If you contribute to CiviCRM, we want to know about it. Now, you might ask "don't you already know given that contributions improve the code, coordinate events, extend the system, etc.?" Well, yes, that is true, but coordinating all of that information in such a way that we, as a small Core Team, can recognize it effectively is no small task.
The marketing of CiviCRM benefits from a large number of individuals that work to promote CiviCRM in their own way. At the same time though, CiviCRM’s marketing efforts tend to move in spurts, often without clear direction or cohesion. Whether it be through running an event, creating some collateral, or hosting a CiviCRM 101 Webinar, there are a number of opportunities to market CiviCRM, and each effort sometimes takes a different approach in doing so.
A few weeks ago, we rolled out an outline of how we’ll manage contributions to CiviCRM going forward. Full details about the framework are now online here. For this post, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve taken the effort forward by enabling self-reporting on contributions via a simple contribution log.
The CiviCRM Core Team is pleased to announce that it will begin hosting monthly webinars for project contributors and supporters (members, partners, sponsors) beginning December 8th, 2016, and continue on the second Thursday of each month throughout 2017. These webinars will be a mix of overall project updates (provided quarterly) and technical improvements and demonstrations (provided 8 months out of the year). A full schedule and details will be provided in advance at http://civicrm.org/webinars
Long time contributor Eileen McNaughton recently won the New Zealand Open Source Award for Open Source Contributor, so we thought we’d reach out to a few members of the community to get input on her efforts with CiviCRM. Erik Hommel and Dave Greenberg are kicking off this blog post with their own personal thanks to Eileen. If you have a comment, story, or just want to say thanks, post it in the comments!
Earlier this year, we did a community wide survey to better understand the CiviCRM user base as well as help refine our priorities as a Core Team. While there were a few surprises in the results, one item that we expected to stand out was a need for ongoing training. Let’s face it… CiviCRM can be complicated, at least for those that leverage its full potential and adapt it to their own business processes.
Nearly 78% of sites using CiviCRM are on either version 4.6 or 4.7 (check out CiviCRM stats online). Why is that significant? Because those are the only two community supported releases currently. If you’re not on one of these versions, most importantly, don’t be alarmed. There might be a reason you’re not… perhaps you’re using a partner that continues to support an previous version, or have customizations that prohibit an upgrade. If that’s the case, feel free to skip the rest of this post.
As the title implies, we’ve stuck our toe into improving the contributor framework before, but never quite settled on the best approach. But, it’s high time we do so. Why? Because contributors are key to sustaining and improving CiviCRM. The trouble is and has always been that recognizing, rewarding and encouraging contributions from the community is a complex task. Contributors come to the project through various channels, for various reasons, making it difficult to track and deepen engagement. Some contributors want recognition, others don’t.
Last week, I wrote about the CiviCRM community and tried to boil it down to a very simple venn diagram. Not only does 'community' play a huge role in producing the software through new features, bug fixes, etc., it also is invaluable for helping promote and raise awareness about CiviCRM the software.
It’s been on my tasklist to write about the CiviCRM community. Like most people it seems, my task list is longer than I care to admit, so I’ve put this off for some time. I had a moment of inspiration the other day when I was jogging about trying to visually represent some of the key elements of our community, however this was problematic for two reasons. First, our community is complex, offering different ways for people to participate around a common vision, often with little structure to support them.