- 1 Contributors in Comunes and Ourproject
- 2 How do we organize
- 3 For All Contributors
- 3.1 For Trainees
- 3.2 Recommended Firefox Extensions
- 3.3 Recommended Chromium Extensions
- 3.4 Recommended Non-technical Texts
- 4 For All Technical Contributors
- 5 Development
- 6 Web Design
- 7 Graphic Design
- 8 Community Manager
- 9 Social Media
- 10 Fundraising
- 11 Documentation & Translation
- 12 Research & Analysys
- 13 Linux Administration, Servers & Security
- 14 Communication
- 15 Diffusion
- 16 Testing
- 17 Ideas & Management of New Projects
Contributors in Comunes and Ourproject
The Comunes Collective is solely driven by volunteers. Nowadays we are a few, and need your help to go on. If you like what we do, please check our list of possible tasks, as you might find stuff you would enjoy contributing with. If you have a technical profile, you might want to check our call for developers. For a more systematic collaboration, you can also check out our trainings. Another possibility is to consider donating to this non-profit.
This wiki document is intended to be a main resource to help those first-time collaborators or trainees, that usually find difficult how to start. Some examples:
- For all contributors there are some recommended texts and Firefox extensions that might be useful.
- In case you are doing one of Comunes Trainings, then you have a whole section for these things
- If you are a technical contributor you will need to know about SSH and GPG
- If you are a developer, you will certainly need SVN, to choose a project, and you might want to get into leading tech such as GWT
- If you are a web developer/designer, you should know how to set up quickly a webpage using a CMS
How do we organize
We all Comunes contributors organize in "Teams". Each Team has certain function and interests, for example there is a Team for translators, a Team for system administrators, a Team for Kune development, etc. Besides, each Team has:
- A mailing list for internal communication (and sometimes another one external, for announcements)
- A TO-DO task list*
- A Team members list
- A section in this wiki
- Periodical online meetings by chat, when agreed
You can join one or more Teams, depending on your interests, your mood and involvement. Don't worry: you don't have any "responsibility" or "commitment": you can join whatever Teams you want without any commitment to help or do stuff. You can join, observe for a while and later on decide to help because you found a task you feel very motivated to contribute with. Everything is informal here, and we understand you have a life and many other stuff to do :)
- : TODO-lists are lists of tasks "to do", ordered by priority. They might indicate also the responsible of the task. In Comunes we usually use waves for the TODO-lists, within our own project Kune. If you need help with waves, check out the appropriate section.
The current active Teams are:
- System Administration
- Administration of the Linux servers: monitorization; DNS; firewall; anti-spam...
- Security and bastioning against DDOS attacks to the projects; peaks of spam; loops of user processes
- Management of collective Data Centre with other Free Software cooperatives and nonprofits
- If you want to join this Team, join the mailing list and follow the first steps for new contributors. A recommendation when joining this Team is to have a GPG key and upload it to the public key repository.
- Join its Kune list If you have issues with Kune, you can also join its mailing list but it is deprecated.
- Usually this group doesn't work with TODO list, although we have some stuff on this old TODO list in wave (with Member List in the bottom)
- Translations for all projects within Comunes
- Synchronization among translations
- If you want to join this Team, join the mailing list and follow the first steps for new contributors.
- Join its Kune list If you have issues with Kune, you can also join its mailing list but it is deprecated.
- Usually this group doesn't work with TODO list (here you can find the old one, with a Member List in the bottom)
- Social & Fundraising
- Social stuff
- Social Media, Community Management, Newsletter & Diffusion
- Foreign affairs, contacts with other collectives
- Conferences, talks, events
- Recruiting new volunteers / collaborations
- Social stuff
- Donations, grant-making, crowdfunding
- Potential donors
- Costs, accounting
- Fundraising events
- If you want to join this Team, join the mailing list and follow the first steps for new contributors.
- Social research on social movements (organizational needs, use of technology, possible tools they might need)
- Exploration/comparison of alternatives
- Impact of our tools, surveys, interviews, social network analysis
- Join its mailing list
- TODO list in wave (with Member List in the bottom)
- Kune project development
- Development issues of Kune
- Issues about GWT
- Issues about building Apache Wave extensions
- It uses the IRC channel #kune in Freenode
- If you want to join this Team, join the lists and follow the first steps for new contributors.
