Kaliya

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'''Bold text'''Back to [[Chapters for AOC]]<br>
'''Bold text'''Back to [[Chapters for AOC]]<br>
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=Role of Face-to-Face Interaction in Building and Complementing Online Community=
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I wrote this chapter for a collaborative book project that was subsequently given to a lone male author to write.
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'''Primary Author: Kaliya Hamlin'''
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==Intro==
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I am removing the chapter and am using as the basis of my own book on the topic of participatory conferences and building successful technical communities.
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I got into a technical community looking at how to innovate an identity layer of the web. This community however was not built ‘online’ it began from conversations with others who shared similar interests - we only saw each other once in a while to keep the conversation going we began with a mailing list, many of us started blogging and then we had a wiki to support developing our shared vocabulary.
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Our community is alive and active online and much of this book talks about this medium for community. This chapter is about our face to face gatherings - how they work and their design patterns and how they complement our online life. I co-produce and facilitate our major conference The Internet Identity Workshop that happens twice a year. They have been particularly powerful for the community and been a key factor in our success. I have extended this work and now design, facilitate and produce events for a range of different technical communities.
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An obvious starting question why bother getting together face to face?
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Well, there are lots of reasons particularly that we are biological animals with millions of years of evolution geared to help us succeed in social face to face group interaction. Supporting face to face gatherings amongst online community members improves the quality of interaction online and can speed innovative and collaborative efforts. What do you do when you get together to really take advantage of the rare opportunity that face time presents? Two formats that I see again and again BOF’s and Traditional conferences are well understood but fail to take advantage the opportunity that face to face meetings provide. I will touch on both but go into detail about alternatives that offer more for community development. I will highlight some design patterns that work well for these gatherings.
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=== Why get together? ===
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''Another page about face to face and its power''
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For these reasons face to face meetings change the quality of the conversation that you community can have online. This does not mean that everyone has to find a way to be in one place at one time. It does mean that facilitating opportunities where appropriate to meet up and connect helps create a deeper understanding. These meetings can be small around other events or they can be people from a world wide community getting together for several days.
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Text is an format that seems simple - it just says what it says right? but can emotions can become amplified in that form. The reason for this is that it lacks tonal and visual context - hence emotional expressions can be over interpreted. This problem is added to by the fact that as we respond to text with matching emotional intensity - hence the cycle of escalating emotions in written form that can lead to flame wars. (reference Chris Allen, Life with Alacrity Flames:Emotional Amplification of Text Feb 13, 2006).
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It is very hard to read in the emotions that people are expressing. The ability to read emotions and subtle meaning and tone is increases after you have met people face to face. It was startling to me how different I came to read the text of people in community mailings lists (my main technical community is working on user-centric identity) how differently I read the words people wrote on the Identity Gang list before and after. IT was like when I read the text after I met them I could ‘hear them’ say the text I was reading - get a sense from having met them what they meant and intended.
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The disagreeable guy who was always contradicting folks on the mailing list. After you met him and talked with him and understand him better - both is personal style and maybe event some ‘issue’ going on in the back ground of their life that helps explain their tone or attitude things can go more smoothly.
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== Creating a Welcoming Space==
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Overall bringing people together is like hosting a dinner part. You need to think about providing nourishment, creating comfortable surroundings, a balance of activity and rest. There are a similar list of things to consider for a community gathering when bringing a community together.
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===Supporting Network Convergence===
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My experience has been in bringing together and supporting face to face processes in technical communities that are networks with shared interest and are outside organizational or corporate boundaries. This network convergence as opposed to organizational convergence (you are there because it is mandated by your job to participate in this Organizational development exercise.
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There are many people who are attend these events because it is part of their work but they do so because they choose to be part of a community of fellow professionals working on a shared set of problems. They as a whole “mandated” to be there but choose to come together voluntarily.
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Supporting communities coming together that do so voluntarily means that it is important to create opportunities for convergence - a shared meaning and purpose. This must be balanced with enough space for discovery and exploration.
