Community Leadership Summit Trip Report

Community Leadership Summit banner

Jono Bacon, the community manager for the global Ubuntu community, organized the first Community Leadership Summit for community managers to come together and share ideas. I loved the fact it was run as an unconference or open space. I get so much more high quality information from open spaces than I do from traditional style conferences. The saying that the room knows more than the speaker is very true. Just attended an unconference for proof.

It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a conference where all we talked about was community. It was a totally re-energizing experience (as if i needed more energy). Pictures at bottom of blog post.

I hope folks from #cls will swing by the Microsoft booth at OSCON on Weds and Thurs to say hi as i wear my CodePlex banner as a cape. I’m jealous of the Brazilian flag guy. (you had to be there for it.)


  • “Understanding community is about understanding the human condition.”
  • "Everybody deserves to have a great community."
  • "Don’t cut people off before they have a chance to grow.” 
  • "It takes a village to build a program."
  • "It’s amazing what people will do to get a badge on a forum site. If it worked in kindergarten, it will work forever."
  • "Marketing should not be allowed to use the word ‘community.’ They should especially be banned from using the phrase ‘join our community."
  • "In today’s online world we speak glob-ish as our default language"
  • "People like people who help them."

Other Takeaways

  • We need to design a reputation system that goes beyond just what the person does online. We need a way to track offline events, like running user groups, public speaking events, etc.
  • Similar to design personas, we need personas for members who participates in our online communities so we know how best to engage and empower them.
  • You have to assign tasks to community members to make them feel inclusive. Otherwise saying "look at the list" will cause them to leave.
  • People don’t want to take surveys when they are upset with your product. It’s like pouting. You got to make the feedback channel personal.
  • Empower people by asking them “what do you like doing? what do you do best?” The example used here was in a user group meeting, an attendee who wasn’t technical turned out to be a professional meeting organizer. They were significantly more productive in that meeting because of her help.



The Microsoft ( “I am the empire” t-shirt and the Free Software Foundation’s GPLv2 t-shirt.

I am the empire t-shirt with the Free Software Foundation GPLv2 t-shirt

Picture of the CodePlex agile talk suggestion


Thanks again Jono and everyone who helped put together this summit. It was awesome!