BBC of Developer Advocacy


I think that developer relations groups should strive to be the BBC, rather than the ITV, of their worlds.

Look at the mission:

“To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”

Inform and Educate

Why does the BBC create content? The BBC isn’t in the revenue generating business, it is in the citizen enriching business. The scope is all citizens, not just 18–35 year olds, so the levels of accessibility are based on equality and not limited to a slice of society that brings in the largest wads of money.

Entertain

There is no rule that the only way to inform and educate is to make boring content. In fact, engaging content will do a much better job at helping your brain focus and generate connections.

It is also true that there is no rule that every piece of content you consume should be working to make you more productive! There is a place for downtime and pure entertainment.

If you compare the BBC in the UK and PBS in the US you see a very different brand. In my experience (having scarily spend the same amount of time in both countries) the BBC plays a much more prominent role in the culture. I enjoy PBS, but it is much more niche. You could argue various reasons for this: from content to the practicalities (the UK had a more limited supply of channels compared to the US).

If you want to reach your goals for informing and educating the populace you also need to compete for engagement time. You are competing with corporations that are responsible for growing their businesses.

On Developers

I want to inform, educate and entertain the developer community in exactly the same way. We want to enrich their lives, help them grow in their craft, and enable strong businesses.

This mission goes beyond the particular products and features and has you thinking developer-first.

Yesterday, Stripe announced Atlas, a product that is a fantastic example of thinking about what they really want to enable for people around the world. They thought much broader than “what features should we adds for payments”. Of course, this also is a growth opportunity for their business, but that is a great example of a potential win win.

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