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The Art of Community, Second Edition by Jono Bacon

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Chapter 9. Managing and Tracking Work

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

Frank Zappa

When I joined Canonical back in 2006, the profession of community management didn’t really exist. Coming from a journalism and consultancy background, I never set out to be a community manager. No one did. Like many, I ended up falling into community management basically by talking myself into it and getting lucky.

On the morning of my first day on the job, I made a cup of PG Tips tea, sat down at my laptop, and logged on. Two weeks later, when I was done jumping up and down while high on the fumes of landing the new gig, said new deal had become very real very quickly. Surrounded by my heroes and directly working for the founder of Ubuntu, I started to feel the crushing sense of responsibility for what I had taken on.

Erk.

I had asked for this job because, in my mind, Ubuntu was (and still is) critical to the success of bringing Free Software, openness, and choice to technology. I saw it as a vehicle for change, and the only way to keep that vehicle moving forward was to grow, excite, and motivate a community. My passion for being the guy who helps make that happen got me through the interviews and kept my nerves under control, but now my nerves were dining out on paranoia. If I was going to be on the hook for driving this vehicle, which direction was I going to take it in?

Credibility and the Need to Track Progress

Aside from working with my heroes, reporting to one of the ...

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