In this day and age, saying that we're "busy" can be a subconscious way to communicate status. It's another way to identify ourselves as successful and accomplishing goals. After all, if we're busy, we must be doing important things, right? The flip side of this is that as we strive to be more successful and accomplished, we can at times lose track of our true goals -- a happy, fulfilling life, enjoying time with our communities of friends and chosen family, investing in activities that fill us with joy.
I've been trying to force an intentional "slow down" lately. When I'm looking for the right words in a blogpost, breathe. When I need to make a split-second decision, close my eyes and try to let go of the stress. Go for more 10-minute walks through Golden Gate Park on sunny afternoons. Take 20 minutes to journal in the morning instead of jumping head-long into emails and notifications. Focus on one task at a time rather than allowing my mind to race ahead to the next 12 things I have on my plate.
It's not easy! We live in a fast-paced world where our success seems to be measured by how many boxes we checked today. But I find that when I can be more intentional with my time and tasks, I wind up accomplishing things in plenty of time to tackle the next item on my list because I'm able to approach things from a less-stressed-out, more rational and forward-thinking mindset.
This week, I'd encourage you to give this a try. Start your morning off with reflection, reading, meditation, a walk, exercise... something that calms your mind and gives you energy for the day. Throughout your day, focus on one thing at a time, giving it your full attention. And allow yourself to take breaks to enjoy your lunch, get out into the sunshine, cuddle a puppy, or do whatever it is that breathes life back into your busy life.
Let's stop using "busy" as a status symbol and instead be intentional about pausing to enjoy all of the moments, whether they're busy or not.
DevRel Weekly Patreon
What do you wish Devs knew about DevRel?
I posed this question on Twitter last week and got so many fantastic responses from folks. Many of the answers revealed the heart of why people continue to do Developer Relations despite the hardships.
I also posted it on dev.to and got a fair number of questions from developers. One thing is clear: we have a tremendous about of value, but it may not always be fully communicated or understood by those we're trying to serve.
More on this topic to come soon...
DevRel Advice Column
Community Mgrs, I'm doing some research for an upcoming conference talk. Working title is 'How to hack the most common design problems in community platforms'. Which aspects of your community platform aren't you able to easily customise and how does that hinder your work? #cmgr
You know the guy that opens his trench coat 🧥 lined with watches and asks “wanna buy a Rolex?”
That's every Developer Advocate but with stickers ...and they’re free.
The Purpose of DevEx
Developer eXperience lead's major tasks is to find the solutions on how to
1) enable maximum positive developer experience for the API consumers
2) without killing the internal developer experience.
Foster the Community Leaders of Tomorrow
If you are building a new community, create strong and deep relationship with the early most active and engaged users.
They will most probably be your community leaders tomorrow.
What Drives Human Behavior?
James Clear recently pointed out these 5 major drivers of human behavior:
- Self-interest: How does it serve the person?
- Status: How does it improve their standing?
- Convenience: What is the path of least resistance?
- Signaling: What does it signal to others?
- Social norms: How does it help them fit in?
Alessio Fattorini agreed wholeheartedly and brought it back to community management principles for us, saying:
Community leaders should know those drivers and learn how to leverage them.
Your Voice is Needed
If you've ever considered writing a blog post but didn't because it was already covered by other people, please reconsider.
I'm searching for a tutorial on a topic and have passed on about 5 of them so far because their style doesn't resonate with how I learn.
We need options😊
Fight for Visibility
Fight for visibility as much as resources. Visibility has huge impact.
WellsFargo buried their community behind a tab (even then you must scroll to the bottom).
SAP features two links to the community on the homepage and lets you navigate to exactly where you want to go.
Reintroduce Your Community
There are times when you'll inherit a community, either as a result of a new job, a reorg, or a company acquisition... and sometimes, that community will need to be revived. But how do you go about reintroducing yourself (and your brand) to that community? Tirza Austin tackles this question in a recent blogpost from Community by Association.
In that 15-minutes before the event starts...
