IndieWebCamp Organizing

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IndieWebCamp Organizing is a great way to bring together your local IndieWeb community, yet is also quite challenging, requires co-organizers, and key details to succeed that are documented in this page.

If you have never organized an IndieWebCamp before:

  • Consider first organizing a Homebrew Website Club meetup. It's a lot less work, and will help you get experience with planning and organizing IndieWeb events. It's also a good way to begin to help seed local attendance for a bigger camp.

Note: You need at least 5 participants (at least 4 in-person) to have a meaningful IndieWebCamp (learned from past successful IndieWebCamps). If you cannot get 5+ people together locally, consider organizing an IndieWebCamp Online instead, or keep organizing regular Homebrew Website Club meetups until you grow your local community large enough that 5 or more of them will commit to participating in an IndieWebCamp.

Before

To organize an IndieWebCamp, you need:

  1. 2-4 organizers - in practice that's worked best.
    • only 1 organizer means more chance (almost certainly) things will get dropped on the floor, and the event will likely not happen, or have minimal (<5) participants. Organize a HWC instead.
    • Co-organizers help keep mutual motivation going, everyone encourages everyone else. And it really helps to divide up roles.
    • At least one detail-oriented co-organizer. If that's not you, get one. If you lack one, it's unlikely to succeed.
    • At least one onsite co-organizer (or someone who works at the organization hosting the venue).
    • Thus 2 is the minimum viable: 1 for physical venue stuffs, 1 for detail-oriented virtual stuffs. Avoid making that the same person as it will likely burn them out.
    • A third organizer should be exceptionally people-friendly, preferably outgoing and highly emotionally intelligent to handle outreach, getting volunteers (and speakers if any), and coordinating volunteers before and during the Camp/Summit!
    • 4 is what 2011 had
    • More than 4 hasn't happened in practice.
  2. Add to Planning even if you just want to start the idea, add it to Planning
  3. Simple wiki page with the year and city. Start with just minimal notes and questions, e.g. see the first version of 2014/NYC.
    1. If your event is multiple days, have notations for what portion people will attend for.
  4. Divide up key organizing responsibilities (venue, sponsors, food, tables/chairs, volunteers)
  5. Venue with network access (donated / sponsored)
  6. Accessibility consider both physical and mental disabilities that might prevent or deter individuals from deciding to attend your event. Check your chosen venue has an accessibility statement/section with sufficient details for attendees who may need to know in advance if they can physically access the venue. Summarize and link to accessibility details on the event page See Berlin 2019 for an example.
  7. Family-Friendliness consider if the venue permits minors. IndieWebCamps are open to interested parties of all ages, but some venues may have specific rules or restrictions. IndieWebCamps have not historically provided a specific child program or supervision. Organizers may choose to do this but there are legal concerns which must be considered.
    • kid related or child care (note if available upon request (e.g. [1]), make preparations for all day both days)
  8. Sponsors, either dedicated (see recent IndieWebCamps for an explicit list) or via open_collective, for:
    • food
    • travel assistance (see 2016.indieweb.org example)
  1. Update wiki page as more is known, including creating stub subpages
    • details: Where (address), When (start time, end time)
    • include a subheading Participating that has links to:
    • event cover image - use a photo of the venue, preferably recognizable (note: please avoid re-using the old 2014 icon/avatar grid)
    • Categorize the pages by including [[Category: IndieWebCamp CITY YEAR]], replacing the city and year.
  2. Announce it! Once the venue & date are locked down, and there's a decent main wiki page for the event, announce it!
    • Ideally, publicly announce/broadcast a newly created IndieWebCamp just after a current IndieWebCamp where participants had a great time and are in the mood to look forward to another IndieWebCamp, and the folks watching remotely may feel particularly compelled to want to go in person to the next one.
  3. YYYY.indieweb.org/cityname indie event page - setup an indie event page for folks to RSVP to and with an area for ticketing
  4. Venue code of conduct. Check with your venue and see if they have their own Code of Conduct. For example when events are organized in Mozilla spaces we add both Codes of Conduct to the wiki.
  5. Ticketing - setup a way to RSVP via a ticketing system like Tito or brownpapertickets
    • See the #Ticketing section below for details — this is project of its own
  6. Optional: More event tracking - feel free to also manually POSSE the event to Facebook or other event tracking systems to help folks who use such systems to keep track of the event and invite others
  7. Track venue capacity, waitlist if necessary
  8. Remind Attendees, send out some sort of notification/email/text to all attendees and remind them of the event in advance.

