Jsilver's Onboarding Suggestions for New Participants
This crowdresearch project involves a very diverse group of participants (online workers and requesters/clients, and researchers) from over 20-30 countries. A research project of this scale has never been done before. Hence, it is inevitable for new participants to feel very overwhelmed by the information, diversity, and activities that are presented and happening in front of them.
To have an enjoyable experience, here are some suggestions to help keep you on track and coming back:
1. Ask questions
You should never hesitate: always ask questions whenever in doubt. Slack is a great medium to ask questions. No question is a dumb question! You can also DM (direct message) specific people, like @michaelbernstein, @rajanvaish, and milestone/task DRIs (Directly responsible individuals) whenever necessary.
Remember: co-participants are from many parts of the world and regularly ready to help you! You'd typically get a response within 24 hours -- often within a few minutes!
2. Interact and Participate
Just like asking questions, interacting and participating are the fastest ways of breaking the ice and getting acquainted with the research project and your co-participants. We use Slack as the main communication channel outside weekly video meetings. If you see people discussing on Slack, don't hesitate to join. Discuss, debate, or simply ask questions. It usually snowballs from that!
You should also try to regularly participate in the weekly meetings (via Google Hangout) and milestone tasks (Trello). The Hangout link is always posted a few minutes before the meeting, and people often post on Slack while the meetings are on going. For weekly milestone tasks in Trello, participants usually discuss on relevant Slack channels (see the Slack channels list below).
3. Dig in immediately
There are a lot of stuff going on right when you join. To reduce the level of information overload, you should try to focus on areas you are interested in or skilled at. We have different Slack channels that cater to different categories of interest. We also have various links, in the form of wikis and milestone pages.
Digging in would help you get up to speed. Start with a few links and go from there. Once you are comfortable, you can slowly expand and discover new fields of interest!
4. Be self-reliant and self-motivated
It's natural for you to feel overwhelmed many times throughout the project duration. Before you think of quitting, you should remember why you joined and focus on your goals!
Main page  - Main wiki page of this project
Archives  - links of previous meetings and slides
Resources  - links of videos and others
Relevant Work  - links of relevant websites, articles, and papers
Slack is a real-time messaging app we regularly use in this research project.
#general  - Slack channel for general discussions, those relevant to our project
#meetings  - discussions related to the weekly meetings. People post here while the weekly video meetings take place
#random - discussions that don't belong to other channels happen here
#badges - related to Bonus.ly badging