Announcing the Community Access Bootcamp

Announcing the Community Access Bootcamp

Today I am excited to announce a new program I am launching called the Community Access Bootcamp.

As I have talked about extensively, I firmly believe that communities are going to continue to be a growing force in businesses, charities, campaigns, and beyond. The sheer growth of technology and Internet access is opening up significant doors for both in-person and online communities. The results speak for themselves, as I cover extensively in ‘People Powered‘.

Fueling this next generation of communities is going to require a broad, diverse availability of community leaders and professionals. I want to support this next generation, especially those with more constrained access to education and opportunity.

This Community Access Bootcamp provides a two-month training program complete with Q&A, mentoring, a comprehensive set of resources, and a signed copy of ‘People Powered’. It is designed to provide a solid “head start” in building a core set of community development skills.

This program is entirely FREE and available for those who are either in, (1) an underrepresented/untapped group, are (2) working on a non-profit/philanthropic community, or (3) a student. If you meet one or more of this criteria, you are welcome to apply. The deadline for applications is 12th March 2020.

What Is Included

You can find out more about what is included in the Community Access Bootcamp in the following video:

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Here is what is included.


The training is delivered via a series of online webinar sessions. You can see the schedule on the Community Access Bootcamp page, but here is a summary of the sessions.

1. The Core Blueprint of a Community
Discover the core elements of what makes communities tick, the different community models, and how to build a community that maps to the needs of community members.

2. Create Your Mission, Value, and Audiences
Explore who your primary audiences are, and design a community experience that serves their needs, all wrapped around a core mission.

3. Create Solid Community Goals, Tactics, and Accountability
Learn a framework for creating community goals, collaborating with others to refine them, baking in clear metrics, and then breaking them into tactics with clear accountability.

4. Selecting Key Infrastructure, Tools, and Platforms
Discover not just how to select community tools and infrastructure, but also current best of breed tools to integrate into your community.

5. Building Effective Growth with Content, Social Media, Events, and More
Explore the primary drivers of growth and how to deliver content and social media with a high degree of success and optimization.

6. Build Engagement, Incentives, and Rewards
Learn the critical principles of engaging with your community, building retention, and delivering incentives and rewards to keep them participating.

7. Optimize and Evolve With Clear Community Metrics
If you are not tracking it, it doesn’t exist. Learn how to approach metrics to not just track the right things, but also how to learn from those metrics and improve.

Mentoring and Q&A

Throughout the program I will be delivering a series of Q&A sessions where students can ask questions and try to better apply and understand the material. There will also be email and Slack discussion available to support this learning too. This will provide a simple, accessible way to develop new skills.

A Copy of ‘People Powered’

All students will receive a free copy of my new book ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ in either Hardcover or Kindle formats. Hardcover copies will be signed by me. The book provides a set of companion material that accompanies the program.

Additional Resources

Finally, all students will get access to a comprehensive set of resources. This includes:

  • Templates for creating strategy, planning, and more.
  • Bonus content, guides, and documentation.
  • Access to a comprehensive knowledge base with hundreds of articles.

This can help round off the overall training and mentoring in the program.


Do you think this might be useful to you? Click the link below to find out more and apply. The deadline is 12th March 2020.


Jen Wike Huger and Jason Hibbets on Building the Community Powered

Jen Wike Huger and Jason Hibbets on Building the Community Powered

The story of is a fascinating one. The goal was simple: create an online magazine, packed with content, tutorials, and news, and focused on open source fans and professionals. The result: millions of page views, and hundreds of articles created by volunteers.

It is the community manager and content marketers dream. How on earth do you create a community of people who spend hours crafting high quality content for you? and delivering a remarkably popular online presence?

Well, this success story has been driven by a number of people but Jason Hibbets and Jen Wike Huger have been central to it. In this episode of Conversations With Bacon, Jen and Jason come on to share not just how they have helped shape, but how they have designed an editorial process, attracted community members, created incentives and rewards, used data effectively, created a balance between the parent company (Red Hat) and the community, and much more.

If you are focused on building content and communities, there is an enormous amount of insight in this discussion!

Communities are changing the way we do business. Discover a concrete framework for building powerful, productive communities and integrating them into your business. My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats. Be sure to check it out!

New Piece on Community as a Competitive Advantage For Harvard Business Review

New Piece on Community as a Competitive Advantage For Harvard Business Review

Something I have been consistently hammering on about for a number of years is that communities are going to change how we build businesses and engage with customers.

