Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Manage Session Tackling New Challenges in a Virtual Focused Community

Manage Session Tackling New Challenges in a Virtual Focused Community

The pandemic has had many communities scrambling to find ways to capture, grow, and continue to strengthen the bonds of their community members. Virtual events, zoom burn out, and increased familial responsibilities are things that are impacting not only contributors but software communities as a whole. They do pose an opportunity - They can be made more accessible, there are less financial pressures for attendees, and they open up possibilities for others that might not be able to previously contribute to open source. In this talk, we’ll go over some of the successes and failures that we have encountered over the past year, share our experiences, and explore strategies to mitigate “virtual” fatigue. Attendees will learn the following things:
- How to approach virtual events and activities, both as an organizer and an attendee
- Set and manage expectations with themselves and others
- Technical do’s and don’ts with virtual events

Bob Killen

May 01, 2021

More Decks by Bob Killen

Other Decks in Technology


  1. Bob Killen / @mrbobbytables Program Manager @ Google OSPO Steering

    Committee / SIG ContribEx Alison Dowdney / @alisondowdney Developer Advocate @ Weaveworks SIG ContribEx
  2. Today there is a meeting for the noternetes project Let’s

    join the call! “Good Evening Everyone” “It’s just us again” *sigh*
  3. The participants list empty, confirming the lack of attendees. Fiona

    and Frank, the only people to be seen. How do we solve this problem, What tools do we have How else do we communicate We can use slack!
  4. Slack Meetings • Provide multi-day period to respond • Threads

    per agenda item keep conversations focused • Summarize and send to the mailing list • Send separate notices to the mailing list for decisions and provide lazy consensus period
  5. “What a great idea!” “Lets try it and see how

    things go” The next meeting is a slack meeting, will it be a success? Our maintainers create the meeting threads. Over the next few hours, contributors worldwide chime in, at different times when it suits them. A day and a half later, the meeting ends. The next part of Fiona and Franks work begins. They comb through the meeting threads, summarizing points made. In an email to the mailing list, this information is relayed.
  6. Now a week after the slack meeting, Our contributors will

    gather again. Slack? call? where will we find them? As the meeting types alternate, And last week we used slack, this weeks should be a call. lets join in on that! At first glance, you can see a big change. the number of participants, is greater than two! Our Chairs are filled with excitement, about the discussions that will now ensue
  7. “Messages can have threads!” The slack meetings had alot of

    engagement From contributors far and wide A big improvement from the live meetings with only a small number of people in sight.
  8. What are the contributors thoughts about using slack for meetings?

    Do they think it’s a good idea? Let’s look at the responses, that should make things clear.
  9. “I don’t have to stay up past midnight anymore 😭”

    “I’m busy getting my kids ready for school regularly, the slack meetings have been GREAT.” “Thank you for this! I haven’t been able to attend due to a work conflict :(“ “The regular list updates really help me keep up to date on what’s happening”
  10. With meetings improved, and zoom fatigue at bay. The noternetes

    project continues yet another day. ~ fin ~
  11. Chat Mailing Lists, GitHub Issues etc meetings Communication Styles Accessibility

    Project Size More Accessible Less Accessible Large Small
  12. OSS Meeting Tips • Find your cadence between meeting too

    much and too little • Be creative with the communication mediums you have
  13. NA EU OSS Meeting Tips • Be weary of creating

    separate meetings for other regions without adequate cross-meeting members • Schedule ad-hoc focused meetings for important topics
  14. OSS Meeting Tips • Keep meetings (in any form) for

    discussions NOT decisions; decisions goto the mailing list where people can respond async • ALWAYS follow-up with an email to your mailing list
  15. so the contributors want to have a virtual summit like

    at not-con There’s a lot of chatter about this idea It would be awesome if we could have a virtual contributor summit, like we do at not-con
  16. I miss everybody No more screens Absolutely no recorded talks

    Informal, no commitment Only if it's 90%+ social
  17. Sounds great, toss that in the thread What do you

    think of this idea We do a celebration instead of a summit We celebrate our contributors, rather than do a virtual conference thing No talks, just fun
  18. • Prioritize the hallway track • Relaxed, casual tone with

    minimal commitment to participate • Friends and family encouraged to participate • Less tech/work focused sessions and workshops Celebrations, Over Summits
  19. 👍 👍 Instead of summiting, we should get together and

    celebrate our wonderful contributors!
  20. sure thing 👍 Look at the time, it’s time to

    close the threads can you gather all the notes, and fire them off to the mailing list plz
  21. I have an idea about what to do for the

    contributor celebration!
  22. This sounds awesome but, how do we involve people who

    don’t play games we could stream our games? but still, it might not be that fun for them to watch… Well if streaming games, is like tv to gamers, what would be like tv to contributors What’s something everyone can relate to, something everyone does.
  23. Next week rolls around and Fiona and Frank are sharing

    their idea on the weekly contributor call last week in the slack meeting we mentioned a contributor celebration we will use discord as a space for folks to hang out and have fun activities such as a bake off That’s a great idea! I’d love to help out! could we have a gameshow as well!
  24. • Discord is designed with communities and people in mind

    ◦ Commitment to support the hosting of safe, positive and inclusive spaces ◦ Strong built-in moderation capabilities ◦ Accessible (excellent support for screen readers) ◦ Voice and Video are first class citizens • Growing use among Open Source Projects • Extensive ecosystem and tooling support What’s Discord?
  25. Have many different ways for people to participate • multiple

    mediums of communication = more way people can engage • Text • Voice • Streams • Different spaces for topics 🍔 Food 🦮 Furry Friends 🎵 Music 📺 TV Shows and Movies
  26. ❤ ✨ End of celebration If you could fill out

    the survey that would be awesome! thank you for attending
  27. What’s Discord? They didn’t talk much about the celebration, or

    the raffle It seems kind of brief What did the contributors do after the celebration was done? What did the writers miss?
  28. Content • Events and content selection should support a wide

    audience with multiple pathways of engagement • Let people participate in the way that’s easiest for them • Less recordings; more live events • Support and facilitate other activities (board/video games) to let contributors find their own fun
  29. Attendee Comments “Overall, I thought it was an excellent event

    and am thankful for everyone who were involved in making this successful!” “There has been a lot of fun, a lot of jokes, a lot of things to learn. The time we're going through is hard and it's refreshing to be able to relax for a little bit.” “This was awesome! Thanks, friends!” “Seriously, thank you from every member of the __ household” “You all deserve a standing ovation for putting this together :)”
  30. Outcomes • 85% of survey respondents want to do another

    virtual social event • Virtual events are more broadly accessible • “Off topic” content can serve as natural ice-breakers • Virtual events CAN bring the community closer together
  31. Recap • Chat based meetings can improve contributor accessibility •

    Be creative with the communication mediums you have • Give people multiple pathways to engage • Do NOT neglect the social side of your community
  32. Thank You Alison Dowdney / @alisondowdney Developer Advocate @ Weaveworks

    SIG ContribEx Bob Killen / @mrbobbytables Program Manager @ Google OSPO Steering Committee / SIG ContribEx