Author Archive: Rachel Luxemburg

Friday Afternoon Community Twitter Meme

Just for a little fun today, I sent out a Tweet on @adobegroups:

The response were great!

We got both design and developer-focused replies:


Some Twitter-related ones:


Some social ones:

A fashion-focused response:

Plus several others not included here. But of them all, these two were my favorites, they really exemplify what the community spirit is all about — camaraderie (by way of an in-joke from this year’s Adobe MAX) and helping each other to succeed!

How do YOU know you’re part of the Adobe community? Feel free to add more ways in the comments.

Office Hours at Adobe MAX 2011

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short days Adobe MAX 2011 will be upon us! The team has been working hard getting everything ready for the Community Leaders Summit and all the activities in the Community Lounge.

We’re adding something new to the Lounge this year: Office Hours @ MAX. A number of different groups and community programs at Adobe all want to have more face-to-face interaction with the community while at MAX, so we’re setting up special meeting spaces in the Lounge where anyone at MAX can drop by and chat!

Between MAX sessions, Unconferences, and all the other wonderful things to do at MAX, there’s no lack of stuff going on, but if have have some spare time, here’s some more events you won’t want to miss:

Monday 1-2 PM RIM Developer Meetup
Monday 3-4 PM Hang with the Creative Team + A Guest Appearance By Brian Yap
Monday 6-7 PM Creative Suite Ambassadors Reception
Tuesday 12-1 PM Game Developers Tweetup
Tuesday 1-2 PM Meet & Greet with Evangelist Paul Trani
Tuesday 1-2 PM A Peek Behind the Curtain: Meet the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Team
Tuesday 2-3 PM Training Partner Program Community
Tuesday 2-3 PM Adobe Certified Expert Meetup
Tuesday 3-4 PM Play Time – Come meet the Gaming Solutions Team
Tuesday 4-5 PM Meet up with CS Design Evangelist Rufus Deuchler
Wednesday 11:30 AM-12:30 PM Hang with the Creative Team + A Guest Appearance By Kyle Lambert
Wednesday 12:30- 1:30 PM Meetup with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Team

No RSVP is necessary, just come on by the Community Lounge!

Adobe MAX is a huge high point for me and the team each year and this one is no exception. We’re all looking forward to seeing hundreds of old friends (and new) at MAX. Please stop by the Lounge and say “hi!”.

FOTB – The Once and Future Conference

the Brighton Done, home of FOTB

the Brighton Dome, home of FOTB

Last week I joined the Adobe UK crew to help out at Flash On The Beach, an excellent conference based in Brighton. It’s in my personal Top 5 of conferences due to the amazing content, great location, and all-around excellent vibe. 2011 was no exception. And even the weather played along; we had perfect sunny days that brought out the best in Brighton.

A number of folks have already posted good summaries of the event, including Seb Lee-Delisle, Eye Magazine, and PJ Tierney.

The big news from the conference was that this is the last FOTB in its current name and format. Sad news, but I have confidence that the FOTB spirit will continue, and I hope to be wending my way to Brighton again in 2012 for whatever FOTB morphs into.

My #SocialC20 Slides: Community Management Don’ts

I promised a few people that I would post my slide deck from the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies event, so here it is:

Seven Don’ts of Community Management

A kind blogger over at the Project Management Bistro also did some liveblogging here. My deck is heavy on the visuals so reading her summary will add some context.

Overall it was a great event and I’m thrilled I had a chance to participate!

Upcoming Speaking Gigs

In the next few weeks I’ll be speaking at two different conferences, one on each coast.

On March 21, I’ll be talking about how to navigate the waters when two developer communities are working together at the Evans Data Developer Relations conference in San Jose. I had a great time speaking there last year with my colleague Craig Goodman, and am looking forward to returning.

And then on April 5 I’ll be at Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies in Boston, on the topic of what NOT to do in community management. Looking at the rest of the speaker roster, I’m really excited to hear what they all have to say, and honored I’m on the list.

If you’re going to be at either event, or looking for a couple of good events in the near future, I hope to see you there!

(cross-posted to my personal blog)

It Gets Better

Sadly none of the Community team was involved with the making of this video, but I’m proud to share it with all of you anyway.

Adobe MAX 2010 – The Aftermath

Every year we have a habit of saying, “Best MAX Ever!” but this year’s MAX was pretty special even for MAX.

