helpers scarcity anymore?
So, we have to write some guidelines for forking parties, either as a manual or standard, that should get integrated the best bits of:
-Meetings (there are many manuals already around)