- You can also join any other Kune-list of the Kune Team, on different topics. If you have issues with Kune, you can also join the announcement mailing list but it is deprecated.
- List of software issues (Redmine) (bugs & improvements) and TODO list in Kune Tasks (for non-software tasks).
- Move Commons project development
- Development issues of Move Commons
- If you want to join this Team, join the mailing lists and follow the first steps for new contributors.
- You can also join any other Kune-list of the Move Commons Team, on different topics. If you have issues with Kune, you can also join the announcement mailing list but it is deprecated.
- TODO list in Kune Tasks
- Ourproject.org Management of Projects
- Approval/Rejection of new projects
- Management of web-services offered: hosting, wiki, databases, mailing lists & others (see list)
- It uses the IRC channel [in Freenode
- If you want to join this Team, contact the mailing list and follow the first steps for new contributors. Note this Team has restricted access due to admin privileges needed. It is typically required that you have some experience within a project inside ourproject.org or collaborating in other Teams before helping here.
- Contact this mailing list as they need to confirm access
- TODO list: nowadays this Team does not use a TODO list, due to the immediacy of the tasks involved
- Alerta project
- Android apps
Procedure for collaborations
- New contributor?
- First of all: don't worry. You don't have any "responsibility" or "commitment": you can join whatever Teams you want without any commitment to help or do stuff. You can join, observe for a while and later on decide to help because you found a task you feel very motivated to contribute with. Everything is informal here, and we understand you have a life and many other stuff to do :)
- Read the webpages of Comunes (and the projects you are interested)
- Choose Team(s)
- Join general mailing list for all Teams
- Join mailing list(s) of the Team
- Check the Team TODO-list with the task list.
- If it's in Google Wave or Kune you may need to have an account for it.
- Email for the first time to the list:
- Introduce yourself.
- Ask doubts.
- Suggest tasks from the TODO-list you are interested
- First tasks
- May need reading documentation
- Low difficulty
- When possible, together with another contributor.
- Ask and annoy as much as needed, or you might get frustrated.
- Depending on your previous experience, you might consider having a mentor
- Searching for a task to do?
- Scan the TODO-list of the Team for a task you are interested in
- Is the task assigned to anyone?
- If not, you are free to assign it to yourself. Inform in the mailing list about your intention to handle this task. If there is no inconvenience, mark it as yours in the TODO-list writing with "[your_name]" before it.
- If yes, you should ask in the mailing list if it's ok if you join the same task as [X] is doing, and the reasons why.
- Sometimes two or more contributors will handle the same task. They would help/ask each other and synchronize to accomplish the task.
- Needing someone to handle a task?
- Ask in mailing list and agree by the Team which contributor(s) should handle the task
- When possible and found appropriate, several contributors should collaborate in same task
- Indicate in the TODO list of the Team
- Doubts? Important decisions to make? Problems? Lost?
- Contact your Team mailing list
- Finished task?
- Close/Strikethrough it in the TODO list (don't delete)
- Search for new tasks to do
- Close/Strikethrough it in the TODO list (don't delete)
- New task is created?
- Add it to the TODO list of the Team
- Communication is mainly through the Team mailing lists or the Team waves
- Periodical Team meetings by chat can be agreed by each Team, for discussing internal issues
- Every 14th of every month, open general assembly by chat, for all Teams at once
- Aims: knowing each other, discussing about general issues, planning...
- No specific doubts about a specific task are usually handled here (refer to your Team)
Training & Internships program
- Any initial contributor is considered a trainee if he/she asks for mentoring
- The idea is to "learn by doing". That is, doing practical things that are directly useful to others. If you don't know how to do something, we'd guide you so you can do it... so the next time you don't need anyone.
- All trainees are expected to choose at least one "profile". Comunes is pretty diverse, so there are many things to do inside, some more technical and some not technical at all. We have organised the tasks in different "profiles". You can focus on one profile or in several, up to you. Check the list of profiles.
- Interns are contributors that collaborate within a formal context, usually through a university or institution. They might need to do a Masters internships, a thesis, a senior project, be grant-holders or similar scenarios.
- In practice, interns are just contributors (or trainees) with some bureaucracy and predefined aims.