Event planning can be stressful. I'll say it again for those in the back... Event planning can be STRESSFUL! You can spend months planning everything, but in that 15 minute period before the event starts, there will likely be things that you wish you had done differently or that are left undone. Matt Cameron's recent blogpost walks through some tips and tricks for how you can mitigate those issues and plan for all possible concerns.
Cleaning Up The Community
One of my favorite things to say is "Too many good things is still too many," and this concept doesn't only apply to our schedules! In this post from Feverbee's Rich Millington, he gives advice on how to clean out your community, removing content, events, and even inactive members.
I'm curious to hear from all of you: Do you clean out your community content on a regular basis, removing things that don't get enough traffic or don't seem useful? What about your members? Do you send a re-engagement notice or simply start removing folks who haven't been active for a certain amount of time? Shoot me an email -- I'd love to hear!
How not to build your community
I always appreciate the occasional "here's how not to do this thing" blogpost -- it's a nice gut check to make sure none of the practices you're following are leading you down a wrong path. This post focuses specifically on crypto communities, but the concepts are applicable to all industries.
It Ain't All About Sign-Ups, Strangers Are People Too
When it comes to metrics, knowing why you're tracking what you're tracking is half the battle. Jono Bacon encourages us to look beyond signups to the "strangers" that are landing on our site. Why are they there? What engages them? And most importantly, how do we get them to come back? Check out his 4 tips.
How Do You Encourage Vulnerability in Online Communities?
Vulnerability is one of the signs of a healthy community, yet building it in an online community can be incredibly difficult. This openness has to come from the leaders -- the community managers, the moderators, the stakeholders -- in order for it to be seen and reflected back by the community members themselves.
Carrie Jones reflected on this concept in a recent issue of her newsletter, encouraging us to share, even when we don't get an overwhelming response from the community.
...even if I get no response, the exercise of putting myself out there and articulating my needs is still deeply helpful.
Rolling out the Red Carpet
Onboarding your new community members properly is an important part of building a healthy, successful community that will stand the test of time. Slack shared their tips and tricks for onboarding new Slack team members, including sending welcome messages, prompting next steps, and enabling discovery. Whether you're building a Slack app, creating a Slack team, or using a different platform entirely, these tips are ones that will be useful to you as you start your new community.
After Pulse: Under the Influencer
If you haven't had a chance to listen to the latest Community Pulse episode, Under the Influencer, I'd encourage you to do so! It's a fascinating conversation with Rachel Happe, a community leader who I quote often in this newsletter, and Marshall Kirkpatrick, VP of Influencer Relations at Sprinklr. We chatted about popularity versus influence, as well as how to gain influence and what to do with a platform once you have one.
In this follow-up episode, PJ Hagerty and I chat more about the topic of influence and the responsibility that we as DevRel professionals have to be authentic but also be kind, empathetic, and conscious of our platforms.
Looking for more podcasts to listen to this week? These two might pique your interest:
- Semaphore Uncut - Eddie Zaneski from DigitalOcean on DevRel best practices and building intuitive products
- Frontier Podcast - Technical Evangelism as the voice of building, shipping, and operationalizing better software
CMX Summit: Scholarships & Innovation Programs
Interested in attending CMX Summit but not sure if you can afford it? If you're a member of an underrepresented group in the community professional field, check out the CMX Summit Scholarship Program. Applications are open until May 24th.
If you're a company looking to sponsor CMX Summit but can't quite afford the normal sponsorship prices, take a look at their CMX Summit Innovation Program, helping small companies that are building new technology in the community industry connect with community professionals.
Developer Relations Events
Planning on attending a professional development conference this summer? Take a peek at our list of upcoming events and see if anything jumps out at you. Don’t worry if you don’t see one that sparks your interest right now, we’re constantly adding to the list so check back frequently!
Samsara brings together connected sensors and software in order to improve the safety and efficiency of operations for customers around the world. We are looking for a lead developer advocate to empower our developers to build applications and integrate Samsara’s IoT technologies into mission-critical systems. While we are currently working with a myriad of partners and large customers to build out solutions, we’re looking for someone who can help scale our developer program to the next level.
Developer Relations Jobs
Want to take the next step up on your career ladder? Check out our collection of jobs to see if your next big opportunity is available now!