Ross Gardler introduced the session and reviewed the 12 best practices from the Branding Session Branding_and_communities.
Added best practice #1: Don’t put lipstick on a pig - using the Sun Java example.
Eric dealing with a major corporate sponsor who isn’t well respected yet in the OS community.
Repeat your message over and over again to differentiate between the open source and organizations with an open element.
Why do projects that split sometimes go full open source vs. those that go towards having an open element?
> Many orgs found themselves in trouble when they are not clear about their OS approach.
How do you create clarity?
> If you talk about your business you are screwed... if you talk about what you are about you are on your way. Don't talk about how big and great your company is going to be. Start with "who are we" & "what do we want our community members to feel". "What does it feel like to be part of this?". We need to focus on the emotional part of the member experience.
Start asking yourself how, in your communications, how do you change the emotional feel.
You must be clear in every project that you are articulating, in print, your vision.
In a corporate context how many layers must a presentation go through for review and legal clearance. At IBM in Open Source there is one person who does signoff and everyone understands the one message.
Can you articulate your core message?
Consistency in the corporate side = BRANDING
Consistency in OS = PERSONIFICATION (cult of personality)
...community managers on the corporate side have short tenure which makes it very challenging to create relationships.
The emotional side is very important. People who get hired into the roles because they already have the emotional connection.
As a corporate stakeholder how do we identify the people who can help us lead our communities and lead our organization towards the community.
- Passionate folk who can maintain passion as they fight the battle within the organization.
- Someone who likes a challenge.
- Someone who understands emotions and carries passion.
- Someone who can consitently articulare the values of the community - you want someone who can personalize the values. Someone who can stand by thier values in the face of the corporate context.
Storytelling is important but it is worth nothing if the person telling the story isn't credible. You need to do the right thing over time. You need to find opportunities to show you are doing the right things. You need the track record and to get the message out.
Look for people who have scars on thier back and still willing to do the right thing... for the person who can tell the organization they are not doing the right thing. ...and the person who can articulate the message and influence the organization.
To change your image your need to reach out to broader circles.
The cult of personality can be dangerous. You can't count on the magic unicorn. How do you make it scale? What does the exit strategy look like.
Cult of personality is easier, you decide, you dictate. It is harder to make the community take responsibility -- leadership is helping them take ownership. You need to understand the transitional stages and how you make the STORY the personality.
What is the image within and without... internally and externally. What is the conflict between the commercial element and the open element? Either very hard to resolve or perhaps this conflict is beneficial/necessary. "Open source & observe" is a strategy for these organizations to better understand the marketplace. The tension forces innovation.