Mozilla Participation TeamRevitalize participation by understanding our communities

As part of the bigger Open Innovation strategy project on how openness can better drive Mozilla products and technologies, during the next few months we will be conducting research about our communities and contributors.

We want to take a detailed, data-driven look into our communities and contributors: who we are, what we’re doing, what our motivations are and how we’re connected.

Who: Understanding the people in our communities

  • How many contributors are there in the Mozilla community.
  • Who are we? (how diverse is our community?)
  • Where are we? (geography, groups, projects)

What: Understanding what people are doing

  • What are we doing? (contributing with)
  • What are our skillsets?
  • How much time we’re able to devote to the project.
  • The tools we use.
  • Why do people contribute? (motivations)
  • What blocks people from contributing?
  • What other projects do we contribute to?
  • What other organisations are we connected to?
  • How much do people want to get involved?

Why: Understanding why people contribute

  • What are people’s’ motivations.
  • What are the important factors in contributing for Mozilla (ethical, moral, technological etc).
  • Is there anything Mozilla can do that will lead volunteers to contribute more?
  • For people who have left the project:why do they no longer contribute?)

How & Where: Understanding the shape of our communities and our people’s networks

  • What are the different groups and communities.
  • Who’s inside each group (regional and functional).
  • What is the overlap between people in groups?
  • Which groups have the most overlap, which have the least? (not just a static view, but also over time)
  • How contributors are connected to each other? (related with the “where”)
  • How are our contributors connected to other projects, Mozilla etc

In order to answer all these questions, we have divided the work in three major areas.

Contributors and Contributions Data Analysis

Analyzing past quantitative data about contributions and contributors (from sources like Bugzilla, Github, Mailing Lists, and other sources) to identify patterns and draw conclusions about contributors, contributions and communities.

Communities and Contributors survey

Designing and administering a qualitative survey to as many active contributors as possible (also trying to survey people who have stopped contributing to Mozilla) to get a full view of our volunteers (demographics), motivations, which communities people identify with, and their experience with Mozilla. We’ll use this to identify patterns in motivations.


We’ll bring together the conclusions and data from both of the above components to articulate a set of insights and recommendations that can be a useful input to the Open Innovation Strategy project.

In particular, one aim that we have is to cross reference individuals from the Mozillians Survey and Data Analysis to better understand — on aggregate — how things like motivations and identity relate to contribution.

Our commitments

In all of this work we are handling data with the care you would expect from Mozilla, in line with our privacy policy and in close consultation with Mozilla’s legal and trust teams.

Additionally, we realize that we at Mozilla often ask for people’s time to provide feedback and you may have recently seen other surveys. Also, we have run research projects of this sort in the past without following up with a clear plan of action. This project is different. It’s more extensive than anything we’ve done, it is connected a much larger project to shape Mozilla’s strategy with respect to open practices, and we will be publishing the results and data.

We would like to know your feedback/input about this project, its scope and implementation:

  • Are we missing any areas/topics we should get information about our communities?
  • Which part do you feel it’s more relevant?
  • Where do you think communities can engage to provide more value to the work we are going to do?
  • Any other ideas we are not thinking about?

Please let us know in this discourse topic.

Thanks everyone!

Mozilla Participation TeamOpen and agile?

Facilitating openness and including volunteers in agile sprints

This post is based on a discussion at the Mozilla All-Hands event in December 2016. Participants in that discussion included Janet Swisher, Chris Mills, Noah Y, Alex Gibson, Jeremie Patonnier, Elio Qoshi, Sebastian Zartner, Eric Shepherd, Julien G, Xie Wensheng, and others.

For most of 2016, the Mozilla marketing organization has been moving towards working agile — much of our work now happens within “sprints” lasting around 2.5 weeks, resulting in better prioritization and flexibility, among other things. (For those familiar with agile software development, agile marketing applies similar principles and workflows to marketing. Read the Agile Marketing Manifesto for more background.)

However, one aspect of our work that has suffered in this new paradigm is openness and inclusion of our volunteer community in marketing activities. While the agile workflow encourages accountability for full-time team members, it leaves very little space for part-time or occasional participation by volunteers. We are Mozilla, and transparency, openness, and participation are part of our core values. This disconnect is a problem.

This post explores the issues we’ve found, and shares some potential solutions that we could work towards implementing.

The problem

Since moving to an agile, “durable team” model, the amount of interaction we have had with our volunteer community has decreased. This is written from the perspective of the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) team, but we are sure that other teams have experienced similar negative trends.

The main reasons for this decrease are:

  • The tools used to track work are not open, so volunteers cannot access them.
  • The agile process in general does not lend itself well to volunteer discovery or contribution. Their work is deprioritized, they feel ignored, they find it harder to participate.
  • There is very little information provided for volunteers who want to participate in a project managed in an agile fashion.

The challenge we face is how to make the agile process more transparent, so that volunteers can understand what is happening and how it happens; more open so that volunteers can contribute in meaningful ways; and more welcoming so that volunteers feel they are part of a team and are appreciated and recognized for their efforts.


Let’s look at the solutions that were discussed. These details are fairly brief, but they act as good starting points for further investigation.

Openness of tools

We need to review the tools we are using, and make sure that they are open for volunteers to get information and updates. For example:

  • Slack is hard in terms of giving people the right permissions.
  • Some of the “agile tools” can appear closed off and difficult to access for those outside your organization (at least, in the ways we’ve been using them).

We need to work out better tools/workflows for volunteer contributions.


An explainer doc to explain the agile process would be useful, including:

  • How the process works in general, and an explanation of key terms like durable team, “functional team”, “cross-functional”, etc.
  • What the different teams are and what they are responsible for.
  • How to find more information on what you can do for each team at the current time and in the future.
  • How you can contact each team and get updates on their work.

There is some information that already exists — an explanation of MDN’s agile process, and a glossary of agile terminology.

When questions are asked, it would be good to make sure that we not only answer them on a public list, but also document the answers to make them easy to find for others.

When decisions are made, they need to be clearly communicated on the public list for the agile team it relates to.

Including volunteers

To participate in an agile team, volunteers need:

  • Access to tools and information, so they can do work and communicate with agile teams.
  • Access to lists of “low hanging fruit” tasks related to the team’s work that they can pick up and work on.
  • A chance for inclusion in the conversation, whether synchronously or asynchronously.

To achieve this, we need to:

  1. Review our tools, and make sure they can be made open to volunteers.
  2. Make information available, as described in the previous section.
  3. Make lists of tasks that volunteers can do in each agile team easily available. To achieve this, one suggestion is to share Epics with volunteers (don’t overwhelm them upfront with too much detail), but make lists of tasks available on the epic pages, along with who to contact about each task.
  4. Make it clear how you can communicate with agile teams — a clear mailing list and IRC/slack channel would be the minimum.
  5. Keep an open dialog going with our community:
    • Open up planning meetings to allow volunteers to take part in the planning.
    • Say what we are working on next before the sprint starts and what work volunteers can do.
    • Say how things are going during the sprint, and what help we need at each stage.
    • Report on how things went at the end of the sprint.
  6. Make meetings (standups, mid-sprint review, post mortem, etc.) more useful.
    • Include an IRC channel running at the same time, for further communication and to provide notes that people can read afterwards.
    • Allow people to talk about other subjects in meetings, to make them more human.
    • Sometimes conversation can be monotonous (e.g. “I’m still working on the same task” for 5 days running). If this is the case, use the time more usefully.
    • Use the meetings as an opportunity to update volunteer asks; if we find we need more help than we initially thought, do a shout out to the community.
    • Consider office hours for agile teams (whether in Vidyo, IRC, etc.), so team members and volunteers alike can drop in and talk.
    • Record video meetings so others can benefit from them asynchronously.

We ought to fit communication with the community/volunteers into each agile meeting, as a recurring agenda item.

Further points

  1. Make sure there is always someone present to help volunteers with questions they have, all the way through a sprint. Keep communication public; don’t let conversations happen in private, then risk the team member going on holiday or something.
  2. We should relax a little on the agile principles/processes — use them where they are useful, but don’t stick to the letter of the law for the sake of it, when it isn’t helpful. As an example, the MDN durable team has gone from everyone having a standup every day, to two standups per week for the writers, and two standups per week for the developers. We found anything more to be too high-frequency, and a waste of time.
  3. One situation that might make using open tools difficult is if any of the work is sensitive, e.g., discusses security issues. We could get around this by dealing with such issues inside private bugs on Bugzilla.

Next steps

We want to get feedback on this, and hear about other people’s pain points and solutions or insights for working open inside agile teams. If you have any other thoughts about how the process could be improved, please do share!

After that, we want to distill this information down in a set of documentation to help everyone in marketing (Mozilla, or otherwise) to be open while working in an agile form.

Michael KohlerMozilla Switzerland Community Meetup 2017

On the 28th of January we, the Mozilla Switzerland, community held another community meetup to organize ourselves for the next few months in 2017.

We did a start/stop/continue analysis of our work in 2016. Here’s the result:

With that in mind, we came up with a few goals for the first half of the year. Since we all agreed on stopping to do unrealistic goals we focused on the most voted ones from above. Of course this doesn’t mean that we will only do those, so everyone is encouraged to also do their own initiatives and we will still have our monthly meetups to bring topics forward.

These are our goals for the first half of 2017. Our motto is: Complete goals and do more instead of running after goal completion and not succeed like we did in the past year.

  • Experiment: Organize Bootcamp/Barcamp style conference (community proposes talks and votes on them to be done at the beginning) with a broader Web topic. If successful this can be done more frequently and maybe even be adapted to fit into an evening, or be expanded to two days. Our hypothesis is that this brings in more interested people than the talks we regularly organize without clear call-to-action.
    • Owner: Marc and Michael
  • We continue to ask Mozilla to make its decision process more transparent, so community members can feel more involved.
    • This was a major concern during our community meetup. This goal is not fully defined and we will work together to phrase our scope accordingly. Also this goal definition is a “working draft”, therefore not perfectly phrased.
    • Owner: Gion-Andri
  • All currently used communication channels are clearly listed on (above the fold, in the fancy squares)
  • Our new Twitter tool is in place and functional and the primary Twitter client which enables all of our community to send tweets.
  • Experiment: Create Telegram channel
    • Hypothesis: Discussion happens between more than 2 persons
Non-primary goals, we will keep in mind but are not phrased as official goals:
  • Continue technical talks
  • Frequent meetups (informal as well!)
  • Twitter to be continued as information source
  • Discourse as documentation of decisions and possible interaction by other Mozillians if they don’t agree
  • Support Rust community

In the next few days we will open corresponding issues in the participation repository to track this work.

Brian KingCommunity Spaces in 2016

As 2017 gets into full swing, the goal of this post is to reflect on the impact of the Mozilla volunteer-run community spaces we have in Asia. These are the spaces in Jakarta, Manila, and Taipei. I’ll be presenting data and some analysis based on that.

In summary, there was:

  • 351 events
  • 173 Developer focused events, vs 178 other types of events
  • 4832 event attendees
  • Taipei sees the most traffic, in terms of events and attendees

Yet data only tells some of the story. We’ll be also getting input from space stewards with insights on what worked and what didn’t ‘on the ground’ throughout the year.


First, a reminder of what the community spaces program is all about. It is an initiative to open (or use existing) physical spaces for Mozillians around the world. It’s an experiment to create open spaces for people who are passionate about the open web, to collaborate with other communities, attract more talent into Mozilla, to strengthen local communities. The main hypothesis is that great things will happen. At Mozilla it was started by the WPR team in collaboration with the Community Building team in 2014, and in 2016 the Participation team took over the oversight of the project. Huge hat tip to William Quiviger who led the project until I took over in March.

Here are some hypotheses we wanted to work on in 2016:

  1. We can engage more with developers in the local communities that the spaces are in, to promote what’s new in Firefox and Web technologies in general
  2. We can work with more partners (organisations, companies, individuals, …) to amplify common goals
  3. The local spaces strengthen the local Mozilla communities


While it can be used for other purposes such as co-working, the main function of the space that we encourage is events. These can be presentations, workshops, hackathons, and so on. The goal is to promote knowledge sharing, learning, building relationships, and of course raising awareness of what Mozilla does from new and exciting technologies for the web platform going into Firefox to the issues campaigns we run to advocate for users and a better Internet.


In Q2 we teamed up with the developer marketing team to make a targeted effort to have more events in the spaces for developers. The goal was not just to introduce that audience to the latest and greatest technologies coming out of Mozilla, but to talk about the best in Web tech in general. We provided general guidelines on topics to focus on, and tips on how to run effective events. Then we introduced mentors to space stewards, and then left enough room for the magic to happen.


So let’s jump in and look at some numbers, with a reminder that these are not for the whole year but from April onwards. Another caveat is that Jakarta has a handicap of only starting events in mid-May, so 1.5 months less than other spaces.

For reference, the full report is hereThank you to Rizki Kelimutu for putting together this great report based on event data we logged since April.

Events 2016 OverviewEvents breakdown, in total and per event type

There were 351 events in total, which is almost 1.3 events a day in the collective. This averages out between the three spaces at 117 per space. That’s is a solid rhythm but as you can see the number is not evenly distributed. Taipei comes out on top, with 55.8% of all events.

There is almost an split between developer focused events and other events 173 vs 178. Looking at the breakdown of events between developer focused vs other types, per space they mirror the total however with Taipei a little stronger on developer events and Jakarta stronger on other events.

Events Over TimeEvent over 3-week periods

The over time trends shown here for each space show consistency, with several peaks and troughs. They can for the most part be attributed to holidays. For example, in Manila the summer vacation saw a peak as people had time to attend events, and the start of college classes in May/June resulted in a drop. During some months Taipei was seeing close to 25-30 events per month, meaning almost one a day! The November to December rise was helped by a visit from Alex and Nina from who hosted seven events to help people code for the first time in JavaScript.

Attendees OverviewAttendees breakdown, both new and returning, and per-event type numbers

In general, the number of attendees reflects the number of events in each space. A couple of things jump out however:

  • The high number of returning attendees in Taipei. People coming back time after time to the pace shows high positive sentiment and engaging content for the local tech community
  • Manila attracts significantly more new attendees. This could be for a number of reasons, such as a large local community, compelling new content, a wide variety of different topics covered, or increased awareness in 2016 of the Manila space.

And here is the the space by space comparison of attendees:

Attendees Over TimeAttendees over 3-week periods

What is interesting here is the more frequent ups and downs in new attendees in all spaces, but take note that it is exaggerated by the smaller range (150) than returning (300). Attracting both new and returning visitors is a challenge. At its core however, it is about forming a strong sense of community, and ensuring strong and compelling content for people to learn and grow. In general for new vs returning, more detailed exit surveys would be needed to really find out the real story behind the data.

There is one other topic that warrants a look, and that is the size of events. Here is how we classified them, in terms of number of attendees:

  • >30 Large
  • 10-30 Medium
  • <10 Small

Let’s see how the spaces shape up. One thing to keep in mind is that the capacity when comfortably accommodating people is around 30 people, with only Taipei able to fit in more safely by removing tables. So large events would need to happen elsewhere, e.g. there is a cafe below the Jakarta space that they can rent out for bigger events.

Jakarta Event Sizes

Manila Event Sizes

Taipei Event Sizes

So I would say that the main barometer for success in general is that the majority of events lie at the mid-size level. And that seems to be mostly the case in Jakarta and Taipei, with Manila fairing worse with events most months having <10 attendees.

What trends do you see in the report, and what other conclusions would you make from the data? Leave comments on this post if you have anything.

Happenings and Highlights

For me the highlight was visiting the three spaces in 2016. In January I went to Taipei to explore the idea of merging the staff space with the community space. While that didn’t happen this time, I did see up close the prolific and crucial work that volunteers do in the city and more broadly in Taiwan.

In May I visited Jakarta and Manila. The purpose was to be present for the official Jakarta opening as well as: Check the status of the space in Manila, and visit other spaces in the city to see what the co-working/incubator/Maker Space scene is like; Talk to Mozillians in both communities to gauge community health; Monitor progress so far of, and provide guidance for, the developer engagement program; Get a feel for the wider tech scene in both cities to see where Mozilla sits and how we can spread our wings and make new relationships.

MozSpaceJKT - Opening PartyListening and watching at the Jakarta space opening. Picture by Yofie Setiawan. More photos.

I came away with a fresh appreciation of the intense dedication that a core group of volunteers in the community have towards Mozilla, the impact they have, and more context on the vibrancy of the wider tech scene they are working in.

Here are some more insights and highlights on 2016 from some of the space stewards.


(by Yofie Setiawan)

The Jakarta Space has been and continues to take part in campaigns for Mozilla. We are reaching the local Rust community, Developer community, and Web of Things. We took part in the Inter-Connected Community session at Mozilla Festival 2016, and we also support Mozilla’s marketing campaigns throughout the year.


Our space is limited to maximum 25 people that can fit in the space. Already we have run many events that are really inspiring for many people. The Mozilla Community Space Jakarta Launch Party of course was the most crowded event, which happened on May 2016. We invited many inspiring speakers to share knowledge and do workshops at our space.


Our strengths include that we have a good location central in Jakarta, that is easy to access. We have strong relationships with many inspiring people and communities who love to share their knowledge and ideas through Mozilla Community Space.

Some groups or communities that we’ve been working with are:

  • WebVR Community
  • PHP Indonesia
  • Blogger
  • Framework (NodeJS, Rust, etc)
  • Rust Community
  • Python Indonesia
  • Open SUSE
  • Linux Community


Our main challenge is managing human resources, especially keyholders who help as volunteers to taking care the space when there are events running. We continually adjust for efficiency, so everything will stay well managed.

We would love to see more events, especially which also relate to the ideas, vision, and mission of Mozilla.

Some categories of events that we are looking forward to are:

  • Web of Things workshop
  • Mozilla Tech Speaker workshop
  • SuMo workshop
  • Teach the Web
  • WoMoz programming workshop
  • Engage more activity with Open Source Community
  • Rust Community
  • WebVR Community


(by Bob Reyes)

The year 2016 saw a couple of firsts for the Mozilla Community Space Manila (MozSpaceMNL). Launched in August of 2014, MozSpaceMNL in 2016 became the venue of choice for new or re-established developer communities around the metropolis.

Manila Space

As for Mozilla Philippines Community’s part, we began conducting Introduction to Rust Programming Language events on a monthly basis. This led to the creation of a RustPH Group and the subsequent formation of a RustPH Mentors Group. Said group is now in the process of formulating a Standard Training Module for people in our locale interested in learning Rust as a second programming language.

Rust in Manila

In Summer of 2016, MozSpaceMNL played as host for the 2nd run of Maker Party for Kids (several days in the month of May). Conceptualized in 2015, the Maker Party for Kids events were able to train more than ten (10) kids aged 6 to 12 years old on the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript the Webmaker’s Thimble as the primary teaching tool.

Also in 2016, a couple of events related to Privacy awareness were held at the Community Space in Manila. Noteworthy was the forum to discuss the Implementing Rules & Regulations (IRR) of the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012 with no less than the Deputy Commissioner of the Philippine Privacy Commission as our resource speaker. This event was followed by smaller weekend pocket sessions targeting on students to be aware of issues related with data and online privacy.

Data Privacy in Manila

Aside from MozillaPH-organized events, MozSpaceMNL also served as venue for meetups of other like-minded organizations:

  • Several Code Camps co-organized with Developers Connect Philippines (DevConPH)
  • Emacs Users Group Philippines Meetup
  • Manila WordPress Meetup (which eventually led to the resumption of Word Camp Manila)
  • Mechanical Keyboard Warriors Meetup
  • Philippine Web Designers Organization Meetup
  • Google Developer Group Philippines (GDGPH) Firebase Live Viewing Party
  • Virtual Reality Philippines (VRPH) Meetup

Manila Space Event

In October 2016, MozSpaceMNL participated in the very first Inter-Connected Community Spaces activity during the Maker Festival held in London, England.

Inter-Connected Community Spaces in Manila

For 2017, we plan to continue with at least one Rust-related event per month. Co-organizing developer-related events with like-minded organizations will also continue. MozSpaceMNL’s support to other organizations by means of providing venue for their meetups and the like will still be there. We also hope for more inter-connected community spaces activities soon.


(by Irvin Chen)

2016 is the third year of Mozilla Community Space Taipei. MozTW and more than 30 local open (source/culture/data/gov) communities together, we had host 320+ various events for 3300 people, and introduced Mozilla and our Mission to more than 600 first time visitors.

Happy Birthday FirefoxA typical MozTW Lab in a special day

The best event in the space is “MozTW Lab” (as always), the local Mozillian’s weekly meetup. Volunteers gathering each Friday night to socialize, work, and give lightning talks on different topics including Mozilla’s latest update. This meetup had been running for 8 years, and in 2016 we had visitors from all over the world including Mark Surman, Brian King, Larissa Shapiro, William Quiviger, Max Ogden, Fa-ti Fan, 田爱娜 and many more.

Mozillians all around!Mozillians all around! (click/touch and drag image to explore)

Another highlight of 2016 for the Taipei space is the diversity of the events, visitors and connected communities. There are growing types of the communities, dev-rel, open culture, open source and civil society community host events, workshops, meetups, talks, hackathons, and study groups. Different types of fun almost every night happened in Community Space Taipei.

Baking some Firefox cookiesBaking some Firefox cookies

For dev-rel topics, Rust and WebVR workshops are the newest. But people also shared knowledge on JS / NodeJS, Python, Swift, React, Spark, OpenStack, C#, Clojure, Java, D3, Functional Programming, Android App… You can learn and meet community for almost every programming languages, popular or not. We also help by providing the venue for new dev communities such as “WizardAmigos CodeCamp” (local one).

For open culture and non-dev technical events, Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap use Taipei Space for regular meetup, and there are workshops and meetups on Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, R, Arduino, InfoSec, students and many more. There are also many gender based technical communities and events such as WoFOSS, R Ladies, Swift Girls and PyLadies. Larissa Shapiro’s visit in January reminded us of the importance to keep the space a place of diversity and inclusion for all.

Taiwanduino 組裝工作坊Have you ever build your own Arduino?

One of the most special part of the Taipei space is the events and meetups from local civil societies, open government and open culture communities. Gov. hackers and programmers played an important role in democracy development recent years in Taiwan, and Taipei Community Space had become a base for popular open communities such as Open Culture Foundation and G0V. Our keyholders also actively support events about digital human rights or internet governance from Taiwan Association for Human Rights and Citizen Congress Watch. People came to making, hacking and watching not only the technology, but also the human rights, democracy and civil society in the community space.

Happy Birthday FirefoxWhat do you want to share in Community Space Taipei?


Let’s revisit our hypotheses and see how we fared.

We can engage more with developers in the local communities that the spaces are in, to promote what’s new in Firefox and Web technologies in general.

We teamed up with developer marketing, and had a total of 173 developer-focused events since April. This was everyone from beginners to experienced developers, on a host of technologies related to the Web.

We can work with more partners (organisations, companies, individuals, …) to amplify common goals

All three spaces have built up a network of all different technology companies and organisations. They engage at different levels, from working together on projects to sharing the space to have events.

The local spaces strengthen the local Mozilla communities

The Philippines community has in recent years been one of our largest and most dynamic, most notably in the area of student engagement. However, 2016 presented a number of challenges that decreased engagement. They have reached out for support from Mozilla and have a desire to bounce back. The communities in Taiwan and and Jakarta have a strong core, and while they have the classic growth challenges that all communities have, they have been trying new things and working in different ways to strengthen the broader open source movement.

On balance, 2016 was a strong year for our community spaces. It has been shown that with the right support, and with alignment with community development and Mozilla goals, spaces can make an impact and raise Mozilla’s profile locally. Other communities around the world have been paying attention, and have requested support for the own spaces leading to an open question is how can we scale this model.

Looking beyond, we can keep momentum going and identify areas for improvement. One thing I would like to see is teams at Mozilla working more directly with the spaces on programs that can help them achieve their goals. So far in conversations I’ve been having, Developer Relations, Developer Marketing, and Connected Devices are interested in doing this. And a broader question is how can the current spaces help with our broader Firefox product goals in Asia.

Many thanks the community space stewards and keyholders who devote their free time to this. It is a great pleasure working with you, and I salute you for what you do!

Francisco Picolini[Participation] Community Gatherings Overview

Over the last year our team (Participation), worked on several types of events with communities, this trend started on the last quarter of 2015 with the organisation of volunteers presence at key Mozilla events like Mozfest, and All Hands (Orlando in December that year). On 2016 we started working and developing new ways of work and align communities so we’ve started the year with the Leadership Summit in Singapore, an event that gathers 130 volunteers from all over the world to connect and sync with the latest Mozilla goals and initiatives.

To sync and explain those goals become very important over the last years after some changes and the new ongoing projects in Mozilla. It helps communities to understand where are we heading, and why we are focusing on some initiatives over others.

So starting on last May we initiated the Community Gatherings, focusing on communities where we think we are relevant and where we want to share more information. The first one was in Brazil, where our community had some struggles to organise and work together as a team. We approach that meetup trying to test new things, including new content on the agenda (focusing on community guidelines), and taking the lead on the logistics side. The goal was not only to align them with Mozilla goals, but also to smooth the rough edges within the community. There was a focus on how the Community Guidelines should apply in case of conflict and how to share feedback in a more constructive way.

The second gathering in India (August), was organised mainly by the community, to restructure and think their community and sub-communities. India is our largest volunteer community by far, and there are a some posts shared by the community that can throw more light about the outcome of that first gathering. In this event our team acted more as a consultant, helping with some content, although there was some staff presence like George Roter, Konstantina Papadeas and Rina Jensen.

On the last semester we had 3 gatherings, where we organised in a more structured way the content and the logistics. European gathering (in Berlin, September), Arabic (Casablanca, October), and Mexico (Mexico City, November). We tried not only to have a consistent message, but also a consistent way to organise those events, with better documentation, we found out that we could use these learnings to systematise and create a series of documents to help communities organise their own events/gatherings, perhaps on a different budget approach, but with the same basis for content and logistics.


The outcome of those three gatherings was pretty positive, since we discover new skills in our communities (Arabic proved to be very interested on initiatives like Rust, while European showed more connection with privacy concerns), or we could re-engage members that we thought were dormant (like in Mexico). Aside all this we gave an important role to the Guidelines and the diversity in our communities.

While Guillermo and Emma were focused more on the content, giving some consistency and coherency with what we wanted to achieve for our communities, I was involved in the logistics part, which can be consider more easy to automatise, since content can vary from event to event, but logistics usually remains the same.

Those learnings are now accessible for all our communities, open to hack/fork/feedback. The learnings from the 5 events can be found in the playbooks we’ve created, with some tips and tricks. The events proved to be a good way to connect with Communities, sense the temperature, and revitalise communities with the simple fact of having a couple of staff leading the event.

Mozilla Participation TeamRegional communities and Reps in 2016

Full static version is on the wiki and its conversation on discourse, feel free to point there anyone that might be interested.

What got shipped

from the Reps and Regional Communities Team


  • Executive summary
  • The Team
  • Release notes

Executive summary

Our two objectives for 2016 were:

  1. A focus set of relevant training and learning opportunities for mobilizers are systematized and they regularly access these opportunities to be more effective in their contributions and as a result providing more impact to Mozilla’s main initiatives.
  2. Reps is the program for most core volunteers where many communities feel their voice represented and influencing the organization, and where mozillians join to be more aligned, grow their skills and be more impactful in mobilizing others.

During 2016, the Reps and Regional communities team delivered:

  • A coaching training material to systematize training and coaching support to core mobilizers and communities, starting to be completely volunteer-driven in 2017.
  • An initial Leadership toolkit tailored to invest on the main identified skills our core mobilizers need to support Mozilla’s focus initiatives and areas.
  • Five in-person community gatherings in our top focus regions (Brazil, India, Europe, Arabic and Mexico) to test, iterate and deliver these coaching and leadership opportunities to key core mobilizers, as well as document and systematize this effort to allow volunteer to run their own local ones by themselves in 2017.
  • Support the creation (and regular update) of Activate Mozilla, a site to summarize the main focus areas for Mozilla (Rust, Servo, Test Pilot, WebVR, Internet Issues…) and how to provide value through activities co-created with functional partners.
  • Clear alignment, re-activation and impact delivery from the five focus communities, re-energizing and providing value to organization goals with Activate Mozilla activities during 2016 and helping them to come up with aligned plans for 2017 to support focus projects, including future partnerships with local organizations.
  • Alignment and impact delivery from regional communities around the world, with our Reps mobilizing almost 150 activities and events in more than 23 countries in the last 4 months supporting Test Pilot, Webcompat, Rust, Addons and E10s 2016 team goals.
  • A big update to Mozilla Reps (RepsNext) to evolve the program by supporting all these learning opportunities and becoming the main alignment, leadership, mobilizing and backbone force at the volunteer community (improving internal processes, mentors, coaching and regional representation/support).
  • Expand the support to our core contributors communications by enabling a discussion channel for NDA volunteers and staff and keeping core mobilizers in the loop with the organization communications, direction and encouraging conversations.
  • 100% increase in the positive sentiment about Reps program and Participation from our core mobilizers, as well as a very positive re-activation, engagement and alignment with 35 local communities thanks to Reps Regional Coaches.

