Sharks, Parachutes and Hard Hats

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mozilla’s goals for 2014 were shared out recently and included information about how we’ll increase the number of active contributors in the community this year by 10x.

Since it is sometimes easier to digest information in images than in words, I wanted to follow up with some pictures that show what our approach is to achieve this goal (thanks to Pierros for making these).


Today many teams are working on a project and would love to get some help. There are many people who want to help, but there are often obstacles that stand in the way of connecting (thankfully those obstacles aren’t usually sharks).


The Engagement, People and Foundation teams are here to help. Engagement will increase the number of people who are excited about wanting to contribute (that’s the parachutes). The community builders on the People team (those are the hard hats) will help build pathways that let people cross the chasm and connect with projects.


Once those pathways are built and many more people are joining the project as active contributors, the People team will offer support to teams as they adapt to work with a larger group of Mozillians by offering systems, education and more.

If you’re looking for help increasing the number of active contributors for your project, we’re happy to support you. Get in touch by joining and posting to the community building mailing list or joining the regular Grow Mozilla discussions.

Opportunities to connect with contributors at scale

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mozilla has a goal this year to grow the number of active contributors by 10 times. We’ll be able to achieve this by tapping into several different opportunities that let us connect with new contributors at scale. Some of those are:

The numbers of people who have reached out to us through those tools is a powerful example of how Mozilla’s mission resonates and gets people excited to want to help.

We can connect these people to Mozilla initiatives—we just need to get better about identifying and sharing out contribution opportunities and making use of the tools above.

If you have information to add about these tools or know of other opportunities to connect with people at scale, please feel free to update this etherpad. We’ll take these notes and make a guide for people interested in building communities around their projects.

Contribution Madlibs

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Michelle Marovich is preparing to run the Designing for Participation workshop for the People team. She’s looking for some real world examples that can help make the concepts concrete for everyone, so she set up a Contribution Madlib template for people to fill out.

Mine is below. It would be great to see your version of the Madlibs—just replace the underlined sections with information about a project you’ve designed for participation.

I want to create a local Mozilla community in Antarctica, I need several people to help me on it therefore I will write a blog post that syndicates to Planet Mozilla and reach out directly to people that I know are interested in this in order to publicize the work.

Then I start an email thread with people who have responded to the idea and identify a place in IRC where we can continue the discussion in order to engage with the people who are interested. I break the work down into tasks by having a group discussion about what we can do in order to see what emerges and then asking for drivers for the different ideas that were generated.

I communicate those tasks by creating a list of people who want to be a part of this team and writing down who is doing what. So that we can work effectively together, I always make sure that we are continuing the discussions in IRC. I continue to raise awareness of the work by evangelizing what the group is doing by writing more blog posts, posting to Facebook and using other project channels.

I communicate decisions and progress by delegating this to the people on the team who want to drive the project management. When we achieve a milestone, reach a goal, or someone does something amazing I recognize them by thanking them publicly for all of their hard work.

Video of the Community Building panel

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Richard Milewski kindly posted on Air Mozilla the video of the community building panel we did with people from the Girl Scouts, Red Cross, ZenDesk and AIESEC at the Community Builders meetup in December.


Making the video of the panel available will be helpful since there were a lot of great ideas that came up in the discussion with people working with large groups of volunteers at other organizations.

Here are just a few of the ideas that were discussed:

  • The Red Cross develops volunteers as leaders by having every Manager level or above role have a volunteer counterpart
  • The Red Cross also includes supporting volunteers in the performance review process of their staff
  • The Girl Scouts has a big initiative to work with alumni to tap into all of the people who have taken part in Scouting at some point in their lives

Please leave comments here about other ideas and suggestions that were discussed in the panel that you find interesting.

A great Community Builders meetup

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last week over 50 staff and volunteers got together in San Francisco for a Community Builders meetup. The goal was to create plans for 2014 for how to support all community building efforts across Mozilla.


We organized around a set of tracks for systems and data, pathways, education and culture, recognition, and events. Each track focused on creating concrete action plans for next year and then we shared this out through a brown bag at the end of the week.


Many people worked hard to make this a success and I’d like to thank everyone who planned for this event and thank everyone who took part. In particular, I’d like to thank people who took part remotely and dialed in from all over the world during all sorts of different local times.

Photos from the Summit Fairs

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I’d like to thank Sean Bolton for organizing an effort to capture photos from all of the Fairs at the Summit. Check the photos out at:

It was a great experience for me to help get the Fairs set up and I really enjoyed the experience of visiting all the booths.

I have to admit that when I was doing that though, I wasn’t very good about taking pictures and instead grabbed some of the great swag that some booths were offering.

Seeing how local communities adapt parts of Mozilla and make it their own is fascinating and I picked up cool stickers from Mozilla Romania, Mozilla Ukraine, Mozilla Taiwan, Mozilla Hong Kong and Mozilla Indonesia.


If you have pictures from your experience at the Summit Fairs, feel free to post them on the wiki to document all of the great stuff that happened there.

Being a Mozillian is a Journey

Friday, November 15, 2013

Austin King has a great post about his experience of realizing when he was a Mozillian. This has helped me make sense of the discussions about “what does Mozillian mean?” that got kicked-off at the Summit.

Austin describes a journey where he progressed from being a user to a supporter promoting our products and then to a contributor hacking on Mozilla code. It was only when he had reached a core contributor position that he considered himself a Mozillian.

At that point, he definitely met the criteria of belief, action and interaction that came out of the Summit sessions. It’s great to honor anyone who has reached that point, but we should also be honoring people when they begin their journey in Mozilla.

Photo courtesy of Franco

Photo courtesy of Franco

I think we should extend the meaning of ‘Mozillian’ to cover anyone on their journey of believing in our mission, taking action to support it and interacting with other community members—even if they’ve only just started on their path.

This means we will probably need to identify specific milestones on the journey and call those out. That seems like something that other movements do too—for instance, the Girl Scouts have many levels of involvement but everyone involved is a Girl Scout.

I realize this changes the current use of applying this word to people who have progressed through much of that journey. To include a million more Mozillians in our community though we’ll need to be more intentional about finding and honoring people who are starting their journey.


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