At close of business today, I’m more or less disappearing for a dozen or so days. Oh, I’ll be around. I’ve already got three Flock phone calls scheduled for Friday, in fact, and I’ll check the forums and email while on my break in order to prevent too big a backlog from forming. But technically, I’ll be on vacation.
What am I doing for vacation? Pretty much nothing. I thought about picking up and traveling somewhere, but I think I’m just going to relax. I hope to catch up on reading (after a month or more of managing a few pages every few nights, I’m all but 100 pages through Gravity’s Rainbow, and if I don’t get Consider the Lobster as a holiday present, I’m running right out and picking it up to feed my healthy obsession with one of the 20th/21st centuries’ absolute best writers), for one thing. And I’ve got a couple of little projects I’ve been putting off for a few months that I might spend a little time on.
Plus I’ll spend lots of good time with my little moppet of a daughter, who turns 18 months old on Saturday and whom you can see pictured here helping string lights up on our holiday tree. We put the thing up in full splendor on Sunday, optimistic that we could keep her from destroying it. Now it has no ornaments on it below about three-and-a-half feet. Ah, children.
I’m crossing my fingers that in my absence, things will hum along pretty nicely on the community front. As I’m just a shepherd who loosely tends the day to day operations, I don’t think this will be a problem. I thought I’d toss a little inspiration out there for good measure, though. When I woke up this morning and started poking through my flockstars email, I read the following in a thread about the apparently controversial Performancing Firefox blogging extension:
The Flock team and quite a few people who’re tagging along have formed a community that’s welcoming people into it and helping to solve problems along the way.
One feature of our favorites system is an API for plugging in synchronization with online bookmarking services! Right now we’ve got
three working ones, plus a skeleton example checked in. I’d love to work with you and perhaps the Foxmarks guys and gals to build a flock extension for synchronizing with their technology.
More important are the ways in which non-Flock-staffers are forming community. Roughly once a week, we feature a flockstar who’s doing great work in the community. A number of people have donated time, bandwidth, disk space, or programming skills to help make extensions available for Flock. Others have done great artwork. Others are doing bug triage behind the scenes. And yet others are helping answer questions in the forums and on the lists. This level of activity in such an early-stage project astounds me. It’s nice that people are interested enough in what we’re trying to accomplish that they’re willing to give their time to us. The beauty of it all, of course, is that much of the day-to-day activity is self-running. Which is why I’m not exactly worried about being away for a couple of weeks. Keep up the good work! When I’m back after the new year, you can look forward to pretty rapid activity on at least the following fronts:
- Public web site rework
- Extensions site
- Improved bugzilla
- Community metrics
- Integration between the forums and the mailing lists
So stay tuned. If you’re inclined to celebrate any sort of holiday during this season, I hope your holidays are swell, and if you’re not so inclined, I wish you general good cheer and prosperity.