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attracting volunteers (was Re: Manual Update 3/4/2019)


On Mon, May 13, 2019 12:23 am, Paul Sutton wrote:
> lets discuss further and look at other examples, I am sure there were two
> links for this, I just posted the fedora one but I wonder if there are
> other projects with similar tools,

With the link you sent, took me a while to get to C/C++ programming and
then all the projects that they mentioned weren't really of interest to
me.  If we do something like this, we should leave it more open-ended. 
Maybe someone has a great idea for volunteering that hasn't been
categorized yet.

We could also just create a simple page listing general categories/ideas
where help is needed and ask users to join the list or e-mail to discuss
further.  Interactive can be very nice, but only if it can get information
to the reader that he/she wants.  I've seen several projects that ask for
help, but just don't have the follow through.  Either they don't list
enough areas of interest to satisfy everyone or don't tell you what to do
to take the next step, get involved and get started.  Some sites leave up
old lists with items they no longer want help on.  Also, with some
projects, when you volunteer to help, they don't know what to do with the
effort.  One Open Source project asked for help.  When I ported the code
to another platform and offered to send them the patches, instead of
saying thank you, they asked for it to work with a different compiler
(which I don't even use).  Some Linux distributions use volunteers and
don't even thank them or sometimes throw out their efforts.  I remember
reading and following all the documentation on how to package something
for a distribution and some packages they took and some they ignored
because it didn't meet unwritten rules on how they wanted it packaged.  I
recently saw a distribution asking for help and for people to write custom
applications for their system.  When I asked what kind of applications
they were looking for, they didn't even have an answer.

If a project to recruit volunteers is going to work well, people involved
should be open to listening to ideas, very clear about what steps a
volunteer should take and what exactly needs to be done for the work to be
officially accepted and polite to the volunteer (for example: thank them
for the effort).

Sorry to go off on a bit of a tangent.  I do believe it's the message
that's most important not the medium.  So, we can come up with a cool
interactive example with all the latest web 2.0 bells and whistles, but if
it doesn't convey useful information to the reader, it won't be effective.


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