Mozilla Festival Day 2: Notes from Having Fun and Sharing Gratitude in Distributed Online Communities

Interesting session on Having Fun and Sharing Gratitude in Distributed Online Communities. Here are some notes.


  • J.Nathan Matias (MIT Media Lab / Awesome Knowledge Foundation) @natematias – research on gratitude
  • Vanessa Gennarelli (P2PU) – build communities online

Fewer options to celebrate things together in distributed communities.


  • Yammer Praise
  • KudoNow (performance review)
  • Wikipedia Thanks (for every single edit)

Awesome Knowledge – fun awesome projects that spread knowledge, part of Awesome Foundation; celebrate in weird and crazy ways

Other Tools/Examples

  • chat circles
  • spreadsheet fun
  • surprise Google Hangout
  • Twitch Plays Pokemon (Pokemon game attached to chat room)
  • Scavenger Hunt – hacked it by OCR, crowdsourcing answers, google maps to tell where the physical group has to go
  • Online dance parties e.g.
  • Meatspaces (video based, animation gif chat platform)

P2PU Example

  • lovebombs – what can do and accomplish?
  • model the behaviour we want to see
  • inspire others to take it in another direction
  • cohere as a group
  • ritual can recognize the person, and sets the tone
  • Scratch – features
  • feature stellar feedback to model and inspire others
  • showing success through the interconnected but also to connect to those who are outliers


  • first have to decide what you’re going to celebrate
  • want to celebrate the right things
  • how to? need to? separate coming together to work on something vs. celebrating
  • inclusion – what about people who feel left out?
  • does it become a race at some point?
  • encouraging sharing

Things we could do

  • send thank you cards
  • storytelling – put into newsletters
  • personalization and showing personality
  • sharing, even failure in a fun and reflective way. Saying that we’re sharing ownership. showing appreciation
  • badges, can help make visible what was invisible before, models what is valued, can be used for feedback
  • throw someone a “life line”
  • take a piece of data about them and visualize it
  • showcase to highlight what people have built themselves (vs. for example, outsourced)
  • “PowerPoint kareoke” – 5 mins to use whatever slides are there; could do it with other people’s projects
  • highlight strong skills (profile) and get others to connect with them
  • introduce someone by mapping their location and getting others to find and share a fun fact about the city
  • Friday Disco Backup – sharing what you’re listening to on Friday
  • CC-BY + (heart)
  • better messaging, that is giving events names that recognize people’s roles (for example, Hey Expert)
  • digital party in a box
  • party popper that everyone would have to have to work together to get it open
  • group photo software in real-time
  • duo (disco) – shared, curator list

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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