Session Transcripts

A live transcription team captured the SRCCON sessions that were most conducive to a written record—about half the sessions, in all.

Welcome to SRCCON 2017!

Session facilitator(s): OpenNews Staff

Day & Time: Thursday, 9:30am

Room: Memorial

DAN SINKER: Hello this mic works. That’s awesome. I’m Dan and a lot of you had a hard time getting here, so it’s amazing how many people are here. If you had a flight delay or cancelation or whatever, raise your hand real quick. Give this folks a big hand.


There are colleagues still en route. Some folks booked some pretty crazy things in the middle of the night to get out here. For all of you that did – and for this who don’t know, apparently the northeast had a totally insane storm that canceled everything. But we will be doing some of this stuff again at lunch because there will be another wave of people joining us at lunch.

But for those of you that did endure all of that as someone who travels a lot and sits in airports for way too long, thank you so much for getting out here and being here. For this of you – and my colleague Brian will talk a little bit more about this – we had to do some schedule adjustments, just to be sure that people still on their way here are going to be doing sessions that they wanted to facilitate. Brian will talk a little bit more about how that happens.

But thank you and welcome, all of you, to SRCCON here in Minneapolis.


This is our second time in Minneapolis. Two years ago, we were here. How many people – raise your hand if you were here in Minneapolis two years ago. Awesome. Welcome back. I was thinking about last year – or two years ago versus now. We opened with the sermon from Prince’s “Let’s go crazy.”

And then the next day we celebrate the Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. And I thought about what a different place we’re in now. This year feels different. Being a journalist feels different this year. The work you all do has taken on new urgency as that kind of speaking truth and power has taken on a new meaning.

And we know that it’s hard to keep up with the unrelenting pace of the news. And to keep up with the kind of unrelenting pace – the work that you do being told it’s fake or that the place you’re working in is failing.

And so SRCCON is always a place to share both the good things and the bad. It’s a place to learn together and to learn from each other. But it’s also – and it feels like this year more than ever, it’s a place to take care of each other. And a place to take care of yourself.

We want you to feel comfortable here at SRCCON – and some of my colleagues will talk about the various ways to do that.

But first and foremost, he want you to feel comfortable bringing your whole self here. We want you to feel equally able to talk about the things that are great and the things that you’ve done really are. And that only works if you feel represented. That only works if you’re not, you know – if you’re not in a position where you feel like you’ve got to constantly be explaining who you are and why you’re here. So welcome to all of you. We love that you’re here, and we love those of you that had to really work to get here, got here.

My colleagues are going to come up to talk a little bit about how SRCCON works and how the day works, and that sort of thing. And it’s important to underscore just how much this really happened with them. This year, especially. I’ve had a number of personal problems and family crises over the last few months, and the only reason why SRCCON is here because of the people that are about to come up.

Once they’re done, my colleague will walk us through something that we always do, but I want to prepare you for, which is to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. We’re going to be able to take care of each other, we need to know each other. We need to not just stay with the clicks of people at other conferences but get to know each other. So Eric will be asking you to get to know each other and bring SRCCON.

But first, I want to introduce you to Ryan and the schedule and how things are going to work.


RYAN PITTS: Hi, SRCCON. I am super happy to see all of you here. I’m going to talk about the schedule and the structure of our days together here in Minneapolis. First thing I want to make sure everyone knows. Hopefully you have loaded up on your phones, and I want to point out if you think you know what’s on the schedule, you are probably very close to right. But like Dan has said, we have had bunch of travel problems, facilitates from the east coast trying to get in. Some of them made it in the wee hours, some of them this morning, some of them are still trying to get here. So we have been making adjustments to the schedule as recently as 20 minutes ago swapping a few sessions around, so I want to call that out, and I want to encourage you all to refresh the schedule and make sure that you are seeing sessions where they are actually occurring. What we would hate to have happen is forth to be a session that you are excited to attend on Friday and to miss it because it got moved up to Thursday.

We have been moving some sessions around like that, and I want to call out a thanks to facilitators – not only the ones who have gone through travel struggles to get here, but this who have beening to say “Yep. I can swap. I session earlier.”

Just another example how we as a community have each other’s backs. That has been really, really awesome to work with these group of folks.

So we’re excited about this year’s schedule. We want to make sure you don’t miss anything that you’re excited about. So, please, refresh that and make sure that you have the latest version.

