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Infrastructure and Community Development 25 October 2023

Resources and Tools for Starting a Technical Community

By Megan KruseFormer Director, Advocacy and Communications
Jean Baptiste MillogoDirector, Internet Technology and Development

A technical community is simply a group of like-minded people with some degree of technical knowledge who gather to improve the Internet and the local community it serves. You may be familiar with some of the large technical communities like APRICOT, NANOG, or Internet2. But how did they get to where they are today? How do you start a group to share best practices, get training, identify knowledge and skill gaps that need filling, or collaborate to co-create solutions to local technical challenges?

Technical communities are our best partners to create a global movement of experts working together to build a stronger and more resilient Internet. At the Internet Society, we’ve been growing technical communities to build infrastructure, increase security, and create more resilient networks for years. We’d like to share some tools and guidance we think might be helpful if you’re looking to start or grow a community like a Network Operator Group (NOG), Research and Education Network (REN), Community Network (CN), or Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).

Resources to Help Technical Communities Get Started


There are several resources to help you learn about everything from Internet governance to networking basics to deep dives into specific technical topics. Some of these include:

Leadership, Mentorship, and Governance

Developing your skills through leadership and technical programs and learning more about how to empower others and ensure inclusivity will help grow and strengthen the Internet for everyone who needs it. 

Practical Tools and Guidance

Once you are ready to start a group, there are practical and specific tasks you’ll need to complete. Here are some resources to help set up mailing lists, create a sense of community, fundraise, and promote events.

Guidance for Specific Types of Technical Groups

Technical communities are vital to a stable and resilient Internet and allow local and regional communities to share their collective experience, expertise, and curiosity.

As they respond to local needs, technical communities take their own path to success. The resources above are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but we hope they are helpful to get you started. We also welcome your feedback—what resources are we missing? What do you want to know if you’re considering starting a local technical group? If you’ve started one or are active in an established group, what do you wish you had known before you started?

Contact us at [email protected] with your feedback and additions so we can add to this list in the future.

Image © Lewis Ihorindeba

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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