Hacking In-Group Bias for Fun and Profit

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B302/303

Excerpt

Our lives and social interactions are governed by sociology and psychology. As geeks, we strive to understand how the technology around us works, and we strive to find ways to make it better. Society is basically one big, complex piece of technology, and, like all technology, it is hackable. This talk will explain how you can do that.

Description

Day in and day out, everyone talks about the importance of documenting code. The reasons are all solid: provide a roadmap for steps taken; reasons why those methods were chosen; and allow someone else to pick up where you left off.

These are also good reasons for documenting your project’s culture. This lower the barriers to entry for people who might like to get involved by them feel included and involved. It also allows you to take advantage of in-group bias, the phenomenon that makes selecting from a group of people you know (the in-group) happen more often than from people that are part of an out-group.

In-group bias is difficult to overcome, but tricking your brain into accepting new people into your in-group is quite a bit easier. In this talk, I’ll discuss community building methods which are specifically designed to lower entry barriers, and to increase in-group acceptance. I will also touch on things to keep an eye out for with out-group negativity, or the us-vs-them mentality.

Speaking experience

I presented at YAPC::NA and Open Source Bridge last year, and have many years of experience speaking via participation in the SCA. I will be presenting this talk at YAPC::NA this year.

Speaker

  • 10348290 707746120295 1809797067456875267 n

    Kat Toomajian

    Dreamwidth Studios, LLC

    Biography

    Kat heads up the Dreamwidth Support team, and specializes in user/developer interaction. In her spare time, Kat enjoys recreating history with the Society for Creative Anachronism, being a total loss claims rep for an insurance company, napping, and playing “where did you stash mommy’s socks?” with her ferrets, Hermes and Isaac.

    Sessions

      • Title: Hacking In-Group Bias for Fun and Profit
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B302/303
      • Time: 1:302:15pm
      • Excerpt:

        Our lives and social interactions are governed by sociology and psychology. As geeks, we strive to understand how the technology around us works, and we strive to find ways to make it better. Society is basically one big, complex piece of technology, and, like all technology, it is hackable. This talk will explain how you can do that.

      • Speakers: Kat Toomajian
      • Title: Keeping your culture afloat through a tidal wave of interest ~~\o/~~
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B204
      • Time: 3:454:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        During the height of interest to the project, there were often several new people arriving in the channel per day. That may not sound like a lot, but everyone had questions and would be interested in different things; it could take a twenty minute conversation or so with someone who knew a lot about the project in order to properly greet, inform, and orient new people. The founders didn’t have a few spare hours around the clock to personally devote to making sure that each new arrival was welcomed, felt welcomed, had their questions answered, and had their willingness to contribute channeled into something which needed the help and suited their skills. There was a lot about this that we could have automated or dumped into a higher-latency format like email. The first time someone proposed automating the welcoming dance it was like they’d slapped me in the face. The personal touch bit was crucial, and automating it would have struck all the wrong notes. The project was supposed to be for people, by people, and showing that we’re human and we’re committed to keeping it small and personal was crucial to keeping the culture intact.

      • Speakers: Azure Lunatic, Kat Toomajian