September 10, 2020 Meeting

Meeting conducted at 09:00 Eastern / 14:00 UTC / 15:00 CET

U.S. Dial-in number: 408.915.6466
Meeting ID: 4569610770


  • Ron McFarland
  • Ben Owens
  • Jonas Rosland
  • Jimmy Sjölund
  • Bryan Behrenshausen


  • Discussion of potential new Japanese prime ministers
  • Discussion of video gaming, game preservation, the Open Organization RPG, and gamification in open source
  • @jonasrosland reveals a mint-in-box Nintendo Color TV-Game 6. @Bryan wants it.


Article check-in

  • @ronmcfarl checks on status of his article (clarifies some edits he’s requesting).

Notes on new platforms

  • Red Hat’s Open Source Program Office (our project’s sponsor) has invested in a few tools communities can use to connect with audiences while social distancing. We now have access to both Crowdcast and Hopin, two tools for conducting virtual events.
  • Crowdcast is tailored for one-off events with smaller numbers of attendees. Hopin is suited for multi-day events drawing larger crowds. Should we wish to host a speaker, an event, or a multi-day workshop, we may use these tools (and our presentations would carry standard “Supported by Red Hat” endorsement branding as a result).
  • We’ll keep these platforms in mind if we continue noodling on community workshop and broadcast ideas.

Project Updates

New website

  • We’ve been working hard on a new website, and a preliminary, “minimum viable product” is online. Time to begin iterating. Feedback welcome and encouraged.
  • Chat with @Bryan, @laura, and @jonasrosland, open an issue in the site’s GitHub repo or make a pull request if you want to get involved. And please do get involved!
  • @Jimmy filed some issues this morning; @Bryan will follow up on them (@Bryan asks @Jimmy for impressions of kanban board)
  • @Jimmy is going to get an issue backlog started; high-priority item will be constructing an ambassador community directory page
  • @ronmcfarl suggests ideas for including more multimedia on the site in its next iteration, specifically recorded interviews (audio and/or video)
  • @ben.openwaypbl would like to see more images in the next iteration
  • @jonasrosland suggests that in-site links should come first; off-site links should be to the right, maybe even a different color, to indicate that you’re leaving the page

Guide to Distributed Teamwork

  • Now that the website beta is live, @Bryan can focus more attention on this project. It’s coming along nicely, but needs some additional gasoline if it’s really going to catch fire. Hope to do that this fall with a formal release by the end of the year.
  • New chapters from @bcotton and Sim Zacks arrived this week; @Bryan to start editing right away

A discourse on Discourse

  • At office hours in August, @jenkelchner held a productive discussion about the future of our mailing list, our use of Discourse as a community engagement platform, and the overall future direction of our community engagement online. This continues @bcotton’s excellent observations on these same issues. The group developed a number of items for ambassador community discussion and deliberation, and @jenkelchner has documented them in a thread. Let’s specifically discuss the “decisions that need making,” as listed in that document.
  • @jonasrosland : Suggests retaining the mailing list but using it for announcements only; shift everything else to Discourse and open new sections for contributors to engage.
  • @ben.openwaypbl : Raises the issue of a synchronous chat platform. Would this also benefit the community? We discuss the merits of chat platforms as well as the drawbacks (with regard to creating a community knowledge commons we can build on and link to). We agree to revisit the issue of a chat platform in the future.
  • @ronmcfarl Would like to see us converting readers to contributors by using Discourse callouts in articles. At the moment we have no real way to engaging with readers unless they leave a comment on or find their way to GitHub. We could be more deliberate about cultivating conversation.
  • Decided We will convert the mailing list to an announcement only list, and will open Discourse to community members who aren’t ambassadors. @Bryan configure Discourse this week and send a note to the mailing list announcing the change. The goal is to have community discussion occur principally at

Ambassador Updates

  • @ben.openwaypbl : Working with a non-profit, non-partisan in North Carolina focused on K‒12 education to broker an online conversation between government representatives, legal experts, educators, administrators, scholars. Ben is seeking participants
  • @jonasrosland : Working to publish open source project and community engagement/participation guidelines and best practices at and for VMware.
  • @ronmcfarl : Finalizing a series on globalization and open organizations. The next series is going to be about “innovation” and its history. The goal is to demonstrate how openness has been a catalyst for innovation throughout history. Also doing research on the nature of “work.” How is work changing?
  • @Bryan: Editing newly submitted chapters for Leaders Manual and Guide to Distributed Teamwork.


I would like to contribute to this project. I have worked with @Bryan on a couple of other open-org projects and I believe I can contribute particularly in the copy editing area. How best would I be able to step in and add value?


1 Like

Okay. This is awesome.

For those unaware, @trncb has been an invaluable contributor to our book series (see here and here as just two examples). But, well, you’d be forgiven for being unaware, because of the rather idiosyncratic process by which we construct books (now changing, thankfully). So I’m overjoyed we can now incorporate @trncb’s contributions in a more visible way—and accept more of those contributions to boot.

@trncb: Copy editing is one of our most pressing needs. At the moment, I’m the community’s primary copy editor, and that means I’m too often (for my liking) a bottleneck. An additional perspective on materials we receive—and another pair of discerning eyes for editing—would go a long way.

I’ll propose two ways to get involved with editing, and note that I also welcome your ideas, too.

  1. Help edit the forthcoming book on distributed teamwork. If you’re interested, I can ensure you’re a collaborator on this project and have permission to contribute (with push access) edits to chapters-in-progress. This includes chapters that are currently in development.

  2. Help edit regular pieces for our community channel at At any time, we’re fielding multiple pieces in various stages of production, preparing them for publication (usually three or four per month). I could add you as a collaborator on the editorial board, and as new pieces arrive and move through publication I can ask about your availability to help copy edit them (and move them along our trusty kanban).

Just two ideas. What do you think?

Additionally, know that I am planning to begin a process of “refactoring” our book series so that chapters and other materials appear first as tyext files in their respective repos (as opposed to the way things are now—just big binary files that can’t be edited directly). The goal here is to empower more great copy editors like you to dive into the works and enhance them iteratively. My first target for this work will be the Leaders Manual, and if you’re game, I can include you in the process of this important “refactoring.”

So maybe three ideas.

Excellent, thanks @Bryan.

Sign me up for items 1 and 2. Item 3 is something I’m definitely interested in as well, but wouldn’t want to set false expectations.

You have my email for us to communicate further. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Great! @trncb, I’ve invited you to join the teams on GitHub. See you there!

1 Like

Welcome @trncb! THANK YOU! Another idea would be to write copy for our new website? We’re copying and pasting from all over the place…we’re sort of building the plane as we fly, but I guess in the near future a steady copy hand would be nice :slight_smile:

Another great option! Thanks for thinking of that, @laura.

@laura I’m happy to help where I can. :slight_smile:

1 Like