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===Group Energetics===
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There are two different directions for the energy of a group - convergence and divergence. Understanding how different processes support these energetic directions and how to design events so the flow between the two is right is important.
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I will draw from online tool examples to help explain this. A wiki is a converging tool it gives everyone in a community a shared display - it supports the recording and aggregation of information about community topics. Name space clash happens this where two people create a page with the same name and they find out about it - thus helping them grow some shared understanding.
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A mailing list is divergent it supports a dialogue - back and forth discussion about different points of view. Having edit revert wars on a wiki is not a good away to have ‘discussions.’ This ability to express oneself is supported by the space and differences are ok in this format - not annoying. Hopefully through dialogue shared understanding emerges but the format supports a diverging energy.
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There is of course converging and diverging energy in both formats as there is in the following face to face processes and flow outlines.
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==Shorter Gatherings==
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There is a long tradition of BOF’s (Birds Of a Feather meetings) happening at technical conferences - often these are arranged by mailing lists/ communities ahead of time.
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===BOF===
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The BOF is well understood - basically you get together in a room and all introduce yourselves and then have a conversation about whatever the topic is. Often it is done in a room after hours at an event and does not involve food. BOF’s are my least favorite kind of meeting for communities. Isn’t their more you can do?
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===Local Evening Gatherings===
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These are another way to support a distributed community having face to face meeting opportunities.
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====Dinner Format====
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One way you can do this is to just meet at a restaurant and eat together or have beers. A local pub can be a place to have this kind of event. It is good for just socializing. Face time is so rare that having these times not be filled with technical activities like writing code is important. This is the time to connect and learn with someone or a group in ways you cannot simulate or do in online environments. Good options for this kind of meeting include the buffet, the family style/asian restaurant where everyone can order one thing and share, casual dining places where people order and pay at the counter and food is delivered to the table. Tools like Dopplr facilitate face to face meetings for people who happen to be traveling through a city. I think it is good to encourage introductions amongst the gathered group so that people can recognize each other’s (remember most of them just know each others online handles) from their online context.
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If the conversation is small like 8 or less people around a table this format is convergent - you were all sharing one conversation. Above a dozen people the event has a more divergent energy.
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====Speakers in the Evening====
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More then one hour of broadcast one to many format is to much for an evening community meetup. This hour should be couched on either side from anywhere to half an hour to one our of informal social networking time and include snacks and beverages.
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I will repeat again '''''do not fill ALL your time with the speakers''''' a two hour thing IS to long to have people listening to a talking head (no matter how good it is) - people are not there just to hear “the speaker(s)” they are there to connect with others who share similar interests who are in the community. This format is good because people like to learn new things from speakers & having shared the experience of listening to a speaker they all have something to talk about.
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The socializing/networking time is divergent - people are self directed an doing what they want the sitting still and all watching the same presentation is convergent.
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====Introductions====
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It is up to you whether to ask audience members to introduce themselves. It doesn’t take that long you can have a room of 25-100 people introduce themselves in under 5 minuets. If you have people state their name - where they are from and what they are passionate about - basically one sentence each you can do this. This format is more useful early on in the life of a community before people know each other really well (from gathering again and again). If they have been collaborating they will know each other's handle but will not know what they look like. Once a community knows itself well it doesn’t need to do this but it does need to have an awareness of new people entering the group and be sure to welcome them - learn something about them and help them meet others in the community that they might benefit from meeting. This is a process that has a balance between convergence and divergence - everyone gets to say who they are (divergence) and everyone hears everyone else (convergence).
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====1-2 Curated Speaker Format====
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Often tech communities meet in the evening and have speakers come and present. This can work really well if you have well curate the talks well - the speakers are knowledgeable and reasonably good at presenting their ideas face to face. This can be done at offices or at a small community center or theater space. It is important to remember that people are coming to these events for two reasons - both to learn and hear from the speaker and to connect with each other. Just assuming that they are there to learn from the speaker(s) and not leaving time for informal conversation or ‘networking’ is a waste of time.
