Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've last written an update here, but I assure you, great things have been happening. We've been making steady progress transferring old badge artwork to the new templates, and making tweaks where necessary to bring everything up to speed. In the mean time, there's also been quite a bit going on with relation to networking and other opportunities for improving our skills in tech and overall.
Part of the Outreachy networking experience has been, specifically, engaging in informal chats with members of the open source community that we're contributing to. In this update, I'm going to give a brief overview of what we discussed and what I've taken away from our discussion.
For those who don't know, Joseph Gayoso is a member of the Fedora Marketing team and is responsible for the Fedora Mastodon account. Interestingly, Joseph primarily works in data analytics, but still contributes to Fedora as a member of the marketing team - showing that you don't need to limit yourself to any particular field because of your main interests or skills. For instance, we discussed how I (or anyone for that matter), could contribute via managing social media channels or even just coming up with ideas for what to post to these platforms.
Furthermore, we discussed ways that one could be proactive in their (non-code) contributions, such as (preemptively) writing articles for the Magazine team, or working on podcasts and other projects that you find interesting and want to take ownership of. I found these to be great insights and ideas, both for myself and for anyone thinking of contributing to open source who may not be sure where to start.
Side note: Despite being relatively young in the social media space, Mastodon is a critical platform for open source projects and communities, since it is not beholden to large corporations and special interests. Of course, Mastodon is just one of many such platforms, which run on a unified protocol, ActivityPub, and can all communicate and allow users to interact across what is known as the Fediverse.
In our discussion, I asked Joseph about the levels of engagement (and requisite effort involved). I learned that since Mastodon is more attractive to those who are already familiar with and have an affinity for open source software, engagement is pretty close to what you'd get on a more familiar platform, such as Twitter. This really shows the importance of knowing your target audience, even for open source projects and communities, which may not exist for, or be driven by a for-profit motive.
We also talked about ways that an individual, such as myself, who is working on open source advocacy, can increase engagement on social media channels and how to be mindful of expectations when you're running a more community and advocacy-focused account as opposed to using social media for purely personal reasons. Overall, the conclusion I took from this is, again, to know your audience - what they like to hear, what they're looking to discuss, and what about you as a person may draw them to want to know more about the project or community that you are promoting/advocating for.
There were other insights, of course, but I thought I'd just focus on the few that I've covered in this post, to keep things a little shorter this time!
At this point, we're nearing the end of the internship, and there will be quite a bit to do in the final week. However, I'm feeling pretty proud of the work that we've managed to accomplish, having completed (between myself and Chris and our mentors), at least 290 of the 600+ badges we've been tasked with. Within these final weeks, we're looking to push as many as we can across the finish line, but even if we can't complete them all, myself and Chris have both promised to stick around the Fedora community and continue the work that we began.
I look forward to seeing our work go live in the future and I'm proud of our contributions to this open source community at large. Of course, I'll be open to new opportunities going forward, so feel free to reach out to me if there's anything you think I might be interested in. You can take a look at my previous post for more information.