Google Docs has a Community?!?!

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If you got an email from someone alledging to be on the “Google Docs Team”… would you believe it? I didn’t, because they were asking if I would like to post to the Google Docs blog to help other users. True enough… Google Docs is knocking on my Virtual door. Now they’ve started a YouTube channel.

I’m about to use Google Docs to engage the community. A few weeks ago, I announced my intention in developing an open-source platform where you can create your own little community, based on Drupal. At that point, it didn’t really have a name. Mike Arrington from TechCrunch ribbed me into finding a name. So… I went went Gnomepal. That’s kind of a little mix of my username, and the word Drupal. This will basically be a “community in a box”. This will be for non-technical people who want to create a community online. It’s not a blog or a forum… those are tools. It’s things like these all combined into one tidy little package.

As we’re assembling these resources, there is a list of questions we’re asking you to fill out in order to get your feedback on this project. These questions are based in an open Google Spreadsheet. The list of questions is for both community leaders… and members.

  • What do you want in a community site?
  • What are your top 5 most important components / tools / features of a community site?
  • What pieces “must” be in place for Gnomepal’s first milestone in order for you to start using it to build a community?
  • Are there any parts that, if they weren’t available, would keep you from using Gnomepal for your community needs?
  • What frustrates you about your current community site(s)?
  • What do you love about your current community site(s)?
  • What tool(s) do you currently use to organize your community?
  • Is limited customization (color, logos, etc.) important to you?
  • Do you want to be able to narrow your feature set down to only a few, or to have the whole range of features always available?
  • How long would you be willing to spend updating your site (its content) each week?
  • Is it important that you be able to generate revenue with your site?
  • Is sharing revenue with your community members important?
  • Do your members pay dues or make donations to the community?
  • How active is your community? In what way?
  • How likely are you to set up a new community site within the next month? Six months? Year?
  • If you build a new community site on Gnomepal, would you allow all of your members to contribute promoted content, only a few members, or only yourself?
  • Would your site be private, or open to the general public?
  • Do you anticipate your community would need live (video or audio) content, or possibly event coordination tools?
  • Would you host the community site software on your own server, or would you prefer a tiered hosted solution?
  • How important is it to you that you be able to view detailed stats about your community site? (very, somewhat, not at all)

You can find all of the information about Gnomepal on the site. The way we’re building it is with total modularity and flexibility. This way, you can add only the components you want or need. We want to set up a hosted service, so that you can just answer a few questions with clicks of the mouse and BAM! Your community is set up. Instead of us saying “you have to use these services”… we’ll have it set up to be customized to your needs. You’ll be able to build your community on your terms. It doesn’t get any better than that!

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