Two years after the pandemic pushed the majority of events online, we invited community members to discuss when virtual and hybrid formats work well, when they work poorly, and the tools that lead to success.
We also hosted a co-working session, during which we worked on a virtual events glossary and an updated version of our guidebook of curated virtual events resources – two items we’ll release soon. In this blog post, we offer some of the key takeaways from this month’s community call, in the hopes that it helps you plan engaging and inclusive events.
Join us on 18 May at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT for a conversation about virtual events: what we’ve learned after two years of online gatherings. We’ll make space for discussion, considering what the future of hybrid events look like, and host writing sprints to co-create new resources.
On our April community call, we considered how Customer Relationship Management platforms (CRMs) can be used to manage communities in STEM. We heard presentations from community members Yamina Berchiche, Erin Conn, and Chris Hartgerink, who are each using different platforms in their work, and learned about their similarities, differences, and general utility for relationship-building. We also took a few minutes at the end of the call to brainstorm some of the features we’d like to see in a CRM that was optimized with community management in mind.
In this post, we describe some of the themes and insights from the call, and share the recordings of the three presentations. This is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all of the CRM platforms available today, nor is it an endorsement of the products mentioned. Instead, we hope it will help you as you to work through your own requirements, and consider whether a CRM might be useful in managing your community.
Believe it or not, a quarter of 2022 is already behind us. So, we’re looking ahead to what’s coming up in our monthly community calls over the next three months.
If you’ve never been to a CSCCE community call, these are monthly virtual gatherings (kind of like a webinar, but more interactive!) for anyone interested in building communities in STEM. Most participants on the calls are members of our community of practice, and we regularly invite members to present or lead discussions. Calls are scheduled for 90 minutes to allow conversations to blossom and diverge, but we also appreciate 60 minutes is typical for virtual meetings and so if you have to leave at the top of the hour there’s no need to apologize.
We do not routinely record calls, however if there are formal presentations we make those available after the fact on our YouTube channel. Our rationale is that by not recording the calls we afford more opportunity for participants to speak candidly in a protected space, and, to ensure people who are unable to attend benefit from shared learnings, we publish blog post recaps within a week after the call.
Our April call will focus on the pros and cons of various Community/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and what a “perfect” community relationship management platform might look like.
We’ll hear from three members of our community of practice who are using different tools, and spend some time brainstorming to create a requirements document of all the things we’d like to be able to do as community managers with a similar platform.
The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges.
To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.
The next CSCCE community call will take place on 16 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (add to your calendar: Google | iCal). We’ll be talking about what it looks like to be a community manager in a variety of settings; from scientific societies to research collaborations and everything in between.
We’ll also be talking about our newest resource, a series of community manager case studies that we’ll be releasing every Tuesday this Spring, starting on 9 March. And, we’ll hear from the C3 project team from CEFP 2017 as we kick off a new community working group building on their research.
February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.
We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation.
Our February call will focus on scaffolding — onboarding documentation, how-to manuals, and tip sheets that keep everyone within an organization or community on the same page.
We’re currently finalizing a guidebook that lays out the role of scaffolding in STEM communities, and we’re excited to give you a sneak peak of the guidebook’s core concepts. This month’s call will also include time for participants to create or update their own scaffolding – either by adapting CSCCE’s CC-BY-licensed scaffolding templates or building and/or sharing their own organization’s documents.
Our January call focused on project management tools and how they can streamline collaborations and improve efficiency. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Lou Woodley (CSCCE; describing the tool Trello), Alycia Crall (the Carpentries; describing Asana), Anne Heberger Marino (Lean-To Collaborations, describing Mural), Ellen Dow (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, describing Todoist).
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