So another way that we try to take care of each other at SRCCON is by the way that we actually structure the days here. One thing you might notice on the schedule is that we have 30-minute breaks between sessions. That’s a very intentional thing. What we want to have happen – if you are in a session, and you’re in the middle of a great conversation, you have a question for the facilitator, we want you to feel comfortable, like, continuing that conversation. You have a few minutes to hang out, to talk through things, to finish whatever it is that you’re working on. You still have plenty of time to then get out to the restroom, take advantage of the awesome coffee and tea back there. Have some more conversations with people that you just met. We want to provide plenty of space between sessions for those hallway conversations. Those are super important for community to kind of build relationships with each other and to meet new people who are here at SRCCON with you.

We also want to create space for you to bring your ideas to SRCCON while you’re actually here. We have a few ways of doing that, and I want to call out one, first of all, because it’s brand-new. Mike, can you put your hand up? Over by Mike, there is a bulletin board, and it says office hours on it. That’s a brand-new thing for SRCCON. One of the things that we try to do with our program is really listen to everybody’s feedback, who facilitate and iterate on the program each year. A thing that we’ve been hearing is that folks really want a space where they can sit down for one-on-one conversations and get answers from people to questions that they have or talk about projects and get really, really specific feedback.

So office hours is a space that we created to kind of answer that need. There’s a number of folks who have already signed up from different organizations, talking about different topics. There’s two slots throughout the day. And the office hours kind of overlap those long session breaks. So if you are interested in signing up for office hours, there are also some open blocks over there. If you have a software project or if you have something going on at your organization that you want to talk to folks about. Or maybe you think there’s just a thing that people might want to ask you about what’s going on with your work. There’s open spaces to sign up. There’s two spots during each office hour block. So, please, do check out that bulletin board, see who’s there, and take advantage of that space.

Another thing that gives you an opportunity to bring your work to SRCCON is the job board over there next to the register table. Currently, it’s empty. We would love to see it full of job openings. So if you are hiring, there are Post-Its and pens. If you have printouts, you can tack them up there. The job board is to let people know about opportunities and to kind of share – you know, to share those openings with other folks at SRCCON.

And then finally I’m going to call out the conversation signups, and that is directly in the back of memorial hall here. We have a couple opportunities for you to have conversations with folks about topics that you’re really passionate about. We’ll talk more about the evening program. But tonight, there’s open rooms where you can have conversation with folks about whatever your hobbies are. Whatever you’re passionate about. Things that aren’t necessarily related to work. We want to make space for this conversations to take place.

And then we also have sessions during the day that take place during the lunch break, a chance for people to grab food, take it into a session room, and keep learning from each other as they enjoy their meal. There are open signups for tomorrow’s lunch block as well. So if there’s a conversation you want to bring to SRCCON, those are a couple of ways that you can do that. Just, please, put your ideas on the board, and we’ll be happy to add them to the schedule.

So that kind of covers the structure of our days and schedule. I’m going to handy it over to Lindsay, and she’s going to talk about a little bit how we document what take place at SRCCON.

LINDSAY MUSCATO: Hello. I’m here to talk to you about documentation. Our community, as you know, extends beyond these walls, and we want to capture as much as we can about our time here. So for that, we have our amazing stenographer team. They are here somewhere. It’s the same team that we’ve had for four years, which is super, super cool. They’re back with us. So they will be doing some live transcription in selected sessions. Those marked on your schedule, so you will know which sessions are being transcribed.

Side note in this transcribed sessions, we will have passive audio. We are doing that for source, which is our publication so that we can hold that another time.

If you want to be off the record in something you’re saying, and there’s a lot of sessions where you’re going to be saying personal things or you don’t want something out there. That’s totally cool. Just say off the record and then come back on the record when you’re ready for that to restart.

Also in terms of privacy, you’ll notice these colored lanyards, you’ve probably been told what they mean, but I’ll remind you again. There’s the green ones for, yes, take a photo of me at any time. Yellow for please ask or red for please don’t take my photo. So those are all marked for you.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that we’ll be sharing these write-ups on source. So some of the sessions that you didn’t get to go to, hopefully we’ll have a write up for you on Source, our own publication about that. And then we’ll be tweeting from the SRCCON account, and then you can also follow the #SRCCON, which a lot of you have already done to share your travel plans and adventures getting here. So thank you. And next I’m going to hand this off to Erin and Erik who are going to talk to you next.