And starting things off with our biggest Community Summit ever was even more special. We had 200 community members face-to-face for the first time (and even more than that at the community welcome reception that evening). User Group Managers and Adobe Community Professionals from all around the world met with us, other members of the Adobe product and evangelism teams, and most important with each other, for hours of talk on a range of topics.

Community Summit 2010

Somehow I managed to not take any photos of the community reception at Lucky Strike, but that event was even bigger, as community folks who’d been involved in other Day Zero activities joined the fun.

As Day 1 of MAX dawned, it was really special to see that the Summit got a nice highlight in the Keynote Pre-Show. If you missed this, watch the first 10 minutes of this video (and stay for the rest if you haven’t seen the keynote yet….):

And then the madness of MAX began in earnest. Each MAX is a crazy, chaotic time, full of conversations and reunions with friends and colleagues from all over the world. There’s never enough time to see all the people you wanted to see or do all the things you wanted to do. Although the format of MAX is the same very year, with 4,600 people attending, each person’s MAX experience is unique.

So rather than give my narrow view of what MAX 2010 was like, I’ll share a bunch of community links to give their impressions of this year’s MAX (and if I missed anyone please add your link in the comments!). These are in no particular order.

BLOG POSTS

Jonathan Campos
Steve Rittler compared MAX 2010 to the 1939 World’s Fair
Jeffry Houser – The Flextras MAX Wrapup
Darren Osadchuk
Dustin Tauer’s MAX posts
Our friends at EffectiveUI were blogging away (thanks for the links, RJ!)
James Lockman’s wrapup
en Espanol, César Alexánder Frick Mijares
MAX Speaker David Hogue has two follow-on posts here and here
Demian Borba tried his hand at live-blogging
Brian Rinaldi works for Adobe now but his post has a good community focus so I’ll add it too :)
auf Deutsch, Constantin Ehrenstein
MAX first-time Adam Tuttle’s report
Chris Georgenes
Mark DuBois asks: Why MAX?
Max Dunn
Nick Kwiatkowski’s report
Matthew Keefe did one post per day at MAX
Tom Ortega thinks it’s a great time to be a developer
The inimitable Cold Fusion Jedi, Raymond Camden, has 6 different posts on MAX, all listed here.
and Rich Tretola did 5 MAX posts. Link to the final one is here and you can click backwards to see the rest.

PODCASTS & VIDEO

RIA Radio: MAX Day 1 (and more to follow)
The Flex Show – Adobe MAX Interviews
Paul Cracknell’s MAX Video Diary

We also got a large number of thank-you noted from community members after MAX. It’s hard to put into words how grateful and humbled we are by seeing that feedback; it’s the fuel that helps us do what we do every day.

With permission of the author, I am sharing one of the notes, because it so perfectly captures what we hope everyone will experience as we plan MAX each year:

First of all, this was no doubt, the best MAX ever. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say that it was the best conference I’ve ever attended, period. Well, except maybe for my first Macworld back in the 90’s…

Secondly, while there were 4500 people at MAX, I have to say that being a member of the ACP team was really something.

I may be considered a rock star, but that’s usually in the greater setting of a design-centric universe. While Adobe is certainly trying to offer a value-add for creatives at MAX, the conference is predominantly focused on developer technologies. So I still have that feeling of an outsider looking in.

As a member of the ACP team, walking around with the Community Leader pin/magnet, and wearing the green lanyard, I not only felt on top of the world, I also quickly recognized other team members. And I felt like I belonged. And it was really nice. You know, kinda like… community :)

I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to meet with so many of the folks in this group — it was worth going even WITHOUT having walked away with a Droid2 phone and a Google TV :)

Thank YOU, Mordy. And to everyone who attended. We loved every second of it.

Now, about that 2011 MAX plan……

The Community Team at Adobe MAX

The Adobe MAX Stage in 2009
Image by Richard Cawood via Flickr

Adobe’s annual conference, MAX is amost upon us. The team will all be flying into Los Angeles and we’re extremely excited to go.

MAX is the single largest face-to-face gathering of Adobe community annually – at least 200 Adobe User Group managers and Adobe Community Porfessionals will be in attendance. Probably more, I don’t have the final tally in front of me right now.

