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CSCCE Community Tools Trial Recap: QiqoChat

On Thursday, 20 August 2020, several members of the CSCCE community of practice met to try out the virtual conference platform QiqoChat. This was the first in a series of tools trials meant to help scientific community managers source platforms that meet their needs as meetings and conferences transition online. In this post, we recap our shared pros and cons of the platform, give you access to our notes from the call, and tell you what’s next for CSCCE tools trials. 

What is QiqoChat? 

“QiqoChat (Qiqo) provides a social wrapper around Zoom meetings so that participants can move themselves in and out of different Zoom breakout spaces. This creates a vibrant & empowering online event/conference experience that replicates the freedom of movement that participants have at in-person events. Participants can make choices in real time about which breakout, panel, or workshop they wish to attend.” – https://universe.qiqochat.com/about

QiqoChat also allows you to embed additional content, such as videos, collaborative docs, and apps (find a full list of platforms you can integrate here) to create customized breakout spaces.  

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Kickstarting your creativity in the time of COVID-19

In the Community Roundtable’s 2019 State of Community Management survey, 50% of community managers reported feeling a high degree of burnout in previous months. One area burnout can impact community managers is our creativity. In 2020, with COVID-19 changing the way we work, it can be daunting to find ways to overcome burnout and tap into our creativity. In this guest blog post, Stephanie E. Vasko, Managing Director for the Center for Interdisciplinarity at Michigan State University, offers three activities that have inspired creativity since she began working from home in March 2020.

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July Community Call Recap: Organizing inclusive, accessible, and successful virtual events

This month, our content and programming focused on organizing and implementing virtual events. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings, conferences, and other events have become part of everyday life for many people, and the task of planning, executing, and evaluating them in STEM often falls to community managers. So, for our July community call we invited three members of our community of practice to share their knowledge and start a conversation about best practices. 

Watch the three presentations from July’s call in their entirety. 

Presentations

  • “It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This – Non-Player Characters & Prepping For Your Virtual Event” – Tom Quigley, ConservationXLabs (slides
  • “It’s All About Access: Planning Meetings for Wider Audiences” – Rebecca Carpenter, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Academic Community (slides
  • “Evaluating Virtual Events” – Emily Lescak, Code for Science and Society (slides
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Going Online: How we organized the first ever virtual csv,conf (part 3)

This is the third of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf (catch up on part 1 and part 2). In this final post, the authors look to the future (and explain the comma llama!).

#CommaLlama

It would not be csv,conf if it had not been for the #commallama. The comma llama first joined us for csv,conf,v3 in Portland and joined us again for csv,conf,v4. The experience of being around a llama is both relaxing and energising at the same time, and a good way to get people mixing. Taking the llama online was something we had to do and we were very pleased with how it worked. It was amazing to see how much joy people got out of the experience and also interesting to notice how well people adapted to the online environment. People naturally organised into a virtual queue and took turns coming on to the screen to screengrab a selfie. Thanks to our friends at Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas for being so accommodating and helping us to make this possible.

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Virtual Events! Announcing a new guidebook from CSCCE

With the COVID-19 pandemic came a global shift to remote working and virtual events. Because of this, over the last few months many members of the CSCCE community of practice have become experts in planning and facilitating a range of virtual event formats. 

We wanted to celebrate this knowledge and make it more widely available, and so over the last few weeks we worked with several members of the community to consolidate our expertise into a freely-downloadable guidebook to virtual event formats. 

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Going Online: How we organized the first ever virtual csv,conf (part 2)

This is the second of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf (check out part 1 and part 3). In this post, the authors share their process for planning an online conference.

Planning an online conference

Despite the obvious differences, much about organising a conference remains the same whether virtual or not. Indeed, by the time we made the shift to an online conference, much of this work had been done. 

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Going Online: How we organized the first ever virtual csv,conf (part 1)

This is the first of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf. Here, the authors share their reflections on the challenges and opportunities of moving an international conference online.

A brief history

csv,conf is a community conference that brings diverse groups together to discuss data topics, and features stories about data sharing and data analysis from science, journalism, government, and open source. Over the years, we have had over a hundred different talks from a huge range of speakers, most of which you can watch on our YouTube Channel

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Book Dashes: Collaborative Community Events

In this guest blog post, Arielle Bennett-Lovell (a 2019 CSCCE Community Engagement Fellow) reflects on the third Turing Way Book Dash event, which took place 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK.

What is the Turing Way? 

Science today is moving at an incredible pace, but preventing people from building on your work by making it impossible to replicate has almost certainly cost us years of progress. The Turing Way book project addresses this reproducibility crisis by collating community resources around how to design and carry out robust analyses that can be reused by other researchers in the future. 

Conceived by Kirstie Whitaker at The Alan Turing Institute, and managed by Malvika Sharan,  the book itself is currently hosted online and built using Jupyter Books and GitHub. Over 80 contributors across the globe built the book, through remote collaboration, workshops, and in-person events. These Book Dashes bring participants together in person to work on pieces of the book simultaneously for a full day. The third Book Dash for the Turing Way was held on 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK, and I was lucky enough to go. 

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We’re hiring! Are you our new Lead Trainer and Curriculum Development Specialist?

As we continue to grow our programming and the trainings that we provide to clients, CEFP fellows, and others interested in scientific community building, we’re now ready to recruit a Lead Trainer and Curriculum Development Specialist. If you’re interested (or know someone else who might be), read on! 

In this role, you’ll lead the consolidation of existing materials and creation of new materials for CSCCE’s community engagement training curriculum. You’ll also be working closely with our Center Director to deliver a wide range of trainings for clients and CEFP fellows – both remotely and in-person. This is an exciting opportunity to shape the leading scientific community engagement curriculum and support many others in their vital community engagement work. 

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July’s Community Call: Planning and evaluating accessible virtual events

On Wednesday, 22 July 2020 at 2pm we’re hosting our next monthly community call. This month’s call will focus on virtual events, a topic that is likely on the minds of many scientific community managers at the moment. 

We’ll cover three key aspects of organizing virtual events: planning and preparation, access and accessibility, and evaluation, both before and after your event. With three experts from our community of practice presenting, and ample time for discussion and Q&A, this month’s call promises to provide actionable information for you and your colleagues, so we hope to see you there! 

Join July’s call to learn more about running effective virtual events. Image credit: CSCCE

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