While every community has its own nuanced context, there are many recurring themes in community management that can be helpful to discuss with others. One tool to support those conversations is the use of metaphors.
Over the next few months, we’re going to be releasing a collection of blog posts that explore several key metaphors related to community management – and we’ll introduce how each metaphor can support conversations that address key community management topics such as creating and enforcing codes of conduct, developing a content strategy, deciding how much support to provide around community activities, and more. Alongside this blog series, we’ll be using our monthly community calls to host related discussions, which we’ll be facilitating with a new collection of worksheets.
At the end of the series, we’ll release all of this material as a single, downloadable booklet, which we hope will support ongoing discussion about the importance of community building in STEM.
On Wednesday, 30 August 2023 we held the first of our new series of five Tools Trials focused on open-source tools for community-building. The series is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and is intended for anyone interested in exploring open-source tools – including community managers who’ve never tried them before!
In this first trial, we focused exclusively on GitHub – one of the go-to platforms developers use to share and build open-source software. At CSCCE, we often say “meet your members where they are,” and for open-source communities, that often means you’ll find them using GitHub.
In this blog post you can find the recordings of all of the presentations from the call, as well as a summary of some of the (really interesting) discussion that took place both in the Q&A at the end of the call and in the chat and the shared virtual notes doc. Over the next few weeks, CSCCE staff will also be collaborating with the presenters to create a tip sheet that distills some of the key takeaways from the call; especially technical tips and tricks to help you explore implementing some of these GitHub-based community solutions.
This month’s community call was part of an ongoing series focusing on the role of community, and the community manager, in STEM. These conversations flowed from the 25 Community Manager Case Studies we published earlier this year, and we’ll be publishing a report to summarize our findings in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can catch up on our August (an overview of the case studies project) and September (a conversation about self-advocacy for community managers) calls on the CSCCE blog, and add our November call (which will focus on supporting and recognizing volunteers) to your calendar.
One of the common challenges identified from the case studies is that many community managers feel that their role is poorly understood, and so people in these roles sometimes find themselves juggling disparate definitions of success. During this session, we heard from three STEM leaders — Josh Greenberg from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, John Ohab from the Hertz Foundation, and Karthik Ram from the University of California at Berkeley — about how they think about the importance and impact of communities, and the qualities they look for in a successful community. This recap describes some of the themes that emerged during this discussion, and includes the recordings of each presentation.
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.
As part of the latest cycle of grants under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)’s Essential Open Source Software for Science program, CSCCE will be working with the software nonprofit Bioconductor as they develop a new training program and community platform for their users.
Bioconductor is built on the R programming language, and is an open source platform for the statistical analysis of genomic datasets.
Over the course of the past 20 months, scientific communities have worked hard to pivot their member engagement strategy to support meaningful interactions in the digital space. Earlier this year, CSSCE worked with the Environmental Data Science Inclusion Network to reassess their members’ needs and ensure that the content and programming provided is responsive to them.
Launched in 2019, EDSIN’s mission is to facilitate and support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the environmental and data science fields. EDSIN was established during an in-person conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and its leadership was planning a second in-person workshop to develop long-term sustainability plans, which was cancelled due to the pandemic.
For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we are taking some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. Our first post summarised the community “by the numbers,” and is a fun run-down of just how far we’ve come. In this post, we go a little deeper into the strategy and philosophy behind our programming. This post was jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley.
A community of community managers
We are in a unique “meta” position at CSCCE in convening a community of community managers. That means members of our community of practice already know the potential value that’s waiting to be released when people with experience, knowledge, and ideas that are valuable to others in the group are brought together. Part of our job as community managers is to devise programming that supports the realization of that value, and that signposts to members what might be possible together. That’s true for CSCCE staff, as well as for our members as they support their own communities, although what that programming looks like will be specific to each community’s context.
This week we’re thrilled to share CSCCE’s Community Participation Guidelines with our community. These guidelines are the result of several months of careful consideration, and were co-created by members of our community of practice in a dedicated working group.
In this post, we, the members of that working group, outline our process. Over the coming weeks, we’ll also share additional blog posts in which we reflect on some of the nuances of preparing community participation guidelines. We are doing this for two reasons: We want you to know how we ended up here, and we want our experience to assist you as you develop similar guidelines for your community.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January’s Community Call we reviewed our plans for CSCCE’s programming for the first few months of 2020. In this post we recap our intentions to launch three initial working groups this month – as a precursor to creating the supporting structures for future working groups later this year.
Why working groups?
CSCCE provides training, programming, resources and research to support community managers in science – and organizations looking to nurture scientific communities. One of our core activities is to host a community of practice, where existing community managers can learn from one another and ask questions of a supportive group of like-minded peers.
In addition to our Slack channel and monthly community calls, we’re now offering community members the opportunity to work more closely together in a working group.
We’re delighted to announce thatwe are now accepting applications for the 2019 cohort of AAAS Community Engagement Fellows, generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowship is a year-long professional development opportunity for existing scientific community professionals working in research collaborations, scientific societies, and other organizations supporting scientist-to-scientist or “in-reach” activities.
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