How often do we get hung up on the tools rather than focusing on the people? We have to have the right messaging service or the right place for the community to congregate or even the right way for us to communicate the value back to our stakeholders. What if we simply focused on the communities that we're building? Through listening, observation, and identifying problem areas, we could find the tooling that fulfills the needs for the moment instead of trying to find the perfect solution for the rest of our days. This would shift our focus away from the manner in which we do our jobs and back to the why: taking care of both the internal and external communities that are looking to us for answers.
This week, many of these articles focus on what really matters: building communities. Whether that's through in-person events or online interactions, from within Product, Marketing, or Engineering, if our focus is on building and strengthening the communities around us, the proper tooling, metrics, and stories will reveal themselves.
What stories have you found lately? I'd love to hear about them! As always, feel free to shoot me an email with any comments, questions, or suggestions.
Until next week!
What's the Model for Creating Engagement? Trial and Error.
We often get asked for a model for creating engagement in a community.
A model is just a structure. It won't tell you exactly WHAT to do any more than it does in marketing, product, or design.
For all fields, it's about experimenting (and failing) until you find what works.
-David Spinks, Founder of CMX Hub
DevRel is the Tech UN
I just realized advocates and evangelists are diplomats who not only represent their company but also their community to the larger industry.
Y'all. We're the freaking tech UN. #devrel
-Emily Freeman, Developer Advocate at Kickbox
DevRel Org Structure: What's the most important?
Where does developer relations sit in your organization? Sometimes product, sometimes marketing, sometimes dev. Doesn't matter, as long as you have a good program.
A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats
No Developer Advocate is an island. We are teams and we lift the work we do together.
-Jay Gordon, Cloud Developer Advocate at MongoDB
Community Management is the First Line of Defense
Community management is an important defence against toxic online behaviour and an investment in healthy digital cultures and norm.
-Venessa Paech, Founder of Swarm Conference
DevRelate on Twitter
It takes a village and COMMUNITY SCALES!!
-DevRelate, quoting Mark Imbriaco at RailsConf
I Resemble this Remark
As a DevRel, I consistently feel like 80% of my job is absorbing and processing information. The other 20% is sharing the relevant information in any given context.
This has been part of my internal dialogue for a while. I’m curious if it resonates at all with other DevRels 🤔
-Tierney Cyren, Node.js Developer Advocate
Success leads to additional confidence, which leads to more success, which leads to...
Research sneak peak... "The multifaceted success of communities will give both community professionals and their stakeholders the confidence to move forward more boldly, using community approaches as the backbone for the future of their organizations" #SOCM2018
-Rachel Happe, Cofounder of The Community Roundtable
P.S. I can't wait to see the rest of the research that comes out of this year's survey! 🙌
Fewer Events. More Community
At the end of the day, conferences are a great way to bring people together in person. But it's how you maintain those relationships outside of the conference that really matters.
Fabian Pfortmüller, Co-founder of COMMUNITY recently wrote:
What we need is an ongoing commitment to nurture a group with a shared identity, to help them grow both individually as well as collectively, and step by step feel strong enough to stand on their own feet.
Emily Freeman on Twitter
Kickbox Developer Advocate Emily Freeman started a conversation on Twitter last week about how to grow a DevRel team and what structure works best:
DevRel strategy question: Is it better to have a team that's 100% folks who split their efforts between code, community and the 1000 other things we do. Or is it better to hire a team with different focuses? Like someone who's particularly technical, someone who's great at giving talks, etc. And if you do mixed skill sets, how do you keep it so the less technical folks still have authority and command respect?
Read the full thread to hear from people all over the tech industry and see what their opinions on the matter are.
Authenticity Matters more than Tooling
Lorinda Brandon, Director of Developer Marketing at Capital One DevExchange, has a few mantras she lives by in her professional life:
* Be Knowledgeable
* Be Informative
* Be Open
* Be Vulnerable
These four principles help her create a compelling and meaningful developer engagement model, which is important not only for the company (for obvious reasons) but for the community as well.
This should ring true for most of us -- our first priority is usually creating something meaningful for the community, but this requires us to be open and authentic in a world where actions speak louder than campaigns. Anita Brearton, Founder/CEO of CabinetM, dives into this concept, explaining why authentic marketing is the only option.
Necessary Skills for Community Building
Whether you're building an internal or external community, there are certain skills that come into play. The Community Roundtable breaks down the top 10 highest-valued skills in each of these two roles. Looking for more information about the skills necessary for community building? Check out the next installment in their "Community Management Skills that Matter" series: Content.
Why Your Company Needs a Disruptor-in-Chief
I don't think I've ever loved a job title this much in my entire life. In this week's tangent, Michael Haddon from CMSWire talks about how every company needs a "Disrupter-in-Chief" -- someone who, as you might have guessed, disrupts the status quo and sets things back on a different path. Given our position of translator, liaison, advocate, and expert community whisperer, we're in the perfect place to be these disruptors. As Michael details in his article, disruptors first listen, then map out how everything fits together before taking any action. We take calculated risks and experiment often, and are often responsible to lead the charge into new and exciting territory! I say we wear the badge of "Disruptor" with pride. 🎖Who's with me?
Podcasts & Interviews Galore!
This week proved to be fruitful from a storytelling standpoint. I've got three different conversations to bring you: two in podcast form and one as an interview.
How to Submit the Best CFP of Your Life (And What to Do When It Gets Accepted) -- The latest episode from Community Pulse doesn't disappoint. VIP guest VM (Vicky) Brassuer talked about everything from CFPs to giving a presentation for the first time to her love for the Open Source community.
Developer Evangelism And Coding Jokes With Steven Cooper -- This interview with Steven Cooper (better known by many of us as "developersteve") is a great conversation that dives deep into how Steven got into programming, but also touches on how he juggles all of the current responsibilities, including staying up to date with the latest technologies.
Building a Community That Won’t Cash Out -- This latest episode from Community Signal is a crash course in Bitcoin and the community engagement strategies behind this latest trend.
One from the Archives 📰
Have you tried listening?
Listening is the #1 tool in our DevRel toolbox, as Robert Nyman, Global Lead for Programs & Initiatives, Web Developer Relations, at Google, reminds us in this great video from the archive. This talk, given at DevRel Summit 2017, walks through how to not only hear our community, but acknowledge them.
Developer Relations Events
From meetups to webinars to content-filled conferences, here's your collection of upcoming DevRel-related events. See one that I'm missing? Send me an email and I'll add it to the list!
Developer Relations Jobs
Looking for a new gig? Here's your list. Found a link that doesn't work, or know of another job that should be included? Shoot me a note to let me know!
Developer Avocados 🥑
Looking for the right toolset for your avocado adventures? Here are 8 that might do the trick. From slicers to dicers to mashers and even oxidation-preventing covers, there's something for everyone.