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====4-6 Speakers====
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An alternative to one or two long curated talks. Is anyone can present for 5 min model. This format was used in the Monthly Planetwork forms that I first learned about technology subjects. Planetwork invited anyone who wanted to to nominate themselves to talk at one of our evening events if what they wanted to present (we had a web form to accept their submissions). We would publish the list of speakers on the web page ahead of time. Our events started at 6 pm with munchies and wine (both from Trader Joe’s) the series of 5 min talks would begin around 7 and be done by 8 and we would close down our venue at 10pm after 2 hours of socializing / networking time.
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====An Organized Conversation====
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Formats like the Fishbowl, Spectrogram, Appreciative Inquiry and World Cafe can be used in evening gatherings with great results.
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== Getting together for a day or more.==
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A great way to ‘start’ connecting a community together is to piggyback on another conference. Put your community day for gathering on either side of another event that many of your community members are likely to attend anyways. These first two ways ways for niche communities to meet while also participating in a larger community.
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'''The LONG BOF''' - As a small online community intentionally pick a conference that your community will find interesting and agrees to attend together. Meet up before it starts and then 'attend together' syncing up once or twice a day to talk and exchange what you are learning. - I met a really fun bunch of ENTJ’s (Myers Briggs) who were part of an online community for that personality type at the Accelerating Change conference. They were having so much fun getting to know each other in meet space and being stimulated by all the content at the event. It was like an ongoing BOF They also spent a day afterwards just hanging out with each other.
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Building Critical Mass via other events. In the early days of the Identity Gang when the list was 20-150 people we used to meet at other peoples conference we would ask the organizers for a room to meet in for several hours either beginning, durring or after the conference. anywhere between 10 and 25 of us would gather to talk about different subjects. We began to get a clearer picture of how the we shared similar ideas and where the differences were. We also discovered after about 8 months of this that we really needed more time to really have the kinds of efforts we wanted to see happen emerge.
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=== Format Choices:The Traditional Way ===
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As the leader of the convening or appoint a committee decide who should talk and use the time to present to or lecture the community. This is like a traditional conference. It means that you need to set up a system for accepting submissions for talks, panels then you have to wade through them and pick and choose. If you have a passionate smart committed community that is used to online tools that support discussion self organization, and collaboration then this format can be stifling. Because how do you (the convener) know who has the gems the amazing bits that could propel the community forward or solve a problem. If you are in a fast moving technology sector it is very difficult to tell what the important topics or issues will be 3-6 months ahead of time. People attending with this kind of format typically enjoy the coffee breaks best.
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The traditional format works if you are mainly aiming to ‘educate’ newcomers to broadcast information about your communities activities. Even with this desire to educate there are other format choices that you can use to achieve this goal. This format does not support intensive exchange conversation and collaboration amongst technical professionals who are peers.
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=== The Web Changes Everything ===
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The web changes ‘everything’ - including traditional conferences. Why would you go across the country to listen to people present papers, talk on panels, visit trade show booths or watch ppt presentations when you could do all of that ‘online’
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* Papers - read them before hand
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* Presentations of Paper - watch them on YouTube
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* PPT Presentations - watch them on slide share and including podcasts
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* Get a sense of someone - Read their Blog and check out their Flickr Stream
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* Panel presentations - read a good blog conversation about the subject you are interested in
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* Trade Show Booths - Type your industry niche in google - visit the websites of companies and do your research
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===The unconference way===
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If you have an online community that is thriving it is self governing talking, discussing and engaging with itself. It does not have someone telling each other who can speak when or how. IT is not coming up with an agenda 3-6 months before the conversation happening on the list and then dictating what it will be in 3-6 months. Technical communities are very alive - working all the time online on list serves, in wiki's, using project management tools, filing bug reports, having board meetings on conference calls, reading each others blogs and blogging.