The team

Release notes

December 30, 2016 (Q4HB4)

  • The Reps Review Team managed to reduce the budget approval time by 30%, this means that now it’s easier than ever for volunteers to request resources to support their activities.
  • Data from our last community survey shows that in the past 6 months we had a 100% increase in the positive sentiment about Reps program and Participation from our core mobilizers.
  • The coaching training material is available for anyone to use and will enable to systematize coaching training and be volunteer-driven thanks to the first cohort of new coaches we trained.
  • The Leadership Toolkit has now generated 13 new workshops and has a solid group of core contributors with a strong background developing and testing the material.

December 2, 2016 (Q4HB3)

November 11, 2016 (Q4HB2)

  • We held the Mexico Community Gathering in Mexico City, with a clear focus on reactivating the community, solving conflicts and aligning with the focus priorities.
  • 10 existing Reps Mentors began the new coaching training, expanding this way our coaching efforts to the existing mentor group in an effort to refresh and improve their skills.
  • At least 35 local communities showed a very positive sentiment about the re-activation, alignment and support from the Reps Regional Coaches.

Mozilla Participation TeamMozilla Festival 2016 in Asia

This post is written by by Noriatsu Kudo of Mozilla Japan with help from volunteer community space stewards.

On October 29th/30th 2016, the Mozilla Festival was held in London. The Festival is an annual event on Education, Journalism, Science, Openness and many other areas we have been working on with people all over the world. This year, as a trial session, the Mozilla communities in Jakarta, Manila, Taipei, and Mozilla Japan took part. Supported by the Participation Team, the 3 volunteer-run physical community spaces and Mozilla Japan office all located in Asia were connected to London during the opening day of Mozilla Festival.

The reasons why we came up with this idea are:

1) Geolocation disadvantage of Mozillians in Asia for Mozfest
2) Diversity of people/language and localization at Mozfest

First of all, from Asia, London is very far and it costs a lot for us to travel to MozFest. Therefore participants from Asia are much less comparing to EU participants. However there are a large number of people interested in the festival and in Mozilla’s work in the above fields.

Secondly, diversity in languages and localization were one of the focus topics this year. Therefore, I wanted to bring even more languages and people from different regions with their activities to MozFest.

Connected Spaces at MozFest

Connected Spaces at MozFest

From Local to Global

To make this happen, I discussed it with volunteers who run community spaces. From a technical point of view, it is quite easy to connect locations with video conference system and just broadcast talks from MozFest. However, remote participants are not same condition comparing to the local participants in the venue, and most of Asian participants are not English native speakers. Therefore, localization of the event was needed.

We first agreed on that conversation and discussion with others in their native language is important. Therefore, we decided to host a small events at each community space, and inter-connect those events. In this way, participants can join discussion even if they are not fluent enough to discuss in English. Also, because of time difference between Europe and Asia, we choose to held this event on Saturday, morning in London, and afternoon to night in Asia.

London Event

(by Noriatsu Kudo and Brian King)

There were two types of session in London. One was the broadcasting of “opening session and Speaker Series” using AirMozilla and Facebook Live. The other was a session to receive presentations from Asia using a video conferencing system.

The Opening session and Speaker Series were viewed in each community space and participants had a conversation about the content. In total, over 50 participants in Asia joined this public view style session.

The video conference part was held as a “Connecting remotely to global communities” session in the localization space. In this session Tokyo, Taipei, Jakarta, and Manila gave a short presentation about activities in each country. We have delivered four countries and four more languages to the festival to increase diversity of people and more participation. However, this was just a trial. Based on the satisfaction of remote participants, we would like to expand and improve on this type of participation all over the world.

Taipei Event

(by lrvin Chen)

In Community Space in Taipei, 12 Mozillians gathered together to watch the opening and live speaker sessions from MozFest. The opening remarks from Mark Surman resonated with the participants who had never been to MozFest not only because of his recent visit of Taipei community space, but also the free and open atmosphere and the energy of partcipants at MozFest.

MozFest 2016 遠端連線派對

After the live opening, we invite Franklin and Eric Sun from “ezgo” project to introduce how we promote FLOSS in basic education. There are many good and open educational materials (For example, Stellarium for astronomy, GeoGebra in mathematics and Avogadro in chemicals), and ezgo is a Linux distrubition designed to gather all of those materials and apps in one place for teachers and students. MozTW (Mozilla Taiwan Community) had co-work with OSSACC, the organization behind ezgo for many years, and we’re happy to introducing our experience to Mozillians around the world.

MozFest 2016 遠端連線派對

The second half of the event in Taipei had board games, food and social time. We had played a new crowdfunding “programming board game” – 海霸 King of Pirates by 程式老爹 papacode. It’s designed to teach the logic behind programming to kids from k-12, and even better, it’s open to download free (under by-nc-sa license). And we also shared some tasty Japanese, Indonesian and Philippines food, and had a good time socialising with people from other spaces in front of connected camera.

MozFest 2016 遠端連線派對 - 海霸桌遊

See more photos and check the Taipei community space’s website.

Jakarta Event

(by Yofie Setiawan)

In the Mozilla Community Space Jakarta, we have 11 attendees who join the Mozilla Festival 2016 Inter-connected Community Spaces session. We are really excited to see the live streaming of what happening in Mozilla Festival 2016 in London, UK. Beside, we also excited to the join the talks on other Mozilla Community Spaces, in Tokyo, Manila, Taipei, and London. From Jakarta, we share talks about WebVR which presented by Kiki, and Indonesian Food presentation by Rara. While for local talk, we share about the Mozilla Community and the Mozilla Community Space. We also play few games to have fun with everyone who came for the event.

Manila Event

(by Bob Reyes)

In the Mozilla Community Space Manila, most of the attendees were students from outside of the metropolis, visiting MozSpaceMNL for the first time. The community space was packed with more than fifty Mozillians eager to watch the livestream. While waiting for the live feed from London, participants were treated to a film showing of “Code Rush” followed by a short talk about Mozilla in the Philippines. The talks were then followed by a live viewing of the opening session of Mozilla Festival direct from London, UK.

Tokyo Event

(by Dynamis [Tomoya Asai] and Gunmar)

In Tokyo, there were 20 participants partcipated the event.  From Tokyo, Gecko embedded project and CHIRIMEN Open Hardware community gave their presentations. It was a great opportunity to share what Japanese community are doing and exchange information with other community groups in Japan.


The Mozilla Community Spaces Project

This project is supported by Brian King and the Community Development Team. The volunteer based community spaces in Asia opened their doors in 2014. It’s an experiment to create a free and open space for people who passionate about the open web, to attract more talent into Mozilla, to strengthen local communities, and to see what great things would happen.


This activity was successful because of the support of the following people…

  • Heather Bailey, space wrangler of localization space for coordination of the session at London.
  • Richard A Milewski and the Air Mozilla team for great live stream of sessions
  • Melissa Romaine of Mozilla Foundation for the advice to make the session better.
  • All of the Mozfest team for their support and great opportunity.
  • Partcipants who joined the session from Asia, without you, it was impossible!

Guillermo MoviaMexico received our last Community Gathering on 2016

2016 is coming to an end, and it seems incredible at this time that we ended with 5 community gatherings (and 4 in the last 6 months). Last November 19th and 20th we went to Mexico city to have two amazing working days with the Mexico community.

Rubén and I arrived two days before the event, and we used Friday to set up and prepare everything at the great co-working space that was the venue: Homework MX.

Two weeks before the event, we begun to have individual conversations with each of the participants to update them on the agenda and having a pulse of what the community was expecting to do on those days.

Saturday, introductions and skill building

Rubén talking about goals

Rubén talking about goals

Early on Saturday morning with met at the lobby to go to the venue. After personal introductions and a game, we started creating our Participation guidelines for those two days, and then it was the time for the first conversation: «Mozilla and Participation goals».

Saturday was focused on alignment and skill building. This time, our skill building sessions were about:

  • how to communicate your ideas in a better way,
  • how to plan to have Impact (impact chain) and
  • how to give feedback, something that’s really useful in our community.

The last conversation of the day was about the «health of the community»: how was structured and how we could work better in the near future. There were really good conversations that help us a lot to continue thinking on 2017 planning and strategy.

That night was time for a great dinner at Porco Rosso, a barbecue place. A shout out for the «fried Oreos» dessert, that begun like a test for special people and ended with everyone testing it.

A Sunday full of projects

Early morning on Sunday, breakfast space was in dispute with tourists from Japan, Finland and other countries, but still we could make it on time to be at the venue. It was a national day, and some celebrations were held in the Park near the venue, so we had music in the background with us all day.

Sunday was the day prepared for sessions to present functional teams and projects where community members can participate and help to grow in Mexico. In the morning we talked about Mozilla Reps, Mozilla on Campus, Key Internet issues and Diversity & inclusion.

Diversity (and women empowerment specifically) is a huge topic right now in Mexico (and in Mozilla’s local community). There are many plans to work on that in the next months.

After lunch it was the time for WebVR, Activate Campaign and Rust. This last session was facilitated by a member of the local Rust community, and that was interesting to begin to test on how Mozilla’s communities can create partnership with other communities in the region to collaborate.

The last part of the Gathering was planning time. We divided the group in 4 small teams that created plans and goal for 4 projects on a Github repository. Last activity of the day was answering a survey about the event.

Mexico community

Mexico community at the gathering

To the future (and beyond)

The new repository on Github is being smoothly updated each day. Currently goals are focused on:

  • Create a healthy community following Participation Guidelines,
  • «Test Pilot» project active in the community,
  • Helping Rust community to grow,
  • Updating wiki and communication channels with information to help new members arrive to the community,
  • Create alliances with other WebVR (or Virtual Reality) communities
  • Work on Web compatibility project

Team focus on 2016 was to work with the communities and re-align them with Mozilla’s goals, and at the same time giving updates and training on tools to make them bigger and stronger. Doing this work we also learned how to organize and configure these events. We created guides so communities will be able to organize it by themselves and help Mozilla to grow and expand it’s influence in the Internet world.

Like always, thanks for all the team support (specially Fran that solved all logistics problems) and the community for their full commitment on those awesome days!

Guillermo MoviaPowered by Arabic Mozilla Community

As part of the Community Gathering series, last October 22nd and 23rd, Participation team organized the Arabic Community Gathering. We begun to organize this event with the collaboration of Amine Zaafouri and Mahmood Qudah, and decided that the host city will be Casablanca in Morocco.

Group picture by Christos Bacharakis

Picture by Christos Bacharakis

Like any other community gathering, process for invitations was:

  1. Applicants were asked to fill their area of expertise through their participation in community efforts for the past years and also to indicate their personal goal for this gathering.

  2. The participation team members after deleting applicants personal information -like name and country-, reviewed the applications based on their experiences and indicated goals.

The total number of participants was 23, from 5 different countries (there were people from other 2 countries invited, but they couldn’t make it due to visa and personal issues).

From our team, Pierros Papadeas, Christos Bacharakis and Rubén Martin were the facilitators, and Emily Dunham, from the Rust team was invited to give a talk about the Rust project and community.


Community Gatherings had a set of common goals:

  1. Align Mozilla’s community with Mozilla’s goals
  2. Improve mozillians’ team and individual skills

And in this particular meeting, we added a goal about Community Health and plans for the near future.

Before the event, we had a video conference where we talk about our goals and received feedback and expectations from the participants. That meeting help us on fine tuning the event arc that we had planned.

Days Flow


Picture by Mohamed Hafez

The idea was to begin the event with a session about Mozilla’s goals to set the stage for the next two days. And then, on Saturday, focus on skill building and community health conversations. On Sunday, focus was on different projects inside Mozilla in an effort of providing clear and meaningful participation opportunities/tools to the community .

Projects included on sessions were:

  • Rust project and community
  • Reps.Next
  • Mozilla on Campus
  • WebVR
  • Activate Campaign
  • Mozilla involvement on Key Internet Issues

On the skill side:

  • How to give feedback
  • Planning for Impact
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Cultural differences


There were some really interesting learnings:

  • People didn’t know about most of the things Mozilla was doing.
  • There was a huge interest in Rust and WebVR, a surprise since this a very technical area. However this also might make sense since the Arabic community is always known for its support in localization but not in other areas.
  • Community is overloaded with communications and calls to action, at the end this leads to ignore most of it. They wanted more visual (video) and localized communications, taking advantage of the regional coach to “pass down” the information was considered a good idea.
  • Campus Clubs, WebVR and the Activate campaign helped people understand the priorities we have in Mozilla and provided easy call to action to participate in the Community.

The Future

After two hard work days, the meeting ended with commitments to create plans for the near future in each country and in the Arabic Community as a whole. The work will be track in Github, so everybody can see the progress.

Also, Regional Coaches will be helping in the follow ups of the event. We are still waiting for more answer on the post event survey, that will help Participation team to improve the organization and content from these events.

Manel wrote a blog post with her experience at the event.

After the event, a new Discourse category was created to continue with these conversations, please watch it!

Thanks to the Arabic community for letting us work with them those two days.

If you want to write comments, please do it on Discourse

Emma IrwinMozilla Campus Clubs @ Grace Hopper Open Source Day

Mozilla Campus Clubs @ Grace Hopper Open Source Day

Open Source Day at Grace Hopper was my absolute, most favourite, ‘conference thing’ I did last year, and it was with little hesitation that I got involved again for the 2016 version.

Before I say anymore I want to acknowledge the amazing work of two volunteers in making our day successful.

  • Semirah Dolan, who joined me in Houston to run a session that build a VR activity for Campus Clubs, and who truly leads by example — student leadership and activism in open source.
  • Safwan Rahman, who (no exaggeration) saved my day, by pulled together a Python project, working with me to the last minute to get it right.

Also thanks to my colleague Larissa Shapiro for bringing her wisdom and empathy into the discussion & brainstorming portion of the program.

This year we brought Campus Clubs for contribution. Unlike last year, where we jumped right into code, we spent time talking about Mozilla, our mission and Campus Clubs — and introduced three problem statements for the day.

  • Opportunities & Barriers: What makes a good open source experience?
  • How do we design a program that is inclusive of technical AND non-technical people?
  • What incentivizes students on Campus to engage in clubs at the intersection of technology and activism?

As a group, we did some rapid brainstorming to identify who on campus would be interested in FOSS participation. We were fortunate with this group , to have mostly students and also a professor who includes Mozilla participation in her curriculum!

What emerged where 5 distinct audiences: Wide-eyed Freshman (not spoken for yet), Professors /Lab Techs, Other Clubs, Non-technical majors(business, language-arts, journalism, bio-medical engineer) and of course computer science students.

Next — we did some rapid brainstorming on motive, and incentive for getting and saying involved in Open Source.

Employment and ‘Doing Good’ surfaced as the primary motivation with some interesting considerations like ‘Connecting with like-minded people’, fun and skill building surfaced by many. Swag(t-shirts) received only one mention.

We did the same exercise — this time thinking about barriers, and deterrents for FOSS participation.

Lack of invitation, opportunity, familiarity and clarity in HOW to get involved — topped the list of barriers. ‘Lack of Confidence’ (shy, scared, intimidation) was identified by the majority of participants.

Another trend focused on poor response times, limited diversity, and unwelcome channels .

I suspected many women were speaking of their own experiences. I have no doubt that young women do feel scared, and intimidated just stepping through the front door.

Getting involved in clubs with goals intersecting both technology and advocacy seems to resonate on a number of levels : skill building, ‘trying something new’, innovation, mentorship and fun.

I put a heart around a ‘ship it’ postit — not knowing exactly the context — loved the idea of getting things done as a motivation for joining clubs!

What did we build?

We asked people to join in one of two groups: The first focused on building our Personas into a Python/Django framework (for the coders in the room). I kept this project super simple, given the codeathon only given the limited time, and the majority of work was setting up Python locally, and updating Python code for the template we created.

The second, non-technical activity focused on building a VR activity for Campus Clubs using Mozilla’s AFrame. The group identified a Person (Dr. Database), and a VR project they might want to build: ‘Wire your iOven before it explodes’. They documented the opportunities, barriers and workshops that might form a VR activity for clubs and submitted their work as a PR.

The VR activity led by Semirah was a hit, probably more for how excited people were to learn about AFrame — one participant pledging excitement to home and learn and play more with VR. I think that was the win of the day — seeing participants recognize the potential of the technology they were working with — a signal that bringing AFrame VR activities to Campus will inspire creativity and innovation for the open web.

Overall, I think the day went well. Although the ‘timing’ of the event could have been better — scheduled exactly at the same time as the Open Source track was problematic for many (myself included) who would have liked to attend or chaired those sessions. Many participants did leave for sessions, or for interviews setup in the career fair. I was happy to see everyone return as well though.

As with last year, the most compelling part of the day was meeting, and working along side a group of smart, smart women — this time on the cause of mobilizing students on campus for the open web.


Guillermo MoviaNew Reps mentors, a history and roadmap

Last quarter Reps council working with Participation Team begun to work in changes on the Rep program, one of them was to start new Reps Mentors work. I wrote about this project before, if you are interested in this part of the history.

We just end the first cohort training, with 11 new mentors and 1 from the existing mentors group. And now, they are working with their mentees, something that let us welcome new Reps again. We select 20 people from the list of applicants, and we ask for more patience to the people that still have their applications pending.

ReMo Camp 2013

What we have done

The training is a mix of readings and live calls. We create a guide that compile information from books and blog post from different resources, and in the live calls, we discuss that content and had some exercises to practice the learnings.

This training last for one month and a half, and just before ending it, I had conversations with all the new Reps mentors to have feedback on the training, and which things needs to be modified. The main concern was that the training seems unstructured and sometimes they weren’t sure about what we were requesting from them.

Now, they begun to work with their mentees, having their first interviews, helping them to identify their goals in the near future, building their path inside the community. And with the creation of the Review Team, these Coach don’t need to review budget and swag request for them. Just focus on their personal development and how they could be even more useful for their communities.

But, one of the main questions that we still have is: how we can measure the utility and usage of this training? How can we know that Mentors are using these techniques and if these are useful for them in their work with the mentees?

If you have ideas, please let us know 🙂

What we will do in the near future

This week we started the second cohort of the project. This time, we focus on existing Mentors, rather than new ones. We made a call for applications and now we have 12 new candidates, that will begin their training soon.

This training will have more structure, and more exercises. Also, we will be opening the training for Reps (not Mentors) to bring these tools to more people. And we are preparing a second version of the website, that will be available for everyone that want to read it.

We will be using the last part of this quarter to discuss how to continue this project in 2017. Our idea is that with all this people trained, we could scale faster (with more people helping on giving training and updating content and resources).

If you want to leave comments, please us this Discourse topic

Mozilla Participation TeamMaker Party 2016: Stand Up for a Better Internet

Cross post from: The Mozilla Blog.

Mozilla’s annual celebration of making online is challenging outdated copyright law in the EU. Here’s how you can participate.

It’s that time of year: Maker Party.

Each year, Mozilla hosts a global celebration to inspire learning and making online. Individuals from around the world are invited. It’s an opportunity for artists to connect with educators; for activists to trade ideas with coders; and for entrepreneurs to chat with makers.

This year, we’re coming together with that same spirit, and also with a mission: To challenge outdated copyright laws in the European Union. EU copyright laws are at odds with learning and making online. Their restrictive nature undermines creativity, imagination, and free expression across the continent. Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote about the details in her recent blog post.

By educating and inspiring more people to take action, we can update EU copyright law for the 21st century.

Over the past few months, everyday internet users have signed our petition and watched our videos to push for copyright reform. Now, we’re sharing copyright reform activities for your very own Maker Party.

Want to join in? Maker Party officially kicks-off today.

Here are activities for your own Maker Party:

Be a #cczero Hero

In addition to all the amazing live events you can host or attend, we wanted to create a way for our global digital community to participate.

We’re planning a global contribute-a-thon to unite Mozillians around the world and grow the number of images in the public domain. We want to showcase what the open internet movement is capable of. And we’re making a statement when we do it: Public domain content helps the open internet thrive.

Check out our #cczero hero event page and instructions on contributing. You should be the owner of the copyright in the work. It can be fun, serious, artistic — whatever you’d like. Get started.

For more information on how to submit your work to the public domain or to Creative Commons, click here.


Post Crimes

Mozilla has created an app to highlight the outdated nature of some of the EU’s copyright laws, like the absurdity that photos of public landmarks can be unlawful. Try the Post Crimes web app: Take a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower’s night-time light display, or the Little Mermaid in Denmark.

Then, send your selfie as a postcard to your Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Show European policymakers how outdated copyright laws are, and encourage them to forge reform. Get started.

Meme School

It’s absurd, but it’s true: Making memes may be technically illegal in some parts of the EU. Why? Exceptions for parody or quotation are not uniformly required by the present Copyright Directive.

Help Mozilla stand up for creativity, wit, and whimsy through memes! In this Maker Party activity, you and your friends will learn and discuss how complicated copyright law can be. Get started.


We can’t wait to see what you create this Maker Party. When you participate, you’re standing up for copyright reform. You’re also standing up for innovation, creativity, and opportunity online.

NukeadorAmplifying our support to communities with Reps Regional Coaches

In my previous post, I explained how the Participation staff team was going to work with a clear focus, and today I want to explain how we are going to amplify this support to all local communities thanks to a project inside the Reps program called Regional Coaches.

Reps Regional coaches project aims to bring support to all Mozilla local communities around the world thanks to a group of excellent core contributors who will be talking with these communities and coordinating with the Reps program and the Participation team.

We divided the world into 10 regions, and selected 2 regional coaches to take care of the countries in these regions.

  • Region 1: USA, Canada
  • Region 2: Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Cuba
  • Region 3: Ireland, UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic.
  • Region 4: Hungary, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Russia, Israel
  • Region 5: Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Morocco
  • Region 6: Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana
  • Region 7: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Botswana
  • Region 8: China, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Japan
  • Region 9: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
  • Region 10: Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand.

These regional coaches are not a power structure nor a decision maker, they are there to listen to the communities and establish a 2-way communication to:

  • Develop a clear view of local communities status, problems, needs.
  • Help local communities surface any issues or concerns.
  • Provide guidance/coaching on Mozilla’s goals to local communities.
  • Run regular check-ins with communities and volunteers in the region.
  • Coordinate with the rest of regional coaches on a common protocol, best practices.
  • Be a bridge between communities in the same region.

We want communities to be better integrated with the rest of the org, not just to be aligned with the current organizational needs but also to allow them to be more involved in shaping the strategy and vision for Mozilla and work together with staff as a team, as One Mozilla.

I would like to ask all mozillians to support our Regional Coaches, helping them to meet communities and work with them. This project is key for bringing support to everyone, amplifying the strategy, vision and work that we have been doing from the Reps program and the Participation team.

Current status


We have on-boarded 18 regional coaches to bring support to 87 countries (wow!) around the world. Currently they have started to contact local communities and hold video meetings with all of them.

What have we learned so far?

Mozilla communities are very diverse, and their structure and activity status is very different. Also, there is a need for alignment with the current projects and focus activities around Mozilla and work to encourage mozillians to get involved in shaping the future.

In region 1, there are no big formal communities and mozillians are working as individuals or city-level groups. The challenge here is to get everyone together.

In region 2 there are a lot of communities, some of them currently re-inventing themselves to align better with focus initiatives. There is a huge potential here.

Region 3 is where the oldest communities started, and there is big difference between the old and the emerging ones. The challenge is to get the old ones to the same level of diverse activity and alignment as the new ones.

In region 4 the challenge is to re-activate or start communities in small countries.

Region 5 has been active for a long time, focused mainly in localization. How to align with new emerging focus areas is the main challenge here.

Region 6 and 7 are also very diverse, huge potential, a lot of energy. Getting mozillians supercharged again after Firefox OS era is the big challenge.

Region 8 has some big and active communities (like Bangladesh and Taiwan) and a lot of individuals working as small groups in other countries. The challenge is to bring alignment and get the groups together.

In region 9 the challenge is to bring the huge activity and re-organization Indian communities are doing to nearby countries. Specially the ones who are not fully aligned with the new environment Mozilla is in today.

Region 10 has a couple of big active communities. The challenge is how to expand this to other countries where Mozilla has never had community presence or communities are no longer active.

Comments, feedback? We want to hear from you on Mozilla’s discourse forum.

Guillermo MoviaEuropean Community Gathering, copyright reform and revitalizing communities


Berlin was the city where we organized the European Community Gathering last Sept 10th and 11th, a meeting to work with community members to plan next steps for Mozilla and its European communities, with a focus on current projects and how we could revitalize our communities in Europe.

Final picture, by Christos Bacharakis
Final picture, by Christos Bacharakis

This year, Participation Team begun to organize community events with a focus on update mozillians with last Mozilla’s and Participation Team goals and, at the same time, have skill building trainings that will be needed by mozillians to have a greater impact on Mozilla’s mission. We start on Singapore, but then we moved to Regional or Country focus gatherings.

This last quarter we organized one in India and another one in Europe. Our main focus for European gathering was to bring alignment on «Copyright reform», a campaign that Mozilla and other partners organizations are creating to raise awareness about the changes that could be introduced to European Union that will affect countries laws and the way we work online and use the Web.

Also we thought will be a good chance to reflect on the current status of the communities and how we could revitalize them.

25 volunteers were invited to participate from different European countries, with priority on countries that were identified that could have more influence on the European Parliament. Rubén Martín wrote a good explanation on this priority decision. They arrived on Friday and we started the event on Saturday morning.

Structuring the content

We planned the event content to focus on goals and skill building on Saturday, and current Mozilla’s interests and planning for the future on Sunday.

We started Saturday with introductions and a talk by George Roter about Mozilla’s and Participation team goals and how we think we could empower communities to make a better impact in their countries. Then we followed with sessions that reflected how each of us has different ways to work and see the world and how we could use that to create better spaces to work.

Then was the time to work on the policy issues that Mozilla is working on, with a workshop that was tested in India. After lunch we begun the skill building session, where we talked about how to structure your message when you need to give a talk or introduce a topic to your friends and a team work technique called Draw a toast.

Last part of the day was focused on how we could restart European communities, and how we could work in a region level, and not only divided by country. Both regional coaches for Europe were present at that time, and that let us had really interesting discussions.

Final picture, by Christos Bacharakis
Working on projects, by Christos Bacharakis

Sunday begun with a series of presentations that updated the community members on some of the most interesting Mozilla’s project:

And after lunch we had a long conversation with Raegan MacDonald about Copyright reform and what will mean for the European Union if it’s approved like we know it at this point. That prepared the space for the Maker Party conversation. Like you may already know, this year Maker Party will be focus in European Union and the copyright reform and there will be some activities that everyone could run in their countries, universities and colleges to help raise the voice about this reform, and try to influence EU Representants to modify the law and protect the Web.

Last part of that long day was dedicated for Lightning Talks, projects and ideas brought by the volunteers.

Content log

All the sessions were recorded and will be uploaded to Air Mozilla to be watched for all the people interested. Also, we wrote down comments and idea on this Etherpad where you will find useful links to resources and other etherpads.


This event was really useful as the beginning of the Maker Party. We practiced one of the sessions that we were preparing and we had great feedback that will make it better. We are waiting for a post event survey, but the first feedback we had was that the event was very useful. Also, these events are a great place to learn how we could work better for Mozilla’s mission and future.

If you have comments, feedback, ideas, please add it on Discourse

Mozilla Participation TeamOne Mozilla Clubs


In 2015, The Mozilla Foundation launched the Mozilla Clubs program to bring people together locally to teach, protect and build the open web in an engaging and collaborative way. Within a year it grew to include 240+ Clubs in 100+ cities globally, and now is growing to reach new communities around the world.

Today we are excited to share a new focus for Mozilla Clubs taking place on a University or College Campus (Campus Clubs). Mozilla Campus Clubs blend the passion and student focus of the former Firefox Student Ambassador program and Take Back The Web Campaign with the existing structure of  Mozilla Clubs to create a unified model for participation on campuses!

Mozilla Campus Clubs take advantage of the unique learning environments of Universities and Colleges to bring groups of students together to teach, build and protect the open web. It builds upon the Mozilla Club framework to provide targeted support to those on campus through its:

  1. Structure:  Campus Clubs include an Executive Team in addition to the Club Captain position, who help develop programs and run activities specific to the 3 impact areas (teach, build, protect).
  2. Training & Support: Like all Mozilla Clubs, Regional Coordinators and Club Captains receive training and mentorship throughout their clubs journey. However the nature of the training and support for Campus Clubs is specific to helping students navigate the challenges of setting up and running a club in the campus context.
  3. Activities: Campus Club activities are structured around 3 impact areas (teach, build, protect). Club Captains in a University or College can find suggested activities (some specific to students) on the website here.

