Liferay launches crowdsourced idea initiative

Turning to user community for input on what needs to change

When it comes to your products, who knows the missing pieces more than your users? Open source has always been user-focused, but Liferay is taking this one step further by opening a community for Liferay users to develop new ideas, for others to develop apps to add missing functionality to the Liferay app store.

The dashboard, as they refer to it, just opened this week, but it's already generating some ideas and with 85,000 members, the company has a rich set of customers to participate. The idea is to reveal those areas where there are glaring needs and let the developer community have at it. If you know there is demand for an app, you are much more likely to take the time to develop it.

Liferay reported in a statement that they launched the App Store with 70 apps created internally, but have since opened it up to third parties, partners and community members. Now, developers can float an idea and gauge interest.

James Falkner, Liferay's community manager, is understandably excited about the project. "We hope this effort will help us better gather and put into action the innovative ideas of our community while empowering individuals to add their own unique voices to the advancement of the Liferay platform," he said in a statement.

A quick look at the portal suggests it might not be a brand new idea, either that or their timer is faulty because it shows ideas as old as three years. Some ideas are rejected, others are implemented and still others are duplicate ideas of features that already exist in the platform.

Over the years, Liferay reported that it has added many features because of user requests including faceted search, communities, virtual hosts, translations and the control panel.

Being social and getting your users involved in your product needs is a good idea. So far, there hasn't been a ton of traction on the dashboard, although to be fair, it just went live this week. It doesn't mean it's not good idea, only that Liferay has to do a better job of encouraging community members to participate.

For more information:
- see the Liferay press release

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