OpenSUSE Community gets "Zonked" - Congrats Joe!
By barton808 on Feb 05, 2008
Yesterday Novell officially announced that Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, would be the new OpenSUSE community leader. Zonker will step in to fill a void that was created when Markus Rex was "loaned" by Novell to the Linux Foundation (you can read all about Markus's move to the Foundation in this article by Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier.)
Yes, until last Friday Zonker was the editorial director at Linux.com. Besides Linux.com, Zonker has contributed to a bunch of GNU/Linux and tech related magazines as well as written and contributed to books about Slackware Linux, DocBook, Linux Networking, and other FOSS topics. This type of a background along with the fact that he's neither from Novell nor the community should actually serve him well.
Good community managers are folks who are into technology but not necessarily uber-hackers themselves, folks who are good communicators and who can deal with, placate and rally a bunch of different egos and styles. By being from the outside he doesn't come pre-labled as either a Novell guy or a community guy but his background as an industry writer should give him some good insight.
From reading comments on Zonker's first OpenSUSE blog as well as some of the articles, it looks like one of the community's big hopes is that, with his background he will be able to grab more air time and mindshare for the two and half year old distro. Being a good communicator will also be essential when the topic of the Novell Microsoft patent covenant comes up. An issue that left many in the community with a bad taste in their mouth.
Pau for now...