This brings to mind the Newcomer pattern in the Peeragogy Handbook.
(I’d say that it’s one of the most important patterns we gathered there.)
When there’s learning happening, it’s because there is someone who is new to a topic, or to something about the topic.
Individuation : each person learning optimally is what’s best for the community.
Mutuality : our individuality does not isolate us from one another, but draws us together.
Newcomers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to learn. They often don’t know where to start. They may have a bunch of ideas that the old-timers have never considered – or they may think they have new ideas, which are actually a different take on an old idea; see Reduce, reuse, recycle. People who are new to the project can tell you what makes their participation difficult. Since you’re learning as you go as well, you can ask yourself the same question: what aspects of this encounter are difficult for me?
Instead of thinking of newcomers as “them”, and trying to provide solutions, we focus on newcomers as “us” – which makes the search for solutions that much more urgent. We permit ourselves to ask naive questions. We entertain vague ideas.
When “new” people come along that’s a good reminder of the above.
In the Peeragogy project, we try to keep track of what we’re learning (https://github.com/Peeragogy/PeeragogicalActionReviews/wiki/Template), and, increasingly, try to do meta-analyses of progress to understand how we could learn better; though we need to get better at this! See Moby Dick (without whales).
I mention these “peeragogy things” but they aren’t exclusive to the Peeragogy project! I simultaneously think that OGM is very much a site of “peer learning and peer production”.