Future of the weekly Ansible Community Meeting

Right now, we have an Ansible Community Meeting happening every Wednesday at 18:00 UTC (switching to 19:00 UTC roughly in sync with the European winter time).

Attendance to that meeting hasn’t been so great for some time now, and we (the ones who reguarly are around) are wondering why that is, and what to do with the meeting in the future :slight_smile:

There are multiple possibilities:
a) Some folks don’t have time at that point (but would be glad about another time);
b) Some folks don’t like synchronous meetings at all (and perfer async discussions, like the ones in this Forum);
c) Some folks are getting tired of all these discussions;
d) Something else…?

We’ve been talking a bit about this at today’s Community Meeting, and I want to open this topic so we can discuss it also with the ones not attending the meeting :slight_smile:

1 Like

Some ideas from the discussion:

  • Move the meeting to another timeslot? If yes, to when?
  • Change the format of the meeting to “office hours” without a offical framework and without the meeting bot.
  • Drop the meeting completely and just discuss async.
  • Only do the meeting if someone explicitly requests it and at least a few folks agree to be there?

I like the idea of office hours because it keeps a weekly time when people who are available can drop in and talk about something, bring up a new idea before posting on the forum etc. And they have a reasonable expectation that someone else will be there to chat live about it.

I think it’s well-suited to this working group because it is already mandated that all important decisions have to happen on the forum in a topic anyway.

The meeting hour is never going to be a good one for UTC+12. If the bot is dropped, I will have little to none visibility of the meeting.
Another option would be making it more sparse, say, fortnightly. Or monthly.

1 Like

a) Some folks don’t have time at that point (but would be glad about another time);

it worked for me in the past but the circumstances have changed so that i can join only in my office hours (~6 a.m. - 2 p.m. UTC) but it sure will never work for everyone in a geographically spread community.

b) Some folks don’t like synchronous meetings at all (and perfer async discussions, like the ones in this Forum);

IMO they are not a replacement for async discussions but they are good in terms of helping generate great ideas and naturally giving a good sense of living community, belonging, etc.

c) Some folks are getting tired of all these discussions;

Not me, at least I wasn’t tired for sure:) It often disrupted my sleep which was a bit tough for health but it was enjoyable and satisfying

d) Something else…?

I think regularity in having meetings at the same time everyone is used to is important for relationship/community maintenance in general, noticed this in other communities I’m a part of outside opensource.
Could you elaborate a bit more on the office hours?
@russoz made a good point about the bot.

  • Only do the meeting if someone explicitly requests it and at least a few folks agree to be there?

Really not sure if it’ll work

  • Drop the meeting completely and just discuss async.

We could try but it can be hard to get them back:)

1 Like

We need to get feedback from different folks, can we pin this discussion somewhere more prominent, add it to a banner in the forum

Though first, maybe edit the first message to set more context for folks about

  • What this meeting is for
  • Why it’s important
  • Links to previous topics/agenda
1 Like

Bringing my single comment on the topic during the meeting to the forum and expanding a bit:

@leo: a summary in my pov: announcing the meeting topics in the bullhorn/forum and creating a thread, might help with awareness. Also, I found a lot of people don’t know there is an “ansible community meeting” and what the point of the meeting is

So, I agree with @gundalow points above:

There is quite a bit of confusion around what the “Community Working Group” and the “Ansible Community Meeting” meaning.

Adding to those points, we might want to review or ask ourselves:

  1. What is the Ansible Community Working Group?
  2. What is the Ansible Community Steering Committee?
  3. What actually is the Ansible Community WG Meeting ?

For increasing awareness and participation in the meeting, we might need to make some further questions:

  1. What’s the purpose of the meeting? What’s the expected outcome of participating in it?
  2. Should the WG and meeting be called something else? Is the naming confusing?
  3. Should we unify multiple WG meetings into one (community-wg, awx-wg, network-wg, aws-wg, etc.) , to help drive more inter-project and collection discussions?
  4. We have forum tags for the working group (community-wg) and meeting agenda (community-wg-nextmtg),
    • should we publish the agenda and topics discussed to Bullhorn after each meeting? Maybe add the meeting logs? promote more heavily in Ansible socials?
    • should we add a reminder to add the topics they want to see discussed before hand in the weekly Bullhorn?
  5. Is Matrix / real-time chat the best option for the meeting? Would a video/audio option and recording to youtube work?
  6. Timezones are a pain. Would a poll on time preference help?

I know my questions don’t really help with the original dilemma, but I think we need to have a deeper discussion on the purpose and the intended audience of the meeting.

