Community Leadership Summit and OSCON 2012

This year I participated in Community Leadership Summit (CLS) and OSCON (Open Source Convention). Community Leadership Summit brings together community managers around the world for a free, two-day unconference the weekend prior to OSCON. Like last year, it was an amazing event and I look forward to sharing what I learned on my blog.

A participatory event

In an unconference, the attendees drive the content. Any attendee can pitch a session in the morning, and together we organize the schedule on a giant poster board. Unlike a traditional conference where attendees attend sessions and receive information from a series of individual presenters, an unconference forces everyone to participate and share their expertise. This gives attendees access to the diverse experiences and knowledge from all of the people at the event.

CLS attendees swarm around to schedule sessions for the first day of the conference!

Community managers are diverse

Co-located with OSCON, CLS draws leading community professionals from major open source projects. While the event is skewed towards open source communities, the diversity of attendees at CLS never ceases to amaze me. People come from around the world to share their experiences working on open source projects, managing user groups, sheparding online forums, and more. In addition to the open source crowd, there were participants from major technology companies such as Google, Oracle, and Adobe, community managers at early stage startups, academics, local Portlanders, and even someone building a live/work space in San Francisco.

CLS group photo!

Community management as a profession

In the past few years, community management has emerged as an inter-disciplinary profession. CLS is a rare opportunity for me to connect with other lots of other people who do what I do and share best practices in a variety of areas. I left CLS inspired by many great ideas about metrics, forum management, cultivating speakers, and creating better online events (as well as a second copy of The Art of Community).

CLS wiki

During each CLS session, we appointed someone to take notes on the conversation. We generated an amazing body of knowledge on the CLS wiki, so if you couldn’t attend this year, you can still access information on the topics discussed. Jono Bacon also wrote a great summary of the event on his blog, and Andy Oram of O’Reilly wrote a detailed post on the CLS session on social networks. In the coming weeks, I hope to write some more detailed posts on some specific CLS sessions that I found the most informative.

Interviews with community managers

During CLS, the Kaltura community team interviewed several attendeess about their experiences at the event. I was honored to be featured alongside Jono Bacon (the founder of CLS), Angie Byron of Acquia, my colleague Adam, and many other prominent members of the CLS community. The interviews are available on the Kaltura blog.

My OSCON talk

At OSCON, I gave a talk on scaling community, a presentation similar to the one I gave at Open Source Bridge. In addition to the two blog posts I wrote leading up to OS Bridge on this topic, my slides are posted on SpeakerDeck and the kind folks at Stoic Security and Compliance wrote a summary of my talk on their blog. One of the great things about attending CLS before presenting at OSCON was having so many community managers attend my talk, ask questions, and provide feedback. It made the experience a lot more fun.

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