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Membership Guidelines

Kwasi Gachie edited this page Jul 24, 2017 · 3 revisions


HH membership is only valid for individuals, not organisations.

This rule has been adopted to ensure that HH Africa is a community of likeminded people who are passionate about reinventing journalism on the continent. Organisations can support or collaborate with HH Africa chapters via partnership agreements (MoUs). This can include organisations which provide venues for chapter meetups, or grants for chapter activities, or speakers / resources for chapter events. Organisations can even partner with HH chapters to co-host hackdays, bootcamps, or codejams. Guidelines for how to structure and manage organisational partnerships can be found here.

Membership guidelines for individuals are provided below.


Journalists (Hacks)

Membership is open to all journalists. Only caveat is with regard to ethical issues

Technologists (Hackers)

Anyone with a background in Software Development/Project management/Community building.



Community Guidelines

When people join an HH chapter, either as an organiser or member, they are joining a larger community. And, like any growing community, they will be expected to adhere to a couple of simple ground-rules for the common good. The guidelines cover both online and offline conduct, and are modeled on the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and the Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 principles. Specifically, members are expected to be:


We're all part of the same community, so members are expected to be friendly, be welcoming, and generally be a nice person. Members are expected to be someone that other people want to be around.

Be respectful and constructive.

HH Africa is a very diverse group (20+ countries and growing!), so we're not going to agree all the time. Remember to be respectful and constructive with your communication to your fellow HH'ers. Don't get into flamewars, don't make personal attacks, don't vent or rant unconstructively. Everyone should take responsibility for the community and take the initiative to diffuse tension and stop a potential flamewar or negative thread as early as possible.

Be collaborative.

Work together! We can learn a lot from each other. Share knowledge, update the wiki, help each other out.


HH Africa is meant to be a dynamic and productive community, so members are expected to be a part of it! They're expected to join in on discussions, show up for in-person meetings, participate in project teams, offer feedback, and offer to help implement that feedback!

Step down considerately.

If you're an organizer, as a member on an ExCo or have some other form of responsibility in running an HH chapter (ie. you're just running the website or are a team leader on a project), be aware of your own constraints. We all know that life can get busy, so if you know that a new job or family situation will impact your ability to organise your group, find a way to step down gracefully. Make sure someone can take over for you, and transfer the relevant information (contacts, passwords, etc.) for a smooth transition. See How to Hand-off a HH Chapter.

As a chapter organiser, you will also play a role in moderating member discussions via your chapter's Google Group, or on the various online platforms. You should therefore help everyone observe some basic etiquette for online discussions, namely:

1. Think before you send. Does,this message need to go to hundreds of people around the world? Do not send messages to the whole list that only need to go to one person.
2. Keep off topic conversations to a minimum. Members are busy people, with limited bandwidth (both mental & data). Members will become frustrated and will begin leaving if you allow your,chapter email list to be hijacked for off-topic conversations. You need,to actively police the list, to immediately clamp down on off-topic,conversations, so that they are taken elsewhere.
3. Do not send spam. Do not allow anyone, even fellow ExCo members, to advertise or promote personal projects which are off topic. While members are welcome to,announce media-related projects they should not promote commercial,services or solicit funding for projects. This is what demo days are for.
4. When reading forums in digest form, please observe these rules: It is important to preserve conversation threading in everyone's inbox so that messages are archived correctly and so that members are not swamped with emails they are not interested in. So, change the subject of your,reply to match the actual subject of the message you are replying to.Only include from the digest the pertinent part of the message you are responding to in your reply. There is no need to send the entire digest,back to everyone on the list (including those of us that already,received each message individually). Alternatively, visit the web interface, find the post, and reply there.
5. Do not send automated "out of office" or "vacation" messages. Your,automated message will be sent to every chapter member, repeatedly each time your server receives a new message from the HH chapter. If you,insist on using an "out of office" responder, then change your message,settings on the HH chapter email list so that you don't receive messages during your holiday.
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