John Jacobs shares a few leads

The Art of Community – a review

9780596156718_catI have mentioned the Art of Community book here before but have now read the first two chapters and am getting a lot out of it.

I recommend it to your attention if you are a social media worker or in some ways in the role of a community manager.
It initially suffers a bit from a lack of sub editorial tightness – starting off with a few too many geeky rambling stories as examples for my impatient taste – perhaps an artefact of a freely downloadable book project.

But do stick with it because once Jono Bacon gets down to the business of sharing his years of free software CM skills from the KDE and Ubuntu communities his programmer’s mindset comes to the fore and a nice set of dot pointed tips and steps emerges as a good structured framework for community building.

Read about the book here:

Download it here:

Quote from the project site:

Every software project, online site, or company has to manage the community of interested people surrounding it. The community is the source of new ideas, a reliable support network, and the best marketing tool. When money is tight, making the best use of the community is even more critical.
Author Jono Bacon has been building and managing communities for a decade, particularly in areas of open source software such as KDE and Ubuntu. He currently is Community Manager for Ubuntu, probably the largest community in the open-source software area. His experience and his relationships with other communities and leaders provide a rich and deep well of expertise for this book.
In The Art of Community you’ll experience the broad range of talents required to recruit members, motivate them, manage them, and make them happy to be part of your community. Bacon takes you through the different stages of community and covers the information you’ll need, ranging from software tools to conflict resolution skills. Topics include:
• Sustainable processes for management – how to create day to day processes that are simple, effective and always representative of your community and its members.
• Tools and infrastructure – give your community simple and friction-free tools that they need to do their work, complete with effective communication channels.
• Building buzz – think outside the box and excite and enthuse potential community members to join your crusade, build capacity and keep the train running.
• Measuring aspects of community success – understand, assess and measure your community, discover what can be measured and how to react to the results.
• Conflict management – manage strong personalities that clash, and untangle contentious situations in the open and transparent manner that your community expects.
• Handling live events – organize and schedule productive, fun and engaging live events that get things done and re-affirm social bonds between your community members.
• Scaling the community – as your community grows, things change and adjust to the size, scale and throughput of your membership: handle these changes with as little disruption as possible.
The Art Of Community underlines and illustrates this large body of knowledge with a compendium of stories, anecdotes and tales that bring the concepts to life. Bacon’s amusing and witty writing style makes the Art Of Community a fun read that is sure to help you build strong, effective and engaging communities.


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