Aug 232013
 

I’m behind on publishing some content but an opportunity has come up that trumps just about everything else.  Except beer and pizza.  First the background.

Many of you know that for several years now I’ve been supporting creative communities, both on and offline.  If I really want to date myself then this activity goes back further than I’ll usually admit, to a stint as a writing forum moderator in the heyday of America Online.  Don’t judge: it meant free dial-up.  ;)

As you can see on LinkedIn, my more recent history has gone from Maemo to MeeGo to Windows Phone plus local Makers.  An interesting mix of communities that has helped me understand myriad arguments for and against various platforms and preferences, as well as learn to socialize with creative types from all walks of life.  This understanding has pushed my thinking above and away from the sort of religious dogma that can cripple a project, and in turn helped me (I think) be a really good all-around community leader.  And even as I’ve helped Nokia’s efforts to pull in Windows Phone developers, I’ve kept a watchful eye on Jolla and kept fairly current with Qt developments.  I even assisted Tuukka Ahoniemi with Qt outreach in Dallas (although other activities got in the way, something I would fix if I got this role).

Which leads me back to the opportunity.

Against all odds, I will be interviewing with Digia soon for an Online Community Manager position.  Exciting!  I think I’m the ideal candidate, and so do a few others who have already spoken on my behalf.  But landing this position will take some serious effort: they really want someone situated in Norway, Finland or Berlin.  I have to prove that I can do even better than someone in close proximity.

Now, I’ve done the remote working thing both voluntarily for the aforementioned communities and professionally for Nokia.  I know I can perform this role with the same success.   Heck, I’ve always said I can work from Antarctica as long as I had Internet.  I just need to convince Digia.

To that end, I’m looking to the communities I serve for advice.  What should I emphasize?  In what areas do I still require polish?  Feel free to add comments here.  Be critical if you feel led.  Or contact me privately, too.

I had a similar opportunity with Scarlet Motors at one point, and touched on that in an article about keeping a childlike aspect in communities, but unfortunately they lacked the means at the time to make it a paid position.  The Digia role will be full time, and involves work I love and have been preparing for.  I relish the opportunity to take lessons learned from other communities and see where it will support Qt’s desire for broader adoption.

I really, really want this job.  Your feedback will help, and perhaps so will lobbying Digia.  Make sure to hit Qt Project and Qt by Digia on twitter, as well as their Facebook page.  After all, a good online community manager should mobilize Internet citizens, right?  ;)

Thanks.

  • Timur Kristóf

    Congrats! :) If they have any sense, they will hire you for this job :)

  • Aniello Del Sorbo

    That’d be awesome! I really hope Digia will realise you working remotely are much better than anyone else locally. You really are fit for the role.
    After all, it’s an Online Community Manager, why should it be local ? no? :)

  • Carol Chen

    Time and distance.

    While it’s an “online community manager” position, working with your team may still require occasional (maybe even frequent) face time to tackle certain tasks more efficiently. It looks like your team members are located in Norway, Finland and Berlin. That makes meeting up a couple of times a month pretty manageable. Not so much if you’re on another continent. For this, you’ll have to emphasize that you have extraordinary communication skills (which you do) and joining meetings remotely does not decrease your efficiency or effectiveness.

    And then there’s the time difference. If the majority of your team is located in Europe, you’ll have to be prepared for meetings in the wee hours of the morning, and perhaps even follow a European workday schedule. So mention that you’re aware this can be an issue, and what you’re ready to do about it.

    Speaking from own experience. My current job does allow me the luxury to work remotely as long as there’s a good internet connection. However, when I’m in Asia/USA I encounter the time issue; and sometimes when a discussion/workshop is better achieved in person, I find that even Tampere is too far from Helsinki.

    Good luck with this opportunity! I believe you are very well-suited for the job with your skill set, and you have the drive and passion to overcome the time/distance obstacle. ~Hugs~

    • Carol thanks for taking the time to write that.

      You are spot-on with your observations. Time and distance are two of the biggest factors in a community-facing role. Distance is the only real challenge where I’m concerned; I’m not really on a US schedule anyway. More like Asia currently!

      I know I can do easily 90% of the work remotely, and I’m optimistic that there will be conference opportunities. Just as with Maemo and MeeGo, I would use those events for the important face-to-face work. Even if Digia could not send me, I would find a way!

  • I was turned down for the job. Thanks everyone for your advice and support.

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