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Diversity is the Spice of Life (Part 2)

In Part 1, we covered defining diversity, now let’s talk about how to build diversity and attract contributors to your Eclipse (or open-source) project. Ed and I came up with this silly acronym to represent things you can do to build diversity:

  • Blogging
    • Blogging helps you reach your users and establish a relationship. In Eclipse land, it’s recommended to get syndicated on
  • User Groups
    • Meeting people face to face can help grow your project. In Eclipse, we’re starting to build Regional Communities.
  • Incubator Projects
    • If you truly love something, set it free. Control is an illusion, there’s only influence. Give up control to grow your influence.
  • ListServ (Mailing Lists)
    • If it’s worth talking about, it’s worth talking about in public. Use lists for things like meeting notices and development discussions.
  • Demos
    • People love demos. People even love screencasts more. In the Eclipse world, screencasts are king at EclipseLive.
  • IRC
    • IRC provides a way to know fellow committers on a different level. It can also serve as a support channel for your project. IRC is somewhat of a tradition the open-source community.
  • Newsgroups
    • Your users are the most important source of feedback you’ll get. Learn to harness them, they are your community and ultimately, your extended team. Sign up on the Eclipse newsgroups.
  • Google Summer of Code (GSOC)
    • Google pays other students to work on your open-source project. How cool is that?

There are also things like Wiki‘s and Bugzilla that are important too… with Wiki’s, you can empower your users to produce content. With Bugzilla, it’s important to be responsive, especially if you’re receiving patches from contributors. Even if you don’t have time for the patch, communicating with the contributor is important.

In the end, we believe if you share your passion with others, they will share theirs with you. Building diversity will make you and your project healthier and happier… therefore more sustainable.

Thanks for listening.