As Rachel Happe pointed out months ago, Social Media is broken, and I would argue that it's our job as community professionals to figure out a better solution. It's a big task, but it's one that we're uniquely qualified for. After all, who better than the community experts to create a platform that is safe, welcoming, and beneficial for all? That being said... as Carrie Jones reminded us last week, building a platform is not the same as creating a community.
There's a lot of great content in this week's newsletter -- lots to think about and muse over throughout this week. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts. I'd love to listen!
Have a great week, friends.
What are the two biggest problems in DevRel?
OH: The two biggest problems in #DevRel are what department to report to and what backpack to use.
-Heidi Waterhouse, Dev Advocate @LaunchDarkly
Who do we work for?
I wish more people would understand the difference between marketing and developer relations. I don't work for Amazon, I work for you mates.
-Julio Faerman, Technical Evangelist @AWS Cloud
Perfect Description of DevRel
"An effective Developer Relations team is made up of a diverse group of legit engineers with superlative communication skills; who aren’t selling anything; who feel the same pain as their audience — to which they listen and respond to continuously."
Perfect description. ❤️
-Paige Bailey, Azure Developer Advocate @Microsoft
quote from Reto Meier's The Core Competencies of Developer Relations
Does Community Management Need More Diversity?
I think the field of #communitymanagement needs a lot more diversity. Community Managers should reflect the life experiences and viewpoints of the under-represented online. Facebook, for example, could do with an extremely diverse content team.
-Brian Ambrozy, Senior Community Manager at Shinola
Source code... Beautified for your presentation
Have you ever seen those screenshots of code that look gorgeous in presentations but you know deep down that it's not someone's terminal? Chris Coyier revealed their secret. It's a nifty tool called Carbon.
The Popularity of Various Internet Communities
If you're a data geek, you'll appreciate this graph, which illustrates the rise (and fall) of a handful of internet communities.
Featuring 100 Community Creators
I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for "100 Days of... " things. I've done #100HappyDays a few times now and once took on a ridiculously long list of 101 things (many of which were lists in & of themselves) that I tried to accomplish in 1001 days (spoiler... I didn't). All that to say, Dorothy Levin has taken on the challenge of featuring 100 community creators over the next 100 days, and I'm really looking forward to it! Read more about it and let her know if you want to be involved.
Building An Online Community: From Getting Started To A Community-First Organization
If you're starting to build a community, this resource from Feverbee is a great starting place. From the Community Lifecycle chart to some of the biggest mistakes companies make, it's full of fantastic advice.
Are we compartmentalizing our private and professional community experiences?
What if the problems that we experience when building professional communities stem from the fact that we aren't treating them with the same respect and grace as we do our personal communities? Fabian Pfortmüller tackles this question in a recent post.
Are you an Admin for a large Facebook Page? Pay Attention...
With all of the other Facebook news that's been swirling this week, you might have missed this important piece. TL;DR:
Today, we’re also announcing that people who manage Pages with large numbers of followers will need to be verified. Those who manage large Pages that do not clear the process will no longer be able to post. This will make it much harder for people to administer a Page using a fake account, which is strictly against our policies.
Read the full article for more information.
Social Media Platforms should be called "Behavior Modification Empires"
In what might be one of the most provocative TED talks to date, Jaron Lanier, considered by many to be the father of virtual reality, made the statement that platforms like Facebook shouldn't be called "social media platforms" but "behavior modification empires." Read more about his statement and watch the TED video in this article.
What we learnt from inviting our most regular commenters into The Times
As you've probably learned by now, I have a special place in my heart for journalism. I've often found great community building lessons buried deep in an article about how to improve the news industry. This week, Charlotte Seager from The Times London wrote an article about what they learned from listening to their regular commenters. There are a lot of important lessons here, but this one may be my favorite:
Most importantly, we learnt that our biggest critics are often our most loyal readers.
Don't forget that lesson -- your worst critics are sometimes your biggest fans. It's your job to figure out where their passion comes from and how to turn the frustration into productive feedback.
Investing in the developer community to grow your company
Looking for a succinct way to explain to upper management why building a community outside of your customer base is important? Borrow these words from Community Builder Eumir Gaspar:
By investing time in helping out the community, everyone benefits since the community grows and now you have a larger pool of developers to choose from!
Read his story about how investing in the developer community helped grow their company.
What is the new interconnectedness?
How has the rise of social media increased our hunger for engagement? Akeel Qureshi, Head of Marketing and Communities at Padoq digs into this question and others in this fantastic look at the impact of social media.
You gotta practice what you preach
There are so many great notes in this short piece from Rogue Water LLC. My favorites:
Make sure you’re not only inviting the right people to the table but that you’re also creating an environment that truly invites ideas.
We can sometimes forget who the end product or outcome is for -- Never forget who your audience is.
And the most important:
You gotta practice what you preach.
Why are so many Developer Advocates photographers?
Turns out, a lot of us in the community space have a photography hobby. Gus Class, Developer Advocate at Google tells a story about how his hobby got started, and why it's become important to him.
One from the Archives 📰
Social Media is Broken... Communities are Your Duct Tape
As we've already established, social media is broken (in a lot of ways). Rachel Happe explains how we got here and what to do next in this fantastic slide deck from a few months back.
REdeploy Conference: The intersection of technology, organizations, and people
While not strictly related to DevRel, I'm calling out this conference for two reasons:
1) I'm organizing it (yes, it's a shameless self-plug 😉)
2) As people who work in and with communities day in and day out, we care deeply about how technology impacts people's lives, and how the products that we're working on (hopefully) improve their workflows or communications.
We'll take a 360° view of resiliency -- how it affects the technology, the organizations and teams within them, and the people within those teams. For more information, follow us on Twitter: @REdeployConf and check out the website: re-deploy.io.
Developer Relations Events
If you're going to be attending any of these upcoming events, reach out! I'd love to connect you with other attendees, or maybe meet you in person if I'll be there as well.
Developer Relations Jobs
Jobs, jobs, jobs. 104 of them to be exact. Everything from technical writing to community building to founding a DevRel team is here... check it out.
Developer Avocados 🥑
Social Media is Good for Some Things...
We can talk the pros and cons of social media all day long, but there are some things that are unequivocally good about it... like the fact that I can learn about new ways to eat avocados. I know what I'll be making for my next brunch party! 🥑🍳🍸