The Art Of Community

Today I am proud as punch to announce the Art Of Community.

A while back I was approached by Andy Oram, a senior editor at O’Reilly to write a definitive book about how to grow, build and energise a community. This book will be called the Art Of Community.

The book covers a wide range of topics designed to build strong community. This includes the structure and social economy behind community, building effective and easy to use infrastructure, setting up community processes, creating buzz and excitement, governance, conflict resolution, scalability and more.

This book is much more than merely a textbook on building a compelling community. I believe that we learn how to build strong community through the exchange of stories and experiences. We all have great insight into community. These stories are illustrative vessels for important lessons and subtleties in how great communities work. The Art Of Community is a compendium of stories, anecdotes and experiences inside and outside the Open Source world. These stories illustrate the many concepts scattered throughout the book, and many of these stories will include some of you reading this and your projects.

I am currently part-way through the writing process, and we have an expected release date this summer.

The release of Art Of Community is actually rather exciting. The book will be available in two forms.

  • Firstly, there will be a normal printed copy available to buy. This will be available from the usual places you can buy O’Reilly books.
  • Secondly, The book will also be available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. This provides everyone with the opportunity to share, modify and re-use the content.

O’Reilly has my utmost respect for embracing the Creative Commons. This is a great opportunity for O’Reilly, Creative Commons content and community building.

In addition to the announcement, I am also pleased to announce a website devoted to the book over at

The website will feature updates, sneak peeks of the content, profiles of the topics and stories in the book, profiles of the editors and proof readers and more. I am really keen to hear your stories and experiences, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in the discussion. Also, when we release the book, the top ten posters with the most number of comments on the articles there will get a free signed printed copy of the book.

So, exciting times. Lots of work, but exciting times nonetheless. Lets get rolling…


  • Blaise Alleyne

    Cool. Congrats. I look forward to the release.

    (Shame about the NC part of the license though.)

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  • jaduncan

    Congratulations. There’s reasons that the Ubuntu community works well, and a lot of that is to do with the community standards of respect.

    It also has to be said that after all the community building keynotes I think everyone wondered when the book was coming.

  • Thom

    Does it discuss the use of community tools for communitising the community?

  • JoshPanter

    Well done, I really look forward to this read! I also look forward to evangelizing the daylights out of this project: using it as another awesome tool to explain why open source and standards, what the community that this whole “open” thing creates is all about, and certainly a model of how one can achieve success as an artist or content creator with creative commons.

    I truly respect your work.

    You are

  • mark b

    I’ll definitely get the book when it comes out. roll on the summer.

  • Quim

    Well done, man! I’ll gladly pay for that book.

  • mattj

    I remember Aq shoeing you to write one on a lugradio epidosde.

  • Will Thompson

    Maybe you could follow in the glorious footsteps of the Real World Haskell (recently published by O’Really under by-nc (no sa!)) authors, and have an open beta for this book? They put every chapter online as it was finished, with each paragraph open for comments so that the community could proof-read and give feedback on the structure of the book.

    I’m sure that they’d be happy to furnish you with the software powering .

  • Jesper Jarlskov

    Wow, sounds sweet. The Official Ubuntu book gave a lot of nice insights into the Ubuntu community, so I’m looking forward to this release as well. Will it be a general community talk, or will some of it be Ubuntu specific, or what will be the focus?

  • Adam Sweet

    Good grief, I bet Aq’s Community-O-Meter is going off the scale.

    Congratulations man.

  • mrben

    Congrats on continuing to milk the community cow.

  • neuro

    I think you should offer prizes to those who contribute quality comments, not sheer quantity. But if you want to stick to that, scuze me while I knock up some Perl to blat in some random text comments every 30 seconds :)

  • Johnnie Ingram

    Congrats Jono. I’ll definitely buy a copy or three.

  • Tom

    Great news! Can’t wait! Today is a good day for freedom 😉

  • mediawikifr

    Do you have a more precise date of release for the book?

  • mattj

    Indeed. I assuming its going to be distributed in ‘All good bookshops’, assuming we have any left by the summer.

  • mattj

    I wonder if there is a way to block specific commenters in wordpress 😀

  • itnet7

    This is a great idea for a book! Best wishes, and I look forward to reading it!

  • jono

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Although I am obviously typically in favor of a no-NC license, I think the NC part here is reasonable. O’Reilly are investing cold hard cash in this project, and I think it is reasonable for them to see a return on their investment.

  • jono

    It also has to be said that after all the community building keynotes I think everyone wondered when the book was coming.

    Ha! A few people emailed me with similar sentiments. :)

  • jono

    Yep, it will. :)

  • jono

    I see your concern, but any obvious crap will be revoked. I will add a disclaimer to the site. :)

  • JoshPanter

    I haven’t been able to attend any of those keynotes, I almost made it to the OLF last year, I was all hyped up to hear your keynote there. Unfortunately last minute issues kept me from attending…ouch.

    Another reason this is a cool project from where I’m sitting, your direct perspective on community building from what I have been reading through the planet is always pretty spot on, and very positive. Here is a chance to get engaged in a conversation directly about those perspectives and experiences.

    Good good stuff.

  • Jackie Plage

    Congratulations, sounds like a very interesting book. Looking forward to reading it. :)

  • Silona

    So happy to see this coming out!

    I love published book as it is something I can hand to company heads. They may not read it but it gives gravitas.

    I am so gonna play on the site! Can we do live commentary? ala commentpress or something better?

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    Excellent! I will be waiting for the book to come out so I can pick up a copy.

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  • Mean-Machine

    +1 copy sold. Looking forward to reading this book. Congrats!

  • Tom
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  • Sean Cambell

    Hey Jono, this is a great start. I loved the first posted and was only too happy to plug it on facebook.

    I mistakenly thought I saw you comment on facebook that you were making another post so I went looking for it after a while. To my surprise “The Art of Community is not in my groups list so I just had to do a google search and find the rss. I do not want to lose track of this book.

    God Bless

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  • terkoz

    Excellent! I will be waiting for the book to come out so I can pick up a copy.

  • Shane Fagan

    Hey Jono can I preorder the book in Ireland?