What are Open-Source Happiness Packets?
People are generally much more loved than they think they are. Especially when things don't go according to plan, other people almost never think as harshly of you as you might think of yourself. It's easy for us to complain when bad things happen, and yet we're often fairly silent when things are good. Open-source communities are no different, especially when our main communication channels are textual and virtual.
The feeling that you made a difference, that your work matters and has value, and that the people you work with are happy to work with you, is an awesome feeling. With Open-Source Happiness Packets, we're trying to spread that feeling.
How does it work?
Openly expressing appreciation, gratitude, or happiness to other people can be difficult. This is especially true when you don't know them very well. Many of us come from cultures in which people are not open by default about such feelings, and naturally feel uncomfortable or even creepy to share them.
Open-Source Happiness Packets is a very simple platform to anonymously reach out to the people that you appreciate or to whom you are thankful in your open-source community. Your message can be sent anonymously if you feel uncomfortable to share your name with the recipient. Of course, we encourage you to share your name, but it's completely optional!
If both the sender and the recipient agree, we can publish the Happiness Packet on the website. We hope to build an archive of open-source happiness that communities can draw inspiration from.
As an example, here are two random messages from our archive:
From Lacey Williams Henschel to Erik
Thanks so much for the great chat at the speaker dinner. It's easy to feel overwhelmed being in a room with so many talented and accomplished people, and it's so encouraging when someone takes the time to have a real conversation with you. I felt like I really connected with you and I hope we have more chances in the future to get to know each other better!
From Lilly to Katie
Thanks so much for mentoring me through my start in the open source community. If I've ever needed a voice to tell me to stop second-guessing myself, an eye to read over a blog post or a proposal, or an introduction at a conference, you've been there.
It's beyond valuable to have someone like you around. You're also great company over a post-conference brunch or a trip to a museum, which is a wonderful thing when conference travel can find attendees in cities where they don't know anyone.
I really respect all the work that you do for others in the community, and hope to pay it both back and forward myself, after your example.