Community Call - August 12, 2023

The FOSS United volunteers who run events across the country will be having a community call tomorrow, on the 12th of August 2023, from 10 AM - 11 AM. The intention is to come together to discuss what is happening at the different meetups, share what we have learnt and what we are planning to do in the future. Hopefully, we will learn from one another and strengthen the FOSS community in India.

Note that this community call is for the FOSS community in India and not just the FOSS United commuity or the volunteers that run the city meetups. We welcome community participation in the community call and we will reserve a few minutes towards the end of the call to hear from community participants.

For lack of a better option at such short notice, I have created a Google Calendar event and a Jitsi video call.

Agenda for the meeting tomorrow (will be updated once the different city volunteer teams add comments with their agenda)

  • Hyderabad team will be discussing our learnings from the HydFOSS city conference that happened on the 29th of July 2023. We will also be starting monthly meetups starting September so we’re looking for inputs/best practices. The Hyderabad team wants to experiment with the monthly meetups so would like to hear about the experiments/formats that the other city meetups have tried.


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The Chennai team will be sharing our learnings from our June meetup and July’s Linux Installation Party.

In September,we are experimenting by collaborating with other developer communities so as to reach more people.

We will be talking about our September meetup in collaboration with WomenTechMakers Chennai, and what are the things other chapters should keep in mind whilst partnering with communities for meetups and more importantly,how to make sure the FOSS meetup standards are followed.

More details here

Looking forward to the discussion.


Attendees - Chennai (Ansh, Hari), Kochi (Shamil), Swastik (Delhi), Rahul (Hyderabad) and 3 people from the community (Mohan, AJ, Aaron)

Meeting minutes

Chennai (Hari and Ansh)

  • Did first meetup in collab with college. Got ~150 people. Most of the speakers were students due to the college collab.
  • Next event was linux installation party. Over 15 showed up and eventually 3 people made the switch.
    In September, collab with Woman Tech Makers Chennai. Expecting over 100 people. Trying to figure out how to collab. Planning a panel discussion on women in tech and planning workshops as well.
  • Collab with Linux Users Group for Software Freedom Day. Later in the year, we are planning a frontend and backend specific meetups. In the future, we will do a product prototyping focused meetup based on interest from the audience.

Kochi (Shamil)

  • Mainly focused on professionals as there are already a lot of student groups in Kochi colleges. Being professional-focused, holding meetups mainly at companies. InfoPark is the main venue (~25,000 people working at the IT park)
  • At the moment, were not focusing on any specific topic e.g. frontend, backend.
  • We got 70+ participants for the first meetup, because of space constraints, most of them were students because the professionals were not as aware of FOSS. Second meetup ~80 people, most of them were professionals.
  • Kochi always hosts events on the 4th Saturday. This month, we’re hosting it on the 3rd Saturday, because of Onam.
  • We already have venues fixed for this entire year.
  • Issues are around finding professional talks because we are a new community especially because we dont want professionals to only promote company work.

Hyderabad (Rahul)

Delhi (Swastik)

  • University of Delhi denied the venue request at the last moment. Ended up organising the meetup at IFF. 50 people ended up attending. Next venue was SFLC (India). Third meetup, didn’t find enough speakers so we ended up inviting people to give talks.

Meeting notes

  • Look into speakers from existing communities in Hyderabad
  • Venues in Chennai need phone number and email addresses to attend. It would be better if we can have a solution for this.
  • Same in Kochi. The companies/parks have their own rules for entry and we only give them names of attendees. At only one of the venues, the audience needed to give the mobile number.
  • Discussion around convincing venues to only collect names but not phone numbers or emails.
  • In Chennai, we have good speakers but the audience isnt tuned to FOSS e.g. the audience isnt fully involved and not interactive. Sometimes, the audience isn’t aware of FOSS. In some cases, we had to choose audience based on first-come-first-serve and we potentially say no to audience who are actually FOSS enthusiastic.
  • In Kochi, we are using an internal InfoPark channel for communication.
  • In Delhi, the audience have unrealistic expectations.
  • (AJ from the community) audience who found their way via eventbrite or meetup could be less enthusiastic about FOSS/FOSS United.
  • In Hyderabad, we are hoping to nudge people the audience in the right direction e.g. make it clear that there will only snacks and coffee/tea. Make expectations clear to the audience and what we expect from them - during the RSVP phase and during the confirmation phase.
  • (Ansh/Chennai) we should have a proper workflow e.g. reminders for the community call. We decided to immediately create a new forum post for the next community call, add agenda points over the course of the month and settled on September 9th as the date for the next call that the Chennai team is leading.
  • Multiple speakers asked Swastik/Delhi to fund travel/accommodation and wanted to know how we are dealing with such requests? The answer is to simply point them to the speaker guidelines and tell them that we cannot accommodate such requests.
  • IndiaFOSS is coming up soon so whatever meetups happen this month, if they can inform the audience about opportunities to sponsor the conference to the audience and generate leads, that would be great. The leads should be directed towards Aman, the full time industry partnerships manager at FOSS United.
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