Making the Jump from Contributor to Community Manager

A presentation at Open Source 101 - Raleigh in in Raleigh, NC, USA by Mary Thengvall

It’s clear that Community Building is finally becoming a mainstream concept, having gained a lot of momentum in the last few years. This is great news! However, not everyone understands what it is or how it works.

From people who are jealous of my job because of the “exotic places I travel” to folks who still think a Community Manager is someone who only writes tweets and Facebook posts, there’s obviously a lot of confusion around what is involved in community building.

Despite this, interest is growing! I’ve lost track of the number of people who have come to me in the last year and said “I’m interested in this whole ‘Developer Relations’ or ‘Community Management’ thing… what is it? And how do I get involved?”

In this talk, I’ll shed some light on the mystery of community management and help you determine whether or not it’s something you want to pursue.

We’ll chat about the day-to-day tasks that someone managing an open source community might handle (hint: there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer), how to best use your particular skills to help that community, some of the more difficult aspects of being the liaison between customers and Your Company™, and how to take the role for a spin before committing full-time to the rollercoaster that is community management. I’ll also touch on my favorite part: the satisfaction that comes from building relationships and creating a community that will last.