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@cattsmall@cattsmall
Bootstrapping Communities
AIGA Design Conference 2016 – Catt Small
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Why the act of building communities
is necessary, the communities I built,
and advice for creating yo...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Why should we
build communities?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Individuals want to connect.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Attract people
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Build engagement
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Catalyze evolvement
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Without communities, your
product, company, and
industry will not survive.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Communities can facilitate
diversity and inclusion.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Diversity and inclusion
positively affect your
industry, business, & product.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Why do I build
communities?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
© Girls Who Code
They make me happy
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Today’s examples
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty
Active from 2013 to 2015
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Code Liberation
© Code Liberation Foundation
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Salt Mines NYC
Active in 2015 Super Smash Bros © Nintendo
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Good for PoC
https://twitter.com/SamWritesCode/status/781726915144974336
@cattsmall@cattsmall
These are just a few
communities I’ve organized.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Others include
http://technical.ly/brooklyn/2014/06/24/super-lo
ve-game-jam-sex-human/
Brooklyn Gamer...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lessons learned
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Phases of community
Starting Sustaining
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 1:
Find your niche
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Smart community leaders
What’s a need that hasn’t
been filled? Can I fill it?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS
Young
people in
tech?
Learn &
connect to
others in
tech?
Target Need...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 2:
Don’t do it alone
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Who can and wants to help?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS
1 leader
2 helpers
None
People Sponsors
Multiple
leaders &
helpers...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 3:
Define your culture
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What are my community’s
core values?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS
??????????
?????????
Core values
Serve &
support
people, not
compani...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 4:
Set goals
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What tasks will we
accomplish?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS
Connect
people in
tech
Educate
people
about tech
careers
Goal 1 G...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 5:
Make rules
@cattsmall@cattsmall
How will we deal with
problems in our community?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS
Methods to deal with problems
Social
conduct
policies
Weapons,
dru...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 6:
Share ownership
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Who can step up?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS
Doing all
the things
Helping
every now
and then
Leader Helpers
3 w...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 7:
Pay and be paid
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What can I afford to pay
people for their work?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS
No one.
People getting paid
Speakers
People getting paid
Leaders
Hel...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 8:
Be consistent
@cattsmall@cattsmall
How often will we assemble?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS
Meeting times Meeting times
Whenever
we want to
Summer
classes
Ga...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 9:
Accept feedback
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What can we do better?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS
Feedback method
Google
Forms
with
statistics
Feedback method
Printed...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Lesson 10:
Branch into clusters
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Can we cultivate small,
supportive groups?
Smart community leaders
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS
In person
Meetup.com
NYC
Ways to connect Chapters
In person
Faceb...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Wrap up
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇ Communities support people as
well as bring interest to your
products and businesses.
◇ Failure is ...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇ Define your target group, goals, and
overarching culture.
◇ Ask for help so you’re not in it alone....
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇ Share ownership as you grow and
value your collaborators’ time.
◇ Keep a regular cadence.
◇ Get fee...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Thank you.
Questions?
Tweet @cattsmall
Email catt@cattsmall.com
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AIGA Design Conference 2016 - Bootstrapping Communities

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The lack of diversity in the tech and games industries is a known issue. One solution is to build support networks for marginalized folks in these industries. Support networks are also important within the realm of products, as social activity adds value to services. Designing and creating supportive communities requires hard work, time, and money. In this talk, I discussed lessons learned while helping to build several successful—and a few failed—communities of varying sizes online and offline.

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AIGA Design Conference 2016 - Bootstrapping Communities

