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

From: Tim tim at samoff.com
Date: Fri Feb 20 18:36:25 EET 2009

On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 09:42:36 +0200, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:

> If the Maemo community wants to have a Maemo community manager in the
> maemo.org team you just need to decide yourselves and get one.

I brought this up for two reasons: (1) it's on my mind (some of you know
why); (2) I heard some moaning from developers who feel that they still are
not getting enough "Nokia" support in dealing with some "community" issues
(or, presumed community issues). Developers are really the ones who will
need to address these concerns (since I am not a developer).

On a non-technical community management level, I am a very happy Maemo
community member. I really do think that the maemo.org team and several
Maemo SW people are doing a great job of community management. But, as I
was thinking about the roles/responsibilities of an official community
manager, I couldn't help but interject some non-technical items into the
description. And, as I stated before, I'm not a fan of expecting people
with "official" responsibilities to take on additional tasks that may
interfere with a work/life balance.

BUT... As I now realize, "community management" tasks _are_ part of the
"official" responsibilities (something I assumed, but was not sure of). In
this case, all is good...until other important issues are neglected due to
overwhelming community management work. This, unfortunately, is where the
tipping point idea steps in -- and, when Nokia may have to spend some time
thinking about who might take up the slack.



> Hi,
> ext Dave Neary wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Ian wrote:
>>>> I actually can't find any community manager in the communities /
>>>> networks I'm part of. Yet many of them are quite vibrant, based on
>>>> common goals and using efficient tools.
>>> Dunno if you have signed the ubuntu code of conduct but anyway...what
>>> about mako and now jono's work as community manager?
>>> Some very recent examples:
>>> http://www.jonobacon.org/2009/02/13/the-docs-were-indeed-rocked/
>>> http://www.jonobacon.org/2009/02/14/ready-to-jam/
> Maybe it's a coincidence, but I also have my opinions about signing
> codes of conduct.  :)  Search the GNOME foundation-list archives if you
> are really <del>interested</del>bored.  ;)
>> Presumably Quim doesn't think of himself as part of the Ubuntu
> I'm a happy Ubuntu user but I'm not involved in the day to day of the
> Ubuntu community anymore (busy times, mobile focus, etc). But let's go
> to the point.
> Yes, I know Jono - and Mako. Actually Jono's position was open by the
> time I was looking for a job and I looked at it...
> What all this is almost irrelevant. What matters is:
> If the Maemo community wants to have a Maemo community manager in the
> maemo.org team you just need to decide yourselves and get one. Nokia is
> funding 4 positions at the moment and it's up to you to decide who fills
> them doing what.
> So this is not about you convincing me or Nokia but you convincing
> yourselves and acting accordingly.
> If the Maemo community manager needs to be a Nokia employee, then at the
> moment I'm the first candidate in the row. Just let me know what are you
> missing and what can be improved and I will reorganize my tasks
> accordingly (agreeing that with my own team, of course).
> If the Maemo community management tasks can be split in maemo.org
> 'liberated' contributors, pure community volunteers and Nokia employees,
> then let's discuss what are the tasks and goals, and how to share them.
>> A small mind test: how many developers within a company, working on a
>> company sponsored free software project, will continue working on the
>> project after being laid off? In my experience: 0.
> In our case, the test applies not only to Nokia employees but also to
> the liberated maemo.org guys. It's easier to trust an excellent
> bugmaster like Andre as soon as he is hired since his expertise is
> clear: dealing with bugs. If one day he gets a better job and disappears
> from the Maemo community... most people will understand.
> With a community manager things might be more difficult since a lot of
> the work has to do with commitment and emotions. Imagine an efficient
> community manager of e.g. Android now being hired as part of the
> maemo.org team and one year later moving to Intel trying to engage the
> Moblin community...
> Big egos are another problem, since a community manager has a lot of
> personal exposure. Finding the right balance for the personality needed
> to engage people without falling to uninspiring levels or getting an ego
> overdose is not easy.
> One way to avoid both problems is to share community management
> responsibilities among community members, in a way that nobody is
> essential and can drop or become mad at any time without harming the
> project and the sustainability of the community.
> And I like the way we have all this set up now, even if some things are
> not as efficient as they could be with a single and well identified
> community manager.


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