A while back, I posted a short story on the main Clarion newsgroup. It was a tale of Foxes and Forests, inspired by some of the newsgroup messages posted in the presumed calm before Clarion 7 is released.
Some people are born to be whiners. Some people have an amazing ability to point out fault. Some people have genuine complaints against SoftVelocity. Others dutifully get about their work, barely raising their heads. Some, fewer than the rest, toil hard to encourage respect for SoftVelocity. There are plenty more categories.
In light of the firestorm on the newsgroups, I have a question that’s burning a big charred hole in my brain:
Is the community of Clarion important enough?
If we truly want a community that will thrive (and I believe most of us do), then enough. Enough of the crap that is spanked about on the newsgroups. Enough crazy weird-ass socially inept comments and agendas.
Sure, I’d love for SoftVelocity to be more open handed with the community. I wish theyâ€™d employ an evangelist. Change their protocols. Whatever. That’s a separate issue to the behavior I’ve witnessed the last while (and which has been around since day zero I’ve been told) within the community. It’s appalling. Seriously.
If you’re going to whine about some stinking fish that’s been out in the sun for weeks now, then buck up and cry somewhere else. The only thing that a constant whine does is bring down the community.
If you seriously have a gripe, then always pimping said gripe on the newsgroups is worse than foolish. You are obviously not getting anywhere, so find another way to whine. Another path. Get out and play a bit of rugby. Go for a swim. Start a blog about your woes with SV. Write articles. Make songs.
If you are going to write a song, then instead of writing about "hating the Ho-SV-shizzle", get passionate about a vision.
For the community to grow (it’s not right now, not really – middling is a word I’d use), then we need to start believing in a vision. A vision of shipping product. Of DevCons. A vision of making software that will be talked about. Of getting the best that Clarion offers, plus all the other zillion tools the developer has waiting on the interweb.
We, the Clarion Community, should by all rights be a force to be reckoned with. There should be hundreds of thousands of people using it. Loving it. Making it a better product by being part of the Community.
United we stand, whiners we kind of slouch.
I’m glossing over half a hundred issues and concerns, I know. Fixing every little problem isnâ€™t the purpose of this article.
This article is a call to arms! It’s a fire in the belly, the beauty that draws you home. The joy of life. Belief!
There are a number of practical ways to start growing the community. Every good sermon has three points; I’ve got seven. You could do one, all, or another not-mentioned point. Whatever it is, if it builds the community, then awesome!
1. Start a blog and write about Clarion. Visit other blogs, comment. Take time with this, spreading the word out into the world.
2. Write about Clarion. Whether it be articles for Clarion Mag, or for the local newspaper. Really pimp this thing.
3. Join in on good discussions on newsgroups, IRC, Skype etc. Don’t be enticed by the Foxes and Snakes. They’ll pounce quickly and drain your life away, and apathy or anger will set in.
4. Ship products.
5. Ship good products.
6. Ship awesome products.
Reading back over the article, I wonder if perhaps I’ve used some harsh words and made a few big calls. Normally I’d apologize for any bad mojo that’s going to be caused by this article. But I stand by my words. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m not going to sit idly by. It’s time for the community to grab life by the hojos. It’s time to pick up our torch and pitch-fork. Send the hounds out after the foxes and lets kick this place into gear.
In the words of the great Logan:
‘Nuff said, Bub.