Building Healthy Communities

by Doug Beardsley / github

Lessons from NY Haskell Users Group

  • Monthly for 3.5 years
  • Currently 1379 members
  • Usually 60-100 attendees

What is Healthy?

  • Facilitates Knowledge Transfer
  • Facilitates Discovery/Creation of New Knowledge

Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge Transfer Requirements

  • People who don't know
  • People who do know
  • In the same room (chatroom)

Obstacles to Knowledge Transfer

  • People who don't know are intimidated and don't come.
  • People who do know think it's a waste of time and don't come.

How to get beginner and advanced people in the same room?

Explicitely cater to both groups

Commit to always having a beginner and a non-beginner talk

Socialize after meetups


Advanced people come

Beginners start to absorb things they wouldn't have otherwise!


That's a LOT of talks!

Share the work amongst 3+ co-organizers

(NYHUG started with 5, now has 7)

Maximize knowledge transfer by posting videos and slides

Knowledge Discovery/Creation

Knowledge Discovery/Creation

Looks a lot like knowledge transfer...people exchanging ideas

Less about talks, more about hacking

Organize hack sessions

The word "hackathon" would be great, but recently it has become more associated with contests. :(

No agenda, people just get together for a day or weekend to talk / work on projects.

Venues can be hard to find

Expand your network and include organizers from outside your community

Go out of your way to have good relations with your venues


Thank You

Slides: Source: