Creating a “Community Editor” job…a missing link?

Welcome…more astute readers will notice the Darwin connection, and the rather gentle (or was it weak?) pun on the one-time family businessI rather suspect that this will turn out to be almost as vague as creating a “web designer” job, but maybe with the help of others we can exercise this meme a bit.

Why are we doing it?

  • For the customers, and therefore ourselves
  • We have noticed that there are lots of good bits of FOSS that is pretty useless to many people because the documentation is really innappropriate to non-“technical experts”, or in some cases plain rubbish!  The FOSS finds it hard to cross the chasm from being interesting to the club of “techies” to being a main-stream and widely used product
  • We think that creating a community will help us to do this (on a commercial basis), so that when a customer pays for us to install some FOSS on a box or in the cloud, then they will be empowered.
  • We develop our products in 3 grades of quality (alpha, beta, gold), and we want to get a real discussion going so that we can “learn” quickly how to enable the products to graduate to higher levels of quality…quicker

What we hope that the Community Editor will do

  • Build a useful knowledge base for our customers (but not just taking dictation/interviewing the developers).  Sure one can get started with the developers, but once users start to use a product then it takes on a life of it’s own.  Which leads onto the next bit
  • Encourage forums for interested parties to discuss the products, and how to use them…well usefully for them!
  • Liase with the support team, so that when there is a support call/email, where they think “we could have handled that better”, then we DO go ahead and handle it better
  • Build Special Interest Communities, based around the technology and applications of our products (current and future).

Why I am nervous about it

  • There are lots of balances that we must strike (“interesting stuff” vs “balanced knowledge”
  • There might be quite a culture shock for someone joining our company

Why I hope that this will be an attractive job

  • Money!! (well half time job pro-rata £72K PA)
  • The new business model that we are working on is pretty innovative (we have not seen anyone else do it before)
  • We are very committed to making a success of this

What I would really like to share (yes I do mean both ways)

  • What are the management challenges
  • How should we develop the role
  • What kind of people are well suited to the job
  • How we should measure the success of the projects
  • Some simple case studies
  • oh…and I suppose what the job actually is, and how it relates to the other depts


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One Response to “Creating a “Community Editor” job…a missing link?”

  1. Guy Clapperton Says:

    I’d be interested to know how you’re planning to measure success. Like any other branch of corporate communications it’s a role that looks full of intangibles.

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