Daniel Franc, Developer Relations Program Manager for Google, joins us on the podcast to share his experiences in building meetup-based communities. He also discusses how the community-building process relates to complex adaptive systems.
After creating several niche communities and having a developer and business background, Daniel Franc launched the first Google-related, meetup-based community for developers and geeks in 2007 in the Czech Republic. Later, Dan joined Google to assist in expanding the concept of Google-supported technology communities globally under the brands of Google Developer Groups, Google Business Groups and Google Educator Groups.
These communities are today represented by hundreds of chapters worldwide ran by thousands of independent volunteer leaders organizing several hundred meet-ups every month for developer, entrepreneur and educator communities. Daniel is currently leading a new Google initiative to further engage developer and entrepreneur related communities all around the world.
- On managing internal expectations: “Yes, these characteristics may sound crazy. But if we let the community do their work, we’ll still see the benefits we’re interested in.”
- On the value of hosting events: “The real power lies in the crowd that comes to listen to the expert. Not the experts themselves.”
- On working cross-functionally: “Be really friendly to people who don’t understand at all about what [community builders] do. Because they are coming from different mindsets, and the less judgemental we are, the better we’re able to communicate the benefits of their support to us.”
My favorite quote from our conversation: “These are normal people! This is not like what you see on the street! I’m home here.” — GDG community member at one of Dan’s meetups.
Resources and Related Links
- @danfranc — Say hi to Dan on Twitter!
- Dan’s SPRINT Slides — Corresponding slides to our conversation
What do you think?
Time and time again academic theories help to provide a model and path for organic and sustainable community building efforts. So why do brands and community professionals continue to ignore them?