Feedback on Twitter and FaceBook in GlassFish Community?

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Now that the See Oracle+Sun acquisition is settling down, it is time to plan how to move forward on many fronts. As part of that, I'd like to revisit how we use Twitter (@glassfish) and FaceBook.

I did a quick sample/pass over how other groups/companies are using Twitter (see How Many Followers Does Whole Foods Have?) but if you have any feedback please post it as comments on this entry.

I still have to look at our approach to FaceBook; comments on it are specially welcome.

Comments:

I strongly recommend against using walled gardens such as the various social networking sites for serious discussions, help forums, or technical content. This only leads to fragmentation and invariably excludes some because not everyone is on MyFaceTweetBookSpace or wants to be. People should not be forced to join social networking sites with often questionable privacy practices just to get their questions answered. Instead, they should be pointed at resources at the canonical location for a project, where the project itself is hosted. For GlassFish and related projects that is typically java.net. This way, a question can be asked and answered once in one place instead of N times in N places and if you're looking for answers, you only have to search in one place instead of N places. I know that in order to be hip everyone has to be on MyFaceTweetBookSpace or whatever tomorrow's equivalent is, but these fads wax and wane. At the end of the day, people want to find answers quickly and it's not helping anyone if the answers are hidden inside of walled gardens. Depending on the corporate alliances of the hour, any given search engine may even be barred from or impeded in indexing a given walled garden. So now you not only have to search in multiple places, you have to go to multiple engines to do your search. Let's face it: Mega-sized social networking sites are a threat to the open web.

There is an argument to be made that social networking sites are useful as additional channels for announcements/advertising/marketing/sentiment control and that's OK, but it shouldn't go beyond that. For useful content, people should always be pointed at the canonical project location on the open web, controlled by the project owner/community. Besides, if a small, independent open source project can keep code, docs, issue tracker, forums, mailing lists, wiki, and blogs all in one place (either on a forge or self-hosted - and yes, a multiplicity of forges is important to avoid undue concentration), then a big company like Oracle or Google should regard it as a matter of self-respect, image control, and pure pragmatism to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on walled gardens they don't control.

Posted by Richard C on February 15, 2010 at 04:02 PM PST #

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