How content creates content – virtual edition

Last year I published How content creates content blog post. It’s one of my favorite blog posts. It shows how one piece of content can produce more content. Since everyone shifted to running online events/meetups I wanted to update this blog post and also offer new content ideas for the virtual world. I know it’s not always easy to come with content ideas. This blog post should help you develop more content. I also recommend you read How to scale Developer Relations with online meetups.

We have been running (almost) daily online meetups on the IBM Developer Crowdcast channel. You have been working on an article or tutorial how to solve a problem with a technology from you company. You want to share it with your community, maybe other developers will find this solution useful. You can start with publishing a step-by-step tutorial. That’s one piece of content.

Next you can host an online meetup where you will show the steps building a solution. Now you have:

It’s a good idea to record the online meetup. We use Crowdcast where each event is automatically recorded. You can upload the recording to YouTube and now you have:

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From Lean Startup to Big Blue: Adapting Developer Relations to Zillions of Active Developers – my interview with Dave Nugent

Dave Nugent and I sat down together and Dave asked me the following questions about Developer Relations:

  • How do you prove the value of DevRel inside a large company?
  • How valuable is consistent messaging for DevRel?
  • How does leading DevRel differ between a startup and enterprise?
  • How does your team interface inside IBM?
  • How has your mission changed since you started at IBM?
  • Who in DevRel would you like to call out?

Q: How do you prove the value of DevRel inside a large company?

Probably one of the best ways and my favorite is to explain that developers today have a lot of influence. In other words, developers make decisions what software to use and buy. Many years ago software was purchased by executives and pushed down to developers (top-down approach). In most companies today it’s the complete opposite. Developers try software and if they like it they go to their managers/executives (who has the budget) and ask them to buy the software. Instead of top-down it’s now bottom-up approach. In some companies developers not only influence what software to buy but they also have the buying power.

Continue reading the interview.

More content ideas: event series, Q&A and short videos

Coming with content ideas is not easy. I have previously shared interesting content ideas you can try:

In this blog post I want to share a few additional ideas you can try.

Online event series

Pick a topic and schedule a series of online events covering a particular aspect of a bigger topic. For example Marek Sadowski and Lennart Frantzell are doing a 4-part online meetup on IBM Cloud.

IBM Cloud series
  1. IBM Cloud – Getting started with Serverless
  2. IBM Cloud – Getting started with Containers
  3. IBM Cloud – Getting Started with AI
  4. IBM Cloud – Getting Started with Edge Computing

I like breaking a topic into series as it allows to focus on a particular technology in more detail. You also don’t need to think about running out of time when you try to cover everything at once. Once you complete the series you can upload the videos to YouTube and publish a blog post with links and a short description of what developers will learn. You can also collect all the questions and answer them in a separate blog post. That’s part of content creates content approach.

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Developer Relations: online events and content series

If you are in Developer Relations space: online events and content scale, travel doesn’t scale. The following are of articles to help you scale: run online events and write content.

And this is my all-time favorite. It coves both types of events (in-person and online) but still gives you great ideas on how once piece of content can create a lot more content.

I hope these articles are useful during COVID-19 pandemic. Once we go back to normal (and we will), these resources should be as important as these activities will allow you to scale you Developer Relations program.

What can you do besides online events?

With most of the world in lockdown due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), most organizations switched to running online events. IBM Developer SF team has been running online events for almost two years so the switch to online-only was simple for us. I shared before how online events allow you to scale.

Not everyone can or wants to run online events. You might be in a place where internet connection doesn’t permit to produce live high-quality events. You simply might not be comfortable doing live events. And that’s fine. The good news – there are other things you can do.

Continue reading “What can you do besides online events?”

Borrowing brilliance, or one quick way to come up with content ideas

Content (articles, blogs, tutorials, videos) is one of the best ways to scale developer relations. Content can be accessed by developers anywhere and anytime. High-quality content can be your evergreen content – that is content that doesn’t go out of date.

One thing that’s not always easy is coming up with content ideas or what to write about. Here is one way to come up with interesting content ideas.