- Any contributor can voluntarily become a Mentor
- If there is a "member list" in your Team, indicate you are available for mentoring, with your interests and languages spoken
- Any contributor can voluntarily become a Mentor
- Any contributor can ask for mentoring
- Ask for it in the mailing list of your Team
- Being a Mentor
- You have someone that helps you in your tasks: help
- You have someone that annoys you with questions: responsibility
- Having a Mentor
- You have someone to guide you while you "learn by doing"
- You have someone that you can ask all your doubts without fear of being too annoying
For All Contributors
About the Trainings
If you would like to do a training with Comunes, following the instructions found here, you just need to contact us. Some general info:
- The idea is to do a training within the non-profit Comunes
- Comunes tries to provide web-tools for non-techies, through our several projects... for solving real problems with Computer Science.
- Comunes is pretty diverse, so there are many things to do inside, some more technical and some not technical at all. We have organised the tasks in different "profiles". You can focus on one profile or in several, up to you. For example, if you want to learn how to quickly build webpages => Web design profile; if you want to try to deal with web 2.0 social media => Social Media profile; etc.
- In all cases, the idea is to learn contributing. That is, doing practical things that are directly useful. If you don't know how to do something, we'd guide you so you can do it... so the next time you don't need anyone.
- You can see info about Comunes in its homepage
- And in particular, info about the trainings and profiles
If you are decided, we'd need from you a few simple questions:
- From the profiles and Comunes projects... what did you get most attracted to? what are you more curious about?
- From you: what are your interests, in general? What would you like to do in the future, if you had the opportunity to do so?
- From your past: Can you send us a summary of your experience in the profiles you chose? Your CV would also help, but an explanation from you is better.
- From your circumstances: which type of internet connection do you have at home? (DSL? Speed? Download limit?) Which computer do you have at home? (memory? CPU?)
Approach & First Steps
Depending on the profile(s) you choose, your contributions will be different. However, in general you will need:
- You should register in http://ourproject.org (top-right corner, Sign In) and tell us your username
- Follow the How do we organize steps, choose your Teams(s) and follow the procedure to begin contributing. It's typical that contributors begin with translations or easy tasks helping others.
- If you have doubts, we are there to help: ask in your Team mailing list. However, spend at least a few minutes trying to find out the answer of your own question before asking about it.
- In general, keep track of all your problems and difficulties, writing them down. If you write a "how-to" or point out things that are not well explained, we can improve the documentation for everyone else to use. Even if you have just a few of problems you had, with several lists of those we could make a "frequent problems" for a troubleshooting guide.
- Each time you are going to carry out a task, indicate in the Team mailing list how much time do you think you will need to finish it. You should be able to plan ahead, and if you do so several times you will calculate better.
- Concerning the pace/speed of the training, the typical behaviour if you want feedback is to contact/report the Team list once a week. In case of trouble it can be more frequent, and in periods where you are busy with other stuff, it can be less, no prob. This can be adapted to each person, of course. No worries if you are stressed out in a period: this is not an obligation, you are doing it because you want, you like it and/or find it interesting or useful. Just tell us so we keep track and don't keep waiting for your replies.
- As in any case we would like to hear from all of you periodically, there are scheduled periodical meetings by chat where each trainee explains what did he/she do since the last meeting. This way all of you are aware of what others are involved. You should join even if you did nothing and/or plan to do nothing, no worries.
Recommended Firefox Extensions
Mandatory for Web Design & Web Programming:
- Firebug: incredibly useful, editing pages on the fly
- CSS Reloader: change some CSS and refresh only the CSS (without the need to reload all the page)
- Google Web Toolkit Developer Plugin for Firefox (in case you need to develop with GWT)
Other recommended extensions for Web Design/Programming:
- Web Developer: a useful toolbar
- Toggle Web Developer Toolbar: as a complement to Web Developer
- Page Speed: optimising your webpages
- One-Click Installer for WP: to admin Wordpress efficiently
- ScrapBook: useful for storing in your HD docs and references, in order to use them while developing offline
- Web Developer
- more here
Privacy & Security
- BetterPrivacy: privacy
- CookieSafe: cookie management (deprecated)
- TACO with Abine: privacy
- Priv3: privacy from social network tracking
- FireGPG: ideal complement for GPG encryption
- Nagios Checker: ideal complement for Nagios monitorization
- Adblock Plus: no ads
- Google Gears: for optimising Rich Internet Applications
- Image Zoom
- Menu Editor: for dealing with the thousand options from a thousand extensions
- Password Exporter
- Tab Mix Plus: configuring your tabs
- Zotero: the best reference manager software
Recommended Chromium Extensions
- Some of this 25+ Must-have Chrome extensions for web designers and developers
- WebPG: for using GPG
- More extensions here
Recommended Non-technical Texts
If you like to read, you are personally interested in topics such as the free open source software and the hacker subculture, and you have a curious nature... here there are several non-technical texts you might want to check out.
