Black Duck hires Codeplex manager for Ohloh

Summary:Black Duck hopes to make Ohloh the go-to site for knowledge about open source project.

Sara Ford, former community manager for Microsoft's Codeplex site, has been hired by Black Duck to do the same job for its Ohloh, which it bought last month from Geeknet.

Ford, who lived in the Seattle area for nine years, chose to move to Silicon Valley and was a free agent when Black Duck marketing honcho Peter Vescuso signed her up.

ZDNet spoke with both Vescuso and his new hire on Friday.

Ford called her new gig "the opportunity of a lifetime." Black Duck hopes to make Ohloh the go-to site for knowledge about open source projects, something Ford admitted she had been daydreaming about for years.

Her hope is to apply her Agile development skills to content, getting increased excitement for new releases as they come out.

"Ohloh it cuts across 250,000 different code repositories, all the popular forges and smaller repositories," Vescuso explained. "You can sign one up automatically.

"We're going to augment it with our KnowledgeBase to make it more comprehensive. It's going to be a pretty unique site, a single point of aggregation for all FOSS information."

Ford said she has already begun analyzing the site's current infrastructure, looking for "pain points" the company can turn around quickly into points of pride.

"On the forums," for instance, "we noticed that 80% of the issues were things we could turn around quickly. But the biggest pain point was projects not being categorized. We've been able to respond to 100 of those enlistment issues."

And that's how she is planning to move forward. "My experience tells me to listen first, and it tells me we need to show continuous site improvements, responding to feature requests. I also notice that on the forums, when we describe our plans, people really appreciate our transparency."

The aim is to make Ohloh the chief site for social networking about open source, and for keeping track of projects no matter where they live. "There are many forges. There's no one place you can go to find all the tools, a way to search across the spectrum.:

Topics: Open Source, Microsoft, Tech & Work


Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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