When 21 geeks join a videoconference, anything can happen…


Last night we had our first videoconference. Test started at 7:30pm and meeting ended at… 1:30AM! (and just because there was a blackout on my street).

I didn’t expect this sucess, however, I embrace it. Maybe our community just need to use tools that aproach them and give them an oportunity to give faces to names and nicks. Last night was a clear example of this, where we had 21 people having an EXTRAORDINARY hangout like I had never seen… I can be completely honest and say that was as productive as a FUDcon (maybe someone can jump with an online FAD? :D )

I didn’t had a prepared conference for this time, since mostly I wanted to know how has been for Amber Graner and Selena Deckelmann to be FOSS contributors, their experience, ideas and feedback; however, everything took a different direction before and after that conversation that the 3 of us had. I need to say THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH (yes, awful sentence) specilly to our amazing invited, Amber and Selena, who show us a lot of reasons to be part of FOSS communities, to keep learning, to keep teaching… and to keep having fun! but also I want to thank to the rest of the crew that join us: Mark Terranova, Alejandro Perez, Hector Alonso Gonzalez Mata, Hedayet Mabrook, Clint Savage, Pat Mcgovern, Carlos Reges, Nemecis Rojas, John Dulaney, Vinil V. Menon, Abdel Gadiel Martinez Lassonde, Oliver Rivas, Ben Williams, Miguel Alvarado, Garry Elliott, Click Mapa, Sandeep Pothuganti, Junior Paz, Javy Martinez and Fabrizzio Moreno

Now, lets make a list of interesting things that we talk about and let me show you my random notes. Please, know that this is the *crude product* comming out from my head, some of this points (I hope all) will end up beign applied or put into practice. This is not a list of goals (maybe is) but consider ir as one of the best Feedbacks and brainstorms online ever! :P

= Geeks at FOSS =

  • * Weird names are AWESOME… but please, make sure to have an audio file with a proper pronunciation – Thank you.
  • * ask about your friends life… they will be happy to share some details with you so you are not just a robot.

= Mentors =

  • * Fedora has guides for everything, but not to be a mentor (check on this)
  • * Has to know well how community works
  • * Need to have amazing people skills, not enough just to be an ambassador

= Ambassadors =

  • * Must know how to organize an event, learn about logistics, marketing and people skills
  • * Propose talks for events that you don’t organize
  • * Try to take fedora to non-fedora places, events and activities
  • * To be an ambassador you need to have good ideas, but also work on turn them into goals, not only expect that someone will do it for you (or if you can’t, please, make if happen)
  • * Every member of Fedora IS an ambassador

= Fedora a better place =

  • * more testers
  • * Better websites or way to find info at our websites
  • * More brainstorming, less information meetings… push feedback
  • * Focus on fulfill ideas, not only give them.
  • * Show Fedora with more serious marketing (product)
  • * Help tech people to show themselves more professionals and less hippies
  • * Marketing are focusing on a few events… what happen with the small events and we need to be and are not fedora specifics
  • * We need more marketing outside events… if we have 2.000.000 linux users on a country and we only spread fedora on an 200 people event.. we are waisting 1.800.000 potential contributors.
  • * Daily marketing MATTERS
  • * Passion at events and focused on fun. Gather together for the fun, not by the tittle
  • * Don’t join the community expecting to get a job, join it because the fun and with fun, might come a work.
  • * Curiosity
  • * Explore and expand what you can do, not what you cannot or don’t know how to do
  • * Whatever your motivation is… keep being motivated
  • * Encourage people to make money with FOSS
  • * Opensource is about friends… so find the right ones and those that make you feel a rockstar and motivate you

= Questions for Selena and Amber =

  • * Are you a girl? or just a robot?
  • * How is to be a community person for you?
  • * What are your tasks on Free and Open source community?
  • * Which is the best experience you can remember being a community leader?

= FUDCon Panama=

  • * Bring a key people of each team available to allow new contributors to get sponsorship and contribute without have to wait after-event.
  • * show the simplicity of contribute to fedora with people examples.

So PLEASE, if you have any further idea, or you join the conversation but you didn’t talk… feel free to add any comment. We need your ideas and feedback in order to make stronger proposals that can actually change things. Hope you tomorrow night for our second hangout, this will be about “how to be a better ambassador” (30min english, 30min spanish)

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  • 24 February, 2012 at 22:11

    Hi! well, I have realized that people srsly need that human factor this days. Maybe is just me, but I trully believe that there is no code without hands.

    About the people, yes, people went in and out. But most of the times was full. Was a nice surprise, I didn’t expect to see so many people :$

  • 24 February, 2012 at 22:00

    You mention in the title that you had 21 attendees. I thought Google+ Hangouts are limited to 10 people. How did you work around it? Or did people come and go during the hangout, with never more than 10 people at any one time?

    I really hate that Google is capping it at 10 attendees. Our team is ~12 people, so someone always gets left out (or we have to switch to something less cool).

  • 24 February, 2012 at 21:58

    I *totally* agree. A video conference–specifically a Google+ Hangout–is a surprisingly human experience and has revolutionized the remote work experience.

    It’s funny how much the brain interprets those meetings as being in person. How often do you physically touch a co-worker anyway? Seeing them in their own element, face-to-face is as good as being there, without any of the drawbacks (commute, distractions, small cubicles). We also get to points (and agreements) a lot quicker than endless e-mail threads. And a few clicks and there they are, right in front of you.

    So it’s definitely a great tool for communities. All we have to figure out now is how to get the same experience on a free platform :)


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