These clubs will be connected to the larger Mozilla Club network to share resources, curriculum, mentorship and support with others around the world. In 2017 you’ll see additional unification in terms of a joint application process for all Regional Coordinators and a unified web presence.

This is an exciting time for us to unite our network of passionate contributors and create new opportunities for collaboration, learning, and growth within our Mozillian communities. We also see the potential of this unification to allow for greater impact across Mozilla’s global programs, projects and initiatives.

If you’re currently involved in Mozilla Clubs and/or the FSA program, here are some important things to know:

  • The Firefox Student Ambassador Program is now Mozilla Campus Clubs: After many months of hard work and careful planning the Firefox Ambassador Program (FSA) has officially transitioned to Mozilla Clubs as of Monday September 19th, 2016. For full details about the Firefox Student Ambassador transition check out this guide here.
  • Firefox Club Captains will now be Mozilla Club Captains: Firefox Club Captains who already have a club, a structure, and a community set up on a university/college should register your club here to be partnered with a Regional Coordinator and have access to new resources and opportunities, more details are here.
  • Current Mozilla Clubs will stay the same: Any Mozilla Club that already exists will stay the same. If they happen to be on a university or college campus Clubs may choose to register as a Campus Club, but are not required to do so.
  • There is a new application for Regional Coordinators (RC’s): Anyone interested in taking on more responsibility within the Clubs program can apply here.  Regional Coordinators mentor Club Captains that are geographically close to them. Regional Coordinators support all Club Captains in their region whether they are on campus or elsewhere.
  • University or College students who want to start a Club at their University and College may apply here. Students who primarily want to lead a club on a campus for/with other university/college students will apply to start a Campus Club.
  • People who want to start a club for any type of learner apply here. Anyone who wants to start a club that is open to all kinds of learners (not limited to specifically University students) may apply to start a Club here.

Individuals who are leading Mozilla Clubs commit to running regular (at least monthly) gatherings, participate in community calls, and contribute resources and learning materials to the community. They are part of a network of leaders and doers who support and challenge each other. By increasing knowledge and skills in local communities Club leaders ensure that the internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all.

This is the beginning of a long term collaboration for the Mozilla Clubs Program. We are excited to continue to build momentum for Mozilla’s mission through new structures and supports that will help engage more people with a passion for the open web.

NukeadorInvesting in communities with a clear focus

At Mozilla’s Participation Team one of our main goals is to support local communities and unleash contributions that will contribute disproportionately Mozilla’s mission and goals.


Last year’s work showed that we increase our impact by focusing our energies on a limited amount of clearly defined areas. Concentrating our effort as a team has become a key strategy for bringing more value to Mozilla.

One area we’ve looked at is the “where” we have Mozilla communities. We have volunteer Mozillians spread literally all over the world — from Vancouver to Valladolid — and many have organized themselves into geographically-based communities that our team supports (expect a future blog post on what we see as the value of organizing geographically). We know that the dynamics, opportunities and challenges of each of these communities is a bit different, and the more time we spend with any particular community the better we understand this uniqueness, leading to higher quality support and guidance.

At the same time, our staff time is limited, and so we can only “go deep” with a limited number of geographically-based communities at any given time. (This brings up another point of finding a leveraged model for staff effort, which is what is being tested now with the Reps Leadership efforts)

The question then became where to go deep? Since Mozilla doesn’t presently have a regional strategy overall, we did a basic analysis as Participation Team using the following factors:

  • Web users and overall population.
  • Growth in web users.
  • How much the area influences markets/policies in other countries/areas — this could be regionally or globally.
  • Where Mozilla can win (because of Firefox penetration, market sentiment, or cultural alignment with our values).
  • Momentum and strength of existing community.

Looking at this, we decided to focus the Participation Team’s efforts on the following 10 countries that align with our analysis and the capacity we think we have as a team to “go deep” right now:

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Bangladesh
  • Indonesia

What does this mean for a focus country practically? Here is what is guiding our goals:

  • We will hold ourselves accountable for results/impact (customized to each country).
  • Go deep on staff support.
  • Initiate and deeply support regional gatherings and campaigns that will accelerate the development of these communities and the mobilizers/leaders in each one.

Of course, we recognize focus has a cost and that for the many Mozillians and communities not in these focus countries it can seem unfair and arbitrary — we’re definitely empathetic to that. Let me be clear that the Reps and regional staff team will keep supporting communities outside these focus countries, just not as deeply or proactively as compared with the 10 focus countries.

As always, we expect our work and strategies to evolve over time and with input from many Mozillians. So please send along your questions or feedback.

Participation team discourse is open for you !


Michael KohlerMozilla Switzerland – Community Meetup June 2016

On June 20th the Swiss Mozillians met in Zurich to discuss the second half of the year. The goal was to come up with objectives for that are aligned with the current Mozilla strategy and the Participation Team and Mozilla Reps goals.

At first we did a retrospective, here are the key results:

What should we stop doing?

  • Discussions on the mailing list
  • posting “meta” discussions on Github
  • focusing on initiatives we don’t have time for
  • excluding people from discussions (see “meta discussions”)
  • focusing on Zurich
  • creating single point of failures
  • missing to provide clear pathways to contribute when we have a talk

What should we start doing?

  • Create a central hub for all resources MozillaCH-related (in terms of “Get involved”)
  • Focus on a few single strengths we have instead of a lot of single initiatives we can only go so far for
  • Start non-linear discussions on discourse
  • Have more event locations to get to people that can’t come to Zurich or Lausanne
  • Be more clear about the strengths of single community members and support them with initiatives that fit into the general direction of Mozilla
  • Start using communication channels specific to the audience we want to reach

What should we continue doing?

  • Event organization works well
  • Github issues for tracking
  • Team work at meetups
  • Keeping things simple (not having a lot of bureaucracy hassle)

With that in mind, we came up with two objectives. Both are aligned with overall Mozilla strategy pieces. The first one is Core Strength, the second one is Prototyping the Future. None of these Key Results are easy to achieve, but we think that with these we can achieve a good base for the upcoming years.

Objective 1: Grow our core contributor strengths and be amazing at being visible in Switzerland

  • Key Result 1: We have at least 5 core contributors that are active on Discourse
  • Key Result 2: 30% of threads on Discourse are created by non Community Focus Group members
  • Key Result 3: At least 25 GitHub issues are created from a discussion on Discourse with clear steps on how to implement
  • Key Result 4: Have started an at least monthly meetup group around Developer Tools to have “hacking evenings”
  • Key Result 5: At least 3 persons are involved in organizing events
  • Key Result 6: At least 4 persons are involved in creating content for Twitter tweets and answering mentions
  • Key Result 7: The website clearly reflects on where we want people to get involved in MozillaCH covering all functional areas provided on the Wiki page
  • Key Result 8: At least 80% of functional areas are covered by at least 2 contact persons

Objective 2: We are a driver in prototyping Firefox for the future

  • Key Result 1: We have started a monthly meetup group around Developer Tools to have hacking evenings, providing guidance to new people to get involved in hacking DevTools
  • Key Result 2: We have at least 2 hackathons for 2 different components
  • Key Result 3: We have at least 20 confirmed Nightly users who know how to submit bugs
  • Key Result 4: We are engaging at least 10 people in QA’ing Servo for specific websites
  • Key Result 5: We engage at least 2 persons to work on positron, spidernode or browser.html

What do you find intriguing? What would you like to know more about? Jump into a discussion on Discourse or participate in our GitHub Participation issue repository.

Guillermo MoviaPower To Mobilizers


Mobilizers at Mozilla, a framework for Leadership on Social Age and the programs that Participation Team are leading to bring those skills to Mozillians all over the globe

“Each person shines with his or her own light. No two flames are alike. There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color. Some people’s flames are so still they don’t even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks. Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking, and if you approach you shine in the fire.”
― Eduardo Galeano

Every one of us knows people of this kind. Many of them are in our community. When they tell you a story, you live that story at their side. Their passion is so big that it makes you realize how many things we could do together. Those people shine better with others, working and having fun with them.

Nobody is born like that. We develop those skills in our family, school or neighborhood. And everyone can learn to be that way with the right tools and the right people by our side. That’s what we want to create at Mozilla, a space where everyone can learn and improve their inter-personal skills to advance Mozilla’s mission together with other Mozillians.

Leadership In Our Times

Our era is a different era for leaders. The type of leadership needed and respected today is not the same that was important and followed 10 years ago. Julian Stodd created a framework about Social Leadership, the type of leadership needed today. He describes a leader’s capacities in 3 dimensions:

  1. Narrative which is about curating your space and telling the right story with great effect
  2. Engagement which is about being an effective part of communities.
  3. Technology which is about collaboration and co-creation.

Emma Irwin, from the Participation Team, has been leading an effort to «localize» this model for Mozilla. With the immense work of Verena Roberts, Mikko Kontto and Greg Mcverry, they translated those dimensions to Communication, Network and Sustainability.

They are in the process to create a Leadership framework, a compilation of resources that will help any Mozillian to learn and improve their Social leadership skills.

Because of different cultural meanings for the word leader, we prefer to talk about mobilizers, people that will help and inspire others to participate. Mobilizers are a key part in our efforts to make Participation at Mozilla better.

Content In Practice

Resources are only half of the work. The Participation Team is working on different ways to bring those skills to Mozillians. With a series of Community Gatherings organized in different parts of the world, we are creating spaces to have sessions and workshops with groups of people interested in mobilizing.

In 2016 we have already organized two Community Gatherings and we are preparing for three more focused on our European, Arabic, and Mexican communities. Each of them serves as an iteration point for our sessions and workshops. Additionally we are creating toolkits to organize this type of events, so every community will be able to organize their local gathering in the future following the same standards.

At the same time, through the RepsNext process we have started a training which will help Mozillians develop coaching skills. We believe this will be useful for community development and to find new ways to participate in the Mozilla Project. I will write another blog post about this program soon, with a reflection of our first cohort of Reps Coaches.

Please add comments and feedback on Discourse

Brian KingActivate Mozilla

Today we are launching Activate Mozilla, a campaign where you can find what are the focus initiatives that support the current organization goals, how to start participating and mobilize your community around clearly defined activities.

Activate Mozilla SiteActivate Mozilla Site

One of the main asks from our community recently has been the need of more clarity on what are the most important things to do to support Mozilla right now and how to participate. With this site we have a place to answer this question that is always up-to-date.

We are launching with three activities, focused on Rust, Web Compatibility, and Test Pilot. Within each activity we explain why this is important, some goals we are trying to reach, and provide step by step instructions on how to do the activity. We want you to #mozactivate by mobilizing your community, so don’t forget to share share share!
This is a joint effort between the Participation team and other teams at Mozilla. We’ll be adding more activities to the campaign over time.

NukeadorMoving forward with Mozilla Participation Leaders

Core mozillians are more important than ever for Mozilla to succeed in 2016, Participation team keeps working to provide leadership opportunities and guidance on impactful initiatives. We are centralizing communications in this discourse category.


Leadership cohort in Singapore – Photo by Christos Bacharakis (by-nc-sa)

This a post originally published on Mozilla Discourse, please add you comments there.

During last months, the Participation team together with a big group of core mozillians organized and delivered a set of initiatives and gatherings to support Mozilla’s mission and goals.

Mozfest, Orlando All Hands, Leadership Summit and London All Hands were some of the key events where we worked together, grow as contributors and evolve our leadership and mobilization path inside the community.

Currently we are working on a set of initiatives to keep this work going:

  • RepsNext: The Reps program is evolving to become a volunteer participation platform, really focused on leadership and community mobilization. Be more inclusive to welcome any core mozillian interested in this growth path is going to be a key focus.
  • We are developing a leadership toolkit to be able to provide concrete resources to improve mozillians skills that are going to be important for supporting Mozilla in the next years.
  • In order to deliver these skills, we are creating a coaching team with the help of new Reps mentors so we can train mozillians to deliver this knowledge to other volunteers and their local communities.
  • Refreshing the participation buffet, in order to provide clear guidance on the focus initiatives that are more relevant to support Mozilla this year and how to get involved. This will be also provided through coaching.
  • Systematize community gatherings strategy in order to provide skills and action-focused guidance to regional and functional communities around the world, as well as adapting our strategy taking in consideration local needs and ideas.

What’s next?

Beginning in July we are going to start seeing some of the previous ideas being implemented and communicated, and we want core mozillians to be part of it. A lot of mozillians have demonstrated great leadership inside Mozilla and there is no way Mozilla can succeed without their help, ideas and support, and we are inviting them to join the group. We are centralizing communications in this discourse category.

Keep it rocking the free web!


Emma IrwinMozfest 2016 for Participation

Earlier this month a group of people met in Berlin to imagine and design Mozfest 2016.


Blending inspiration and ideas from open  news, science, localization, youth, connected devices and beyond  – we spent three glorious days collaborating and building  a vision of a Mozfest like no other.

The Participation team emerged from this experience with a new vision for Mozillian participation we’re calling ‘Mozfest Space* Contributors’.  Roles designed to bring success on the goals of every space in the building.  This is a very different approach from recent years where our focus has been more participatory as facilitators, helpers and learners.  With this new approach,  we’re inviting contribution,  ownership and responsibility in shaping the event.  Super, super exciting – I hope you agree!

Exploring the potential of contributor roles within Spaces, we found amazing potential! Open Science imagined a ‘Science Translator’ role –  helping people overcome scientific jargon to connect with ideas. The Web Literacy group has big plans for their physical space, one where a ‘Set Designer’ would be incredibly helpful in making those dreams come true.

MozFest CfP Images-01

Open News, and others thought about ‘Help Desk’  leads, and more than one space has suggested that the addition of technical mentors and session translators would bring diversity and connection.  Can you see yet why this will be amazing?

MozFest CfP Images-02

Outreach for contributors this year will be focused squarely on finding people with the skills, passion, vision and a commitment to supporting these spaces.  In many cases roles will be a key part of planning in the months leading up to Mozfest.

Also – we’re already piloting this very idea! having recently selecting Priyanka Nag and Mayur Patil  to be part of the Participation team’s Mozfest planning.  I’m so grateful for their help and leadership in making this a fantastic experience for wranglers and contributors alike.

On July 15th we’ll post all available roles, and launch the application process.  You can find an FAQ here.

Sponsorship from the Participation Team for Mozfest 2016 will be for these roles only.  The call for the proposals will be run by the MozFest organizers who will have a limited number of travel stipends available through that separate process.

* Space – an area of Mozfest with content and space built and activated under a certain theme (like Open Science, Youth Zone and Web Literacy)

* Space Wrangler – Person organizing and building a space at Mozilla

Special thanks to Elio from the Community Design Group for creating ‘Volunteer Role’ mockups!

Role avatars by freepik.


George RoterRefreshing the Participation Buffet

Have an impact on Mozilla’s mission.

The answer has been consistent every time we’ve asked volunteer Mozillians what their primary motivation is for contributing to Mozilla. 3 years ago, last year, this month, “have an impact on Mozilla’s mission” is always the number one answer.

What we’ve also heard over the past few months is that lacking clarity on the best areas to have an impact is one of the main things limiting contribution. When I look at this objectively, I completely understand. Mozilla is a huge and complex project, with multiple products, projects and activities, and we’re right now in a constant state of change as Mitchell recently articulated nicely. To exacerbate the situation, we haven’t been very good at clearly communicating where Mozilla is heading.

Our much needed effort to reinvent participation at Mozilla has added yet more ambiguity to the mix. As a Participation Team, we’ve made some progress on bringing more clarity, and have laid out a broad strategy for 2016. But this isn’t enough. We need to do better.

We need to help Mozillians know where they can apply their skills, time and passions to have an impact on Mozilla’s mission.

My teammate Rosana Ardila had a great analogy that I’ll borrow: We once had a delicious, well laid out food buffet of contribution and impact areas at Mozilla. But that food has been sitting out for quite a while. Some of it is stale. Some of the dishes aren’t even on the menu anymore. We’ve moved around the serving stations so that some are sitting in a dark corner that nobody can find. Some of the food is still really tasty and just needs a flame lit underneath it … okay, I’ll stop killing the analogy!

Over the next couple of months we’re going to refresh this participation buffet.

We’re going to do this by both designing and rolling out some new, high impact and well designed contribution areas and campaigns, in partnership with teams around Mozilla. And we’re also going to curate and highlight fantastic contribution opportunities driven primarily by other teams.

We need all Mozillians (employees and volunteers) to help with this, by helping to build, highlight and lead great areas of participation. Please get in touch with your thoughts and ideas (

Our filters for what makes it into the buffet are simple and what we have come to understand will represent outstanding participation at Mozilla.

First, we will focus on participation areas that:

  1. Help Mozilla innovate, driving the leading edge of our work and thinking.
  2. Extend Mozilla’s reach, by bringing Mozilla products, ideas and issues to more people, and connecting more people with Mozilla.

Second, we will highlight contribution opportunities that have a well designed participant experience, and that have thought-through methods for bringing value to both Mozilla’s mission and to Mozillians. To be clear, these opportunities won’t each be applicable to everyone; most will require a specific set of interests or backgrounds. We do want to make sure that the full buffet will provide opportunities for a diverse range of participants and plenty of opportunities for people to build new skills.

Third, we know that we don’t have the next phase of Mozilla figured out — far from it! So activities that help us learn about the future of participation at Mozilla are a priority. And by definition, that will mean trying things out that may not work.

How about a sneak preview? What can you get involved with RIGHT NOW!?

You’ll be able to find great opportunities highlighted here –

There’s a couple ready right now, and many more that we’ll highlight soon on Discourse and the Wiki page above.

Helping Mozilla innovate:

  • Dino Tank London – We want you to pitch problems that are worth solving at Mozilla! This opportunity closes on May 27th, but will be refreshed again in June/July.

Coming soon…

Extending Mozilla’s reach:

  • Open Comms: Making Encryption Mainstream – submit ideas on how to educate people around the world or in your community about the importance of encryption. This closes on June 3rd, but Open Comms will have many more opportunities coming soon.

Coming soon…

  • Next phase of the Take Back the Web campaign
  • MakerParty
  • Growing the Firefox Nightly community
  • Something exciting on engaging developers

Final ask

Please do let me know what you think of the above. Does it resonate? Do you have areas you’d suggest we highlight or build for? What else might be missing from our approach?

Head over to this conversation on Discourse to share your thoughts and ideas.

Mozilla Participation TeamA New Firefox Development Forum

We’ve been looking for the right home for Firefox browser development Q&A for a while now. It’s taken longer than it should have, but after a lot of discussion and experimentation with different tools and forums, we’ve finally come to a conclusion.

In retrospect the decision was obvious; hindsight is like that. But here it is; if we want everyone in the community to be a part of making Firefox great, then we should be where the community is: part of the Mozilla Community Discourse forum.

Things are a bit thin on the ground there now; I’ll be migrating over some questions and answers from other forums to stock that pond shortly. In the meantime if you’re new to Discourse it’s a very civilized piece of forum software. You can keep track of discussions happening there by logging in and taking a look in the upper right-hand corner, where you’ll see “Watching”, “Tracking”, “Normal” and “Muted”. Set that to “Watching”, and you’ll get a notification when a new topic comes up for discussion. Set it to “Tracking”, and you’ll also get a note when you’re called out by name. You can also watch or track individual threads, which is a nice touch.

Alternatively, if you’re a fan of syndicated feeds you can grab an Atom feed as follows:

I hope you’ll join us in helping build Firefox into everything it can be, the best browser in the world and the cornerstone of a free, open and participatory Web. And as always, if you’ve got questions about that, please email me directly.

Thank you,

– mhoye

Mozilla Participation TeamReinventing Mozilla on Campus

Re-post from George Roter’s blog, “Reinventing Mozilla on Campus” .

Throughout history, University students, staff and professors have often shaped the leading edge of change and innovation. The history of the web is no different: the student-built Lynx browser was one of the first and Mosaic (Firefox’s distant ancestor!), pioneered by students and staff, opened the graphical web to millions.

I saw the impact that students and professors can make through my own experience at Engineers Without Borders Canada. Engineering students and professors on campuses across Canada and in Africa built remarkable ventures, reshaped curriculum, changed on-campus and government policy, and taught hundreds of thousands of young people about global development.

I fully believe in the potential of students, staff and professors on campuses around the world to have massive impact on Mozilla’s mission. As innovators, contributors and open web advocates. Engineers, scientists, lawyers, social scientists, economists and designers.

From what I know about my past experience and have heard in the past year working for Mozilla, our mission resonates tremendously with students and professors. The range of impact and involvement is considerable. Until now, we’ve only just scraped the surface of this potential.

We need to reinvent Mozilla on campus.

Our existing engagement on University campuses around the world is an assortment of largely disconnected programs and people. Firefox Student Ambassadors and Firefox Clubs. Mozilla Clubs. Code contribution by individual contributors. Maker Party. Mozilla Science Lab. Various professor and lab partnerships. Employee recruitment. Many of these are successful in their own right; there’s an opportunity learn from each of them, find connections, and imagine opportunity to scale their impact with a more coordinated approach.

Photo credit: Tanha Islam and Trisa Islam

The largest of these by student involvement, Firefox Student Ambassadors (FSAs) and Firefox Clubs, has been constrained by limited and variable employee support and a focus on marketing. Our student leaders have already been “hacking” this program to introduce advocacy, code contribution, support, localization, teaching and many other activities; official support for this has lagged.

Our team came into this year with a key hypothesis as part of our strategy: That we can supercharge participation with a reinvented campus program.

The Take Back the Web campus campaign focused on privacy and security has been our first effort to test this hypothesis. Already it’s showing great promise, with over 600 campus teams signed up (including hundreds of FSAs) to have impact in 3 areas. We’re focused on learning as much as we can from this campaign.

The campus campaign is a step toward reinvention. But I think it’s now time to take a step back to ask: What impact can we imagine with a coordinated effort on campuses around the world? What do students, staff and professors want and need to be involved with Mozilla’s mission? How might we evolve our existing programs? What programs and structures would we design, and how do they relate to one another? How can we invite people on campus to innovate with Mozilla?

These are the broad questions that will guide a process over the next 9 weeks. By July 15th we aim to have a clear articulation of the impact we can have, the programs we’ll invest in and how they relate to one another, and the opportunities for students, staff and professors to participate.

We’re hoping that this process of reinventing Mozilla on campus will be participatory, and we’re inviting many voices to contribute. Lucy Harris on the Participation Team will be stewarding this process and shaping the final options. Mark Surman, Mitchell Baker, Chris Lawrence, Katharina Borchert and I will be involved in making a final decision on the direction we take.

You can read more about the details of the process in this post, but let me summarize it and the opportunities you have to be involved:

Phase 1: Listening (May 16-27)

→ provide thoughts on existing programs and opportunities you see

Phase 2: Synthesis and options (May 27-June 10)

→ we’ll frame some tensions for you to weigh in on

→ we’ll shape a set of options for conversation during the London All Hands

Phase 3: Final input (June 10-24)

→ we’ll articulate a set of options for you to consider as we move forward, and will be diving deep into these and key questions during the Mozilla All Hands in London

Phase 4: Final Decision and Disseminate (June 24-July 15)

→ we’ll take all the input and decide on a direction for moving forward

Let me finish by reiterating the opportunity. University campuses are a hotbed of innovation and a locus for creating change. Mozilla can tap into this energy and catalyze involvement in unleashing the next wave of openness and opportunity in online life. Finally, our team is excited about helping to shape a direction we can take, and investing in a robust program of participation moving forward.

I’m excited for this journey of reinventing Mozilla on campus.

George RoterReinventing Mozilla on campus

Throughout history, University students, staff and professors have often shaped the leading edge of change and innovation. The history of the web is no different: the student-built Lynx browser was one of the first and Mosaic (Firefox’s distant ancestor!), pioneered by students and staff, opened the graphical web to millions.

I saw the impact that students and professors can make through my own experience at Engineers Without Borders Canada. Engineering students and professors on campuses across Canada and in Africa built remarkable ventures, reshaped curriculum, changed on-campus and government policy, and taught hundreds of thousands of young people about global development.

I fully believe in the potential of students, staff and professors on campuses around the world to have massive impact on Mozilla’s mission. As innovators, contributors and open web advocates. Engineers, scientists, lawyers, social scientists, economists and designers.

From what I know about my past experience and have heard in the past year working for Mozilla, our mission resonates tremendously with students and professors. The range of impact and involvement is considerable. Until now, we’ve only just scraped the surface of this potential.

We need to reinvent Mozilla on campus.

Our existing engagement on University campuses around the world is an assortment of largely disconnected programs and people. Firefox Student Ambassadors and Firefox Clubs. Mozilla Clubs. Code contribution by individual contributors. Maker Party. Mozilla Science Lab. Various professor and lab partnerships. Employee recruitment. Many of these are successful in their own right; there’s an opportunity learn from each of them, find connections, and imagine opportunity to scale their impact with a more coordinated approach.


Photo credit: Tanha Islam and Trisa Islam [1]

The largest of these by student involvement, Firefox Student Ambassadors (FSAs) and Firefox Clubs, has been constrained by limited and variable employee support and a focus on marketing. Our student leaders have already been “hacking” this program to introduce advocacy, code contribution, support, localization, teaching and many other activities; official support for this has lagged.

Our team came into this year with a key hypothesis as part of our strategy: That we can supercharge participation with a reinvented campus program.

The Take Back the Web campus campaign focused on privacy and security has been our first effort to test this hypothesis. Already it’s showing great promise, with over 600 campus teams signed up (including hundreds of FSAs) to have impact in 3 areas. We’re focused on learning as much as we can from this campaign.

The campus campaign is a step toward reinvention. But I think it’s now time to take a step back to ask: What impact can we imagine with a coordinated effort on campuses around the world? What do students, staff and professors want and need to be involved with Mozilla’s mission? How might we evolve our existing programs? What programs and structures would we design, and how do they relate to one another? How can we invite people on campus to innovate with Mozilla?

These are the broad questions that will guide a process over the next 9 weeks. By July 15th we aim to have a clear articulation of the impact we can have, the programs we’ll invest in and how they relate to one another, and the opportunities for students, staff and professors to participate.

We’re hoping that this process of reinventing Mozilla on campus will be participatory, and we’re inviting many voices to contribute. Lucy Harris on the Participation Team will be stewarding this process and shaping the final options. Mark Surman, Mitchell Baker, Chris Lawrence, Katharina Borchert and I will be involved in making a final decision on the direction we take.

You can read more about the details of the process in this post, but let me summarize it and the opportunities you have to be involved:

Phase 1: Listening (May 16-27)

→ provide thoughts on existing programs and opportunities you see

Phase 2: Synthesis and options (May 27-June 10)

→ we’ll frame some tensions for you to weigh in on

→ we’ll shape a set of options for conversation during the London All Hands

Phase 3: Final input (June 10-24)

→ we’ll articulate a set of options for you to consider as we move forward, and will be diving deep into these and key questions during the Mozilla All Hands in London

Phase 4: Final Decision and Disseminate (June 24-July 15)

→ we’ll take all the input and decide on a direction for moving forward


Let me finish by reiterating the opportunity. University campuses are a hotbed of innovation and a locus for creating change. Mozilla can tap into this energy and catalyze involvement in unleashing the next wave of openness and opportunity in online life. Finally, our team is excited about helping to shape a direction we can take, and investing in a robust program of participation moving forward.

I’m excited for this journey of reinventing Mozilla on campus.


[1] Photo credit: Tanha Islam and Trisa Islam

Michael KohlerAlpha Review – Using Janitor to contribute to Firefox

At the Firefox Hackathon in Zurich we used The Janitor to contribute to Firefox. It’s important to note that it’s still in alpha and invite-only.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 14.37.23

The Janitor was started by Jan Keromnes, a Mozilla employee. While still in an alpha state, Jan gave us access to it so we could test run it at our hackathon. Many thanks to him for spending his Saturday on IRC and helping us out with everything!

Once you’re signed up, you can click on “Open in Cloud9” and directly get to the Cloud9 editor who kindly sponsor the premium accounts for this project. Cloud9 is a pure-web IDE based on real Linux environments, with an insanely fast editor.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 14.38.23

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 14.38.50

At the hackathon we ran into a Cloud9 “create workspace” limitation, but according to Jan this should be fixed now.

Setting up

After an initial “git pull origin master” in the Cloud9 editor terminal, you can start to build Firefox in there. Simply running “./mach build” is enough. For me this took about 12 minutes for the first time, while my laptop still needs more than 50 minutes to compile Firefox. This is definitely an improvement. Further you won’t need anything else than a browser!

