Tag Archive for 'job'

Leaving Intel and Moving On

After over two years of leading the community efforts for the Open Source Technology Center, I have decided to leave Intel. This was a really tough decision for me, but the reality is that the job isn’t the right fit for me right now for a variety of reasons. I want to thank the management of the Open Source Technology Center for working with me during the process of trying to make the job work better for me. It’s a great team of people who continue to do really interesting work in open source.

But, it was more than just the job. I’ve worked in large companies and startups, and I’ve realized that I really want to get back into a startup again. I miss the energy of working in a startup where everything moves faster than in a large corporation.

I’ll be taking the rest of August mostly off to relax and work on a few geeky personal projects. Starting in September, I’ll either take a full-time job or do some consulting while I continue to look for the right opportunity. I’ve already starting talking to a few people, and I would like to eventually land at a startup in a Director / VP level community, evangelist or open source position. I’m willing to take my time to find the right fit, and that includes finding a job where I can live in Portland, but travel to other places as needed.

I feel very fortunate to have some flexibility and other options that allow me to make this move now. As a result, my last day at Intel will be August 7. While I will miss many of the friends and smart people I’ve worked with at Intel, I feel like this is the right decision for me at this time.

Photo by Patrick McGarvey used under a Creative Commons license. A side note: this is one of my favorite roller coasters, The Maverick, at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and I plan to ride it on vacation next week! :)

Online Community Manager: Yes, it's really a job

This afternoon, I’ll be spending some time at Portland State University talking about what it’s like to work as a community manager. I’ve done this presentation a few times before, but I completely overhauled the materials this week with new data on community manager salaries, job satisfaction and more. I also added some updated slides with best practices and information about the skills required for community managers. I thought that other people might be interested in seeing the materials, so here they are!

If you are interested in becoming a community manager, I’ve written many other articles on the topic that you might also find helpful:
http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/01/26/online-community-manager-yes-it%E2%80%99s-really-a-job/
http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/01/30/online-community-managers-what-do-they-do/
http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/02/02/online-community-manager-what-does-it-take-to-be-successful/
http://fastwonderblog.com/2007/08/05/reflections-on-community-management-aka-what-do-you-do/
http://fastwonderblog.com/2007/09/03/what-does-it-take-to-manage-a-community/
http://fastwonderblog.com/2007/12/17/community-roles-manager-moderator-and-administrator/
http://fastwonderblog.com/2008/06/14/hiring-a-community-manager/
http://fastwonderblog.com/2008/07/04/how-to-get-a-community-manager-job/
http://fastwonderblog.com/starting-point/learn-more-about-online-communities/

Joining Intel as Community Manager for MeeGo

MeeGo_logo_gmBig changes are coming my way in March. I will be joining Intel on March 1 as Intel’s community manager for the newly formed MeeGo open source community. MeeGo was formed out of a merging of the Moblin and Maemo communities, and I am really excited about the opportunity to work on this new project. As I dig into MeeGo and get more familiar with my specific role, I’ll post more details about exactly what I’ll be doing.

This is my second tour at Intel; I first worked at Intel from 2000 – 2006. At that time, I had never worked for a company with less than 20,000 employees. All of my work experience was in large corporations, but I had no startup experience. I left Intel specifically to spend a few years working in much smaller startups and to focus on roles where I would be building online communities. I worked in 2 startups, including Jive Software where I built and managed the Jivespace developer community. When I joined Jive, there were only 50 employees, and a year later when there were nearly 150 people, it started to feel less like a startup. At that point, I decided that it was time for me to break out on my own to do freelance consulting, which was something I had been wanting to do for a while. Freelancing was another first for me, since I had never owned my own business or done any outside consulting.

