Community Leadership Summit Wiki


(please add your info here!)

  • Angela Byron - Drupal - Release manager/community manager


OW2 manages projects of projects. Trying to build an über-community on top of this. Looking at both tangible benefits from belonging to group (networking, business etc.) but also intangible benefits. These are important, because tangible benefits can wane after initial enthusiasm, and people tend to pull out when forces that brought them in become weak.

Trying to put words around what the unwritten words are that cause people to get involved and stay involved. Not just what the community brings to you, but what you can bring to the community. How to renew people in the circle to take the place of those who've left. Try to also explain to companies to justify how to continue spending time on community when tangible benefits wane.

Trying to identify 4-5 unwritten rules/intangible benefits for community sustainability.

Dan - IRC important. I wasn't an IRC user until I became a community manager. I've formed more bonds over IRC than anywhere else. Laughed so hard I've been crying.

Cedric - Tyring to go beyond just the tangible benefits, but also convey the idea that it's a responsibility to be part of the community. It's not just take, it's also give.

Kevin - Is it clear that the opportunity your community is presenting is clear compared to what other projects' opportunities are offering. Lots of opportunities. Need to differentiate.

Cedric - Apache community is more about community than about code. Where we are more about code than community so far. Haven't quite captured it yet.

Valorie - Catch people being good, and praise them. Blog about "I just saw this new person building up this cool thing".

Dan - You can never give people enough recognition. If you gave someone an award 5 years ago, "They already got one" don't need anymore...

Sheri - "Blog of the week" - highlight the most interesting content for that week. Big, limited awards tend to be limited and don't want to re-use the same people. But if you don't put limits on it, you can award as many times as you want.

Justin - What is that hook that causes a community member to want to belong? Praise is one. What are others?


Sonya ( - Same situation. Do you have "umbrella" community? Blogs, forums, front page in front of all of the "sub" communities. Anyone from these smaller communities can ask questions in the larger forum and get perspective from other technologies.

Centralization of these resources also frees sub-community managers up to focus on things only they can do.

Bery? (TYPO3) Events. Developer days, but also social, "real world" fun (snowboarding, etc.) to provide a personal feeling of knowing people/relationships. Building friendships leads to lasting participation. Technology isn't enough.

Valorie (KDE) - Also upstream project for other distros. Sprints mixed with social events. Cross-project pollination (KDE <-> KUbuntu) also allows for increased networking and knowledge transfer. Even "rivals" can provide great feedback; we're all in this together. Part of being a "citizen" is making therse personal connections.

Bery? (TYPO3) - Great when "competing" projects invite each other over and are welcoming.

Chelsea (WordPress) WordCamps – organized by local communities. They're cheap, able to scale globally (every weekend there's an event). Great for breaking down barriers, meeting new people, getting new people involved in the community. You can work with core developers and learn how to make patches. This is how a lot of people get involved in WordPress, allows to identify "rising star".

Sonya ( — Similar with Java. Lots of community-started events, not started by Sun. One on every contintent.

Dan Allen (?) - User groups help define being a member of the community; offers bonding, but also accountability "Where have you been?"

Shea (?) - Feeling like you have friends is important, but also make them feel like they have responsibility. Give them a booth to staff, give them some sort of accountability. It gives them a reason to show up, and feel a sense of pride for having a patch in there. Maybe don't make them the *chair* of the conference, but if they're one of three people bringing drinks to the release party, it helps to give accountability.

Justin Houk - GEOPDX - Give people a chance to meet, give them a chance to make a difference. This gets at the intangible part: how do you get people to know each other?

Amy (?) - Create a safe space where people can go and meet strangers.

Cedric - Face-to-face meetings, etc. are nice but they don't really scale.

Robert - Need to build trust.

Dawn - People I bond with are people I have lunch with, people on IRC I chat with, more "informal" interactions.

Sonya - Face time is really important, but it's a mistake for an online community to privilege that; people can't always participate: economic, social, etc. reasons. Create a social space in an online format. Technical forums *and* social forums.

Sonya/Valorie - Too much praise too soon can also be bad. If everyone gets a ribbon, it's not special.

??? (WP) - Real life was what made me get involved and realize how easy it was. Never realized that something that I use and admire would be something I have the ability to get involved in. We have a showcase of sites that identifies high-profile/interesting sites using WP, which helps identify cool things your work will be used for.

Justin - Programmable web does this as well. Mashups.

Sheri - Reach out and ask for individuals' feedback, press them to write a blog post about X based on their work about Y.

Cedric - But it's also about ownership. It's not something that's opened by some leaders or a company somewhere. They need to spread feeling of ownership to everyone, and not setting up "layers" of citizenship.

(Sigh. Lost a whole bunch fo stuff... :()

??? (WP) - Emphasize non-code contributions.

Angie (Drupal) - Background is an open source zealot who didn't know I could contribute becaus eof how dautning it seemed. Need to solve *that* problem.

Cedric (OW2) How do we tell people they can participate?

Dan - GitHub has revolutionized this. No longer need to engage with the community if you find that scary. Start your own project.

Jon (Inkscape) - We can compete not on the issue of price, but on the accessibility of the decision-makers.

Greg (Drupal) - Prioritize new people coming in. A lot of times we get busy with people in IRC hashing through things. But we should be dropping everything to help engage new contributors. One has a short-term benefit, the other is long-term and builds sustainability.

Chelsea (WP) - Team blogs, post publicly our "roadmap" to allow people to start conversations about it. IRC, blog comments, etc.

Justin - Back up from technology. Same things happen at schools. Everyone on PTA is white and speaks english, most of the students are african/spanish. Same problen: they don't realize they can get involved. How do we reach out to them?

Greg (Drupal) - Geeks are shy. Stop and reach out to them, figure out if you can find a place for them.

Theresa ? - Local group holds training session on how to talk to people as community leaders. Important problem is building *dialogue*. Help people to inter-relate to one another.

Cedric - One of the dangers is that in order for people to have ownership is you have to build the idea that we're equals. We're all different, have different skills, but we share values.

Jon: Same as school. Parents see education as the teacher's job, not something they can participate in.

Amy - Unconference style is an effective way to build relationships locally.


  • Economies of scale
  • Face-to-face meetings for dialogue
  • Dialogue needs to happen not just on what we have to do, but also how we can work together and build trust
  • Links to feedback/recognition/positive feedback
  • Ownership
  • Communicate with people so they dont' drift away and share the same perception.