This month, we’re hosting an impromptu Tools Trial for our community call. In response to significant interest from the members of our community of practice (find out more about our community), we’ll be getting together in Zoom on Friday, 26 May 2023 at 10am EDT / 2pm UTC to share expertise and explore the functionality of Discourse.
This month’s “salon-style” call focused on the changing landscape of social media, and how STEM professionals are engaging (or not) on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Lou and Katie created a loose scaffold to facilitate the call, drawing on their many, many years of life online, and we thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that unfolded.
We did not record this month’s call, so that everyone who participated could feel comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences, and this recap is intentionally free of identifying information. We’ve also collected the resources shared on the call at the end of this post – from books to blog posts to suggestions of people to follow – so scroll on to find out more!
The last few years have seen a shift in how people behave online. More and more, we see individuals announcing that they will leave this platform or that, either for new websites or for a life lived less online. Relatedly, spaces that are more private are increasingly replacing public ones for conference back channels and subject-specific discussions. While these changes may be understandable, as community managers, this shift away from sharing and connecting in public forums presents very real challenges.
During this month’s salon-style community call, we will investigate how the upheavals in social media platforms (and how people engage with them) are impacting community-building activities online. Please come ready to share your experiences and opinions, as well as any ideas you have for what’s next. This month’s call will not be recorded, but a recap blog post will be made available shortly after.
On this month’s call, we invited the Organizational Mycology team to facilitate an Oblique Thinking Hour activity for CSCCE community members. Beth Duckles and Dan Sholler led us through a series of prompts, culminating in breakout conversations where participants looked at community manager challenges from a range of surprising perspectives.
Oblique Thinking Hours
So, you might be wondering: “What is an Oblique Thinking Hour?” These sessions are an experimental way of facilitating a group as they work through a problem or challenge. Instead of attacking the problem head on, they come at it “obliquely,” building an appreciation for what everyone brings to the table before trying to find a solution.
Are you facing a community management challenge right now that you just can’t find a solution to? In this month’s community call, CSCCE community of practice member Beth Duckles will facilitate an Oblique Thinking activity to help us all work together on finding solutions.
This year, we’re switching up our community call formats, cycling around three broad approaches each quarter: i) sharing of skills and knowledge e.g, via talks, panel discussions and show and tell; ii) building together e.g, by combining our collective knowledge to do or make something new – including shaping our CoP and; iii) providing more opportunities to build deeper connections with one another via various different approaches to networking that are grounded in skills you can reuse in your own role.
This month, we are focusing on connecting, and you can expect something completely different from any CSCCE community call that’s come before! We’ll be asking you to share your varied skills, including those you might not flex so often in the workplace, and collaborate with other members of the community to solve common challenges in STEM community management. Expect to leave feeling energized and having connected more deeply to other members of the CSCCE CoP!
This month our community call focused on the accessibility of community resources and programming – emphasizing practical actions we can all take to support the participation of members with disabilities. We heard from two members of our community of practice; Sara Kobilka (of Renaissance Woman Consulting and co-creator of the Digital Engagement Accessibility Toolkit) and Rebecca Carpenter (Virtual Academic Community Manager of the Deaf STEM Community Alliance at Rochester Institute of Technology); held space for questions and discussion, and finished the call with a “show and tell” of some tools that can aid in the accessibility of slide decks, websites, Zoom calls, and written content.
In this blog post, we share an overview of the call, including recordings of Sara and Rebecca’s presentations, as well as a number of helpful resources that you can take a look at. We’re also working on a short resource to help guide STEM community managers specifically, and if that seems like something you’d like to be involved in making, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a community manager, you work hard to create resources that are available to as many people as possible. When it comes to digital resources, this includes making sure that your PDFs are screen-reader compatible, your Zoom calls are captioned, and your slide decks don’t feature text that is too small.
On this month’s call, we’ll hear from CSCCE staff and members of our community of practice about how to create accessible resources, as well as check whether your existing resources need an update.
For our first community call of 2023, we wanted to continue our tradition of periodic updates about what’s happening at CSCCE. In these updates, we draw back the curtain and share more details about what we’re working on, as well as some reflections that other growing organizations and communities may share. From onboarding new staff members to preparing for the first cohort of our certification program, there’s a lot going on, which brings with it necessary changes in process and underlying technical infrastructure. This recap blog post will get you up to speed on all the news.
Note: A recording of this call is available to members of our Community of Practice, and a link is available in Slack. Please contact email@example.com if you need assistance.
Happy New Year! The turning of the year is often accompanied by transition, setting new intentions, and planning for the months ahead. That’s certainly where we find ourselves at CSCCE, with 2023 promising to be a huge year for our growing organization.
In our first community call of the year, we’ll share what’s coming up, including new courses, clients, and community programming. This is a great way to catch up if some of our newsletters fell into the cracks of December email chaos, or if you’re new to our community of practice and would like to find out more about opportunities to get involved. Our calls are open to anyone, so if you’re not yet a community member but you’re interested in what we do to support STEM communities and the people who build them, please do feel free to join.
CSCCE’s Community of Practice, which we host in a Slack workspace (find out more and request to join here), contains a wealth of information. Over the years, our members have shared hundreds of blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and other media about a multitude of topics, from how to write inclusive content to hosting engaging and accessible events.
Whether you’re a member of the community and could use a reminder, or you’ve been wondering what tips our members have, we’ve curated some of 2022’s highlights in this blog post. Below is a list of 49 resources that garnered some of the most engagement in our Slack community over the past year.
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