I had my environment ready in about 15 minutes if you count the time to compile Firefox. Comparing this to my previous setups, this solves a lot of dependency-hell problems and is also way faster.

Running the newly compiled Firefox

The Janitor includes a VNC viewer which opens a new tab and you can run your compiled Firefox in there. You can start a shell and run “./mach run” in the Firefox directory and you can start testing your changes.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 14.49.08

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 14.50.20

Running ESLint

For some of the bugs we tackled at the hackathon, we needed to run ESLint (well, would be good to run this anyway, no matter what part of the code base you’re changing). The command looks like this:

user@e49de5f6914e:~/firefox$ ./mach eslint --no-ignore devtools/client/webconsole/test/browser_webconsole_live_filtering_of_message_types.js
0:00.40 Running /usr/local/bin/eslint
0:00.40 /usr/local/bin/eslint --plugin html --ext [.js,.jsm,.jsx,.xml,.html] --no-ignore devtools/client/webconsole/test/browser_webconsole_live_filtering_of_message_types.js

8:1   warning  Could not load globals from file browser/base/content/browser-eme.js: Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open '/home/user/firefox/browser/base/content/browser-eme.js'  mozilla/import-browserjs-globals
8:1   warning  Definition for rule 'mozilla/import-globals' was not found                                                                                                                     mozilla/import-globals
8:1   error    Definition for rule 'keyword-spacing' was not found                                                                                                                            keyword-spacing
18:17  error    content is a possible Cross Process Object Wrapper (CPOW)                                                                                                                      mozilla/no-cpows-in-tests

✖ 4 problems (2 errors, 2 warnings)

0:02.85 Finished eslint. Errors encountered.

As you might see from the input, running this in the Janitor environment results in not finding the Mozilla-specific rules. The reason here is that the eslint npm package is installed globally. Globally installed eslint can’t find the locally installed mozilla-eslint-plugin. In my opinion the easiest fix would be to not install it globally, just within the firefox directory (running “./mach eslint –setup”) while spinning up the instance should be enough here.

We could circumvent this problem by changing the global npm prefix and then running it with “/new/path/eslint …” so it doesn’t call the other one. In hindsight, we could just have installed it to the directory and then call it through node_modules.

Update, May 5, 15:09: Jan has has fixed this plugin issue :)

Creating a patch

Creating a patch is really easy, following the tutorial on MDN is enough. We were very happy to see that the moz-git-tools are already installed by default, so you can just create your own branch, checkin your changes and run “git format-patch -p -k master” to get a Git patch file. Since we need a Mercurial patch, you then run “git-patch-to-hg-patch” and you can upload the resulting file to Bugzilla and you’re set!

Those two commands could maybe be aliased by default so running “create-patch” or similar would directly do this for you to further decrease the work you need to do manually.

Seeing it in action


After some initial account problems, we didn’t really find any other bugs apart from the ESLint situation. Again, thanks a lot to Jan for providing us the environment and letting us test it. This will change the live of a lot of contributors! For now The Janitor supports contributions to Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, Servo and KDE. There is also a GitHub repository for it.

Michael KohlerFirefox Hackathon Zurich April 2016

Last Saturday we’ve held a Firefox Hackathon in Zurich, Switzerland. We’ve had 12 people joining us.


At first I gave an introduction to Firefox and introduced the agenda of the hackathon.

Dev Tools Talk

After my talk we heard an amazing talk from Daniele who came from Italy to attend this hackathon. He talked about the Dev Tools and gave a nice introduction to new features!


Before the hackathon we created a list of “good first bugs” that we could work on. This was a great thing to do, since we could give the list to the attendees and they could pick a bug to work on. Setting up the environment to hack was pretty easy. We’ve used “The Janitor” to hack on Firefox, I’ll write a second blog post introducing you to this amazing tool! We ran into a few problems with it, but at the end we all could hack on Firefox!

We worked on about 13 different bugs, and we finished 10 patches! This is a great achievement, we probably couldn’t have done that if we needed more time to set up a traditional Firefox environment. Here’s the full list:

Thanks to everybody who contributed, great work! Also a big thanks to Julian Descolette, a Dev Tools employee from Switzerland who supported us as a really good mentor. Without him we probably couldn’t have fixed some of the bugs in that time!


At the end of the hackathon we did a round of feedback. In general the feedback was rated pretty well, though we might have some things to improve for the next time.

40% of the attendees had their first interaction with our community at this hackathon! And guess what, 100% of the attendees who filled out the survey would be joining another hackathon in 6 months:

For the next hackathon, we might want to have a talk about the Firefox Architecture in general to give some context to the different modules. Also for the next hackathon we probably will have a fully working Janitor (meaning not alpha status anymore) which will help even more as well.

Lessions learned

  • Janitor will be great for hackathons (though still Alpha, so keep an eye on it)
  • The mix of talk + then directly start hacking works out
  • The participants are happy if they can create a patch in a few minutes to learn the process (Creating Patch, Bugzilla, Review, etc) and I think they are more motivated for future patches

All in all I think this was a great success. Janitor will make every contributor’s life way easier, keep it going! You can find the full album on Flickr (thanks to Daniele for the great pictures!).

Michael KohlerReps Council Working Days Berlin 2016

From April 15th through April 17th the Mozilla Reps Council met in Berlin together with the Participation Team to discuss the Working groups and overall strategy topics. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend on Friday (working day 1) since I had to take my exams. Therefore I could only attend Saturday and Sunday. Nevertheless I think I could help out a lot and definitely learned a lot doing this :) This blog posts reflects my personal opinions, the others will write a blog post as well to give you a more concise view of this weekend.


Alignment Working Group

The first session on Saturday was about the Alignment WG. Before the weekend we (more or less) finished the proposal. This allowed us to discuss the last few open questions, which are now all integrated in the proposal. This will only need review by Konstantina to make sure I haven’t forgotten to add anything from the session and then we can start implementing it. We are sure that this will formalize the interaction between Mozilla goals and Reps goals, stay tuned for more information, we’re currently working on a communication strategy for all the RepsNext changes to make it easier and more fun for you to get informed about the changes.

Meta Working Group

For the Meta Working Group we had more open questions and therefore decided to do brainstorming in three teams. The questions were:

  • Who can join Council?
  • Which recognition mechanisms should be implement now?
  • How does accountability look in Reps?

We’re currently documenting the findings in the Meta working group working proposal, but we probably will need some more time to figure out everything perfectly. Keep an eye out on the Discourse topic in case we’ll need more feedback from you all!

Identity Working Group

A new working group? As you see, I didn’t believe it at first and Rara was visibly shocked!

Fun aside, yes, we’ll start a new Working group around the topics of outwards communication and the Rep program’s image. During our discussions on Saturday, we came up with a few questions that we will need to answer. This Friday we had our first call, follow us in the Discourse topic and it’s not too late to help out here! Please get involved as soon as possible to shape the future of Reps!

Communication Session

On Sunday we ran a joint session with the rest of the Participation team around the topic “How we work together”. We came up with the questions above and let those be answered / brainstormed in groups. I started to document the findings yesterday, but this is not yet in a state where it will be useful for anybody. Stay tuned for more communication around this (communication about communication, isn’t it fun? :)). The last question around “How might we improve the communication between the Participation-Team and the Council?” is already documented in the Alignment Working group proposal. Further the Identity working group will tackle and elaborate further the question around visibility.

Reps Roadmap for 2016

Wait, there is a roadmap?


At the end of our sessions we put up a timeline for Reps for all our different initiatives on a wall. Within the next days we’ll work on this to have it digitally per months. For now, we have started to create GitHub issues in the Reps repo. Stay tuned for more information about this, the current information might confuse you since we haven’t updated all issues yet! It basically includes everything from RepsNext proposal implementations to London Work Week preparations to Council elections.


This weekend showed that we currently have an amazing, hard-working Council. It also showed that we’re on track with all the RepsNext work and that we can do a lot once we all work together and have Working Groups to involve all Reps as well.

Looking forward to the next months! If you haven’t yet, have a look at the Reps Discourse category, to keep yourself updated on Reps related topics and the working groups!

The other Council members will write their blog post in the next few days as well, keep an eye out for link on our Reps issues. Once again, there are a lot of changes to be implemented and discussed, we are working on a strategy for that. We believe that just pointing to all proposals is not easy enough and will come up with fun ways to chime into these and fully understand them. Nevertheless, if you have questions about anything I wrote here, feel free to reach out to me!

Credit: all pictures were taken by our amazing photographer Christos!

Michael KohlerMozilla Switzerland IoT Hackathon in Lausanne

On April 2nd 2016 we held a small IoT Hackathon in Lausanne to brainstorm about the Web and IoT. This was aligned with the new direction that Mozilla is taking on.

We started to organize the Hackathon on Github, so everyone can participate. Geoffroy was really helpful to organize the space for it at Thanks a lot to them, without them organizing our events would be way harder!

The Hackathon
We expected more people to come, but as mentioned above, this is our first self-organized event in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Nevertheless we were four persons with an interest in hacking something together.

Geoffroy and Paul started to have a look at Vaani.iot, one of the projects that Mozilla is currently pushing on. They started to build it on their laptops, unfortunately the Vaani documentation is not good enough yet to see the full picture and what you could do with it. We’re planning to send some feedback regarding that to the Vaani team.

In the meantime Martin and I set up my Raspberry Pi and started to write a small script together that reads out the temperature from one of the sensors. Once we’ve done that, I created a small API to have the temperature returned in JSON format.

At this point, we decided we wanted to connect those two pieces and create a Web app to read out the temperature and announce it through voice. Since we couldn’t get Vaani working, we decided to use the WebSpeech API for this. The voice output part is available in Firefox and Chrome right now, therefore we could achieve this goal without using any non-standard APIs. After that Geoffroy played around with the voice input feature of this API. This is currently only working in Chrome, but there is a bug to implement it in Firefox as well. In the spirit of the open web, we decided to ignore the fact that we need to use Chrome for now, and create a feature that is built on Web standards that are on track to standardization.

After all, we could achieve something together and definitely had some good learnings during that.

Lessions learned

  • Organizing a hackathon for the first time in a new city is not easy
  • We probably need to establish an “evening-only” meetup series first, so we can attract participants that identify with us
  • We could use this opportunity to document the Liip space in Lausanne for future events on our Events page on the wiki
  • Not all projects are well documented, we need to work on this!

After the Hackathon

Since I needed to do a project for my studies that involves hardware as well, I could take the opportunity and take the sensors for my project.

You can find the Source Code on the MozillaCH github organization. It currently regularly reads out the two temperature sensors and checks if there is any movement registered by the movement sensor. If the temperature difference is too high it sends an alarm to the NodeJS backend. The same goes for the situation where it detects movement. I see this as a first step into my own take on a smart home, it would need a lot of work and more sensors to be completely useful though.




Mozilla Participation TeamParticipation Lab Notes: The Sweet Spot Between Constraint and Freedom

Over the past few months you might have heard about a growing community called the Community Design Group. What sets this group apart from many of the other communities at Mozilla is that it does not exist in a region, club, or wiki page. It has only the loosest “membership” and you can come, participate, and leave without ever sharing your name.

The Community Design Group is a sort of transactional marketplace that lives primarily on GitHub. Requests for design can be made by contributors and staff, likewise anyone can tackle or contribute to any design problem that emerges into the Repo.

As Elio Qoshi, the community-side driver of the Community Design Group writes in his blog post:

This allows for a quick contribution path for new contributors in a decentralized manner.  Different labels determine what kind of context issues have, neatly sorted in UX, IX, UI and general Graphic Design, to allow contributors from various backgrounds to jump in.

Since it’s inception in mid-January 25 design problems have been closed ranging from the design of full websites, logos, and style guides. In the past 30 days alone the Repo has received over 2,000 views and 1,000 unique visitors and it exists and flourishes with only minimal staff and community-leader involvement.


CC-BY-SA Elio Qoshi

Despite this early success there is still a great deal to be learned about this model. One of the early realizations about the Community Design Group was the tendency of the community to focus on the creation of logos. These fun and creative projects are excellent opportunities for designers to show their skills and learn from each other, but could potentially dilute the already somewhat crowded logo-sphere of Mozilla.

CC-BY-SA Jenn Sanford

CC-BY-SA Jenn Sanford

Rather than put any stop-energy into the community, we are experimenting with sharing more high-impact opportunities for contribution, initially in the form of a challenge related to the re-branding of Mozilla. In this challenge we’re asking the design community to suggest a new iconic symbol for Mozilla that will shape the thinking of the Creative Team.

In contrast to the well-defined, quick victory, of logos this challenge is ill-defined and complex.
This challenge will close at the end of April and we will have the opportunity to see not only what emerges from the creative pool, but how this work is integrated into the work of the staff team.

CC-BY-SA Sashoto Seeam

CC-BY-SA Sashoto Seeam

The basis of the Community Design Group project was to see what would come of a simple place with minimal rules, where a decentralized community could come to share and create. It is a testament to the power of minimal restriction and functional tools. Over the next quarter I look forward to seeing how far it will grow, and what amazing contributions will emerge from this new community.

Mozilla Participation TeamHelp Firefox Go Faster

A wave of new contributors have been asking how they can help Firefox without (necessarily) having strong coding skills, and just at the right time. I’m writing this because Firefox engineering needs exactly that kind of help, right now.

There are a lot of ways you can help Firefox and the Mozilla project, and most of them don’t involve writing code at all. Living in our nightly builds of Firefox is a big deal, and using the Beta release of Firefox on Android, if you happen to be an Android user, helps improve the mobile experience as well.

There’s a lot that needs doing. But one thing we’re really looking for – that Firefox engineering could use your help with today – is bug triage and component ownership.

Developing Firefox in the open with a user base of our size means we get a lot of bug reports. A lot. Hundreds every day, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are clear, tightly-scoped reports that come with clear steps to reproduce, and those are great. Others are a vaguely-described, hard-to-interpret mess. Most of them are somewhere in between, real problems that are difficult to act on.

Whatever condition these bugs arrive in there’s always a passionate Firefox user behind them with a real problem they care about solving. We know that Bugzilla is not an easy mountain to climb; to respect those users’ efforts we want to give all our incoming bugs enough care and attention to get them from “a user has a problem with our product” to “an engineer has the information they need to make the right decision.”

This is where you come in.

We know what makes a bug a capital-G, capital-B Good Bug from an engineering standpoint – It’s assigned to the right component, it’s steps to reproduce or a regression range if it needs them, and its clear what the next steps are and who needs to take them. For the most part getting bugs from “new” to “good” doesn’t mean writing code – it’s all about organization, asking questions, following up and making sure things don’t get lost.

This kind of work – de-duplicating, cleaning up and clarifying where these bugs are and what’s next for them – is incredibly valuable. We’ve had a handful of people take up this work in the past, often growing into critical leadership roles at Mozilla in the process, and its hard to overstate how much their work has mattered to Mozilla and driven forward the Open Web.

We need people – we need you – to help us keep an eye on the bugs coming to different components, sort them out and ask the right questions to get them into actionable shape. This may seem like a big job, but it’s mostly about organization and persistence.

In the beginning just setting the right flags and ask some questions will help. As you gain experience you’ll learn how to turn unclear, ambiguous bug reports into something an engineer will be excited fix. In the long term someone who really knows their component, who can flag high-priority issues, clean them up and get them to the right engineers, will have an dramatic impact on the product, helping Mozilla make Firefox and the Web better for hundreds of millions of users.

You don’t need much more than a account and a computer than can run Firefox Nightly to get started. If you’ve got that, and you’re interested in taking this up, please email me so that we can match you up to one of the components that needs your help.

Thank you; I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Mike Hoye

Mozilla Participation TeamAll Aboard

In 1968, Martin Conway noted that “organizations which design systems […] are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”

Today that’s called Conway’s Law, and to quote Wikipedia:

“The law is based on the reasoning that in order for a software module to function, multiple authors must communicate frequently with each other. Therefore, the software interfaces structure of a system will reflect the social boundaries of the organization(s) that produced it, across which communication is more difficult.”

Like any metaphorically double-edged sword, Conway’s Law is either a dangerous hazard or a powerful tool; it all depends on which end you grab.

Over the last few months the Firefox Desktop Engineering team has been refining a two-week onboarding program for engineers who’ve recently joined Mozilla. Firefox is a big project with a long history and like Mozilla (and like the Web we’ve made) the codebase and the processes around it can be as clean, streamlined and brilliant in some places as they are confusing and weirdly baroque in others.

One upshot of that is that even for full-time employees it can be hard to know where to start.

So for the last few months we’ve planned and run a series of training sessions. The’re aimed at new Firefox Desktop engineers, to help get them from New-To-Mozilla to Awesome-At-Mozilla as quickly as possible. And they’ve been very successful, not just for new hires, but for veterans and people who work with engineers as well.

But we pride ourselves on working in the open, and we’d like you to be Awesome At Mozilla too. So we’ve put them on Air Mozilla.

Here’s Nick Alexander, taking people through their first Firefox build and bugfix in the Build And Go session:

(Video compression is incredibly unforgiving, when it comes to text. We’re working on that for our next round.)

Other sessions include an introduction to Bugzilla, JS and the DOM, C++ and Gecko, Architecture & Product and more. They’re available on Air Mozilla, in the Onboarding channel, and more will be added as we record them.

If you’re interested in learning about the nuts and bolts of how Firefox is built, structured and shipped, take a look.


Brian KingConnected Devices at the Singapore Leadership Summit


Around 150 Mozillians gathered in Singapore for education, training, skills building, and planning to bring them and their communities into the fold on the latest Participation projects. With the overarching theme being leadership training, we had two main tracks. The first was Campus Campaign, a privacy focused effort to engage students as we work more with that demographic this year. Second, and the focus of this post, is Connected Devices.

Unchartered Ground

As we built out a solid Firefox OS Participation program last year, the organisation is moving more into Connected Devices. The challenge we have is to evolve the program to fit the new direction. However, the strategy and timeline has not been finalised, so in Singapore we needed to get people excited in a broader sense on what we are doing in this next phase of computing, and see what could be done now to start hacking on things.


We had three main sessions during the weekend. Here is a brief summary of each.

Strategy And Update

We haven’t been standing still since we announced the changes in December. During this sessions John Bernard walked us through why Mozilla is moving in this direction, how the Connected Devices team has been coming together, and how initial project proposals have been going through the ‘gating process’. The team will be structured in three parts based on the three core pillars of Core, Consumer, and Collaboration. The latter is in essence a participation team embedded, led by John. We talked about some of the early project ideas floating around, and we discussed possible uses of the foxfooding program, cunningly labelled ‘Outside the Fox’.

John Bernard presentingJohn Bernard presenting

Dietrich Ayala then jumped in and talked about some of the platform APIs that we can use today to hook together the Web of Things. There are many ways to experiment today using existing Firefox OS devices and even Firefox desktop and mobile. The set of APIs in Firefox OS phones allow access to a wide range of sensors, enabling experimentation with physical presence detection, speech synthesis and recognition, and many types of device connectivity.

Check out the main sessions slides and Dietrich’s slides.

Research Co-Creation Workshop

Led by Rina Jensen and Jared Cole, the Participation and Connected Devices teams have been working on a project to explore the open source community and understand what makes people contribute and be part of the communities, from open hardware projects to open data projects. During the session, some of the key insights from that work were shared. The group then partook in co-creation exercises, coming up with ideas for what an ideal contributor experience. During the session, a few key research insights were shared and provided to the group as input for a co-creation exercise. The participants then spent the next hour generating ideas focused on the ideal contributor experience. Rina and Jared are going to continue working closely with the Participation and Connected Devices teams to come up with a clear set of actionable recommendations.

Flore leading the way during co-creation exerciseFlore leading the way during co-creation exercise

You can find more information and links to session materials on the session wiki page.

Designing and Planning for Participation

True participation is working on all aspects of a project, from ideation, through implementation, to launch and beyond. The purpose of this session was two-fold:

  1. How can we design together an effective participation program for Connected Devices
  2. What can we start working on now. We wanted attendees to share their project ideas and start setting up the infrastructure NOW.

On the first topic, we didn’t get very far on the day due to time constraints, but it is something we work on all the time of course at Mozilla. We have a good foundation built with the Firefox OS Participation project. Connected Devices is a field where we can innovate and excel, and we see a lot of excitement for all Mozillians to lead the way here. This discussion will continue.

For the second topic, we wanted to come out of the weekend with something tangible, to send a strong message that volunteer leadership is looking to the future and are ready to build things now. We heard some great ideas, and then broke out into teams to start working on them. The result is thirteen projects to get some energy behind, and I’m sure many more will arise.

Read more about the projects.

In order to accelerate the next stage of tinkering and ideation, we’ve set up a small Mozilla Reps innovation fund to hopefully set in motion a more dynamic environment in which Mozillians can feel at home in.

Working on a project ideaWorking on a project idea

To Conclude

Connected Devices, Internet of Things, Web of Things. You have heard many labels for essentially is the next era of computing. At Mozilla we want to ensure that technology-wise the Web is at the forefront of this revolution, and that the values we hold dear such as privacy are central. Now more than ever, open is important. Our community leaders are ready. Are you?

Michael KohlerMozilla Switzerland Goals H1 2016

Back in November we had a Community Meetup. The goal was to get a current status on the Community and define plans and goals for 2016. To do that, we started with a SWOT-Analysis. You can find it here.

With these remarks in mind, we started to define goals for 2016. Since there are a lot of changes within one year, the goals will currently only focus on the first part of the year. Then we can evaluate them, shift metrics if needed, and define new goals. This allows us to be more flexible.

The goals are highly influenced by the OKR (Objective – Key Results) Framework. To document open issues that support this goal, I have created a repository in our MozillaCH GitHub organization. The goal is to assign the “overall goal” label to each issue. You can find a good documentation on GitHub issues in their documentation. There is a template you can use for new issues.

  • Objective 1: The community is vibrant and active due to structured contribution areas
  • Objective 2: MozillaCH is a valuable partner for privacy in Switzerland
  • Objective 3: There is a vibrant community in the “Romandie” which is part of the overall community
  • Objective 4: The MozillaCH website is the place to link to for community topics
  • Objective 5: With talks and events we increase our reach and provide a valuable information source regarding the Open Web
  • Objective 6: Social Media is a crucial part of our activities providing valuable information about Mozilla and the Open Web


We know that not all of those goals are easily achievable, but this gives us a good way to be ambitious. To a successful first half of 2016, let’s bring our community further and keep rocking the Open Web!


Mozilla Participation TeamThis Month at Mozilla

A lot of exciting things are happening with Participation at Mozilla this month. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the things that are going on!

Mozillians Profiles Got a Facelift:

Since the start of this year, the Participation Infrastructure team has had a renewed focus on making a modern community directory to meet Mozilla’s growing needs.

Their first target for 2016 was to improve the UX on the profile edit interface.

”We chose it due to relatively self-contained nature of it, and cause many people were not happy with the current UX. After research of existing tools and applying latest best practices, we designed, coded and deployed a new profile edit interface (which by the way is renamed to Settings now) that we are happy to deliver to all Mozillians.”

Read the full blog here!

There are New Ways to Bring Your Design Skills to Mozilla:

Are you a passionate designer looking to contribute to Mozilla? You’ll be happy to hear there is a new way to contribute to the many design projects around Mozilla! Submit issues, find collaborators, and work on open source projects by getting involved!

  • You can check out the projects looking for help, or submit your own on the GitHub Repo.
  • Sign-up to the mailing list to be added as a contributor to the Repo, added to the regular meeting list, and to get emails about GitHub trainings and more!
  • And read a blogpost about the project and its first meeting.

Learn more here.

136 Volunteers Are Going to Singapore:

This weekend 136 participation leaders from all over the world are heading to Singapore to undergo two days of leadership training to develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to lead Participation in 2016.

Photo credit @thephoenixbird on Twitter

Photo credit @thephoenixbird on Twitter

If you know someone attending don’t forget to share your questions and goals with them, and follow along over the weekend by watching the hashtag #MozSummit.

Stay tuned after the event for a debrief of the weekend!

Friday’s Plenary from Mozlando is now public on Air Mozilla:

If you’re interested in learning more about all the exciting new features, projects, and plans that were presented at Mozlando look no further! You can now watch the final plenary sessions on Air Mozilla (it’s a lot of fun so I highly recommend it!) here.

Share your questions and comments on discourse here.

Look forward to more updates like these in the coming months!

Michael KohlerMozillas strategische Leitlinien für 2016 und danach

Dieser Beitrag wurde zuerst im Blog auf veröffentlicht. Herzlichen Dank an Aryx und Coce für die Übersetzung!

Auf der ganzen Welt arbeiten leidenschaftliche Mozillianer am Fortschritt für Mozillas Mission. Aber fragt man fünf verschiedene Mozillianer, was die Mission ist, erhält man womöglich sieben verschiedene Antworten.

Am Ende des letzten Jahres legte Mozillas CEO Chris Beard klare Vorstellungen über Mozillas Mission, Vision und Rolle dar und zeigte auf, wie unsere Produkte uns diesem Ziel in den nächsten fünf Jahren näher bringen. Das Ziel dieser strategischen Leitlinien besteht darin, für Mozilla insgesamt ein prägnantes, gemeinsames Verständnis unserer Ziele zu entwickeln, die uns als Individuen das Treffen von Entscheidungen und Erkennen von Möglichkeiten erleichtert, mit denen wir Mozilla voranbringen.

Mozillas Mission können wir nicht alleine erreichen. Die Tausenden von Mozillianern auf der ganzen Welt müssen dahinter stehen, damit wir zügig und mit lauterer Stimme als je zuvor Unglaubliches erreichen können.

Deswegen ist eine der sechs strategischen Initiativen des Participation Teams für die erste Jahreshälfte, möglichst viele Mozillianer über diese Leitlinien aufzuklären, damit wir 2016 den bisher wesentlichsten Einfluss erzielen können. Wir werden einen weiteren Beitrag veröffentlichen, der sich näher mit der Strategie des Participation Teams für das Jahr 2016 befassen wird.

Das Verstehen dieser Strategie wird unabdingbar sein für jeden, der bei Mozilla in diesem Jahr etwas bewirken möchte, denn sie wird bestimmen, wofür wir eintreten, wo wir unsere Ressourcen einsetzen und auf welche Projekte wir uns 2016 konzentrieren werden.

Zu Jahresbeginn werden wir näher auf diese Strategie eingehen und weitere Details dazu bekanntgeben, wie die diversen Teams und Projekte bei Mozilla auf diese Ziele hinarbeiten.

Der aktuelle Aufruf zum Handeln besteht darin, im Kontext Ihrer Arbeit über diese Ziele nachzudenken und darüber, wie Sie im kommenden Jahr bei Mozilla mitwirken möchten. Dies hilft, Ihre Innovationen, Ambitionen und Ihren Einfluss im Jahr 2016 zu gestalten.

Wir hoffen, dass Sie mitdiskutieren und Ihre Fragen, Kommentare und Pläne für das Vorantreiben der strategischen Leitlinien im Jahr 2016 hier auf Discourse teilen und Ihre Gedanken auf Twitter mit dem Hashtag #Mozilla2016Strategy mitteilen.


Mission, Vision & Strategie

Unsere Mission

Dafür zu sorgen, dass das Internet eine weltweite öffentliche Ressource ist, die allen zugänglich ist.

Unsere Vision

Ein Internet, für das Menschen tatsächlich an erster Stelle stehen. Ein Internet, in dem Menschen ihr eigenes Erlebnis gestalten können. Ein Internet, in dem die Menschen selbst entscheiden können sowie sicher und unabhängig sind.

Unsere Rolle

Mozilla setzt sich im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes in Ihrem Online-Leben für Sie ein. Wir setzen uns für Sie ein, sowohl in Ihrem Online-Erlebnis als auch für Ihre Interessen beim Zustand des Internets.

Unsere Arbeit

Unsere Säulen

  1. Produkte: Wir entwickeln Produkte mit Menschen im Mittelpunkt sowie Bildungsprogramme, mit deren Hilfe Menschen online ihr gesamtes Potential ausschöpfen können.
  2. Technologie: Wir entwickeln robuste technische Lösungen, die das Internet über     verschiedene Plattformen hinweg zum Leben erwecken.
  3. Menschen: Wir entwickeln Führungspersonen und Mitwirkende in der Gemeinschaft, die das Internet erfinden, gestalten und verteidigen.

Wir wir positive Veränderungen in Zukunft anpacken wollen

Die Arbeitsweise ist ebensowichtig wie das Ziel. Unsere Gesundheit und bleibender Einfluss hängen davon ab, wie sehr unsere Produkte und Aktivitäten:

  1. Interoperabilität, Open Source und offene Standards fördern,
  2. Gemeinschaften aufbauen und fördern,
  3. Für politische Veränderungen und rechtlichen Schutz eintreten sowie
  4. Netzbürger bilden und einbeziehen.


