Plans to improve the vouching process for mozillians.org

As we grow to a Million Mozillians, we want to make sure tools like our community directory at mozillians.org can support that growth, and we’re working on some improvements based on feedback from many Mozillians.

During the last two months ideas for mozillians.org sign ups were shared on the community-building and mozillians mailing lists, and the Community Tools team has iterated on those original ideas based on the very useful feedback received. Specifically, we have identified ways to make vouching more meaningful with vouch descriptions and to set criteria for who can vouch others. We then received positive support at a recent Grow Mozilla meeting.

A simplified overview of what’s happening

  • All vouches will have a description. If you have vouched for someone, there will be a migration period during which you will be asked to provide a short piece of text about why you vouched for them. Vouches that receive no description after the migration period will be removed.
  • A person will now be able to be vouched by multiple Mozillians.
  • Only people who have been vouched by at least three others will have the ability to vouch for other people.
  • Language on the site will better explain what vouching means, who can see your information and how the directory will continue to grow.

The detailed plans are described on the wiki page about vouching.

The Community Tools team is getting started with implementing these changes, and we will make announcements to Mozillians with our progress and when these changes are made in the next few months. Our team is excited to help scale the number of people on mozillians.org, and we think these changes, while perhaps not a perfect solution, are a step in the right direction. If you have feedback to share, post it to on the Community Tools discussion forum.

What time is it for that Mozillian?

Since Mozilla is a globally distributed project, I work with people in many different timezones. When I want to chat with someone, I often want to know what time it is in their local area. Profiles on mozillians.org now show the person’s local time.

Even better, if you hover over the time on the profile, you will see how many hours that person is ahead or behind you. The site uses your browser’s current timezone for that calculation, so as you travel, the timezone difference will update. And that’s quite handy for a bunch of  mobile Mozillians.

mozillians-profile-timezones

Madlibs for mozillians.org contributions

Michelle Marovich is organizing a Design for Participation workshop, and she has created a fun Contribution Madlibs template for people to fill out. I completed a version for how the community tools team works on mozillians.org:

We want to improve the value of mozillians.org, we need several people to collaborate with us on it therefore we will share our plans and contribution opportunities on our project wiki page and a blog syndicated on Planet Mozilla in order to publicize the work.

Then we mentor those people and communicate regularly on our project channels in order to engage with the people who are interested.

We break the work down into tasks by creating bugs for various skills and amounts of effort.

We communicate those tasks by marking them on Bugzilla and linking to them from our project wiki page and our IRC channel.

So that we can work effectively together, we always make sure that people can ask questions, give feedback and share ideas on our discussion forum and IRC channel.

We continue to raise awareness of the work by blogging about it as well as sharing it with Mozillians at the project meeting, the Grow Mozilla meeting and by email.

We communicate decisions and progress by posting to different discussion forums, syncing up in our weekly meeting and commenting on bugs.

When we achieve a milestone, reach a goal, or someone does something amazing we recognize them by personally thanking them and recognizing their hard work publicly.

If you want to get involved with mozillians.org, check out our project wiki page to learn how to get started.

mozillians.org groups now have curators and other goodnesss

On mozillians.org, Mozilla’s community directory, there are hundreds of self-organized groups of people based on a variety of interests. The Community Tools team has released some big improvements for how you can create, manage and view groups in order to provide more value in connecting with fellow Mozillians.

Create a curated group

Create a group described with several fields

New ways to curate groups

Starting today, all new groups will have a curator, which is the person who created the group. The curator has the ability to set the general information of the group, manage some settings and moderate the membership of the group.

The general information on curated groups now includes the fields that have been shown on functional area groups for a while. These fields include a description, IRC channel, website, and wiki page. The group curator can also decide if the group is accepting new members by default or only by request.

Group curators can manage the group's settings and members

Group curators can manage the group’s settings and members

In the past, users created groups simply by typing words into a field on their profiles. Now, users create groups from the groups page.

If a group is set to accept new members by request, users can request to join the group and the curator will be able to manage those requests from the group’s page. Also, daily email notifications will be sent out to let the curator know when there are membership requests. Curators are able to filter group members to quickly see who is in the group and who has requested membership.

All the groups previously created still exist, and users can join and leave those groups freely.

Give it a try

I’m excited to see how Mozillians will use the new functionality for groups. You can create a new group from the [Browse Groups] page. Please file bugs for issues and enhancement ideas. If you have questions or feedback, please post on our discussion forum or stop by #commtools on IRC.