ERIN KISSANE: Hello so for this of you who have been at SRCCON before, you know about the food. For this of you who haven’t, we will feed you. We will feed you frequently and well. You will be fed water and coffee and snacked. Our awesome caterers can answer any questions about food offerings. You can also talk to a staff member. We’ve done allergy labeling this year. And please don’t hesitate if you have any concerns about this stuff to talk to us because this is really important to us that you be well fueled so that you can do this work that you came here today.

We also have our now long-standing code of conduct up on the website. It’s short and sweet. Take a look at them on the home page. The heart of the code of conduct is, you know, take care of each other, so we keep coming back to the same thing. We have a safety Web. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the staff member at any point if something goes down, and we’ll get it handled.

Relatedly, there is a safety number this year on the back of your badge, you will see it on the website and a paper copy in every room, you can use this one. So that is a help line for anything that happens that you need help with, it doesn’t have to be related to the code of conduct. You may fall over and develop some sort of contusion that needs attention. We can help you send you to urgent care.

So, again, don’t hesitate on any of that stuff to get in touch with us. And also, I want to call out along with the lanyards, there are pronoun pins. This year, a lot of people have been using them, so we have run out, which is kind of awesome. If you are missing the pin of your choice, feel free to write on your badge. And just take a look at this. Use people’s preferred pronouns, if they have elected to put them on there.

And now Erik is going to tell you something about this building.

ERIK WESTRA: Hello. So I get to talk about wave. Finding, which is a really exciting topic. It will help you find where you need to go in this building. And luckily, this building is a very easy building to get your way around. Pretty much everything is located off of this. If you were in Portland last year, it was the opposite. It was, like, over five floors of this crazy art college. It was awesome, but it was difficult. The register desk, which you’ve already found. Somebody’s going to be there at all times throughout the event. So if you have questions, you can go there. But almost every room is directly off of this with a few back there. I want to call attention to just a couple of changes from the last time that we were here. During the afternoon, but part of today and part of tomorrow, we’re also going to be doing a session up on the fifth floor. You can take the elevators up to the fifth floor, which is right over there. You can just follow the signs, duck back behind there. Follow the signs, it will get you to the fifth floor to the boardroom.

And then we are also going to be using the university hall, which is different this year, and that can be found straight back through here towards the coffee station, which I will talk about in a second. And then off to the left, and that will be used for a couple of afternoon sessions today, and I believe one afternoon session tomorrow.

We also have the coffee and tea packing station, which we’ve had ever year as well. It’s just straight down that hallway there. Charisma is down there ready to help anybody who wants to make their own, you know, pour overs or chemical I guess. There’s also a bean and tea shares people have brought from their hometown. And if you’re in a hurry, you can grab that. But if you do want to play around with the other stuff, it is back there for you.

There’s also restrooms all over the place. I want to point out down this hallway over here, there are two unisex bathrooms. Down that hallway there’s two unisex bathrooms. Down that hallway is the gender bathrooms. And there’s also bathrooms up on the fifth floor. We have some baskets in each of the bathrooms for some various things you might need. Feel free to help yourself, folks.

I think that covers it from the wave finding perspective. And now we’re going to bring up Erika, and she’s going to take us home here.


ERIKA OWENS: Hello that Dan mentioned and then get you to your sessions that are starting in a few minutes at the top of the hour. So thank you to all of you, again, whether you came from many hours of delays in an airport or biked over from your home in the city or really great to see all of you. About half of you are also facilitating sessions. We’re very grateful for that. There’s a few groups we also wanted to call out. One of those groups is a new advisory board, which is a community member to help shape views at SRCCON source and all throughout the year. Those folks are Trey, active from New York Times, Don from the JSK fellowships, Aaron from temple University, Michelle from Detroit public radio, and another Aaron from Washington Post.

Many of us folks will be here throughout the next two days, and we’re really grateful to them for their support as we’re growing OpenNews.

Another group that helped us. Oh, yeah.


Another group that helped us shape SRCCON in particular was a community review panel who helped select sessions, help guide which sessions you see now on the schedule.

So that group was Michael grant, Chris, Jeff King, Greta Hall, Christine. And many of you are here, and you can pat them on the back as well if you see them around.


And then the folks who financially have made it possible for us to be in this beautiful space having wonderful food are our sponsors. Our accessibility sponsors are the JSK fellowship, WordPress VIP, New York Times, and Facebook, in addition to other sponsors that you can find on signs around the venue. So thank you very much to our sponsors for their financial support.


And for you all to get to know each other, as Dave mentioned if you want to turn to one person at your table that you do not already know and take a minute to introduce yourself and say hello. Then we’ll get moving in the session.