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If you do all this as a community why in gods name would you all of a sudden create a committee who decides who will speak when about what at your face to face gatherings. Matching the nature of your online reality as a community to your face to face time is what unconference processes are about. Like you have different tools online that help create different kinds of containers - a mailing list is different then a wiki. You have choices to make with face-to-face processes.
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When I design, facilitate and produce unconference 80-90% of the time at the event will be spent in open space and the other 10-20% of the time will be spent with other large group participatory processes that help meet the gathered community meet its goals. These include Fishbowls, Spectrograms, cafe dialogue processes, Appreciative Inquiry, Marketplace of Ideas, Value Network Mapping, Polarity Management, Visual Journalism/Graphic Recording, and shared community maps.
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I am going to cover Open Space Technology in depth because it is at the core of every unconference I lead for technical communities and cover two other processes, Fishbowl and spectrogram. They are both relatively easy to facilitate, support the emergence of shared understanding and one is converging and the other is diverging.
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====Open Space Technology====
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In the Mid-80’s a man name Harison Owen spent spent a whole year organizing a conference and then found that the part people liked best was the coffee breaks. He started to experiment with processes that could make a whole event more like a coffee break than a conference of talking heads and panels. The result is a very clear set of guidelines for creating an “open space” full of learning and sharing, with the goal that people leave full of new knowledge and connections, and have been inspired by their peers. Thus open space technology was born.
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Open Space events take the participation of stakeholders seriously; they provide a way for people to bring forward their best ideas and their niggling little questions right within the gathering. At the heart of this method is a "live," "day-of" agenda-creation process where all those gathered can propose sessions. This ensures that there is direct relevance for all participants.
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=====Before the Event=====
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It begins with the Invitation
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An event begins when you start imagining it. Who do you think should come? Why do you think now is a good time to bring the community together? When would be a good time in the life cycle of the community? It is good to invite a few other people to join in the process of creating the invitation. It is good to put thought into this document because when the attendees participants are those who present and lead conversations it is important to ensure that good people who can contribute come. I recommend that you don’t just ask your community to define all this on their own. It is best to put forward a straw man and then get feedback from the community.
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======Picking a Venue======
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In terms of dimensions of the space there are several ways you can host space for open space one way is in a large room where you have all sessions going on around the edges. You can also have breakout rooms where different meetings happen but it is helpful if the breakout spaces are as close together as possible. You can also do a mixture of a large room and breakouts.
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It is good to looking for space with an abundance of natural light. It is helpful if you are free to bring in food from local restaurants. I recommend going with spaces that are not in hotels (hard to find natural light) and other venues that are non-union. I feel terrible making this recommendation but venues with union labor have incredibly high rates for the most basic things (at one recent event it was $40 per person to have a sandwich, bag of chips, sodas, and fruit for an afternoon meeting - there also can be high AV charges and restrictions on even being able to plug your own conference materials in).
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======Registration======
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Despite the popularity of ‘free events’ they create havoc because as an organizer you don’t know how many people will show up. Generally you have to have definite numbers submitted to a caterer a week before an event (this is why you increase the prices as the event gets closer). Enormous value is created and paying something to come helps create a ‘contract’ between the attendee’s and the organizers. Events that are free to sign up can cause havoc for organizers because of the up to 75% no-show rate.
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There are several ways to do payments one is with event registration services like eventbrite or even just setting up a paypal. Fees for an day long community should be at the level that involves “chiping in to cover costs”. It is reasonable to charge up to $100 per day per person. If you can find ways to lower this with sponsorships or by having an inexpensive venue.
