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Lessons about Community from Science Fiction


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Since the theme for this CLSx is "Community Knows No Borders", this talk will take us to space, the final frontier, with a focus on community tips told through science fiction stories. While the topic is fun and a little silly, the lessons about communities are real and tangible.

Here are just a few of the things that will be covered:
* Borg assimilation and bringing new community members into your collective for new ideas.
* Specialization is for insects. The best community members are the ones who can help in a wide variety of ways.
* Travel to strange new worlds and meet interesting people.

Published in: Technology
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Lessons about Community from Science Fiction

  1. 1. LESSONS ABOUT COMMUNITY FROM SCIENCE FICTION Presentation available at Dawn M. Foster @geekygirldawn University of Greenwich, PhD Student Community Consultant, The Scale Factory
  2. 2. WHOAMI Geek, traveler, reader, PhD student, consultant 20 year tech career. Past 15 years doing community & open source Read 73 books per year, 2 years in a row, mostly sci-fi / fantasy I keep a list: Photos by Josh Bancroft, Don Park
  3. 3. BIGGER ONTHE INSIDE Communities look very different from the inside than when viewing them as an outsider
  4. 4. ALL ABOUTTHE PEOPLE Communities are about the people who participate, not about the leaders
  5. 5. DON’T GOTOO FAR Take time to understand the community and participate gently to start without doing too much at once
  6. 6. DON’T BE A REDSHIRT Participate and contribute in a way that people will notice and value your work Read John Scalzi’s ‘Redshirts’
  7. 7. SPECIALIZATION IS FOR INSECTS The best community members are the ones who can help in a wide variety of ways
  8. 8. 3 LAWS AND GUIDELINES Guidelines / code of conduct that change and evolve as needed
  9. 9. ANDROIDS AND EMPATHY Don’t act like an android, show empathy and consider the impact of your actions
  10. 10. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED Bring new community members into your collective for new ideas
  11. 11. COMMUNITY METRICS Measure community activity to track progress, identify issues and recognize great community members
  12. 12. NO MONSTERS Different isn’t bad, disagree with ideas, not the person
  13. 13. MENTORING Train the next generation and help others succeed
  14. 14. THEYOUNG CAN CONTRIBUTE Age is often unknown, encourage young people to contribute
  15. 15. STRONG WOMEN Encourage women in our field and get more women speaking at our events
  16. 16. CONTROL ISSUES Maintain balance to keep things productive while not being too controlling
  17. 17. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE Travel and meet interesting people working on global projects
  18. 18. NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS It's not all parties and fun travel. It’s also a lot of real work and sometimes means being the bad cop.
  19. 19. DON’T PANIC Things will go wrong keep things in perspective calmly recover
  20. 20. THANK YOU Dawn Foster PhD Student, University of Greenwich Community Consultant, The Scale Factory @geekygirldawn,,