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Building for others (and ourselves): the Avalon Media System

Michael B Klein, Senior Software Developer, and Julie Rudder, Digital Initiatives Project Manager, Northwestern University

Avalon Media System is a collaborative effort between development teams at Northwestern and Indiana Universities. Our goal is to produce an open source media management platform that works well for us, but is also widely adopted and contributed to by other institutions. We believe that building a strong user and contributor community is vital to the success and longevity of the project, and have developed the system with this goal in mind. We will share lessons learned, pains and successes we’ve had releasing two versions of the application since last year.

Our presentation will cover our experiences:

  • providing flexible, admin-friendly distribution and installation options
  • building with abstraction, customization and local integrations in mind
  • prioritizing features (user stories)
  • attracting code contributions from other institutions
  • gathering community feedback
  • creating a product rather than a bag of parts