Speaker Interview: Rikki Endsley

Red Hat's Rikki Endsley thinks that many in open source aren't using social media as effectively as they could. But all is not lost: Rikki's giving a presentation, "Confessions of a Reluctant Tweeter: Social Media for Open Source Projects," on SCALE 13x Friday at 3:45. The SCALE Team finally caught up with Rikki and asked her about her talk.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I'm the community evangelist on the Open Source and Standards team at Red Hat (http://community.redhat.com/ ), which means I get to work with a great mix of people (http://community.redhat.com/blog/2015/02/gearing-up-for-scale13x/) who contribute to the upstream projects. Prior to joining Red Hat, I worked as a freelance tech journalist, community manager for the USENIX Association, and as an editor and associate publisher at Linux New Media USA. I got my start in open source back when I worked on Sys Admin magazine, many moons ago.

Q: You're giving a talk entitled "Confessions of a Reluctant Tweeter." Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Over the years I've met a lot of people in open source who have little or no interest in communicating via social media platforms. Sometimes they have privacy and security concerns, other times they don't fully understand how to leverage social media or they don't want to spend a bunch of time on it. In my talk, I'll explain how open source projects can use social media to drive conversations and new contributors to preferred channels, such as IRC, and how to get the most impact out of the least time and effort. I'll make suggestions on which platforms projects might want to use, time-saving tools, and tips on what and how to write social media updates to get the best results. I'll show examples from open source projects I've followed or worked with, and I'll try to leave time for lots of Q&A at the end of my talk or in a hallway track after it.

Q: You've attended many SCALE events (thank you). What is it that keeps you coming back?

A: SCALE is one of my "must do" events each year. It's a low-cost event to attend, easy to get to (and a few days in warmer weather never hurts), attracts a wonderful mix of attendees and exhibitors, is packed with great speakers and sessions, well organized by awesome volunteers, and always lots of fun. On a personal level, I've met countless mentors and friends at SCALE over the years. The support I got from the SCALE6x organizers and speakers inspired me to give my first talk the following year. I recommend SCALE to everyone from newbies to seasoned Linux and open source professionals and enthusiasts.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I'd like to thank the SCALE organizers and volunteers in advance for doing all the hard work that goes into each event, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone later this week. (P.S. Please follow the Open Source and Standards team on Twitter: https://twitter.com/redhatopen)

[SCALE Team interview by Dennis Rex]