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community development



This program area is dedicated to supporting Public Lab's unique combination of local organizing and distributed peer production.
Related website tags: community
Related program areas of the Public Lab non-profit: Web Working Group, Advocacy

Timeline

Here's a brief history of community infrastructure (online and off), and some notable milestones.

2017

  • last Annual Barnraising, shift to all "Regional Barnraisings" to focus on local issues (note)
  • Fourth Regional Barnraising: Appalachia, held in Morganton, West Virginia (june)
  • first chatbot created to be a friendly, supportive voice on publiclab.org
  • connected IRC, Riot, Gitter, and the non-profit Slack Channel #irc so that everyone can chat in the same place
  • "first-timers-only" culture is re-iterated inside each Summer of Code project
  • non-profit staff adjustments: Open Hardware Community Manager (formerly Kits Manager), Advocacy Manager (new position). Long term staff @mathew and @becki phase out.

2016

  • (add more here!)
  • began use of Gitter chatroom (november)
  • standard template for first-timers-only issues & encouragement of others to post issues in that way note (october)
  • Third Regional Barnraising: Los Angeles, held in Val Verde, California
  • Code of Conduct published (july)
  • Webjack Project by Richard
  • New Search API introduced in publiclab.org website by Ujitha
  • Internationalization of publiclab.org website - Translation in German by Jitesh
  • "Streaks" https://publiclab.org/wiki/streak (june)
  • hastagging implemented by Ananyo
  • dashboard 2.0 launched
  • modularization in codebases with implications for copyleft licensing
  • plan for user testing developed with @weatherpattern & @ann, and connected to org-wide evaluation "quantitative snapshot"
  • outreach to developers via public presentations & use of new github tags "help-wanted" "first-timers-only" yields new contributors
  • Moderation improvements April 2016: basic guidelines posted at /moderation, all first time posters now moderated, moderators group expanded to mailing lists and website
  • first "first-timers-only" issue created in Public Lab March 16, 2016: 329, followed by 309. First Timers Only culture came to us through SpinachCon2016, Gregor Martynus of Hoodie, BostonJS, and Name Your Contributors project by Richard Littauer, see note.
  • 4th top level language group created: China, via WeChat (january)

2015

  • Code of Conduct written for Annual Barnraising 2015
  • by the end of 2015, there are 67 organizers from 11 countries
  • publiclaboratory list surpasses 4000 members
  • regional "umbrella" mailing list created for northwest; becomes the first regional list that is bigger than the list for the name-brand city (Vancounver) it encompasses
  • SpectralWorkbench 2.0, including a Procedures System by Sreyanth
  • Public Lab's 5th Anniversary (read about it in GrassrootsMappingForum #7))
  • illustrated guide to joining the Public Lab community by Molly Danielsson
  • Second Regional Barnraising: Midwest, held in Chicago, Illinois
  • first ever Organizers Survey. Key topics: decision-making among organizers, active/inactive status.
  • Organizers Welcome pack becomes a physical mailing, including printed Handbook and Event Packs (also new for 2015)
  • Public Lab Fellows Program created in program areas Open Air, Open Land, Open Water
  • MapKnitter2.0 launches
  • WhereWeBreathe project on indoor formaldehyde monitoring and mitigation
  • The blog is rebooted, reviving a type of narrative writing that had been somewhat lost since the shift from grassrootsmapping.org to publiclab.org
  • Early versions of "Lending Library" based out of Portland leverages the shipping experience of our kits program and our non-profit access to discount USPS Library Mail rates for moving more expensive tools or calibration equipment around the community. Existing chapter-based tool exchanges continue as usual. Two Open Hours dedicated to this topic.
  • the Public Lab non-profit organizes its programs into initiative areas -- Open Air, Open Water, Open Land and Civic Kits -- in order to enable cohesive community collaboration across hardware, software, expertise, and locale.
  • plots-nyc (also NJ!) becomes first local mailing list to top 200 members.

2014

  • by end of 2014, there are 62 organizers from 8 countries
  • PublicLabTV launched at Barnraising 2014
  • First Regional Barnraising: Northeast, held in Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • organizers handbook (including undersigning of statements, and nomination of new organizers by sending one's own filled-in profile)
  • "New organizer welcome & orientation" email is standardized
  • Organizers Summit (event type piloted in June during regional barnraising, full event held in November at Annual Barnraising)
  • first federal grant
  • paper research notes, notepads
  • community cards: "welcome to Public Lab" messaging printed on brown cardstock
  • "Ask a Question / Answer a Question" tagging system see all questions
  • new, simplified front page on publiclab.org
  • ability to award a barnstar & have it displayed on awardee's profile page via dropdown menu on research notes
  • subscribe to tag (RSS)
  • http://publiclab.org/tags lists popular tags on the site
  • http://publiclab.org/stats shows a year of activity at a glance
  • select the language of a research note or wiki page with power tag
  • co-authorship of research notes via powertag
  • images supported in research note comments
  • in-line wiki editing
  • callouts on publiclab.org via @username send email notifications
  • OpenHour / live call events is first community wide audio/visual channel
  • barnstar brainstorming
  • Event template and RSVP feature on research notes
  • international edition of Grassroots Mapping Forum features XXX countries/regions
  • chat room (IRC) integrated into all publiclab.org pages
  • regional "umbrella" mailing lists created for northeast, midwest
  • third top-level language specific list is created, Public Lab Portugues
  • plots-spectroscopy list reaches 1000 members, surpassing grassrootsmapping as the largest tool-specific list
  • publiclaboratory list reaches 3000 members

2013

  • ability to comment on research notes
  • ability to write one research note in response to another
  • ability to "like" research notes, and "follow" them to receive email updates
  • tabbed wiki pages
  • "toolshed raising" event type
  • lists created for software developers, education, and writing
  • Mapknitter Club / Cartography Collective
  • Start a chapter page created
  • Guide to starting new projects
  • PDF print stylesheets for wiki and research note pages
  • research note templates
  • Sign-up page integrated anti-spam questionnaire "Turing Test"
  • publiclab.org launched, replicating all publiclaboratory.org features + adding user dashboard, profile pages, and supporting international characters (UTF-8)
  • OpenID used across all sites to authenticate against one's PublicLab.org account
  • plots-infrared list launches, along with plots-airquality and plots-waterquality
  • publiclaboratory list reaches 1500 members
  • creation of github.com/publiclab community repo

2012

2011

  • barnraising event type
  • Grassroots Mapping Forum (print publication for offline data distribution)
  • publiclaboratory.org launches, pioneering the "research note" and creating the wiki knowledge base (January 2011)
  • publiclaboratory list
  • laboratoriopublico list (Spanish)

2010

  • BP Oil spill -- short story at the top of this page

2009


community history irc 7