Becoming a volunteer again

I’m going back to my roots as a volunteer!

The last 6 years have been incredible. Meeting and working with hundreds of Mozillians around the world has been inspiring, challenging and lots of fun. Since my internship in 2009, I’ve seen both myself and Mozilla grow a lot. Thank you for working with me on the Project and teaching me constantly.

Mozillians, continue to do great things for the Web. I’m convinced that we have the most impact when we focus on the user and do things unconventionally. I’m excited about Mozilla’s current focus and journey to space. And while it’s challenging, I know Mozillians are ready for those challenges.

Don’t just fly, soar.

I’ll continue to be involved as a Mozilla Reps mentor and as a contributor. You’ll see me around, mostly online, instead of at the Mozilla SF space each day.

You can reach me through my Mozillians profile and follow what I do next on Twitter @dailycavalier. Please keep in touch and I’m happy to meet up with you in SF.

Removing “Legacy” vouches on

We announced changes to our vouching system on on July 29. These changes require you to receive a new vouch by December 18 to keep your vouched status. On that day we will remove “Legacy” vouches, which are vouches that do not have a description and were made before July 29. This is the last step in having the site fully transition to the improved vouching system that gives a shared understanding of vouching and describes each vouch.

Being “vouched” means you have made a meaningful contribution to the Project and and because of that, have access to special content like all profiles on, certain content on Air Mozilla and Mozilla Moderator, and you receive messages that are sent to vouched Mozillians. Having to get re-vouched means our community directory and vouching overall, is more meaningful.

Since we first announced this change, 3,600 out of the 6000 Mozillians have been revouched. Cheers! That also means about 2,400 will not unless they get vouched by a Mozillian who has vouching permissions by December 18.

Here’s what you need to do:

– Check your profile to see if you have a new vouch (anything other than a “Legacy vouch”). All Summit 2013 participants and paid staff have already received a new vouch. If you don’t have a new vouch, ask someone who knows your contributions to vouch for you.

– Help those who have made meaningful contributions, get a new vouch (if they need one). You can vouch for others if you have three vouches or more on your profile.

All “Legacy vouches” (those before July 29) will be removed on December 18, and only contributors with a new (non-Legacy) vouch will remain vouched. Losing your vouched status means you will not be able to access vouched Mozillians content or get Mozillians email communications until someone vouches for you.

You can learn more on the Vouching FAQ wiki page.

2014 halfway point for Community Tools

As part of Mozilla’s 2014 goal to grow the number of active contributors by 10x, we have been adding new functionality to our tools. Community Tools are the foundation for all activities that our global contributors do to help us achieve our mission. At their best, they enable us to do more and do better.

We have a comprehensive roadmap to add more improvements and features, but stepping back, this post summarizes what the Community Tools team has accomplished so far this year. Tools are an org-wide, cross-functional effort with the Community Building team working on tools such as Baloo and the Mozilla Foundation building tools to enable and measure impact (see We’re in the process of trying to merge our efforts and work more closely. However, this post focuses on and the Mozilla Reps Portal.

Our community directory, has over 6000 profiles of vouched Mozillians. This is a core way for volunteers and staff to contact each other and organize their programs, projects and interests through groups. Our efforts have a common theme of making it easier for Mozillians to get the information they need. Recently, we’ve worked on:

  • Improvements to vouching – making it much clearer who can access non-public information using (people who have been vouched because they participate and contribute to Mozilla) and how that list of people can grow (through individual judgments by people who have themselves been vouched numerous times).
  • Real location information on profile – using geographical data for Country, Region and City information. No more duplicates or bad locations.
  • Curated groups – increasing the value of groups by having a curator and information for each new group. Group membership can also be used for authorization on other sites through the Mozillians API.
  • Democratize API access – making it easier for any vouched Mozillian to get an API key to access public information on (coming soon). For apps that want to use Mozillians-only information, developers can request a reviewed app API key.
  • New account fields on profiles – adding more ways to contact and learn about contributors. The new fields include Lanyrd, SlideShare, Discourse, phone numbers and more.

Reps Portal

The portal for Reps activities and events has over 400 Reps and documents over 21,000 of their activities since the Reps program started 3 years ago. It provides tools for Reps to carry out their activities as well as public-facing information about thousands of Reps-organized events and general information about the Reps program. So far this year, we have:

What’s next?

We’ve made great progress this year. There’s still a lot to do. For we want to focus on making contributor information more accessible, recognizing contributors in a meaningful way, and creating a suite of modules. On the Reps Portal we will work on scaling operations, measuring the impact of activities and events, and creating a community leadership platform.

The roadmap describes specific projects, and we’ll continue blogging about updates and announcements.

Want to help?

We’d love your help with making and the Reps Portal better. Check out how to get involved and say hi to the team on the #commtools and #remo-dev IRC channels.

Important changes to vouching

Today we are rolling out new changes to the vouching system on, our community directory, in order to make vouching more meaningful. has a new vouch form has a new vouch form

Vouching is the mechanism we use to enable Mozillians access to special content, like viewing all profiles on, certain content on Air Mozilla, and Mozilla Moderator. Getting vouched as a Mozillian means you have made a meaningful contribution.

Action required

If you attended the 2013 Summit, there is no impact to how you use the site and no action required. But…we can use your help.

If you have vouched for others previously, go to their profiles and complete the vouching form to describe their contributions by September 30th. You can see the people that you have vouched listed on your profile.

If you did not attend the 2013 Summit, you can still use the site as you do now, until September 30th.

After September 30th, your profile will become unvouched, unless a Mozillian, who attended the 2013 Summit, vouches for you again.

Both volunteers and paid staff are being treated the same when it comes to receiving multiple vouches. That means everyone who wants to vouch for contributors needs to first receive 3 vouches – more information below.

Most importantly, no one’s vouched status is disappearing this week.

More details and an FAQ on the Vouching wiki page.

Thanks to the Team who worked on this big initiative to make vouching better. The new vouching system was designed through discussions at Grow Mozilla meetings and several forum threads on community-building and

Better location information on profiles, 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.


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 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 profile

You can now add accounts from three popular Mozilla sites to your profile on, our community directory. This changes adds support for, and 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 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

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

During the last two months ideas for 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, 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 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.


Madlibs for 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

We want to improve the value of, 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, check out our project wiki page to learn how to get started.