Don't like the direction that community management at mozilla is heading

participation

(Andre Alves Garzia) #1

Hi Folks,

@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.


(Edoardo Viola) #2

Hi everyone,
Remember that in some region you could have the support of regional Coach and we have some mentors and regional coordinator who provide an help at the communities in the specific programs. I also was surprised to know these news about Brian and Guillermo and I’m so sad too:( but I prefeer to continue to work, because I prefeer to persecute our goals to protect the openess, the freedom and the inclusive of the web, doing my best. I prefeer to accept the decisions of all and continue to work to reach our global goals. I know that the other employee will do their best to help us to do that! :slight_smile:


(Daniele Scasciafratte) #3

As I said in the other discussion i see that there is an huge changing of people inside mozilla and Brian and Guillermo are one of them.
I don’t want to repeat myself but I think that is time to get new people from the volunteers world and refresh the participation.
While reading the @agarzia I was guessing how many community managers have the other communities and the wikipedia is an example that show the problems inside mozilla.
With the arrive of @subhapa for the Asia area I see that we are moving on the right way but is not enough.
So if this thread is for complaining I think that the problem is that many team inside mozilla is missing the communication with mozillians.
We are promoting new technologies like WebVR or WebAssembly but we don’t show real examples of that technology but only demos.
With the http://mzl.la/whyopensource report we see that Mozilla is investigating about his audience but is missing the involvement of the audience in the decisions.
We need to don’t forget that Mozilla is not like an usual IT company but a community that lives around the company and the part for “inside” is very light.

I am sorry too about Brian and Guillermo. I met the first time Brian at my first international event that was fosdem 2015 and guillermo at mozilla festival 2016 that was the first time that someone from Mozilla want asking me information about me for the participation leaders.

So as volunteers that love that community and the people we have only a way, continue to do our best and I see that the 2017 is started very well with all this threads and discussion for the mozilla future.


(Rodrigo Padula de Oliveira) #4

In a time of crisis, volunteer work and the contributions of those who love Mozilla and our cause is even more important. Once again I see Mozilla giving a shot in the foot. Cutting employees who deal directly with the community is a great stupidity and complete lack of long-term strategic vision. Since Firefox OS project was announced Mozilla has been working hard to disengage its community, every year I see great employees and excellent contributors leaving the boat. The logic is simple, the less volunteer work and fewer contributors, the more Mozilla will need to hire people to do what others would do for passion.


(Kairo) #5

I agree with you in both 1) Brian and Guillermo having been awesome in what they have been doing to date, and 2) believing that some coordination and communication positions needing full-time engagement and being-on-staff (esp. as I have seen in person what difference staff vs. non-staff makes in information flows), and those need to support and foster volunteers in the community, esp. multipliers/peers that help us to reach even more people.

It’s not all bad, because as Edoardo says, we have Regional Coaches in the Reps structure now and they can help with some of this. We also have the Reps Council as coordination point.

That said, the time of volunteers is limited as they need to spend a lot of their time also on getting food on their table, and some have those weird things like “real life” or “family” or so as well, I’m told.
Which leads us back to agreeing with you that there need to be full-time people in some coordination positions that help volunteers to be more effective and make sure that information flows well in both directions. Ideally those are people who are familiar with our volunteer efforts over time and come from “the community”.
(Hmm, I better stop here as I feel like I may get into pitching you-know-who in this place… :wink: )


(Irvin) #6

I had post most of my opinion in the open letter thread,
https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/call-for-input-open-letter-to-mozilla-leadership/13390/10

and I just wanna to quote a paragraph,

Volunteer has no enough resources, has no enough time. They already have many local growing projects (and they don’t want to lose it), and they now have other countries to work. In many country, there are multiple communities around different projects. We’re end up with a very bad hierarchy structure, which we would like to avoid due to conflict we already saw many times in different regions.

In my experience, to keep growing local community took me 100+ hours a month, and to help mentoring only ONE community in other country took me another 10+ hour a month. And I’m already missed other communities in the same country, not to mention other nearby countries. (In the mean time we have other Mozilla projects and calls to follow besides community growing.)

And we had already saw that hierarchy volunteer power structure cause conflict and killed whole community in once, few years ago in Malaysia, for example.