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Launching communities, letting others do the work, and taking all the credit


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Mario describes how to run a community and what to expect and what to do

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Launching communities, letting others do the work, and taking all the credit

  1. Launching communities, letting others do thework, and taking all the creditMario HergerOctober 14th, 2011
  2. Me 1.0Founded and have been operating for more than 14 years •  Dancilla (largest folk dancing community worldwide)Had been •  Expert in the MS Access forums in the 1990s for 6 years •  Moderator in a literary community for 3 yearsDeveloper, DevManager, Architect and worked for years with SAP CommunityNetwork both as contributor as well as team member. Launched communitiesaround topics like •  Composite Application Framework •  Visual Composer •  Business Process Experts •  and others…©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 2
  3. Me 2.0Starting 2010: Doing Technology Strategy, DeveloperEvangelism, Innovation Events & CommunitiesStarted in 2010 multiple groups on the Employee Network •  iPhone / iPad group (May 2010, today 900 members, 400+ discussions) •  Gamification @ SAP (Aug. 2010, today 400+ members, 200+ discussions) •  Innovation Steampunk (January 2011, today 360+ members) •  HANA Content developers (since December 2010, today 900+ members)co-moderate groups like •  Android (since May 2010, today 400+ members)Total Reach (the movie): ˜2,500 individuals©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 3
  4. Disclaimer!I published multiple books, including a really funny joke book (honestly!)I won a standup comedy contest and founded a satirical magazineWith other words: I believe I am somewhat funny – and I am pretty talkative tooWhatever works for me and my communities / groups, might not work for you.©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 4
  5. ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 5
  6. ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 6
  7. Universal truthsIt’s not about me, it’s about us. But you are the me, that is driving the us.As community leader you are the •  Cheerleader in chief •  Sherriff •  Organizer •  Sales rep •  Idiot who does most of the work •  Psychiatrist and emotional garbage can •  Target for attacks from trolls and any form of paranoiaCreating of a “community” is easy, bringing it to live is hard. Most are stillborn.Know your community.YOU set the mood and spirit of the community.©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 7
  8. How do you start?You have this great idea for a community(and hopefully not somebody telling you to create one and you are half-heartedly behind it andin reality you have better things to do and WTF)•  Search, if such a community / group already exists•  Find a crispy one-sentence purpose / goal for your group•  Pitch it to colleagues and listen to their feedback•  Find a compelling short name•  Create a charter and keep it “work in progress”•  Don’t invent your own terminology (yet) – people won’t find you, won’t understand you and create their own communities•  Don’t waste your time with defining categories and subcommunities – add them over time, if necessary at all (more often than not you don’t need them) ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 8
  9. Who do you want?Members should be (and/or)•  Experts / gurus•  Beginners who like to participate (they will become your most loyal advocates and helpers)•  Lurkers (they talk about it and will bring you unexpected opportunities)•  polite, helpful and respectful•  bring in the right mood and attitude•  able to structure stuff, correct it, answer it etc.•  passionate about the topic•  honestly leading discussions ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 9
  10. Who do you want? The other angle…Here is a different angle of the crowd you want*)•  The community needs to contain at least a few people capable of innovation. But not everyone in the community need be. There are plenty of other necessary roles:•  The trend-spotter, who finds a promising innovation early.•  The evangelist, who passionately makes the case for idea X or person Y.•  The superspreader, who broadcasts innovations to a larger group.•  The skeptic, who keeps the conversation honest.•  General participants, who show up, comment honestly, and learn.Different people may occupy these various roles at different times, including thatof innovator.*) Chris Anderson: Crowd Accelerated Innovation, Wired Magazin, January 2011©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 10
  11. How do you get them?•  Do good things and talk about it•  Identify experts and ask them about their opinion or nudge them to contribute (keep your expectations low: only few will contribute)•  Pay attention to members who show initiative and nurture them•  Trust people, give them chances, let them grow into the roles and provide constructive feedback•  Don’t apply unrealistically high standards to all members•  Join other interesting communities and keep your eyes open•  Be a good example yourself ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 11
  12. Who do you not want?Assholesfor more on that consult “The No Asshole Rule” from Stanfordprofessor Robert Sutton©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 12
  13. How do I get rid of them?•  Stay alert and make yourself familiar with dialectics and negative patterns•  Act fast, warn them privately, don’t argue to much with them, it’s not worth the time•  Remove them from the community / group, if behavior continuesWhy should you do it?•  Assholes create more assholes•  The spirit of the community goes down fast, and it looses a significant amount of (constructive) activity•  For your own sanity: dealing with assholes amounts to 80% of your workload that you should better spend on constructive community work ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 13
  14. What do I do?•  I organize events like •  presentations, •  brainstorming sessions •  pitches •  virtual and real-life meetings•  I try to identify the •  pain points •  interests •  newest trends •  stuff that needs my help•  I send newsletters every 1-2 weeks and highlight •  great shit that members are doing and discussing •  awesome articles and blogs •  mind-blowing ideas that I encounter •  fun poking at me ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 14
  15. Newsletters©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 15
  16. Newsletters My newsletters •  have their own style and language •  are not “one-voiced” •  are not politically correct •  have attitude •  are not bloodless •  work with humor •  are not for the faint-of- heart©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 16
  17. What else do I do? (still more that you do?)•  I talk to many people individually and •  recognize their work •  ask them for their opinion •  politely kick their ass to engage•  I cross-promote topics in different groups•  I connect individuals, e.g. •  Kinect (5 different locations) •  Marketplace for developers and projects•  I take pain points to higher places, pain points like •  using private mobile devices in the corporate network •  obstacles of developing iOS apps •  the broken Android app development process •  mobile strategy ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 17
  18. What else do I do? (jeez, are you starting to brag?)•  I engage the members •  with open ended questions •  by soliciting their opinions •  challenging them with “missions”•  I try not to be an annoyance (at least not all the time)•  I have fun ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 18
  19. How many years of your life will this cost?•  When you start, expect 1-2 hours per day to spend on the community for a minimum of 3 months•  Don’t expect that it will become less work; when it takes off, you’ll be the most popular kid on the block•  At the beginning you will do most of the work alone•  Expect to own the community / group for 1-2 years•  You should make yourself familiar with the topic•  Be extremely polite and patient with members•  Members are doing you a favor (yes, in the end they are doing themselves a favor, but that’s not what they perceive)•  Allow imperfection, that will allow more discussion ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 19
  20. What’s in it for you?You will•  have an opportunity to assemble and meet a crowd of interesting people•  be exposed to a lot of good things and ideas•  receive invitations to other exciting opportunities (conferences, expert panels, presentations…)•  be moving from whining and complaining to having an impact and doing great things•  receive recognition from colleagues ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 20
  21. My advice for you? (beside showing you pictures of pretty steampunk girls)•  Your personality, character, interests, style etc. make an imprint on the community – use it to your advantage•  People will feel your passion and whether you have fun – show it•  You have no formal authority over people; whatever you do has either to catch their interest or make them want to be part of it•  Inspire them ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 21
  22. How do you know you are on the path to success?•  When you return after two weeks of vacation, you find in your community / group dozens of new postings, and not questions only or trolls spamming it•  Your community / group starts looking more like a valuable archive of knowledge and resources instead of a forum of mindless gossip•  You find other colleagues linking to your community / group when questions about the topic area pop up (and the links are not placed between irony-tags)•  Unknown colleagues greet you in the cafeteria by name, want your autograph or a baby from you ©  2011 Mario Herger. All rights reserved. 22
  23. Keep Punking!Mario HergerEmail: mario.herger@gmail.comTwitter: @mhergerWeb: