Day 1

On Wednesday and Thursday 06/08-09/2016 we had a participation sprint in Milan, with Daniele (@Mte90, Mozilla Rep) who came from Rome to join and help us.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

During the first day we have focused on all those activities that we need to improve to be better organized, to work in a correct way and to let all the community members be always up to date on what is going on.

First of all we had a presentation phase, in which we had to answer to general questions on our role on the project, such as: "Why do you contribute on WTL?", "What do you like about it?", "Why are you attending this sprint?" and "Why did you join the project?".

These are extremely important questions because can be used to understand the target of users we are addressing to. This is the first important thing emerged during the sprint: we always have to have clear the target of users we are talking and involving in the project; this is the first step to make sure that anybody can be properly involved and give to anyone correct and specific tasks.

Communication channels[edit | edit source]

This phase was followed by an extremely important phase: brainstorming. We had a fruitful discussion on all the activities we think to be fundamental for the future of our project.

The first point we focused on was communication channels: this is an always-open argument in our discussions, because we have to try to define (once for all) this aspect of our community life.

Daniele proposed us their model: instead of Telegram they use Slack, which allows them to have discussions and meetings, to always have the possibility to follow a particular thread and, moreover, is better structured and organized than Telegram.

A valid alternative to Slack (which is not opensource) could be Mattermost: we already had a test-channel on it. The idea for the upcoming weeks is to use one of these communication channels and to evaluate if it would be convenient to use them. Actually the idea is not to have a "complete migration" from Telegram to Mattermost (or Slack), but it's clear that once the definitive communication channel has been set we have to (must!) use it. You'd probably say "What about mailing-lists?!": we spent lot of efforts to set it as one of our (our main) communication channel, you're right.

Actually the idea is not to completely stop the use of mailing lists, but to have a communication channel that allows to start a discussion (in an organized way, with a moderator who has to write a report at the end of it) and to make it end only when a decision has been taken; thus, mailing-lists will not be abolished but their use has to be rethinked. Stricktly linked to these points there is another important activity that we have to introduce in our work, that is taskization.

Phabricator usage and task tracking[edit | edit source]

It is pretty evident that we have had some difficulties in following a thread (eg on ML) and then come up with a decision on it: taskization of our work is an extremely important feature since it allows to make sure that what's going on can be tracked by anybody (this could be a strong point also when we ask for funds and the commission/organisation has to evaluate what we are doing) but it's also a good way to have a proper workflow.

We have our phabricator but (up to now) we are not using it in the proper way. More precisely: we have to start using it constantly to have a structured organization of our work; we have to comment, assign and place in the correct place tasks in order to give anyone of our contributors the possibility to follow what we are working on and to help us to be sure that everything will be done, according to its priority.

We have also discussed about community organization: both for the internal organization and for new users engagement. First of all we have pointed out the necessity of well-structured meetings. We have to be sure that, during the meeting, collaborative and real time notes are taken: this allows not to loose any idea and to create a document that can be used to redact a complete report of what has been said during the meeting.
Important: even if the possible use of mattermost (or slack) would allow us to have online discussions and meetings (it'd be impossible in telegram), to add reactions on messages to take decisions, this does not mean that this type of discussions won't be followed by a complete report and, moreover, this does not mean that this type of discussion will replace face-to-face discussions and sprints.

Community building[edit | edit source]

For what concerns community building and new users engagement: we need a call to action in our home page and, as we have already pointed out several times, the home page has to be more user friendly. The user journey feature has to be implemented in such a way that the new user doesn't feel disoriented. It would be a good thing to put in the homepage (or somewhere else on our site, eg in a particular section) a list of all ours contributors and partners: this could be a good way to get more credibility.

New users have to be encouraged to do simple tasks: in such a way we can be sure that they won't leave our project and they'd get used to our site, our tools and gain more and more experience to become autonomous.

Gadgets, the use of badges to recognize users' contributions, a mascotte of our project and specific (simple) tasks to be done by interested people (eg after a talk) are strong points that have to be concreted.


A look on the future[edit | edit source]

So, these are all the activities we have to focus on. We already knew the necessity to deepen some of these aspects and new aspects that could help us and our work arose. The next few months (weeks?) are fundamental in this sense: we have to try to work hard to complete as many tasks as possible. Especially for what concerns our internal organization we have to come up with concrete decisions as soon as possible.