Promoting an Open Source Project

As completion of Olympus draws near its time to think about how to promote the project.  As a developer, one may be thinking that at the end of the project their work is finished.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  To be a responsible citizen in the open source community one must not only create a project but then share it with the rest of the world.  Now how to do this exactly can seem like a project in and of itself, but after some quick research one finds that this is a common question among developers in the community.

After looking into it ourselves and getting tips from fellow open source members, we came up with the following Open Source Project Promotion Plan:

Step 1: Add project to a code repository –  We use github.  There’s also SourceForge and Google Code.  Take your pick.

Step 2: Add project to freshmeat – Another great software hub

Step 3: Maintain a blog and wiki for the project – its good to have a blog (like this one) and at the very least you can use github’s wonderful wiki feature

Step 4: Add Screenshots of your project – its true that pictures say a thousand words, screenshots of your project are a necessity for success

Step 5: Make it easy to install – if you want to make it popular make sure its easy to get running.  People want software that helps, not a battle.  For this we are looking into packaging for some popular Linux distributions.  For Windows you might look into NSIS

Step 6: Spread the word – Let your friends know about it. Use social media.  If you can, make a video of your project in action and put it on Youtube.  Just remember that the completion of your code is not the end of the project, its the beginning.


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