Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help Us Help You!

One of our goals for 2010 is to grow the English-speaking GeneXus community, particularly the USA community. A few days after our last event in Chicago, we were talking about how nice it was, that in a way, the events feel like a family reunion. It is always good to get together with familiar faces, see what everybody is doing and have a chance to catch up. In one hand the 'family feeling' is a great thing, but on the other hand it also means that our community is small. And if we view our community as a family, I cannot avoid thinking that a family that gets together/keeps in touch only once a year is not a very strong one. So we want to change that.

One of the opor-threats (opportunities and threats) mentioned by Nicolas Jodal in the USA event was that it’s in our nature to be connected with others. Even if it is in our nature, maybe it is not - or it has not been - one of our strengths to know how to promote the connections between the members of our community. But we want to and we know we must do it, and this blog is just one attempt at achieving our goal. We want to create spaces to communicate with the community and share ideas, what we are thinking, what we are doing, where we are going, lessons learned, keep in touch, etc.

The blog is probably not enough, but it is a start. We've been posting for a while, rotating the writers and each of us writes about what they think might be interesting but one question is always in our minds is….. what do *you* think is interesting?

So maybe we should ask you :)

Internally we debate about which community tools and sites we should promote, and if we should build on top of the current GeneXus community - which has a big portion of its content in Spanish - or if we should somehow have an environment that is English only. We debate about this because the Spanish community is very big, and many of them (including Artech of course) produce most of its content in English already, but it is still mixed with Spanish and we think that is a problem for you. So we ask, is it really? Would you prefer to have an English only community even if smaller?

We also debate about the platforms/community tools we should use... Here is a current list of GeneXus communication groups:

: There's a GeneXus Community group and a GeneXus USA (only in English) group but its does not have a lot of activity right now

facebook: There's a GeneXus group - with about 507 fans where the GeneXus news is posted. Most of the activity is related with the events.

tweeter: You can follow http://twitter.com/GeneXus though it is also mostly the GeneXus news repeated again

blogs: There are no blogs that we know of about GeneXus, or GeneXus related, in the English community. There are many interesting ones but in Spanish

forums or user groups: Except the GeneXus forums run by Artech we are not aware of any other forum/user group that has a lot of activity. There was a proposal from some of the community members to start using stackoverflow but there's no activity there right now.

So which one should we focus on? All of them? When you need to reach out to the GeneXus community or support sites what do you use? What would you like to use? What kind of things do you look for?

Whenever we think about how to grow our community we have a lot of ideas but more questions. We like the fact that we feel like a family, because that should make building something together easier. But communities are not nurtured by one member only. So we've been debating what is the best approach and what is the best direction for us in order to increase the community ties.

Maybe we are making a typical mistake, getting stuck in the technology discussion without getting to the essence of the matter, the best technology is defined by the one that satisfies the need best... "Increasing the community ties" is the ultimate need or goal but that is too general... I think we have to start with the requirements. We need to understand your needs. We need you to help us help you. Ok, I just wanted to use that sentence because I like it ;) In this case is not exactly "help you" because we are part of the community so it should be "help us" but then it was not the same ;).

So we want to invite you to participate and help us do this together.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done, Lali,

    I would like to see more about this product. Two questions:

    How does this impact QControl?

    How can we merge this technology with agile methodologies (ie. SCRUM)?

    I have been thinking about how I can improve my own PM tasks, but I always end up needing a tool that is either unavailable or not cost-effective. I am hoping XPM can fill the gaps.