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=======Wiki Pre-Work=======
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I encourage communities hosting an Open Space to put up a wiki (or other editable, shared-document website) to help participants who are coming to an event announce their intention to call or host a session on a particular topic. Here you can see a list of potential topics and the people who proposed them. The wiki may also include a list of questions posed by those coming to the gathering. It is very important to remember that the wiki is not "written in stone," and there is no guarantee that the topics will be called the day-of. But it does give people a sense of the topics others are interested in, and it gives them a chance to reach out to others who they might work with in jointly calling a session the day-of. It is important to not let the wiki become a "planning tool" where times and places are assigned for meetings, as this would undermine the spirit and aliveness of the Open Space process.
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=======Theme Development=======
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As your event approaches you may want to work on developing a specific theme. This can help provide focus, inspire participation, and support the learning outcomes for your gathering. This does not need to be in place before the event itself – it may be put forward in the moment to inspire contribution to the shared space.
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Create the flow of your event decide with a group of people who will participate in the event what the flow of activity should be. In the Open Space events that I put together
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======At the Event======
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=======Navigating the Space Together======
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There are a few principles and one "law" that help govern how people navigate the shared space. These are introduced to the participants before they make the agenda.
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'''The principles of Open Space:'''
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* Whoever comes are the right people (is the right person).
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* Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
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* Whenever it starts is the right time.
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* When it's over, it's over.
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'''Law of two feet:''' If you find yourself not learning or contributing at any time, it is your responsibility to find somewhere else where you are learning or contributing.
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This law is meant to create a social norm about following your inner voice and passion in deciding whether to stay in a session or do something else that you get value out of. It is not meant to condone belligerence towards sessions one is not getting something out of.
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'''A butterfly and a bumble bee''' image are also posted to remind participants that moving about between different sessions while they happen is part of the process, that cross pollination is welcome.
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'''Be Prepared to Be Surprised''' is also posted to support that reminder.
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These simple guidelines originated to help the day move forward without people being anxious about things being exactly on time, or getting possessive about a particular session. They help create an environment of shared intention with a lot of freedom for people to do what they need to get the most out of the Open Space.
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=====The Agenda Wall =====
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The organizers make a grid of times and spaces that gets filled during the agenda creation process. Typically there are 5-8 sessions in a day depending on their length and break times. It may make sense to have sessions be 1.5 hours given that English is not everyone's first language – this would allow time for the conversation to deepen on the topics people put forward. We can discuss these options on the afternoon of the 5th. It is important to have time/space slots for at least one-third the number of participants so there's enough space for all the sessions.
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=====Making the Agenda=====
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The facilitator invites those who have something they want to talk about related to the overall theme to come to the front and write on an 8x11 (A4) sheet of paper the title of the topic (this could be a question too) and their name. They announce this to the room, and then people can ask questions about what the session is about. Then they put that topic in a slot in the schedule grid. This goes on for about 15-30 minutes, and voila, now you have a full schedule. Those gathered then break up and go to the sessions they want, and regroup at the end of the day.
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=====The Engines of Open Space=====
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'''Passion''' - Open Space assumes that if people are encouraged to work on what they are genuinely interested in, their full passion and creativity will unfold. No passion, no issue.
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'''Responsibility''' - Those who convene a session in an Open Space event take responsibility for announcing when and where their subject will be explored, and taking care of the documentation of the working group’s discussion, agreements, results and further steps.
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=====Documentation of Sessions =====
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Documenting sessions is important for peer-to-peer learning. If done well, the session records can be shared throughout your grantee community, even with those who were not able to attend. It is important for the facilitator to remind everyone about the chosen method for documentation, and the importance of this to the overall sharing of knowledge and information.
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Taking photos of all whiteboard material is important, and any slides that were presented should be captured. Have paper and clipboards specifically for notes and for recording the names of those attending available at each session. These notes are then entered into a computer by the note taker at a bank of computers in the “News Room” during the conference, with the assistance of a News Room Coordinator who helps gather all the session notes together. The notes can also be posted on a wiki (or other shared document space). The typed notes can be collated together into “The Book of Proceedings,” which can then be distributed a few weeks after the conference. This is the final record of the event, a tangible measure of hard work, rich learning and accomplishment.