1 Like

the IRC bridge has been broken for several weeks so I’ve only been able to read the log afterwards

While I think video/audio conferences are probably more efficient than chat conferences, they also are a lot less accessible for folks that aren’t native English speakers, or are impaired in other ways, or just being shy. Chat also has downsides (especially for slow typers/readers), but I think it’s still a better solution.

I guess you mean the relay bot; the bridge has been down since somewhen last year already. The problem seems to be that the relay bot got kicked/banned again and again from time to time. Seems like Libera.chat is not a good place if you want to bridge to other forms of chat communication :frowning: I’m wondering whether another IRC network would be better suited for this… (When we back then decided to switch from Freenode to Libera, OFTC was another candidate. Does anyone know whether there’s a working Matrix-OFTC bridge? According to Bridged Networks - Matrix IRC Bridge there is one. Maybe we should switch from Libera to OFTC so we can re-establish a Matrix-IRC bridge?)

Rely bot has been gone a few months. :cry:

Switching networks now seems like it would add more fragmentation. There have been so many different channels at this point, I think it’s already confusing to find the right place. I would add OFTC just for this meeting, but would love it if the logs were shared somewhere that doesn’t require an account to read.

There’s two parts going on here, I think. One of them is what to do about IRC and Matrix, which has been an ongoing issue for a while, but is not the focus of this thread, so I won’t derail it. Suffice to say, “I have opinions” :slight_smile:

To the part about the weekly meeting, then, you first have to decide what it’s purpose is. Is it for the SC to discuss topics, potentially with input from others? Is it a talking-shop to hash out ideas before making a forum post? Is it a social call to build cohesion in the community? Some of them all? Something else?

I personally think communities need (a) a place to socialise and build connection, and (b) a place to debate, make decisions, and hold the archive of those decisions. Those two things are not the same, and they require different tools. The former does not exclude people if they cannot make it; the latter needs to be inclusive of geography, language, and so on.

Now, the forum already does the latter job, and I don’t see that changing. From what I can see, the discussion, voting, and recording elements of Discourse do what we need, and the async nature means people who live in different places, or cannot keep up with live chat (e.g. non-native English speakers), or who just like time to think (i.e. me :stuck_out_tongue:) can participate effectively.

That being the case, the question then becomes, what value is the chat meeting adding to this? Are we repeating ourselves? Does it have another use? I think it does. I think a chat meeting, or even a video call, for social purposes is a good idea. I would vary the timeslot so that different groups can join, and people can get to know each other, but otherwise it’s still a useful thing. This would not a place to make decisions, would not need to be logged, and anything project-related that came up would need to be relayed to the forum. It’s purpose would be to build connection. That would be my suggestion for evolving this - not as a discussion call, but a social call.

I’m curious for those who’ve mentioned keeping up by reading the meeting log - what do you get out of that that isn’t here in the community_wg tags?

I would personally want all of the context.

That’s in the full log attached to the meeting log topic. It’s a bit hidden though, it’s at the very bottom of the post and it’s a rather tiny link, and you need to download the log to read it. But it’s there, and it can also be downloaded without logging in on the forum :slight_smile:

I agree that this isn’t good for fragmentation, but at least it’s possible to bridge it with Matrix - as opposed to Libera, where it doesn’t look like it will be possible anytime soon, and where even keeping relaybot alive seems to be a constant fight :frowning:

I don’t know where to find community meeting topics since they’re no longer in ansible/community.

(I should note that I use IRC for logs as well as real time, but it’s great these do exist elsewhere, didn’t know.)

I’ve started an IRC discussion here, for everyone who is interested: What about IRC (in relation to Matrix)?

The topics that are marked for discussion in a meeting are here: Topics tagged community-wg-nextmtg

The total list of topics is here: Topics tagged community-wg

The meeting logs can be found here: Topics tagged community-wg

(We share these links at the beginning of every meeting, unfortunately that’s no longer visible on the IRC side :frowning: You can also find them at the top of every meeting log though, unfortunately not as clickable links…)

1 Like

Thanks so much. Yeah, the IRC side still points at Issues · ansible/community · GitHub.

I have been unable to attend the meetings the past couple months, as health issues have limited my open source contribution time, but when I did attend them regularly, I felt they were relatively productive. I found it helpful to hash out more complex topics and build off of each other’s ideas in real time, but I did occasionally find the discussions cyclical. If people feel there’s not enough attendance or not enough topics to fill an hour every week, it might make sense to move the meetings to every other week instead.