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Community Leadership Summit Wiki

Empowering Community Ambassadors and Experts

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Managing / Empowering Community Ambassadors and ExpertsEdit

Organizer: Francesca, MongoDB

Starting a community ambassador programEdit

  • Ambassador Programs need structure

    • develop a feeling of respect, acknowledgement

  • Motivations for starting

    • having someone to be able to step up / in

    • recognizing senior contributors

Mozilla Reps program (reps.mozilla.org)Edit

  • Interact with Reps on a peer level (“I am one of you”)

  • Motivations

    • scaling the community, getting more people involved in the Mozilla community

    • scale geographic reach

  • Is there a good funnel for people to get into contributional areas?

    • independent of the Reps program

    • Evangelism sig, PR sig, more marketing focused than technical focus

  • How do you recruit, train?

    • application process, need prior contributions

    • some people start to contribute so they can get Rep status

National Novel Writing MonthEdit

  • Tremendous success with ambassadors programs

  • How do you transform enthusiasts into ambassadors?

    • Training: Webinars, contracts

  • Motivations

    • Not for status that doesn’t work out

Misusing status / authorityEdit

  • maintain organizational standards

    • have guidelines and processes

    • make it clear that if guidelines are not met, you’re out

      • example: Google directory if the group doesn’t stick to guidelines, they get removed from the directory

“Unofficial meetups”, bad use of trademarksEdit

  • when do you bring down the hammer?

    • potential harm

    • when organizations start bringing in 3rd party commercial interests, that’s when it gets awkward

  • Google meetups: Make it clear that these are “unofficial” groups,

  • Mongo DB: Attach value to being affiliated with the brand, eg. Mongo DB provides swag, covers running costs

  • Don’t try to shut down groups encourage cooperation, differentiation, be selective in who you endow your love on

Format for content that comes outside of meetups?Edit

  • WordPress: videos can be uploaded by meetups to WordPress.tv, but have to be careful with unofficial content

  • Google: Moderators extract information from Google+, add to Wisdom Project

How much swag to send? How much do you give?Edit

  • Monetary concerns impossible to send to some countries

    • WordPress: Send art to local meetups, cover costs so it’s produced by local suppliers, no set budget

    • Mongo DB: Covered by expense reimbursements

    • Use prepaid Visa / Amex cards, Amex gift cheques to handle reimbursements

  • Google: Gift pack/thank you to organizers

How do you know you’re getting value from ambassador programs?Edit

  • Formal application process

  • Purpose

    • Impact on community

    • Other sponsorships received

  • Does process/formality create too many overheads?

    • Communicate regularly with organizers

  • WordPress: Align meetups towards creating more ambassadors from within the group. Create goals for example, to recruit 2 new ambassadors per event

  • Limit the dollar value, at least initially, to minimize risk

  • MongoDB: Take a picture of the event, to ensure money goes where its meant to go

  • Mozilla: Set goals and metrics for events to meet, for example, attendance numbers (“100 devs attended”)

  • OpenStack: Must show page with attendance numbers, photos, to verify that the event is real

  • Moz: “Convince us to come to your city”. Encourage collaboration within cities, have them “bid” for teams to run events, bring team members and swag. Good when you don’t have existing events, meetups.

    • SparkFun encourage pitches for coming into classrooms

    • Mongo DB: Hackathons between cities top ideas get prizes. Smaller cities build “cooler stuff”, larger cities tend to have many hackathons, but not necessarily better quality

  • WordPress: Look at communities outside of major metropolitan regions

Engaging Ambassadors: Best practicesEdit

  • WordPress: Check-ins, personal attention. Stay in touch with your ambassadors

  • Consistency keep the energy going, post-launch

  • Mozilla: Every rep must have a point of contact

  • Mongo DB: Ambassadors get flown out to a summit also awesome for recruiting for the company! As a result, ambassadors feel very loved, they share best practices amongst themselves, save money on support. Also provide engagement between ambassadors and engineers, which creates mutual respect.

    • WordPress: It’s like a small conference

    • Google: IOns (people who attend every Google I/O) and Reps get first 3 rows at Google I/O provides recognition, creates so much excitement

      • It doesn’t cost anything

  • Crowdsourced contests (eg. t-shirts), don’t cost much, but have excellent output
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