As we draw closer to the new year (how is it almost 2019 already?), many teams are in full planning mode. From figuring out what went well this year to deciding what to do with their budgets for next year, there's a never-ending list of questions to ask. The resources in this week's newsletter will hopefully help answer some of those questions!
From David Spink's advice on migrating to a new platform or reminding yourself why you love your job to making sure you're solving the right problems, there's a lot to dig into.
As always, if you're looking for help with planning or figuring out next steps for your team, I'm only an email away!
And don't forget to take time for yourself amidst all of the end-of-year planning and holidays.
How to Migrate to a New Platform (Hint: Don't Skip Phases 1 & 2)
When migrating a community to a new platform:
Phase 1 - get your team and top 1% active community members to populate with content
Phase 2 - invite all active members to participate in "beta" of new community
Phase 3 - invite everyone else
Don't skip phases 1 & 2.
Also, in phase 2, make it optional to switch. Not forced. It's important that it's their choice.
In phase 3 you'll announce an official close date of the old community, so it's no longer a choice.
Lots of digital products do this: "Would you like to try our new interface?"
Required DevRel Skills
Adding to an ongoing list of required key skills for DevRelers:
- Ability to explain something without making the other person feel stupid
- Deep understanding that your experience isn't the only valid way and curiosity about other approaches
Post-Conference and Mid-Holidays Thoughts about Travel
Dev Rel life has taught me to be relentless in the face of travel hiccups.
The key to building a community is building momentum. If you see a bustling restaurant with a table free, you want to go in. Empty restaurant? No chance. We validate our choices by observing others jumping in first. Generate activity, keep it flowing, and growth will happen.
What Drives you to Contribute?
What drives me to contribute in communities:
1) create impact beyond my achievements by sharing them
2) learn from interactions and others' experience
3) strengthen my network in the topic
4) grow from appreciation
5) charge my batteries for acting outside the #community
Click through to read what motivates others to contribute and to name your own "why" or hit reply to let me know and I'll feature it in next week's newsletter!
Help Without Expectation of Return
One of the core parts of #devrel is giving first and helping people without expectation of return. It's not about gaining twitter followers or building a personal brand. Those are side effects of doing the job.
2019 = Sustainable DevRel
Emily Freeman tweeted an OH last week that hit home with a lot of us, myself included:
OH: “DevRel folks get sick in December because it’s the only time they can.”
There are many sobering (and laugh-because-it's-true) responses, but Matthew Revell's reply was my favorite by far:
The fact we make jokes like this is a horrible indictment of what's wrong with #devrel. :(
Let's make 2019 the year of sustainable devrel.
Rachel Happe seconded this idea in a separate thread:
I know I am late but I think one mistake many, many #cmgr make is this: taking their OWN value for granted. What you do may come easily to you but most people around you may not understand the value of connecting people. Don't take yourself for granted!
2019 Community Predictions Ebook
I don’t usually recommend white papers or items that live behind a form, but I’ll make an exception for this one. With articles from industry leaders like Sarah Judd Welch, David Spinks, and Arielle Tannenbaum, I can’t wait to dig into Vanilla’s 2019 Community Predictions.
Common Community Management Mistakes & How to avoid them
We all make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process! But it’s easier if we can learn from each other instead of experiencing the same mistakes (and consequences) as everyone else. That was the topic of discussion at last week’s #ESNchat. Check out the hashtag from start to finish or scroll down a bit to get into the meat of the discussion.
How to Motivate Your Community Superstars
What’s the main difference between SuperUser groups and Brand Ambassador programs? They’re motivated by different things! Jake McKee walks through what motivates SuperUsers, namely Identity, Privileges, and Tangibles (in that order) in this recent article from CMX.
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian issued an ominous warning for Facebook: 'We've hit peak social'
In a recent interview during Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian stated that he thinks we’ve hit “peak social” for online platforms.
Instead of social networks, Ohanian said people increasingly want to belong to a smaller community of those who are like-minded.