Ticketing

  • RECOMMENDATION: IndieWeb has its own Tito account (indiewebcamp). Creating events on it will mean there can be year-after-year data even when organisers change. Please reach out in the meta chat channel to people who can grant you access and help setting it up!
  • When using the IndieWeb Tito account it is the easiest to clone an existing event rather than create a new event. Check that the event you are cloning comes with the ticketing options you want to offer beforehand.
    • To clone an event, click into the event admin interface, then choose **Customize**, then the **Duplicate Event** button will appear in the top right corner
  • After you make a ticket you need to add questions before making the ticket live
    • You need to add questions for event attendance, preference for displaying their RSVP, and to indicate reading the code of conduct. You can add optional questions about a person's url,
      • Click on data collection in ti.to. It is under the Features tab in the left side bar.
      • Click on add a question.
      • Use checkbox(es) for codes of conduct.
      • Add links to the required code of conduct(s). Check to see if your venue requires signing their own CoC or guidelines. Ti.to used markdown. For example:
        [IndieWeb Code of Conduct](https://indieweb.org/code-of-conduct)
        [Mozilla Participation Guidelines](https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/governance/policies/participation/)
      • In the question options add a descriptor for each document participants must read and sign.
      • Make sure to select all tickets
      • Make the Code of Conduct question mandatory
      • Use a single line entry question to ask for a person's url. Leave this question as optional.
      • Create a select box question called "Would you like to be shown on the public guest list?"
        • Put "Yes, show me on the guest list" and then "No, hide me from the guest list" in the Question Options box.
        • Make this question mandatory.
        • Assign it to all tickets.
      • Use the checkbox for event days (Friday night social meetup, Saturday Conference, Sunday HackDay, etc). You do not need to assign this question to remote tickets.
  • Options for Tito ticketing:
    • What is the venue capacity?
      • You should set the number of available tickets to something slightly higher to account for no-shows.
    • Do you want to charge for tickets?
      • This can help reduce the no-show rate
    • Do you want to accept contributions to the sponsorship fund via Tito?
      • e.g. a "Support the IndieWeb" ticket
      • Coordinate with Aaron Parecki on getting access to the funds
    • Will you be running a travel assistance program and want to accept contributions via Tito?
      • Note this requires several months of advance planning in order to have time to book travel for people far enough in advance
    • ... more Tito instructions

Venue Tips

  • Know the availability of power, think about extension cords
  • Ask about a Code of Conduct or Community Guidelines. Add to your wiki page
  • Learn the security policies.
  • Map out the route to both the venue and the rooms. Develop signage. You can download an example Sketch file from Github
  • Ask about guest wifi and if usernames and passwords will be needed
  • map the routes from public transporation

Keynote(s)

Here are some notes about Keynotes at IWC/Ss so far:

  • IWS has had 4+ keynotes recently. IWCs as of 2019 have 1-2 keynotes
  • it could be a 10-15 minute keynote without any slides. "Keynote" usually comes with a context of "lots of hours of preparation" which we should explicitly dispell
  • Keynotes are fairly new (the past few years only)
  • They are not required
  • The current recommendation is to contact other/previous organisers of IWCs and ask how they organised their keynotes.
  • The presenter(s) do not need to be there in person, remote keynotes are also acceptable (recommendation: test the setup with the presenter in advance to make sure everyone is comfortable with the technology and it all works)

Packing

See: IndieWebCamp kit for a list of items to consider ordering beforehand

Stuff to bring (doubtful a venue has, thus see IndieWebCamp kit)

  1. Nametags
  2. Large Postit notes/papers for scheduling
  3. Stickers

Stuff to borrow from a venue (and bring if they lack)

  1. Surge Protectors/Power Strips/Extension Cords - We all need power, and best to make it easy to secure.
  2. Displayport Adapter
  3. Markers
  4. Video streaming kit and microphones.

During

When actually doing the IndieWebCamp, you need to at least do:

  • Open the event by pointing out Code of Conduct and identifying reporting mechanism
  • venue tables/chairs/projectors/whiteboards/session grid setup
  • food/snack/coffee delivery (or bring in)
  • pay for expenses via open_collective (recommended)
  • do the Introductions session
    • as part of this show and present the code of conduct, also point out points of contact.
    • make sure you have a number of volunteers who are available throughout the event as points of contact and who have listed themselves on that page for reference.
  • organize sync-up for lunches/dinners/coffee
  • take photos
  • run the intro/demos session
  • set up Session grid with links to Etherpads
  • direct participants to How to take notes during IndieWebCamp
  • ...
  • introduce day 2 and encourage posting of hackday project goals
  • try to make at least a small improvement to your own site
  • regroup everyone for demos and kick it off by showing a brief demo yourself (set a good example)
  • run demos

Closing Session

  • thank everyone for coming
  • thank the venue and the sponsors
  • remind everyone to please help clean-up the venue cleaner than they found it
  • last thing before starting clean-up:
    • announce upcoming IndieWebCamp events in-person! Both already scheduled, and especially any IndieWebCamps with recently confirmed venues and dates.
  • organize collaborative cleanup and return venue to a cleaner state than when you showed up

Tips

Tips for having a better, more effective, enlightening, productive, inspiring IndieWebCamp experience. Please share yours in === subheads === !

((stub section))

Teaching

Try to get a feel for the general experience level of the participants. Should there be an introductory session to microformats? Did people just drop in because they want to start running their own website?

Sitting down with people who are new to the web can be extremely beneficial for more experienced developers. When was the last time you had to explain closing HTML tags? Or how to change the font size of some text? This will also enable people to better understand the hurdles others face when they first try to start their own website.

Teaching can be your hackday goal. Maybe you do not get anything done on your own site, but someone else gets their first domain and self-written page of HTML online!