I have been consulting for almost 2 years, and there are parts of it that I love and parts that aren’t as awesome. I love working with clients to build communities and having copious amounts of flexibility in my schedule and working arrangements. However, I don’t enjoy doing business development, invoicing, and many of the other tedious business tasks. As a freelancer, I pay more in taxes and many things become much more complex, difficult and time consuming: health insurance, retirement savings, etc. There are also the inevitable ups and downs that cause plenty of stress when you are trying to line up that next gig to replace the one that is wrapping up.

The biggest challenge for me is one that sounds almost counter-intuitive, but it is the biggest issue that I have with my freelancing career. By becoming a freelancer, I took my hobbies and turned them into paying gigs. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Well, it was great … at first. Recently, I realized that many of the things that I used to do for fun now seemed like work, and they became less fun over time. All of a sudden, activities like blogging, attending events, speaking at events, and more felt like a big weight on my shoulders, since I needed to use these as ways to generate more business. They started to feel more like marketing and less like something that I was passionate about and doing for fun. All of a sudden, my hobbies had mostly disappeared, and I was spending all of my time doing things that felt like work, which has left me burned out. This is the primary reason that I recently decided to go back to corporate life.

I’ve been doing a bit of consulting at Intel, and I’ve enjoyed seeing some of the changes that have happened while I was gone. I’ll be joining the Open Source Technology Center, which has grown since I left, but I still have many friends working on open source at Intel, and I am eager to work with them again. I’ve also been really impressed with how other groups at Intel have embraced social efforts through the work of people like Josh Bancroft, Kelly Feller, Bryan Rhoads and many others.

I’m looking forward to working on MeeGo and am truly excited to be going back to Intel.

Online Community Manager: Yes, It's Really A Job (Slideshare)

Earlier this week, I did a blog post with this name on WebWorkerDaily talking about community management as a profession in preparation for my presentation at Oregon State University this afternoon.

The presentation covers several topics related to community management careers:

  • Defining Community
  • Community Manager Jobs (examples, job description and skills required, salaries)
  • Guiding Principles and Best Practices

Several people have asked for the slides, so here are the ones I’m bringing with me to the presentation. As always, I may take it in a different direction depending on the questions from the attendees, but at least this gives me something to deviate from.

How to Get a Community Manager Job

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a similar post, but from the opposite side: Hiring a Community Manager. This week, I’ve received emails from several people asking about how they can become an online community manager. I thought it would be a good idea to write this post for people who want to be hired into their first community manager job.

Start by reading the Hiring a Community Manager post. It has many links to blogs about online community management, the role of the community manager, community research, job boards focused on community manager positions, and much more. It will also give you insight into the thinking that employers might be doing when selecting a community manager.

There are a few things that you can do to build your expertise in community management to improve your chances of getting hired. They fall into 3 main areas.

  1. Participate. You can build a lot of expertise by participating in existing online communities as a user. Find something that you are passionate about (restaurant reviews, happy hours, guitars, underwater basket weaving, whatever), and find a community of people with similar passions. Participate in a couple of these communities, and post regularly. Use the experience as a member to see what works well and what doesn’t, and think about how you would make the community better if you were responsible for it.
  2. Share Knowledge. Take what you have learned and share it with other people. Start a blog that is focused on community management, and share what you are learning. Do research on other communities and blog about what you find. If you want to expand out past writing, you could do video / audio podcasts or other various methods to communicate about what you have learned. When you begin interviewing for community manager jobs, you will have a nice base of information to share with prospective employers, and the blog should have a prominent place on your resume.
  3. Volunteer. Help a local non profit organization build an online community and be the community manager for that new community. This could be an online community of volunteers or an online community related to the purpose of the organization. Nothing demonstrates your abilities as a community manager better than a working example that prospective employees can see in action.

I’ve focused on what I think are the 3 most important things you can do to build your community management skills. Jake McKee has a couple of good posts on this topic as well with a few more ideas, including sample courses for college students to take:

I know that quite a few community managers read this blog. What do you think? Is there something more important than these three things for someone wanting to break into the field? What would you suggest?

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts: