(Sustainably) recruiting a core (of contributors for a project/team)
Interests of participants
- Facilitating users to foster their own support community around a project/tool/etc.
- Make hackerspace more manageable, sustainable etc.
- Building volunteer teams, ideally with an exit strategy
Strategies for fostering and maintaining communities
- If you have a single person with all the knowledge, anybody else might be daunted to take over. Break up role into small chunks, give each to a person, and have them rotate roles to get experience
- Commit to sticking around for a duration, to help put people at ease that you're not going to drop the ball and run
- Some groups have an "incoming", "current", and "outgoing" president (for example), so the incoming person is learning, the outgoing person is available to step in if the current person can't manage at one time.
- Intentionally delegate small tasks to others; person A this week, person B next week. This way, it's just distribution of work, without you disappearing, but available to train.
- Documentation! Documentation! Documentation!
Communication! Communication! Communication!
Getting the community started can be tricky
- Outreach to people for a committee; find out why they want to be involved and ensure they're getting a benefit
Simplified versions of documentation; an overview that needn't be comprehensive
Get people emotionally involved, and make them own it. Give them a discrete and clearly defined role.
- Confident organiser with a clearly defined plan would help encourage others, even if that plan doesn't eventuate. A meeting with some clear outcomes and action items
- Entice people to do boring roles (e.g. we need somebody to be treasure and enthusiastic evangelist)
- Team and rapport building
- Selling roles to members based on past achievements in that role
- Rewarding people for their roles, and recognise their achievement
Seeing somebody who's thrived in this role or a similar role in the past helps motivate new contributors
Lower barrier to entry, and recognise and reward participation and achievements