Developer communities are some of the oldest forums on the Internet. They’re places for programmers and developers to swap software code, tips and tricks. Open source communities such as GitHub are popular with a wide variety of developers, while smaller communities may focus on a certain company’s products.
Worldwide software giant Oracle has its own community, the Oracle Technology Network, and recently expanded the network through Mexico, Central America and South America. The Oracle Technology Network Latin America advocates for and expands the community of people who work with Oracle products to design, develop and deploy technical solutions, says Pablo Ciccarello, OTN LAD online community leader. “We’ve grown to be the largest and most comprehensive developer community by fostering engagement at the intersection of Oracle and industry standard technologies.”
Oracle’s OTN LAD team uses member-created content to engage that community and help members make smart technology decisions. Its efforts won the company the silver medal for Most Innovative Content Distribution Strategy in the 2014 Content Marketing Awards.
Here’s how they did it.
Innovation Through Crowdsourcing
Oracle identifies user group community contributors who are producing excellent content, and promotes their work, Ciccarello says. That content — such as articles, technical advice and blog posts — builds a deeper knowledge base, reducing the need for the OTN LAD team to produce content itself.
They define “excellent content” as anything that answers questions, stays current and provides value for audiences on a long‐term basis, Ciccarello says. Content that helps community members make smart technology decisions rather than endorsing one Oracle product over another helps build trust and transparency.
Different Languages, Different Content
Even though many OTN LAD users may also read English, Ciccarello says the goal of building a non-English content strategy was to produce something unique, generated by local users. The network has accomplished its mission of implementing a content marketing strategy based on an innovative, enthusiastic partnership with community members, Ciccarello says. And that partnership continues to grow.
In the past year, it developed:
- 160 new technical articles — how‐to’s, product analysis, technology trends — in Spanish and Portuguese.
- 28 videos of regional experts talking about the specialized content they share through OTN LAD and explaining their community experience to other members.
Building Community Through Content
The OTN LAD team further highlights excellence within the developer community by recognizing individuals who have demonstrated both technical proficiency and strong credentials as community enthusiasts and advocates, Ciccarello says. These regional experts and influencers are given the ACE distinction.
The company reached an even larger audience by putting together a tour of 12 countries in central and South America, with the primary goal of highlighting ACE contributors. More than 100 speakers delivered more than 7,700 specialized content sessions; almost 7,000 people attended.
Not only did it help get the word out about the OTN LAD, it served as an incubator for new content coming out of the event itself, Ciccarello says. “Presentations were delivered in every country to show how other members share their knowledge online, and how they earned the distinction of membership in the Oracle ACE community.”
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