Mozilla Participation Team32C3 Report – Chaos Time Zone

Written by Valentin Schmitt.

Entering the CCH (Congress Center Hamburg) between Christmas and new year brings you somewhere else than Hamburg on Central European Time.

Most people you’ll meet will say they are from Internet (or the Internets, if they are funny), and for a few days you’ll live in -what a friend of mine called- Chaos Time Zone: a blurry mix of everyone’s time difference. Days are pretty shorts anyway and you’ll probably spend a lot of time under artificial light, so it won’t help your internal clock keeping on track. The organizers will gently remind you the 6,2,1 rule: 6 hours of sleep, 2 meals and 1 shower per day, that should keep you safe. You’ll probably meet a lot of great people, and will often have a hard time to decide which talk or workshop to go to.
This is the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress. Welcome, and have fun!

32C3 Chaos Communication Congress

32C3 Chaos Communication Congress – Photo: Mario Behling

FxOS is not dead.

I looked for a screen printer, or anything to do myself a t-shirt with the message “Firefox OS is not dead!” on it, but very surprisingly regarding the variety of machines there, I couldn’t find any on site. I really wanted to do that, because most of the people I talked to about
Firefox OS answered me “But isn’t Firefox OS dead?”. I bet it won’t come as a surprise for you, as there was a lot of feedback from the community regarding what some might call “a PR disaster”. It just made it very clear to me that we (still) have to communicate a lot on this topic, and very loudly, because the tech news websites will be less likely to spread the word this time.

Once this detail (*cough*) was clarified, almost everybody I had the chance to talk to showed a lot of interested for the project, the only ones who didn’t were the hardcore Free Software enthusiasts, whom have been disappointed by Mozilla recent policy choices (like the tiles with
advertisement, or the DRM support in Firefox desktop), or the people who care less about software freedom and prefer an iPhone to a free (as in freedom) mobile OS.

Mozilla and Firefox at 32C3 with friends

Mozilla and Firefox at 32C3 with friends – Photo: Mario Behling

“Well, it’s Mozilla.”

Mozilla has a pretty good image in the Free Software community, and the main reason why people never tried a Firefox OS device is only because they never had the chance to do so (not many devices marketed in Europe or the US, not many ports on mainstream phones). Fortunately enough, I had some foxfooding devices to hand out. The foxfooding program had a very positive reception, most people were happy to have the chance to try the OS, participate in sending data to Mozilla, file bugs, some were eager to develop apps, and try port the OS on their favorite phone or device (the RasPi got a bunch of them very excited).

More importantly, they really asked me how to flash a device, where to find the documentation to get started, how to file a bug. The people I handed a device to planned to show it to their colleagues, friends and fellow hacktivists, and were very excited to have phone with a hardware good enough to provide a responsive experience.


“Is there a Signal app or any secure messaging app?”
“Can I use Tor?”
“Can I keep OSM maps in cache?”
“Is there an app for WhatsApp?”
These were the questions I was asked the most. It’s pretty expected that the hackers community is looking for reliable privacy tools, but I was a bit surprised by the last question that still came up several times. 🙂

Mozillians, assemble!

An assembly is the name the Chaos Communication Congress gives to the physical place (typically a bunch of tables with a power outlet) within the CCH where people can gather to hack, share ideas and have self organized-sessions on a particular topic, or around a particular project, there were 277 registered this year.

Assembling Under The Lights

Assembling Under The Lights – Photo: Hong Phuc FOSSASIA

With the Mozilla Assembly, we had several sessions (directly at the Assembly or in dedicated rooms) over these 4 days:

  • Several Nightly Firefox OS workshops, combining more than 50 participants;
  • The Mozilla community meetup that gathered 20 participants;
  • a Thunderbird session with 42 participants;
  • an IoT and Firefox OS workshop, in a dedicated room that was packed with 90 participants;

On average, there were around 15 Mozillians at the Assembly and a continuous flow of people from different community.

Other projects where Mozilla is involved were represented, like Let’s Encrypt, with a talk so successful that the conference room was full, and New Palmyra, for which Mozillians organized a session for 25 participants.

The hackers and makers communities have a real ethical and practical interest in a mobile or embedded OS that’s trustworthy and hackable, we bear similar values and Firefox OS is a great opportunity to strengthen the ties between us.

Guillermo MoviaBeginning of a new year

This was the first year of the Participation team at Mozilla. We used the first 6 months to create and test the team’s strategy. After the Whistler All Hands, we focused on a group of projects with this hypothesis: “An organized community will accomplished more goals and be more impactful”.

In last quarter, our Reps/Regional sub team was working on these projects:

  • The Mozilla Reps Council decided that changes were needed to the program and crafted a proposal that is currently under review and discussion by all Reps. You can review it as well
  • Mid-Term Planification: We worked with 10 communities, to form goals and solid plans for the first six months of 2016. Also these plans will empower communities in budget and swag distribution, and enable council to work on more impactful things. You can follow our current work here.
  • Coaching/Mentoring Mozillians. As I wrote some time ago, we have started to focus on improving communication with our communities. That includes having conversations with all Mozillians, including core contributors. This will be the main topic of this post: what we have made, and how we can go further to improve it.


At the beginning of the project we called it coaching. I had several conversations with coaches inside Mozilla and we end with the following definitions:

  • Teaching: Helping people learn a new skill, or improve existing ones.
  • Mentoring: A personal development relationship in which one person with greater experience on one or more topics, provides regular advice to someone with less experience
  • Coaching: Personal support for setting and achieving goals.

Wikipedia definition for coaching says:

Coaching is training or development in which a person called a coach supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to general goals or overall development

But often coaching is about individual development and agenda, and not focus in the organization where they belong. A coach’s task and responsibility are to benefit not only the coachee, but also the client company and all of society too [1]. In our case, is clear we should open this approach to the organization’s view. The Participation team takes Mozilla’s goals and strategies into the development of our coaching plans. We want to create a virtuous circle of impact for both Mozillians and Mozilla.

In Mozilla’s context we need to emphasize personal leadership development, but with focus on Mozilla’s goals and community development. And at the same time, the Participation team will continue to build on a vision of community leadership and organization that evolves and distributes over time.

At the same time, it doesn’t make sense that this work is made only by Reps/Regional team. We need to create a framework and help mozillians to get the knowledge on how to spread this project to all the communities.

How to scale

Emma Irwin (another member of the Participation team) mentioned  to me in a conversation that she wants to create a peer review system so mozillians can help  other mozillians, like Mozilla does on code. In the code way of life, every time you propose new code or a change in an existing one, a peer needs to review your code. Is it possible to create a similar process for the community way of life?

In a Peer Review system, we need to give honest feedback and challenge the other peer. It will not be useful if we only share positive things with each other – how can we improve without challenging ourselves ?  At the same time, how do we build trust and skillset to give effective peer review between mozillians so nobody feels bad about having critical feedback? If we challenge other community members to improve the quality of their work, how we can be sure they don’t feel that like they are being criticized or  discouraged?

I think this might be interesting to explore in the next few months. How can we build a framework that let us have honest and challenging peer reviews between community members, without having bad feelings or discouraging participation? We will need lots of feedback and people that wish to test the framework. Are you willing to help? What do you think about community peer review? What would it look like? Have you seen examples of non-code peer review in other communities?

Please let me know your ideas and opinions, and helps us create this process.

[1] Blakey, John and Day, Ian. «Challenging coaching. Going beyond traditional coaching to face the FACTS», Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2012

big, big, big thanks to Emma, Konstantina and Rosana for review it and make it available for english readers

Mozilla Participation TeamMozilla’s Strategic Narrative for 2016 and Beyond

All around the world, passionate Mozillians are working to move Mozilla’s mission forward. But if you asked five different Mozillians what the mission is, you might get seven different answers.

At the end of last year, Mozilla’s CEO, Chris Beard presented a clear articulation of Mozilla’s mission, vision, role and how our products will help us get there in the next five years. The goal of this Strategic Narrative is to create for all of Mozilla, a concise, shared understanding of our goals that we can use to be more empowered as individuals to make decisions, and identify opportunities to move Mozilla forward.

In order for Mozilla to achieve it’s mission we cannot work alone. We need all of the thousands of Mozillians around the world aligned behind this, so that we can do incredible things at a pace and with a voice that is louder than ever before.

That is why one of the Participation Team’s six strategic initiatives for the first half of this year is to spread this narrative to as many Mozillians as possible so that in 2016 we can have our largest impact yet. We will also be creating a follow-up post that will do a deep dive specifically on the Participation Team strategy for 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 2.02.07 PMUnderstanding this strategy will be crucial for anyone looking to make an impact at Mozilla this year, as it will determine what we advocate for, how we focus our resources, and which projects we focus on for 2016.

As the year kicks off we will dive more deeply into this strategy and share more details of how the various teams and projects around Mozilla are working to further these goals.

The immediate call to action is to think about this in the context of your work and about how you will contribute to Mozilla next year this helps shape your innovations, your ambitions and your impact for 2016.

We hope you will join the conversation and share your questions, comments, and plans for what you will do to drive the strategic narrative forward in 2016 on discourse here or share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #Mozilla2016Strategy.

Mission, Vision & Strategy

Our Mission

To ensure the Internet is a global public resource open and accessible to all.

Our Vision

An Internet that truly puts people first. An Internet where individuals can shape their own experience. An Internet where people are empowered, safe and independent.

Our Role

Mozilla is a true advocate for you in your online life. We advocate for you both within your online experience & on your behalf for the health of the Internet.

Our Work

Our Pillars

  1. Products: We build people-centered products & educational experiences that help people unlock the full potential of their online life.
  2. Technology: We develop robust technical solutions that bring the Internet to life across multiple platforms.
  3. People: We develop community leaders and contributors who will invent, shape and   defend the Internet.

How we lock-in positive change for the long-term.

The “how” matters just as much as the “what”. Our health and lasting impact depends upon how much our products and activities:

  1. Promote Interoperability, Open Source & Open Standards
  2. Grow & Nurture Communities
  3. Champion Policy & Legal Protections
  4. Educate and activate digital citizens

Mozilla Participation TeamParticipation Lab Notes: Participation Champions

This year, during the 2016 planning process, an exciting opportunity arose to impact goals around participation across the organization. Chris Beard announced “invite participation” as one of the five top-line guiding principles for 2016 and each team was asked to show a clear connection from one of the top-line principles to their team’s goals for the year.

In order to capitalize on this momentum, the Participation Team formed a group called the Participation Champions to help improve the quality and maximize the impact of teams’ “invite participation” initiatives as they were being built.

Invite Participation Top-Line Guidance:    

  • Empowering people and building community to invent, shape and defend the Internet is core to who we are, and critical to the success of our mission.
  • Participation is key to our ability to have impact at scale. It is both an end and a means. We need it in our work and on the Internet more broadly to achieve and sustain positive change.
  • We must design participation into our products, innovation activities, and efforts to promote our cause.

The key asks for initiatives tied to “invite participation” were: 

  1. Ensure that we are designing for participation.
  2. Find and rally allies, leaders and supporters to our cause, and support their work.
  3. Identify and invest in opportunities to pilot radical and modern participation

The Process

As each team began drafting their 2016 plans and identifying initiatives for the first half of the year, the Participation Team formed a group of 21 staff members from across 11 different teams all who work directly and regularly with contributors. This group of Participation Champions met regularly with the purpose of reviewing the 2016 plans with a focus on “invite participation” to help identify opportunities and adjustments to plans that would increase their capacity to empower people and build community around Mozilla’s mission.

Our process was, first, to collectively review each “invite participation” initiative, specifically considering how it could be strengthened and identifying concerns or missed opportunities. After the collective review, each functional and supporting team was delegated to a different Participation Champion who looked deeply at that team’s goals, and made specific suggestions for strengthening participation in that area. These suggestions were based on both the feedback from the collective review and a more in-depth look at the overarching goals.

We decided that each Participation Champion would communicate those suggestions and feedback directly to the team owner and/or the planning point person. At the end of the quarter we came together assess the impact of our approach, to share what we learned and identify suggestions for future reviews.

The Outcome

Based on the final discussion we concluded that while we didn’t have an immediate and dramatic effect on the plans themselves, this exercise helped drive more conversations about participation, and added accountability to many team’s who hadn’t realized that people would be reading or reviewing their “invite participation” plans.

At the end of this process we had three pairs of findings and suggestions that we will attempt to implement and incorporate into the next strategic planning process:

  • Finding: Teams were willing to talk about increasing participation in their work but reluctant to change the label of initiative to “invite participation”.
  • Suggestion: Change the way the drop-down menus are structured in the planning spreadsheets so that it’s easier for teams to choose multiple top-line guidances. Find ways to emphasize the importance of hitting on multiple top-line guidances instead of just one.
  • Finding: Some parts of the process were uncomfortable because team’s weren’t expecting or ready to have a conversation about their initiatives.
  • Suggestion: Re-think the one-on-one conversation approach for the next planning process and have this kind of review surfaced formally at the start of the planning process so teams are more open/expecting it.
  • Finding: It was difficult to convey a crisp incentive for why teams should care about participation or incorporate it into their plans.
  • Suggestions: Model the potential of participation through “bright light” projects and help individual teams identify their needs that could be met by participation. Additionally, work with managers find ways to tie a team’s success in participation to points, deliverables, or other rewards.

We believe that these planning processes are an excellent opportunity to strengthen participation at Mozilla. Therefore in 6 months we’ll be reconvening the Participation Champions, and based on our experience this round, we’ll spend some time thinking about how we can help move participation forward in the next round of planning! If you’re interested in joining please let me know at

NukeadorLessons from Participation, Reps and Regional in 2015

Participation Team

Participation Team photo – I look serious in the pic but I’m smiling inside 😀

2015 has been an AMAZING year, both for me personally and for participation at Mozilla.

We started the year as a new team, the Participation team, trying to figure out ways to make volunteer participation a core value at mozilla and making it more impacful. Luckily for us we were able to get the team aligned and running together with a clear mandate (thanks to George for his leadership) and vision for 2016 and beyond.

Investing in our core volunteers and communities and focusing on a small set of initiatives has been proven very effective and a great way to support Mozilla’s goals and mission. These are some of the stuff I’ve been involved and I feel most proud of:

Regional support for mid-term planning

We invested in ten focus communities to help them figure out ways to grow and be healthier. I’ve been working with German, UK and France communities in this front and I’m super proud of all of them.

  • German community managed to implement a mid-term plan for 2016 and coordinate a core team to mobilize all initiatives. Special thanks to Michael Kohler for coordinating the local mobilizing efforts.
  • UK community made their first steps to consolidate as a community and met for the first time online to start thinking about plans and goals. Tom Farrow was essential for this and helped from the local community side, thanks!
  • France community took also the first steps to be more organized and effective in 2016 and Flore is working with others to make this happen. Merci!

In addition, Guillermo and I drafted the first version of the Community Playbook, a document describing some tips and tricks on how to set up and organize a local mozilla community based on past experiences from different successful communities. Thanks everyone who provided feedback, we are still improving it!

For the rest of the seven focus communities, Guillermo Movia and Rosana Ardila have been doing similar efforts in America and Asia 😀

Coaching core volunteers

Our theory is that investing in core individuals by providing coaching will result in better alignment and impact from volunteers and communities. That’s why we started doing monthly 1:1 meetings with core contributors in focus communities to know more about them and help shape their mozillian path and involvement in the community.

This has been a great challenge from me since it has involved a lot of learning on coaching techniques and research together with Rosana, Guillermo and the special support of George and Emma. Also, this has been a very rewarding experience by seeing how valuable was for people to keep these regular coaching sessions with them.

Also we expanded these coaching sessions to Global Gathering attendees, reaching and talking to all Mozfest, Orlando All Hands and Leadership summit participants. I feel this has helped a lot to provide information and alignment to people before attending these events. I would like to thank Emma for her coordination role here and Guillermo, Rosana, Faye and others that were (and still are) involved as coachers.

Evolution of the Reps program

During 2015 we have been gathering a lot of feedback on how the Reps program could reach to the next level. The first step was done during the Council Meetup in February and thanks to the great work of both Council and Peers we have been able to get to an evolution proposal we’ll be implementing together with mentors and Reps during the next months.

This is an important moment for the program and I’m proud of how we have managed to identify the needs and align them to better support Mozilla in 2016, including working closer, aligned and as part of the Participation team. The main lessons were:

  • Moving away from an event focus.
  • Growing Our Alumni Program.
  • Accountability and Visibility.
  • A Focus on Planning.

I would like to stress the great work volunteer Council members have been doing during 2015, from the Council Meetup, to Whistler and Orlando: Thanks Emma, Arturo, Raj, San James, Ankit, Bob, Luis, Christos, Michael and Shahid.

If you would like more details, Rosana wrote a great summary of all the challenges and lessons of the Reps program during 2015.

Firefox OS Participation support

Another important initiative has been the Firefox OS Participation program that William Quiviger, Brian King and the Firefox OS team have been developing and that is going to be the foundations of the new Connected Devices strategy. I helped them with communications and volunteer mobilization, as well as setting and organizing the Discourse category for the group.

This has been an interesting experience to probe participation can be a strategic advantage for a platform like Firefox OS and its future in the Internet of Things world.

All these things have be just the foundations for 2016, we still have a lot of work ahead and we are supercharged to make Participation even more relevant at Mozilla this year.

Keep it rocking the free web! 😉

Brian KingFirefox OS Participation in 2015


Though a great deal was achieved and accomplished through the Participation Team’s collaboration with Firefox OS, a major realization was that participation can only be as successful as a team’s readiness to incorporate participation into their workflow.

Problem Statement

Firefox OS was not as open a project as many others at Mozilla, and in terms of engineering was not structured well enough to scale participation. Firefox OS was identified as an area where Participation could make a major impact and a small group from the Participation Team was directed to work closely with them to achieve their goals. After the Firefox OS focus shift in 2015 from being partner driven development to user and developer driven, participation was identified as key to success.

The Approach

The Participation Team did an audit of the current state of participation. We interviewed cross-functional team members and did research into current contributions. Without any reliable data, our best guess was that there were less than 200 contributors, with technical contributions being much less than that. Launch teams around the world had contributed in non-technical capacities since 2013, and a new community was growing in Africa around the launch of the Klif device.

Based on a number of contribution areas (coding, ports, foxfooding, …), we created a matrix where we applied different weighted criteria. Criteria such as impact on organizational goals, for example, were given a greater weighting. Our intent was to create a “participation sweet spot” where we could narrow in on the areas of participation that could provide the most value to volunteers and the organization.

Participation CriteriaParticipation Criteria

The result was to focus on five areas for technical contributions to Firefox OS:

  • Foxfooding
  • Porting
  • Gaia Development
  • Add-ons
  • B2GDroid

In parallel, we built out the Firefox OS Participation team, a cross-functional team from engineering, project management, marketing, research and more areas. We had a cadence of weekly meetings, and communicated also on IRC and on an email list. A crucial meeting was a planning meeting in Paris in September, 2015, where we finalized details of the plan to start executing on.

Team MeetingTeam Meeting

The Firefox OS Participation Hub

As planning progressed, it became clear that a focal point for all activities would be the Firefox OS Participation Hub, a website for technical contributors to gather. The purpose was two-fold:

  1. To showcase and track technical contributions to Firefox OS. We would list ways to get involved, in multiple areas, but focusing on the “sweet spot” areas we had identified. The idea was not to duplicate existing content, but to gather it all in one place.
  2. To facilitate foxfooding, a place where users could go to get builds for their device and register their device. The more people using and testing Firefox OS, the better the product could become.
Firefox OS Participation HubFirefox OS Participation Hub

The Hub came to life in early November.


There were a number of challenges that we faced along the way.

  • Participation requires a large cultural shift, and cannot happen overnight. Mozilla is an open and open source organization, but because of market pressures and other factors Firefox OS was not a participatory project.
  • One learning was that we should have embedded the program deeper in the Firefox OS organization earlier, doing more awareness building. This would have mitigated an issue where beyond the core Firefox OS Participation team, it was hard getting the attention of other Firefox OS team members.
  • Timing is always hard to get right, because there will always be individual and team priorities and deliverables not directly related that will take precedence. During the program rollout, we were made acutely aware of this coming up the release of Firefox OS 2.5.

For participation to really take hold and succeed, broader organizational and structural changes are needed. Making participation part of deliverables will go some way to achieving this.


Despite the challenges mentioned above, the Firefox OS Participation team managed to accomplish a great deal in less than six months:

  • we brought all key participation stakeholders on the Firefox OS team together and drafted a unified vision and strategy for participation
  • we launched the Firefox OS Participation Hub, the first of its kind to learn about contribution opportunities and download latest Firefox OS builds
  • we formed a “Porting Working Group” focused on porting Firefox OS to key devices identified, and enabling volunteers to port to more devices
  • we distributed more than 500 foxfooding devices in more than 40 countries
  • the “Mika Project” explored a new to engage with, recognize and retain foxfooders through gamification – The “Save Mika!” challenge will be rolling out 2016Q1

Moving Forward

Indeed, participation will be a major focus for Connected Devices in 2016. Participation can and will have a big impact on helping teams solve problems, do work in areas they need help with and achieve new levels of success. To be sure, before a major participation initiative can be successful, the team needs to be set-up for success 4 major components:

  1. Managerial buy-in. “It’s important to have permission to have participation in your work”. Going one step further, it needs to be part of day-to-day deliverables.
  2. Are there tools open? Do you have a process for bug triaging and mentorship? Is there good and easily discoverable documentation?
  3. Do they have an onboarding system in place for new team members (staff and volunteers)?
  4. Measurement. How can we systematically and reliably measure contributions, over time, to detect trends to act upon to maintain a healthy project? Some measurements are in place, but we need more.

We put Participation on the map for Firefox OS and as announced at Mozlando, the Connected Devices team will be doubling down its efforts to design for participation and work in the open.

We are excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and we can’t wait to provide regular updates on our progress with everyone. So as we enter the new year, please make sure to follow us on Discourse, Twitter, and Facebook for latest news and updates.

2016, here we come!

Michael KohlerGerman-speaking Community mid-term planning

Mozilla’s Participation Team has started to do “mid-term plannings” with a few focus communities back in September. The goal was to identify potential and goals for a six month plan which would then be implemented with the help of all the community. Since Germany is one of the focus markets for Firefox, it’s clear that the German-speaking community was part of that as well

Everything started out at the end of September, when we formed a focus group. Everybody was invited to join the focus group to brainstorm about possible plans we can set in stone to drive Mozilla’s mission forward. I’d like to thank everybody who chimed in with their ideas and thoughts on the German-speaking community and its future in our own Discourse category:

After the community meetup at the beginning of the year we had a lot of momentum which enabled us to get quite a lot done. Unfortunately this momentum has decreased over time, with a low since September (my opinion). Therefore our main areas we picked for our mid-term plans focused on internal improvements we can make, so we can focus on Mozilla top-organizational goals once we have implemented our improvements. This doesn’t mean that the German-speaking community won’t focus on product or mission, but it’s just not where we can commit as a whole community right now.

We have identified four areas we’d like to focus, which I will explain in detail below. Those are documented (in German) on a Wiki page as well to be as transparent as possible. We also asked for feedback through the community list and didn’t get any responses that would say anything against this plan.

Community Structure

In 6 months it’s clear for new and existing contributors who is working in which functional area and who to contact if there are any questions. New contributors know which areas need help and know about good first contributions to do.


  • Understandable documentation of every contribution area the German-speaking community is active in. At least 60% of the areas are documented initially.
  • There are contact persons listed per contribution area with clear means of contact. At least 80% of the initially defined areas have at least one contact person for new contributors. For the three biggest areas there are at least two contact persons.
  • Handling of new contributors is defined clearly for all contribution areas, including responsibilities for individuals and groups. The onboarding process is clearly specified and we get at least two new long-term contributors per area. These new contributors can be onboarded within a few weeks with the help of the contact persons as mentors. Further mentors can be defined without them needed to be “contact persons”.


In 6 months the website is the base for all information about Mozilla, its local community and contribution possibilities. Users of the website get valuable information about the community and find contribution possibilities which can be started without a lot of time investment to get used to the product. The website is the portal to the community.


  • The website clearly states the possibilities to contribute to the German-speaking community (even if this is only a link to a well defined /contribute page)
  • The website lists all current Mozilla product and projects
  • The content defined in February 2015 is re-evaluated and incorporated as needed
  • The website is the main entry point to the community and promoted as such
  • Through the new website we get at least 10% of new contributors which found us trough it

Meetings / Updates

In 6 months discussions among the community members are well distributed. New topics are started by a broad basis and topics are being discussed by a wide range of contributors.


  • There are at least 6 active participants per meeting
  • The meeting is structured for efficiency and brings in a reasonable ratio between discussion and update topics. There are enough enough discussion points so that updates can be treated as “read only” in 60% of the time.
  • The satisfaction of the participants who would like to join is increased by 30%
  • There are at least 10 unique participants in discussions on the mailing list

Social Media

In 6 months the German-speaking community is active on the most important social media channels and represents Mozilla’s mission and the community achievements to the public. Followers learn more about the community and learn about the newest updates and initiatives the community is supporting. Additionally these channels are used to promote urgent call-to-actions.


  • The different channels are clearly separated and the user knows what content needs to be expected.
  • We have at least 1200 followers with @mozilla_deutsch, @MozillaDe and @FirefoxDe (not unique followers)
  • We have at least 750 “likes” on our Facebook page
  • We keep users engaged and updated with at least 8 tweets per month per channel
  • There are at least 3 maintainers for the different accounts


To track the progress we created a GitHub repository in our organization, where everybody can create issues to track a certain task. There are four labels which make it possible to filter for a specific improvement area. Of course, feel free to create your own issues in this GitHub repo as well, even if it might not be 100% tied to the goals, but every contribution counts!

I have put together a share-able summary slides for easy consumption in case you don’t want to forward the link to this blog post.

Even though I’m going to focus my time on the Mozilla Switzerland community, I will still help with and track the progress we’re doing with the mid-term plan implementations.

Feel free to get in touch with any of the focus group members linked above or the community-german mailing list in general for any questions you might have.

Michael KohlerMozCoffee Framework – Wie organisiere ich ein Meetup?


Dieses Dokument soll als kurzes Tutorial dienen, um ein erfolgreiches Meetup zu organisieren. In diesem Dokument werden die wichtisten Punkte erläutert und einige Tipps gegeben, wie das ganze organisiert werden kann. Es besteht kein Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit. Zudem ist allen Mozillians selbst überlassen, wie die Organisation stattfindet.

Was ist das Ziel des Meetups?

Als erstes sollte man sich überlegen, was das Ziel für das Meetup ist. Mögliche Fragen dazu sind:

  • Ist es ein Meetup, um neue Mitwirkende in die Community zu integrieren?
  • Ist es ein Meetup, um sich innerhalb der bestehenden Community besser kennenzulernen und ein regelmässiger Ideenaustausch zu gestalten?
  • Soll dies “generell Mozilla” oder ist es eine Serie von möglichen, verschiedenen Themen?
  • Wem will ich was bieten? Dies kann Mitarbeiter im Büro, Kollegen/Freunde oder auch Fremde sein.

Anhand dieser Fragen, kann die Agenda mit möglichen Themen zusammengestellt werden.

Mögliche Themen / Formate

Für das Meetup gibt es grundlegend zwei mögliche Formate. Entweder kann es sich um eine “Diskussionsrunde” handeln, bei der allgemeine Themen besprochen werden. In den meisten Fällen kann dies als “Zusammenkunft gleicher Interessen” bezeichnet werden. So kann einfach auf Fragen von Teilnehmenden eingegangen werden. Dies ist die einfachere Version, welche weniger Organisationsaufwand benötigt und eignet sich gut für ein erstes Meetup. Hierfür benötigt man auch keine Agenda, höchstens ein paar Themen, die man ansprechen kann.

Das andere Format ist ein Vortrag-basiertes Meetup. Hier spielt es grundsätzlich keine Rolle, welche Themen besprochen werden. Wichtig ist, dass es sich um ein Thema handelt, bei welchem du dich wohl fühlst und gerne Auskunft gibst.

Mögliche Themen für Vorträge (kann von 10 bis 60 Minuten reichen):

  • Mozilla generell (Mission, Struktur, Gemeinschaft)
  • Was sind die möglichen funktionalen Gebiete, bei denen sich man engagieren kann?
  • Produkt-spezifisch, z.B. Firefox, Firefox OS, Webmaker, ..
  • Gebiet-spezifisch, z.B. UX, Design, Coding, Lokalisierung, ..
  • Web Developer spezifische Talks, wie z.B. “Demo Firefox Developer Tools”
  • Netzneutralität, Privatsphäre

Für beide Formate gilt: es macht nichts, wenn du auf eine Frage nicht antworten kannst. Auch “ich weiss, wen ich da fragen kann und ich werde mich bei dir melden” ist eine gute Antwort.

