Virtual Collaboration
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Virtual Collaboration



Seven Tips for Virtual Collaboration

Seven Tips for Virtual Collaboration
Nov 16th, 2008
Raanan Bar-Cohen



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Virtual Collaboration Virtual Collaboration Presentation Transcript

  • ‫אוטומטיק - חברה‬ ‫וירטואלית‬ Seven Tips for Virtual Collaboration November 16th, 2008 - Tel-Aviv, Israel Raanan Bar-Cohen
  • Quick Survey Time • / / WPMU • Mac / PC • iPhone / Blackberry
  • Global Automattic Team - 30 people, 7 countries & 9 Time zones We Are World Wide
  • Projects - - - - - - - - - WordPress for iPhone: - WordPress for LinkedIn: Projects
  • • 4.7 million blogs & adding 300K+/month • 240 million global unique visitors last month • 531 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters last month and 2,000 gigs of new files uploaded • 1.1 billion page views, 8.9 million new comments, and 1.1 billion words created • 1000+ servers, multiple data centers • 24/7/365 Support
  • Traffic Growth On Traffic Growth
  • Geo Breakdown • Over 50% traffic outside the U.S. Geo Data
  • Akismet • Total spam: 8,438,814,740 • Total ham: 1,409,382,518 Akismet
  • bbPress bbPress
  • BuddyPress BuddyPress
  • IntenseDebate IntenseDebate
  • PollDaddy PollDaddy
  • Gravatar Gravatar
  • WordPress for iPhone WordPress for iPhone
  • WordPress for LinkedIn WordPress for LinkedIn
  • Global Partners & Clients • Working with companies, contractors, universities, and non-profits in the US, Canada, Korea, China, Japan, India, Europe, Israel, and Australia • Organizations hosted with us in VIP include : NFL, CNN, Macleans, New York Times, Yahoo, TIME Magazine, Fox News, Red Hat, Symantec, Viacom, BBC WorldWide, and Lolcats :) photo: Global Partners & Clients
  • Seven Tips Based On What We’ve Learned So Far
  • Tip #1: Empower Your Team • Have everyone set their own hours & work from their own location of choice. No “out of office” • Focus on output not “face time” • Work with people who are self-motivated and have a real passion for their work • Have people own projects as much as possible - personal equity / having skin in the game is a great motivator • Keep your organization as flat as possible Empower Your Team
  • Tip #2: Go Real Time • Go Real-Time & use IRC: • Why ? Creates a virtual hub of activity/buzz and provides a record of decisions and discussions • It’s also secure, searchable, bot friendly, and old sk00l in a good way ! • We coordinate 95% of our projects on IRC • Avoid email for internal communication - only 4% usage for us. You’ll get enough external email to keep you happy • Keep track of time zones with FoxClocks: & use Skype/AIM Go Real Time
  • Tip #3: Go Semi Real Time • When you can’t use real-time tools, go semi real-time • We use internal blogs for product & biz discussions. Twice daily email summaries • We use Prologue “group twitter” for status updates: • Open Source and available for both & • iPhone / mobile friendly • Leverages all the built in WP features: RSS, tags, privacy options, etc. Go Semi Real Time
  • Prologue Prologue
  • Tip #4: Get Together (Real World) • With all these virtual interaction, go out of your way to meet in person a few times a year • We fly everyone out twice a year for one week off-sites where we do sprint projects and eat lots of BBQ • Coordinate to be at the same conferences, meetups, etc • Work from cities where other colleagues live Get Together
  • Tip #5: Open Source • Open Source your projects • The more people involved the better chance the project will have a long and productive life • Better chance to draw in help / ideas and people • At Automattic we Open Source everything we can - new Open Source projects include: • iPhone app • BuddyPress • (coming soon) a new h.264 HD video player built with AC3 Open Source
  • Tip #6: Metrics • Obsess over metrics • Run lots of experiments and collect data • Build metrics into your product and use 3rd party tools so you have more than one data point, 3+ is ideal • Even more important in a virtual organization to lean heavily on data for product and business decisions • We track thousands of data points • Side note: Stats panel in is consistently the most popular page in dashboard Metrics
  • Tip #7: Go Bite Size • Break down a project into bite sized tasks that can be worked on independently • We use Trac to check-in code via SVN, keep track of tasks/bugs via tickets • Small tasks lend themselves well to virtual organizations • Allows new people and contractors to work on small well-defined aspects of a project without needing to know and understand the entire system right away Go Bite Size
  • That’s It. Or Is It ?
  • photo:
  • Prologue Groups ( A Sneak Peak ) Official Launch @ WordCamp Australia Nov 29/30, 2008
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Recent Activity is a aggregate of a blog feed and the activity on Trac Overheard is a feed from Google blog search Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups Prologue Groups
  • Prologue Groups • 100% WordPress Theme - no plugins • Projects are Categories on Steroids w/ Extra Meta Data • Trac integration • For development updates check out Automattic’s Sam Bauers blog @ Prologue Groups
  • Thanks ! ‫ -- תודה‬Questions ? Raanan Bar-Cohen