An Interview with Kat Meyer: Community Manager, Tools of Change Community at O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Oct 14, 2011

October 2011 Issue

Article ImageName With the Face:
Kat Meyer

Job Title:
Community Manager,
Tools of Change Community

O’Reilly Media, Inc.


Job Function:
Of her title as conference co-chair and community manager for O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC) area of practice, Kat Meyer says, "That's a long way of saying I am a connector. I seek out and bring together the people, companies, and organizations that are creating the future of publishing." The TOC team produces in-person events, co-produces events and publications with partners, and publishes books. Meyer helps maintain TOC's online and social media presence via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the O'Reilly Radar blog.

Meyer pulls in the resources and expertise of everyone at O'Reilly to build programming and to serve the global TOC community. "I'm lucky to have unfettered access to everyone in the company and that means I'm an email, IM, or phone call away [from] their knowledge and connections," Meyer says.

In A Day's Work:
Working from her home in Tucson, Ariz., Meyer says, "I do a lot of calls in the morning. I spend an insane amount of time IM'ing people-multi-tasking means I am IM'ing while Skyping while reading email."

Meyer also conducts a substantial amount of online research to stay current. She travels frequently for the job and says, "There really is no substitute for real-life connections with people who share this common passion-publishing."

Most Memorable Customer Encounter:
"Last year I was booked on a flight that was delayed and then canceled at 4 a.m., causing about 300 passengers to camp in the terminal. The guy sitting next to me on the floor was a programmer carrying one of the earliest e-reading devices ever made; he told me he only reads digital. Then he said, ‘Except for O'Reilly titles. I get them in paper too' and pulled an O'Reilly book from his backpack. Proud moment for me-it was in my first few months of my job."

View From the Desk:
"My office window looks out into the neighborhood. I have a tree, I have a cactus, I have cars driving by, and people walking their dogs."

Outside Interest:
"I love books and publishing and reading-but I also watch a lot of movies. My interest in cooking is exceeded only by my interest in eating and good beer."

If Not Econtent, Then What?
"I would be in the film industry. I dig publishing because it's telling stories-connecting people to content and to each other through that content."