Mögliche Agenda mit Vorträgen

  • 18:30 Eintreffen
  • 18:40 kurze Intro zu “Was ist Mozilla?”
  • 18:45 Vortrag
  • xx:xx Fragerunde
  • danach gemütliches Beisammensein und Diskussionsrunde

Dies ist natürlich nur ein Vorschlag. Wenn es sich herausstellt, dass ein Treffen über den Mittag besser geeignet wäre, kann dies natürlich auch gemacht werden.

Was ist das gewünschte Resultat des Meetups?

Eine wichtige Frage ist, was das Resultat des Meetups sein soll.

  • Generelle Information über Mozilla, Produkte, etc, damit die Leute informiert sind?
  • Gewinnen von neuen Contributorn?
  • Mischung aus beidem?

Um die weitere Planung zu vereinfachen, sollte hier 2-3 Ziele definiert werden. Mögliche Beispiele sind:

  • Am Ende des Meetups wissen 5 weitere Personen für was Mozilla einsteht und wie man helfen könnte
  • Am Ende des Meetups sind 2 Personen interessiert bei Mozilla mitzumachen und wissen, wo sie beginnen können
  • 10 neue Personen werden Firefox zuhause runterladen und ausprobieren
  • 2 Personen erzählen ihren Freunden vom Meetup und laden diese zum nächsten Treffen ein


Anhand des Themas kann die Grösse des Meetups ungefähr abgeschätzt werden. Am Anfang werden die Meetups etwas kleiner ausfallen, da diese noch nicht so bekannt sind. Dies ist aber absolut kein Problem! Auch kleinere Meetups können Spass machen und andere Personen wichtige Informationen über Mozilla vermitteln.

Die Grösse gegen oben ist offen, benötigt aber mehr Organisationsaufwand, je grösser das Meetup wird.

Geeignete Location finden

Anhand der Grösse und Thema kann nun ein geeigneter Ort für das Meetup gesucht werden. Dies sollte zur Sicherheit mind. 2 Wochen vor dem Meetup erledigt werden. So kann sichergestellt werden, dass alle Teilnehmer wissen, wo das Meetup stattfinden wird.

Level 1 (bis zu 8-10 Personen): Kleinere Meetups können ohne Probleme in Restaurants durchgeführt werden. Hierbei ist jedoch zu beachten, dass es sich nicht um ein zu überfülltes Restaurant handeln sollte, damit Gespräche möglich sind. Einander anzuschreien bringt nichts ;) Achtung: Reservierung nicht vergessen, damit auch genügend Platz vorhanden ist. Orte wie Starbucks funktionieren auch wunderbar.

Level 2 (für Vorträge oder ab 10 Personen): Für Vorträge oder bei grösseren Meetups wird zwingend ein eigener Raum benötigt. In den meisten Fällen haben Universitäten abends freie Räume, die man (wenn man lieb fragt), gerne für ein Meetup benützen darf. Als Alternative kann auch der Arbeitgeber gefragt werden, ob ein Sitzungszimmer dafür verwendet werden darf. Falls beides nicht möglich ist, können auch andere Firmen angefragt werden. Webentwickler-nahe Firmen hosten in vielen Fällen gerne Meetups.

Level 3 (längerfristig): wenn absehbar ist, dass es in Zukunft weitere, regelässige Meetups geben wird, ist es sinnvoll, sich nach einer längerfristigen Lösung umzusehen. Falls in “Level 2” eine Möglichkeit gefunden wurde, kann man den Anbieter des Raums fragen, ob man mit einer Frist von n Wochen da jederzeit (sofern verfügbar) den Raum haben dürfte.

Meetup durchführen

Hier gibt es nur etwas zu sagen: habt Spass! Die Durchführung soll kein Zwang sein, sondern euch und den Teilnehmer Spass machen.

Nachfolgende Arbeiten

Um Teilnehmer über neue Meetups zu informieren, ist es nötig, eine Kontaktmöglichkeit zu haben. Dies kann ein Newsletter sein, eine Gruppe oder auch einfach eine eMail-Liste.

Damit potentielle Mitwirkende optimal unterstützt werden können, ist es am Anfang nötig, eine nahe Beziehung mit ihnen zu führen und so gut wie möglich zu unterstützen.


Solange die Meetups regelmässig stattfinden, spielt es keine Rolle, wie oft dies der Fall ist. Dies kann einmal im Quartal sein, oder einmal im Monat. Dies ist abhängig von der Zeit, die man für die Organisation aufwenden kann.

Werkzeuge / Promotion

Gibt es andere Stammtische, Meetups, etc in dieser Stadt?

Gibt es in deiner Stadt andere Stammtische oder Meetups? Das findest du u.a. über raus. Falls es welche gibt, wäre es sinnvoll, einen davon zu besuchen, um zu sehen, wie das da gehandhabt wird. Ist bereits ein Datum für ein Mozilla Meetup bekannt, kann an diesen anderen Meetups auch Werbung dafür gemacht werden.

Gegebenenfalls gibt es auch die Möglichkeit, Vorträge bei anderen Meetups zu halten, um zu sehen, ob in dieser Stadt überhaupt Interesse besteht.

Für regelmässige Meetups kann auf eine Meetup-Gruppe erstellt werden. Weitere Informationen dazu gibt es direkt auf


Twitter / Soziale Medien

Die Promotion kann, sofern für diese Stadt überhaupt sinnvoll, über Twitter und andere soziale Medien gemacht werden. Dabei ist es wichtig, dass man irgendwo eine Seite hat, die man in den Beiträgen verlinken kann. Diese Seite sollte mind. eine Beschreibung, Datum und Ort erwähnen.


Normalerweise sollte es nicht nötig sein, für ein Meetup Budget zu erhalten. Sollte dies aber trotzdem nötig sein, meldest du dich bei Michael Kohler, da dies über Reps läuft.


Sticker sind ein gutes Mittel, um Leuten eine Freude zu bereiten. Wenn diese auf einem Laptop landen und Firefox promoten, umso besser. Falls ihr für ein Meetup Swag benötigt, meldet euch bei Michael Kohler, da dies über Reps läuft.

Greg McVerryAn English Only Web is Not an Open Web. #TeachTheWeb in Your Tongue.

flickr photo shared by jsdilag under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

To help fuel  the next wave of open we must recognize that cultural hegemony threatens the web as much as any content silo or data surveillance programs. When languages are lost cultures are silenced. As part of our  mission of keeping the Web open we must empower  missing voices.

Localised Content

flickr photo shared by are_ruiz under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

We have received feedback on the Participation team’s recent efforts to have leaders share their story of the Mozilla Festival. Many people noted that they did not complete the #mymozfest challenge because they were uncomfortable writing in English.

You should be uncomfortable. We need efforts to diversify the web content and not greater efforts to conform. English is the default setting of the Web. It is up to people like you to ensure that global citizens who share your history and culture can read, write, and participate on the web.

Local content will lead local opportunities to #teachtheweb. Localised web resources will be an economic engine.

As participation leaders we want to increase involvement across all of Mozilla. Know your audience. If you will draw more volunteers in different languages please do so. The Open Web has to have linguistic diversity.

Use Pictures

flickr photo shared by othree under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Some people noted they are excited to try blogging to practice their English skills. Others, as stated avoiding English because of their skill level. My first tip is to think about avoiding words all together. A photo montage, with a caption or two in your language of choice can tell any story.

It is Your Web

flickr photo shared by Sue Hodnett under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

We get the Web we help to build. If you want a Web full of content your grandmothers, cousins, Moms, Dads, and friends can read than help to create content in your first language. Most importantly to help draw in leaders who will ride the next wave of open we need to recognize an English only Web is not an Open Web.



Greg McVerryReflecting on #MyMozFest

I learn so much by volunteering my time as a teacher for Mozilla. This year I attended my first #MozFest.  As a participation leader I want to help my team. We want to get you more involved as a contributor to Mozilla.

flickr photo shared by mozillaeu under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Being a Better Teacher

MozFest is like no other conference you have attended. Its hackability becomes apparent as soon as you walk into Ravensbourne College. We power our sessions with post it notes not Powerpoint.

Products are perceived, prototyped, and pushed in days. That is what struck me most. I watched Matt Thompson, Phillip Smith, and Darren Mothersele push GitDone from just an intro session on project management with Git. More so I participated in the design.

To me that is #Mozfest. We (re)Design future possibilities.

GitDone is a project management tool. I must admit I was a GitHub naysayer when MoFo (Mozilla Foundation) transitioned that way last year. I work with teachers who volunteer for Mozilla. Our time is limited. I want any time educators have to offer to be remixing curriculum not trying to figure out what a repo means.

Yet what I saw were developers recognizing a community need and solving the problem for non-developers like me.

This experience made me a better teacher.

Open Teaching

I was also presenting for the first time at #Mozfest. I and a group of open scholars tried to hack together what it means to play in open spaces as teachers and learners.

It started with a PechaFlickr session. Slidedecks are so much better when you have no idea what will come next. Then we did a live demo on how not to make awful instructional videos.

So we tried to brainstorm what instructional design means from a #Mozfest perspective. This is what we determined would be relevant.

We first started with a discussion of traditional instructional design:


We then examined a bunch of Open classrooms such as #ds106, #walkmyworld, #rhizo15, and #clmooc. That lead us to this:


We took the lessons learned (such as RSS being the backbone of push/pull learning) and then tried to apply a #MozFest lens. This is what we came up with:


Passion. That’s the key difference with Mozilla. We want production based learning that drives people to the web because it is a place of passion.

Participation Team

My goal as a participation leader is to help improve the professional development and leadership training offered by Mozilla. This is a goal of both the Corporation (MoCo) and the Foundation (MoFo).

Step one is helping people tell there #MyMozFest story. We learn and teach best when we do it in the open and our open course safari noted that the most successful online classes empower people to learn on their own space and then they push/pull the participants across many different Web.

Step two (scratch that making this step one) is thanking the amazing people who made MozFest possible for the Participation Team.


Thanks Francisco!

I just met so many amazing people who want to change the world. It will take me quite some time to say thanks to them all.

Want to help?

Whether you were a remote or on the ground attendee tell your story about MozFest and share across the Web using the #mymozfest hashtag.


Michael KohlerMozilla Tech Weekend in Berlin – November 28th & 29th

The Berlin Mozilla Community would like to invite all of you to the Mozilla Tech Weekend on November 28th 2015. There will be tech talks on Saturday and workshops on Sunday.


Saarbrücker Str. 24, Haus C, Berlin

Sign up for free at

Schedule for Saturday 28th November:

  • Servo: Mozilla’s Parallel & Safe Next-Generation Browser Engine
  • Data reporting at Mozilla
  • Firefox OS: Why we exist
  • What’s new in Firefox

After the talks there will be some food and time to get in touch with developers and each other.

On Sunday there will be workshops on similar topics to follow up or get you all set up if you would like to start contributing to Mozilla projects. Sign-up for the workshops will be on-site on Saturday.

The Berlin Mozilla Community

Brian KingFoxfooding Preview

The Participation team, along with a number of stakeholders throughout Mozilla, have been working hard on a program to ignite Firefox OS as a from-the-ground-up project to continue momentum building a first-class mobile platform. In 2015 as we are building out the next phase of Firefox OS, it is a crucial time and we want you to be there to shape the future.

We are really excited to let you know that next week we will be launching a renewed program to support Firefox OS Participation, and we want to give you a sneak peek of what’s coming.

As a way to unify all participation opportunities we will be launching the Firefox OS Participation Hub as a central site where you can discover how to get involved with Firefox OS and install the latest version on your device. The central contribution areas that the hub will be showcasing are Foxfooding (our take on dogfooding), ports to Android and other devices, b2gDroid, Gaia development, and Firefox OS add-ons. The goal is not to displace other sources of information, but to make it more accessible from a central location.

Firefox OS Participation Hub PreviewFirefox OS Participation Hub Preview

If you have a compatible device (they will be listed on the Hub), we want you to be able to experience, test and hack the latest version of Firefox OS (2.5) along with all the new features that are coming. Just by becoming a Foxfooder, you are helping shape the future of Firefox OS, and deeper opportunities will surface –  from filing bugs, to joining discussions, to developing for the platform and on top of it. Community participation is key in this new phase.

In preparation for launch, get your Flame devices ready. If you don’t have one, there will be a limited number of new Foxfooding devices that you can apply for if you commit to being a regular user. We’ll also be showcasing exciting ports for some existing Android devices on the market. We have opened a new discourse category that will be the central place for discussions about this program, if you are interested we recommend you to log in with your Mozillian account and select “Watching” from the top right blue bubble so you can get email notifications about everything that is happening there.

This truly has been a team effort. We pulled in members from engineering, developer relations, engagement, legal, research, metrics, and other teams who are fully invested in the open evolution of Firefox OS. Join us and you can play an important role in it’s success.

Join the discussion.

Francisco Picolini[Participation] Events ongoing


The last 2 weeks has been intense, for saying in a way. Since I promised myself to write every 2 weeks, here’s the “report” from what I’ve been doing on these days:

  • Global Gatherings:
    • Mozfest is almost just around the corner. Next week around 38 volunteers from different communities will be attending the event sponsored by the Participation team. This means that logistics and coordination are a key part of this. We were working on solve some issues with hotels, visas, and travels. Hopefully we don’t have to solve any last minute issue.
    • Orlando (or Mozlando) is also underway. We have more time to prepare this, but nowadays, I can say that we are in the last steps of the preparation for volunteers. Visa letters and hotel confirmation has been sent. If you don’t receive this, please get in contact with me. More information will be soon communicated to the volunteers that will be attending.
    • Leadership Summit is the last but not the less important. We are finalising the logistics details, we have the hotel, and we are securing the venue. Hopefully we will communicate all this next week. In any case, we are still working on how we will proceed with the second round for the selection process, since we still have some seats available. If you want to know about the options, please take a look in the Discourse topic.
  • OSCON Europe: I’ve participated in this event that was held in Amsterdam from October 26th to 28th. While has a great name in US, the European edition was smaller. We had a Mozilla booth in the non-profit area, and we connect with several people. Demoed the Firefox OS devices, and talk with other projects. We surely see some familiar faces in FOSDEM.
  • FOSDEM: We just open the call for papers for the Mozilla DevRoom. We are starting to evaluate our presence for next edition, and we are waiting for the organisers that will be publishing the Code of Conduct of the event, which we think is necessary to make the event even more open and inclusive. Probably next week we will be publishing the call for volunteers. The criteria will be similar to previous year, but with some additions.
  • Codemotion Madrid: We are planning the Mozilla presence in this event, that will be take place at the end of next month, so the idea is to test a new approach for events where we have a booth, and we are trying to promote the community.

Aside this, more stuff will come, so hopefully I will be able to comment and write it here… which is becoming like a journal actually.

Feel free to reach me in the comments for this topic, or on my twitter, email, or other communications channel.

NukeadorParticipation, next steps

Participation Team, by Nikos Roussos (cc-by-sa)

Participation Team, by Nikos Roussos (cc-by-sa)

Following up from my previous post, I’m happy to say that during the last quarter we did (and accomplished) an amazing job as Participation team in Mozilla. We were working as a team with a clear long-run mandate for the first time, and I think that was the key to have everyone motivated.

This quarter I’ll be focusing on similar topics, some are follow-ups from previous quarter while others are new and challenging:

  • Continue with volunteer coaching. Keep having 1:1s with key volunteers in different communities and helping them to draw their path as contributors, bringing and getting value from their work.
  • Support German community to move forward with their plans and integrate new efforts we are driving on the ground around November campaign with the existing volunteers.
  • Keep working on Mozilla Reps program and facilitate changes to adapt the program to the current environment as well as design opportunities to contribute with impactful activities.
  • Experiment around tools and processes to improve how communities work and visualize their activities.

This is an exciting moment for participation at Mozilla and I’m sure this will mark a key advantage for the organization in 2016 that will allow Mozilla reach new frontiers.

Other team members posts:

Guillermo MoviaA framework to coach and mentor mozillians

What we are trying to do

Reps/Regional team at Participation Team has this bottom line:

Grow the capacity of Mozilla’s communities to engage volunteers and have impact

In this last quarter we focused in some projects, one of those was to explore if our community need a coaching/mentoring system, and how our team could lead implementation and design of that plan. Like any other of our project, you can find an issue on Github to follow up our advances (this is the last Heartbeat issue).

Our hypothesis is that communities will work better with planification and goals. To build that, community members need help to develop their skills, and to find places where learn what they need.

What we did

We began our exploration reading «The Tao of coaching» and sharing learnings within the team. Then we talked with people that are already coaching and working in Mozilla, to search for opportunities and identify problems that could arise. Later we create a first guide and interviewed the first iteration of participants (almost 40 mozillians).

At that time, the Participation team began the process of inviting people to the Global Gatherings, and we established a series of conversations with mozillians that applied to participate. In this process we expanded the number of conversations.

That was the time to wrap up and analyze our learnings and define what we want to do for the next Quarter.

Plan for the next quarter

Our plan is to expand and systematize our work to reach more mozillians. We differentiate three groups of mozillians: core contributors, active members and new emerging leaders. This graphic shows how many people will be contacted in each group and frequency of contacts:


The work with them will be a mix between these functions:

Name Function description
Coaching Accelerate learning
Coordination Ensure optimal communication
Leadership Create a share vision
Advising Technical problem solving

To the future and beyond

At the end of Q4 2015, we will get feedback from the process, adapt our framework and plan the next iteration. We are thinking about creating a community of practice about Coaching/Mentoring, so our team, but also anyone interested or passionate about coaching, is able to share knowledge and learnings.Ideally, that will be a good place to have community participation. We can’t reach all Mozillians if we don’t bring more people to this learning and coaching system.

I imagine we will need to teach and learn together with the community members these skills, so ,in the future, they are able to replicate the project in their own communities. The other option is trying to work in a «peer coaching/mentoring» system, where meetings can be held with more than just one person.

What do you think about this project? How do you think we could scale it to more people? Which is the best way to share learnings and knowledge in Mozilla?

Francisco Picolini[Participation] What I’ve been doing

Participation team working at whistler

I will start this post saying that it was my intention to write more regularly than this… in the end, work, lack of time and several other reasons (who says procrastination?), made that idea kinda impossible. So here I am, trying to justify why I’m back to the writing.

Back in February I’ve made my transition to the Participation Team, and the way that I used to work had changed a little. While we always work on the open (we are Mozilla), we don’t have always the chance to show what we do in our day to day basis. That’s why our team decided to work based on Heartbeats, which are basically Github issues with goals or objectives to be achieved in 3 weeks. Every 3 weeks we review the current issues and explain what we did, and if we succeed. Those issues can be seeing by anyone, and it’s easy to see the steps we followed.

A couple of Heartbeats ago, we decided to review the way we select/nominate/invite mozillians to Mozilla events, and we define 3 big events from November to January to improve the impact that our contributor/volunteers participate. The Global Gatherings are a new way of community involvement in events like the All Hands, and we expect to see some results in short and medium term.

So over the last 2 weeks, I was helping to coordinate, assist and organise volunteers presence for Mozfest (in November) and All Hands (in December). The whole process is not easy, and involves a lot of time. Also, I’ve started the process to coordinate the logistics for the Leadership Summit (in January).

And to add more stuff to do, I was busy with other stuff like secure our presence in OSCON Europe (to be held in Amsterdam at the end of October), and started to confirm our presence in FOSDEM next year.

But obviously I’m not alone in all this, the community is key part of the presence for those events, and the team is working very hard in finalise the content, objectives and all the things you can imagine to have a great event. The Global Gatherings are a big challenge for our team, and we want to show that we can improve and boost our community. I will keep posting the progress in the following weeks, so hopefully I will have a reason to post more often here.

George RoterParticipation Team: Getting organized and focused

The Participation Team was created back in January of this year with an ambitious mandate to simultaneously a) get more impact, for Mozilla’s mission and its volunteers, from core contributor participation methods we’re using today, and b) to find and develop new ways that participation can work at Mozilla.

This mandate stands on the shoulders of people and teams who lead this work around Mozilla in the past, including the Community Building Team. As a contrast with these past approaches, our team concentrates staff from around Mozilla, has a dedicated budget, and has the strong support of leadership, reporting to Mitchell Baker (the Executive Chair) and Mark Surman (CEO of the foundation).

For the first half of the year, our approach was to work with and learn from many different teams throughout Mozilla. From Dhaka to Dakar — and everywhere in between — we supported teams and volunteers around the world to increase their effectiveness. From MarketPulse to the Webmaker App launches we worked with different teams within Mozilla to test new approaches to building participation, including testing out what community education could look like. Over this time we talked with/interviewed over 150 staff around Mozilla, generated 40+ tangible participation ideas we’d want to test, and provided “design for participation” consulting sessions with 20+ teams during the Whistler all-hands.

Toward the end of July, we took stock of where we were. We established a set of themes for the rest of 2015 (and maybe beyond), are focused especially on enabling Mozilla’s Core Contributors, and I put in place a new team structure.


  • Focus  – We will partner with a small number of functional teams and work disproportionately with a small number of communities. We will commit to these teams and communities for longer and go deeper.
  • Learning – We’re continuing the work of the Participation Lab, having both focused experiments and paying attention to the new approaches to participation being tested by staff and volunteer Mozillians all around the organization. The emphasis will be on synthesizing lessons about high impact participation, and helping those lessons be applied throughout Mozilla.
  • Open and Effective – We’re investing in improving how we work as a team and our individual skills. A big part of this is building on the agile “heartbeat” method innovated by the foundation, powered by GitHub. Another part of this is solidifying our participation technology group and starting to play a role of aligning similar participation technologies around Mozilla.

You can see these themes reflected in our Q3 Objectives and Key Results.

Team structure:

The Participation Team is focused on activating, growing and increasing the effectiveness of our community of core contributors. Our modified team structure has 5 areas/groups, each with a Lead and a bottom-line accountability. You’ll note that all of these team members are staff — our aim in the coming months is to integrate core contributors into this structure, including existing leadership structures like the ReMo Council.

Participation Partners Global-Local Organizing Developing Leaders Participation Technology Performance and Learning

William Quiviger

Brian King


Rosana Ardila

Ruben Martin

Guillermo Movia

Konstantina Papadea

Francisco Picolini


George Roter (acting)

Emma Irwin


Pierros Papadeas

Nemo Giannelos

Tasos Katsoulas

Nikos Roussos


Lucy Harris

Bottom Line:

Catalyze participation with product and functional teams to deliver and sustain impact

Bottom Line:

Grow the capacity of Mozilla’s communities to engage volunteers and have impact
(includes Reps and Regional Communities)

Bottom Line:

Grow the capacity of Mozilla’s volunteer leaders and volunteers to have impact

Bottom Line:

Enable large scale, high impact participation at Mozilla through technology

Bottom Line:

Develop a high performing team, and drive learning and synthesize best practice through the Participation Lab

We have also established a Leadership and Strategy group accountable for:

  • Making decisions on team objectives, priorities and resourcing
  • Nurturing a culture of high performance through standard setting and role modelling

This is made up of Rosana Ardila, Lucy Harris, Brian King, Pierros Papadeas, William Quiviger and myself.


As always, I’m excited to hear your feedback on any of this — it is most certainly a work in progress. We also need your help:

  • If you’re a staff/functional team or volunteer team trying something new with participation, please get in touch!
  • If you’re a core contributor/volunteer, take a look at these volunteer tasks.
  • If you have ideas on what the team’s priorities should be over the coming quarter(s), please send me an email — .

As always, feel free to reach out to any member of the team; find us on IRC at #participation; follow along with what we’re doing on the Blog and by following [@MozParticipate on Twitter](; have a conversation on Discourse; or follow/jump into any issues on GitHub.

Emma IrwinMy Volunteer Opportunities this Heartbeat

I am returning from a couple of weeks away: rested and super-energized about what’s coming next for the Participation Team and community leadership.

Based on research in the last two heartbeats we have now have an v.1 of Participation Leadership Framework, and we’re fired up and ready to go for the next three weeks developing and testing curriculum in line with that framework.

Volunteer sub-tasks volunteer for my heartbeat are: Curriculum QA  and ‘Workshop Co-pilot’. The first is really just about staying connected to the work, and providing feedback and suggestions through review.  The second is more of a role for this heartbeat, for someone interested in improving as a facilitator by co-piloting a couple of online workshops with me, and then running an offline version with local contributors in their region.  Please reach out in the task comments if you are excited about doing something like this!  As with previous volunteer tasks, there are more details in the issue.

Note: we also have ongoing development work on a fork of  in an effort to test the import and display external markdown files as content.  Thanks to @asdofindia for his great work and recent Pull Request to help this along.

For more on contributing with the Participation Team and the Heartbeat process check out our


That’s it!  Except as a final thing I thought I would share all the books that were recommended to me when I asked for suggestions for my time away. I highly recommend time away with books.

  • Mémoires d’Hadrien
  • Baron of the Trees
  • Confederacy of Dunces (Reading next)
  • The Circle
  • The Martian  (reading)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacaks
  • The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
  • All the Light We Cannot See (recommend for sure)
  • And the Mountains Echoed (recommend)
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry







George RoterWhy Mozilla (for me)?

It’s official. I’m here at Mozilla for the indefinite future with a title of Head of Core Contributors, Participation. Basically, I’m responsible for enabling a team of volunteers and staff to grow the size and impact of our community of most-committed volunteer Mozillians.

As I considered this role, I asked myself: Why Mozilla? Of all of the places in the world that I can apply my energy and talents, why here? I wanted to share my answer (as of today):

The past 150 years has brought the greatest advances in freedom and opportunity in human history.

It has also brought (a) existential, complex global and local challenges, and (b) a centralizing of power. Centralized power cannot solve, and is often the cause of, these existential challenges.

The web is the single greatest (and maybe only) chance humanity has to address these challenges, because it can decentralize power and unleash the human ingenuity of millions of people.

But the web itself is being centralized and made less open. From locked-down content, to ring-fenced platforms, to the advertising/ economics of the web, to technology stacks. The largest and most powerful organizations and governments in the world are eroding the openness of the web.

Mozilla is probably the world’s best chance to reverse this trend. We are the only organization in the world that is championing a vision of openness on the web, has the scale to achieve it, and as a mission-driven, not-for-profit doesn’t have its purpose corrupted by shareholders and profit motives.

At the same time, this is such a wildly ambitious organizational vision that only a movement of talented people working together — volunteer Mozillians and our allies — has a chance to see this vision become a reality.

What’s truly energizing about my role is that the Mozilla brand, user-base, financial resources and mythology is a platform to build a participation function that can scale to directly enabling millions to take actions aligned with their own passions and beliefs. This can be at the leading edge of what anyone has done before in organizing people globally and locally. And when we are successful, the web will be the platform we need to address humanity’s most pressing challenges.

Finally, to quote a great Canadian Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message”. The pattern of working that Mozilla is pioneering is transformative (or will be with the organizational changes that have been articulated in the vision of radical participation) — open, self-organizing and adaptive, creativity from the edges, distributed leadership and voice, each and every Mozillian accountable to each other and for the whole.

At a meta level, these are key to the broader global social justice changes I believe in. This pattern, and its impact on the millions of deep relationships we can build through participation, may be another of Mozilla’s enduring legacy and impact.

NukeadorBringing better support to regional communities

During this third quarter, one of the main goals for the Participation team at Mozilla is to better support Reps and Regional communities.

We want to focus our efforts this quarter in 10 countries to be more efficient with the resources we have and be able to:

  • Tailor country profiles and a community health dashboard.
  • Develop a mid-term plan with at least three communities.
  • Systematize a coaching framework with volunteers.

As part of the Reps/Regional group I’m currently involved in these efforts, focusing in three European countries: Germany, France and UK.

During the past and following weeks I’ll be meeting volunteers from these communities to know more about them and to figure out where to get some information that would help to develop the country profiles and the community dashboard, an important initiative to have a clear overview about our community status.

Also, I’m working with the awesome German community to meet and work together in a plan to align and improve the community in the next 6 months.

On top of all the previous things, we are starting a set of 1:1 meetings with key volunteers inside these communities to bring coaching and support in a more personal way, understanding everyone’s views and learning the best ways to help people’s skills and motivation.

Finally, I’m working to improve the Reps/Regional team accountability and work-flow productivity exploring better ways to manage our work as a team and working with the Reps Council to put together a Rep program profile doc to understand better the current status and what should be changed/improved.

You can know more about the Participation team Q3 goals and key results, as well as individual team members goals, in this public document and follow our daily work in our github page.

Emma IrwinFoundations of Mozilla – My Heartbeat Update & Volunteer Opportunities

Saying I’m excited about the Participation Team’s goals for the remainder of the year would be an understatement.  And I’m especially excited about the emphasis on community leaders and the development of leadership curriculum that I’m working on. I thought I would write a quick post to provide insight into the work I’m starting this heartbeat, as well as some cool opportunities to get involved.

