As community managers go about each day with a multitude of tasks from providing product and site support, managing various programs and projects, creating slide shows and webinars, to answering reams of emails, we don’t always stop to see the whole picture of what’s involved in creating and sustaining community. Yet, CollabNet has over 10 years of experience now doing just that, and each of the community managers have at last that or more years working with online communities.
We’ve had a good deal of success in creating and maintaining both open source communities and Enterprise communities, so it seemed only right that we share what has worked for us with other community managers. The question then was how do we go about pulling all that information into one place, and break down our experience in an easy-to-understand format?
Community in Box services was conceived to help software development teams establish and nurture the collaborative culture characterized by the most successful open source communities. As a part of that service, we wanted to offer a free Community Cookbook, full of our expertise and wisdom, outside community managers could use, and so companies could see what is involved in creating and maintaining Enterprise and Open Source communities.
So, back in June ’09, five CollabNet community managers and several executives met on the east coast for two full days to cook up, brainstorm, all that was involved with Enterprise and Open Source community management. Carey O’Brien had the wonderful foresight to bring big wall size sheets of paper, and over the course of the two days we each contributed our experience to specific categories and areas of community management.
Of course, sheets of paper can’t be shared with the public, so we wrestled that data into a TeamForge project. The Community
Management Project contains the Enterprise Community Cookbook
and the Open Source Community Cookbook. You need to register and log in to view the pages.
Some of the community components we covered in the cookbooks are represented in the image below:
There are, of course, many topics within each of these components, including why a community is so necessary to have.
This has been an exciting project to work on for all of us in the Enterprise and in Open Source. To see the differences in how we handle and support each of these communities is interesting and important.
While all businesses would like large communities to flock to their platforms, software, and products, it’s essential to have made the right preparations for community support and management, and to understand the nature of those communities so they can flourish. Then everyone wins in the end.
Enjoy the Community Management Project!