  1. 1. @cattsmall@cattsmall Bootstrapping Communities AIGA Design Conference 2016 – Catt Small
  2. 2. @cattsmall@cattsmall Why the act of building communities is necessary, the communities I built, and advice for creating your own. Today we’ll discuss:
  3. 3. @cattsmall@cattsmall Why should we build communities?
  4. 4. @cattsmall@cattsmall Individuals want to connect.
  5. 5. @cattsmall@cattsmall Attract people
  6. 6. @cattsmall@cattsmall Build engagement
  7. 7. @cattsmall@cattsmall Catalyze evolvement
  8. 8. @cattsmall@cattsmall Without communities, your product, company, and industry will not survive.
  9. 9. @cattsmall@cattsmall Communities can facilitate diversity and inclusion.
  10. 10. @cattsmall@cattsmall Diversity and inclusion positively affect your industry, business, & product.
  11. 11. @cattsmall@cattsmall Why do I build communities?
  12. 12. @cattsmall@cattsmall © Girls Who Code They make me happy
  13. 13. @cattsmall@cattsmall Today’s examples
  14. 14. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Active from 2013 to 2015
  15. 15. @cattsmall@cattsmall Code Liberation © Code Liberation Foundation
  16. 16. @cattsmall@cattsmall Salt Mines NYC Active in 2015 Super Smash Bros © Nintendo
  17. 17. @cattsmall@cattsmall Good for PoC https://twitter.com/SamWritesCode/status/781726915144974336
  18. 18. @cattsmall@cattsmall These are just a few communities I’ve organized.
  19. 19. @cattsmall@cattsmall Others include http://technical.ly/brooklyn/2014/06/24/super-lo ve-game-jam-sex-human/ Brooklyn Gamery Active in 2015 Code + X Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Google Hangouts Chat-based groups
  20. 20. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lessons learned
  21. 21. @cattsmall@cattsmall Phases of community Starting Sustaining
  22. 22. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 1: Find your niche
  23. 23. @cattsmall@cattsmall Smart community leaders What’s a need that hasn’t been filled? Can I fill it?
  24. 24. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS Young people in tech? Learn & connect to others in tech? Target Needs People of color in tech Find good places to work Target Needs
  25. 25. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 2: Don’t do it alone
  26. 26. @cattsmall@cattsmall Who can and wants to help? Smart community leaders
  27. 27. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS 1 leader 2 helpers None People Sponsors Multiple leaders & helpers Local venue & livestream group People Sponsors
  28. 28. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 3: Define your culture
  29. 29. @cattsmall@cattsmall What are my community’s core values? Smart community leaders
  30. 30. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS ?????????? ????????? Core values Serve & support people, not companies Always provide a safe space for people of color Core values
  31. 31. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 4: Set goals
  32. 32. @cattsmall@cattsmall What tasks will we accomplish? Smart community leaders
  33. 33. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS Connect people in tech Educate people about tech careers Goal 1 Goal 2 Teach multiweek C# class Share game dev lessons online Goal 1 Goal 2
  34. 34. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 5: Make rules
  35. 35. @cattsmall@cattsmall How will we deal with problems in our community? Smart community leaders
  36. 36. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS Methods to deal with problems Social conduct policies Weapons, drug, & alcohol policies Methods to deal with problems ?????????? ?????????
  37. 37. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 6: Share ownership
  38. 38. @cattsmall@cattsmall Who can step up? Smart community leaders
  39. 39. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Salt Mines NYCVS Doing all the things Helping every now and then Leader Helpers 3 web developers 2 event page editors 1 tournament organizer 3 bracket managers Many volunteers People
  40. 40. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 7: Pay and be paid
  41. 41. @cattsmall@cattsmall What can I afford to pay people for their work? Smart community leaders
  42. 42. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS No one. People getting paid Speakers People getting paid Leaders Helpers
  43. 43. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 8: Be consistent
  44. 44. @cattsmall@cattsmall How often will we assemble? Smart community leaders
  45. 45. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS Meeting times Meeting times Whenever we want to Summer classes Game jams Game nights
  46. 46. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 9: Accept feedback
  47. 47. @cattsmall@cattsmall What can we do better? Smart community leaders
  48. 48. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Good for PoCVS Feedback method Google Forms with statistics Feedback method Printed feedback form
  49. 49. @cattsmall@cattsmall Lesson 10: Branch into clusters
  50. 50. @cattsmall@cattsmall Can we cultivate small, supportive groups? Smart community leaders
  51. 51. @cattsmall@cattsmall Tech Under Thirty Code LiberationVS In person Meetup.com NYC Ways to connect Chapters In person Facebook Slack NYC London ChaptersWays to connect
  52. 52. @cattsmall@cattsmall Wrap up
  53. 53. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇ Communities support people as well as bring interest to your products and businesses. ◇ Failure is natural and necessary to find success. In summary:
  54. 54. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇ Define your target group, goals, and overarching culture. ◇ Ask for help so you’re not in it alone. ◇ Identify rules and boundaries. Advice for starting
  55. 55. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇ Share ownership as you grow and value your collaborators’ time. ◇ Keep a regular cadence. ◇ Get feedback from your members. ◇ Be aware of the effect of scale. Advice for sustaining
  56. 56. @cattsmall@cattsmall Thank you. Questions? Tweet @cattsmall Email catt@cattsmall.com

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