TYPO3 Dialogue Days 2015 - What was it about?

Categories: Community, Association Created by TYPO3 Dialogue Days Participants
The TYPO3 Dialogue Days 2015 took place at the Unperfekthaus in Essen, Germany, from 13th to 15th of April, wrapped around the General Assembly (GA) of the TYPO3 Association.
More than 20 participants from the Board, Expert Advisory Board (EAB), Business Control Committee (BCC), several teams, as well interested community members joined the event on the first day. On tuesday more than 50 people showed up for the GA. On wednesday the group was reduced to few participants, and this allowed to focus on certain key issues, such as the onboarding topic described later on and the potential improvements for the TYPO3 Dialogue Days 2016.

A wrap up of the different workshops

In a first meeting we decided to focus the Dialogue Days on three key topics: values, communication, and marketing. The most important and basic topic was the discussion on values where all attendees participated. Brainstorming about the current situation in the TYPO3 community clearly showed that we all share a common set of values. These are: trust & respect, openness, sharing, friendship and fun. There is a dedicate <link http: typo3.org news article values-of-the-typo3-community-an-open-source-ecosystem _blank to typo3 community>report about this topic. After a short retrospective on the last TYPO3 User Experience Weeks (<link http: www.t3uxw.org _blank to>T3UXW) and on the <link http: typo3.org news article summary-of-the-2014-agency-meetups _blank>Agency Meetup Days 2015, we divided into three working groups. The groups worked then on the selected topics on the all three days.

Communication workshop

During the communication workshop we identified the focus areas as: internal and external communication, onboarding, and contact information. Regarding the internal communication it became very clear that with open and honest communication between people most problems that might arise in such an ecosystem can be avoided. The onboarding topic has been discussed deeper and it became clear that the self perception of the community or of the teams is different from the outside view. This leads to some people lacking self confidence to join teams or to contact established team members. As the T3UXWs showed, each person is very valuable to the community and to the products, regardless of his or her background, and we need to focus a lot more on editors and TYPO3's "first impressions". For these reasons more people from all disciplines and with different knowledge-levels should be lead into the community. With this in mind, it has been recognized that typo3.org needs a clearer structure, so that users can easily find information and points of contact. Also, there is a believe that TYPO3 CMS is seen as 'unsexy' and that there should be more information about the great and new features which the product has. A further idea from the communication workshop was to spread the word about TYPO3 not only at our own events, but also with participation to other events, maybe even as sponsors.

Marketing workshop

Within the marketing group we identified fields for improvements on the outbound marketing as well as on the current state of typo3.org as central hub for information. Typo3.org has become floated with a lot of content. This is a natural process simply because the project is still huge. In order to achieve a clear separation it was decided to bring TYPO3.com back, with an up to date responsive layout transporting the potential of TYPO3's products. TYPO3.com will focus mainly on decision makers and even potential investors, showing the latest references which are nowadays shown on t3blog.com, thus making our products more attractive to them. TYPO3.org, on the other hand, can be used to deliver development and team- and community related topics without fighting for space with the decision makers' information. Also crucial applications like the TYPO3 Extension Repository (TER) will be decoupled in order to reduce the hassle upgrading a website like TYPO3.org. By separating the concerns of each individual website we gain numerous benefits - most of all: easier maintenance by the server team and streamlined, faster processes within the project. Apart from that Fabian Stein shared the current state of affairs in the Marketing Team, giving an outlook onto the all-new style guide. When the <link https: typo3.org teams marketing _blank to typo3>Marketing Team re-formed, it quickly became obvious that all ideas were in vain without a valid style guide. Since the style guide is now in its last 2% of making, we can expect more output from this team in quick succession - starting with the <link http: t3marketingsprint.de _blank to typo3 marketing>Marketing Sprint in May.

Strategy workshop

In the strategy workshop it became clear that it is necessary to create user stories for our main products TYPO3 CMS and TYPO3 Neos. There was a common believe that the market is confused by TYPO3 having two partly similar products which somehow compete with each other. By telling a story about each product, when to use it, what it is ideal for, and by expressing the logic behind the development to the community and to the outside, a better understanding will be created. All participants agreed that communication is the key for success of the projects and of the community itself.

All in all

It was a successful meeting with a lot of motivation and great spirit. The feedback of the participants was very positive and there will be a new edition of the TYPO3 Dialogue Days before the next GA in 2016. The idea for next year is to repeat the event with a similar format, for three full days, including the GA. Improvements will be implemented as regards the teams' participations, a clearer program and agenda, and stronger communication about the event. Thank you to all the participants and to Stefan Busemann for organizing the event!