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

How community managers can contribute to open source

Are there any resources explaining how to get involved in FOSS for community managers who haven’t contributed to open source before? I don’t know of any, and this should exist. Let’s share our knowledge in a discussion and take some notes so we can help other community managers too.

Some potential questions we could discuss & collect answers to:

  • Which FOSS projects want volunteers with community skills and will help them get started with contributing?

  • If you want to volunteer your community skills for a cool project you’ve found, how do you get started on doing that? Especially for the many projects that don’t already have explicit processes for helping non-technical contributors get started?

  • What are some specific roles and tasks that community managers can do for open source projects? What are some things we’ve done and things we’d suggest new volunteers do?

  • Why do we do this anyway? Why is this something community managers should consider investing effort in?

(I have ideas about this after contributing to a project for a while, but this would be more fun to talk about together instead of just me saying what I’ve learned.)


I’d love if more projects identified themselves to the world, “Hey, we need help with one or two of the 900 things that falls under the aegis of community manager.”

Absolutely agree that this should exist. This is a perfect opportunity for us to have a session with the goal of defining a set of tips to help people get started.

From my experience the overarching recommendation I would make is to pick a project that could benefit from community management and do it in an organic way. What I mean by this is picking a set of areas to improve without trying to dominate the community.

For example, this could be improving advocacy docs, running more meetings, creating local user groups, helping with governance etc. Get a couple of wins in first and start growing your reputation. Open Source is generally mertitocratic, so relationship development is critical.

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Analytics & metrics for community based software development
Propose: Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona


Table 8 - Building programs to ENGAGE your communities - e.g. community moderator program - @jhibbets


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