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====Time for Open Space====
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'''A four-hour Open Space can deliver:'''
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-Networking
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-Resource sharing
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-Knowledge exchange
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-Interdisciplinary brainstorming
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-Sharing of challenges, best practices, ideas for collaboration
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-A quick sense of some issues of interest around a specific topic, situation or theme
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'''A day long Open Space can deliver the above plus:'''
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-Deeper discussion
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-Shifting from a cognitive, linear orientation to a more creative and intuitive one as multiple sessions invite cross-pollination of ideas
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-More sharing of differences and areas of commonality
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-Participants utilizing time during and immediately following the event to transcribe their notes for a Book of Proceedings
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Having an Open Space that is 1.5 or two days provides a night of sleep in between and creates a noticeable shift overnight – more space opens up and new ideas come forth.
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'''A two + day open space can deliver the above plus:'''
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-An opportunity for participants to announce late-breaking sessions after reflecting upon the discussions they have experienced on the first day
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-Time for participants to name their experiences – even if those experiences involve grief or conflict – and then move forward for reconciliation, resolution, or solution
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-Complete exploration of a theme, task or issue
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-Deeper buy-in from participant stakeholders
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-Time for participants to form collaborations and work on projects or issue areas
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-Greater understanding across differences
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-Time for action planning and identification of next steps, if appropriate
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-A full Book of Proceedings which (if appropriate to the objectives and included in the design of the Open Space) includes action plans and commitments to action groups
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=====Next Action Planning=====
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In a two-day Open Space, next action planning can be done toward the end of the event. This process involves reopening the space for those who wish to take responsibility for next actions to invite the participation of others in helping move them forward. Instead of filling out a notes form for the session, leaders of these sessions get an Action Plan form and fill it out. There could be one or perhaps two half-hour sessions to complete this process.
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=====The Opening and Closing=====
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======Day Closing======
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At the end of each day everyone comes together and hears about highlights of what happened during the day. I usually do this process popcorn style, where all those who wish to speak can do so. You can also invite everyone to share how they are feeling with one word.
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======Event Closing======
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A nice way to end an event is a peer-to-peer gift giving. I have done this with a carton of wine, a pile of nice boxed chocolates, and books relevant to the topic area. Anyone among the participants can give a gift to any of the other participants. This is a great way to honor those who gave some ‘extra effort’ or did something special during, or perhaps before, the event.
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======Day Opening======
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In an Open Space over two days, the space is opened again on the second morning and participants are invited to share insights from overnight and to announce new sessions they are calling for the day.
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====Convening a session…====
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You do not need to do preparation in order to convene a session. If you get an idea the day of the event, call a session. There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However there is a bias towards interaction and discussion.
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Choose a format for your session will help you achieve your vision.
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Following are a few ideas about different session types to get you thinking about possibilities.
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=====Types of sessions=====
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'''The longer formal presentation'''
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This is tricky, because it’s difficult to make a formal presentation interactive. But if you have a big, well-developed idea you can pull it off.
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'''A short presentation to get things started'''
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5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion
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'''Group discussion'''
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Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation and an interesting discussion happens
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'''My Big (or Little) Question'''
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You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.
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'''Show and tell'''
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You have a cool project, a demo, or just something to show and let people play with that is the springboard for all the conversation in the session. Alternatively, you can invite others to bring their own items to show and tell (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
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'''Learn how to do X'''
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If you’re inclined to teach, this can be simple and effective. Bring the equipment that you need, and have a plan that will let you teach five, ten, or 15 people how to do something all at the same time.
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====Advice about leading a session…====
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* If you convene a session, it is your responsibility to “hold the space” for your session. You hold the space by leading a discussion, by posting a “first question,” or by sharing information about your program. Be the shepherd – stay visible, be as involved as necessary, be a beacon of sanity that guides the group.
