What should a community manager do?

Lorn Potter lpotter at trolltech.com
Sun Oct 12 00:57:37 CEST 2008

Rod Whitby wrote:
> 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.

I disagree. I have been doing exactly that for the last 5 years. Trying 
to anyway. I believe a community manager can only be _one_ person.

To have a user mindset, you simply need to use what you're trying to 
evangelize everyday. You see the difficulties of actually using something.

To work with the user community in this fashion, you need to care about 
and understand the flaws the software may have (in terms of bugs and 
usability) and the reasoning the developers may have done a particular 
thing. Only a developer can do this part, and only a developer can work 
with the developer community.

> 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.

Perhaps. But variety is the spice of life. It all comes down to passion.

> 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.

I do.

Lorn 'ljp' Potter
Software Engineer, Systems Group, Qt Software, Nokia Pty Ltd

More information about the community mailing list