With global smartphone penetration expected to reach 45% this year and global data rates dropping (such as 1GB of data costing $0.26 in India, compared to an average $6.66 in the UK and $12.37 in the US), the world is getting more and more connected. What’s more, newer generations are growing up surrounded by social technology and wanting to be ever more connected to the people and brands they love.

I am a firm believer in the value of authentic, real relationships. People are getting tired of being bombarded with marketing cliches and instead want genuine, focused, valuable engagement with human beings, not merely newsletters.

Communities provide an incredible environment to not just build relationships between customers and companies, but between customers and customers too. These kinds of communities can generate enormous value, very tangible results, and deliver fulfilling, lasting experiences.

Recently, I was talking about this with Jeff Bussgang, who suggested this could be an interesting Harvard Business Review piece. Of course, I agreed. HBR is one of those publications where people read something and pass it onto their colleagues. This seemed a great opportunity for more people to discover this community trend that is forming.

Well, the piece went live recently, and you can read it here.

I have been thrilled with the response: people have been getting a lot out of the piece, and as I hoped, sharing it with their colleagues and friends. I hope you enjoy it too!

We are at the beginning of an exciting, collaborative revolution in community. I am excited to see how it unfolds further!

Zach Abbott on Hacking Probiotics to Cure Hangovers, powered by Crowdfunding and Business

Zach Abbott on Hacking Probiotics to Cure Hangovers, powered by Crowdfunding and Business

I know what you are thinking. Probiotics? Those disgusting looking things that are floating in the bottom of Kombucha? Kinda.

Zach Abbott and his startup, ZBiotics, has engineered a probiotic that doesn’t just provide relief from a soul-destroying hangover, but also has a multitude of other uses. Zach is firmly of the belief that probiotics can play a powerful role in the world, and this is his first of many applications for his technology.

Zach comes on Conversations With Bacon and we get into how he created his probiotic, the science behind it, how he developed and tested it, and how he and his team brought it to market. Zach also shares his creative use of crowdfunding, building a biosciences business, and more. This is a fascinating conversation that unpicks an exciting future: tuning probiotics for a broad range of uses to benefit society, including, but not limited to improving the morning after a little too much of the sauce the night before.

If you are interested in science and business, this is a great discussion to listen in on.

Remember, my new book ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, is out now, available in Audible, Hardcover, and Kindle formats. Be sure to check it out!

Angela Brown from The Linux Foundation on Delivering Great Events

Angela Brown from The Linux Foundation on Delivering Great Events

Events are a core element of how businesses engaging with the world. Whether you are attending, speaking at, or organizing an event, you need to have your event game down. The question is: what really goes into a great event, and what is the balance of content, networking, venue, and other ingredients that make events succeed?

Angela Brown should know: she is one of the most talented people in the events business. Leading events at The Linux Foundation, Angela and her team run a broad range of events, all over the world, from small gatherings to conferences spanning tens of thousands. This includes the Open Source Summit, KubeCon, and many.

In this episode of Conversations With Bacon, we unpack Angela’s experience and explore topics including:

  • The core elements of a great event.
  • The ingredients in great content and speakers at events.
  • The role events play in fostering a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem.
  • How Angela has evolved her approach over the years, and the role of feedback.
  • How data drives events, and how attendee interests vary around the world.
  • How to design events for people new to an industry as well as industry veterans.
  • And much more…

Be sure to also check my book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams’, published by HarperCollins Leadership and available now.

Reddit Ask Me Anything: Wednesday Nov 20th 2019

Reddit Ask Me Anything: Wednesday Nov 20th 2019

I am excited to be back for another Reddit Ask Me Anything on Wed 20th November 2019 at 8.30am Pacific / 11.30am Eastern.

For those unfamiliar with Reddit AMAs, it is essentially a way in which people can ask questions that someone will respond to. You simply add your questions (serious or fun) and I will respond to as many as I can. It has been a while since my last AMA, so I am looking forward to this one!

Feel free to ask any questions you like. Here is some food for thought:

  • The value of building communities, what works, and what doesn’t
  • The methods and approaches to community management, leadership, and best practice.
  • My new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘, what is in it, and what it covers.
  • Recommended tools, techniques, and tricks to build communities and get people involved.
  • Working at Canonical, GitHub, XPRIZE, and elsewhere.
  • The open source industry, how it has changed, and what the future looks like.
  • Remote working and online collaboration, and what the future looks like
  • The projects I have been involved in such as Ubuntu, GNOME, KDE, and others.
  • The driving forces behind people and groups, behavioral economics, etc.
  • My other things such as my music, conferences, writing etc.
  • Anything else – politics, movies, news, tech…ask away!

