I received feedback from our meeting last week about our new format. Two guests suggested combining the topic ideas and the feedback ideas. Let’s give it a try this week. We’ll try our meeting in three parts. The first part I’ll present a topic idea for the first twenty minutes. The second twenty minutes we’ll have topic ideas and open ideas. During the last twenty minutes we’ll have voting, ranking, and finally, present a winner.
For my presentation today, I’ll share two problems we are facing as a club, some ideas, then ask for new ideas. The two largest problems we face are creating a fun environment so guests will return every week and find new presenters every week. These are the two key parts to keeping our club running successfully.
What if our club could create a process and tool to share ideas? What if we could work on a project or competition together?
In order to make our club fun and interesting, we should make it fun. How can we make it fun? We can do this by letting everyone sharing their ideas. The more interactive our session, the more people will share and have fun. We must also be supportive. If we support each other, we won’t be afraid to be involved.
Last week, we held a more interactive session by capturing ideas on the whiteboard. We held two sessions for the topic idea and open ideas. An idea I had for an improvement is we could have each person write their ideas on an interactive app instead of a facilitator. We can use a spreadsheet for now. If we go around the room and call on each person, they’ll be encouraged to give.
In the next step, I’m proposing we try it interactively online. For our session today, I can start a spreadsheet and display it on the screen. I’ll begin to capture ideas similar to the way we did on the whiteboard. In addition, everyone is free to add their own ideas. If it works well, everyone can write their own ideas. We’ll continue to go around the room to make sure the entire group has a chance to give.
We’ll start with a simple spreadsheet with three or four columns. The first is an idea summary, then a description, a column for voting, and one for your initials. You may enter as many ideas as you wish.
We’ll spend about twenty minutes during the interactive idea sharing session. The interactive sharing will brainstorm about the topic or help you need for another idea.
The last twenty minutes, we’ll hold a vote. We’ll start at the top and vote for each idea. Everyone may ask clarifying questions about the idea. At the end, we’ll rank them. If there is a tie, the presenter will be the tiebreaker by explaining why it was the best idea. The winner will win innovator of the week. We can even create an award that is passed around each week.
The creative interactive session should give us the enthusiasm we need to make our club fun and interesting for us and new guests. It will also create a supportive environment so we all share. This should improve the problem of getting guests to return every week.
The second part of the problem is getting more contributors to present new ideas each week. I have a couple of ideas for something to work on together. If we work on a project together, we will have something in common, and something to talk about. We can share what we have worked on the past week and run through a brainstorm session for new ideas and areas to work on together. This will keep us all engaged as a team. This will also give us the long term learning by discovering new ideas.
My first idea is to improve our format for the next few weeks. The format will be a process we can use during our meetings. If we are successful, we can build this process into a tool we can use as a club together. Just like the iPod, everyone working on it will want to use it.
The idea is this tool would start with a couple of simple features. For example, a way of communication to our members. We now use email, but wouldn’t it be great to have an exclusive app our team uses and get notified on the features we’re working on together? The second feature would add our spreadsheet. It’s great when you can replace a spreadsheet with an app. Wouldn’t it be great if we could chat and add ideas in one single app? Our ideas could be voted and ranked, that way it has the competitive aspect.
The app would allow us to interactively chat, add ideas, vote between our sessions. New ideas can happen anytime during the week. We could add ideas throughout the week and vote on them online.
We also need a feature to sign up new presenters. Once our club has more members contributing to ideas and projects, they’ll start to experience the value of presenting their ideas. This will take three to four weeks before they get the learning process. Once new guests have learned the process they’ll want to sign up for presentations of their own ideas. We want an easy way for them to sign up and share in the upcoming schedule.
There are more features we could use the long term that would be useful to our club. For example, a place to reference our Github or Kaggle. Each week we have new ideas and content we could easily share and reference with our community. We could also API to our external advertising sites such as Meetup and Calagator. This way we can automatically advertise our content to acquire new guests.
In order to bridge the gap for new presenters and experiment with a new interactive process, I’m also going to share our winning idea from last week. Most of our guests and members would like to have a hands-on competition. I’ve put together this compilation of content of how to get started on Kaggle. If we like it as a group, we can select a competition and work on it together. For example, one of the best competitions to get started on Kaggle is the “Titanic - Machine Learning from Disaster”.
The first video is what Kaggle is and why people use it.
The next three videos are from Data Science Dojo. This video is how to get the find the problem, get the data set, and send your score.
The next two videos are more technical for reference to help you complete the competition. There are two tutorials for R language.
We'll go through these tutorials and brainstorm around them.