The Purpose of TYPO3 GmbH
Founding a commercial entity was the most recent significant leap of the TYPO3 community. The driver was a realization that leadership needs to be more present, needs more continuity and processes need to be professionalized which was not consistently enough achieved through volunteer positions.
TYPO3 GmbH now heads the commercial development of TYPO3 and facilitates various services for the TYPO3 Association. It additionally offers SLAs for the TYPO3 core and sells extended long term support for websites running older TYPO3 versions. In the future, it will provide a marketplace which will allow partner companies to better market their services. Profits are reinvested into the development of TYPO3 CMS.
The Role of the TYPO3 Community is changing
Since TYPO3 GmbH has taken over some of the responsibilities of the TYPO3 community, we need to re-think the role of the TYPO3 community in co-existence with the company. We do not only need to take care of the agencies, which will naturally be involved with the company through partnerships, but also of individual members, smaller agencies, sponsors, developers etc.
In the short term, the company may be able to inspire the community. (At the TYPO3 Developer Days in Nuremberg, Germany, in September this year, a third of the attending developers have been first time visitors.) That's also due to the great alignment work of Alain Veuve and Mathias Schreiber (both have been long-term involved in the community). However, we should not expect that everyone involved with TYPO3 GmbH will have as much community history.
For TYPO3 to succeed in the long term, it needs to be guaranteed that responsibilities between TYPO3 GmbH and the TYPO3 community are clear and that members of both entities are set free to spend their energy towards the outside (members, customers).
The company is no cure to all problems of the community. It has limited resources and more importantly, a narrower mandate. It can never have the same ability as the community as a whole to develop the product and generate new fresh ideas to carry the product and its ecosystem forward. Community is the driver of Open Source and its existence and drive is fundamental to where TYPO3 is going.
A Community Manager to help refocus
As a possible solution, the representatives of 3 Swiss TYPO3 agencies (Daniel Bachmann, internezzo AG; Adrian Zimmermann, snowflake productions GmbH; and myself; Dominik Stankowski, Web Essentials GmbH) are proposing to hire a community manager.
The mandate of a community manager could be:
- To ensure a good flow of communication to the members of the community and between its entities
- To facilitate the creation of an updated vision and purpose for the community
- To help increase the attractiveness of the community and grow its membership base
- To facilitate alignment between TYPO3 GmbH and TYPO3 community in terms of responsibilities and communication
- To help balance interests so that both entities can focus their energy towards the outside and not inside
If you are a TYPO3 Association member, please vote for this Community Manager Budget Application at the community poll in November this year.
Web Essentials involvement with TYPO3
Web Essentials has been involved with TYPO3 since its early days. We have created numerous websites based on TYPO3 CMS. We have started and fostered a local community in Asia and more specifically in Cambodia through the T3CON Asia events in 2012 and 2015. We have many good personal and commercial relationships within the TYPO3 community.
As a company, we will partner with TYPO3 GmbH to offer our customers better services and SLAs. We are also planning to send some of our developers under the Send a Junior program of the TYPO3 GmbH to Germany to give them more exposure to TYPO3 core development.
What happens to TYPO3, matters to us. That's why I'm driven to be on the Expert Advisory Board. We want to live the slogan of TYPO3: "Inspiring people to share".
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