Open Source Collective Community Call Nov' '21
Published on November 25, 2021 by Benjamin Nickolls
Admin

Thank you to everyone who joined our third community call, and thanks to the founder of all things Open Collective, Pia Mancini, for hosting this month's conversation. For those of you who were unable to attend a recording is available for the next 30 days.

In this conversation we
  • Followed up on the conversations in October regarding the training, coaching, and workshops we are offering to Collectives — read more in our announcement,
  • Followed up on our conversation about collaborative documentation — which you can read at https://docs.oscollective.org/ and contribute to on GitHub,
  • Spoke about the core recommendations that will guide Open Source Collective's strategy for the coming years. 
  • We spoke about becoming a full-time maintainer and the personal benefits and costs of doing so. 
We started by reviewing where we're at with progress toward our support program for projects. We've now published our announcement for an 8-session series running between 10-12 weeks from mid-December. If you're looking to answer questions like 'how do we bring new contributors?', 'what do we spend our money on?', and 'who gets to make decisions?' register your interest in taking part.

Next, we spoke about improving our documentation. After trying ReadTheDocs we came back around to using our current provider, GitBook, in order to keep the technical barriers low to non-technical contributors. Gus from OpenProducer raised the point that Open Source Collective could incentivize the production of shared documentation using bounties, which we will look to support directly. 

We also shared a little from Open Source Collective's emerging strategy including the focus areas that we're looking to address in the coming years:

Our strategy continues to focus on people, it continues to focus on our fiscal hosting program and it continues to do so with low barriers to entry and a high degree of transparency, but it also includes some changes. Broadly we recommend that:
  • we should focus as much time on enabling projects to use money as we do enabling them to gather it, 
  • we should do more to think like and develop ways to support one another as a single, open source community, and 
  • we should build the case for supporting open source projects as independent entities by helping everyone understand the impact that our work is having on them.

The conversation continued on the focus on enabling projects to use their money: Ben from OBSProject talked about his own experience, sharing that it's not a problem of what to use contributions for, but more about how to budget. We acknowledged that historically Open Collective has not done enough to support Collectives to make decisions together, but that we are beginning to experiment in that area with projects like Metagov Slack and Loomio integrations.

We spoke about the personal consequences of quitting a full-time job to become a maintainer with Open Collective. That doing so would considerably increase the personal risk, and that the lack of stability of income is a significant inhibitor to some to make that jump. We spoke about the possibility of multi-year commitments to contribute to projects so that the community can make similar, long-term commitments. This is an area that Open Source Collective will be developing significantly over the next year with regard both to employment status, benefits, and creating more predictable income for Collectives.

Finally, we reiterated that these conversations are only a checkpoint and a gateway for the community and that we actively encourage members to engage and work with us and each other on Slack:

  • we discuss all things open source in #opensource
  • we support one another in #community-support
  • we discuss fundraising in #fundraising 
  • we work to improve our documentation in #documentation 
Our next community call will take place on December 16th at 5pm UTC.

Register to attend
Join the conversation on Slack
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