The community that has formed around NEAR is remarkable. In nearly every country, there are enthusiastic, creative, and savvy individuals using and building on NEAR. Many developer community groups have formed around shared ideas and passions for evolving the NEAR ecosystem.
The Developer Community Group section makes it easier to find such groups and learn best practices from others.
Community Groups (CGs) are self-organized groups of people interested in a specific topic, such as Zero Knowledge or Wallet Standards. They are not controlled by anyone but the people organizing them. They offer a great opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with like-minded people. Most groups have a dedicated social channel, like Telegram, as well as regular video calls or in-person events.
How to start a Community Group
Identify purpose: Decide on an area of specialization, such as Python tools or Privacy.
Create a communication channel: Create a communication platform, such as a Telegram channel or mailing list, to help keep members informed.
- Label your group name clearly, e.g. NEAR Python Tools Community Group
- Make your group type public and create a shareable link, e.g. Telegram: Contact @NearPythonTools
- Install a robot such as @shieldy_bot to prevent spam
- Enable chat history for new members
Introduce group: Create a new forum thread on the NEAR Gov Forum. This will prompt the NEAR Developer Governance to add your group to its website and to help people discover your group.
- Each forum thread under Development → Community Groups represents one group
- The first post for each Developer Community Group thread provides a name, a brief description of the group, and information on how people can participate (e.g. link to Telegram, meeting link, etc).
- Subsequent posts for each group may include announcements or meeting summaries to keep the community in the know.
Build a core group: Seek an initial group of people who are interested in your topic. You can advertise your group in other existing CGs or general-purpose places like #NEAR Discord or Twitter. Some of the newsletters, like https://twitter.com/NEARWEEK can help with the initial announcement. Having even 10 people joining your initial group is a good start.
Encourage participation: Encourage participation and foster an environment of open discussion. Share your ideas and seed other topics. Use the Telegram group to present your initial thoughts and pitch your ideas. Engage in the conversation when others present their ideas and thoughts.
Plan events: Consider organizing the first community group meeting once you see some recurrent topics, deep technical discussions that you want to drill into, or topics that are hard to discuss over text.
Celebrate successes: Recognize the contributions of members and celebrate wins to encourage continued engagement.
How to organize a Community Group meeting
Invite the right people: Invite the key stakeholders you want to attend and propose a meeting time that works.
Tip: Use a meeting time poll tool like Calendly
Set up meeting tool: Create a meeting invitation link, e.g Zoom or Google Hangout
Advertise the meeting: Announce the meeting several times in the CG communication channels. Post it on Twitter and tag @NEARDevGov for them to retweet it.
- Include the proposed agenda in the invitation message. Consider making voting for an agenda a collective effort in the Telegram group.
- Consider reaching out to selected people directly over DM or email with your invitations.
- Post a reminder a day before the actual meeting.
Run an effective meeting: 2-3 people attending besides yourself is already a win!
- Start and on time to send a clear message that time is valuable and that attendees should come prepared.
- Assign roles and responsibilities like a meeting facilitator, note-taker, or time-keeper.
- Record the meeting so you can share it later.
- Encourage everyone to introduce themselves and to participate.
- Start proposing topics and engaging with ideas from other people. If you run out of topics, it is okay to end the meeting early.
- Consider making a recurring meeting if you have enough topics to discuss on a regular basis. Consistency is important, but do not turn it into spamming
- Share your leadership seat with others in the CG. Create some rotation of who runs the meeting. The more people feel included, the stronger your CG is.
Follow up: Share the meeting summary and recording on your CG communication channels. And follow up on any action items.
Tips: Tag the accounts of people/organizations who participated