This month of May is quite unique for the LibreOffice project. It has been decided that May would be a month dedicated to celebrate both LibreOffice and its community of volunteers. The project is awarding badges and barnstars matching several kinds of contributions and activities; volunteers will be able to harbor them on their own webpage, twitter handle and other social networks platforms. It’s important to understand that this isn’t a “feel good” operation. Volunteers, just like anybody else, want to feel appreciated, especially when nothing forces them to contribute to such a project. By doing so the community acknowledges the contributions of its members.
It also helps spread the word about LibreOffice. Remember, Free/Libre & Open Source Software does not directly produce products. Rather, it develops and releases software through community of contributors, that may then be monetized in one way or another – or perhaps not at all. In other words, this means that the distinction between outbound and inbound marketing that is commonly found in the corporate world is more blurry as any user is also a potential contributor. Marketing our community really means marketing LibreOffice itself. This is what we’re doing this month and it makes me happy. I’m excited at the stats and figures that we will draw from this experiment. If you happen to be a LibreOffice contributor, or just a fan of LibreOffice, you could get a badge. All you need is to contribute to the project in one of the several ways described here and it will be awarded to you: remember, we’re already at the end of the month!