About Hacking: more than pirates
Some wikipedia articles for a general view, and an understanding that a "hacker" is not a guy that breaks into computers:
About Comunes and Ourproject
- The Hacker's Manifesto, by Mentor
- How To Ask Questions The Smart Way, by Eric S. Raymond
- How To Become A Hacker, by Eric S. Raymond
- Philosophy behind Free Software, by the GNU Project
- The Jargon File, a useful dictionary of hacking concepts
For All Technical Contributors
Essentials: SSH Instructions
SSH is used for connecting remotely to a server, in a secure way. You need a username/password in the server, and a SSH client to connect. Check its Wikipedia article.
- For a username in one of Comunes machines, you need to register in http://ourproject.org (top-right corner, Sign In) and tell us your username, so we can give you the appropriate permissions in the server, depending on what will you do.
- For the SSH client (a program that you must install in your machine): if you use Windows, you can google "client ssh windows" and there are many (for example, putty). If you use Linux, you already have the command-line SSH.
Once you have both, you can connect to the server "ourproject.org" with your client. It will ask you user/pass, which will be the ones you chose in the registration.
Then, you'll be connected to the main server of ourproject.org from your computer. You will see a command line like old MS-DOS (or the Windows console, available executing "cmd"), but it is a Linux. In order to manage here, you need to know some basic "bash" Linux commands and tools, such as ls or wget. You can check some basics and the full list of commands.
Essentials: GPG Instructions
GPG is a free version of PGP, which is the most popular reliable encryption tool. We can use it to encrypt emails in order to, for instance, communicate passwords in a secure manner (plain text can be easily intercepted in the way). Check its Wikipedia article. In that article you will find several GPG applications for both Windows and Linux. You need to generate a pair private key + public key and provide us with your public key in order to exchange information. You will also need the public key of whomever you exchange information with.
The general idea of how does it work:
- Xavi wants to send an encrypted email to Layla
- Xavi writes the email
- Xavi encrypts the email with his private key and Layla's public key (all public keys are public, obviously) and sends the email
- Layla receives the encrypted email and decrypts it using her private key and Xavi's public key. Now she can read it.
If you want to send an email to several people, you can encrypt it using several public keys at once (of each person you want to be able to read it). All the process is quick, easy and automatic if you use software to manage it. You can find public GPG keys of some Comunes contributors in the key repository http://pgp.mit.edu.
You can import it with something like:
gpg --recv-key 0xB9D8241C073246F1 # to import Mario's key
A nice complement for managing GPG easily is the Firefox extension FireGPG, as listed in the "Recommended Firefox Extensions" section.
Essentials: SVN Instructions
Any developer involved in a serious project must use a system of version control. The idea is to keep the code in a server, and all developers download the last version each time they are going to program, and uploads their changes each time they finish programming. The system would provide a way to resolve conflicts or merges. For example:
- All the source code is in a server
- You download the current version of the code.
- I download current version of the code.
- You modify whatever you want. You upload it.
- I am modifying and when I want to upload my changes, the system synchronizes your changes with mine. In case of complicated changes it cannot manage to sync automatically, it shows me the differences of the files for me to decide how to merge them.
Check its Wikipedia article. It's pretty easy to use, and very practical. The most common version systems are CVS, SVN ("subversion") and GIT. In Comunes we usually use SVN, so you will need a SVN client in order to download the source code of any of Comunes projects. There are many summaries and tutorials on the web, and many SVN clients (a program to use it), either graphic or by console/terminal, in Linux or Windows. The Eclipse IDE has several plugins for it (subversive, subclipse), and a popular one for Windows is TortoiseSVN.
