Guidelines for documenting an event
As our initiatives grow, it will become increasingly important that we document all local events. First, we need to tell the story of local events. We should capture what makes each event unique and tell that story in the appropriate languages. Second, we should strive to collect some standard information across all events. This will help us learn how we are doing, whether we are growing, what’s working, and what needs to change.
We hope that local event organizers will use 2 tools for sharing some basic information and telling each event’s unique story:
Blog Posts: to capture the essence of your event in a story format that would interest people learning about the Open Web
The Mozilla Wiki: for capturing some basic information and aggregating pieces of documentation that can be compared across all events (such as notes, pictures, video, other blog posts, etc.)
First, a note on documentation during the event
As you prepare for your event, make sure your participants know how to document the event. Hang a sign in your space asking them to tag their tweets, blogs, and pics “Webmakers” and “#webmakers.” When you make your beginning and closing statements, point out the sign and tell them how much you appreciate their help documenting the event.
Also, since we discourage open laptops and mobile multitasking at our events, you may want to ask just one of your collaborators to take notes at critical points. They should especially cover: who presented at the Open Web Fest (speedgeeking) and report backs from open breakout sessions.
If you get ahead of the game, the event almost documents itself and will make the rest so much easier.
Telling your local event story on a blog
Here are some recommendations:
- Start with a bang! What was the single most exciting this about your event? Did you capture a really great quote from a participant?
- Make sure to cover the basics:
- Who: Who came to your event? How many? Were they mostly locals, or did people travel from other cities? Did you get a mix of people (artists, designers, techies, teachers) – let your audience know.
- What: What was special about your event? Did someone launch a new project? Did you find a wonderful space? Did you get many more participants than you expected? This is a chance to fill in some details from your starter.
- When: Just the basics here, date and time, in the first paragraph.
- Where: Just the basics again, in the first paragraph.
- Why: Why did you decide to organize your event? Did you get a sense of what motivated people to participate?
- You want to weave these details into your narrative. Don't just list them off. For instance, you can make a point ("I organized this event to get local educators involved") and illustrate it with a quote ("So I was happy to hear Ms. Someone, an elementary school teacher, say, 'it's about time that local techies got to together to plan with local teachers - I'm very optimistic.").
- Include at least one piece of media: 1-3 of the very best photos, perhaps a 90 second video clip. Don’t overdo it, you just want to help your readers get a visual sense of your event.
- Endings: try to focus on 1, or maybe 2 things you know will continue on from the event and an invitation to your readers to get involved. You should also link to your wiki page for readers who want to get the whole story.
- How long? Some studies suggest that on average, readers will stay with a blog post an average of just 96 seconds! We recommend that you stay within the 250-1000 word limit. Keep the most exciting stuff at the beginning.
Using the wiki to capture essential documentation
Your event wiki page can be entered at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Webmakers/. Anyone can sign up for an account, and the Mozilla team will help you if you have never edited a wiki before or need some help. Please use this URL format: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Webmakers/events/Cityname/documentation.
We recommend that your wiki entry have the following sections:
- Basic facts:
- number of participation
- Links to photo pages. We are doing our best to aggregate all photos tagged “webmakers” at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozilladrumbeat/favorites/.
- Links to video
- Links to all blog posts about your event
- What's next? Write up a brief description of you and your new local community have planned for the future.
- Other notes: You can paste in all of your notes at the end of the page. If the notes are captured elsewhere, just link to them.