2023 was the first year that we participated in Maintainer Month, which is a month that celebrates open source maintainers for their hard—and sometimes thankless—work.
Disclosure: julia ferraioli served on the Maintainer Month 2023 Advisory Council.
In the spirit of Maintainer Month, we are sharing the work that went on behind the scenes to make our participation possible.
Open Source Stories recap
During May, Open Source Stories had the privilege of capturing three narratives from open source maintainers who each provided fascinating insights into their unique experiences in open source.
We highly recommend catching up on these stories!
Each of our stories is made possible by four roles: coordinator, facilitator, editor, and publisher. We break up the responsibilities as much as possible, but contributors will often serve in multiple capacities. For Maintainer Month, the time commitment for each role approximated:
||Time spent on tasks
There’s additional work in there! What about the storytellers themselves? We can add in their time commitment, which for three stories, came to ~2 hours. That brings us up to 15 hours of work.
Financing the stories
As we’ve gone along in the journey of Open Source Stories, we have tried to keep costs as low as possible. However, it became clear that to make it a viable project, we would need to incur some additional expenses. For instance, the editor’s time commitment would be prohibitively higher if we didn’t pay for human transcription services. For just the three stories we published during Maintainer Month, the approximate outlay for Open Source Stories was:
Transcription is by far our highest expense, and our most valuable. Sure, we could not have transcripts, but then our stories would not be accessible to all. Skipping transcription would marginalize some of the very people we aim to elevate.
May’s outlay was higher than our normal, but regularly capturing three stories per month would be amazing! It’s something we hope to work towards.
Obligatory call to action
Right now, there are two primary ways to help us keep capturing and sharing untold narratives of open source.
The first is by volunteering as an editor! Editors make a huge difference in the quality of our finished stories. Being an editor requires an eye for detail, a passion for clarity, and periodic availability for asynchronous work. You can read more about the editing process and responsibilities for editors in our editorial guide.
The second is much more mundane, but still critically important: contributing financially. As of the time of publishing, we have six wonderful sponsors that collectively contribute nearly $75 per month. We would not be able to operate the way we do today without them, thank you. If you would like to sponsor Open Source Stories, you may currently do so through GitHub Sponsors.
Until Maintainer Month 2024…keep celebrating maintainers 🥳