If you want to ask about something else though, go ahead! 🙂

How to Join

Joining the AMA is simple. Just follow these steps:

  • Be sure to have a Reddit account. If you don’t have one, head over here and sign up.
  • On Wednesday 20th November 2019 at 8.30am Pacific / 11.30am Eastern (see other time zone times here) I will share the link to my AMA on Twitter (I am not allowed to share it until we run the AMA). You can look for this tweet by clicking here. Here are the times for the AMA for different timezones:

  • Click the link in my tweet to go to the AMA and then click the text box to add your question(s).
  • Now just wait until I respond. Feel free to follow up, challenge my response, and otherwise have fun!

I hope to see you all there!

Jason Warner on GitHub and Leadership

Jason Warner on GitHub and Leadership

GitHub has seen a startling level of growth. With over 31 million developers spread across 96 million repositories, it has become the quite literal hub for how people build technology (and was recently acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion). Throughout this remarkable growth, GitHub has continued to evolve as a product and platform, and the fit and finish of a reliable, consistent product has been a staple of GitHub throughout the years.

Jason Warner is SVP of Technology at GitHub and is tasked delivering this engineering consistency. Jason and I used to work on the engineering management team at Canonical before he went to Heroku and then ultimately GitHub.

In this episode of Conversations With Bacon, we get into a truly fascinating discussion about not just how GitHub builds GitHub, but also Jason’s philosophy, experience, and perspective when it comes to effective leadership.

We discuss how GitHub evaluate’s future features, how they gather customer/user feedback, how Jason structures his team and bridges product and engineering, what he believes truly great leadership looks like, and where the future of technology leadership is going.

Since I have started doing Conversations With Bacon, this conversation with Jason is one of my favorites: there is so much in here that I think will be interesting and insightful for you folks. If you are interested in technology and leadership, and especially if you are curious about hot the GitHub machine works, this one is well worth a listen. Enjoy!

Mary Thengvall on Developer Relations, Reporting, and Growth

Mary Thengvall on Developer Relations, Reporting, and Growth

In recent years, developers have become an increasingly important audience for organizations to build relationships with. Not only are developers actively building technology, but they are also often helping to shape decisions inside of businesses that cover product, awareness, and beyond.

As such, Developer Relations has become an increasing focus for many organizations. How though, do you build real relationships with developers?

Mary Thengvall has been actively involved in Developer Relations for a number of years in her experience at O’Reilly, Chef, Sparkpost, and as an independent consultant. She is the author of The Business Value Of Developer Relations and maintains DevRel Weekly.

In this episode of Conversations With Bacon, we unpick what Developer Relations is, Mary’s ascent in the industry, and how this work can and should be integrated into a business. Mary also shares her perspectives on what success looks like, how technical DevRel people should be, where this work should ideally report, and much more.

A really fascinating discussion and well worth a listen!

Announcing ‘People Powered’ Bulk Packages (w/ included 1-on-1 Webinars and Directed Learning)

Announcing ‘People Powered’ Bulk Packages (w/ included 1-on-1 Webinars and Directed Learning)

A little while ago I announced my brand new book, ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ published by HarperCollins Leadership, and released on the 12th November 2019.

At the core of ‘People Powered’ is a pragmatic business book designed to provide (1) an overview of the sheer potential and value of communities for an organization, (2) how to approach building a set of target personas, shaping a community journey, coordinating events, building meaningful incentives and baking all of this into a practical strategic plan, and (3) how to integrate this into a company, track the work well with a set of maturity models, and make consistent improvements.

So, here’s the deal.

Many companies run internal directed learning initiatives where they buy books for their employees and then provide webinars and additional learning/materials to support their team reading the book and soaking up the core approaches and principles in it. It is a fantastic way to not just build skills for your organization and team members, but a fun and empowering way to bring team members together, and importantly, to learn together.

Well, unsurprisingly, I want to offer this for ‘People Powered’. This is a book ripe for these kind of learning initiatives: while it provides a high-level overview of the value of community across many industries, the book delves deep into a set of pragmatic approaches, frameworks, and models for building amazing communities.

