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Tips from 2014 - writing a collaborative post

Hello! I’m working on a community manager post for Opensource.com to recap what we’ve learend in 2014 and I’d like to gather tips from all of the smart people here. If you’d like to contribute to the post, please share the following in this discussion thread:

  1. Your name, title, community you manage/employer
  2. Your best advice from 2014 (one paragrpah)

I’m happy to put together a wrap-up post that will be published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Deadline for contributions is December 2.

Looking back on 2014, I saw a few themes emerging that would be nice to highlight, however, any and all advice/tips are welcome. The themes that I saw were around inclusiveness and diversity, growing communites, and sharing our knowledge.

I would very much appreciate anyone who can contribute. The final post will be added to the knowledgebase here as well.


1/ Antoine THOMAS aka ttoine, Community Manager at Bonitasoft (Bonita BPM, Open Source workflow and business process management solution) and also Ubuntu Studio cofounder.

2/ We do not have always the time to read every posts and answer to everybody on the different places where our community members are. However, there is a very good thing to do if you want to help them, to make them feel that you are listening to them. Try to catch the most important topic trends about what people are complaining, and what are the technologies of their interest. This way, you know:

  • what you need to update in your documentation,
  • the features or products you need to improve,
  • what are the hot topics to speak on your blog.
    Then, you can think about “content strategy”. And don’t forget to answer to some posts, telling where is the relative content your produced. Your community members will appreciate :wink:

Hi Josh! Regarding your comment over on the alcohol thread, I’ve added something here, thanks! :smile: You don’t have to use this if you’ve already worked it in somewhere else in the post, doesn’t matter to me either way

Kara Sowles, Community Initiatives Manager at Puppet Labs

This year, I’ve done a lot of thinking around the place that alcohol holds in our community events. When we only choose one way of rewarding and celebrating the great work that folks in our communities do, we exclude people we should be welcoming. For those interested, I’ve written up a few of my suggestions on how to include and highlight non-alcoholic drinks at events alongside alcoholic ones: https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/alcohol-and-inclusivity-planning-tech-events-with-non-alcoholic-options Here’s to a delicious, welcoming 2015!

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May be too late for your post, Jason, but just in case …

Key themes emerging or being more deeply explored: Empathy, empathy, empathy. I like to phrase it as make fewer assumptions, ask more questions. Speak less often, listen actively and with greater intention.

We community managers are grappling ever more with the implications of being welcoming and inclusive to an incredibly diverse global group of human beings. There are so many factors in play culturally that it’s difficult - but incredibly rewarding - to ensure that we meet everyone’s needs well.

If I can pontificate further and have it be useful for your article, please ping me.

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  1. ben van 't ende, community manager, TYPO3 (typo3.org)

  2. Open Source communities are getting bigger and bigger. The same goes for communities in general as the participatory society gains importance. It is a challenge for the stakeholders that depend on the output of communities. In governing communities appreciation and gratitude should rank first. Long term thinking is essential for creating and maintaining resilient communities that thrive on values and not on value.

Sorry, I’m late

  1. Alessio Fattorini, Community Manager at NethServer (www.nethserver.org)
  2. I got this simple statement that i have learned from Martin Reed “If you think every new member joins your community with the aim of actively participating and adding value, you’re wrong. Most new members join purely for selfish reasons. They want to solve a problem”

That’s why new members ask a question very early on, they aren’t interested in becoming a true member of the community, they want only resolve their own problem.

The challenge for community managers is turning this individualism into something that will end up benefitting the entire community amd increasing participation.

Some tips:

  • Help Members Overcome Their Fear of Participation
  • Regularly ask members who write a good response to publish it as an initiated discussion.
  • Feature highly active discussions prominently on the landing page
  • Make heroes (membership)
  • Promoting Your People
  • If you want a better community, it’s rarely a new platform you need, it’s a new and better approach to community management.
  • Write down a roadmap/todo list and ask people to do something, also very small

This is all great. If anyone else wants to get something in by the end of the week…we’ll make the cut. I need to get this done early next week before I go on a (much needed) vacation.

And thanks everyone! Leslie, Kara, Ben, Alessio, Antoine (and maybe a few others?)


Hi everyone.

I wanted to say thanks again for contributing some thoughts and advice.
As some of you have already seen, the article published todya. I will
add this to the Community Leadership knowledgebase when I’m back from

5 community managers give their biggest tip for 2015

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Good to know, thanks @jhibbets glad to be helpful

As promised, this has been added to the knowledgebase. Sorry it took so long, I went on vacation and am just now getting back to work on things.

Thanks to for being the kind sponsor for this forum!