@deimidis just posted his “thank you for all the fish” note on #mozillians, and it has been said to me that @bking is also leaving which makes the direction that mozilla is taking to be a path without “community managers”.
Those two have been a cornerstone of Reps and Mozillians for more than a decade. Communities have been growing regardless of mozilla fumbles for the past few years and it was through positive action of community managers, Reps council and staff that some conflicts have been averted or at least contained.
I want to register my disagreement with the path we’re taking. I have seen powerpoint decks, I have seen campaigns that change meaning between “all hands events”. Still, nothing makes me understand how we can expect a community to grow its influence and numbers without community managers?
Lots of other projects are investing money in community, heck just check this list of open positions at wikimedia foundation with 21 open paid positions for community engagement. A foundation that is much smaller than us is investing in paid community engagement positions while we’re cutting what we had.
There are conflicts in many regional communities. Volunteers come and go but long time engaged staff members such as community managers help local communities stay on track. I have seen corporate buzzwords such as “return of investment” and other attempts of quantify and pull metrics out of air as if personal relationships established between volunteers and staff members could be counted like calories and that the count was low.
I don’t agree with where we’re heading and I have been burned before by criticizing moz decisions and policies. Still, without an open conversation we can’t grow. Without dissenting voices, any policy looks good.
So here is my dissenting voice, I believe that moz should invest in more community managers, I believe that moz is taking a bad decision by letting key members go, I don’t believe an OKR filled spreadsheet and deck can replace the personal relationships and safety nets provided by said community managers.