One of the benefits of a large open source project is that it encourages an atmosphere of giving. Since most people are appreciative of the fact that the software is provided at no cost and with no restrictions, many are motivated to invest their time and energy to help other members in the community utilize the software effectively. And since each member of the community has different skills and experience, the contributions are often very diverse and take many different forms.
Software developers might like to contribute by fixing bugs and creating enhancements and submitting them for integration into the open source product itself. Users can contribute by reporting issues and ideas and testing the software under a variety of scenarios. And everyone can contribute by providing assistance to other members of the community in the form of articles, examples, advice, guidance, tips, and by answering questions.
The DNN community is fortunate to have many members who contribute on a regular basis. Every form of contribution on dnnsoftware.com is recorded in our community activity metrics which enables us to monitor the health of the community and recognize those members who are making the most impact. Points are awarded based on the relative amount of effort required to perform each activity, allowing us to calculate a reputation score for each community member.
We recently made some changes to the community activity metrics on dnnsoftware.com. In order to calculate an accurate representation of a member's contribution to the community, we needed to make sure that all forms of contribution were being recognized. So we introduced a system which harvests various activities that are occurring on the site in near real-time and records them in the community activity metrics. So in addition to the activities tracked by our Evoq Social solution ( ie. Community Exchange, Community Voice ) we are now able to include activities such as forum posts, community blogs, blog comments, forge releases, and pull requests. This provides a much more complete picture of the activity going on in the DNN community.
The primary mechanism for surfacing this information is via the Community Leaderboard. The Community Leaderboard features a list of DNN community members ranked based upon their reputation points. It showcases the community leaders and also allows you to see how you personally measure up in comparison to other community members.
We recently made a change to the display of the Community Leaderboard. Rather than promoting the number of reputation points our members have earned all-time, we are now focusing on the contributions made in the past 12 months. This is not to marginalize the huge investments that some community members have made in the past decade, but rather to highlight the dynamic and vibrant nature of our community. By focusing on the most recent contributions, it provides an opportunity for everyone, including brand new community members, to get involved and build a reputation which gets publicly recognized.
The focus on recent activities is also being utilized in the DNN MVP program. The primary eligibility criteria for DNN MVPs is their contributions to the community over the past 12 months. This provides the motivation for current DNN MVPs to maintain a high level of contribution, and an opportunity for community members to aspire to become DNN MVPs by increasing their level of contribution. As result of this focus, we welcomed six new members in the most recent DNN MVP awards.
The strategy of focusing on recent activities is going to to be embraced in other community programs as well. We will soon be announcing an overhaul of the Community Providers which will provide the opportunity for all vendors in our ecosystem to get exposure for their products and services. And rather than employing a tiered system based on financial contribution, we will be ranking vendors based on the combined reputation points earned by their employees. We feel that this will be a fair and equitable system that allows those vendors who are investing the most in the success and growth of the community to gain the most benefit for their business.