Brm2011

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Community organizing for free software activists, talk at the BRM hacker lab. Video here, http://soup.brmlab.cz/post/188081218/Last-week-we-were-visited-by-a

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Brm2011

  1. 1.     Ahoj BRMLab! Community Organizing  for  Free Software Activists Deb Nicholson October 25th, 2011
  2. 2.     What I'm going to talk about ● Why free software is critical  ● The state of the movement ● Strategy and perception ● Specific tactics for growth 
  3. 3.     In the 60's, people believed that computers would be used primarily to enhance the power of the individual ● CC­BY­SA ­­ DJ Brandon on Flickr
  4. 4.     Freedom of speech  and freedom of assembly  are meaningless if the methods  of exercising them are not  controlled by the people. 
  5. 5.     “Power concedes nothing  without a demand. It never did  and it never will. “ ­­ Frederick Douglass  
  6. 6.     Free software is distributed power. 
  7. 7.     Today, free software users are the minority “As an organizer  I start from where the world is, as it is,  not where I would like it to be.”  ­­ Saul Alinsky
  8. 8.      The “low hanging fruit” is already here.  
  9. 9.       According to FLOSSPOLS,  women comprise less than 2%  of the free software community. 
  10. 10.       We have a movement  that needs to grow and  a huge population  we haven't reached. 
  11. 11.     Lots of opportunity! ● More people spreading the word = – More users – More designers – More developers – More people spreading the word
  12. 12.     Diversity beyond gender   ● People of color ● GLBTQ  ● People with disabilities  ● Working class people ● “Non­computer people”
  13. 13.      The tactics I'm about to share  aren't only for increasing diversity – they're  good guidelines for reaching out to anyone.  
  14. 14.     There are no shortcuts “Effective organization is thwarted by the  desire for instant and dramatic change.” “To build a powerful organization takes time.” ­­ Saul Alinsky
  15. 15.     How do we get there?  Cesar Chavez was once asked how he did  all that organizing. His answer, “I talked to  one person, then I talked to another person,  then I talked to another person...” 
  16. 16.     Talking to people effectively ● Define your purpose ● Plan an event or  meeting ● Who is your target?  ● Make it personal
  17. 17.     Define your goal It's hard to invite people in  when you can't articulate  what you're inviting them to. 
  18. 18.     Stay on message ● Be up front about  your goal ● Keep attention  getting measures  thematically related  ● Consider #off­topic  or beer afterwards  CC­BY – photogirl7 on flickr
  19. 19.     Events or meetings ● Give you a specific time and place to  focus on ● Newcomers' events cut out the weirdness  of inviting new people one at a time ● Face to face helps people feel connected
  20. 20.     Planning your event... ●  A public place  ● Entice people with    snacks ● Make a plan and         stick to it CC­BY Tomi Tapio on flickr
  21. 21.     Stay on target, stay on target... ● Who are you  inviting? ● What's in it for them?  ● Tailor your approach ● Repeat and repeat  and repeat  CC­BY­SA Eric Kilby on Flickr
  22. 22.     Perception & Recruitment ● It's easy to recruit  yourself ● Stereotypes ● “Just another  member” vs.  “unicorn”  CC­BY­SA smws on Flickr
  23. 23.     Making it personal ● What is the person you're  talking to interested in?  ● Send personalized emails ● Talk to people in person ● Repeat and repeat and repeat 
  24. 24.     They're here! Now what?  ● Run good meetings  ● Follow up with people  ● Analyze what you just did ● Improve it for next time! 
  25. 25.     A few things to remember  ● Introductions as opportunity ● Thank people constantly  ● Use inclusive language ● Have next steps ready
  26. 26.     Growing  Think of your new  participants as  seedlings, they'll  need care and  feeding ­­ but not  smothering.   CC­BY – Rev Stan on flickr
  27. 27.     90% of organizing is follow­through
  28. 28.     Tools for follow-through ● Take notes at your meetings ● Keep institutional knowledge up to date  and somewhere everyone can access it ● Set deadlines and stick to them ● Thank people for the tasks they've  completed ­­ publicly if possible! 
  29. 29.     Share the work  ● Work is “digital” ● Bus factor ● Burnout factor ● Documentation  CC­BY – Steven Depolo on flickr
  30. 30.     Share the power ● Don't be “the boss” ● Mission > details ● What's so great  about doing it your  way? ● Invested people  stick around  CC­BY­SA Tom Raftery on flickr
  31. 31.     Fostering Leadership ● Recognition: free  and awesome ● Reward people  with more  responsibility ● Teach/empower  people to recruit  others CC­BY – moonlightbulb on flickr
  32. 32.     One on Ones ● Build accountability ● Listen  ● Make it better ● Stay on topic   CC­BY – Anya Logic on flickr
  33. 33.     In closing...   ● More people and different people == larger  and more successful free software  movement!  ● Invite people thoughtfully and repeatedly ● Share the work and the decision making!  ● Make sure people are getting something  back so they stick around ● Always be fostering leadership
  34. 34.     Want more?   ● Email me, deb@eximiousproductions.com ● Free software organizing resources   http://groups.fsf.org/wiki/Womenscaucus/resources ● “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinski 

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