Building community of developers
What makes Facebook or twitter or Flickr successful? Is it the community of users? is it the usefulness of the product? is it the uniqueness?
I think it's all above and set of passionate developers who used the APIs and created extensions with above mentioned characteristics. Yes. According to me developers who used Twitter or FB APIs to create additional, useful and sometimes unique experiences around the core functionalities are also responsible for the success.
When I joined Janaagraha to work on IJ, one of my ideas was to create network of developers who could creatively use the technologies and data. But most of my initial time went in conceptualizing and building IJ as platform. Now that IJ's build is in final stages. I have started to work on developer community concept.
There was also question about building a dedicated IJ community or generic community. After some discussions with friends. Taking pros and cons of these two different approaches, we settled down for generic community of technologists who are interested in NGO sector.
As a start, I created a Google group for discussion and git repository for code. Even though you might see me talking about Janaargaha and how technology is used inside Janaagraha. It shouldn't stop developers from talking about technologies used in other NGOs. The whole point is to use technology for the welfare of human beings ( i know big words). I have never curated a developer community. I think it's a big challenge for me personally and professionally. I have been part of many developer platform groups. I am going to use my experience as a participant there to curate this community. I hope that works. I have been reading a lot about this recently. I found this presentation interesting
Send me some interesting ideas or reads/links. Oh yeah, I forgot. IJ as such is a great platform to develop urban civic related applications. We have data, maps and above all OpenSocial to make it easy. Keep an eye. I will write a blog post. Better join the group. And there are some code snippets on github already.
BTW Christian Heilmann is my role model.