Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Summary of the Sloan - Berklee dotLRN meeting

Caroline, Michael, and Al, it might be possible for the Sloan
and Berklee to realize some more synergies with the community
(and make folks on the outside feel more involved and
energized) with a relatively small effort. Here's an example of
how things could go with something like the survey

  1. Berklee and Sloan decide they are going to enhance the
    survey package.
  2. You spec out your requirements.
  3. You do a quick search of the bboards to see what
    conversations have taken place that might be relevent to their
    goals (like, for example) and incorporate
    any ideas that you like
  4. You post a message to bboard saying, "We're going to
    enhance surveys. Here are our high-level functional
    requirements and rough spec. Obviously, we're going to have to
    do this in a way that meets our needs, but before we start
    building, does anybody have any ideas/suggestions/requests for
    us to keep in mind?"
  5. You read the suggestions and take the ideas you like.
  6. You post a message to the thread saying, "Here's what we've
    decided to do. We'll let you know when we're ready to release the

If you want to see a good example of this process in action,
then check out this thread:

I think you'd find the return on your investment pretty
substantial. For a couple of hours' worth of effort, you'd get some
good ideas, substantial good will from the community, and very
likely some folks who are willing to enhance what you're building
and return those enhancements to the community. You're not
giving up control of your own process, priorities, and schedule,
and you're not investing a large amount of time in writing up docs
that you wouldn't have to write up anyway. You're asking for input
but you're not promising that you'll do anything unless it meets
your needs. You might get increased email from excited folks
who are eager to get their hands on your code, and you might get
a little grumbling from folks who aren't happy with your
design/feature choices, but you'll probably get that no matter
what you do anyway. Unless I'm missing something, there's
almost no downside.

Just a thought.