Goal: Launch the basics of a refreshed leadership program.

Participation at Mozilla has always been an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’, and ‘learning to lead’ is no exception .  Being a part of Mozilla Reps program for a number of years now, it’s been incredible to see the transformation of  people who arrive with ideas, and through the program’s empowerment, transform into leaders.  These are people who’ve had (and continue to have) real impact, not only on Mozilla’s mission, but on their own personal goals for success. That last part is important to the theory I’m working with:  when the personal development goals of a volunteer align with outcomes needed by Mozilla , there is a greater likelihood for sustainable impact; a base for scalable momentum.

So, when do we start being more deliberate about leadership development at Mozilla?  Right now ! Our Heartbeat started this week, and you can follow the leadership tag for Github issues in coming months.  I’m starting on the research phase for a Foundation of Mozilla curriculum will be the first step to connecting motivated, creative and goal-oriented individuals with events that can shape the future for Mozilla.  As part of this, we’ll also be developing a standard for community education curriculum, which includes a centralized way to both find, and plug-in community education opportunities.


Both links (in the previous paragraph) point to Github tasks that can help you follow our progress, find planning documents and get involved.  You’ll see that the curriculum task also links to ‘volunteer’ sub-tasks,should you want to get more involved in  researching, developing curriculum standards, or bringing the Community Education Portal to Mozilla Design standards.  I’m also looking for nominations of  people who you think would be valuable to consult during this research phase – on which skills, attitude and knowledge should be built into this curriculum. You can nominate people here.



‘Arrow’ credit: Daniel Kulinski / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


Lyre CalliopeMozillaWiki team update, call for new leadership

From July 14-20th, I was in Mexico City for Wikimania 2015 with the MozillaWiki team. I’d been disengaged for a number of months and was excited to re-engage that week to help figure out our long-term plan.

Mozilla-wiki-logo-revThe work done by the MozillaWiki Team this past year and a half has been a labor of love, but like so many things at Mozilla, love alone unfortunately isn’t enough to sustain forward momentum. The MozillaWiki is currently at a crossroads, and we want to ensure it has a chance at a strong future. Before I get into the details of what’s next, I’d like to share some recent history.

For a number of years, the MozillaWiki lacked stewardship. It fell into disrepair. Spam was rampant, the deployed version of MediaWiki was rapidly approaching end-of-life, integrations were beginning to break, and wiki gardening best practices around metadata and namespacing were non-existent. And yet it remained one of the most accessible comprehensive records of work at every level of Mozilla and a significant entry point for contributor participation.

While the former Community Building Team seems to have been swept under the historical rug as a failed effort, it did have a number of successes. The MozillaWiki is one of them. As the lead of CBT’s Education Working Group, Christie Koehler recognized that the MozillaWiki was a critical piece of participation infrastructure needing some serious TLC. In the past year and a half, she built a team of Mozilla staff and volunteers, established a product roadmap emphasizing collaboration and participation features, and brought the MozillaWiki into modern times.

Last year in August, the MozillaWiki team had a work week in London that coincided with Wikimania 2014. In attendance was Jennie Halperin, Joelle F, Gordon P. Hemsley, C Liang, Christie Koehler, and myself. We created and deployed a new sidebar nav and main page, planned and tested the upgrade from Mediawiki 1.19 to 1.23 (without any downtime!), and planned our roadmap through the beginning of 2015. This week was a major milestone because we were finally able to get past a lot of technical debt enabling us to concentrate on adding new features.

In the year since, the MozillaWiki team has: streamlined the deployment process, closed all open security bugs, audited and adjusted user group rights to improve security and usability, deployed widget capabilities which enable Google Doc embeds, added flowchart and diagram creation capabilities via the GraphViz extension, and added the ability to create pages from Etherpads.

In November 2014, Christie wrote a blog post celebrating the 10th year anniversary of MozillaWiki with screenshots showing its evolution.

At the outset of 2015, the following executive summary slide deck was created outlining MozillaWiki’s usage statistics across the org as well as the MozillaWiki Team’s accomplishments and long-term goals.

Fast forward to this year’s Wikimania. MozillaWiki team members in attendance were Christie Koehler, Gordon Hemsley, Jason Crowe, Janet Swisher, and myself.

Recently, life changes have made continued progress difficult. Gordon Hemsley and I, both module peers for the Mozilla wiki, have been disengaged for a number of months as he found demanding work and I’ve been focused on personal development projects. Christie Koehler, module owner for MozillaWiki, joined the MDN team and has new staff responsibilities that don’t include stewardship of MozillaWiki. Other team members have had similar developments. We find ourselves facing the fact that there is no one able to commit to actively push things forward, nor passively maintain responsiveness.

Given the lack of resources and firm commitment on the part of staff and volunteers, the MozillaWiki team has decided it makes more sense to dissolve its current form and prepare for future stewards to take ownership of the MozillaWiki.

For our last hurrah in Mexico City, we launched a mobile interface for MozillaWiki! We also began taking steps to freeze active development, maintenance, and administration of the wiki. We are preparing a transition document so the next team of people, whoever they might be, can build upon the foundation we’ve established without having to start from scratch like we did.

We also visited the Teotihuacan pyramids outside of Mexico City.


I hope this development can help fuel discussion on the role of critical participation infrastructure (such as MozillaWiki, Mozillians, the Heartbeat dashboard, the Reps portal, etc) in Mozilla’s future and the critical need for it to be resourced and aligned/integrated with other Mozilla infrastructure.

There is so much opportunity for continued work on the MozillaWiki that would make it a better tool for participation and cross-team collaboration at Mozilla. Things like a mobile interface, real-time collaborative editing, and tighter integration with other Mozilla infrastructure are realistic opportunities for a small technical team. Additionally, there’s also plenty of work left undone that aligns with emerging Mozilla Participation and Learning strategies in the areas of leadership development, curricula+workshop dev, and building collaborative bridges between volunteers and staff.

This wiki page has a section, ‘How is the Wiki a critical resource to the Mozilla Project?‘ which succinctly explains what motivated my participation on the Wiki Team. My personal story with Mozilla started with years of lurking on MozillaWiki, and I know others feel as strongly about it as I. It holds so much of our history, and this is an active living history with a great many people relying upon it as their primary resource for understanding Mozilla, where it’s going, and how to get involved.

There are outstanding questions regarding who will do daily maintenance including handling account requests and content related tasks, as well as long-term upkeep so MozillaWiki doesn’t again fall into disrepair. If you’re interested in helping to steward the wiki, check out our in progress transition document and get in touch.

NukeadorBringing participation back to Mozilla

A few weeks ago, the first coincidental Mozilla Work Week of 2015 took place in Whistler (BC, Canada) and as part of the Participation Team I was working to show the rest of the organization why participation is important and brings a key strategic advantage to Mozilla.


Not only we were working on the team priorities for next months but also we worked together with most Mozilla functional teams to help them solve problems around participation. Check out the team blog post about all the activities we accomplished.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not that Mozilla wasn’t doing participation, but we didn’t have the resources to make it a first class citizen in all functional area activities. And there, is where the new Participation team chimes in to bring this support to the whole organization.


For me Whistler was the start of something important, we sit together with a lot of people and we connected different people with similar needs that never met before, we bridged paid staff and volunteers to work better.

What now?

In the following months we’ll continue working to improve participation at Mozilla: Regional, functional and leadership are the main pillars.

Do you want to know why participation will help your team or do you want to get to the next level? Reach out to us or check out our on-going projects  😉


Lyre Calliopea new participation infrastructure project: Gossamer

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been a volunteer contributor at Mozilla for a number of years now.. and during this time, I haven’t even begun to do the work that motivated me to join to Mozilla in the first place. I’ve made all sorts of excuses like needing to cultivate new skills, or thinking that Mozilla’s organizational culture needs to change somehow.. and then I can finally do the real work I’m here to do.

Well, I’ve been working to level up my skills and in the past year Mozilla has shown strong signs of becoming the organization I’ve been dreaming it could be! All the excuses I give myself are disappearing, and yet I still don’t feel ready to participate where I think I can make the biggest difference.

Maybe I’ve been looking a this all wrong. Maybe what’s missing isn’t something intrinsic to Mozilla as a whole, nor something within myself. Maybe what’s missing is a process, a clear contribution pathway for me to participate in the work I’d like to do within Mozilla.

The work I’ve long felt driven to participate in is facilitating the design of new architectures for personal data ownership and sovereignty. I want to help find answers to questions around what the web looks and feels like when your user agent is no longer a browser running on top of an operating system, but a networked ecosystem of devices, data services, physical objects, and contextual identities all tied together securely by open infrastructure you can choose to delegate to companies like Google and Microsoft, or completely host under your bed without loss of functionality or experience.

Like so many of the technical challenges facing Mozilla right now, working towards such a vision requires figuring out whether the chicken or the egg comes first. In Firefox, this often translates to Platform or UX. I see a path towards the web I want that begins with UX, but Mozilla doesn’t really have a viable contribution pathway for volunteers (especially non-coding volunteers) to participate in proposing ambitious new browser features.. especially features tied to a longer-term vision. Rapid prototyping is difficult because not only would I have to recruit a developer, but technical overhead is also a barrier (the dev environment, learning how to create browser extensions which often means learning some XUL, etc) for whomever I recruit. And don’t forget the step of sharing an experiment with Mozilla UX to vet the idea and make the case for getting it into Mozilla’s bloodstream.

Provided a volunteer-driven project could get to that point, would the UX team even have the bandwidth to engage volunteers let alone vet and possibly champion their ideas? For my own efforts, I’m confident I could make this happen. I could totally recruit a team, build some prototypes together, and essentially create my own process for pipelining new experimental features into Firefox. But something about this pathway just doesn’t sit right with me. Other people should be able to participate through such a pipeline, but the process I could surgically create for myself definitely wouldn’t scale. Is there a more Mozilla way to do this that paves a viable path for others to follow?

There are many parts of Mozilla that face challenges like this where by increasing volunteer participation, staff would be stuck with the crippling administrative burden of processes meant to drive innovation. What’s needed is trailblazing participation infrastructure that empowers volunteers to largely self-administer their participation while at the same time transforming how Mozilla staff gets work done day to day. An integration of new processes and tooling that unlocks creative possibilities for volunteers and staff alike.

At the recent Mozilla Whistler Work Week, Mark Surman surreally illustrated the need for new tools by first coming on stage with an axe, and then later bringing a chainsaw on the stage. (Or at least, that’s what I think happened.. I was following #mozwww on Twitter and it basically looked like pure insanity. Never change, Mozilla.) To use Surman’s metaphor, the surgical process I described above is an axe I could build to personally accomplish my mission at Mozilla. (And no one should ever do surgery with an axe.)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been collaborating with Jonathan Wilde to build an experimental chainsaw!

Since the #Mozlandia work week last December, Jonathan and I have been talking about how the browser.html project could be used for more than just platform level research, but to bootstrap participation infrastructure that enables research and development in browser UX. A little over a month ago we began work on just that, and refer to it using the codename ‘Gossamer’. You can read more about the technical inspirations and details behind Gossamer on Jonathan’s blog.

We’re not quite ready to share a demo just yet, but we have enough momentum that we want to begin working in the open. We’re also trying to work via Heartbeat-style sprints pioneered by MoFo and recently adopted by the Participation Team.

We’d love your feedback as we work towards our first few rounds of demos! Join us on the channel #gossamer, file some github issues located in the gossamer repo, and tweet at us via @CaptainCalliope and @hellojwilde!

Emma IrwinHeartbeat #3 (my) Participation Opportunities

As you may or may not yet be aware, the Participation Team at Mozilla is working more openly using the Heartbeat process.  This week we start Heartbeat #3 , and in the next two days you’ll see this page fill with the issues the team will be working on for next three weeks.  You can see our previous issues and see how those went by viewing this page.

I thought I would surface a couple of things, I’m working on this heartbeat and would LOVE help with – should you want to get involved as a contributor in any way.  I always offer lots of feedback, training (where it helps) and #mozlove with every chance I get.  I also outlined what you might learn as part of contributing.

For my ‘base task‘  this Heartbeat:

1) Education Portal Theming

Our platform needs some love from someone interested in bringing this site inline with Mozilla design standards.  It’s close but – not close enough.  Built on Jekyll (Github Pages, LiquidBootstrap )  – ideally we need something like Makerstrap.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  SASS, Jekyll, Twitter Bootstrap, SASS

2) Mozilla Domain Transfer

Right now the Education platform is under my repository account.  Deb has kindly given me some instructions on how to transfer, but need someone to book time with me to walk through it and make it so.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  Github repository management

3) Figure out a way to add ‘chapters’ to training videos

I need a way to add chapters to a couple of our longer traiing videos.  Research to help identify the best way (not Popcorn Maker which is being depreciated) would be super-helpful.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :   Media / Teaching Technologies

For my Marketpulse task this Heartbeat:

1) Targeted Outreach

We have a  community growing around Market Research contribution (Marketpulse) thanks to the clarity of our steps in the participation ladder. We still need a lot more people completing steps #1 and #2 in areas where Firefox OS phone is sold.

2) For a creative challenge I need help identifying non-traditional ways to reach out to people already skilled in Market Research.  Basically outside the Mozilla community where do we go for this skill-set? I need not only ideas but someone interested in testing those ideas.  If we could have even 1 new and skilled Market Researcher join as a volunteer I would do a happy dance and share that on Social Media.

You’ll learn (or get better at) : Strategy, Communication, Community Building, Writing

For my Community Onboarding Task

Community members will soon be part of the onboarding process for new staff and interns (yay!), as part of that we’ll need a scheduling tool.  Onboarding is every Monday, and we need to ensure that all slots are covered. So!

1) Tool Research

I need help figuring out a way to create an open and accessible scheduling tool for sign-up.  Is there a good (free and open) tool for this?  Maybe its just a calendar, but I need help researching, evaluating and selecting.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  Community Management, Scheduling


So these are the things that would really be helpful if you’re looking to get involved with the Participation Team this Heartbeat – or at least my small place on it.  Please email me at eirwin at mozilla, OR leave a comment OR tweet at me. if you’re interested.  Thanks!

I would also be curious if this is helpful to those looking to get involved (above the Github issues). If not what else would work?


Image Credit David Blaine


Francisco PicoliniMozBalkans 2015, keep on rocking!

Mozbalkans communities

Last weekend (22nd to 24th), I had the pleasure to attend the Balkans Meetup in Bucharest. Another community meetup, where communities from the region get together to work on their issues, try to solve them, and align with Mozilla goals for the year.

Coordinated and arranged by Ioana Chiorean and Konstantina Papadea (I only help on little stuff, so all the credits belongs to those two ladies), the two day event was perfect to show what the communities are doing, and sync with the functional teams invited (L10n, SUMO, Participation and QA). Since I was some kind of outsider it was nice to realize that there are many similarities with the way that other communities work, and the issues that we face in our day to day basis.

The local communities represented were (like in the wiki):

  • Albania: Kristi Progri, Redon Skikuli
  • Bulgary: Pavel Ivanov, Miroslav Yovchev
  • Croatia: Nikola Henezi, Ana-Maria Antolović
  • Greece: Alfredos-Panagiotis Damkalis, Giannis Konstantinidis, Christos Bacharakis, Konstantina Papadea
  • Macedonia: Novica Nakov, Goce Mitevski
  • Romania: Florin Bogdan Strugariu, Cristian Silaghi, Marcela Oniga, Alexandra Lucinet, Stefania Ioana Chiorean
  • Serbia: Aleksandra Uzelac, Marko Andrejić, Vanja Tumbas
  • Slovenia: Gašper Deržanič, Nino Vranešič, Goran Kohek

On the first day we had presentations from the teams (recordings will be uploaded soon to AirMozilla), I have the opportunity to show what are the Mozilla goals for 2015, and try to motivate the contributors to continue collaborating and think on ways to attract new volunteers (I don’t know if I’m a good motivator, but I think that the message was delivered). Then the other teams made their up to date introduction and basically explained what they wanted from the event.

We worked on a SWOT analysis that was very enlightening for me, since I saw the same strengths, weakness and threats that we have at Mozilla Hispano (for example). The main concern that they have is the size of the communities. I think that if they work more in connections between countries, they will feel more empowered and supported by their fellow mozillians. We ended that first day trying to work on solutions for the Weakness and Threats, and hopefully the people will find new ways to reinforce the communities.

During the second day we had more space for work with the functional teams, and we tried to not extend the meeting too much, since the first day was pretty intense. I think that they achieved many things and at least on QA and SUMO they find new ways to collaborate, which is one of the purposes of the meetup too.

All in all, the event was a pretty solid one, I can’t complain about Romanian food (however, I didn’t take any risk), Ioana find the places where all of us will feel comfortable, and the venue selected was a very nice place. I hope to be on the next meetup, since I like the enthusiasm that I felt there, and I can’t wait to see the outcomes of this meeting.

In case that you want to see how it was, videos will be uploaded soon, but you can see some pictures in the Flickr group.

Emma IrwinTowards a Participation Standard

Participation at Mozilla is a personal journey, no story  the same, no path identical and while motivations may be similar at times,  what sustains and rewards our participation is unique. Knowing this, it feels slightly ridiculous to use the visual of a ladder to model the richness of opportunity and value/risk of ‘every step’.  The impression that there is a single starting point, a single end and a predictable series of rigid steps between seems contrary to the journey.

Yet… the ‘ladder’ to me has always seemed like the perfect way to visualize the potential of ‘starting’.  Even more importantly, I think ladders help people visualize how finishing a single step leads to greater things: greater impact, depth of learning and personal growth among other things.

After numerous conversations (inside and outside Mozilla) on this topic, I’ve come to realize that focus should be more on the rung or ‘step’, and not on building a rigid project-focused connection between them. In the spirit of our virtuous circle, I believe that being thoughtful  and deliberate about step design, lends to the emergence of personalized learning  and participating pathways. “Cowpaths of participation”.


In designing steps, we  also need to consider that not everyone needs to jump to a next thing, and that specializations and ‘depth’ exists in opportunities as well.  Here’s template I’m using to build participation steps right now:








* Realize I need to add ‘mentorship available’ as well.

This model (or an evolution of it) if adopted could provide a way for contributors to traverse between projects and grow valuable skillsets and experience for life with increasing impact to Mozilla’s mission.  For example, as a result of participating in the Marketpulse project I find my ‘place’ in User Research, I can also look for steps across the project in need of that skill, or offering ways to specialize even further.  A Python developer perhaps,  can look for QA ‘steps’  after realizing the most enjoyable part of one project ladder was actually the QA process.

I  created a set of Participation Personas to help me visualize the people we’re engaging, and what their  unique perspectives, opportunities and risks are.  I’m building these on the ‘side of my desk’ so only Lurking Lucinda has a full bio at the moment, but you can see all profiles in this document (feel free to add comments).

I believe all of this thinking, and design have helped me build a compelling and engaging ladder for  Marketpulse, where one of our goals is to sustain project-connection through learning opportunities.


In reality though, while this can help us design for single projects – really well,  to actually support personalized ladders we need adoption across the project.  At some point we just need to get together on standards that help us scale participation – a “Participation Standard” .

Last year I spent a lot of time working with a number of other open projects, trying to solve for a lot of these same participation challenges present in Mozilla.   And so,  I also dream of that something like this can empowers other projects in a similar way: where  personalized learning and participating pathways can extend between Mozilla and other projects with missions people care about.  Perhaps this is something Mark can consider in thinking for the ‘Building a Mozilla Academy‘.


Emma IrwinParticipation Team Heartbeat #1 – Demos!

As shared on the recent Participation Call, the Participation ‘Team’ is starting to work in heartbeats – mirroring the success of the Mozilla Foundation Team working ‘agile and open’. We just completed our first heartbeat, which included evaluation of the Heartbeat process and the new tool we’ll use to bring community into the center.

As you can see  from the Heartbeat ‘life cycle’: Demo is an important milestone of evaluation and measurement prior to starting the next one.  Like the Webmaker team, we will be inviting contributors, and streaming our Demos on Air Mozilla.  ‘Hearbeat #1 was about finding our feet in the process, so we apologize that demos for this cycle will come in the form of a blog post – but also hope you’re excited as we are about the potential of working, collaborating and demoing in the open for the next cycle.


For  Heartbeat project on our team we asked the following questions for Demo:

  1. What did we do and why?
  2. What was the impact?
  3. What was learned?
  4. What are the next steps?

Our call went well over one hour,  and so I am providing  the TL;DR version of Demos.

Establish a solid Heartbeat process for Participation

We established our process for this first heartbeat, built out user stories (contributor, team and project), evaluated the Mozilla Foundation tool, and others to ensure our decision was informed. Emphasis on leveraging the ‘open-ness’ of the Heartbeat tool, while improving and building better efficiency for project management by leveraging Github and Github issues.

Bangladesh Meetup

Mark and Brian had a good discussion with community member Mak on the practicalities of rolling out a distributed leadership model that will empower the already strong community as it evolves. We set dates for a community meetup (5-7 June), and talked how the community and the Participation team will be supporting the Webmaker campaign kicking off in Bangladesh soon.

Community Surveys

Working on betterment of planned community surveys to measure community health. Thanks to collaboration with the Metrics team and improved hypotheses, questions are improving to get better and more relevant answers.  Plan is to go live by the end of the week.  This is especially important in with recent changes to Regional Leadership.


Collected information about existing processes, assets and products relating to events.  We don’t have a consistent way to measure events yet.  We drafted a survey, an agenda template and a document that explains the template for re-usability. We have a busy May and June filled with meetups where we can test out new things.

External Expert Engagement

This project was about identifying organizations outside of Mozilla who are doing incredible things with participation.  We were especially focused on not the typical ‘big players’, or those who can’t be seen from silicon valley.  We will be reaching out to the community and preparing them to identify and interview local orgs. Might be able to tie Marketpulse interviewing course into this effort. We are also building a Participation advisory board for well-known experts in participation, who we’ll be inviting to the Whistler work week in June.

Firefox OS in Africa








Started the ball rolling for participation experiments in Africa.  SUMO workshops, intro to SUMO and internships at Universities + Firefox OS launch and Webmaker Club initiative.

Initial impact was great, lots of momentum around Firefox OS, positive reception to workshops, and a re-energized Mozilla Senegal.  Timing matters, more time to plan in advance would be good, especially across initiatives.

Marketing approach Android: India

We used some time during the recent Indian community meetup to get ideas on what a product focused approach on Firefox for Android could look like in India. During a short workshop, we explored the product positioning, opportunities, challenges, and developed a series of personas that could be users. The next steps will involve exploring what a detailed set of experiments could be for this product in India.

Version 2! New release of App for collecting competitor phone data.  Coming soon: release of supporting educational content, and refresh of existing training materials, supported by thoughful participation design and a new community manager , Akshay onboard (yay!).  Work and planning to launch a 4 week participatory course ‘Interviewing User’ on the horizon, thanks to involvement of market research experts at Mozilla. Challenge compiling with communication channels in target markets.

Participation Infrastructure

Setup a participation infrastructure stack on AWS to meet our user stories for developers, community and support team. We can deploy in ¼ of the time a new or newer version of an app. We learned that we can solidly build on best practices gathered within Mozilla, while working with volunteers in the open.

Leadership Workshop  – India Community








We tested an Actions to Impact workshop just last week at the Mozilla India Taskforce Meetup, many volunteers seemed to find the leadership workshop very useful, and used it throughout the weekend. Still to capture notes on leadership and capture the workshop facilitator’s guide.

Reps/Regional 2.0

Conversation between Rosana, William and Brian, as well as Reps team.  Presented slide deck outlining the hypothesis for helping shape what comes next.

Support External Comms of Firefox OS (Global Communications Group)

We want to better support communications, announcements about important issues in Mozilla, and make them more valuable for community, as well as a way to collect feedback. We recorded as many channels as we could, people saw many uses for this list and were enthusiastic.  We learned that communities are more fragmented than we thought, lots of groups using lots of channels so communicating centrally is especially difficult.  Also identifying NDA is challenging and complex. Volunteer members of this team doing a fantastic job.

Volunteers at Whistler

Spoke with 25+ team leaders to get them thinking strategically about who they invite, which came with a letter from Chris Beard.  Wrangled a final list.  98% are now booked for travel. Many hands make great work, a team effort with Brianna, Francisco and Brian. As a result of this, teams are thinking of volunteers in more strategic way and reasons behind invitations are clearer to all of community. We will continue to work on a plan for workweek & volunteers.

Tracking Experiments – Participation Lab

This project is two-fold:  creating a system to bring experiments currently going on in the organization into the ‘Participation Lab’, and also tracking the experiments in a way that is beneficial to all.  We are currently tracking 10 experiments, 7 focused and 3 distributed.  People (Community and Staff) appear to feel supported, optimistic and grateful to have monitoring and support in goals, hypothesis and assistance measuring success.  We will continue to track and offer support to move these along to their goals during the next heartbeat.


Amy TsayRecognizing Add-on and Marketplace Contributors

Sometimes while I’m driving or brushing my teeth, I will suddenly be seized by the thought that we have overlooked someone’s contributions. I will worry that perhaps a volunteer has been toiling away at something, and we’ve failed to recognize his or her efforts. Reflexively, I’ll begin a mental run-down of recent conversations and ongoing projects to check if we had forgotten anyone.

Routine community-building tasks at Mozilla can be a challenge sometimes because of the nature of our organization. We don’t have a central database collecting information on everything our volunteers are doing. A community manager cannot log in somewhere and pull down a list of all the things someone has done for a project. Many non-profits deal with this by relying on volunteers to log their own hours, but not all contributions can be captured by a measure of time. Recently, a volunteer from the German community came across a potentially unsafe add-on and flagged it with the AMO team. An entry of “15 minutes” in a time log wouldn’t do justice to the importance of her contribution.

Over the years, we’ve developed work-arounds to overcome these limitations. One of them is nurturing a culture of recognition. By creating habits and rituals around thanking people publicly, we can better ensure that volunteers are properly recognized for their efforts. (We recognize contributors in other ways as well, but this post will focus on public recognition). At the beginning of every weekly team meeting and bi-weekly community meeting, we’ll ask whether anyone should be recognized. Everyone is encouraged to report their own contributions as well as the contributions of others.

Each month, we create a fresh public wiki to keep track of things. At the end of the month, this becomes the official nomination list for the title of Friend of Marketplace or AMO, and the newest honoree is celebrated in a blog post and several mailing lists. We also take advantage of the public Monday project meeting to thank our contributors. Every meeting is recorded, so people in other time zones can easily tune in. The most rewarding thing is when people ask me to help them recognize a contributor they’ve been working with, because they see people being mentioned and want the same for their volunteers.

We do have some tools available that automatically log contributions, such as Bugzilla, One & Done, and the add-on and app reviewer tools. Having these tools in addition to a community that actively appreciates each other’s work helps to make my moments of worry a little more manageable.

George RoterIntroducing the Mozilla Participation Lab

I’m excited to introduce the Mozilla Participation Lab, an initiative across Mozilla to architect a strategy and new approaches to participation.

As Mitchell articulated, people around Mozilla are deeply invested in the question: how can participation add even more value to the products and communities we build that are advancing the open web?

Across Mozilla there’s a flurry of activity aimed at answering this question and increasing participation. Mitchell framed the scope of this exploration as including three broad areas: First, strengthening the efforts of those who devote the most energy to Mozilla. Second, connecting people more closely to Mozilla’s mission and to each other. And third, thinking about organizational structure and practices that support participation.

The Mozilla Participation Lab is designed to strengthen and augment the efforts and energies that Mozillians are devoting to this exploration in the months ahead. If you count yourself as one of those Mozillians who is working on this problem, my hope is that you’ll see how the Mozilla Participation Lab can be relevant for you.

First, let’s back up for some context…

In January, Mitchell and Mark along with the Participation Team laid out a Participation Plan for Mozilla that articulated an ambitious vision for participation in 2017:

  • Many more people working on Mozilla activities in ways that make Mozilla more effective than we can imagine today.
  • An updated approach to how people around the world are helping to build, improve and promote our products and programs.
  • A steady flow of ideas and execution for programs, products, and initiatives around the world—new and diverse activities that move the mission forward in concrete ways.
  • Ways for people to participate in our mission directly through our products—there is integration of participation into the use and value proposition.
  • Ultimately: more Mozilla activities than employees can track, let alone control.

While this vision describes where Mozilla wants to be, how we’re going to get there still needs to be figured out. The how is an important and explicit goal in the participation plan for 2015: Develop a bold long-term plan for radical participation at Mozilla.

This is the goal you’ve heard Mitchell and Mark talking about, and they’ve hired me to get this work going over the next 6 months.

Initially, they talked about this goal being pursued by a task force—a group of people who could go away and “figure this out”. But as we started to build this out, a task force didn’t feel right.

