Jump to content

Learning patterns/Birds of a feather

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Birds of a feather
problemIn large conferences, the participants do not get to meet people who have similar interests as they have.
solutionOrganize birds of a feather sessions, where people having similar interests get to network with each other. Smaller theme-specific meetups will also bring similar-minded people together.
creatorNetha Hussain
created on30 August, 2014

What problem does this solve?[edit]

In large conferences with more than a 100 attendees, it is not possible for all participants to interact with each other. People are generally interested in meeting up with other people interested in projects which are similar to theirs. People not necessarily get a chance to meet others with similar interests during formal talks.

What is the solution?[edit]

Conduct a 'birds of a feather' session or a themed-meetup to bring people of similar interests together. 'Birds of a feather' session is an informal gathering of enthusiasts about a particular topic. During the session, people get to know each other, talk about the topic of interest and end up creating meaningful ideas or solutions to challenges.

General considerations[edit]

  • Find a time and venue in advance. During conferences where everyone is likely to be busy, it will be smart to use a doodle for deciding on the time. A doodle is especially helpful if the participants live in different time zones.
  • Create a meetup page, preferably on the conference website or conference wiki. If the gathering is meant to be private or invite-only, an etherpad can be used instead.
  • Spread the word via social media to ensure good participation. The higher the participation, the more the output.
  • Document the meetup, preferably on a wiki or etherpad. A list of participants with their contact details will help greatly for networking.

When to use[edit]

  • In conferences like Wikimania where there are a large number of participants.
  • In tech-fests where a large number of enthusiasts attend.


See also[edit]

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. So, what's a birds of a feather session anyway?, (Blogher, 2006)
  2. BOF sessions in LISA 2013