The social side of LibreOffice
The LibreOffice Project has been building an impressively rich and strong infrastructure in just a few years’ time. Today, I’d like to highlight not so much the quirks and the processes that support the everyday development or the flow of contributions, but rather the presence of the LibreOffice community on social networks and micro-blogging services.
Being a worldwide community usually means being part of something exciting, sometimes even disturbing. And yet what’s probably the most disturbing of it all is that the community does not meet in one location at the same time every two days or so. For this there are events, with the LibreOffice Conference being the most official and international one. This year it will take place in Milano, Italy. Yet on an everyday basis, we need communication channels that are open to everyone so that we as individuals in the community may keep up with what’s going on and that others, people who don’t know about us or who would like to know about us, from journalists to the general public, can get in touch with us and interact with the LibreOffice Project.
Both its international and its Free and Open Source nature have prompted our project to have a widely distributed presence among the various social networks. I have listed our “social media outlets” below, and I apologize in advance if I missed any of them. As you will see there are the accounts that the Document Foundation runs on a daily or weekly basis, there are ones that cater to specific languages and there are even the ones that are targeted at specific topics, such as bugs or design. And then there are even the ones run by fans of LibreOffice.
Let’s start with at the beginning goes the quote from the tea party in Alice in Wonderland. Here’s our blog, where the big and small announcements are made and you can follow it through RSS subscription and the like. Then, there’s the planet of LibreOffice blogs here. It’s a great way to check what’s going on at a glance in the community and gain some insight on specific matters, such as website management, marketing, development matters, etc. I stand among the ones who would like to have a multi-lingual blog planet, as one would be able to see the range of the LibreOffice community: French, Italian, Dutch, Japanese and Brazilian blogs also carry great information and remind us that not everyone speaks and works in English.
The micro-blogging services
While identi.ca is used by the Document Foundation, most of our activity is on Twitter, and so are most of the teams’ handles. The official “official” ones are, both on Identi.ca and Twitter: @LibreOffice and @tdforg (The Document Foundation Organisation). Then by searching Twitter you will see other accounts, such as:
- Libreoffice Colombia
- Libreoffice Arabic
- LibreOffice French
- LibreOffice Venezuela
- LibreOffice Russia
- LibreOffice in Turkish
- LibreOffice Hungary
- LibreOffice Brazil
- LibreOffice Japan
- LibreOffice in Espanol
- LibreOffice Dutch
- LibreOffice Czech
- LibreOffice in Catalan
- LibreOffice in Slovenian
Besides these handles that relay and spread the word about LibreOffice in native languages several other handles tweet the direct activity of specific online services and platforms tied to LibreOffice. One of the most active services is the LibreOffice Bugs Twitter account, telling you about the activity on the LibreOffice bugzilla: fixed bugs, up and coming critical fixes, etc. Another interesting one is the Twitter handle syncing the various questions of ask.libreoffice.org , and the one tweeting about the various code commits in real time. Other handles of interest include the LibreOffice Magazine in Brazil and the unofficial @libreofficenews
Google + has a very important LibreOffice social presence. This is partly due to the fact that Google rolled out its various features over time and that while we started with one page we ended up with communities catering to LibreOffice users, fans, contributors in several languages. Here are a few pointers, knowing that you can find LibreOffice communities on Google + in several languages already: Italian, Danish, French, Portguese, Turkish, Brazilian, Russian, etc.
- The official LibreOffice Community in English
- The most active LibreOffice Community on Google +: LibreOffice Italia
- there are many more, as I explained above: just go to Google + and seach for “LibreOffice” in the Communities tab. You will see many of them all of a sudden and of course join the one you like.
LibreOffice has more than these communities, although they work in a great way as they nurture the conversation and ideas that are later brought back to the project. Anybody can join them so there’s no walled garden between them. Google + also offers pages, and while many LibreOffice pages exist for different languages on Google +, you may be interested in these ones:
Yes, there’s a subreddit for LibreOffice, and it’s right there for you, Redditers: /r/libreoffice . It’s less popular than cute pets pictures, but the flag must be flown.
Facebook is often frowned down upon by many Free and Open Source Software contributors who (rightly) think that whatever you share there is being shared with unknown parties (and not just B. Obama). That’s all true, but then many, many people are on Facebook. Even large amounts of LibreOffice contributors. Being on Facebook matters a lot for brand awareness and to attract people to use or contribute to LibreOffice. There’s a big presence of LibreOffice on Facebook, although the beginning was a bit messy and the duplication of pages and groups may be confusing at first. You will find there that there are several pages or groups for LibreOffice in specific languages (Serbian, Brazilian, Japanese, etc.) but for the rest I’ll only pick the “officially official” pages and groups:
- The official and hallowed Libreoffice Page on Facebook.
- The official Document Foundation Page: less fun, because anyway the officially official page is just above.
- One well known LibreOffice users group, although it seems to have gone down in activity recently
- The Document Foundation Group: official, but most of it seems to have gone to Google +
- The LibreOffice Design Page.
- A special mention to the LibreOffice Japanese and Vietnamese pages that are very active and show a talented local promotion and community building effort.
Last but not least, it is important to thank all the people who help maintain these channels, blogs, pages, tweeter handles and others active. Without them, nothing would be possible: fans, regular contributors, developers, little and big hands… We need all of you to make our community, we need all of you to make LibreOffice!
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