We are all community members; yes: that includes Fishtown Analytics! It is not “our” community, it is “the” community. This very intentional word choice reminds us of our relationship to this group of humans.
In the dbt community, you are not a “vendor” or a “partner”– you are an individual human who is a member of the community. It’s important to think of your participation in this context. Sure, we all have something to sell, but you don’t want to be the person who promotes MLM products on Facebook. We are community members first.
Here are some quick do’s and don’ts to share with every single person on your team who joins the dbt Slack community:
Do not jump in and start posting in a bunch of channels on your first day
Familiarize yourself with the Rules of the Road for the dbt Slack community.
Do not do 1:1 outbound via the dbt community at all. Only initiate DMs if you’ve received active confirmation in a public channel that a DM would be welcome.
If a discussion is taking place where you feel your product or services would help out, you can join in the discussion - you’ll likely have something constructive to add. In doing so, make sure you identify yourself and your business interests in the thread. You can let community members know that you are open to a DM if someone wants to get more information about your product.
Do not initiate a DM conversation after participating in a relevant thread in a public channel, or post links to book a sales call on that thread.
Be yourself when posting, speak in your own voice.
Avoid using your company’s marketing or support voice.
Be a generally helpful community member — if there’s a discussion you can add value to, we welcome it! (Being a dbt user yourself will make this easier)
Do not feel like your participation should be limited only to discussions related to your product/services.
Feel free to post links to resources, and product updates in appropriate channels (usually that will be #random); keep in mind the “balance of value” you personally are creating.
Post “drive by” links without sharing context or your own personal thoughts about what you’re posting.
The dbt community extends far beyond what happens in dbt Slack. We hold regular Meetups in New York, San Francisco, and London; with new cities being added. This community grew out of Fishtown Analytics’ values. Here are some ways these values apply…
This is our most foundational company value, and has played a huge part in guiding how we think about the dbt community. An orientation towards profit kills communities. By putting the community first, however, we’ve found that profits and growth have followed, we think it will work the same for you :)
The more value you create for the community, the more “asks” you can make. How are you creating value today?
One of our guiding questions has been: “What does the community need from us?” The community does need to know how dbt works well with your technology. It does not need followup emails from sales reps. What other creative ways can you engage? Over the long term, the organic growth we see in the dbt community will create massive upside for partners that work with the community, not against it.
Build non-transactional relationships. Say thank you. Send swag. Take someone out for lunch the next time you’re nearby. We’re years away from seeing mass adoption of the modern data stack, let’s play the long game.
This one isn’t a Fishtown value, but it’s a good one to guide community interactions: