I’m excited about the World Fair and Science Fair

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

At yesterday’s brown bag about the 2013 Summit, it was exciting to see that two of my favorite parts of the 2010 Summit are being included in the event—a World Fair and a Science Fair.

The World Fair gave everyone a chance to share what it was like being a Mozillian from their part of the world and really highlighted how our mission resonates with people everywhere.

There are a lot of photos from that but I think the experience was captured best by the Mozilla in your language video. Everyone was set up at tables in a long hall and it made it easy to go down and visit (or photograph or film) people.


The same setup was used another day for a Science Fair. People had a chance to share what they were working on and it was a great demonstration of how Mozilla is a place where people have the opportunity to step up and drive change.

Since Mozilla is so decentralized, the Science Fair helped avoid duplication by surfacing projects and that helped make connections between people with similar interests. Getting ideas out there also gave people a mandate for moving forward after the Summit.


I was part of the Science Fair and I definitely left the Summit with a mandate—I had many discussions about a problem I had identified and got validation that other people had the same problem and got useful feedback about how to solve it.

At the time there were over 100 Mozilla sites, but no way to navigate between them. I had a prototype of a dynamic map that showed all of the sites connected together as part of a larger whole.

Everyone who stopped by, even long-time Mozillians, learned something new after they saw the map. This gave me a lot of momentum to launch the project after the Summit and iterate to make it better (this evolved into the tab at the top of Mozilla sites that connects them all together).


So that’s why I’m excited about the chance to do another World Fair and Science Fair at this year’s Summit. I’ve offered to help out with that and will be sharing more soon about how you can help if this sounds exciting to you too.

Lots of interest in people at the Summit Planning Assembly

Monday, July 1, 2013

I had the chance to go to the Summit Planning Assembly and help work through the goals and themes of the Summit. The themes that started to emerge were Purpose, Process, Strategy, Product and People.

We got to that point by having everyone put ideas for topics they thought were relevant for the Summit up on a board. There were then break-outs around each topic while a few people stayed to go through all of the ideas to see what common threads were showing up.

To test that those common threads made sense, when the full group got back together people took each of the ideas on the board and grouped them under one of those themes. There was space to place anything that didn’t fit, but we didn’t need it.

The People theme had more ideas on it than any of the other—I took this as a good sign that there was a lot of interest in digging into how existing Mozillians can work more effectively together and how we can support efforts to bring new contributors in to the project.

There is a lot to do between now and October to take these ideas and turn them into something for everyone to engage with at the Summit. If you’re interested in helping with this, let me know.


Lots going on with community building, part 3

Monday, June 10, 2013

I haven’t had a chance to blog much lately, but there is a lot to share about what’s been going on with community building projects.

We’ve handled a large spike in interest from people wanting to participate in the project after the Get Involved page was featured in promotions about Mozilla’s 15th anniversary.


To handle this increase in interest, we’re encouraging teams to try new things and are seeing encouraging results—for instance, Mozilla Hispano has been rethinking how they connect with new volunteers.

We’ve also been looking at tools to help deal with larger numbers of potential contributors. A Systems and Data Working Group has been formed to identify community building functionality priorities and evaluate systems to meet those needs.


Once people start participating, we are looking into the best ways to recognize them. Dia from the People team has worked with a university to let a student get credit for their contributions and she’s turned this into a template other teams are excited about using.


I’ve also really enjoyed helping with a project to collect stories of Mozilla’s history. Once we have a compelling history, I think there’s a lot of potential to recognize contributors by showing how their contributions directly helped Mozilla reach new achievements.


I hope to share more often about other community building efforts going on, but my recent blogging history isn’t very encouraging. To keep up with the latest community building news, join us for the regular Grow Mozilla calls.

Looking into stats about getting involved with Mozilla

Friday, April 19, 2013

We recently encouraged people to volunteer at Mozilla as part of the 15th anniversary promotions and this drove a big jump in activity with a spike of over 1,700 people expressing interest in getting involved on one day.


Our mission really resonates and it is clear there is a connection between us talking about being a participatory community and people wanting to participate.

After the spike in activity leveled off, I was looking at the stats at arewegrowingyet.com and noticed some interesting things. One was that the mix of functional areas people were interested in changed.

Coding had been the most popular area of interest before the promotions, but interest in our education initiatives jumped to become the most popular. Interest in coding increased too, but by a smaller percent.


We had also recently started localizing the Get Involved page and this was clear in the stats too. There were jumps in activity across all locales (the chart for the Spanish version of the page is below).


I find it really encouraging that there is so much interest in getting involved across all of the things we do—including establish opportunities and new ones—and from all around the world. Exciting times :)

I just earned some badges!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thanks to the Webdev Stewards and the Open Badges teams, Mozilla is now issuing badges to people who contribute to making our websites better.


I’ve done some work with the www.mozilla.org site so I’ve earned a few of these (I still need several more pull requests before I earn the 100 badge). They go very well with the The Les Orchard Seal of Approval badge I received earlier.


If you’d like to earn some of these badges, our websites are run as open projects so learn more about how to get involved with web development.

Recognizing contributions with Open Badges

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Creative team has just revealed the Webdev badge designs that were created by new contributor David Smiley. The Webdev team will be issuing these through badges.mozilla.org soon.


Many other teams are also looking at issuing badges and there will be a lot more to share about this over the coming months. I’ve been thinking of what comes after that and wanted to share some ideas.


The initial badges are built around specific tasks, but are there other types of badges we should create? I did a quick mockup above of my profile page on badges.mozilla.org to see what other types of badges could fit. This includes:

  • A badge from another Mozillian saying thanks
  • A badge for a Mozilla event I’ve attended
  • A badge for some Mozilla swag I have
  • A badge for a donation I’ve made to Mozilla
  • A badge for a Firefox OS device I have—or want to have :)
  • A badge for a Mozilla Space I’ve visited

I assume that some badges will be more effective at recognizing contributors and encouraging them to stay involved, but what are the right ones to focus on and how do we test them to make sure they’re helping?


Are there also different ways to display badges that might be more effective? The ReMo events timeline got me thinking about displaying badges according to when they were earned.

Being able to view your contribution history alongside a history of Mozilla might be very powerful. You could draw a connection between what you did (submitting patches to Firefox OS) and big community achievements (having a successful booth at MWC that went well in part because of having many cool demos that relied on your code).

I’d be interested to hear what people think about this. Are you considering issuing badges to contributors? What types of badges? How would you like contributors to be able to display those badges?

Lots going on with community building, part 2

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Once again it’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything, but there has been a lot of blog-worthy things happening with community building at Mozilla to talk about.

We’ve made the first localizations of the Get Involved page live in Spanish, French and Dutch. Mozilla Hispano has also created an embeddable version of the Get Involved form that they’ve added to their site to make connecting with new volunteers even easier.


The Webdev Stewards are creating badges that can be given to people who help out with Mozilla’s web sites. We just finished an open design project to create the badges and will announce the winner of that soon. We also had a brown bag about what’s going on with badges for contributors if you’d like to learn more.


A number of interesting participation metrics projects have also been in the works, including a new dashboard showing contributions across Firefox releases. This has given us the ability to thank people making their first contributions with each Firefox release.


We’re also planning on getting people involved with community building together in person to make plans for the rest of the year and to make sure we’re focing limited resources on the highest priority community building needs. More on this coming soon.


I’ll try to blog more often about what I’m working on, but if not then look for another summary post in about 4 or 5 months :)

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.


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