Over a month ago we organized the ninth annual IndieWeb Summit in Portland, Oregon, June 29-30. As frequently happens to organizers, the combination of follow-ups, subsequent holiday, and other events did not allow for much time to blog afterwards. On the other hand, it did allow for at least some reflection and appreciation.
Day 1 Badges, Pins, Shirts, And Breakfast!
Saturday morning June 29th went relatively smoothly. We had everything setup in time. I finished preparing my “state of” outline. Everyone signed-in when they arrived, got a badge, chose their color of lanyard (more on that later), pronoun pin(s), and an array of decorative stickers to customize their badge.
For the first time we had an anonymous donor who chipped in enough in addition to the minimal $10 registration fee for us to afford IndieWebCamp t-shirts in a couple of shapes and a variety of sizes. We had a warm breakfast (vegetarian and vegan) ready to go for participants.
Captions, Codes of Conduct, Safety, And Photo Policy!
Another first for any IndieWebCamp, we arranged a captioner who live-captioned the first two hours of Summit keynotes, introductions, and demos.
After welcoming everyone and introducing co-organizers Tiara and Aaron, I showed & briefly summarized our codes of conduct for the Summit:
In particular I emphasized the recent addition from XOXO 2018’s Code of Conduct regarding safety vs. comfort, which is worth its own blog post.
Another Summit first, also inspired by XOXO (and other conferences like Open Source Bridge), color-coded lanyards for our photo policy. Which was a natural lead-in for the heads-up about session live-streaming and where to sit accordingly (based on personal preference). Lastly, pronoun pins and a huge thanks to Aaron Parecki for arranging the logistics of all those materials!
I told people about the online tools that would help their Summit experience (chat, the wiki, Etherpad), summarized the day 1 schedule, and thanked the sponsors.
Video, Outline, And Always Aspiring
Here’s the 8 minute video of the Welcome. I think it went ok, especially with so many firsts for this Summit! In the future I’d like to: reduce it to no more than 5 minutes (one or two rounds of practice & edit should help), and consider what else could or should be included (while staying under 5 minutes). That being said, I feel pretty good about our continuous improvement with organizing and welcoming to IndieWebCamps. As we’ve learned from other inclusive conferences, I encourage all conference organizers to explicitly cover similar aspects (excerpted from the online outline I spoke from)
- Code(s) of conduct (with multiple organizers and contacts)
- Photo policy (with clear indicators to self-select)
- Pronoun pins (or stickers)
Consider these a minimum baseline, a place to build from, more than goals. Ideally we should aspire to provide a safe and inclusive experience for an increasingly diverse community. Two more ways conference organizers can do so is by recognizing what the conference has done better this year, and by choosing keynote speakers to provide diverse perspectives. More on that with State of the IndieWeb, and the IndieWeb Summit 2019 invited keynote speakers.
Photos 1, 2, & 4 by Aaron Parecki