The Art Of Community

This post was originally posted at You can read it here

Today I am proud as punch to announce the Art Of Community.

A while back I was approached by Andy Oram, a senior editor at O’Reilly to write a definitive book about how to grow, build and energise a community. This book will be called the Art Of Community.

The book covers a wide range of topics designed to build strong community. This includes the structure and social economy behind community, building effective and easy to use infrastructure, setting up community processes, creating buzz and excitement, governance, conflict resolution, scalability and more.

This book is much more than merely a textbook on building a compelling community. I believe that we learn how to build strong community through the exchange of stories and experiences. We all have great insight into community. These stories are illustrative vessels for important lessons and subtleties in how great communities work. The Art Of Community is a compendium of stories, anecdotes and experiences inside and outside the Open Source world. These stories illustrate the many concepts scattered throughout the book, and many of these stories will include some of you reading this and your projects.

I am currently part-way through the writing process, and we have an expected release date this summer.

The release of Art Of Community is actually rather exciting. The book will be available in two forms.

  • Firstly, there will be a normal printed copy available to buy. This will be available from the usual places you can buy O’Reilly books.
  • Secondly, The book will also be available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. This provides everyone with the opportunity to share, modify and re-use the content.

O’Reilly has my utmost respect for embracing the Creative Commons. This is a great opportunity for O’Reilly, Creative Commons content and community building.

In addition to the announcement, I am also pleased to announce a website devoted to the book over at

The website will feature updates, sneak peeks of the content, profiles of the topics and stories in the book, profiles of the editors and proof readers and more. I am really keen to hear your stories and experiences, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in the discussion. Also, when we release the book, the top ten posters with the most number of comments on the articles there will get a free signed printed copy of the book.

So, exciting times. Lots of work, but exciting times nonetheless. Lets get rolling…

16 Responses to “The Art Of Community”

  1. amaneiro January 14, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Good luck writing the book! :) It’s just the job I was looking for

  2. Erica B January 14, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    I know I’m a bit biased (you know, being married to you and all ;) but I can’t wait to read the rest of the book. If it is any bit as good as the first chapter, I think you’re doing everyone who wants to understand how successful communities are built a great service. One thing I love about the book so far is that it really applies to any type of community – non-profits, governments, religious organizations, etc. I know it will contain some open source-specific content, but I think it will become a valuable resource for community-builders of all kinds.

    I’m really looking forward to watching the development of the book as this new community grows and contributes to it. As a wise man once said, ‘let’s rock and roll’!

  3. raphaelh January 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Will the CC version of the book be available online?

  4. Malcolm Bastien January 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Great news! I’m really excited to read the content of the blog and the book once it comes out.

    Now, not that I mind one way over another, but this sounds like the sort of book where proceeds would go towards some charity or foundation. Have you thought about that?

    (One more thing, please less light-grey on white for this website please. It’s too hard to read the text and what I’m writing right now.)

  5. Jono Bacon January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    Thanks everyone! A few specifics:


    Will the CC version of the book be available online?

    Yes. :)

    Malcolm Bastien:

    Now, not that I mind one way over another, but this sounds like the sort of book where proceeds would go towards some charity or foundation. Have you thought about that?

    This is not something we have discussed, and it would really be a question for O’Reilly. Sometimes these kinds of plans are really hard to implement due to tax issues. Maybe it is something we can consider in the future though.

  6. mrben January 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Looking forward to this. How well do you think it will apply outside of the FLOSS world? Or even beyond the IT world?

  7. Florian January 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    @Malcolm, I like these light colours. It looks cleand and well structured.

    I wish would have such a nice design …


  8. amaneiro January 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    [offtopic] mmm … just a question

    How do you plan to keep publishing two blogs (your own blog and this one) which -sometimes- would share its contents?

    Do you use some kind of automatic publishing? Or just copy-paste from one blog to other?

  9. Jono Bacon January 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm #


    How do you plan to keep publishing two blogs (your own blog and this one) which -sometimes- would share its contents?

    When I post content to with the art-of-community categories, it gets cross-posted to this blog. :)

  10. matthew January 15, 2009 at 2:26 am #

    Awesome! I will definitely watch for the book to come out.

  11. amaneiro January 15, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    So… in this blog, you can publish post directly and publish post from (category “art of community”). It’s lovely!

    Would you mind to explain me how does it work? With a wordpress plugin?

  12. JoshPanter January 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    amaneiro: I use Drupal, and the same thing is possible, cross site publishing using blog-api (xml-rpc support) Essentially, you use the same api you use when you use a desktop blog publishing program like blogtk or drivel (available in Ubuntu community repos).

    The big difference in cross site publishing is you treat whatever site you are publishing from as the “client”, usually via a plugin. Swap blogtk for a wordpres plugin and publish to the “mirror” site.

    This is one of my favorite aspects of Drupal, I didn’t know you could do it with WordPress as well.

    I did find this: which may be a good place to start.

  13. amaneiro January 16, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    Thanks @joshpanter! :)

    I’ll research a bit about it

  14. Jono Bacon January 16, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    amaneiro, I use

    Hope this helps. :)

  15. Florian January 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Cool plugis, maybe I should try them, too.

    If somebody is interested, I restarted (finally) my blog. I hope you understand my bad english. ;)

    Wish you all a great remaining day!

  16. amaneiro January 20, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    Thanks jono, I have added to my delicious the wp plugin :)

    What do you think about creating a tag in delicious for publishing links related to the book (interviews, content, interesting links, …)? Maybe, “artofcommunityonline” tag could help to share good stories ;)

    (To be honest I’m an fan of delicious service xD)

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