Waves are collaborative documents, similar to "Google Docs" documents that can be edited by many people at the same time. Wave was originally a project of Google (Google Wave), but it was later released as free/open source software and Google gave control of it to the nonprofit Apache Foundation. Thus, today Apache Wave is under development.
Comunes uses waves a lot, as we found them a powerful tool, and our project Kune integrated Apache Wave. Most of our TODO-lists and documents are written in waves. Nowadays, this means we have to use Google Wave, but soon we'll be able to export them to Kune.
Choosing a project to contribute
- Move Commons:
- The current, old version is here http://movecommons.org/preview/
- We are working on a new version. You can see a draft outline here: http://movecommons.org/draft-form-mc-v0-2/
- Video of Kune's old version (January 2009): http://kune.ourproject.org/2009/01/status-jan09/
- Status nowadays (Jan 2011), after Google Wave mess: http://kune.ourproject.org/2011/01/status-jan2011/
- Thus, we are in the integration stage of Kune, with big parts already ready and others yet to be integrated.
- Kune uses GWT for mostly everything
- There are several subparts of Kune to work with, if you prefer not to face the whole thing at once.
- There are other projects, but we believe these two are the most interesting. Still, if you read other projects in Comunes homepage and you find them more interesting to contribute, just inform us. Or if you don't feel like facing any of these, we can search for other stuff... The most important thing here is your motivation to get involved in a real project that you like.
Google Web Toolkit First Steps
If you are a good Java programmer, or you want to learn leading technologies, we advise you to get deep into web programming using the "Google Web Toolkit" (GWT). It is a free open source frameworking in which while you are writing code in Java, GWT will translate it automatically into AJAX, generating the web apps. In Comunes we believe it is very probably the most powerful and impressive framework out there (and there are many). The fact that Google is using it to build most of its new projects is a solid proof... and as it is completely free/libre, several free software communities use it as well. Thus, it is a good bet to learn it. You can do some research about it, beginning with these links:
Beginning with GWT
If you want to go forward, these are the basic steps:
- You will need to know the Eclipse IDE, which you might have used before.
- You need the Java SDK 6, but if you already programmed in Java you will probably have it already, as for programming in Java is the minimum
- You might also need (depending on the project) Maven2 or Apache Ant, but you may have it already.
- Now, you will need to download the Eclipse plugin for GWT (which includes Eclipse in its full version). Go to https://code.google.com/intl/en/webtoolkit/gettingstarted.html and follow the steps (Prerequisites, Download&Installing, Create your first web app, Run... etc).
- When you have setted it up, move on to the first GWT tutorial: https://developers.google.com/web-toolkit/doc/latest/tutorial/gettingstarted
- That GWT tutorial is the best place to begin, and it gives you some first steps to get introduced to GWT. You need some basics before getting into the meat :) If you overcome quickly the first tests, soon you'll be able to handle real code.
After finishing the basic tutorial "Getting Started" you can continue through:
- A very complete tutorial on GWT: http://www.vogella.de/articles/GWT/article.html
- A tutorial for the GWT Designer tools: https://code.google.com/intl/en/webtoolkit/tools/gwtdesigner/quick_start.html
Other nice tutorials:
- http://casidiablo.net/tutorial-de-introduccion-al-google-web-toolkit/ (Spanish)
Getting into the Meat: First Steps in Kune
After doing the advanced tutorials, if you decided to contribute in Kune then:
- Decide: will you work locally (your own Eclipse & testing) or remotelly using our development server:
- For working locally, you need a decent DSL connection and a good computer (RAM and processor)
- For working remotelly, you'll need access to our dev server (ask for it), and a NX Client installed in your machine.
- Afterwards, you need to set up the development environment for Kune. Follow these guidelines: http://kune.ourproject.org/wiki/index.php?title=Kune_developer's_guide
- Improve the previous document with your experience.
- Talk with us in order to assign you a Kune Issue from http://kune.ourproject.org/issues/ in order to begin programming in Kune! If you don't know how to deal with the issue tracking system, check the wikipedia articles on the ticketing system and on the software we use redmine.