Several DevRel and Community folks chimed in:
We'll see online communities grow around far more than just passions, and we'll see consumers far more savvy about the difference between real communities and the facade of community.
Social Media's nature is disperse and chaotic. Communities needs focus and clarity of purpose if they are to achieve something meaningful.
“Social media users are craving community”. This is a narrative I expect to explode in 2019.
Theres a narrative that the internet makes us more lonely.
We forget that before the internet, we felt lonely because we could only connect with the people physically around us, even if we had little in common.
The internet allowed everyone to find belonging.
We will continue to feel lonely if we seek community exclusively on massive social media platforms. They can't provide the deeper connection that humans need. We need small groups. We need offline connection. We need intimacy.
On Developer Advocacy
Scott Hanselman hit the nail on the head with this statement last week:
What a joy and privilege it is to stand up and represent our co-workers and follow engineers and to tell the stories of the things they build!
As Andi Mann echoed,
I agree 100% it is not about me. Never is. Also agree it is often about the amazing software my @Splunk team builds.
But mostly it's about my customers. I don't create my stories. My customers do. I am their amplifier.
Responsible Software Development
As many teams are choosing new tools and laying out plans for 2019, this article from DevRelate IO is a timely one.
We need to be solving problems, not raving about how awesome one tool or another is... It’s about what you build serving a need & solving a problem. Does what you’re doing help a situation? Does it work for the humans using it?
Twitter: Friend or Foe? and other podcast episodes
It seems that we're all gathering around the microphone these last few weeks, sharing thoughts, ideas, and stories in the form of podcast episodes. I, for one, am not complaining! Here's this week's list of DevRel-related epsiodes:
- Twitter: Friend or Foe? - Harper Reed and Emily Freeman join Jason Hand & PJ Hagerty of Community Pulse to chat about the pros and cons of Twitter.
- Retaining Talented Community Pros and What Makes a Great Boss? - Patrick O'Keefe reflects on 3 years of Community Signal.
- Recode Decode with Kara Swisher - Kara's son Louie & The Verge’s Silicon Valley Editor Casey Newton chat about how social media is changing.
- Jumping into Open Source Communities - Jeffrey “Jefro” Osier-Mixon & Jono Bacon jam about their experiences with open source communities on Open Source Voices.
- Inside 4Ds - Gary Vee gets practical on community management.
- 7 Tips for Creating Great Content - The Open Source Show with Adron Hall & Christina Warren
- Zeno Rocha on being a developer advocate - Enterprise Times
One from the Archives 📰
New Year, New Plan
As planning season is in full swing, this Community Pulse episode from almost 2 years ago is still relevant. Listen along as you plan your team retrospective, plan for the new year, and prioritize your work.
Interested in speaking at DevRelCon this coming year? The CFP is open for San Francisco as well as Tokyo in addition to Mission API, which will be held in London.
Developer Relations Events
As the year winds down, 2019 events are gearing up. Check out the recaps and videos that are starting to appear and then go on to submit your CFP to the next big event!
Sr. Developer Advocate
The mission of the Bose Developer Relations group is to enable a growing community of innovators, developers, and content creators to deliver amazing experiences to our customers. We do this by engaging our community around the world, at key events, in key regions, and online through our portal, workshops and other channels. Representing the needs of our community and partners back to platform teams at Bose, we will make 3rd party integration easier and scalable. Working with outstanding members of our community and with supporting groups at Bose, we will find the best ways to embrace these innovations, showcasing them to our customers and inspiring continued integration and increased value of our platforms.
Developer Relations Jobs
We're still hanging out right around 139 open job opportunities this week! There's a variety of roles, from summer internships to community content managers to developer advocates and leadership positions. Best of luck in your job search!
Developer Avocados 🥑
Your New Avocado: an F.A.Q.
This 3-minute clip from WNYC reminds me why I love NPR and also how difficult it is to plan for unknowns. If you're looking for a break from DevRel planning, take a quick listen to this to feel better about yourself as well as your avocados 🥑