Talking about community - we need your ideas for the next workshop


  • We’re co-creating an open source community building curriculum.
  • Eventually it could be used to run courses for community people.
  • One of the learning outcomes would be how to explain community
  • We’re doing a virtual workshop on 9 February 2023 on this topic.
  • We need your help here to discuss and shape the event, please :slight_smile:.

Workshop on how we talk about community

Rosie & I ran an initial meetup in November 2022. You can read our writeup of the event and what we learnt. We’re now going to do a series of workshops to flesh out the curriculum content.

Our first one on 9 February will be on how we talk about community and explain it to people. This is an important part of any community professional’s work, especially when trying to convince people to give us (more) money or permission to build new communities or change existing ones.

What could we do in 2 hours at the workshop?

To get the most out of the upcoming workshop, we need your help and ideas here, please. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • How do we breakdown the topic of talking about and explaining community?
  • What facilitation techniques would be useful for the workshop?
  • How would you structure the time we have?

Any and all replies to the post would be really useful, and I thank you in advance for your time and effort :slight_smile:

Read more

Visit the page for links to everything related to our project.

1 Like

Hey @jaCattell,

Lovely to see you! This is an exciting topic and a great time to host it!

I’ll start by saying I most often work with B2B communities, some of whom are open-source but have a commercial open-source offering as well, with B2C and nonprofit communities sprinkled in. So my feedback is coming from that point of view, but I think (hope!) it will still be relevant to “explaining community”, which I take to mean “explaining community” to other potential members as well as project/business stakeholders (like, what’s the purpose and value of a community, and why someone should join or invest in it).

In terms of explaining community, I think I’d break down the topic into two parts:

  1. What it is to members (who would join, why they would join, why they would contribute, why they would stay, why they would invite others)
  2. What it is to stakeholders (why they would invest in it, how they could participate or support, what they can expect as outcomes from it (its impact on the open-source project or business))

Since your workshop focuses on open-source community building, I might also add a third point around the different needs of open-source communities across a project and community’s stages. I recently hosted Developer Advocate Rain Leander for a talk (blog recap here) about building open-source communities, and they shared this OSS Checklist for what open-source communities should think about at different stages.

In terms of facilitation techniques, I’d definitely recommend an exchange-style of learning: Both having the hosts open up dialogues with learnings and context they have as well as holding time for brainstorm sessions and group discussion sessions.

I’d also pre-ask attendees about how they’d explain community, and then open up the floor to attendees to share their answers at the beginning of the session, and then re-share their answers at the end if they’ve changed!

Have a great workshop!