A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

Building a Knowledge Base

I want to start a discussion about an untapped opportunity I think we have before us that I want to solve.

In a nutshell, each year we have tried to structure CLS more and more to be about finding objectives and outcomes. We want the sessions to be a means of furthering the art and science of community management.

While I was incredibly proud of many of the actionable outcomes of this year’s event, I think we still have a few refinements we can make.

There are two problems I am keen to solve here:

  1. Reduce the number of repeated discussions - every year at CLS we seem to have some discussions again and again. I think one of the reasons for this is that we have new folks who join us who don’t realize these discussions have been had as there is no way to effectively find the outcomes from the previous discussions.

  2. Transition notes from notes to curated content - after we have a session and post the notes the forum, it would be useful to have a step where we feed those notes into a shared knowledge base.

As such, I am thinking about setting up a shared wiki that we will use together to be our shared knowledge base. This won’t be a wiki in the sense that it was before (a dumping ground for logistical things such as ride/room sharing, session ideas, notes etc), this will be a collection of articles providing guidance about different topics.

Importantly, I don’t think the goal with this knowledge base is to provide one true method for something. As an example, there are multiple approaches to conflict resolution, so on the Conflict Resolution article we could summarize those approaches so the reader can “choose their own adventure”.

I believe this would bring many benefits:

  • A shared place to define great community management approaches.
  • A shared project that is ours that we can extend and improve all the time.
  • Content there that is mature can be cited to others and should reduce repetition of discussion at CLS.
  • A central resource like this can be used by all CLSx events to feed into and expand.

Now, it will involve work to do this, and we want it to be well curated.

So, who would be interested in helping to maintain a resource like this?

If its something needed on the system side, I would be more than happy to offer System Administration assistance (updating, upgrading software, etc). I know you are probably looking for more of a curator of content, but figured I would throw it out there!

Thanks so much, @jbkc85 - do you have any experience theming MediaWiki?

Unfortunately I have not attempted to Theme MediaWiki before. However, most PHP templates are the same in that respect. So I would still be willing to offer help if I am given something to make it look like!

Although wikia has a bit too much advertisement for my taste, there is an existing community management wiki there that might be usefull as a starting point: http://communitymgt.wikia.com/

Thanks for the share. I am not a big fan of the advertising on wikia, but also it seems there is a limited about of content on that site. I don’t want to duplicate effort, but I feel we have a better opportunity on our own knowledge base here.

Thanks to for being the kind sponsor for this forum!