Session notes are an important product of THATCamps. Notes freely posted online mean that people who are far away can follow along, and even contribute, to sessions. THATCampers can refer to session notes after the meeting is over, to find resources or connect with fellow participants.
Where to take notes?
Most THATCamp sessions in the past have used Google Docs for collaborative note-taking. While this is a familiar and easy format, it’s been somewhat difficult to corral all of the Google Doc session notes in one place and make sure they’re associated with the right THATCamp WordPress sites. Once we have fully implemented Participad for WordPress, we’ll be able to take collaborative notes that can live right in WordPress.
Who takes notes?
It may help to designate one participant as the scribe, so that others can relax and participate without scrambling to take notes. However, many THATCamp session notes are group efforts.
Even if you want the whole group to be able to get in on the note-taking, naming one person as Chief Scribe is still a good idea; this person can be responsible for cleaning up the notes at the end of the session and making sure that all links are correct, Twitter handles are included, and the document itself is set to be visible to the world.
Regardless of whether or not you have one designated note-taker, make sure that everyone has access to your Google Doc or Participad session, so that the group can correct mistakes or add information that the note-taker misses.
Include names and Twitter handles of attendees, so that people who look at the notes later can follow up, if they wish. Also be sure to link to the session proposal that provoked the session (copy-and-paste from the proposal’s post on the website) and links to any websites or resources that are mentioned during the session. It’s also nice to add a Creative Commons license so that people know the notes are designed to be shared.