Category Archives: community

What is NewHaven.io and why does it matter?

newhaven.io
photo credit: Dan Bernier

You may be peripherally aware of NewHaven.io but not really understand what the group is or why it exists. In a nutshell, we’re a nonprofit organization that serves the local tech community. But what does that actually mean?

Aggregation of local interest groups

Technology is a funny thing. More importantly, humans are funny creatures. We obsess over bright shiny things and then when we lose interest in them we move on to the next one. One could easily argue that along with continuous improvement, it is the inherently ephemeral nature of our collective interest in different technologies that drives the cycle of obsolescence and change.

As geeks self-organize around their preferred technologies, related interest groups coalesce, grow, stagnate and die. These social constructs change as the technologies change. What stays the same is the underlying bedrock of people in the tech community. This foundation layer remains constant even if the elements which comprise it are constantly rearranging themselves into new configurations. It may slowly expand or contract as people move into and out of the local area, but it is reasonably stable. The people that make up this foundation are who NewHaven.io serves, and we’re in it for the long haul.

Communication and organization in the community

NewHaven.io leverages some well-known tools to achieve its goal of connecting the local tech community. In addition to our own website, we make extensive use of Meetup and Slack. Meetup is used to organize and schedule in-person gatherings, while Slack facilitates online communication and collaboration. Many people first discover NewHaven.io through Meetup by searching locally for events highlighting technologies of interest to them. Slack is a natural extension of the physical meetings, allowing the conversation to continue fluidly and asynchronously long after the lights have been turned off and the doors have closed.

Both our Meetup and Slack are structured to allow for tech- or topic-specific engagement. Anyone from novice to expert can self-select areas that interest them and dive in as shallow or as deep as they choose. This includes proposing meetings where one can either present to a group as an expert or convene a learning session as a novice. We encourage both equally!

Partnerships in the community

Local companies and educational institutions recognize the importance of NewHaven.io in maintaining and growing a thriving tech community. A healthy tech community makes New Haven more attractive to prospective students and IT professionals, which has a positive impact beyond the realm of technology. Sponsorship of NewHaven.io is one way organizations can contribute to our efforts toward achieving these outcomes. We’re also interested in cross-promotional opportunities in the community.

We regularly collaborate on events with local organizations such as ProductCamp Connecticut, A100, Independent Software, Yale University, The Grove, Continuity, Digital Surgeons, SeeClickFix, and Core Informatics. Often times the value that NewHaven.io brings to these collaborations is our “human infrastructure,” other times it’s the subject matter expertise of our members. Our nonprofit financial apparatus can also be leveraged for management of larger-scale community events such as conferences. We’re even exploring some exciting new event frontiers such as the blending of tech and fitness.

How will you get involved?

We welcome everyone into NewHaven.io with open arms. Keeping this engine running requires sustained effort, so we’re always on the lookout for help. There are numerous opportunities for contributing based on your own personal talents and areas of interest, so pop into our #organizing Slack channel and introduce yourself today!

We'll know what we want when we find it.