Better location information on mozillians.org profiles

Mozillians.org, our community directory, now has more accurate geographic data for 6000 vouched Mozillians. You may need to update your profile, since not all of the existing data could be migrated, some migrations may not be accurate, and you may want to review your privacy settings.

profile-location-search

You can now add your location to your profile by searching a map

The new location functionality uses some great libraries and services – Leaflet, Mapbox and OpenStreetMap. Leaflet provides the user interface on the Edit Your Profile page. Mapbox is a mapping platform that allows us to use custom maps. OpenStreetsMap has structured location information that is used for the geolocation data.

Having accurate location data makes it easier for Mozillians to find other contributors in a specific country, region or city. This is especially useful for community builders or event organizers. In the past, we had a curated list of countries and all regions and cities were stored as text. This meant we had lots of duplicate data (“NYC” and “New York”) and lots of unstructured data.
This release resolves numerous outstanding bugs (see bugs dependent on tracking bug 920651).

We’ll now be able to use location data in other parts of the site, such as displaying a map of members on a group page. Look for more functionality that makes use of location information later this year.

Give it a try

Better location information is a big improvement for mozillians.org profiles. Take 2 minutes to Edit Your Profile to add or edit your correct location – it only takes a moment.

You may see issues with the map data that is provided by OpenStreetMap, and a some of our tester already discovered a few. You can let OpenStreetMap know about these issues by following our instructions for reporting bad location data.

This release has been tested on desktop devices and is largely untested on mobile devices. This is a great opportunity to get involved. If you see any issues with the location interface, file a bug and we’ll look into it. Also, stop by the #commtools IRC channel and say hi to the team.

Add more accounts to your mozillians.org profile

You can now add accounts from three popular Mozilla sites to your profile on mozilllians.org, our community directory. This changes adds support for wiki.mozilla.org, webmaker.org and reps.mozilla.org accounts. Simply sign-in to Edit Your Profile, and then fill in the accounts you want to add. You can choose to make those accounts publicly viewable or only show them to other vouched Mozillians.

New account types

You can now add accounts from three popular Mozilla sites to your mozillians.org profile

And while you are updating your profile, be sure to add your timezone. This is especially helpful for finding good times to chat with others who are in different time zones.

Introducing a better reporting system for Mozilla Reps

Starting today we are switching to a new reporting system for Mozilla Reps that is easier, faster, and activity-based. This means there are no more monthly reports, and Reps can report activities as they happen.

Reps have a better, faster form for documenting activities

Reps have a better, faster form for documenting activities

We originally chose a monthly reporting system because of technical limitations when reports were first posted on the wiki. This new activity-based reporting will provide more frequent reporting, more valuable information and better measurement of the impact of the Reps program. Reps do great things all the time, and we want to be able to show that success to them and others involved with Mozilla.

The new reporting system introduces two types of reporting (active and passive) in order to make it easier to communicate activities and save time. Active reports are done by completing a simple form. Passive reports are automatically generated as Reps work on different efforts. When a Rep creates an event or attends an event on the Reps Portal, a passive report will automatically be created about that action. A Rep’s mentor will be notified when a Rep organizes or attends an event, and that information will appear on the Rep’s profile.

A Rep no longer need to create reports saying she or he is organizing or attending an event, since it will be done automatically. In the future, we plan to add more types of passive reports, such as tweeting or blogging about a Mozilla topic.

To help Reps get started with these new reports, we will send some initial reminders to the reps-general forum, and then the friendly ReMoBot will send email reminders when a Rep has not reported any activities in 3 weeks. To prevent mentors from getting too many report notifications by email, mentors will receive daily digests that summarize the activities of their mentees.

What happens to existing reports? They have been migrated and now show up as individual activities where it makes sense.

Reps do a lot for Mozilla. We think this new reporting system will greatly improve our ability to show the impact each Rep and the Reps program as a whole are having as Mozilla builds the Internet that the world needs.

Like any process change, the new reporting system may not be perfect and may have bugs, so please do share feedback and ideas with the Reps Dev team or Council. We will continue to improve our tools and processes. If you see some odd behavior, please file a bug.

You can read more about the reporting system in the updated Reports SOP. To add a report go to the Dashboard and click ‘Add report’ or bookmark the direct link.

Welcome to a world of better Reps reports! Special thanks to the ReMo Dev team, Council, and Mentors who have worked on the new reporting system for the last few months, from design to testing. It has been a big effort, and we are excited to launch today.

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.

How mozillians.org evolved in 2013

Mozilla’s community directory, mozillians.org, saw a lot of changes in 2013. Here are some of the highlights.

New features and code improvements

Development work

Quality Assurance growth

  • During the course of the redesign, the community organized 3 large test initiatives to test new features and design concepts
  • 40+ community contributors, 25 repeatedly were involved in multiple test days and acted as mentors and stewards to the project
  • Mozillians was a nice gateway onto other Mozilla web projects. Often times this was the first project community members decided to get involved with before branching off onto other projects.

Some website metrics

  • 4,809 vouched profiles
  • 1,532 public profiles (32%)
  • 7,369 unvouched profiles
  • 443,052 pageviews
  • 98,527 visits

Looking back

In 2013 mozillians.org evolved from being a useful directory tool to becoming an important platform for all Mozillians. The site underwent a big redesign with improved UX. Apps like Air Mozilla and the Summit app relied on the Mozillians API for people information. New profile fields and privacy controls led to 1,500 Mozillians sharing more information and making their profiles public.

