...the amount to which we sponsor is not fixed, we don't have to tally up a set figure for a reward or recognition, all of it is valid...
...if you have the ability, to sponsor the community in any way you can. Hmmmm, okay that comes across a little stronger than I want it to, so: we are responsible for ensuring the success of the communities we are involved with, communities and projects we use and rely on and therefore it is wise to support those things to ensure their survival and our continued benefit.
But I am just a poor boy and my story's seldom told...
This isn't just about money, in fact it isn't really a discussion on the duty, as I see it, of companies and individuals to contribute paid support into the communities and projects they rely on in their endeavours. That will be at a later point when I will probably urge people to contribute cash :). It is an expression of one type of sponsorship.
Sponsorship, sometimes synonymous with promotion, is often bundled into a bucket with many other elements of what people determine to be marketing. But, it isn't always a marketing tool (again I will be discussing this more at a later point), as a sponsor can be the person(s) who assume responsibility for something during a period of acceptance. Think of the sponsor of an apprentice who ensures that they perform well during the period of their instruction. So we can all be sponsors, without it ever being a matter of money, promotion or enterprise.
We can be those who are responsible...
What do I have to do?
There is no set requirements for this type of responsibility in my mind. I believe that we should examine our roles to see if there is something more we can contribute; we should be supportive of other people's efforts, and offer analysis and criticism that is productive to their endeavours; we can, if we so wish, shout from the rooftops about how good something is and why everyone should know this; we can join mailing lists, irc channels, wiki(s) etcetera to further the cause.
The amount to which we sponsor is not fixed, we don't have to tally up a set figure for a reward or recognition, all of it is valid. But we should consider ourselves responsible for our community, our projects and modules, whether you are a core programmer, a CPAN tester or just a business who uses scripts. We are all re-Sponsor-ble
If anyone has feedback (and until we have a commenting system) please don't hesitate to email me at: m.keating [at] shadowcat.co.uk, if your comments are useful, fun, or just plain interest to me, or if I think will be useful to others, then I will add them to the end of this post, let me know how you would like to be named (anon, nick etc.).
Mark Keating is: Managing Director of Shadowcat Systems Limited
Director and Secretary of Enlightened Perl Organisation
Co-Founder/Co-Leader of North-West England Perl Mongers
Work Blog: Mark Keating on Shadowcat
Perlesque Blog: Mark Keating on per.ly
Public Blog: Mark Keating on Vox
LinkedIn Profile: Mark Keating on LinkedIn
My Homepage: Mark Keating's Personal site