So, I've been roped in to helping plan an Emacs Conference. It's been a while since I've done it, basically since FUDCon Tempe, but doing community building work has felt incredibly valuable in terms of the overall direction of growth that I find myself on. Overall, one of the biggest areas I suffer in, and one of the biggest areas I've been trying to grow in is in managing relationships with people, growing those around me via mentorship and co-learning, and things like EmacsSF and now EmacsConf are proving to be a great resource in that regard.
EmacsConf started as the ever-awesome Sacha Chua wanting to put together a day-long manifestation of her popular EmacsChats hangout sessions, a day long presentation-style Google Hangout. At the first Emacs SF meetup, the also-awesome Samer Masterson suggested the awesome idea of also hosting as much of it in a single physical space as possible, namely in roughly our current spacetime, August 2015, San Francisco, and away we went, quickly spinning up some basic infrastructure that we could use to host a website and event space. We secured a small venue in the financial district, and we are well on our way to having a pretty nifty conference on our hand.
Having come most of the way to creating this event, we now have repeatable mediums for semi-syncronous chat spaces, event planning, a wiki and code hosting. This leads us to a fairly obvious question: How can we curate this space to allow for anyone to host their own Emacs User Group or local conference? And that is the sort of path I am going down right now, in the near future I would love for EmacsSF to be completely self-hosted, with Meetup acting as a read-only mirror and announcement hub.
The EmacsConf infrastructure could and should be repurposed to act as a community watering hole for the Emacs community. We exist in disparate places -- Emacs devel mailing list, #emacs on freenode and /r/emacs and EmacsWiki seem to to be the primary spaces that I see talked about, but none of those spaces foster the idea of a meatspace meetup or virtual meetup well enough. There is a benefit and energy to be gained from these sorts of meetings, a bonding that can form, much like it has with the core members of the #emacs IRC chat.
We as a community have become more and more tied to closed source and isolated communities. The firsts place a new user goes to find help when their .emacs doesn't work is far too often /r/emacs. The first place a developer goes to host their nifty-as-frick library is GitHub. Let's start with those simple things, let's make EmacsConf the most kickass asyncronous general Emacs chat, let's make it the premier place to host your Emacs package.
Where do we start? How can you get involved?