Section 1 Tools to Support your Community
Generating your own website for your local community can be a great way to drum up participation and enthusiasm for your group, and to help with organisation of meetings. A free tool like GitHub Pages can allow you to quickly and easily create static-content websites which share important information about your community. There is a great guide for Getting Started with GitHub Pages that can help you get going. In short, GitHub pages is free web hosting that can allow you to share with the world the work of your group and share it with the world. The collaboration model of Git and GitHub using pull-requests also allows you to distribute the load and responsibility of website maintenance and updating across your local group. On top of that, you’ll all be working in and enhancing your skills around Git/GitHub collaboration models as you do!
- GitHub Organisation
- Repo for Meeting Minutes FIXME
Google Calendars built into web pages FIXME
1.4 Event registration
- Eventbrite allows you to organise both free and paid events - they handle logistics such as ticketing, and waitlists. They take a small fee for paid events but there is no charge for use of the free event service.
- university’s questionnaire form system for registrations/surveys
1.5 Mailing Lists
Mailing lists can be a great way to keep a growing community connected to each other. Having a focused charter for each list can be helpful to reign in discussions as well. As lists grow, and draw larger participation it can be important to develop a moderator team that is able to tend to moderator requests and keep the list conversations productive and civil.
- University lists - Many universities and organizations run a campus-wide listserver where university members can create lists for open subscription.
- Mailman - The open source tool Mailman can be installed on a server and be used to run your own list infrastructure. This is recommended only if you have some system administration experience as it is a fairly advanced undertaking. Given that it is open source though, this option can trade recurring costs for control and flexibility.
- TopicBox - TopicBox is a premium/paid mailing list platform which delivers a high-quality user web interface. To see TopicBox in action, check out The Carpentries Mailing Lists
- Google Groups - Google groups are a free option which also allows for a publicly available archive of the messages to the group. There is however no easy way to migrate your group history elsewhere from Google. If the preservation of your history of conversations matters to your community, Google Groups are probably not a good fit.