There are several recommended exercises to do:
If you want to set up webpages very quickly, a CMS is the best option. From the many available, in Comunes we usually prefer Wordpress, one of the most used, with thousands of plugins available, and easier to use than the rest (still: some effort for non-geeks, no effort for geeks).
Ideally, you can set up a useful webpage for a collective or organisation around you that needs it. Otherwise, we can propose you a project to build a wordpress for. In any case, the collective/project should register it in ourproject.org.
Once you have a ourproject.org username, we can give you admin privileges in the project and you would be able to connect to the ourproject machine (through SSH, instructions in the appropriate section of this wiki) and install a wordpress there. When installed, everything is controllable from the dashboard (in your browser), and from there you can configure it, choose a theme, some plugins, etc.
In order to install a wordpress, you need:
- Once you have submitted your project and it has been created, you can think of installing a CMS.
- You will need a MySQL database. Normally, you need to ask for the database sending an email to admins AT ourproject DOT org , specifying the project you need the database for. If you are a techie and you have permissions, you can do it yourself as specified in https://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress
- If you asked for it, the data of your database will be in /home/users/YOUR-USER/db.txt
- Now connect through SSH to shell.ourproject.org with your username (that you registered in ourproject.org)
- Then you can go to /home/users/YOUR-USER/db.txt to read the data of the database
- Afterwards, go to /home/groups/XXXXXX where XXXXXX is the short-name of your ourproject project
- Download and unzip wordpress there, using wget and unzip. The last wordpress compatible with current software is 3.1.4 Then, you can type "wget http://wordpress.org/wordpress-3.1.4.zip" and once downloaded, "unzip wordpress-3.1.4.zip". This will create a wordpress folder.
- Rename the current "htdocs" to "htdocs-old" and "wordpress" to "htdocs". That is: "mv htdocs htdos-old", "mv wordpress htdocs"
- Afterwards, you can open with your browser the web http://XXXXXX.ourproject.org (where XXXXXX is the short-name of your project) and follow the steps.
- When everything is finished, you can edit the wp-config.php of /home/groups/XXXXXX/htdocs to follow the instructions there for additional security. It's optional but recommended.
- Some typical doubts are solved in the Ourproject FAQ: http://ourproject.org/moin/Ourproject_FAQ
In Comunes we need to represent graphically many concepts, so visualisation is important. The Comunes projects are pretty difficult to understand, and communicating them accurately is a challenge. Especially when thinking that Comunes initiatives are usually meant for non-geeks, making the challenge even greater (as usually only geeks would get the ideas we try to transmit).
For all our graphic design, one maxima is followed: all content generated should be free/libre. That is, using a free license such as Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) or Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike (CC BY-SA) or simply Public Domain. Thus, others would be able to modify and adapt our work for their own purposes.
The software we usually use for these tasks is [, a free open source software, an alternative to the proprietary Adobe Illustrator. We encourage its use, as it is certainly very powerful. It can be downloaded in http://inkscape.org/download/ Inkscape uses the standard SVG as source of its files.
Comunes software is full of icons, and thus we have a great need of them. A typical question here is "I have 1000 icons downloaded, I can modify them to do those you need". However, as stated above, we can only accept icons based on graphics that are free/libre/open. The typical graphics and icons that you download from internet are mostly copyrighted, property of a company or author. We cannot base our icons on them because our icons MUST be free/libre/open, so anyone can freely use them. And we cannot do that if we base them on closed copyright stuff. You have many free/open icons, though: "under+creative+commons"+icons&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq= https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22under+creative+commons%22+icons&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=
Which kind of icons do we need? For example, we need the icons to improve those in Emite and Kune. A description of the emite project .
Visualisation of ideas
Other graphic design tasks involve visualisation of the difficult concepts we want to communicate.
In the Comunes Ecosystem graph we wanted to map the different Comunes projects so it is clear the relations among them, and we can communicate easily what do we do. We failed to communicate it appropriately through that graph, so we are eager for new versions to improve it. As most probably you cannot understand it, contact us and we can explain it to you.
Another idea we want to communicate is the concepts discussed in the Comunes About, and prepare the road to explain them further. An attempt was done here: but this graphic is far from clear... The mentions of Move Commons and Kune need to have an idea of those Comunes projects.
