Are we being inclusive with our community recognitions?
Recognizing community members is one of the most enjoyable activities for community managers. It is a great opportunity to thank people for their work and highlight their contributions to the rest of the community.
However, we need to evaluate if we’re truly being inclusive with our community recognitions. For example, when discussing contributors, we still see a lot of emphasis on the volume of contributions on project repositories (i.e., code) that some community members may find intimidating. This is partly because the number of contributions on tools like GitHub and GitLab is easier to measure and quantify.
On the other hand, it can be more challenging to measure (or sometimes even notice) how much a community member is helping others on platforms like Discord, Matrix, Slack, etc. When someone helps a newcomer get started by answering a quick question in a chat, it’s easy to miss that among other discussion threads.
Even though it may be more challenging to quantify non-code contributions, it is crucial to look beyond repositories to see how and where people are helping to improve our communities. In addition to helping others in chat-like platforms, this can include sharing their use cases with others, participating in meetups, providing honest feedback in 1-on-1 conversations, etc. Looking across a broad spectrum of contributions will help ensure that we recognize everyone in our community regardless of their background, interests, and skillset.
Finally, not everyone is comfortable with public recognition, as some feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight and even think what they have done is not significant enough. In these instances, it is important to find ways to let them know that the community appreciates their work without putting them in an awkward position.
In this talk, Ray will share his experience finding different contributions, community recognition examples (both good and bad), and feedback he received on community recognition programs over the years. There will also be a discussion on how inclusive recognition is vital for strengthening the sense of belonging in the community.