TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology and New Media Community

In Hawaii, we’ve built up our local tech community thanks to efforts from HTDC, HI Capacity, The Box Jelly, and many local companies. We are at the point where community events are happening all the time. We have amazing leaders at the forefront continuing to keep this community active.

I am the organizer for a local Javascript meetup (Ohana.js). Part of my duty is to find presenters and schedule talks. In this process, I find myself reaching out to the same people who have been giving talks to the community over the past 2 years. They’re fantastic speakers and I’m extremely thankful for what they do, but this model isn’t sustainable. To keep this subset of the community going, we need more people presenting.

So, why do I want to build out this community? Is it so people recognize my effort and view me as a leader? Is it for some huge monetary payoff in the form of a new job?

Absolutely not.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit — Intentionally unattributed :)

I am inspired by &yet founder Adam Brault, who gave a talk at JSConf EU on putting people first. I organize the group because I want to learn. I schedule speakers because I want to learn from them. If we can encourage more people to present, then we can all learn from them. The challenge is getting there.

I’m fortunate to have some help. Dev League, a “hacker school” that’s teaching people to become web developers, will have their students present at the next Ohana.js meetup on 3/18. Dev League also brought their students to a previous event and it’s awesome that Dev League is pushing their students to get out there. I’m hoping we can start getting students from our universities to do the same.

I am also lowering the bar for getting people to present. Talks for Ohana.js do not need to take up an entire hour (down to 25 minutes + Q&A). I am also instituting lightning talks, where people can give a 5 minute presentation on something. My hope is that I get people in front of the community so we can find out what their interests are and encourage them to push further.

They say energy cannot be created or destroyed. Encouragement gives physics the finger. — Adam Brault

I know there are a lot of other things I could do better. The one that comes to mind is outreach, since Ohana.js is strictly a Facebook group at the moment. I also don’t know if these changes will make a difference. Do know that I’ll do as much as I can to push people to be awesome. If there are any other suggestions, please let me know. You can reach me on Twitter at @keokilee.

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Comment by Joseph Lui on March 7, 2014 at 4:58pm

Free food is a pretty powerful incentive. :)

Throw some btc or xbr in for max incentive. :D

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