Jonon Bacon originally started the Community Leadership Summit – CLS in Portland. I did an interview with him at Linuxcon in Düsseldorf in 2015 that was published on Here is a little intro to the how, what and why of the interview with Jono.

Linuxcon Europe, Düsseldorf, October 16 was a great opportunity to catch up with a number of community manager friends of mine. Actually all of them at the same time in a panel on the topic Empowering Your Corporate OSS Developers”. The panel was moderated by Guy Martin (Senior Open Source Strategist, Samsung), with Jono Bacon (Senior Director of Community, XPRIZE), Dawn Foster (Director of Community, Puppet Labs), Richard Morrell ( Principal Evangelist and Cloud Security honcho at Red Hat) & Leslie Hawthorn (Community Manager, Elasticsearch). The panel talked animated about how large organizations still struggle with cultural and procedural barriers to effectively collaborate with these community projects.

5 Community Managers at Linuxcon Panel

Richard Morrell, Dawn Foster, Leslie Hawthorn, Jono Bacon and Guy Martin

The next day I attended Jono’s community management workshop with some people from the TYPO3 community. I attended Jono’s workshop two years before too, but a workshop like this is always a good reminder on the stuff we are made of as community managers. It was great to connect some new people in the field.

It is great to see how people skills have so much focus now and are important and effective in our collaborative environments. The most impressive thing to me was the part about the burnout cycle. The burnout cycle is described in 12 stages. Everyone can relate to at least one of the stages. This was by far the part that moved participants most and gave most reactions. One of the participants even wondered why this is not a topic being taught at schools.

I have been at a number of Community Leadership Summits Jono organised in Portland. I was also involved myself in the organisation of a mini-cls at LinuxTag in Berlin. Anyway I got to know Jono a little better though the years and this was the chance to do an interview with him on some of the things that caught my attention recently like his move to XPRIZE.

Of course Jono Bacon’s book ’The Art of Community’ is a kind of classic on community management and Jono recentlky added to new chapters for a second edition. Community management is relatively new and  a lot is happening in that area.

I interviewed Jone right after the worksop.It is quite a challenge to put an interview in writing. Jono is quite a talker and spits out a great number of words a minute. I was particularly interested in his last free little book ’Dealing With Disrepect’ and his move from Canonical to XPRIZE. “XPRIZE is divided into a variety of different areas, so there are these kind of categories, there is oceans and there is space and there is education, there is health, life sciences.”

Community Manager Jono Bacon

X-man Jono Bacon

Jono says this about maintaining a good relationship with a big community: “To me success is active participation. What is interesting and different about XPRIZE is the way in which people participate is not as clear as it is in open source community. In an open source community, you can be a developer, you can be this, that and the other, and all these kind of different things. And it is very clear how you can be a part of that. What we do is massage these on-ramps to be as crisp and clean as possible. With XPRIZE, people could participate in terms of contributing money, people can participate in the sense of advocacy, because not as many people can contribute to the actual technology.

It is always a pleasure to experience Jono’s energy and eloquence. It is this creative, innovative energy that makes him an outstanding community manager.

Head over to to read all about the thick skin of a community manager: