Virtual Office

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Our Virtual Office consists of a set of digital tools for our members to collaborate effectively across geographical distances and time zones. This page lists the tools we use and their purpose, as well as our shared workflow and guides for on-boarding new members to our work.

Tools

Nextcloud groups

Nextcloud

We use Nextcloud as a general file store and its integrated document editors to develop content, such as OnlyOffice for word documents and spreadsheets, and Text for markdown files. We also use other Nextcloud apps to help us organize work with our Nextcloud identities, these are discussed below.

When a new Operational Member joins Meet.coop, they should be invited to Nextcloud and enrolled into the Members group, as well as any circle that the member belongs to:

  • ⭕ Organizational Operation
  • ⭕ Product Strategy and Services
  • ⭕ Technology Operations

If the new member is an organizational member, they should also be enrolled into a group associated with their organization (e.g. Webarchitects).

The shared drive grants access to the Members group, so everyone has full access. Files should be created inside the directory associated with each circle, as a way to organize information.

In order to register new accounts on Nextcloud, someone in the Admin group needs to do it.

New member: You should request an account by contacting the Organizational Operations circle with your preferred handle and email address.

Nextcloud Deck

Nextcloud Deck task board

We use Deck as a task tracker, with a single Kanban board to track the status all organizational tasks.

We use tags extensively to indicate which circle is responsible for a task (e.g. ⭕ organizational for the Organizational Operations circle). The responsible circle will mark tasks as ⭐ priority to indicate importance and urgency, 💲 paid to indicate the task has financial compensation, and 🛑 blocked to indicate an external cause is putting the task on hold.

Each circle is responsible for:

  • drafting well-scoped tasks with clear success criteria and acceptance expectations
  • setting due dates and creating a subtask checklist (in markdown) where appropriate
  • assigning priority and budget appropriately to further the mission of the circle
  • delegating tasks to members with clear indication on the task board

It is important that members use this task board to track all Meet.coop work, and be communicative in the comments section about task status. This allows us to work asynchronously across time zones, as we can view the board at any time to see where things are at.

New member: Once you are set up on Nextcloud, you should automatically have full access to the Meet.coop task board in Deck.

Nextcloud Calendar

Nextcloud Calendar web view

We use Calendar to create a shared CalDAV calendar that supports two-way syncs with mainstream desktop and mobile calendar applications.

Using a full-featured calendar allows us to put recurring meetings, such as our All Hands and regular meetings of each circle on there easily, and if there are any schedule changes they are automatically synced to all members. We are also encouraged to schedule other Meet.coop calls on here, so all members (even those not in your circle) are aware of what's going on and can hop onto calls should they be interested.

There are a few important URLs:

Nextcloud CalDAV on MacOS

You can also find these addresses in Nextcloud (see screenshot).

On MacOS Calendar, for example, you would enter the URL and your Nextcloud credentials like in the screenshot. For other platforms, you can follow this guide.

New member: Once you are set up on Nextcloud, you should automatically have full access to the Meet.coop calendar in Calendar. It would be useful to set up this shared calendar on your favourite calendar app, alongside all your other calendars.

Wiki

DEPRECATED

We use our wiki to keep internal operational information that can be viewable publicly.

The wiki is for publishing completed documents, not co-development of drafts or work-in-progress content. Drafts should be in Nextcloud and discussions or decisions that are not yet finalized should be in the forum. There should be agreement within a circle before content gets published to our wiki.

New member: You should request an account by contacting the Organizational Operations circle.

Forum

Forum categories

We use our forum as a primary space for discussion, both among members and with the public, as well as voting on key decisions asynchronously and keeping history of such decisions.

The forum threads are arranged in three main categories that correspond to each circle to indicate domains of responsibilities. Each of those categories have subcategories, created as appropriate for the circle with its applicable access restrictions (e.g. some threads are editable, or viewable, only to the Operational Members group).

An important category that does not go under one of those three circle-specific categories is the Decisions category. This category is where proposals are formally made by Operational Members. Threads are publicly viewable, but only Operational Members can write and vote on these proposals, that determine important organizational steps of Meet.coop. When a new Topic is created, a proposal template is applied with a voting section where all Operational Members can vote either Agree, Abstain, or Block. Our consent-based decision making process strives to pass proposals where no member indicates a Block, and once proposals are passed they are moved to the Approved subcategory.

New member: You should create an account on the forum and request to be added to the Operational Members group by contacting the Organizational Operations circle.

Kimai

Kimai time tracker

We use Kimai as time tracker for tracking labour contributions.

When you start and end a task for Meet.coop, you should track the time spent as a time entry under your Kimai user account. Each time entry is associated with a:

  • Customer (e.g. The Online Meeting Co-operative for internal work)
  • Project (mapped to our circles)
  • Activity (e.g. Meeting)
  • Tags (other attributes associated with the time entry)

New member: You should request an account by contacting the Organizational Operations circle.

Matrix

We use Matrix for real-time coordinating work on a task, as a meeting tool or to ping someone for urgent attention.

We treat chat as a transient and ephemeral space, and does not expect members to read all chat history or be available there all the time. Important results from a chat discussion should be moved to a more permanent place such as the wiki or forum.

If you would like to participate in the chat and are new to Matrix, get started by installing [Element](https://element.io/get-started) on your platform and create a Matrix account, then join our public room at #freenode_#meetcoop:matrix.org.

New member: You should first join the public room /join #freenode_#meetcoop:matrix.org from your Element client. If you are part of a circle, you can ask there to be invited to the private room associated with each circle.

Git.coop

We use Git for source control of our website and infrastructure code. This is primarily a tool used by a subset of our members who need write access to these repositories.

New member: If you need access, you should request an account by contacting the Technology Operations circle.

Open Collective

Open Collective contributors

We use Open Collective to conduct financial transactions in a transparent space that allows public audit of monetary flow.

Meet.coop is not a legal entity and we are fiscally hosted by Platform 6 Development Co-operative:

  • User Members of Meet.coop make contributions through recurring payments to the Collective
  • Operational Members of Meet.coop make contributions and issue invoices to the Collective for approved expenses (e.g. server costs, labour contributions)

The Product Strategy and Services circle is responsible for matching Meet.coop Greenlight accounts with member contributions. The Organizational Operations circle is responsible for approving expenses made to the Collective, and then Platform 6 also needs to approve to ensure submitted expense documents are sufficient for legal purposes.

New member: If you need to invoice Meet.coop, you can create an Open Collective account and invoice the collective for approved expenses.

Meet.coop Greenlight

Every Operational Member is entitled to a Greenlight account on the Meet.coop BigBlueButton server.

New member: If you would like an account, you should request an account by contacting the Product Strategy and Services circle.

Email Forwarders

General

  • all [at] meet.coop is forwarded to all active operational members
  • contact [at] meet.coop is forwarded to specific members monitoring inbound emails

Circles

  • org.circle [at] meet.coop is forwarded to the Organizational Circle
  • product.circle [at] meet.coop is forwarded to the Product Circle
  • tech.circle [at] meet.coop is forwarded to the Technology Circle

New member: You should request to be added to relevant email forwarders by contacting the Organizational Operations circle with your email address.