Community Tuneup Session: A report back

At CiviCon, Gunner from Aspiration Tech facilitated a session with the entire community soliciting feedback, discussion and comments on the project. It was a good opportunity for everyone to give feedback on the state of the project, things that we are doing a good job with, and things that we can improve. We ended up doing a collaborative grouping of the feedback in various categories and sorting the comments.

Some of the positives that are worth highlighting include:

  • Folks loved the responsiveness, culture and support on forums and IRC.
  • The Make It Happen feature is a big hit. The ability to read detailed descriptions on a blog post and comment on that is appreciated.
  • Progressive Tech Project, PalanteTech and core team got quite a few appreciations.
  • Lots of mention of the open welcoming nature and passion of the community.
  • Raising and talking about the gender issue was appreciated.
  • Lots of positive mentions of API V3

It was good to take a step back and appreciate all the positives we've acheived to date.  It's interesting to note that a lot of the things that people praised come from various different community efforts, and it has been great to see these initiatives growing over time. We're excited about all the new developments that are happening at the moment and we and want to make things even better - we should continue to help each other out online and offline, be respectful of everyone, and continue pushing and improving the code.

Feedback on things we should focus on improving include:

  • Improved forum and learning experience. More user friendly less technical docs, better search, better forum structure, more forum mentors and responders
  • More focus on Marketing and Outreach. How do we tell the story of Civi?
  • Better integration of various places where info is shared: Book, Wiki, Forums, Issue Tracker, IRC, Website.
  • Better ways of increasing civi consulting practices, transparency around consultants. Avoid recreating wheel for similar orgs.
  • More online training and webinars. Ability to allow remote folks to participate in various events. More training resources
  • Improved support for extensions and directory of extensions.
  • Give beginners an easier onramp into the product and community. Help them with how to participate
  • Help people to connect locally and peer-to-peer support

So to summarize, we need to work on better helping the non technical people in our community, start focusing a lot more on marketing and outreach at a local level, integrate online trainings and screencasts into the product, and better integrate the various tools we use - all areas where individuals and organisations have the opportunity to step up and help out. 

Overall there are a lot of great comments and ideas in that document. We do encourage you to download and read the entire data set. If you do analyze the data and infer things, please do share your findings with the community as a comment.