Peak at what other people are publishing (also called borrowing brilliance). There is probably disproportionately more content written about using various Amazon AWS services than any other cloud provider. You can see what tutorials, articles and how-to’s were published and borrow some ideas.

For example, a lot of content on Serverless is based on using AWS Lambda. Take a tutorial that uses AWS Lambda and write a similar one that solves a similar problem using Azure Functions, IBM Cloud Functions or Google Cloud Functions.

Hope this little tip helps you publish more content.

Extra credit. You can also look at Stack Overflow. Browse a topic and see if there are any questions you can answer. If yes, you can answer that question in a blog post. Then go back to the question and answer it with a reference to your blog.

Some advice on running online meetups

IBM Developer SF hosted over 100 online meetups in the past two years and I also shared how to scale Developer Relations with online meetups. In this blog post I want to share what works for us, how we run the online meetups, what we do before, during and after the event. Pick what you believe will work for you.

Online meetup on Crowdcast

Before the online meetup

This is what we do or try to do before an online meetup.

  • Publish the online meetup 3-4 weeks before the event (like a regular in-person meetup)
  • Promote the event via regular channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn (like a regular in-person event)
    • If hosting an event with a partner, ask them to promote the online meetup to their community
  • Publish on Meetup, Eventbrite or any other platform you usually publish events on
    • A note about Meetup: they seem not to like when people post to many online events but I don’t know their official policy on that
  • Make it clear where to register for the online event
  • If the event is with a remote employee or external partner, schedule 15 minutes dry-run a few days before to make sure the software you are using works for them and they can share their screen
Continue reading “Some advice on running online meetups”

How to scale Developer Relations with online meetups

Online meetups (webinars, web conferences or webcasts) is one of the best ways to scale Developer Relations. In most companies Developer Relations teams are small, probably under ten people. Even if we look at some of the big companies with hundreds of people in Developer Relations organizations such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, AWS and some others – they cannot be everywhere to host in-person workshops, meetups and attend conferences. You cannot scale with people.

Even if you could send a Developer Advocate to every meetup or conference, there are many more developers who don’t attend meetups or conferences. There are many reasons, maybe they leave in an area where there are no meetups or they don’t have a travel budget. You need to reach these developers and also scale.

Reach developers anywhere

As online meetups happen online using software such as Zoom, Webex, Hangouts Meet or Crowdcast (we use Crowdcast), developers from anywhere in the world can participate. Developers from places that you would never reach other wise can join your event and get high-quality developer education. Here is a map from one of our recent online meetups Deep Learning Master Class I – Introduction:

Where in the world are people joining from?

People joined from all over the world. We would not be able to reach these folks with in-person events. We simply don’t have enough people and time to do that.

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Streaming/Live Coding for Developer Relations – DevRel meetup recap

This week I attended the SF Developer Relations meetup where the topic was Streaming/Live Coding for Developer Relations. This blog post is a short recap, notes and pictures from the event. Thank you to Courier for proving space, food, drinks and Nicolas Grenié for organizing the event.

SF Developer Relations meetup

The meetup started with Nicki Stone, Technical Evangelist from AWS and Matt Auerbach, Developer Advocate from Twitch sharing their experiences and best practices on streaming and live coding using Twitch. In the second talk, Potch, Developer Evangelist from Glide shared his experience with live coding.

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Measuring success in Developer Relations, a 3-part framework

How to measure success in Developer Relations is one of the most discussed (or debated) topics. Having been in Developer Relations for a good number of years I believe it’s important we measure it. Without measuring we don’t know what to improve, what works and what doesn’t work.

Now, I don’t believe there is one way to measure Developer Relations. Every company with a Developer Relations organization or a team will measure its success differently. The same way companies approach success in general, every company has its own unique ways to measure success.

Instead of telling you how to measure success, I’d like to offer a framework. The framework can be adjusted for a company’s specific goal and needs. The framework consists of three parts:

  1. DevRel Qualified Leads
  2. Measuring something (tied to business goals)
  3. Helping developers
Continue reading “Measuring success in Developer Relations, a 3-part framework”