One of the basic issues for managing a community is to have an appropriate newsletter. This provides the sense of belonging to the community, and establishes a closer link between the admins and the users, and among the users themselves. This is our main lack in this issue, as ourproject.org did not establish a newsletter neither collaborative dynamics among the projects.
We have a draft newsletter here: http://openetherpad.org/comunesnewsletter1
and a selection of resources that could help to build one:
Some random ideas for the newsletter are that it should be monthly, include a feature project, and link different related projects among each other. Besides, we should include the community in the Comunes and/or Ourproject websites, and encourage volunteers or interesting initiatives that can push Comunes umbrella forward.
First Steps: Web 2.0
Main Social Networks
The pressence of Comunes in the social networks is irregular. We have several accounts in twitter and identi.ca (the free twitter): @comunes, @movecommons, @kuneproject (@kune in identi.ca), and we are using them with certain frequency.
However, our pressence in Facebook is very poor, with just a basic profile with a few links: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Comunes-Collective/122225557841559
Note: Comunes does not support Facebook for individual users due to many issues, mainly related to privacy, centralisation of control/power/sensible-data, mandatory real name policy, and forprofit nature. Still, we tolerate it for organisations and collectives, as there are no privacy issues and all the info is already public in the web.
Thus, help is needed to improve the Facebook profile (or create group/fanpage/whatever), add contents, and link it to the twitter and Comunes blog. There are many resources on the web on how to improve a Non-profit profile in Facebook, that should facilitate these tasks.
Other Web 2.0
On the other hand, we have no pressence in professional social networks (Linkedin, Xing), content repositories (Flickr) or other social networks (Tuenti, etc). We do have pressence in other Web 2.0 channels such as Wikipedia (English and Spanish) and Flattr:
- https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ourproject.org (English)
- https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/es/wiki/Ourproject.org (Spanish)
- https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Comunes_Collective (English)
Usually, Non-profits dedicate a huge effort on fundraising (around 30%), as their viability depends on them. In the case of Comunes, fundraising has been marginalised for long, as we are solely based on volunteers. Still, Comunes is growing and the resources needs also do, so nowadays it is difficult to maintain the servers, connection and projects without additional support.
As we discard any for-profit services, selling proprietary software, advertisement in any project or corporate sponsorships, we rely on just three sources: donations, grants and crowdfunding platforms. By now, the donations are very small, no grants have been received and crowdfunding is still to happen. Fantastic panorama :)
Donations are usually small economic contributions to Comunes or any of its projects. Nowadays the donations received are far from covering the basic expenses of server maintainance (exchange of parts, connection, etc). We allow donations from the webpages of ourproject.org, movecommons.org, kune.ourproject.org and comunes.org.
Ways to contribute:
- Comunes depends on Paypal or international bank transfers. We should explore alternative ways for receiving economic contributions, in order to facilitate and diversify them.
- Ourproject donation page is very difficult to understand. We need something like Comunes donation page there.
- We have no donation strategy, campaigns, or any other organisation of this issue. Temporal campaigns are known to be more successful to motivate the community.
- We do not have established ways of donating machines or hardware, as Debian does.
Grantmaking is the typical way of funding of classical NGOs and many Non-profits. Comunes has tried applying to several grants launched by organizations with similar values: Creative Commons Catalyst Grants, NLnet, Ashoka. Still, we don't have a lot of experience in this field, so no proposals were accepted yet.
We believe that in the last times many initiatives with values around the Commons are emerging, and those of them which are successful tend to distribute resources to similar initiatives. Examples are Creative Commons, Mozilla, Wikimedia, etc. A nice TED video on the issue is http://www.ted.com/talks/katherine_fulton_you_are_the_future_of_philanthropy.html
An example of grant proposal is this one, to the call of the Creative Commons Catalyst Grants, with the project Move Commons: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Grants/Move_Commons:_Moving_Collectives_and_Initiatives_Towards_The_Commons
We recommend to do, in this line, the P2P University course on "Getting your CC project funded": http://p2pu.org/general/getting-your-cc-project-funded
Since the appearance of http://www.kickstarter.com in the US, many crowdfunding platforms have appeared. Just in Spain http://espana.barrapunto.com/article.pl?sid=10/11/18/097219. We are committed to the platform Goteo of the Platoniq collective, for both Kune and Move Commons. Goteo plans to innovate in the field, not just creating "yet another kickstarter clone". Unfortunately, Goteo won't be active until Q3 2011.
