What should a community manager do?

Rod Whitby rod at whitby.id.au
Sat Oct 11 23:11:18 CEST 2008

Risto H. Kurppa wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Duv <duvelle.jones at gmail.com> wrote:
>> My only concern here is that there seems to be a separation between the
>> developer and the user... that in the community both seem to have there
>> little corner. Maybe I am reading that wrong, but if I am not... I am not
>> too sure that it's something that I would agree with, if only because the
>> current make-up of OpenMoko, Developer and user are one in the same.
> I agree: There's no reason to make a separation between developers and
> users. They do have a bit different needs but no matter what, they're
> all needed. A community manager should take care of all members of the
> community, from beginners to kernel developers. Help the beginners to
> get involved and allow and enable developers to work as efficiently as
> possible.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe one single community manager can cross
the divide between the "developer" and "user" mindsets that I spoke
about in my reply to your earlier post.

It's *really* difficult to spend your day answering end-user FAQs and
support issues, and then turn around and enthuse and excite your
developers.  One person will burn out very quickly trying to do both.

Note that both needs (support of users and embracing of developers) do
need to be met for a well functioning community.  But I don't believe a
single person can do the job of meeting both those needs.

We found in the nslu2-linux community that if you encourage the more
experienced users to start thinking of themselves as "mentors" for the
new users, and if you give the developers "permission" to not have to
answer end-user FAQs (since the more experienced users are expected to
be doing that), then the two mailing lists (users and developers) have a
much higher satisfaction rating.

-- Rod

More information about the community mailing list