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Community Advocacy

Finding the Community Advocates

Emergency contact

On this page

Community Advocate Resources

Role of Community Advocacy


The goal of community advocacy is to respond to all of the GitLab mentions and questions asked online in a timely manner.


  1. Have discount codes that are easily distributed by team members
  2. Send every major contributor a personalized gift
  3. Expand the coverage of all GitLab mentions.
  4. Improve responsiveness on high priority channels.
  5. Do the rest of the contributor journey


  1. GitLab has 1000's of active content contributors (e.g. for blogs, meetups, presentations, etc.)
  2. Being a core contributor is a very rewarding experience
  3. There are 10's of active GitLab/ConvDev meet-ups
  4. 100's of talks per year given at conferences and meetups
  5. Our most active content contributors come to our summits
  6. 100's of people contribute content about GitLab every month
  7. We use software that helps us to keep track of core contributors (can be forum, Highrise, software made for advocacy, or a custom Rails app)
  8. There is a core contributors page organized per region with the same information as the team page and what they contributed, where they work (if they have a LinkedIn profile), and a button to sent them an email via a form.
  9. We measure and optimize every step of the contributor journey

Respond to every community question about GitLab asked online

Respond to every question asked internally

Social Response Time KPI Definition

Social Response Time is the time between an inbound message and the first-reply time. The current goal is to be under 7 hours for all channels and under 5 hours for high-priority channels. This response time is currently tracked in Zendesk.

Community response channels

The Community Advocates actively monitor and respond to the following set of channels.

In this overview:

@gitlab Twitter mentions Zendesk Zendesk
@movingtogitlab Twitter mentions Zendesk Tweetdeck
@gitlabstatus Twitter mentions Zendesk Zendesk
Facebook Facebook page messages Zapier Zendesk
Hacker News Hacker News mentions Zapier Zendesk and Slack: #hn-mentions
Hacker News front page stories Hacker News front page mentions Zapier Slack: #community-advocates
Education initiative Education application form Marketo Salesforce and Zendesk
Open Source initiative Open Source application form Marketo Salesforce and Zendesk
E-mail ( Shop contact E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail ( Handbook E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail ( #movingtogitlab campaign (deprecated) E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail ( Support contact E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail ( Support contact E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail ( Support contact E-mail alias Zendesk
E-mail (personal inbox) E-mails to track as tickets E-mail alias Zendesk
Website: blog Disqus comments Zapier Zendesk, #mentions-of-gitlab
Website: DevOps Tools Disqus comments Zapier Zendesk and Slack: #devops-tools-comments
Speakers Find-a-speaker form Zapier Zendesk
Reddit Reddit mentions Zapier Zendesk and Slack: #reddit
Documentation Disqus comments Zapier Slack: #docs-comments ✓ (Docs Team)
Stack Overflow Stack Exchange mentions Zapier Zendesk
GitLab forum Zapier Zendesk and Slack: #gitlab-forum mentions Zapier Slack: #mentions-of-gitlab
IRC IRC support N/A N/A
Gitter Gitter support N/A N/A
YouTube YouTube comments N/A N/A
Mailing list GitLabHq Google Group (deprecated) N/A N/A
Quora GitLab Quora topic N/A N/A
Wider community content Blog post comments N/A N/A

How we work

Coverage for important and/or urgent mentions

At this time, the Community Advocates team spans across two main timezones: CET (Central European Time, UTC +1) and CDT (Central Daylight Time, UTC -5). Our typical coverage based on these time zones is Monday - Friday from 8:00UTC to 22:00UTC, plus occasional weekend coverage for release days.

While this gives us the capacity to address most mentions during the working day, often important and/or urgent mentions happen outside our current coverage times. An example is HackerNews mentions happening towards the end of business hours or later in the Pacific Timezone (UTC-8).

With the full team online

This is the ideal case where there is coverage from the full team and we follow the regular workflows for each one of our monitored channels.

Community Advocates: before ending your day, please review ongoing conversations and mentions in our channels to assess whether there is any one of them that could potentially become important and/or urgent. If that is the case,

With a team member offline

Community Advocates: if a member of the Community Advocates team is offline during their regular working hours (e.g. due to Paid Time Off, illness or unforeseen events) for a day or more, and that leaves their timezone uncovered, please activate the Advocate for a day process with at least two additional advocates.

If the time offline extends more than a few days, it is advisable to find additional advocates and rotate their roles.

After hours

In general, if you notice an online mention that needs to be addressed, please ping @advocates on the #community-advocates Slack channel. All Community Advocates have notifications enabled for this group handle and this channel –notifications are also sent if the handle is mentioned on any GitLab Slack channel.

You can also [contact any of the Community Advocates] directly via Slack or text message.

If required, please consider using the Marketing Rapid Response Process as well.

Deliverable scheduling

Release day advocate duty

Every 22nd of the month we release a new version of GitLab. More often than not we get a spike in community mentions. To help deal with this we have dedicated release advocates that own the effort of responding to community mentions on/after a release.

Every month a different advocate has release advocate duty. It rotates on a monthly basis. If the release day takes place on a weekend, one of the advocates is assigned to monitor the traffic and to process mentions. We keep track of the assignments on the Community Advocates GitLab team calendar.

The two channels that we see the biggest increases in are:

Release day tasks

Involving experts

As Community Advocates, we will often want to involve experts in a topic being discussed online. The Involving experts workflow section describes how we do it.

Can you please respond to this?

You got a link to this because we'd like you to respond to the mentioned community comment. We want to make sure we give the best answer possible by connecting the wider community with our experts and expose you to more community feedback.

When responding to community mentions, you should check out the social media guidelines. Please answer in the social channel that the comment was originally posted in - discussing it internally via Slack makes it impossible for the community member to interact.

If you can't respond to the linked comment, that's OK, but please quickly let the person who pinged you know so they can ping someone else.


Education / OSS

While we're restructuring our handbook, this topic has now moved to the Education/open Source workflow section.

Supporting community initiatives

When we see outstanding articles about GitLab from our wider community, we should acknowledge the author.

Please include the link to that article in this Google Doc. Our evangelist team will proceed from there.


During news cycles such as the Microsoft acquisition of GitHub, there may be an increase in new GitLab users. The movingtogitlab specific Twitter account highlights all the users who tweeted about swtiching to GitLab.

Advocates should always look for new users moving to GitLab and make sure to thank them and ask what the benefits of using our products are. When doing so, please follow the #movingtogitlab workflow.

Advocate for a Day

When community advocates aren't available, or we expect high traffic on social media (because of some major outage, or some significant announcement), we should try to recruit more GitLab team-members who would help us cover our social networks. Our Advocate for a Day page is meant to help assist anyone who has been asked to perform this duty.


Every Community Advocate owns one or more of the processes that the CA team uses. These are called expertises.