I just wanted to let people know that I will be speaking at Defrag on Monday. Stop by and catch my panel about Social Networking in the Enterprise if you happen to be in Denver!
All of the proceeds from Women in Technology will be donated to the Alliance of Technology & Women (ATW), a non-profit organization providing scholarships and other encouragement for women and girls preparing for careers in technology. I also just learned that we have a chapter of ATW right here in Portland!
You should pre-order now and buy a copy (or two). 🙂 It’s a great book supporting a great cause.
O’Reilly just started a series of articles on Women in Technology with an article every day for the month of September. I will be appearing somewhere in this series along with Anna Martelli, Audrey Eschright, CJ Rayhill, Dru Lavigne, Gabrielle Roth, Jeni Tennison, Jill Dyche, Juliet Kemp, Julia Lerman, Kaliya Hamlin, Kirsten Jones, Lauren Wood, Leslie Hawthorn, Selena Deckelmann, and Shelley Powers.
“This series is comprised of articles written by women on the topic of “Women in Technology,” which will run through September. My hope is that the myriad of experiences you read about here will showcase how valuable it is to hear from different women at all stages of their careers and lives. Whether you believe that there is gender inequality within the tech community that we should all work to improve or if you think that there are no issues at all, one underlying truth is that we should support each other as individuals.”
(Quoted from Tatiana Apandi, the Women in Technology series creator and associate editor at O’Reilly Media Inc., on Women in Technology)
SXSW has released their annual panel picker application. I submitted 2 sessions:
If either of these sessions sound interesting to you, please cast your vote for them.
If you plan on attending sxsw, I encourage you to vote for the sessions that you find interesting. I love conferences that give us, as participants, the ability to participate in the selection process.
With the launch of Jivespace, I have been thinking more about what it really means to be an online community manager. With the launch of any new product, it always feels like time to step back and enjoy the lull before starting the next new project; however, this is the time when the community manager role accelerates rather than slowing.
Seth Godin recently called the Online Community Organizer role a Job of the Future. This brings me to the most common question: “What exactly do you do?” I see the online community manager role as having several key elements: ongoing facilitation, content creation, evangelism, and community evolution. There are certainly many more tasks, but I suspect that 90% of the work falls into one of these four very broad categories.
- Ongoing Facilitation: This is probably the activity that most people think of first. A community manager is an active participant within the community to answer questions, deal with trolls or other abuses, explain how things work, monitor the content closely, and much more. It also involves a lot of cat herding. On Jivespace, I frequently pull Jive engineers into the discussion to answer questions in an area where additional technical expertise is needed. It can also mean walking a very fine line between the community and the company by representing the company in community discussions and representing the needs of the community when working inside the company.
- Content Creation: In any community, content needs to stay fresh and current regardless of whether you are talking about code releases or other content. People will wander away from a community that looks stale or inactive. I have been focused on recording new podcasts (which are now in iTunes) and blogging regularly in addition to making sure that questions get answered (also part of facilitation). This also involves working with others to create content by encouraging them to blog about their areas of expertise relevant to the developer community.
- Evangelism: Getting the word out about your community can take a number of forms depending on the type of community. In general this can be served by talking to people (customers and other interested parties), blogging, speaking at conferences, and being actively involved in related communities.
- Community Evolution: This may be the most overlooked area for many communities. It is important to continue to keep the community engaged by evolving along with the technology. New features, contests, group activities and more should be planned from the beginning. With Jivespace, I plan to implement improvements about every 3 weeks including upgrades to the latest Clearspace X release, which come out every 3 weeks. For example, a few things in the works include some bug fixes, improvements to the developer beta program, and a developer event of some type.
As a community manager, you should be thinking about how to make sure that all four of these items get an appropriate amount of attention. Responding to questions and writing an occasional blog may by not enough if you want your community to flourish. Community management can be a tough job, but I am enjoying it more than any other job so far.
The next logical discussion is about the skills required to be a community manager, but this post is already pretty long, so … this will be part one in a series of posts. The next one will be about the skills required to do this job.
For anyone who missed the Art of Community panel at OSCON, we were able to get the entire session on video. I’ve posted it to the Jivespace Developer Podcasts and Video Blog.
“Danese Cooper and I put together a community panel at OSCON discussing the art of building and maintaining successful communities. The panel included (from left to right): Danese Cooper (Moderating), Jimmy Wales, Dawn Foster, Sulamita Garcia, Whurley, Karl Fogel, and Brian Behlendorf.” (Quoted from: Jivespace Blog)
I had a great time at OSCON this year. A few highlights:
- We launched the Jivespace developer community.
- My Community Leader meetup was well attended and people seemed to enjoy it.
- Our “Art of Community” panel was standing room only and Robert Kay described it as “awesome”.
- The Beerforge party was a ton of fun.
As usual, the real value was in the hallway conversations, shared meals, and other informal discussions with really smart people.
I will be posting video of our Art of Community panel (thanks to Drew Scott for wielding the camera!) and some footage from Beeforge on the Jivespace Video Podcast blog over the next week or 2.