Creating a User Journey for Your Open Source Community

Francesca Krihely (MongoDB)
Location: E144 Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX    2-PDF 

When you initiate an open source project you create an open community for people to give and receive at all times. You blindly pledge to create a real and open system where people can exchange value. But how do you negotiate the user path and guide your contributors to grow and mature along with the project and code? In this session, we will go through how to design a community path to increase user involvement and help n00b users become awesome users and community leaders. Many examples will come from 10gen’s experience working with the MongoDB community, along with other examples of successful open source projects.

Open source projects have a very high barrier to entry, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to participate. It’s often difficult to find new contributors and convert existing users into full-time contributors. As stated by OpenHatch Mission, much of this is a communication problem. But there is also a design element as well. It’s not so much how your product is designed, but about what a user encounters as they gain expertise in your project.

The user journey considers both how new users enter into the top of the funnel and how they move from pushing a patch to becoming a community leader. Much of this comes from empowering individual users to feel that each contribution provides value to the larger community. We will go through how to express “value”, through design and communication strategies, and create opportunity and space for contributors to become a larger part of the community over a period of time.

A few questions I will address:

-How can we change both the invitation and the way users access the idea of contributions?
-How much of open source activity is a function of confidence? How can we instill confidence in our potential contributors?
-How can we get people who have never contributed before to contribute in a low-touch way?

At the end of this talk, attendees should have a better understanding of how they can craft a similar framework for their community, and possibly utilize our understanding as their own framework.

Photo of Francesca Krihely

Francesca Krihely


Francesca is the Community Marketing Manager for MongoDB at 10gen. In this role she supports MongoDB community leaders through the MongoDB User Group Program and the MongoDB Masters Program and focuses on creating new opportunities for user acquisition and development. Prior to 10gen, Francesca worked on the Marketing team at Hashable. Francesca believes that the best community managers always need to try something new, so she dabbles in many hobbies which include open hardware hacking, trivia and python development. She has a BA in History and Sociology from Oberlin College and lives in Brooklyn.

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Picture of Michael Downey
Michael Downey
07/25/2013 9:11am PDT

Any chance you could post the slides (which were great!) in a non-proprietary format? Thanks!


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