Information Maintainers

Code of Practice

Members within the Information Maintenance Community are expected to abide by this shared code of practice. This code has been designed to enable diverse stakeholders to respectfully work together, despite different work schedules, capacity levels, and perspectives.

Mechanisms for Regular / Virtual Face-to-Face Meetings

Members of the Information Maintenance Community (MC) meet virtually with regular frequency, typically monthly, using a web conferencing platform (hosted by The Maintainers). Monthly meetings are used to plan and advance work underway; to complete capacity building activity that informs the work of the MC and the Central Office, and to build community.

Agendas are sent out a full week in advance of each monthly meeting by the facilitator to solicit additional agenda items from the members of the maintenance community. We value agenda and meeting minutes since they represent critical pieces of documentation about the MC: its growth and evolution over time, the activities and actions it undertakes; and its method of coordination.

To stay up to date about meetings and activities of the Maintainers Communities, interested parties can sign up for MC mailing lists on the Maintenance Communities homepage.

Community Leadership Roles

All Members:

      • act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Maintenance Community in other professional communities;

      • adhere to and promote the Maintenance Community code of practice, and foster an inclusive and engaging in-person and virtual environment

Maintenance Community Meeting Co-Facilitators

    • Terms: 1 year

    • Responsibilities:

      • maintaining open lines of communication between members of the Information Maintenance community, and the broader Maintainers Community, keeping the scope and action plan of the working group up to date as the focus of the work shifts and/or is completed

      • keeping the scoping statement and activities of the MC up to date as the focus of the work shifts and/or is completed

      • coordinates with The Maintainers co-directors/staff on announcements of completed work, recruitment of members and other Maintainers-wide initiatives

      • schedule, create/maintain agendas and help to facilitate community meetings

      • send out reminders and agendas for community meetings at LEAST one week prior to each meeting and send out a follow-up with any action items or requests for follow-up no later than 2 days following each community meeting

      • help to maintain and update the community’s documentation;

      • inform the members of the Maintenance Community and the Central Office in a timely manner if they are unable to continue as Co-Facilitator for their full term;

      • report out at each community meeting

Maintenance Community Communications Lead or Co-Leads

    • Terms: 1 year

    • Responsibilities:

      • Create sample tweets, web copy and draft listserv text to share with MC members for the release of any major announcements

      • Update web copy about the MC

      • Tweet on regular basis updates from the MC - such as highlights from community meetings, related work, etc. 

      • act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Maintenance Community in other professional communities;

      • inform the members of the Maintenance Community and the Central Office in a timely manner if they are unable to continue as Co-Facilitator for their full term;

      • adhere to and promote the Maintenance Community code of practice, and foster an inclusive and engaging in-person and virtual environment

      • report out at each community meeting

Maintenance Community Onboarding Co-Leads

    • Terms: 1 year

    • Responsibilities:

      • Weekly review of any new members (registered on the listserv) followed by outreach to those new members, serving as their initial point of contact and offering to answer questions, provide more information about the community, how it works, links to relevant information and upcoming events, and ways to get involved

      • Introduction of new members to the list - or explaining the introductory prompt for the list - who.what.why do you maintain

      • act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Maintenance Community in other professional communities;

      • inform the members of the Maintenance Community and the Central Office in a timely manner if they are unable to continue as Co-Facilitator for their full term;

      • adhere to and promote the Maintenance Community code of practice, and foster an inclusive and engaging in-person and virtual environment

      • report out at each community meeting

Maintenance Community Outreach Lead

    • Terms: 1 year

    • Responsibilities:

      • Working with other convener roles to identify areas/audiences/potential participants in the community

      • Identify opportunities to cross-pollinate the work of the maintenance community including presentations at other community meetings, conference opportunities, podcasts, and others

      • act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Maintenance Community in other professional communities;

      • inform the members of the Maintenance Community and the Central Office in a timely manner if they are unable to continue as Co-Facilitator for their full term;

      • adhere to and promote the Maintenance Community code of practice, and foster an inclusive and engaging in-person and virtual environment

      • report out at each community meeting

Decision Making: Lazy Consensus

(This section has been copied, almost in its entirety, from Apache Rave’s “Lazy Consensus” (2012).) We operate by lazy consensus, under which “lack of objections is interpreted as a silent approval.”

The effectiveness of this approach, particularly for large, geographically distributed groups, is based on the assumption that it is easier for people to agree, by doing nothing, than it is to object, which requires an alternative to be proposed. This has two effects, firstly people are less likely to object for the sake of it and secondly it cuts down on the amount of unnecessary mail traffic and discussion.

Lazy consensus means we can avoid waiting for a community based decision before proceeding. However, it does require everyone who cares for the health of the project to watch what is happening, as it is happening. Objecting too far down the road will cause upset, but objecting (or asking for clarification of intent) early is likely to be greeted with relief that someone is watching and cares.

Stating Lazy Consensus

Sometimes a member of the community will believe a specific action is the correct one for the community and would like to get agreement from the rest of the group. In these circumstances, Lazy Consensus is the preferred process for gaining such approval.

This process is usually started when a community member makes a proposal and states that they will start implementing it in 5 working days hours unless someone objects. 5 working days is chosen as the minimum because it accounts for different timezones and non-maintenance community commitments.

In this approach a proposal does not require discussion, nor does the proposer request that the community explicitly supports their actions.

Silence is Consent

People may choose to indicate their support for the actions taken with a +1 email, which isquick and easy to read, and reassuring for the implementer. However, remember, in a lazy consensus world, silence is the equivalent to support. This can take some time to get used to.

How to Send/Respond to Press Inquiries

All press inquiries should be sent to information-maintainers@themaintainers.org

This list is monitored by all maintenance community conveners and The Maintainers co-directors.

Upon receipt of a press inquiry, the Communication Lead or Co-Leads should draft a brief response within 24 hours that buys time for a lengthier response to  be reviewed by the community and submitted to the press outlet after the lazy consensus period.