Community. This little nine-letter word is the lifeblood of open source. Barely a day goes by without some aspect of it impacting our lives, be that via Linux, a local book club, your closest group of friends or any one of a million other places. In an age when anyone over 45 seems to have stories about the end of local communities, the open source community is thriving.
But there's not a huge blob of people called 'the open source community'. Instead, there are thousands of smaller groups, each interested in a specific portion of the wider community - such as documentation, translations, local advocacy, mapping, testing, gaming or programming. There's a phenomenal diversity of contributions, despite our common aims. And while each group focuses in on its particular area, each segment fits together like a jigsaw puzzle to form the global open source movement we know and love.
Most of us enter this community by installing Linux, playing around with it and realising we want to contribute. Then we figure out what kind of contributions interest us and look for a community that suits our preferences. Often, we find the perfect place to contribute, but sometimes we reach a dead end or, even worse, stumble upon a community that's doing nothing.
Here, we'll look at how to build a community. Whether you want to help an existing but struggling one get back on its feet or create an entirely new group, the next six pages are designed for you. Everything here can be applied to both online and offline communities, from technical software communities to local book clubs. So go grab yourself a cup of coffee, sneak a biscuit, and get ready to build an empire...