The Common Creative(s)

Over the last few weeks there were a lot of articles and discussions about how to manage a project well. From commercial success to user support nearly every subject was set on proof. However, after I’ve read the comments to the articles my conclusion was very plain: some minds will never change!Though I don’t like this conclusion it expresses nothing but the human nature. However, I thought, at least the everlasting conflict between users and developers could be mediated somehow. If people can’t come across in mind, maybe they can come along in peace, at least.

I found that some form of mediator could save a lot of time and energy on both sides. For the fun of it, I decided to design a logo that expresses the level of communication the visitor can expect from the team behind a project site. This logo, actually a small logo development kit (LDK), I’d like to promote here in this article. I call it the Common Creative(s) LDK v1.0 and release it under the Creative Commons Public Domain License. You can download it as SVG or Inkscape SVGZ. The similarity with the term Creative Commons is intentional. It shall express that licensing a product is only one part of a project. The other part is maintaining it.

Here is how the introduction goes:

A common creative is only one of numerous individuals in this world who like to create something useful in their sparetime and offer it to the public.
The Common Creative(s) LDK provides him with a simple method to express how far his motivation goes when it comes to participation and support.
However, motivation is case-dependent. A Common Creative(s) Logo is neither a license nor any other form of agreement. Respectively, the common creative can
not be made responsible for any misinterpretation resulting from his use of a Common Creative(s) Logo.

If possible, the Common Creative(s) Logo should be installed as a link to a page that is providing an overview about all the available ways of support
and participation. The page should also provide this short introduction to the Common Creative(s) LDK and a link for downloading the SVG document.
Besides the logo name and the date of publication, the Comon Creative(s) Logo expresses three further details through the chosen primitive (vector object):

shape (the group of people invited to contact the common creative):
   circle: all who are interested in the project
   star: only experienced users
   octagon: only active developers

background color (the most flexible way of contact):
   green: kind of hotline, like a mailinglist or a chatroom
   yellow: only form-based or otherwise indirect
   orange: no support (help yourself)

border color and pattern (usual response time):
   full grey: 24h/day
   dashed grey: ~48h
   full black or none: vague / none

For example, the project may have a bug tracker (yellow) but the experienced user (star) who has posted a patch shall not expect feedback (black or none). The three possible logos look as follows (the size is irrelevant):

If necessary, the common creative can overlap multiple primitives to invite different groups appropriately. The following example expresses that unexperienced users are invited to enter requests into a form but shouldn’t expect any response. Experienced users can enter the developer’s 24h online channel:

The official classification of the Common Creative(s) LDK v1.0 is as follows. Requests into the comment box below please!

About the Author:
The author, Dennis Heuer, is a 34-years old german social scientist concentrating on human-computer-interaction (HCI) and e-learning.

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