I spent some time with Cornelius Willis today talking about bootstrapping developer communities. Cornelius used to be at SourceLabs and is now CMO at Pluggd, a very cool video search company. (He demo'd the system for me and I was blown away. Searching for keywords in a video - based on speech-to-text technology with some secret sauce thrown in - is genius.)
Cornelius said something that I found brilliant. In terms of developing community, Cornelius suggested thatYou have the make the community visible to itself.
In other words, a developer is much more likely to stay with a community if she actually feels like she's not alone. Things like Digg let you see votes, as well as the process for tallying them. You know you're not alone in Digg. You know that your vote counts, and that you're visible in voting.… Read more