Community Seeding, Community Building
(via my java.net blog)
I’ve been anticipating this reaction. It was inevitable. But we’re not blogging JavaOne because we’re being told to. I, at least, am doing so because I’m here, it’s fun, and—most importantly—I think java.net is important, and I’d like to help it get off to a good start.
Communities are built by the inhabitants. You can’t just decide to go build a thriving, vital community. But that doesn’t mean you can’t seed one, and cultivate it. To do that, you persuade people to move in, provide basic services, and let them build their own community.
It might be useful to remember Levittown, the first planned suburban housing development. It was sterile and artificial, and there was a lot to criticize about it. But it met a need, and families flocked to it. And they didn’t leave things the way they found them. They took ownership and built a unique community with character and life.
Sun, with the help of some partners, has built the streets and the infrastructure, put up some houses, and persuaded a few of us to move in. There are more houses open. It may feel a little sterile at first, until we can move some walls, slap up some chartreuse paint, and put the flamingos in the lawns. But people are already starting to do that. It’ll be fun to see what java.net feels like by this time next year.