Tag Archives: talk

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
Blog: comrademanager.com

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Community management, Events