Converting Tire Kickers into Missionaries

Ever wonder why some open source projects are insanely popular and others struggle to get mind-share?  I do, all the time, especially since the “insanely popular” part is what I’m striving for as a Community Manager at Novell.  I recently read a great book entitled “Designing for the Social Web” by Joshua Porter.  In his book Joshua describes the life-cycle of a user interacting with a website and points out the various hurdles that must be overcome in order to create an active user.  This got me to thinking (dangerous) about the similarities shared between the life-cycle Joshua outlined and what open source projects go through.  I thought I’d write down my thoughts on this topic before I forgot them  Unaware User -> Awareness -> Interested Potential User Once you think you’ve got a handle on describing the nature of the problems you solve its time for some outreach.  This ...(Read More)

Flock Theory and Leadership

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a collaboration and community junkie and as such follow some obscure topics.  One topic I’ve had on my radar for quite some time is Flock Theory.  Flock theory tries to describe the self-organizing and emergent aspects of human behavior.  Succinctly put, behavior in some cases is not a property of any individual person (or bird), but rather emerges as a property of a group or social network (flock).  This concept can be used to describe aspects of both collaborative teams and open source communities.  I’m don’t want to analyze the merits of the theory but I do want to introduce its concepts which I think have implications for team/community productivity and possibility even individual information relevance. The fundamental aspects of Flock Theory can be distilled into the following axioms and tenets … Distance Optimization Avoid crowding group members Move towards the ...(Read More)