Thursday, 28 December 2006

5 steps for community building

An interesting article from Amy Jo Kim on what makes games and websites addictive.

  1. Collecting
  2. Earning Points
  3. Feedback
  4. Exchanges
  5. Customization
I see many parallels with the Open Source development I participate in.
Developers collect credibility and earn status by submitting code and answering questions. In particular, good developers are given write access to the repository - a priveledge that needs to be earned. This status is remembered when asking for help.
Feedback is provided by the community when reviewing code or following an email thread.
There are numerous exchanges over email and chat sessions where relationships are built.
Customization probably can be considered as code that is developed.
No wonder I find Open Source development so addictive.
Even so, there would probably be other ways to strengthen these drivers. For instance:
  1. We could automatically collect statistics for users and display them publicly. Like lines of code written, bugs fixed, questions answered which could all be aggregated into an overall rating.