MozFest sessions?

I was thinking that we probably have some good projects that would be appropriate for MozFest, and that would help us make progress and get contributions. A bonus is that perhaps if Tanner and I can get sponsored based on sessions, then we could have a team meet-up after all.

My two main ideas are:

  • Discourse - This seems like a natural, we have coding to do, as well as need feedback on UX. The spirit of the project also seems to fit very well with the spirit of MozFest, collaboration and communication using and promoting open source.
  • Community Sites MVP - MozFest seems like the perfect place to get collaboration and feedback on what a Minimum Viable Product for a community site would be. We’ll have access to members of communities who have successful sites, who have struggling sites, and people with the expertise to advise us on how to figure out what the minimum is. We might even be able to come out with a draft template to test.
  • (added Aug 19) Community Ops: A Case Study - Use the experience and history of our team to show how the community can be empowered to allow knowledge to “trickle up” your organization.

I’ve only been to MozFest once, so I have the gist that sessions are meant to be collaborative, and I think we have that with both suggestions. Though I could definitely use advice on tightening up the proposals, and I think there will be a call for sessions soon, so we want to be ready.

1 Like has the details. The deadline for submissions is 31st of August 2015 at 21:00 UTC.

While I agree that the spirit of Discourse fits will with the spirit of the Festival, I’m struggling to think what the session could involve. On the one hand, ‘how to use Discourse’ seems a bit too easy (and not something where teaching a handful of people is going to help all that much, IMO), whereas I’m not sure how many people are going to want to learn how to make a Discourse plugin.

Will be quite an interesting one. I have some raw ideas I’m putting together for this.

You would be surprised @leo It’s not a thing people get to do every single day. It would be good for those who like to get their hands “dirty”.

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You’ve got to keep in mind that MozFest is a public-facing event, I don’t think those would fit the themes.

Myself, @tanner, and jp were thinking of a basic “How to host a website” as an intro to Ops/our team. Fits in with the learning/making themes and could go well with the “How to make a website” session that happens every year.


I like it. that would definitely work

Ok, so if the idea is that the sessions should be public facing (most of the ones I went to in… 2012? were actually fairly Mozilla focused) then How to Use Discourse would actually be a great session. There is more to using Discourse than the basics of posting. We could make it more of a How to Use Discourse to replace mailing lists, or to increase participation in your community.

I do think that while people might not go in thinking “I want to write a Discourse plugin” they may think “I want to code something to help communication at Mozilla”. We could also use a public facing session to help find the pain points we may have missed so far for improving the UX for greater adoption.

I wonder if we could get someone from the Discourse team to co-run with us.

I think our work on MVP template fits in with this vein as well. This is true of any site, you need to figure out what elements you need on your website to fulfill your goals for the website.

From the proposals page “peer-to-peer sessions, learning through making, open dialog and hacking in small groups” so this isn’t necessarily about advocating or educating the public. It can very much be a chance to take advantage of expertise from other attendees.

I’d rather see a how to use discourse brownbag.

Yousef’s “How to Host a Website” idea will fly at MozFest.

I don’t see using discourse as being something the public are so interested in. Definetely should do it as a brownbag though. Maybe you could run it from Toronto so we can stream it :wink:

This was discussed at quite some length in the meeting yesterday. I still haven’t been convinced that a standalone Discourse session would work, however I do think it would be worth reaching out to various teams within Mozilla to see if they’ll be running sessions about communication, particularly ones which already use Discourse (Participation, Webmaker, Advocacy), about how it could be useful to have ‘Discourse people’ included in the session.

This came up in the meeting yesterday, and instantly stood out to me as the sort of session which would be perfect for the Festival, particularly because it doesn’t focus on any particular tool, but rather on a general process - that of allowing volunteers to try stuff out (such as Discourse), and eventually become better at it than the big boys and girls.

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