- Session Name: Emotional barriers to participation
- Session Room & Timeslot: Room 6 @ 3pm
- Organizer: Daniel Johnson @teknotus
- Note taker: Meghan Gill, @meghanpgill, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forum Lurkers - analytics show that lots of people look, but few actually participate. Why do some participate, but others don't?
- Getting new people to attend user groups
What are the barriers?
- People need to feel a sense of belonging
- Use of jargon - include people by letting them say that they don't know what that means
- Learning disabilities - e.g. dyslexia - some forums don't have spell checkers
- User Groups - people are scared because you they won't understand. Anecdote about needing to know Haskell in order to attend a user group.
- How to get people into a comfort zone online?
- Many people are shy, introverted
- Cultural aspects - certain cultures don't ask for help
- Maybe they've been answered already?
- Shift from forums to Facebook --> less participation, loss of anonymity, use for social interactions rather than professional
- People would rather ask questions in places where they have a relationship, rather than on a public mailing list
- Ping people offline and ask people to contribute their expertise - "Hey, can you answer this?"
- Inviting people out to drink ahead of time to introduce a few people to one another so that we have buddies. Better to be buddies with other members rather than the leader (who is likely occuppied).
- Welcome new people and make them aware of what's out there. Clear welcome guidelines. Hey we miss you! Automated emails.
- Mentoring: Community of project leaders - new projects have to be introduced through a mentor
- Clearly codified rules - does that scare people away, or make them feel more comfortable posting? On the first email tell everyone to be nice.
- Incentivize or gamify to encourage people to post
- Leverage the leaders in the group to have them work with the newbs
- Any first time posters in this thread, I will do x
- Culture is very friendly, easy to sign in
- Meetup can require people to bring someone new
- Take the time to set the tone on your list - you may end up getting tangential questions
- Randomly ask how things are going, or ask a question about what they're working on
- When people leave, ask them why, or what they are working on