Mozilla Participation Lab

What is the Mozilla Participation Lab? Concretely, the Lab will have three related sets of activities.

1) Focused experiments.

The Participation Team will initiate experiments, after consulting and coordinating with product/functional teams and volunteers, around particular hypotheses about where participation can bring value and impact in Mozilla. All of these experiments will be designed to move a top-line goal of Mozilla (the product side of the virtuous circle), and give volunteers/participants a chance to learn something, have impact or get some other benefit (the people side of the virtuous circle). If the experiments work, we’ll start to see an impact on our product goals and increased volunteer engagement.


These experiments will be built in a way that will assess whether the hypotheses are true, what’s required for participation to have impact, and what the return on investment is for our key products and programs, and for Mozillians.

For example, many in Mozilla have articulated a belief that participation can enable local content to make our products better and more relevant, and so we are working on a series of experiments in West Africa alongside the launches of the Orange Klif. If these are successful, they will have had an impact on Firefox OS adoption while building vital, sustainable communities of volunteers.

In order to identify these experiments, our team has already talked with Mozilla staff and volunteers from all over the organization, plus Mozilla’s leadership (staff and volunteers). Here’s a long list of rough ideas that came out of these conversations; we obviously need to make some choices! Our aim to is settle on and launch a first set of focused experiments over the next couple of weeks.

2) Distributed experiments.

I’ve had conversations with roughly 100 Mozillians over the past couple of months and realized that, in true Mozilla distributed style, we’re already trying out new approaches to participation all over the world. Buddy Up, TechSpeakers, Mozilla Hispano, Clubs, Marketpulse are just a few of many many examples. I’m also confident that there will be many more initiatives in the coming months.

My hope is that many of these initiatives will be part of the Participation Lab. This will be different than the focused experiments above in two ways. First, the Participation Team won’t be accountable for results; the individual initiative leaders will be. Second, they can probably be lighter-weight experiments; whereas the focused experiments are likely to be resource intensive.

How does an initiative fit? If it meets two simple criteria: (1) it is testing out a set of hypotheses about how participation can bring value and impact to our mission and to Mozillians, and (2) we can work together to apply a systematic methodology for learning and evaluation.

Of course, it’s the leaders of these initiatives who can choose to be part of the Lab—I hope you do! To be upfront, this could mean a bit of extra work, but you can also access some resources and have an influence on our participation strategy. I think it’s worthwhile:

  1. We will work together to apply a systematic learning and experimenting methodology (documented here).
  2. You can unlock support from the Participation Team. This could be in the form of strategic or design advice; specific expertise (for example, volunteer engagement, building metrics or web development); helping you gather best practices from other organizations; or small amounts of money. We do have limited staff and volunteer time, so may need to make some choices depending on the number of initiatives that are part of the Lab.
  3. Your initiative will make a significant contribution to Mozilla’s overall participation strategy moving forward.
3) Outside ideas.

We will bring together experts and capture world-leading ideas about participation from outside of Mozilla. This is a preliminary list of people we are aiming to reach out to.

Who’s involved?

In short, a broad set of Mozillians will be supported by a smaller team of staff and volunteers from the Participation Team. This team will coordinate various experiments in the Lab, curate the learning, build processes to ensure that all of this is working in the open in a way that any Mozillian can engage with, and make recommendations to Mozilla leaders and community members.

What’s the result, and by when?

The primary outputs of the Lab are:

  1. A series of participation initiatives that result in more impactful and fulfilling participation toward reaching Mozilla’s goals. (Read more below about how what you’re working on right now can fit into this.)
  2. An evidence-based analysis of the effectiveness of specific participatory activities.
  3. Recommendations on how we might expand or generalize the activities that provided the most value to Mozilla and Mozillians.
  4. A preliminary assessment of the organizational changes we might consider in order to gain an even greater strategic advantage from participation.
  5. A set of learning resources and best practices packaged in a way that teams across Mozilla will be able to use to strengthen our collective participation efforts.
  6. Possibly, a series of strategic choices and opportunities for Mozilla leaders and community members to consider.

The first set of activities will take place primarily in Q2, wrapping up by early July, at which point we will assess what’s next for the Lab.

How is this relevant for you?

You have the opportunity to participate in the Lab and in shape the way forward for participation in Mozilla. Here’s how:

1) Be part of the team. Do you want to have a big hand in shaping how Mozilla moves ahead on participation?

In the coming couple of weeks we’ll be starting some focused experiments. If these are problems you’re also excited about (or are already tackling), please get in touch. We’re certain that coders, marketers, project managers, designers, educators, facilitators, writers, evaluators, and more can make a big difference.

Also, if you’re interested being part of the learning team that is tracking and synthesizing lessons from inside and outside Mozilla, please get in touch.

2) Are you already running or planning a new participation initiative, or have an idea you’d like to get off the ground? Could you use some help from the Lab (and hopefully volunteers or other resources)? I’d love to have a conversation about whether your initiative can be part of the Participation Lab and how we can help.

3) Can you think of someone we should be talking to, a book or article to read, or a community to engage? Pass it along. Or better yet, help us to get in touch with people outside of Mozilla or summarize the key lessons for participation.

4) Follow along. We’d like many Mozillians to share their feedback and ideas. We’ll be working out in the open with a home base on this wiki page.

Please get in touch! Reply to this post or send me an email: groter <at>

Let’s together use this Lab as a way to architect an approach to participation that will have a massive positive impact on the web and on people’s lives!

George RoterUp next…Mozilla!

How could I possibly follow-up my incredible years spent with the very special Engineers Without Borders Canada? That was the central question hanging in the back of my mind, even as I promised myself ‘no pressure, take your time’ over the past 5-months traveling the world with my partner Sari and our delightful now-9-month-old daughter Aliyah.

Reflection and spending time in other organizations has helped me see just how special EWB is — there’s a greater concentration of world class people (smarts, skills and dedication) in EWB than I’ve seen anywhere else, and the organization is pushing the leading edge in a way that is courageous and necessary. What would come next professionally? What was a must have and what was a want to have?

My big realization was that I would be most fulfilled by joining another organization with a change-the-world sized mission. Another organization that cares not just about ‘what’ they are doing, but is also pioneering new models on ‘how’ we organize our companies and public benefit institutions. Another organization that builds communities and mobilizes people to unleash their potential.

I also wanted a broad set of responsibilities, but not another CEO or co-founder role right now. I wanted to be working alongside highly motivated people who I can learn from. And I wanted a sector that moves fast, that isn’t “stuck” in the ways that international development can get stuck.

Enter Mozilla!

Believe it or not, there was a role and organizational combination out there that fit like a glove! I’m really excited to be joining Mozilla.

Most people know Mozilla for our web-browser Firefox. Some people might even know that Firefox is an open-source project, with thousands of volunteer contributors alongside staff. Fewer people know that Mozilla is a mission-driven, change the world, non-profit. We are promoters and protectors of an internet that is open and free, a hotbed of innovation, a platform for economic and social development, for bettering humanity.

Practically, we build great products and technologies (some that you see like Firefox, and some that you don’t, like the standards that allow you to watch a video in your web-browser) that embed the values of Mozilla. For example, when you’re using Firefox, you’re not uploading your personal information like when you use Chrome — privacy and user agency are values we care about and are native to our products.

Beyond products, we also build educational resources and courses (for high skill and early web learners), do policy advocacy, help support people making technology for news organizations, help support people who are trying to bring open standards to science, develop tools and alliances and products to bring the web to the “bottom 2 billion”, etc. Lots and lots!

This is a cool video that explains more:

So, what am I doing here? I got to create my own title and I’ve chosen “Participation Sherpa” (clearly a descriptive title versus hierarchical one): I think I’m beginning to know what that means!

As you can glean, there’s a lot going on at Mozilla. With roughly 20,000 volunteers; another ~1+ million people participating in our education networks, developer networks, fellowships and advocacy work; and ~300 million product users, there are a lot of people involved. This interaction of people and impact is beautifully messy and has developed rather organically. But it’s creaking in places. People are not getting as much value as they could from their interactions with Mozilla, and the mission is not benefiting as much as it could from their participation.

My role is to help Mozilla evolve this participation relationship by leading the architecture of a strategy, a new team and the cultural and structural elements that supports this. It means working on strategy and operations, working with people around the organization to run experiments, helping staff and volunteers optimize the way they are working (building communities, building participation opportunities), and learning from all the activity already going on. The exciting part is that I’m reaching into and implicated in literally every part of Mozilla.

Logistically I’m based in Toronto, for now! And it’s a 6-month contract, for now!

I’m fired up and found a great first answer to “how do I follow-up my incredible years spent with the very special Engineers Without Borders Canada”!

Brian KingRegional Communities At Mozilla

Regional communities have always been cornerstones at Mozilla. From the days when they sprung up around localisation to today when they are involved in activities across the board, our local communities have impact on our products and mission. Mark Surman’s recent post outlined the formation and goals of the new Participation team. The key point is that we want to create a virtuous circle where our volunteer community has direct impact on our products, while at the same time getting value in the personal and professional lives. While radical participation is being setup for exploration, the good news is we have programs and structures that work today. The Community Development Team will be focusing in a couple of main areas. One is volunteer community leadership driven by changes in the Reps program. The other one is working with product/functional teams at Mozilla to better align with their priorities and identify projects to work on with impact. Participation infrastructure, aka community tools, is the glue that holds everything together.

For more context, please read these other posts from some of my team members.

Where Does Regional Fit?

In a very broad sense, the Regional team will focus on the health of our local communities on the ground. Our communities, whether they be country-based (e.g. Mozilla Philippines) or a broader region (e.g. Mozilla Hispano) touch all parts of the globe. They range from small to large. While many Mozillians work individually and identify as part of a functional team, many more identify as part of a regional team. They are not mutually exclusive of course.

Jump! Mozilla Philippines Group ShotJump! Mozilla Philippines Group Shot

Why are they important?

  • People: They enable people to connect from all walks of life behind a common mission. There is a sense of camaraderie, sharing, and fun.
  • Language: l10n teams still have a crucial role in ensuring our products are localised, our product pages are translated, and our mission and the web ecosystem is understood by as many people on the planet as possible. There is still more work to do to make everything we do open to more languages.
  • Culture: Understanding cultural norms is crucial for the organisation to adapt and apply our mission everywhere. Different cultures help shape and change Mozilla, for the better.
  • Diversity: Input and opportunities for everyone give everything we do a rich foundation. It is reflected in our products, and in the way we work.

And there are more reasons. Regional communities have sprung up organically and are structured in many different ways. Mozilla India and Mozilla Hispano have working groups. In the Philippines, a Rep leads a functional area in the community such as localization, developer relations, FSA, education and women empowerment. Many have a strong online presence, with blogs, photo streams, social channels, and more. Some have community spaces for co-working and events. Find the community near you on our listings at


The focus for 2015 and beyond will be:

  • Support our communities to be set up for success. This is of course catch-all, but worth calling out explicitly. Community Health is the foundation from which everything else follows.
  • Continue aligning communities towards product and functional impact. Today, our products such as Firefox and Firefox OS are our primary levers for carrying out our mission. They give us influence. I think in the last few years, via events such as Summits, brownbags, Mozillians email, and other channels we have done a good job of reminding people what work will make the biggest impact.
  • Support functional teams: How can Mozillians be more embedded in teams in the organisation? One way is via a number of pilots we’ll be doing throughout the year, matching volunteers to projects that will help move things forward.
  • Leadership: Not just in the sense of community leaders, but how can we empower all Mozillians to be leaders. This could mean a project leader, a functional lead, an events lead, a policy lead, a recruitment lead, and so on. Beyond Mozilla, how can we help Mozillians be leaders in other parts of their lives? The Reps program will be focusing on leadership this year and we will be working closely together.
  • Support: How can help in structuring communities for optimal impact? What processes can we put in place to detect discord in communities earlier and act before it gets out of hand.
  • Reconnect: Communications are crucial. We want to hear your ideas what you are doing, and we as regional community managers want to communicate plans, priorities and pointers with you.
Mozilla India in Hyderabad, April 2014Mozilla India in Hyderabad, April 2014

The Team

Our regional sub-team is myself (EMEA), Gen Kanai (Asia), and Guillermo Movia (LATAM). If you live in other parts of the world, we have you covered as well. William Quiviger, who has substantial regional community building experience, will be providing guidance and support. As we proceed we will be evaluating the need for other resources.

How Can You Help?

You can help primarily by becoming more involved in your local community. Together we are stronger. Even if that means giving constructive criticism to help the community adapt and grow. As outlined above, some of our goals are not fully defined. Help us define them. Start conversations within your community on what they all mean to you. Coming very soon, we will be sending out a survey with a focus on finding out more about our regional communities. Please fill it out to help us get a better understanding of how we can support you.

Amy TsayAdd-on and App Reviewer Meetup at MozFest 2014

Every app submitted to Firefox Marketplace and every add-on submitted to AMO is reviewed by a person; 60-80% of the time, that person is a volunteer.

Each year, the AMMO team endeavors to meet a few of the top volunteer reviewers in person to talk about the past year, get feedback, plan for the coming year, and have a pint or two. This year, we arranged a meetup at MozFest in London.

welcome dinner

We kicked things off with a welcome dinner and drinks, then spent the following day at the London MozSpace having more in-depth discussions. The group was extremely diverse—ten countries were represented among the 12 people who attended. Some reviewers joined in the past year, others have been reviewing for nearly a decade.

One piece of feedback that really stuck with me was that many people think being an app reviewer is the only way to contribute to Marketplace. This means we need to do more to get the word out about the myriad ways one can get involved. But it also means the reviewer program is strong, and widely known, and these are reasons themselves for celebration.

Reviewer Meetup

Notes from the meeting are available on this etherpad. We got some great feedback, and I am really looking forward to tackling some of the action items in the coming weeks.

Afterwards, we attended the MozFest science fair kick-off together, then dispersed over the weekend to explore the event, letting serendipity and our own unique interests guide us.

My interests and chance meetings guided me to make an LED robot, learn how to pick locks, and have fascinating discussions about communities and web literacy. Though I was weakened by flu at the conclusion of the weekend, I came away feeling invigorated by the spirit of Mozilla.

Amy TsayWhat Healthy Relationships Teach Us About Healthy Communities

In organizations where communities form (whether around a product, mission, or otherwise), there is often a sense of perplexity or trepidation around how to engage with them. What is the proper way to talk to community members? How do I work with them, and what can I do to keep the community healthy and growing? The good news is, if you know what it takes to have a healthy personal relationship, you already know how to build a healthy community.

Prioritize them

In a good relationship, we prioritize the other person. At Mozilla, the QA team makes it a point to respond to volunteer contributors within a day or two. A lack of response is one of the top reasons why people leave online communities, so it’s important not to keep them hanging. It doesn’t feel good to volunteer your time on a project only to be left waiting when you ask questions or request feedback, just as it would if your partner doesn’t return your phone calls.

Be authentic

Authenticity and honesty in a relationship are the building blocks of trust. If you make a mistake, admit it and set it right. Your tone and word choice will reflect your state of mind, so be aware of it when composing a message. When you come from a place of caring and desire to do what’s right for the community, instead of a place of fear or insecurity, your words and actions will foster trust.

Be appreciative

Strong relationships are formed when both parties value and appreciate each other. It’s a great feeling when you take out the trash or do the dishes, and it’s noticed and praised. Make it a ritual to say thanks to community members who make an impact, preferably on the spot, and publicly if possible and appropriate.

Be their champion

Be prepared to go to bat for the community. I was once in a relationship with a partner who would not defend me in situations where I was being mistreated; it didn’t end well. It feels nice to be advocated for, to be championed, and it creates a strong foundation. When you discover a roadblock or grievance, take the time to investigate and talk to the people who can make it right. The community will feel heard and valued.


The processes and programs that support community participation require an understanding of motivation. To understand motivation, you have to be able to empathize. Everyone views the world from their own unique perspectives, so it’s important to try and understand them, even if they’re different from your own. 

Set expectations

Understand your organization’s limitations, as well as your own, and communicate them. If your partner expects you to be home at a certain time and you don’t show up, the anger you encounter likely has more to do with not being told you’re going to be late, than the lateness itself.

Guidelines and rules for participation are important components as well. I once featured content from a community member and was met by an angry online mob, because although the content was great, the member hadn’t reached a certain level of status. The guidelines didn’t cover eligibility for featuring, and up until then only longer-term participants had been featured, so the community’s expectations were not met.

Not apples to apples

I would never want to get anyone in trouble by suggesting they treat their community members exactly the same as their partners. Answering emails from anyone while having dinner with your loved one is not advised. The take-away is there isn’t any mystery to interacting with a community. Many of the ingredients for a healthy community are ones found in healthy relationships, and most reassuring of all, we already know what they are.

Amy TsayThe AMO Reviewer Community Turns 10

A decade ago, Firefox introduced the world to a customizable web browser. For the first time, you could use add-ons to personalize your entire browsing experience—from the look and feel of buttons, to tab behaviors, to content filtering. Anyone with coding skills could create an add-on and submit it to (AMO) for others to use. The idea that you could experience the web on your own terms was a powerful one, and today, add-ons have been downloaded close to 4 billion times.

Each add-on listed on AMO is thoroughly reviewed to ensure its privacy and safety, and volunteer reviewers have shouldered much of this effort. To properly inspect an add-on, a reviewer has to dig into the code—a taxing and often thankless chore. Nobody notices when an add-on works as expected, but everybody notices when an add-on with a security flaw gets through. These reviewers are truly unsung heroes.

From the beginning, volunteers recognized the importance of reviewing add-ons, and self-organized on wiki pages. As add-ons grew in popularity, it became necessary to hire a few people out of this community to keep it organized and nurtured. Ten years later, volunteers are still responsible for about half of all add-on reviews (about 150 per week). Our top volunteer reviewer is approaching 9,000 reviews.

As a community manager working with volunteer reviewers, I’m sometimes asked what the secret is behind this enduring and resilient community. The secret is there isn’t just one thing. Anyone who’s ever tried giving away free food and booze as their primary community-building strategy has learned how quickly the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

What’s In It For Me?

To understand why people get involved with reviewing add-ons, and why they stay involved, you only have to understand human nature. Altruism tells just part of the story. People are often surprised when I tell them that many reviewers began volunteering for selfish reasons. They are add-on developers themselves, and wanted their add-ons to be reviewed faster.

Some of these developers authored add-ons that are used by tens of thousands, sometimes millions of people, so it’s important to be able to push out updates quickly. Since reviewers are not allowed to review their own add-ons, the only way to speed things up is to help burn down the queue. (Reviewers can also request expedited reviews of their add-ons.) Also, they can learn how other people make add-ons, which in turn helps them improve their own.

Intrinsic Motivation

People who create add-ons are people who write code, so the code itself can be interesting and intrinsically motivating. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink writes that self-motivated work tends to be creative, challenging, and non-routine, and add-on reviewing has it all: every piece of code is different (creative), security flaws can be cleverly concealed (challenging), and reviewers contribute at their own pace (non-routine).

Not Just Carrots and Sticks

A few years ago, we began awarding points for add-on reviews and introduced a leaderboard that lets reviewers see their progress against other reviewers. The points could also be redeemed for swag as part of an incentive program.

While this is admittedly a carrot-and-stick approach to engaging contributors, it serves a larger purpose. By devoting time and resources to sending handwritten notes and small tokens, we are also sending the message that reviewers are important and appreciated. When you open your mailbox and there’s a Fedex package containing a special-edition t-shirt in your size, you know your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

Community and Responsibility

AMO reviewers know that they play an important role in keeping Firefox extensible, and that their work directly impacts the experience people have installing add-ons. Since about half of the hundreds of millions of Firefox users have add-ons installed, that is no small feat. I’ve heard from reviewers that they stick around because they like being part of a community of awesome people who are responsible for keeping add-ons safe to use in Firefox.

The Magic Formula

Online communities are complex, their fabric woven from a mesh of intrinsic and extrinsic, selfish and altruistic motivations. A healthy, lasting community benefits from a combination of these factors, in varying proportions, some of them driven by the community and some by the attentive community-builders tasked with nurturing it. There isn’t a silver bullet; rather, it’s about finding your own magic formula and knowing that often, the secret ingredient is whatever it is that makes us human.

Happy 10th birthday, AMO reviewers.

Amy TsayCultivating Community by Working in the Open

Back when new versions of Firefox were released every year or so, many of Mozilla’s paid contributors came from the volunteer base or other open-source communities. Mozillians not only had the time, but the natural inclination to engage with volunteer contributors.

Today, new versions of Firefox are released every six weeks, and many new products exist that didn’t before; products that require working with partners historically outside of Mozilla’s comfort zone. Firefox Marketplace is one of them.

Marketplace faces several community-building challenges. Not only does it push new code every week, but release schedules are often driven by business contracts. Managers are under pressure to deliver on deadlines with limited resources, leaving very little time to engage with volunteers. Deadline-driven work is also harder for people to contribute to in their spare time.

The team’s rapid growth means former volunteer contributors are now in the minority. With fewer paid contributors from the open-source world naturally inclined to cultivate relationships with the community, and more from the business world uncertain of the community’s role in meeting deadlines, phrases like “Leverage the community,” and “Line up contributors to help,” begin cropping up in meetings.

Mozilla couldn’t have been built without the people who believe so passionately in its mission. People who code, document, translate, and evangelize—often in the free time between leaving their day jobs (or schools) and getting into bed—because they care. Because they’ve created bonds with other Mozillians. They are anything but free labor—they are partners in the mission.

So how do we continue nurturing and cultivating our community in light of our current realities? One way is to embrace a culture of working in the open.

Working in the open means structuring your work in a way that is discoverable and transparent to anyone interested in contributing. It doesn’t require a lot of extra work on top of what you do, as much as it requires a certain mindset.

If you’re a developer, are you designing your project so that it’s easy for someone to take a piece of it and work on it? If a non-technical contributor shows up looking for ways to help (as I did, in 2009), are you ready with a list of opportunities and simple steps for getting started? Are you holding public meetings and posting public status updates?

It’s about making your work inviting and accessible to people who want to join the fray. When they do jump in, making yourself available to guide them increases the likelihood that they will become engaged. Engaged contributors become leaders who will cultivate the next generation of leaders.

Working openly and transparently doesn’t take much extra effort, and it is not only essential, but a minimum requirement, to keeping our community healthy.

Brian KingChris Beard Stories

You may have heard that Chris Beard came back (he never really left) to Mozilla as interim CEO. I have many Chris Beard stories, but here are just a couple of personal ones.

The first was back in 2006 when I first contracted for Mozilla writing an add-on. Chris was product managing the add-on and we were on an early call with others trying to wrap up and get a first version out the door. I forget the details, but the general tone of the conversation changed for me when Chris said something to the effect of “let’s ship something we are proud of and that users will love”. Up until that time I had volunteered for many years for Mozilla with a carefree attitude. This was Chris’ way of saying that what we are doing is important, and we have to do it well. After that I contracted on other projects but also put in a lot of volunteer time. It never lost the fun aspect, but I knew what we were doing was serious and making an impact.

Fast forward to 2010, to the Mozilla Balkans Meeting in Ljubljana. We gathered in the center of the city at a typical Slovenian ‘gostilna’ (restaurant) and were told a special guest was coming. Everyone was expecting a famous Balkans singer. Instead our brand new CEO at that time Gary Kovacs walked in, accompanied by Chris and a few others. After all the excitement, we settled down to eat and I was sitting beside Chris. We talked about many things, but throughout he was passionate and sharing his big ideas both for what I was working on and the opportunities that Mozilla had moving forward. Every encounter with Chris was a piece of advice, inspiration, a big idea or all wrapped up in one.

Balkans MozilliansChris in Ljubljana with the team. Picture by Tristan Nitot on Flickr.

Somehow I feel the best Chris Beard stories are to come.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Brian KingWelcome Rosana to Reps

I’m delighted to welcome Rosana Ardila as Program Manager for Mozilla Reps. Rosana has moved from the SUMO team where she has worked hard building up a strong community there. She helped build out contributor tools, a buddy program, and more to make it one of the strongest groups in Mozilla in terms of participation. Read how her former team holds her in high regard. Rosana has many skills apart from community building, including being able to speak six languages fluently which is a great asset in a global organisation like Mozilla.

RosanaRosana (picture by Pierros Papadeas)

Rosana’s role in Reps will be to help the program evolve to meet the new challenges that constantly arise at Mozilla. She will assist in defining strategies to grow and develop the program, including a robust leadership structure, and measure its impact on community health and organizational goals. For example for our 2014 goal of scaling our contributor base by 10x, Reps can have a crucial role in this. Rosana will also be hands-on in some day to day work ensuring that the processes and documentation we’ve put in place continue to serve effectively.

My role has evolved to oversee a few of the programs in Contributor Engagement (another post to follow on that), but I will still be working very closely with Rosana in Reps.

Oh, and Long Live The Queen! (fun)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Brian KingReps Leads Meetup Summary

The Mozilla Reps Council and module Peers met for 2 days over this weekend to solidify plans for 2014 and re-calibrate the vision and goals of Reps in general to align with our ambitious organisational goals around growing community. Traditionally billed as Council meetings, these bi-yearly sessions are designed to get the project leaders together to work on planning and strategy for the program. The program has made a huge impact, but to ensure continued impact we have to continually assess the program to make improvements and work on future strategy. The Council provides the general vision of the program and oversees day-to-day operations globally. The Peers oversee the Council and provide input and vision on the program in general. Also at the meeting were guests William Reynolds (Community Tools, including, Konstantina Papadea (Budget and Swag), Michelle Thorne (Foundation), Marcia Knous (QA), and Rosana Ardila (SUMO).


Our 2014 goal is simple:

Mozilla Reps in 2014 are more engaged, empowered and enabled.

What Happened?

ReMo ArtReMo Art by Rosana (Photo credit: King Molan)

We started day one with a question to attendees to frame the weekend:

How can we improve the Reps program to better enable Mozilla Communities that have impact?

This was the measure for everything we would do for the rest of the time. The two primary topic areas on day one were program structure / goals, and leadership. We broke into sub-groups with the remit of coming up with the bottlenecks and problems in these areas. Solutions were for other sessions. In calling out what we felt were important issues, we could provide focus for the rest of the weekend. We grouped items into three different categories that we felt caught all we wanted to capture – Council and Peers, Mentors, Reps.

Mixed through day one were other sessions. Prefaced by Michelle talking about Teach The Web/Webmaker plans for the year and how Reps can support, we had a general discussion about events. With an average of 3 daily globally, events are central to the program, and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of everyone at Mozilla. Tristan Nitot came in to talk about TRIBE and personal development. Kate Naszradi dialed in really early California time to give us an update on the fast growing Firefox Student Ambassadors Program. Then Mary Colvig and David Boswell to discuss the topic ‘Enable Communities that have Impact’, aka One Million Mozillians. How we are going to scale by 10x in 2014. To round out the day we did a recap and there were mixed feelings on what we achieved, which fed into a new framework for day two.

For day two, we basically threw out the written schedule, and decided to hack. There was a hunger for finding solutions to the issues we identified on day one and starting to fix them. Out of the breakouts we had came a Trello board with specific tasks.

Mentors ScalingIssues with Mentors Scaling (photo by henx on Flickr)

Also on day two: Pete Scanlon dropped in for a discussion on Engagement, the team’s role in 2014 Mozilla goals, and how Reps fit in and can make an impact. We had a few more discussions on important topics that bubbled up such as the Reps application process. We collaborated. We argued. We laughed.

Discussion with Pete ScanlonDiscussion with Pete Scanlon

Huge thanks to Henrik Mitsch who did a fantastic job as facilitator over the weekend. Without him it would have been chaos!


Here are some of the important topics that surfaced:

  • Program Purpose
  • Visibility of Council
  • Council Accountability
  • Council On-boarding
  • Council and Budget
  • Leadership
  • Mentors Scaling
  • Mentors Training
  • Reps Portal
  • Reps Activity

For these and other buckets, we brainstormed solutions and then broke them down to tasks. For sure, there is a lot of work to do, but it can be done. One of the challenges coming out of previous ReMo work events was implemention of work items. There were various reasons for this, and we are coming up with new work models to fix this. Primarily tasked are the folks at the meeting but we will be looking to mentors and all Reps for help.

What Next?

The program purpose is clear and articulated on the wiki, but the scope and mechanisms for working with us have perhaps not been clear. We will fix that, to make it more accessible. Thanks to Michelle for writing a great case-study of Webmaker working with Reps. After we prioritise tasks, we’ll be sharing out with everyone for feedback. We all have a stake in Mozilla Reps.

Group PictureGroup Picture (by marcia@mozilla on Flickr)

We can help your team, your community, you. We’ll be telling you how. But this is a two-way street. Tell us how we can support you.

Very soon I will have some more exciting Reps news for you. Watch this space.

Related articles


Enhanced by Zemanta