Be A Community Manager

How would you allocate your time as a community manager?

I have been talking with various open source community leaders as well as general purpose community managers about who is the most important part of a community? Obviously, you need developers to build the product, users to run the product, and super-stars to help support new people to the product. As a community manager, I only have so many resources available to the entire community and must put more efforts into certain types of members over others. Here is a high level grouping of the various members in an open source community:

Developers/Testers – These people build and test the product

Users – These people use the product

Support – These people assist the users in running the product and tend to have high levels of communications with the Developers (often are testers)

Champions - These are people from the various groups above (MOSTLY USERS) who are enthusiastic supporters of the overall project and are willing to speak at events, write blogs in support of the project, hold local meetings to help drive the community messaging and user base.

So, how would you allocate your time with these four various groups? Here are two common solutions I have seen in various communities:

Solution A                          Solution B

Developers/Testers – 50% Developers/Testers - 20%

Users – 10%                     Users - 30%

Support - 10%                  Support - 10%

Champions – 30%             Champions - 40%

Some communities put a great deal of emphasis on the developers/testers group with limited time for users while others engage the users at a higher rate than developers/testers and also increase time on champions. I believe in solution B as an engaged user community significantly increases the feedback for developers and allows the project to expand into a significant force in the industry. I also believe that champions come from the user group and the more champions a community has the more successful it is.

So, I am looking for your thoughts on why Solution A is better and how I am wrong? There are many communities running Solution A with great success so I would like to know more on why that format is superior.

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