I want to provide opportunities to deliver this kind of directed learning in a cost-effective way and with hands-on guidance from myself. As such, I excited to share my People Powered Bulk Order Packages.

How they work

In a nutshell, depending on how many copies of ‘People Powered’ you purchase, you will get a significant bulk order discount, all (hardback) copies of the book are personally signed by myself, you will get access to a comprehensive knowledge base, and I will provide direct, 1-on-1 engagement with your organization and team members.

These different perks are included at different levels, depending on the number of copies sold, and I am not charging any extra fees for the hands-on time: it is all included in the package. You only pay for the books.

These bulk orders are entirely customizable too. For example, I just signed an order with a company for 100 copies and I am providing them with an on-site fireside chat at their office in Silicon Valley, and a follow-up discussion after their team has had an opportunity to read the book.

Another company has purchased 500 copies and I am providing a series of webinars where the team can ask questions at different phases of reading ‘People Powered’. For example, the team will read chapters 1 – 3 first and then I will provide a Q&A webinar session. Then, they will read chapters 4 – 6, and I will provide another session, and so on. This provides an opportunity to not just get clarity on the material, but also for me to augment it with additional recommendations and insight.

Take a look at the bulk order packages, and feel free to get in touch if you have questions or want to discuss something more specific for your organization.

How People Powered Can Benefit Your Organization

I am really proud of ‘People Powered’. I believe it provides the most comprehensive, clear, and strategic book available for harnessing the power of great communities for any organization.

The book doesn’t just outline the potential of communities, but it provides a simple to read, yet pragmatic and focused blueprint for building a wide variety of communities, from fans, to support, to engineering, and beyond.

For a more in-depth overview of what is in the book, see the video below:

Can’t see the video? See it here.

Also, ‘People Powered’ has received enthusiastic endorsements from a number of leaders in their respective industries:

  • Nat Friedman – CEO of GitHub
  • Jamie Hyneman – Co-Creator and Host of Mythbusters
  • Jamie Smith – Former Deputy Press Secretary for President Barack Obama
  • Kevin Scott – CTO of Microsoft
  • Villi Iltchev – General Partner of August Capital
  • Uttam Tripathi – Head Of Global Programs and DevRel Ecosystem at Google
  • Gia Scinto – Head Of Talent at YCombinator
  • Jim Whitehurst – CEO of Red Hat
  • Ali Velshi – Anchor on MSNBC
  • Jim Zemlin – Executive Director of The Linux Foundation
  • Whitney Bouck – COO of HelloSign
  • Mårten Mickos – CEO of HackerOne
  • Juan Olaizola – COO of Santander España
  • Jeff Atwood – Co-Founder of Discourse and StackOverflow
  • Angela Brown – General Manager of Events at The Linux Foundation
  • Dries Buytaert – Founder of Drupal and Acquia
  • Paul Salnikow – CEO of The Executive Centre
  • Ben Uretsky – Co-Founder of DigitalOcean
  • Billy Cina – Co-Founder and CEO of MarketingEnvy
  • Maxx Bricklin – Co-Founder of BOLD Capital Partners
  • Jose Morales – Head Of Field Operations at Atlassian
  • Maria Sipka – Co-Founder of Linqia
  • Nithya Ruff – Senior Director of Open Source at Comcast
  • Michael Skok – Founding Partner of Underscore.VC
  • Giorgio Regni – CTO of Scality
  • Tracy Ragan – CEO of DeployHub
  • Paul Bunje – Co-Founder of Conservation X Labs
  • Ryan Bethencourt – CEO of Wild Earth and Partner at Babel Ventures

Of course, if you have any questions about how can shape your specific internal education initiative, get in touch. Thanks!

Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

Talking About Communities and ‘People Powered’ with Leo Laporte

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the TWiT team and more specifically Leo Laporte. Years ago I used to co-host FLOSS Weekly on their network and occasionally I pop over to the studio for a natter with Leo.

With ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘ coming out, I thought it would be fun to hop over there. Leo graciously agreed and we recorded an episode of their show, Triangulation.

As usual, it was a fun discussion and we got into a number of topics, including:

  • What are communities? Are social media networks communities?
  • Why do people form into communities?
  • What kind of technology should people use to set up a community?
  • How do prevent toxic communities?
  • Who the hell turned on that fire down there behind us?
  • How should companies handle criticism from a community? Should they censor it?
  • What kind of community should TWiT set up?

Click below to watch the show:

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