pfleming asks: "Several months ago I began a maintenance fork of some niche software. Essentially, these are PHP/MySQL scripts for real estate offices.
The original developer moved on to an incompatible version to what I was using. Upgrading for me and many other users was not the easiest option. Luckily the software is GPL'd and so continued work on the fork is not a big deal.
I have set up a site, made it available for download, announced the availability of the fork on Freshmeat and the forums for the original software. Now I have a few people subscribed to the project on Freshmeat, and a few on a mailman list set up for the project. This project has been listed on the GNU Website and other mirror sites but doesn't get much discussion on the mailman list and nothing from the Freshmeat subscribers. There is usually an increase in interest (indicated by a short term increase in site hits) when new releases are announced but this fades back to regular traffic of ~40 visits per day as measured by webalizer after a short period of time. Is this an anomaly? Should I be thankful that there aren't tons of bug reports and feature requests?"
"More questions for you to chew on:
Just what are the secrets to a successful (measured by lots of contributors, etc) project...or am I just not defining success correctly?
- Is there more interest in a new project vs. one that is more or less mature?
- Is the project too narrow to attract an audience?
- Could the underlying business (real estate) just be too saturated with web sites?
What other thoughts does Slashdot have on this subject?"