The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/6/2
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Online communities provide a wide range of opportunities for supporting a cause, marketing a product or service, or building open source software. The Art of Community helps you recruit members, motivate them, and manage them as active participants. Author Jono Bacon offers experiences and observations from his 14-year effort to build and manage communities, including his current position as manager for Ubuntu.
Discover how your community can become a reliable support network, a valuable source of new ideas, and a powerful marketing force. This expanded edition shows you how to keep community projects on track, make use of social media, and organize collaborative events. Interviews with 12 community management leaders, including Linus Torvalds, Tim O’Reilly, and Mike Shinoda, provide useful insights.
- Develop specific objectives and goals for building your community
- Build processes to help contributors perform tasks, work together, and share successes
- Provide tools and infrastructure that enable members to work quickly
- Create buzz around your community to get more people involved
- Harness social media to broadcast information, collaborate, and get feedback
- Use several techniques to track progress on community goals
- Identify and manage conflict, such as dealing with divisive personalities
Jono Bacon is an award-winning leading community manager, author and consultant. Currently the community manager for the worldwide Ubuntu community, Bacon is a regular keynote speaker, has also authored four books and acted as a consultant to a range of technology companies. Bacon's weblog (http://www.jonobacon.org/) is one of the widest read Open Source weblogs and he writes regularly about community management.
Am particularly impressed at the courage it took to also offer this book as a free download, with a liberal Creative Commons license. The pdf format is what's most useful to me - I'm literally able to copy and paste, and shape whole sections of the book so they fit my organization's needs. I might not have bought the book if it was just a book. But because I love the pdf, I bought the ipod version (which I'll probably never use, since all I can do with it is read and, okay, click on links, but I felt obliged to pay something). Hats off to O'Reilly.
If you're just starting the role it can save you a lot of time in re-inventing a methodical approach to community management. As an experienced community manager it can surface ideas and approaches you might not have considered.
What I found particularly useful was that it is largely "generic". It helped me better understand how my domain-specific community management skills could be better applied to other types of communities.
Bacon's direct involvement with online communities feeds the ideas in this book. There is some reference to theory, but as he states in p. 17, it is not through theory but through "sharing stories and experiences" that people can learn about communities. He uses his experience and that of people in other communities to build the components of this book, so it is clear that what community members and managers have done cannot be replaced by theory. This is a sort of tribute to people, and probably for that reason the book is written in a close and informal style, full of personal references, notes to the reader, and simple organizers. Regarding the last feature, throughout the chapters, Bacon provides TODO lists with the elements to consider in planning and sustaining a community. Suggestions of outlines for these plans, and techniques to develop the plans are also included. Every chapter begins with a quote and a personal story around the topics that are used to exemplify the ideas in the chapter. The book is sensitive about the readers and makes use of written format affordances to support them. For instance, at the end of each chapter, a summary is included to help the reader in thinking about what is relevant in that section. In addition, the book is available for free under the Creative Commons framework, and has an associated blog to collect comments and contributions from readers that could be considered in further editions.
Although the book focuses in the development of online communities and how to sustain them, it is built around the very particular features of open-source operative system, which is created and developed continuously by its users. Members of this community interact to advance in the development of the system, and they find their motive in the production of knowledge about the system. Without Ubuntu Community, Ubuntu users would not be able to use the system because they rely on the group to learn about the system and to develop new features. This is a very particular feature for a community, which makes me think on the applicability of this book's suggestions to other kinds of communities. Since not all communities have emerged from the need of communication in order to achieve goals that relate to very specific enterprises, such as programming, there is a question on the transferability of the strategies advised in this book.
I recommend this book if you are interested in getting a comprehensive understanding of online communities that revolve around the production of knowledge on a particular enterprise that is developed within or outside the community. You will find many good and practical resources to apply in the process of creating and maintaining the community.