ASSIGNMENT 1: Report on your experience contacting and explaining your intention to contribute to the community. Did you follow a 'script'? Was it a formal or informal process? Did you face any barriers to participation? Do you think your experience was personal or general? Please include in your post links to opening conversations with the open project. Include any relevant mailing list posts, wiki edits, and forum/issue tracker contributions.
Context of my work:
- Social Q&A site
- mailing list
- chat (IRC)
- microblogging service (Twitter)
From these, I choosed to contact the main developer team via IRC as it can be used for chatty uses. I was surprised by the positive response towards my request to attend the project.
me: btw; I'm planning to take a course "Open Collaboration and Peer Production" at UC Berkeley ISchool ( http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/courses/i290m-ocpp ); what I've intereprented from the course materials is that they would like to see us contribute to an open source project during that course - is it OK if I would choose reactjs as my 'class assigment' (and could contribute in the form of documentation most likely; don't know if I really can help you person 1: for sure! person 1: documentation is so important and we don't have good API docs, i think that would be an awesome contribution me:thanks :) I think the first lecture is this Friday, so I know more hopefully then person 1: cool, let me know how it goes!
However, what happened was that we did not have the lecture on Friday and I failed to contact the leaders on this; sort of dropped the ball. Need to focus more on delivering something useful to the community in the future.
However, this is an interesting point to discuss: many organizations have wishlists, stuff they need but don't have. These kind of lists could make it easier to intitialize the collaboration via an actual contribution, with two positive effects. First, the feature as such would provide some code sample allowing people to understand the level of the future collaboration, and planning suitable cases for him. Second, this might dismiss some issues related to the initialization process for collaboration, as there would be an object of discussion. Naturally one can assume that the issues list would help one to examine interesting parts, and indeed they do have "good first bug" tag used there.
Then some random personal note, in Wikipedia we can say that the red links could be similar kind of invitations to contribute; check if there's some study on how many articles are created by those vs. starting a new page; what else in Wikipedia, they do have also featured articles for authors to contibute on...