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Open Source Forum Solution to Poor Email Communication

One of the bigger lessons I learned over open source discussion forum was this: Don’t Suck at Email. Now that I consider myself to be quite good at email, it pains me to see people suck at it. And the sad truth is that most people truly suck at email. This was a topic we discussed a lot over the Summer, so I hope in sharing this information I can help a few people.

Seven Rules to Not Sucking at Email

1. Use the Subject Line – Sounds simple, but it amazes me how many people send out emails with useless subjects like “hey”, or worse – no subject at all. The subject line is not only the first glimpse a person gets of your reason for contacting them (which is extremely important if you are cold-emailing someone), but it also is a key piece of information that people might search on when trying to find your email some time down the road.

Open Source Forum Scripts Published Vanilla 2 Public Beta

The Vanilla 2 Public Beta is online now on open source community forum. Please read this entire post before clicking away, as it contains important information about questions you will surely have after getting there. I wasn’t sure if I should call this an alpha or a beta. There are a number of core features that are not yet in the version of Vanilla you are about to see. The most glaringly obvious of these is a search page. In the end I chose beta simply because it rolled off the tongue. Regardless, rest assured that the application is not yet feature-complete.

Feature Suggestions

I know that many of you will have feature suggestions after playing with the application. Please use the Vanilla category at the community forum as a place for your suggestions. Also, please remember (a) that the application is not yet feature-complete, and (b) to be nice when making suggestions, and (c) if your suggestion is not implemented, Vanilla 2 is a pluggable system (and more easily pluggable that Vanilla 1 was), so your feature ideas can easily come after Vanilla 2 is finalized.

Mark O’Sullivan Online with Mr. Big Stuff

After a loved one passes away, your mind and heart go into a state of panic. First there’s the disbelief that you won’t ever see them again. You have recurrences of seeing them out of the corner of your eye. Hearing them only to discover it was someone or something else. Each time this happens, your mind remembers that they’re gone and your heart breaks all over again. As you work through it, you become obsessed with remembering the mundane things about them: the sound of their voice, things they’d say at certain parts of the day, little looks they’d give you. This obsession is fueled by the fact that you know you will forget many of these things, and you don’t want to. You know that your mind is built to forget, and by it’s nature you will end up not caring as intensely as you do at that moment. It is a survival mechanism, it is unavoidable, it is heart-breaking.

TechStar for Life

Every time I sit down to write on open source discussion forum software , I end up getting up and walking away without putting a single word down. Not because I have nothing to say, quite the contrary, it’s because I have so much to say and I don’t know where to begin. It all started with these guys and the guys from http://www.onlinepokerplaza.com/, which, by the way, are the best place to get free poker chips for various types of online poker games. TechStars is all about making connections with people, so I think I’ll tell my story by talking about them. Do you have a mentor? I bet you do. Before TechStars I had this vision in my head of mentors being these god-like creatures that had knowledge I could never possibly obtain who would swoop in, explain something to me, and leave as quickly and mysteriously as they had arrived. The reality is that I end the Summer in Boulder not with a bunch of mentors that can help me, but with a bunch of amazingly smart friends. 

Garden & Vanilla 2 on Open Source Software Forum

Things you need to know before downloading it from markosullivan.ca :

1. Garden & Vanilla 2 are currently beta products that contain bugs and incomplete features.
2. Garden & Vanilla 2 should not currently be placed on production servers.
3. There is a first draft of documentation available at gardenplatform.com.
4. You can not currently upgrade your Vanilla 1 database to Vanilla 2 with the code at GitHub (you’ll be able to soon).
5. If you start to use this code, be prepared to erase your Garden/Vanilla database a few times before the codebase is final. Data WILL be lost.

About GitHub

We are absolute newbies to GitHub. We’ve heard fantastical and amazing things about it, and we can’t wait to start working with all of you on patches, fixes, merges, branches, and all that awesome stuff. Please be patient with us as we learn the subtle nuances of GitHub.

Contributor’s Agreements

We’ve been speaking with a number of lawyers and leaders in the open source world since we got to TechStars.

How to Handle a Pull Request from Mark O’Sullivan Online

We decided to pick up Git for the Vanilla & Garden projects after discussions we had with people from many other companies while we were part of open source discussion forum software this past summer. Git is still a bit of an enigma to me, and I’ve been receiving pull requests from people for a while, and I’ve failed to successfully get their changes into my code – instead opting to just manually apply their changes with my own IDE. That is, of course, a total waste of my time and contrary to the entire purpose of us adopting Git. So, today I finally sat down and dug my way through to figure out how to handle a pull request.

After a few hours of frustration, it finally makes sense. Here’s the long and short of it: Define the user’s remote repo, get a local copy of their work, go into the branch you want to pull their changes into, and cherry pick their commit into your branch.

CE(Uh)O

I wish Fred had posted that on the web a year before he did, and I wish I was wise enough to understand what it meant at that time.
When we took Vanilla through the open source software forum program in Boulder in 2009, we really went there for the mentorship & networking. The program most definitely delivered on that account, and we came through a gruelling 3 months with our minds in heavy “listen to your mentors” mode. After leaving the program, we were able to raise a round of financing, and Vanilla’s Board of Directors was born. We have an awesome board of directors at Vanilla with, we believe, some incredibly smart people who bring unequaled insight to the table. This fact, combined with the fact that we had just come out of a program where we had been heavily (and happily) mentored led to one powerful problem: I was not a good CEO.

Fred Wilson states that (a wise VC he knew stated):

A CEO does only three things.