Lots going on with community building

Monday, November 19, 2012

I’ve moved most of my new posts to the about:community blog so there hasn’t been much activity on my personal blog lately.

There is a lot going on with community building at Mozilla though, so I wanted to do an update here for anyone not following that blog or Planet Mozilla Projects.

I’ve been working with Dia from the Capture Mozilla project to create a video that has tips for people just starting to get involved with Mozilla. We’re going to add in some clips from the recent MozCamp in Asia and then get this live to see if it’s helpful.

We’ve been working with David Eaves to create a series of community building workshops to see if this would be an effective way to help teams bring more people into their projects. The initial feedback has been positive and we’re thinking through how to build on this initial pilot project.

The review process for the two patch contributor dashboards that the Metrics team has created has been completed. There are two small tweaks we’ll be making soon and then we’ll be making these public. Look for an update soon on about:community.

On the day before MozCamp Asia, a group of Mozillians got together to share community building best practices and to work together on how we can make it easier for more people to get involved. That just wrapped up, so look for a post soon with more details.


Community building meetup in Warsaw

Thursday, September 20, 2012

After the MozCamp in Warsaw, I stayed in Poland for a few days to meet with other people who are working to bring more contributors into Mozilla (thanks to Reaktor for providing a great space to get together.)

The idea was to see how we can leverage the work we’re all doing and to create common infrastructure that will help everyone bring more people in to our projects.

It was a great day and we made a lot of progress on topics ranging from resources and education to metrics and systems. More details and links to working documents are in the meetup summary.

Thanks to William, Gen, Pierros, Giorgos, Rosana, Madalina, Arky, Margaret, Josh, Ali, Amy, Brian, Rachel, Natasha and Bob for taking part.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, let me know. We’re thinking of doing this again at MozCamp Asia and somewhere else in early 2013.


A Brief History of the Are We Growing Yet Dashboard

Monday, August 6, 2012

We recently launched a dashboard at arewegrowingyet.com that looks at data coming from the Get Involved page and shows us how many people are interested in contributing to Mozilla.

Although the dashboard is new, we’ve been inviting people who are interested in becoming contributors to contact us and connecting them to people on different teams for almost three years now.

The number of people who use this as a way to get started at Mozilla has grown over that time and I wanted to do an overview of how we got to a point where around 200 potential contributors a day contact us.

  1. In October 2009, a redesigned Get Involved page went live that invited potential contributors to contact us (compare that to the previous version of the page that had no way for people to contact anyone at Mozilla). Soon after that a snippet ran on the Firefox start page about the page and that brought a spike in activity.
  2. For a little over a year after that there weren’t any new efforts to improve the page or promote it more. I was focused on other parts of the http://www.mozilla.org site, such as redesigning the home page.
  3. In December 2010, I joined the new Contributor Engagement team that was focused on helping more people get involved with Mozilla. Some of our first priorities were to improve the page and add new pages about how to get involved in regional communities around the world.
  4. In March 2012, we redesigned the Get Involved page again and made the contact form the main call to action on the page. This, plus some other changes, brought a big increase in activity.
  5. In the next few weeks, we’ll be launching the very first localized version of the Get Involved page and I think we’ll see another rise in activity as we give people a way to find out how to contribute to Mozilla in their own language.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our efforts with the arewegrowingyet.com dashboard and other community data projects, keep an eye on the data posts on the about:community blog.


Connecting with contributors everywhere

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I recently wrote about the history of Mozilla’s Get Involved page. One thing missing from the history was how we made the page available in the languages of our worldwide community of contributors.

It was left out because that page has always been English only, but we’re fixing that now. We’ve started to localize the Get Involved page and now have the start of Spanish and Portuguese pages on the dev site.

One reason this hasn’t happened is that we didn’t have the infrastructure to connect people interested in a specific area of the project and speaking a particular language to an existing Mozillian who would be able to help.