So if you’re attending MAX and want to say “hi” to the team, find out more about what we’re up to, meet other community leaders, or find out how to get more involved in the Adobe community world, where will you find us at MAX?

That’s easy. :)

On Sunday, we’ll be hosting an all-day Summit for community leaders. Liz has done a fantastic job organizing this event, and the agenda is chock-full of presentations and discussions from the best of the Adobe teams as well as the community.

Then after MAX officially opens, we’ll be in the Community Lounge during the show. Just walk into the show floor and we’re right up front, with a big sign hanging from the ceiling to point the way. Please stop by anytime to say “Hi!” and pick up a little gift. We’re here specifically to meet and talk with as many community people as possible.

Two other community events I want to call out at MAX are:

1) The Manager to Manager meeting – Monday night, 9PM. Led by longtime community leader Dee Sadler, this even is open to all user group managers where they can share and network. Beer and pizza will be available as well.
2) “Are You Smarter Than a Flash Evangelist?” – Tuesday afternoon, 4:30. Four Evangelists face off against four community members to see who’s smarter. This should be a heck of a fight! The Flash Community Cares team is also using this event to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

If you’re not able to make it to LA for MAX, Adobe will be streaming both keynotes, and they WILL be worth watching. Here’s the link to sign up for the stream.

For those of you onsite, don’t forget to download the MAX Companion! The desktop downloader is here, and it’s also available in the Android Market. A guide to the Adobe MAX Unconferences is also in the Android Market.

So map out your schedules, charge up your batteries, load up your software, and get going! We’ll see you at MAX!

The Future of Developer Communities: Some Thoughts

Lately, I’ve noticed an increasing amount of discussion about the role of the “platform agnostic” developer – a developer who is equally comfortable across a range of languages and technologies, switching from one to another as each new project or customers requires. To call out just a few examples, Seb Lee-Delisle has been talking a lot about this subject, as well as Grant Skinner and too many others to list here.

It makes a lot of sense for developers to take this approach. In today’s environment, with significant fragmentation in the mobile world, lots of change in the browser environment, and new devices coming to market practically every week, sticking to closely to what’s worked in the past can limit your future options.

I wonder, though, what the role of community will be in this new world. Today’s user group model is focused very much around communities of expert practitioners within single technologies — ColdFusion developers form ColdFusion communities and come together to discuss CF-specific techniques, frameworks, and practices. Flash developers, the same. It’s all very siloed and very focused.

What will happen when that developer is working on an Android project one month, maybe an iOS gig the next, and then some Flash work after that? The old model doesn’t fit the need so well anymore.

One answer might be for that developer to find and join multiple communities to help support him or her in their work, but I’m not sure that’s the best answer. It’s hard enough to find and build relationships within even one community. I wonder if developers will have the energy or the time to create those kinds of connections across multiple communities.

So what’s a better solution?

A change in focus, for one thing. With more developers looking to expand their skillsets, I expect that we’ll see developer communities paying more attention to supporting new to intermediate developers coming into the community and a little less to deep-dives into expert-level topics.

And that changes of focus is already being reflected within our own community. We’re seeing an increasing number of people wanting to hold Camps – from Flash Camps to After Effects Camps and more. Camps are a great way to reach out to new community members and introduce them to new topics, as you have more time than a typical user group meeting. If this trend continues we”ll see a whole lot more Camps in 2011.

I also think our concept of community itself will evolve. We need to start thinking about defining communities less in single-tool silos and more in broader categories. “Adobe developers” instead of “Flash developers”, for example.

Some user groups are already changing to meet the needs of this new environment.  To name just a few examples, SanFlashcisco has been doing sessions on HTML5 as well as Flash in recent months. Fire On The Bay is expanding beyond Fireworks to focus on a range of web development tools. FlashBrighton is now dotBrighton, covering a range of topics from HTML5 to AfterEffects and beyond.

I don’t have all the answers yet, but we all need to start asking those questions.

What do you think?

Thoughts on Blogging, At Adobe and Elsewhere

I participated in a panel discussion a few weeks ago as part of SES. Afterwards I did a quick interview with the panel moderator, Anna Maria Virzi from Clickz, sharing some thoughs on corporate blogging:

I’m talkijng about blogging at Adobe, but towards the end the advice gets more general. The biggest takeaway? “Be human, be interesting, and be passionate”. That’s hardly news but always bears remembering.