After 6 months of (sometimes) hard work I finally handed in my licenciate (something like a master thesis) to Prof. Myrach at the University of Bern. Hope he’s going to like it… Here is the abstract:
Building an active and helpful community around an open source project is a complex task for its leaders. Therefore investigations in this work are intended to define the optimum starting position of an open source project and to identify recommendable promoting actions by project leaders to enlarge community size in a healthy way. For this paper eight interviews with committed representatives of successful open source projects have led to over 12 hours of conversation about community building. Analysing the statements of these experienced community members exposed helpful activities that led to the presently prospering communities of their projects. Summarizing the conclusions of this qualitative research a table with conditions for successful open source project initialisation and a subject-level promotion matrix of community building could be created. They include suggestions on how to start a new open source project and how to improve and increase the community of an already advanced open source project.
Thanks to all interview partners and other persons involved in this work, especially my dad for his helpful English support!