Official User Group Process
At OpenStack, we have some of the most passionate user groups in the world. We want all of our groups to be sustainable, high quality and friendly for everyone. This process provides a framework we can use to mentor new groups through their growth period, and work with established ones to get them through any remaining niceties to reach the top.
Steps to Success
We help User Groups get through the following steps before noting them as Official User Groups, and issuing them with an OpenStack User Group logo:
Agreed to Social Media and Event Policy (TEST: tickbox in portal, as part of group settings)
Complete group contact information entered in portal (TEST: need group name, description, more than one organiser profile with emails registered, at least one URL to a meetup site or similar)
Group organised and coordinated, multiple people from diverse employment involved in organisation, impartial (TEST: coordinators listed in portal, Community Managers + ambassadors to validate organisation, coordination and diversity)
Communications channels active and following policy (TEST: channels listed in portal, Community Managers + ambassadors to validate activity and policy)
Meeting regularly, with appropriate content (TEST: Community Managers + Ambassadors to validate)
An ambassador signed up to mentor the organising group (mainly for new/growing groups)
Interpreting the criteria
The aim of this process is to encourage all user groups to strive to be the best they can be. In doing this, it is important to note that each group is different, and this is one of the main reasons for the relative "looseness" of certain criteria - particularly #3,4,5. Consider the 'regularity' requirement from criteria 5. One could consider setting a target of "once per month". However, in some cultures, the principle of organising small meetups amoungst strangers is unusual, and in preference a very structured event needs to be put in place in order to make people feel comfortable attending. Similarly, with criteria 3, regarding the organisation of the group, there is no fixed number of people involved that would be appropriate to assest all groups against.
Overall, the aim of the process is to be nurturing. It's a lot less about testing, and more about helping groups achieving their goals. Each step is laced with education, based on the Ambassadors' extensive experience in working with the community both OpenStack and the general population. We're here to help! We expect to innovate on the criteria over time, based on practical experience and feedback from the community.
Going Above and Beyond
Several groups go beyond the scope of themselves to talk OpenStack to the world. They organise meetups and presentations and tech conferences, plan conferences themselves, kick-off bug days, installfests, hackfests and many other awesome activities.
Each year, we want to look at these groups and find some way to recognise them for being stand-out examples of community activity.
In initial ‘approval’, we attempt to assist in ensuring that user groups are sustainable and ongoing activities. However, in the event that a group starts to decline and despite our assistance we’re unable to keep it going, its official status may be revoked and re-granted at a later time.
Handling New User Groups
We need to balance new groups getting recognition needed to get members, against the need to recognise the quality of those that have become "sustainable". To do this, we will provide a modified version of the group logo to new groups - saving the "official" logo for those who have completed the process. We want to enable new groups to have the best potential to attract attendees, while recognising that they are still in the process of improving.
Once it is operational, we expect the process to begin by filling out a form with details on the user group portal.