TYPO3 Communications Workshop: Communities

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An introduction to communities, looking at why we form communities, and the variety of community.

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  • ## What's a community?
    * "It depends"
    * A broad definition is "A collection of people or animals who interact in the same environment" *Bacon, J. - Art of Community*
    * For a more specific definition we need to look at the skills and motivation of the community's members
  • * We're sociable animals, we like the sense of belonging to a group
  • * Building Social Capital - "good-will, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals" *Hanifan, L.J. - The Rural School Community Centre*
    * As a business builds capital for it's shareholders (money), so a community builds social capital for its members.
    * As social capital accures, it provides benefits for its members - once you get to know the members of your community and work with them, you can solve common problems together.
    * What benefits do we get once social capital is accrued?
    * Sharing ideas and experience
    * Self improvement
    * Complementing our own skills with the skills of others
    * Collaborating on a shared goal
  • Some examples of the roles in an OSS community:
    Casual user – Wants to use the software, seeks support, seeks social interaction
    Power user – As above, but also willing to help others, build reputation
    Developer – Wants to add to the software, build reputation and experience
    Leader – Wants to be in charge, build reputation and experience, sense of power?
  • ## Varieties of community
    3 varieties
    Lots of other terms have been coined, but most are just special cases of these 3 as we'll see
  • * Community of Interest
    * "A gathering of people assembled around a topic of common interest" Henri, F. and Pudelko, P. - Understanding and analysing activity and learning in virtual communities
  • * Exchange information
    * Obtain answers to personal questions
    * Improve their understanding
    * Share common passions
    * Individuals in a CoI aren't working together to achieve a goal, but are using their associations (gained through building social capital) to achieve their own goals
    * Examples:
    * Discussion groups
    * Fan clubs
    * Book clubs
  • "Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly." - Wenger, E. - Communities of Practice, a brief introduction
    * Simply having a practice in common doesn't constitute a community, the members must form relationships (building social capital) and then learn from one another.
    * A CoP can be identified by the Domain, the Community and the Pratice
    * Domain – the area in which the expertise lies – Survival, project management, IT administration
    * Community – The people and the activities they undertake to build social capital
    * Practice – Shared experience, tools, techniques. The body of shared knowledge that is built through the community's interactions
    * Examples
    * Professional bodies
    * User Groups
    * Online gamers
    * Sports teams
    * Bands
    * A classroom?
  • * Community of Circumstance
    * Defined by a shared situation brought about by external factors
    * "Community of Place" - a CoC where the situation is geographical location
    * Examples:
    * LOST
    * Families
    * Neighbourhood
    * School tutor group
  • Sub-communities of different types may form, including CoP or GOCoI (project teams), CoC
    * GOCoI Henri & Pudelko
    * AKA "Community of Purpose" or "Community of Action"
    * A "project team" formed within a CoI to perform a task or a achieve a goal
    * e.g. A party organising committee
    * Communities of Circumstance may form for groups sharing a circumstance within the wider community
    * e.g. FLOSSIE – Women within the Free & Open Source Software community
  • * Different people have different things to offer
    * "Surface-level Diversity" - Race, gender, age, etc. *Graen, George B. - Dealing with Diversity*
    * "Deep-level diversity" Skills and personalities - you dont want a community of highly skilled people who wont talk to each other
    * Motivations
    * This is an important consideration when looking at the other topics we'll be discussing
  • General Support Forum – CoI – People in various roles seeking and providing help
    Other Language Forums – CoC – People discussing Moodle in another language – their shared circumstance is their langauge
    Teaching with Moodle Forum – CoP – A group of teachers working together to improve their teaching practice
    Local Support Groups – CoP – A sub-group of the community seeking support, defined by their geographical location
    Development Teams – GOCoI - Groups of users, developers, designers, testers and managers working to fix and improve Moodle itself
    General Developer Forum – CoP – Developers helping each other get better at developing for Moodle
    MoodleMoot Organisers – GOCoI – Members of the community working together to organise conferences
  • TYPO3 Communications Workshop: Communities

    1. 1. Communities mark.johnson@it.ox.ac.uk @marxjohnson
    2. 2. What is a Community? "A collection of people or animals who interact in the same What they are doing environment" The people What's motivating them Bacon, J. - Art of Community
    3. 3. Motivation – Why form Communities? A Sense of Belonging Bacon
    4. 4. Social Capital "good-will, fellowship, get oncesympathy and social What benefits do we mutual social capital is intercourse among a group of individuals" accrued? ● Sharing ideas and experience ● Self improvement L.J. - The Rural School Community Centre Hanifan, ● Complementing our own skills with the skills of others ● Collaborating on a shared goal
    5. 5. Levels of Commitment Different motivations will allow people different levels of commitment to a project • Casual User • Power User • Developer • Leader
    6. 6. Varieties of Community Communities of Interest Communities of Practice Communities of Circumstance
    7. 7. Communities of Interest "A gathering of people assembled around a topic of common interest" Henri, F. and Pudelko, P. - Understanding and analysing activity and learning in virtual communities
    8. 8. Communities of Interest • • • • Exchange information Obtain answers to personal questions Improve their understanding Share common passions
    9. 9. Communities of Practice Practice "Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly." Practice, a brief introduction Domain Wenger, E. - Communities ofCommunity Wenger
    10. 10. Communities of Circumstance Defined by the shared experience or situation of its members Community of Place – a special case the the circumstance is geographic location, e.g. a neighbourhood. Community of Position – a special case where the circumstance refers to position in wider society
    11. 11. Activity Look at and discuss the following online communities. Are they communities of Interest, Practice or Circumstance? StackOverflow Twitter Macmillan Cancer Support Xbox Live MumsNet Reddit
    12. 12. Communities A successful Community of Interest may form subgroups • Goal-Oriented Communities of Interest – Aka Communities of Action/Purpose • Communities of Practice • Communities of Circumstance Henri & Pudelko
    13. 13. Diversity • “Surface-Level” – Race, Gender, Age • “Deep-Level” - Skills and personalities Graen, George B. - Dealing with Diversity • Important not to exclude based on surface level • Important to encourage deep-level diversity
    14. 14. Activity Discuss in your group: • What type of community is The TYPO3 Association? • What other communities exist within it, and what types are they? • Do any of these communities lack deep-level diversity?
    15. 15. Case Study – Moodle Moodle is a community of teachers, students developers, designers and testers with a shared interest in using and improving e-learning. It is a Community of Interest.
    16. 16. Case Study – Moodle Within Moodle's Community of Interest, there are other communities: Local Support Groups (CoC) General Support Forum (CoI) Development Teams (GOCoI) Other Language Forums (CoC) General Developer Forum (CoP) Teaching with Moodle Forum (CoP) MoodleMoot Organisers (GOCoI)
    17. 17. Summary We form communities to build social capital which allows us to achieve our goals collectively Members of a community will have different motivations, and different levels of commitment There are different types of community – a FOSS project should be a Community of Interest, not of Practice Encouraging deep-level diversity will provide the community with varied personalities and skills
    18. 18. Questions? Discussion? References: Bacon, Jono. (2009). Art of Community O'Reilly Hanifan, L. J. (1916). "The Rural School Community Center". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (67): 130–138. Henri, F. & Pudelko, B. (2003). "Understanding and analysing activity and learning in virtual communities" Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (19): 474-487 Wenger, E. (2006). "Communities of Practice – A brief introduction" http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm Graen, G. B. (2003) Dealing with Diversity IAP

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