It is a very good idea. One comments, maybe the list of "Suggested
possible categories" could be extended to include non technical
On 11 Feb 2009, at 21:39, Matt Fisher wrote:
An idea came up very informally at the Jazkarta Developer Training
in Montreal last month. I've thought about it enough since then to
post it here. I did check and haven't seen it mentioned in the
list archive, but I imagine some discussion on this topic has
happened at least once. I've tried to flesh out some of the angles
for sake of discussion, but what follows is meant only as a first
poke. Here's the idea:
Proposal: 1st Annual Ploney Awards
File under: Marketing, viral and social
What is it: Lightweight, semi-serious recognition for outstanding
products, contributions and innovations in the Plone community in
How it might work: Open submission process would involve self-
certification on a relative scale of best-practice-ness. Finalists
(say 4-6) in each category chosen from the open submission pool
would be required to write/post/present a short case study and
perhaps a walkthrough of the code as a minisymposium/code fair for
display at/for the annual conference. Final general voting takes
place online sometime near the conference timeline. Prizes are
small, and hopefully fun.
(Pls note that my working assumption would be that this is to
promote contributions and involvement from developers other than
hardcore experts. Of course, that's a soft line to draw and
probably just reflects my assumptions about who knows how much.)
When: Winners to be announced at annual (fall) Plone worldwide
conference. Open submission period begins yearly on, say, World
Plone Day in the spring. Finalists announced and final voting
period some time relative to annual worldwide conference.
Suggested possible categories:
Newbie add-on product (Best 1st time submission from new developer
(s) of a new product),
Newbie flavor (where flavor = customization of Plone buildout or
site policy to turn it into something that doesn't immediately
resemble an out-of-box Plone),
Best overall add-on product,
Best whole number product release,
Next big thing (for innovations not ready for production, but super
Best developer utility
(would probably recommend against conferring something like a VIP
award-- would rather focus on solutions & innovations, not persons/
The best-of-breed angle:
On various lists, there's an ongoing discussion about identifying
and promoting good, forward-looking contributions. From the
viewpoint of community development, the idea about having awards
isn't so much about getting the 'best' stamp as much as it is about
making a public display of what is meant by 'Plone best-of-breed.'
The idea of self certification and then open voting hopefully
sidesteps the argument against Plone Foundation endorsing or
formally certifying projects. And, if finalists and winners are
encouraged to explain their code/design/use cases, hopefully info
on best-of-breed thinking disseminates and inspires.
The fellowship angle:
It's easy to think that unless you're a core/full-time/jedi
developer who understands all the ins & outs, you're not really,
really contributing to the wider community. Some small, community-
originated kudos to a larger bunch of people is a good thing.
Potentially, it extends a source of pride to developers who are
expanding the reach of Plone in ways other than "core" development.
Also, newbie categories would give an indication of reasonable
first horizons for less experienced folks.
The (re)engagement angle:
It's probably a bit much to expect the first go around, but having
a structure & timeline to bounce off of may eventually encourage
revisiting code changes that need to checked in, or betas to
finalize, etc., if this thing takes hold.
The viral marketing angle:
Make an incentive for developers to tinker with a few products,
themes or buildouts they may have missed. Give people a simple
reason to talk up plone on their facebook page, their blog, or on
twitter. Make '2009 Ploney finalist' and '2009 Ploney winner'
website badges that could generate viral attention. Make a facebook
voting app or badge, etc. Let people solicit testimonials if they
want. Give a reason for a press release, and a timeframe that
generates a little buzz for the conference.
The fun angle:
If it's framed as an edutaining display of creative problem solving
and not so much a competition, then this could be a lot of fun. Fun
The academic angle:
3rd party development influences the direction of the crowd. I'd
think there'd be some intrinsic value in having a yearly snapshot
of commendable contributions as a way to diagram the evolution of
Of course, this is a sketch, and experience tells me that semi-
competitive things make some people happy and others very angry. I
do think there's a way to do this that's seen more as cooperative/
celebratory than competitive, & I think that would be the angle to
explore. I'd be willing to work on this if there are a couple more
people who think it's worth pursuing.
What do you think?
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