[maemo-community] Discussion about Maemo community management...

From: Tim tim at samoff.com
Date: Fri Feb 13 19:33:32 EET 2009


There's been a private conversation going on between the Maemo Community
Council, some maemo.org employees, and some Nokia employees about the
notion of openness/transparency, communication between the Maemo community
and Nokia, and general community management. 

Currently, we have four subsets of community management withing our

1. Nokia Maemo SW (and this is mostly Quim Gil and a handful of other
*dedicated* Nokia/Maemo employees)
 2. maemo.org staff (Dave Neary, Niels Breet, and others -- including some
people from Nemein, like Henri Bergius and Andre Klapper)
 3. The Maemo Community Council (Ryan, Andrew, Simon, Eduardo, and myself)
 4. Other kind folks from the greater Maemo community 

This is actually quite an amazing conglomeration of people who are willing
to lend their time to help out within our community. But, concerning the
points I outlined above, there is no single paid person whose job it is to
oversee the community and facilitate the community's
needs to and from
Nokia. My concern is that while there are a lot of people who are willing
to volunteer time to the community, there are a lot of things that either
become someone's _extra_ responsibility, or get neglected and/or forgotten.
(I.e., Did you know that most of us -- even Nokia and maemo.org employees
-- volunteer our time completely out of the scope of our regular day jobs?)

For these reasons, I would like to propose that Nokia (at some point)
think about allocating a budget for an official "Community Manager" (either
technical or non-technical, although the addition of our new debmaster may
fulfill much of the technical side of this) who can monitor and assist the
Maemo community full-time. 

Here is an initial job description for who the Community Manager might be:

 Community Managers will work closely with Nokia Maemo SW's development
 marketing teams who strive to create a world class open source Maemo user
 developer community. Community Managers can
be remotely located. Ideally,
 Maemo Community Managers will come from within the Maemo community, from
 our diverse and talented members.

 Maemo Community Manager responsibilities include:

 * Engaging and communicating with the Maemo community within groups,
 forums, and via blogging to communicate news, help solve problems, and
 ensure that every member has the experience they want.
 * Developing and hosting programs and opportunities for Maemo members to
 meet and collaborate online and in the real world.
 * Working with the [Customer Care] team to navigate the occasional
 interpersonal conflict.

 Ideal candidates should have:

 * (Technical & Non-technical) Perfect understanding of the English
 (bonus: ability to translate/navigate other major international
 * (Technical & Non-technical) Exemplary communication skills in all
 environments, blogs, and as a moderator/facilitator of online forums.
 * (Technical & Non-technical) Experience working
with a team who develops
 and actively uses online communities and social networks.
 * (Technical) An understanding of Maemo application development and the
 Maemo SDK: should be able to explain processes to developers/users and...
 * (Technical & Non-technical) ...understand bug reports.
 * A passion for and skill with open source software, Linux, and Debian
 (bonus: FLOSS software licensing)
 * Maemo member highly preferred.

The main reason that I'm sending this to the List is to generate some
discussion about what and who this person might be for the Maemo community.
I understand that the consensus might be that a Community Manager is
unnecessary. That is fine, of course, but I felt that the community should
have a say. I also want to point out that this isn't necessarily something
that needs to happen right away -- or maybe it does... That is what I'd
like us to discuss. 

Currently, with the recent discussion about the next Maemo Summit, I see
an even greater need for
this position. While I think it's great that there
are plenty of people who can help out with the planning and logistics of
this event, it would be even more accessible (as many people are saying
already) if there were a single person who could handle these things -- and
not on a volunteer basis. 

What are your thoughts? 


 http://tim.samoff.com [1] 

[1] http://tim.samoff.com/
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