When people share stories about how they got involved there is a common thread about making connections with someone in the community. Helping this happen at the scale of Mozilla today is key to connecting with contributors everywhere.

To take one example, here’s a message that came in through the English Get Involved page last week:

“I’m an open source activist and student in Argentina and want to help with policy development and marketing in my region.”

I wrote this person back, but it would have been better to invite this person to write to us in Spanish and have someone who lived in and knew about the community and contribution opportunities in Argentina get in touch.

Mozilla Reps gives us a way to do that. There are hundreds of Reps around the world and the plan is to have Reps from each locale be the first point of contact for people wanting to get involved.

This will be a better experience for new contributors and will allow us to reach out to more people. Around 200 people interested in getting involved contact us each day from the English page, so we’ll be able to increase that even more.

If you’re interested in learning more or taking part in localizing Get Involved into more languages, comment on this post, contact me directly or join the discussion on the tracking bug.


Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“I’m interested in being part of something great which is exactly what you offer.” — from message posted on Get Involved page

Are you interested in helping people get involved with Mozilla, like this person who is excited by our mission and wants to help? Then join us to discuss community building at Mozilla.

If you have a question you’d like to ask the group, please feel free to edit the agenda on the wiki.


Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“I am interested in helping in QA but also wondered if it was possible to help in user research.” — from message posted on Get Involved page

Are you interested in helping people get involved with Mozilla, like this person who wants to help contribute in a couple different areas? Then join us to discuss community building at Mozilla.

If you have a question you’d like to ask the group, please feel free to edit the agenda on the wiki.


Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“I am a sound designer and musical composer and I could help create some cool sound designs for your projects.” — from message posted on Get Involved page

Are you interested in helping people get involved with Mozilla, like this person who wants to help contribute in a way where we haven’t traditionally had volunteers? Then join us to discuss community building at Mozilla.

If you have a question you’d like to ask the group, please feel free to edit the agenda on the wiki.


An invitation to participate on every page

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There is now a link in the footer of http://www.mozilla.org that invites people to contribute to that page.

We were originally thinking of this as a way to reach out to webdev volunteers, but it became clear that there are many others ways to contribute to a page including translating, designing, writing and testing.

Inviting people to participate on every page could be very powerful. Many people don’t know they can contribute to Mozilla so they wouldn’t think to look for our Get Involved page.

We’ll be able to use the Get Involved dashboard that the Metrics team recently created to see if this help us connect with more potential volunteers. If so, we could look at adding this invitation to participate on every page of every site in the Mozilla universe.


Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“I’m a professional product manager and if you need help I would be delighted to join.” — from message posted on Get Involved page

Are you interested in helping people get involved with Mozilla, like this person who wants to help with product management? Then join us to discuss community building at Mozilla.

Note that the video and audio information has changed from previous meetings.

If you have a question you’d like to ask the group, please feel free to edit the agenda on the wiki.


Creating a Superstar Radar

Thursday, May 3, 2012

About 100 potential new contributors a day are contacting us through the Get Involved page. We know what they’re interested in, but we don’t have a lot of visibility about who goes on to contribute.

If we can identify different steps people take to contribute to a project, we can look at each of those and see how many people take that step and move on to the next one. As an example, at the Coding Contribute Group we came up with this path for coding contributors.

Image

I think this could be really powerful in a number of ways.

You can fix roadblocks. The Coding Stewards recently had Bugzilla send out email to anyone who had their first patch approved to help them figure out what to do next. We felt this might be a hurdle and with a conversion report we can see if this made moving to the next step easier.

You can identify superstar volunteers. I’ve color-coded this path to match with casual, active and core contributor levels. If you could identify every core volunteer in your project, you could invite them to work weeks, send them swag or ask them to help with new opportunities they may be interested in.

I imagine there would be many other ways to make use of this information to help us grow Mozilla. What would a contribution path look like for your project? What would you do to make contributing to your project easier with this information?

Hat tip to Jessilyn Davis for the idea for the Superstar Radar name.


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