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

D2 - The intersection of technology&culture / Community at our core

These are just my short notes on the session, so anyone who participated please feel free and comment away!

Bugzilla is a bug reporting program that Mozilla uses. At one point Bugzilla, being the tool, was causing people from particular cultures to abandon participating with a particular project because that person felt they were ignored. Bugzilla had a problem with ‘Ask First’ versus ‘Jump In’ cultures, and the way the tool responded to users of the system. Contributors think they have asked to join, and by being ‘ignored’, they leave the community being offended.

How do you connect the cultures of the community to the technology to ensure that the technology is usable and functional for the different cultures. Refer to the example as above.

All the tools are a poor match to any Culture, and the Culture generally change to use the tool instead of the other way around. New comers continuously feel like cultural outcasts until they become acclimated with the tool. Generally this is resolved by custom filters or behaviors of the tool.

“Maybe we are relying too much on our tools and not as much on the Community”

“How can we engage our Community, so that we understand the need of how the tool needs to evolve”. When we realize something is going on as we are interacting with the Community, we then see what we need to do with the tool.

Communication and Collaboration - and Data Diving

Different toolsets with different cultures that solves different problems. Our culture evolves around the toolset.

Empower the community to design the interface. Example was that the target users were Spanish speaking, and so a forum was written in Spanish and Translated to English rather than the other way around.

Being agile is great, but being too agile can discourage new/returning users from participating. You should have a core set of protocols to avoid discouraging things changing too fast or too much.

How open should you be about your internal conflicts? Should you be completely transparent - or should you moderate. How much should you moderate?

Outcome: Tools are simply tools to a community. The culture has to grow from the people in the community. Regardless of what tools you implement, having a strong relationship with the community members and potential new members is important to understand how the current tools and future tools should work (though this will obviously change, which is where documentation and standards are important).

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