Category Archives: Events

Presentation from MongoSV Masters session

I have been in a major heads-down mode, having switched jobs, and elbow-deep in building the foundations for a community. Hence, no new wisdom was shared.

However, I have totally given a talk at MongoSV in December, and here are my slides.


1. Community is not about you OR What community leadership is about by Alex Maier, Community Director, Nebula

2. Who am I to say this?
• 15+ years in online marketing
• 10+ years in open source
• Founded Fedora Ambassadors
• Led VMware vExperts
• Building a community for Nebula

3. How to be a successful community leader
Empower your community
then get the hell out of the way

4. People will only do what they want
• Community == Volunteers
• They came to do something they care about
• They likely have own ideas
• You can’t fire them
• You can however make them leave

5. Identify what people want
You can observe a lot by watching. -Yogi Berra
• Listen
• Look for patterns
• Distil into actionable projects

6. Connect the right people
Soylent green is people!
• Use your insight to find like-minded people
• Bring them together
• Explain why you think their interests are a good match for collaboration

7. Get them the resources they need
• Sometimes it’s money
• Sometimes it’s infrastructure
• Sometimes it’s training
• Only your community knows what they need
So ask them.

8. Arbitrate when necessary
• Passion begets conflict
• Don’t expect kumba-ya
• Don’t be afraid of conflict
How to arbitrate:
• State the rules—clearly and in public
• Apply rules equally to everyone
• Even to yourself!

9. Stay out of the way
• Don’t micro-manage
• Actually, don’t get involved at all if possible
• If they follow the rules of the community and are productive, leave them alone
• Learn to accept unexpected outcomes
• Learn to love them
• …even if they weren’t your idea

10. Show gratitude
• Recognition is a powerful motivator
• Simple “thank you” email or message on forum does wonders
• Promote volunteer leaders
• Give them more responsibility
• Don’t stop thanking volunteers
• Gratitude never gets old

11. Don’t take all the credit
Sounds like a simple thing, no?
Brings us right back to the beginning:
Community is not about you

12. Thank you

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Speaking at CloudCon San Francisco

Cloud Con San Francisco 1-3 Oct 2012I am thrilled to have been invited to speak at the CloudCon Expo and Conference in San Francisco next week. I will be part of the panel on social media marketing and monitoring, called Marketing Cloud.”

If you look at my speaker profile, you will notice that I have taken on a new role with a cloud computing company called Nebula. I have only been here a week and two days, and am just beginning to get my bearings. While there’s a lot of new stuff to learn, there’s been a nice chunk of deja-vu mixed in as well, due to the fact that the cloud computing and Linux and Open Source are a fairly tightly-knit field.

I am looking forward to attending CloudCon and making new friends with OpenStack users and contributors, and also to catching up with many of my old friends from Fedora and Red Hat days. If you are planning on attending and would like to meet up, drop me a line on Twitter or comment here.

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The Importance of Reputation in Online Communities

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a panel on importance of reputation in online communities. I was privileged to share the limelight with the most excellent community managers: Bill Platt of Engine Yard, Sean O’Driscoll of Ant’s Eye View, and Annie Fox of Buzznet. We were quite an unruly bunch, and almost gave our moderator Caroline Dangson a heart attack when we decided to have a drinking game on-stage. Some say, it was diluted Coke, but there are no guarantees. Enjoy.

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Filed under Community management, Events, Reputation