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Encourage Interest Groups


It is difficult to effectively support a broad, diverse community from the centre.


The communities that form around large projects will be made up of smaller communities that each have their own interests, priorities and needs. It is challenging to try and provide support and direction to these diverse groups.


Enable the community to form interest groups that support each other in contributing to the project in ways that better meet their needs.

Encourage these diverse communities to share their ways of working with you and each other, to help build broader alignment and understanding about the benefits and impacts of collecting and maintaining data.

Larger collaborative projects such as OpenStreetMap and Wikidata are made up of smaller distinct communities that are using the common data infrastructure to collect and maintain data that meets a variety of needs. They are successful because those communities organise themselves to work with each other, but also have points of contact with other communities.

If your project is similarly trying to support and serve a broad community, you might benefit from encouraging the creation of interest groups that can focus on specific aspects of collecting and maintaining data for the project.

If you Know Your Community, you will have a better understanding of these specific interest groups.

A broader range of perspectives and specialised tools will create better outcomes that will increase coverage, improve quality and Minimise Harm.

Use Visible Processes and Clearly Defined Roles to help you coordinate sub-groups. Encourage them to Organise Campaigns to tackle specific challenges.

Extendable Tooling allows these groups to create tools that work for their communities, in different contexts and languages.


created by a subgroup of volunteers from MissingMaps and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team


Merlin Bird ID Created to support eBird

Related patterns

Know Your Community

A lack of understanding of your community limits your ability to support and engage with them.

Extendable Tooling

The project has limited capacity to create new and improved tools to support the community

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