A space for notes and follow up from the Community Building for TERENA members conference call, 22 March 2013. 


TTC: Christoph Graf, Vicente Goyanes, Esther Robles

TERENA Staff: Valentino Cavalli, Laura Durnford, Licia Florio, Nicole Harris, Gyongyi Horvath, Michael Nowlan, Bert van Pinxteren, Brook Schofield, Peter Szegedi.


The main outcome of the meeting was a request for all attendees to document their ideas on the TERENA wiki.  This space and the broad outline notes below are the start of this process. 

Topics for the meeting

1. Input into the TAC.

2. Community Building (Input for the Activity Plan).

    1. Special interest groups vs Task Force.
    2. Bridging the digital divide.
    3. Space in the area of innovation.
    4. Incubation and pilot of ideas.

3. Outreach to new communities / organisations. 

    1. Selling services into new areas
    2. New comers.

2.  Community Building Notes

There was a desire not to focus on tools, although the conversation necessarily led to the discussion of tools.  Some of the ideas expressed:

  • TERENA should not build something new, but take advantage of the tools that already exist, both as general services (staff use of Twitter) and specific focused tools (SurfConext).
  • How would this fit with the TERENA Marketing Plans / new CRM proposals?
  • Divide between community building and marketing functions. 
  • More to capture community comments at events (Twitter+Storify?)

Problems of timelines. Is this for the 2013 Activity Plan? The 2014 Activity Plan? There should be something in place that is overarching but simple and quick to implement, something that staff can easily develop under certain guidelines. A few simple objectives should be set asap that might not cover all of areas 2 and 3 described above.

Start with some pilots for groups that are naturally more responsive to social media / online community efforts. 

Is the Task Force structure right?  Might be right for some groups (CSIRT, REFEDS?) but need to look at other models like lightweight working groups.  Is there a need to breakdown the silos between the Task Force groupings or do people naturally just go where they are comfortable?  Can this / should this be forced and what would the benefits be?

Do we need an 'All-Hands"  / Symposium style meeting of the TFs? It has been suggested as something positive and could build on the limitations of time but other groups already naturally finding external meetings to pair up with (REFEDS with I2, FIM, EMC2 with IIW, CSIRT with FIRST) and it may be more effective to have these groups aligning externally with groups of a similar scope but different geographical boundaries rather than with each other.Is this being addressed through the TNC Open Space?

TNC is recognised as a great source of ideas both through presentations and the corridor meetings - do we do enough to follow up on these? Need a better way for ideas to flow, addressing points c and d above.  What is the current flow of idea>incubation>service (or not). Where are the decision points? Do we need a kickstarter type of service?

(NH: since the meeting I separately suggest JISC Elevator as a good example of generating / supporting community ideas).

People in the community are our biggest asset.

Don't necessarily need to break down the silos, but do need more ways to find synergies between the groups and track down relevant information when needed (CRM role?)

How do we prevent things from getting stuck in a bottleneck?

Role of the satisfaction survey. 

3.  Outreach to New Communities.

What / where / how to do this type of outreach?  Does TERENA need to be more visible at more events?

What is the TERENA Community and how big can it be?  Who are the people we want to reach out to.  Possible resources:

Are there benefits for moving / seconding people between NRENS to help distribute knowledge.   

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  1. Unknown User (szegedi)

    It is not really a note but my personal comment:

    From a PDO point of view, current TERENA task forces need continuous babysitting (building community, following up on deliverables, calling meetings, organizing pilots, reporting, etc.). A lightweight TF - or we can call it SIG - only makes sense to me if it offloads some - if not all - work from the PDO. Ideally a SIG must be entirely self-maintaining (with all the tools necessary) and have only one check-point a year when the TTC (with the help of a PDO) can evaluate and assess the need of the SIG and make the decision appropriate.