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* Ask for help holding the space if you need it. You might, for example, put a session on the board and know that you are so passionate about the topic that it would be better if someone else, someone more objective, facilitates the discussion. Choose someone from your team, or another participant who is interested in the topic.
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* Don’t assume people in the room know more, or less, than you do. You never know who is going to be interested in your session. You might want to start by asking people to hold up their hands if they’ve been involved with the topic for more than five years, for one to five years, or for one year or less.
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* Don’t be upset if only two people show up to your session. Those two people are the ones who share your interest.
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* Don’t feel that you have to “fill” up an hour of time. If what you have to say only takes 15 min and the group has finished interacting–then the session can end. At the start of the conference, we will discuss guidelines for how this can happen.
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* Don’t feel pressure to have everything take “only” an hour. If you start with a short presentation, and then a group conversation gets going, and your discussion needs to continue past an hour – find a way to make this happen. You might be able to keep talking for awhile in the room you are in, or move to another part of the conference area, or post “Part 2” on the agenda for the next day of the unconference. (continue it right then or put a part 2 on the board). At the start of the conference, we will discuss guidelines for how this can happen.
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* Be Brave! Others are interested in making your session work!
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Do think about the ideas that you want to cover in your session, and how you want to cover them. But don’t feel as though you need to prepare a great deal. (If you’re over-prepared, your session might lose energy.)
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* Experiment with the kind of sessions you lead. There is no such thing as “failure” an an unconference.
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===Beyond Open Space===
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====Fishbowl Format for Dialogue====
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The Fish Bowl is a way to support dialogue about critical issues in a community. It is called a fish bowl because a small circle of people has a conversation, and those sitting around them watch. The form looks like this: you have a circle of 5-8 chairs in the center. Radiating out from that you have more rows of chairs (with four isles).
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Those in the center can either be selected or volunteer from the group. This is a choice you need to make based on your goals. If you know there are several people with different opinions, you can make sure those vocal people are in the center at the beginning. Letting those who have passion about a topic or issue step forward is also a good way to go.
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There is always one chair left empty in the center circle. This chair is open for someone else to step into. When someone steps into the empty chair one of the existing center circle people should self-select and step out. You can expect to dialogue for about 30 minutes with a good rotation of people through the center.
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One option is to break the conversation that the center is having and go around the audience (the outer circles) and see what folks are thinking about the center conversation. This creates a feedback loop and gives voice to the rest of the room. You can have a break and then continue the fish bowl dialogue if needed.
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As the leader you can frame the opening of the conversation and then let go. Moderating should be kept at a minimum, except for keeping the conversation from wandering too far off track.
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====SpectroGram====
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''Still need to write this''
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====Project Gallery====
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This process is great because it allows people to see a range of projects/software in a small group setting, and supports those sharing their work to improve their pitch. Presentations typically are demonstrations on computers, talks, or flip chart diagrams. You need a ratio of audience to presenters of between 4-6 and 1. It works really well with 50-70 people with 8-12 presenters.
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You spread the presenters around the edge of the room – each at a table or end of a table. Break the audience into small groups, and assign one group for each of the presenters. You play "referee" and start a clock that goes for 4-10 minutes, and get all the presenters going. When the first round ends, everyone rotates and you do it again. In one hour each audience member will have seen a bunch projects, and the presenters will have presented many times.
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====Healthy Food====
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What ever your choice of process or where ever you are bringing your community together I am a big believer in providing healthy food options for people. This is getting easier and easier with cut vegetable servings available in regular super markets to more advanced options in places like Trade Joes. Just having ‘chips and slasa’ for an evening meet up is not quite enough. It can also be nice to provide wine or beer for people. This can be done inexpensively with “2 buck chuck” from Trader Joes.
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Current revision

Bold textBack to Chapters for AOC

I wrote this chapter for a collaborative book project that was subsequently given to a lone male author to write.

I am removing the chapter and am using as the basis of my own book on the topic of participatory conferences and building successful technical communities.

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