My Review of The Art of Community

Originally submitted at O’Reilly

Online communities offer a wide range of opportunities today, whether you're supporting a cause, marketing a product or service, or developing open source software. In The Art of Community, you'll learn about the broad range of talents required to recruit, motivate, and manage c…

The Art of Community

By gregorywest from sarnia, ontario, canada on 9/2/2011


3out of 5

Pros: Easy to understand, Helpful examples

Best Uses: Intermediate, Student

Describe Yourself: Educator, Sys Admin

Amanda McPherson, of the Linux Foundation, declares this book “isn’t just for technology leaders – anyone who wants to harness community for their cause should read this book.” I agree.

This book is about “B E L O N G I N G”. Bacon tells us this should be a sign in everyone’s office and should be “at the forefront of your inspiration behind building a strong community. If there is no belonging, there is no community.” I agree.

This book gives us the tools to build “strategic plans” to build our own communities, whether it be in a church, a computer group, on an online forum. Bacon speaks to all communities. Bacon also demonstrates how “communication is the key to tying it all together and “leading by example” as many examples are given throughout.

I agree with Bacon’s principle that “simple is sustainable”. He talks about “processes” that keep things in perspective, “eyes on the prize”, keeping things in perspective with our said plan for the community and how it functions. We are shown how to build alliances and then test how we fare in the community in by using a “conflict resolution process”.

My need for this book is to help build my community within my website. I find it helpful while setting up a training structure for volunteers who help seniors learn about computers and technology. Building an effective community is what this book is all about. We are taken by the hand in a sort of step-by-step process, one that works in the Linux community, and others across the globe. We need to work and build effectively together, this book show us the way.

Leo Laporte says that “Jono has written a guide with everything you need to keep your online groups healthy and productive.” Online or off, every group should read this book.


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