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.
Over the past few months, we’ve been delighted to work with Yani Bellini Saibene at rOpenSci as she’s designed and built a brand new champions program. One of the ways we’ve been supporting that work is by delivering an online training for the new champions in how to design and host successful meetings. This month we used our “making a PACT” framework for more engaging meetings and events – and after reaching out to the participants to ask about their accessibility requirements, we were prompted to make some adjustments to how we facilitated the workshop and shared materials.
Community managers are always learning about new tools and making improvements to how we support community members – and this approach is no different for CSCCE staff! So in the spirit of “working out loud”, this blog post includes more information about the PACT framework and how we updated our existing workshop to make it more accessible.
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 email@example.com.
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.
For our May community call we piloted a curated networking forum with the intention of helping our members connect and find others with similar interests or overlapping community characteristics. More than 40 community members attended the event which was a resounding success. Thanks to everyone for playing along and being adaptable as we worked together to enjoy a joyful, energetic 90 minutes!
In this blog post, we share our rationale for hosting a community networking event, as well as a high-level overview of our forum structure. If you weren’t able to attend this call, but like the sound of spending 60-90 minutes getting to know your community better, we will be offering another opportunity to network before the end of 2021.
In this guest blog post, Serah Rono and Emily Lescak summarize Serah’s presentation and discussions from her Code for Science and Society community talk on accessibility in virtual events, and share an accessibility checklist to guide you as you plan virtual events.
Accessibility is to equity as a foundation is to a house. A well-rounded and intentional approach to making your community spaces and resources accessible levels the playing field for all in your community, and benefits everyone in the long-run.
December 3, 2020 was last year’s International Day for People with Disabilities. Under the theme “Not all Disabilities are Visible,” the day’s focus was on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.
In 2020, we conducted a series of virtual tools trials, to test out platforms and apps that help communities connect and work together online. Together with members of the CSCCE community of practice, we tested eight platforms, and recapped our findings on the CSCCE blog.
This Spring, we are launching “Tools Trials 2.0.” Instead of focusing on a single platform, we’ll devote each monthly trial to discussing, and hopefully solving, a specific use case. We’ll then take what we learned and share it with the broader community.
Since the global pivot to online working and convening, we’ve been working to create resources that help community managers and facilitators make their virtual meetings and events more engaging. The first two parts of our guide to facilitating engaging virtual events, a recipe book of event formats and a curated selection of resources are already helping thousands of people to thrive online.
In the newest section of the guide, selecting and testing online tools, we offer a framework to guide how you decide what online tool(s) to use. You can download this section, as well as the earlier two sections, for free.
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