session facilitating

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Session facilitating refers to facilitating a brainstorming session at an IndieWebCamp event. Session facilitators are responsible for setting the discussion topic/goal and keeping the conversation on track. Facilitators do not need to be an expert on the topic. The facilitator should also make sure they or someone else is taking notes (See How to take notes during IndieWebCamp)

Suggest a topic

Choose something you want to discuss in a brainstorming session. It can be a discussion, an extended demo, a help or intro session, etc.

Discussions can be broad and open-ended or more specific and targeted. Decide what kind of session you want to have and choose your topic accordingly — if you want to talk about font colors and sizes, "design" is probably too broad a topic.

There might be a tendency to worry that if you choose something too narrow, there will not be enough to talk about, but that's usually not the case! (In fact it can be the opposite). 45 minutes goes by quickly when you are analyzing examples or digging into the details of implementation.

Session Goals

Consider whether your session can produce some documentation, research, working example, actionable todo list, or other artifact. This can help focus the session and can give people ideas of things to work on on the second day.

Tantek suggests useful documentation falls on a spectrum (ordered roughly from good to excellent).

  • have multiple people participate
  • producing some notes in IRC -> etherpad -> wiki
  • documenting existing examples (textually)
  • document them with screenshots
  • documenting existing UI flows (beyond just one screenshot)
  • coming up with (better) indie web user flows
    • a textual descriptions / lists of steps
    • mockups (drawings, sketches)
    • HTML+CSS samples
    • working examples

If you take notes on a whiteboard, make sure to take a photo of the end result for later reference.

See Also