You might have to offer teaching someone. If they say they don’t want to keep you from your own project, make it clear to them that you do not mind. Keep lowering the bar.

Enable people to ask questions

People might not want to ask questions when they see everyone being busy with personal projects during hackday. Try to break the ice for them by having more seasoned people stand up and declare what they will help with. Let it be clear that they do not mind being interrupted with questions.

Are there any people willing to help setting up HTTPS? Are they willing to make time? Let them call this out. Or maybe there are people who have extensive experience with WordPress? And others are just getting started having their own website and have chosen to use WordPress? Point them at each other.


After

Immediately after (or during if you can keep up)

  • upload & post photos on the wiki
  • make sure session Etherpads are captured into session notes archives pages on the wiki. See Etherpad: Archiving IndieWebCamp notes
  • apply information learned from sessions to topical pages on the wiki

Evening after the IndieWebCamp has ended:

  • Post publicly about upcoming IndieWebCamp events! in-person! Both already scheduled, and make a separate post for each additional newly confirmed IndieWebCamp (i.e. recently confirmed venues and dates). Direct the excitement from the completed event into looking forward to the next IndieWebCamps!

That same evening or within a few days at most!

  • Thank Attendees, send out some sort of notification/email/text to all attendees summarizing all the awesomeness at the event and ways they can continue participating (chat, upcoming events, newsletter etc.)

FAQ

Main article: FAQ

Why is there a high bar for registering

Q: Who is IndieWebCamp for?

  1. Personal site passion. IndieWebCamp is focused on the IndieWeb and those that are passionate about it firsthand.
    • Are you passionate about having & using your own website for your identity and your content?
    • Then IndieWebCamp may be for you!
  2. Having a personal site. Having a personal site shows that you're willing to invest the few minutes it takes to buy a domain and set it up. Want to but don't know how? Check out Getting Started. Which brings us to:
  3. Interested in learning. IndieWebCamp is for folks hungry to learn about how to make themselves even more independent on the web.
    • One measure of a desire to learn is, do you have the time and patience to read? Check out the Getting Started page as an example.
    • Beyond reading, another measure of the desire to learn is to practice what you've learned. Did you try following the steps in Getting Started? Which brings us to:
  4. Ok asking for help. IndieWebCamp is a community which partly means we help each other out, which definitely means that asking for help is strongly encouraged!
    • Are you ok with asking for help?
    • Did you get stuck with any part of Getting Started?
    • Did you ask in our Chat Forum?
    • If you're in one of the cities they happen, did you come to Homebrew Website Club to get started?
    • We are building a community of people who are comfortable with admitting they don't know everything, and thus actively ask questions. Which is also another indicator of interested in learning.
  5. Setting up IndieAuth. This takes mere minutes, with the help of Getting Started, and if you get stuck, our chat forum. By spending just a few minutes setting up your site with IndieAuth, you demonstrate that there's a much better chance you will be productive for several hours at IndieWebCamp, both with working on your own site, and hopefully with collaborating with other such creators as well!
  6. Adding yourself to the wiki. This also takes mere minutes, and very importantly demonstrates that you are willing to make at least small edits to the wiki.
    • IndieWebCamp as a community thrives and depends on community contributions of time:
      • to setup and run IndieWebCamps
      • to lead and participate in sessions
      • to take collaborative notes in Etherpad
      • but most importantly, to contribute to our community wiki.
    • By wikifying, yourself, session notes, and helping improve subject matter pages, you demonstrate that you're not only interested in the IndieWeb, but in IndieWebCamp as a community, and that commitment to community is important to us.
    • If that's not your thing, that's ok too, you may use all of the resources on the IndieWebCamp wiki for free, CC0, because that's how strongly we believe in this community.
    • We do want you to benefit from the wiki, regardless of whether you contribute to the wiki or not.
    • IndieWebCamps events themselves are specifically for this community, for those that believe in contributing to and helping to grow an intentional positive community, and enjoy doing so.

Update IndieWebCamp Template

Update this to include your camp when you've at least locked down a date, venue, and 2+ co-organizers:

IndieWebCamps
2020 Austin London10th IndieWeb Summit (Portland)More being planned for 2020!
2019 AustinOnlineNew HavenBerlinDüsseldorfUtrecht9th IndieWeb Summit (Portland)AmsterdamOxfordNYCBrightonBerlin2SF
2018 BaltimoreDüsseldorf8th IndieWeb Summit (Portland)SFOxfordNYCNürnbergBerlin
2017 BellinghamDüsseldorfNürnberg7th IndieWeb Summit (Portland)IstanbulNYCBerlinAustin
2016 NYCMITNürnbergDüsseldorf6th IndieWeb Summit (Portland)NYC2BrightonLA (Santa Monica)BerlinMIT2
2015 Cambridge MAGermany (Düsseldorf)Portland&Brighton (5th Summit) • EdinburghMITSF
2014 SFNYCPortland/NYC/Berlin (4th Summit)UK (Brighton)Cambridge MAOnline
2013 Portland (3rd Summit)UK (Brighton)Hollywood
2012 Portland (2nd Summit)UK (Brighton)
2011 Portland (Summit)


See Also