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Community Building Around Solution Areas

By Thornton Staples Developing community activities around Fedora Commons’ priority areas is one of our central functions as an organization. We are well placed to organize communities for development in a variety of areas, especially including development of the core software and application development in a variety of solution areas that have a natural affinity with Fedora. Other community activities could include such things as standards development, issue advocacy or simple information sharing in a particular area.
Our initial push in this direction is to concentrate on community building around particular solution areas, for which complete applications could be built on top of Fedora. We think of these applications as “solution bundles” implying that there is a complete end-user package that bundles software created externally with a specific set of Fedora Commons Framework services into an integrated application that addresses a particular use case of the solution area. These communities would be intended to bring together software that is already developed in each of these areas, as well as to organize new efforts to develop software.
Rather than take a top-down approach to organizing communities, we plan to act as the catalyst for self-organizing communities. Taking lessons from others who are applying research about emergence in complex systems to social systems, as well as developments happening all around us in Web 2.0 space, we are starting with four solution communities. These include:
· Data Curation
· Open-access Publishing
· Preservation and Archiving
· Solutions Integration
In each of these areas, we will start out by identifying a core group with a strong interest that can take responsibility for getting it going. The plan is for each team to start developing a knowledge-base on the Fedora Commons wiki gathering information in each of these four areas about standards, useful software, good practice, etc. They will also be aggressively looking for new recruits who have a strong interest in each subject. If all goes as we hope, “solution councils” will emerge in each area that can lead the development of solution bundles that address each of the use cases. We should have the first public face of these four efforts available in the next month or so. We will send notices to our mailing lists when we do.