some of you will have noticed the occasional meet-ups of local Fairphoner groups (especially our vigorous Viennese vanguard, but also my own modest efforts). My own personal motivation behind starting the Aachen meet-ups is primarily this: Getting Fairphone owners in touch with each other in order to perhaps making it easier to ask other locals for help in case of technical issues with your FP – stuff like „my battery is dying and it’s out of stock in the shop right now, does anyone have a backup battery that you can lend me in the meantime?“ or „I have delayed the storage upgrade for ages, but my FP is so crammed now it’s hardly usable anymore, would anyone be willing to walk me through the procedure in person?“. I am aware this borders support, but I think there are a lot of cases when a fellow local Fairphoner can be a great (transitional) help. Frankly it makes me whine to see someone searching in vain on Facebook and our forum for a transitional FP spare battery in LONDON for days and weeks when the Greater London area probably has 100+ Fairphone owners (I think that is a conservative guess) and several of them would probably be able and happy to help out, but just never get to hear the call for help.
If local groups want to focus on other activities, go beyond, develop some activism, that’s great, too.
Now what I actually want to start a discussion about is how Fairphone could help getting local/regional Fairphoner groups/networks started. I am aware of the tips provided at ✏ Tips on how to organize your (first) Fairphone community meetup and support them, but I think finding your local Fairphoners through this forum and Facebook alone reaches way too few of those who might actually be interested. I’ll just throw some rough ideas into the discussion here, bearing in mind that I want to keep it simple and not creating a ton of additional work for our already overloaded Fairphone staff.
The Fairphone ordering process could include an „authorization box“ that would (if actively ticked) allow Fairphone to forward your e-mail address (optional: a different one from your ordering email address) to a potential local/regional (volunteer) Fairphone group organizer. Of course, this only helps with future buyers.
Fairphone could send out an e-mail to all Fairphone owners to inform them of the possibility to submit an e-mail address and their country and zip code into a database of Fairphoners interested in meeting up (or just virtual organizing) at the grassroots. Ideally it would be an online form (I think just encouraging to write an e-mail won’t do the trick).
Fairphone could provide a very basic organizing tool on their website that would allow to „create“ local groups yourself (what I have in mind here is something remotely resembling what I learned to know 12 years ago when cheering for Howard Dean: meetup.com, just much simpler, and perhaps something like doodle.com). Obviously, this would be the most demanding approach on Fairphone’s part.
Now be civil, please. I think many of us like Fairphoner meet-ups in person, and I believe it really takes just a tad bit more encouragement and a little technical paving the way to kickstart more of these.
Why do people that create these groups not just post them at meetup (or similar)? That would give them more exposure. Additionally Fairphone could link those meetups on their social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and target their followers specifically.
Forum (there are people who got to know the Austrian Fairphoners through the forum, and the meetups originated here, when @EvaS needed help with her display repair; read the first 10 posts in Austrian Fairphoners )
Facebook (Great to easily create an event and invite your friends and family)
and more. I have, for example, prepared some Fairphone stickers with our contact information, which I give to Fairphone-owners I meet in the street, or lay out at befriended events:
I don’t think this is confidential, as @anon30133089 told me this yesterday at the Vienna meetup: Apparently Fairphone is working on a Fairphoners map where everyone can pin a needle and share their location (something similar to the Local Fairphoners Address Book Map, but open to everyone’s submission).
PS.: From the beginning I was thinking about a European Fairphoners Meetup (this is from the original post in Austrian Fairphoners):
Thinking about it: We should definitely do this! Yesterday we were joking about doing a community trip (maybe in the summer holidays) to Amsterdam to visit Fairphone. Actually it is not something that’d be impossible…
One more try … maybe there’s another forum member interested in contributing or discussing ideas on how to initiate groups and especially how Fairphone could help interested hosts to find out who’s in their area.
I think this takes time. Interested people will emerge sooner or later, and the best we as the community can do, is to facilitate meetups as far as possible (giving them a platform on the forum and providing tools, such as the Local Fairphoners Address Book).
Well, the point I was trying to make is just a little support with alerting other local Fairphoners of the mere existence of a local Fairphone meetup host. I know and support that you cannot and will not just share the customer email addresses from city X with city X’s volunteer meetup organizer. But maybe you could forward a meetup invitation to them?
We were 8 people in Paris, invited from this forum and Facebook. I like those meetups, they remind me of the spirit computing used to have in 8 and 16-bit ages
It’s important to me that meetups stay community driven and independant from Fairphone company, so I’m not sure about FP sending official invitations, but why not suggesting them to look up for a local community near them on the relevant forum page ?
@Douwe Why not lending accessories samples ? you could get community feedback on return.
Or even, lending a FP2 with Sailfish OS, so participants can try it without having to flash their own phone.
That would draw interest in the meetup for sure.
Just to clarify, all I meant was that it would be helpful if Fairphone would forward (make aware of) the local (community) organizer/host’s invitation. Pointing local Fairphoners towards a local community’s forum thread would be equally helpful, mentioning the date (if there already is one) already in the e-mail would make sense as well.
If you ask them in advance, Fairphone shares your date and time via the social networks. [quote=“urs_lesse, post:15, topic:10843”]
Pointing local Fairphoners towards a local community’s forum thread would be equally helpful, mentioning the date (if there already is one) already in the e-mail would make sense as well.
I agree. @Douwe, how about a community section in the Fairphone newsletter?
Yeah, most definitely!
I try to keep an eye out for community events so I can point to them on Facebook and Twitter. But if people send me their stuff, it makes it a lot easier and we can also include them in the newsletter section.