Community Manager for Democratic Commons
mySociety is looking for a Community Manager to help us work with volunteer Open Data contributors and groups around the world, as part of our Democratic Commons project. You will help us understand the motivations and activities of these volunteers, plan how best to align our priorities, and determine what support we might provide towards our mutual benefit.
Through the Democratic Commons we are helping to establish core infrastructure and tools that support the gathering of open and shared democratic and political data which allows people around the world to hold their own governments to account.
We’ll be working with a varied range of groups; in particular helping to support and expand communities of Wikidata contributors and editors, advocating for open boundary data, and supporting the efforts of volunteers and small NGOs from a variety of countries.
To be a good fit, you will be comfortable listening to the needs of these contacts, organising events and training, and providing direct and indirect support to help more contributors come on board. You’ll come with the ability to discuss and explain technical concepts to non-expert stakeholders and will enjoy working on a variety of different kinds of problem, while thinking about the bigger picture.
No recruiters or agencies, please.
Key responsibilities and accountabilities
The main responsibilities of the post are:
- Online and in-person community management
- Identifying and connecting with current and potential Open Data and Wikidata groups and contributors in a variety of countries around the world
- Working with the Delivery Lead and Partnerships Manager to prioritise activity in 30 to 40 initial countries
- Organising community events such as workshops, hackathons and data visualisation days to ensure that Wikidata is updated with election results as quickly as possible by local contributors
- Identifying and supporting organisers of similar events in other countries
- Writing documentation, guides and blog showcases to help drive data input and encourage data use
- Supporting missions (such as our push for Head of Government data) focused on getting data into Wikidata
- Participating in online discussions with existing Wikidata communities around the world to understand their wants and needs
- Bringing together the Open Data and Civic Tech communities with the Wikidata community to engage with and collaborate around Wikidata
Skills and experience
- Great people skills — this is the number one priority.
- Experience of involvement in community-led projects.
- Experience with Wikimedia projects (particularly Wikipedia or Wikidata) and/or with the international Open Data / Civic Tech community would be an advantage.
- Experience of working collaboratively with a remote team or with remote colleagues.
- Excellent written and spoken communication skills, in a multicultural and multilingual environment (languages other than English are not essential but definitely an advantage).
- A methodical mind and willingness to experiment and work in an iterative style.
- Proven experience balancing multiple priorities and dealing with ambiguity.
- Self-motivation and self-direction.
- Basic SPARQL skills are an advantage but not a prerequisite.
Interested in applying but not sure you have all the skills? Please apply anyway! We support learning on the job and rearranging tasks within the teams to suit the skillsets of the best applicant. You do not need to have a university degree. Please let us know in your covering letter what your relevant experience is and where you might need to learn as you go. Got questions? Ask us anything.
Since 2003 mySociety have built and grown a series of democratic and civic websites and apps, including FixMyStreet.com, WhatDoTheyKnow.com, WriteToThem.com and TheyWorkForYou.com which are used by more than 10 million people each year. Whilst we continue to run our sites in the UK, we also help groups in over 40 other countries to establish and make a success of their own, similar sites.
Our charitable work is made possible by major grants from funders such as the Omidyar Network, the Hewlett Foundation, and Google, who support our desire to share software, knowledge and good practice for the benefit of the global Civic Technology community. We work across three thematic areas, developing online services in Freedom of Information, Democracy and Better Cities.
Our growing research team aims to establish how, whether and when Civic Technology can make a difference, and share these learnings widely with civil society and governments. Our project management style aims to minimise pain and distraction, and leave people to get on with doing great work, normally in small teams.
Our commercial subsidiary mySociety Ltd delivers off-the-shelf services for local authority and other clients in the UK and abroad, along with commercial access to our data services and custom development work and consultancy. Its profits are reinvested into the work of the charity.
Salary is in the range of £28,000 to £32,000 depending on experience, plus pension (3% employer contribution, 5% employee). This is a fixed-term contract until the end of December 2018.
You must be based in the UK and you need to have the right to work in this country (sorry, but we can’t offer help with visas or relocation expenses).
mySociety is an adaptable, understanding employer and we have some great benefits including 25 days off per year (plus bank holidays), a new laptop, flexible working patterns, a yearly annual retreat and regular company meetups in cities up and down the country. Read more at www.mysociety.org/careers.
We welcome people who are committed to making a difference, but we take work life balance very seriously and we celebrate the idea of quality, not quantity of working hours: if you work more than your contracted hours then we insist on time off in lieu to compensate.
Most of our staff work remotely whilst still seeing each other face to face as often as we can. We work from home, co-working spaces, or small offices. We have small clusters of people around Cardiff and London and would particularly like to hear from people based near those cities, but will accept applicants from anywhere in the United Kingdom. We ask that you are willing to travel to other parts of the country to see colleagues and clients perhaps a dozen times a year. You can read more about what it’s like working at mySociety at https://www.mysociety.org/about/careers/culture/
Deadlines and dates
The application deadline is 10am on Wednesday 7th March 2018 and interviews will take place the following week. We will aim to notify applicants of whether or not they will be invited to interview by close of business on Friday 9th March 2018.
Your application should consist of a CV and covering statement.
Use your covering letter to show us why your skills make you a good fit for this role. We’re also going to want to hear about examples of work that best represent you, so if you have communities or projects that you have contributed to, let us know where to find them.