As a team we focused on ways to make a large impact quickly and also set ourselves up for our ambitious community building plans to grow to 1 Million Mozillians. We invested in building new features, paying technical debt, shipping quality releases, mentoring new contributors and improving documentation. The redesign invigorated people to get involved, and over 60 people volunteered by making contributions during the year. That’s a huge change compared to a year ago when there was less momentum and just a few people involved with making mozillians.org better. Now the project and community surrounding it feel vibrant and alive.

What was your favorite change or contribution to mozillians.org in 2013?

Looking forward

mozillians.org has the potential to be an even more valuable tool for the Mozilla community. In 2014 we’ll be exploring ways to show contributions on profiles, display badges that demonstrate skills and achievements, provide better location information, make the API even more useful and improve authorization. How can mozillians.org be more useful for your needs?

Thanks to the splendid team, contributors and all Mozillians for an awesome 2013!

How the Mozilla Reps Portal grew in 2013

The Reps Portal, a platform used by our 400 Mozilla Reps to organize and measure activities, continued to be a critical piece to the success of the program in 2013. Here are some of the highlights.

New features and code improvements

Development work

  • 9 contributors and 15 mentored bugs
  • Closed 259 bugs
  • 19 releases with new features, improvements and fixes

Some metrics

  • 74,851 visits
  • 227,909 pageviews
  • 1,145 events organized
  • 401 Reps
  • 49 Mentors
  • 9 Council members

Looking back

We focused 2013 on preparing the Reps Portal to scale in impact. We built two key features (voting and continuous reporting) to that helped us streamline a slow process and better measure activities. The project made progress towards continuous delivery, which will speed up our development cycles in the future. Technical debt was repaid by upgrading frameworks and libraries and also by refactoring a huge number of tests. We spent a lot of time mentoring people contributing code to the portal. Much planning was also done during our UX Sessions in August, the Remo Camp in September and recent work with the Council to set 2014 development priorities.

Looking forward

The Reps Portal is in a position to become more valuable to Reps and all Mozillians in 2014. More people are contributing to the project, our development cycle is getting faster and we have clear priorities. Technical debt has reduced substantially, and we know where we can continue to improve on the technical side.

The Summit app

Two months ago, about 1800 Mozillians met up in three cities for the Summit. In the weeks leading up to the big event, a small group of Mozillians created a web app to help people navigate their way around the event and also interact in some fun ways.

The mobile experience at the Summit

The mobile experience at the Summit – photo by Viking Karwur

The app was created by a team of designers, engineers, and product folks: Harald Kirschner, Jen Fong-Adwent, Bill Walker, Lee Tom, Andrei Hajdukewycz, Giorgos Logiotatidis, Matt Brandt, Justin Crawford, Barry Munsterteiger, and myself.

The app was heavily used at the Summit – over 1700 Mozillians visited the app an average of 10 times each (20,000 visits total).

So, what does the app do? The app has four views

  • Schedule: a daily list of events
  • Random tips and bits: general information for participating and getting around the event.
  • Healthy Dialog: a breakfast conversation activity where each day Mozillians are matched into groups, which are identified by icons and colors.
  • 3 Questions: a response form asking about your current mood, anything you want to share with your fellow Mozillians and input box for recording who has had a positive impact on you.

Designing the app

We worked with the Summit planning team to learn how an app could best support the Summit. It quickly became clear that having a dynamic schedule was going to be the critical feature. Since session information was going to be added and changed up until the event, we needed any easy way for a dozen organizers to be able to update the schedule and have those changes shown to participants quickly. We used a Google Spreadsheet for the schedule content, and then the server and app pulled information from that spreadsheet every few minutes.

To help the Summit experience team, we also wanted to get a sense of how people were feeling and reacting to the Summit sessions. The 3 Questions form gave us a lightweight way to do that, by asking people to respond at least once a day. We also planned a big surprise based on how people answered the third question, “Who have you recently met that had a positive impact on you?”

Why we built an app

While we initially looked at some white-label event apps, we chose to create our own so that we could integrate it with our own technologies (Persona, Mozillians.org API) and provide the Healthy Dialog and 3 Questions activities. Ultimately, the app was a great way for us to dogfood and improve our own services.

Technologies

Impact

The Summit app gave us the ability to quickly update the schedule for all three cities and get the latest schedule to participants in minutes. We also used the responses from the 3 Questions form to give a prize to the Mozilla volunteer in each Summit city who had the biggest positive impact.

At the closing ceremony, the Fox presented an award to those three people. The award is a trip to any Mozilla Space in the world for a few days, to visit and meet our community there. Congratulations to Cliff Argwings, Vuyisile Ndlovu, and Irvin Chen for making the greatest impact on us (we can’t wait to hear about your trips!).

Cliff receives his award from The Fox in Brussels

Cliff receives his award from The Fox in Brussels – photo by Doug Belshaw

Hack on it

Check out the source code on Github and play with it. A forked version of the app was used at the Mozilla Festival, and there is potential to use this at other Mozilla events or any event you are organizing.

Give feedback

Did you find the Summit app valuable? What worked well? What you improve for next time?