Documentation & Translation
Any help to increase the documentation available is appreciated. In Comunes we have a tendency to generate many documents and materials that tend to remain incomplete waiting "to have time to complete them and make them public"... and that time never arrives. Lately we are putting efforts in boosting the visibility and availability of our internal documents.
An example is this wiki, where we are compiling some useful knowledge. If you feel that you can provide additional information to this wiki, or improve/correct/complement it, feel free to edit it. You just need to create a username (on the right panel) and you'll be able to. If you want to edit, you'll see you can do so by Edit (GUI) or Edit (Text). We usually prefer Text, using "wiki syntaxis", but those non-geeks would find easier to deal with the GUI.
Most part of Comunes volunteers are not anglosaxon. We are Spanish, Lebanese, French, Brazilian, Dominican... but still, we must use English as main language for communication, both internally among ourselves and externally in our software and webpages. Still, we encourage and support the multilingual websites and software, and thus we try to maintain version of the webpages and services in several languages.
Ourproject services are available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc). Move Commons is successfully maintaining its contents in three languages (English, Spanish, French). However, Comunes webpage is mainly in English, with punctual webpages already translated to Spanish, but a major update needed. Any help in this direction is greatly appreciated.
Besides, Kune and Move Commons software should have an appropriate English quality, and when beta versions are launched, several language versions. Still, native English speakers that can review the language used nowadays is certainly important.
You can find instructions about how to help in the translation of kune here.
NEXT SECTION TEMPORALY IN SPANISH:
- Habrás recibido un email con tu usuario y clave. Si es en comunes.org, puedes acceder en http://comunes.org/wp-admin/
- A la izquierda hay una columna vertical con varios paneles de opciones.
- En "Users" puedes cambiar tu clave, para que sólo la conozcas tú.
- Si vas a "Pages", ahí ves una lista con todas las páginas de Comunes.org.
- En la lista estarán aquellos artículos que desees traducir, con su nombre en la lista (normalmente en inglés).
- Si abres uno de ellos, se abre la ventana de edición de esa página, para varios idiomas. Ahora mismo están activados los idiomas Castellano, Inglés, Catalán y Turco (todo va en función de [email protected]). Al abrir esa página en modo edición, ves los cuatro títulos de la página en cada idioma (o en blanco si no hay traducción aun). Si bajas un poco ves un cuadro blanco con pestañas encima. Empezando por la izquierda, están las pestañas de los cuatro idiomas. Ahora mismo sólo está rellena la de "Español", y el resto en blanco. Luego hay dos pestañas más (Visual y HTML) que es la forma de ver lo que haya escrito (en el idioma que sea). Es decir, verlo en modo visual, normal, o ver el código HTML. Tú puedes dejar siempre Visual e ignorar la pestaña HTML.
- El procedimiento estándar para traducir es, primero, ir a la pestaña Español. Seleccionar todo y copiar. Ir a la pestaña English. Pegar. Y luego copiar la traducción por frases o párrafos, respetando el formato que sale ahí. No se puede copiar de golpe del Word porque el formato no es compatible. Lo suyo es mantener el formato del texto original para que sean idénticos salvo el idioma.
Research & Analysys
Concerning research and analysis, there are several related tasks. For instance:
- Research to support development decisions. Kune is a large project that needs plenty of auxiliary resources and libraries. Research on several related issues is needed: comparison among the current availability of free libraries on specific topics; detection, analysis and comparison of features in other proprietary or free services, in order to re-implement them; research in scientific papers available on possible experimental features and services, to be considered in Kune.
- Analysis of Ourproject.org community of free culture projects. Behavioural or evolution patterns would be certainly useful in order to improve our services, and to try to avoid the problems found in Kune.
- Artificial Intelligence application on several projects. Move Commons gets into the ontologies and semantic web fields; Kune gets into social network, social network analysis, trust & reputation systems, recommender systems; Ourproject needs expertise in data mining and data visualisation... The possible AI applications are diverse and rich.
Linux Administration, Servers & Security
TODO (Nagios, Opsview, Trac, Zimbra...)
TODO (how to communicate our work)
TODO (Contact other collectives)
Ideas & Management of New Projects