Coko and Communities

Kristen Ratan (co-Founder of Coko) and I have been pondering ‘the next phase’ of Coko. We have an organisation in place, with great people, and we have developed products (Editoria, and more coming soon) and frameworks (INK and PubSweet). Also, of course, we have developed the Cabbage Tree Method for facilitating ‘users’ (use-case specialists) to design their own products.

So…next up… community. It seems to me it is an interesting next phase which will require a lot of thinking about. The complexity comes from the fact that we have multiple primary stakeholders at play. A rough breakdown (note, each category is a complex ecosystem of diverse roles – all of which we still have to think through):

  1. PubSweet backend – this is a ‘headless CMS’ built for publishing workflows… however, it is a technical software whose primary community would be developers that commit to its continued development. Additionally, I would argue, its use-case is a whole lot broader than capital P Publishing… any organisation that wants to develop workflows for producing content (which is pretty much every organisation that exists) could benefit from this software. Publishers are just a tiny subset.
  2. INK – the web service for (primarily) managing file conversion pipelines. This is also a technical ‘backend’ whose primary community would be developers. INK’s use-case is also broader than ‘just’ publishers.
  3. INK Steps – INK processes files through steps which are small plugins. These can do anything from file conversion, to validation, content parsing etc…. the primary community for this is possibly more tightly connected to publishing requirements, but the builders of steps are more likely to be those involved on the production side of the workflow ie. file conversion experts, content miners etc
  4. XSweet – a very specific content conversion pipeline for producing HTML from docx. Primary community would be file conversion experts.
  5. Editoria – the monograph production platform. Primary community – Publishers but also interesting to any org that produces books.
  6. Journals – we are on our way to producing a Journal platform. The primary community for this is also publishing organisations…
  7. Ecosystem – we are building out an ecosystem of projects. So as much as possible we need to consider how we interact with and build community/collaboration with other open source/open access (etc) projects.

It is a complex stack..our job is to work out all parts of this stack, understand what they look like, and think through why they would want to be involved in a community, and how…

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