What is a healthy regional Mozilla community?

So the team is riffing on some principles that we think lay the foundation for healthy regional communities. Think of this as version 0.1. We would love your input.


Sorry, but I have a hard time understanding that doc.

In quite a few of those points, I catch myself making up what they’re intending to say. I don’t think that’s a good idea, though :wink:

My gut instinct tells me that a two page document explaining 1/2 or 1/3rd of the points could be a good next step.

I think it is high time for us to establish the appointment of a named/identified Community Manager who will act as the overall leader for a specific Mozilla Community (country or locale based).

I see that having an identified Community Manager for established (and new) Mozilla Communities is key in achieving our goals (though it may also be cultural in nature). Even if we believe that anyone can be a leader in the context of Mozilla, we cannot remove the fact that some people always look after a “leader” figure, especially in his/her locale. Someone who can take responsibility and accountability with stuff; and can serve as the main conduit between the leadership of Mozilla and its contributors (and vice-versa).

My two cents worth :slight_smile: Happy Easter to all celebrating!

I think it is high time for us to establish the appointment of a named/identified Community Manager who will act as the overall leader for a specific Mozilla Community (country or locale based).

I think a lot of communities already have a “Community Manager” just not actually using that title. Having a main contact is important, though I think (if existent) the regional community mailing list should be the first point of contact. But there you sometimes have the problem that nobody will feel responsible to answer and drive the idea further.

On the other hand, appointing someone (non-employee) as “Community Manager” might lead to awkward situations within communities in the sense of “oh, does this mean that she/he is now more important or a better contributor than I am?”.

I have been managing the German-speaking community for quite some time now, but I’d never call myself “German-speaking Community Manager” as a volonteer. On my mozillian.org profile, reps profile and other profiles I use “co-leading the German-speaking community”, giving anyone the possibility to step up and also take responsibility.

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Sorry, but I have a hard time understanding that doc.

Me too, some questions here (quotes are from the doc):

Understanding of user and local market realities

How would Mozilla itself make our life easier? I’m not sure if we already have access to download numbers etc. per country/region. If we do, please link to it and consider my point invalid :smile:

Number of active members participating

Why number? I know that measuring quality isn’t easy, but number alone doesn’t say a lot in my opinion.

Diversity of activities/initiatives that any given member participates in

Why should someone broaden their “contribution horizon” just for the sake of it? At least in the German-speaking community there are a lot of people doing an amazing (and that doesn’t even begin to describe it) job at what they do. I don’t think a lot of them would be willing to do anything else. Let’s say going from l10n to coding. I’m not sure if my last sentence goes in the right direction, after reading the bullet point for about 5 more times. Could you explain “activities/initiatives”? Does this mean that contributors shouldn’t focus on just one product for example?

Flexibility in problem solving and meeting goals

In which areas would communities need to be “flexible”? Time? Doing something you don’t like so it’s done?

Strength of relationships with key user groups

Could you give some examples of “key user groups”?

As Axel said, having a more detailed overview of the different points would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Please, don’t get me wrong. Even though I mentioned quite a lot of points, I know that there are a lot of thoughts behind this document.

Further, since I only mentioned to-be-improved points, there are other points that I fully agree with and understand.

I haven’t checked the WiKi yet, but there should be a centralized list of “Community Managers” for everyone to know. Based on past interviews I conducted to Reps applicants, most will claim that they are a member of a particular community, but do not know who their Community Manager (or Leader) is.

I know that some communities resist having a hierarchy. I think it is an interesting discussion as to whether or not a leadership hierarchy is part of a healthy community, but I can see it being a distracting discussion if we try to have it as part of this discussion.

I think that ignoring how a community decides to structure themselves, this captures a lot of points that will help a community think strategically. I’m curious to hear if any communities are opposed to anything that is included.

I have a couple of concerns with hierarchy and/or ‘leader’ terminology in that it can erode into dictatorship if layers of that hierarchy fall away without process to replace them (we have seen this). Additionally if things like budget & recognition are not distributed responsibilities you risk that being used as ‘leverage’ in the wrong hands.

I know this sounds dark, I don’t mean it to - but I also know that we need to think about these things.

I always like the idea of flat organization in smaller communities, whereby everyone has a role to fulfill which supports the basic success of the group. I think North America has this a little bit? Regnard takes on a lot of leadership activities, but we all feel we have a voice in decision making. Any one of us could step in to take over his responsibilities if he needed that support. Similar to what Michael proposes For German Speaking community. In NA as well, I think we have ‘types’ of leaders - functional area, and region, which form organically or by someone volunteering.

It’s very lose, and I am not suggesting NA as a model by any stretch of the imagination - my point is that we need to be careful about terminology and hierarchy structures. If we can think more of ‘roles’ in a community, I think we can better encourage distributed and healthy leadership.

Perhaps the question also is: how do you influence communities who structured in a way that is now eroding health of that community , how can we help reboot structure?


Bob, why are you asking that question? I.e., what is your takeway and why do you think it’s critical?

Or worded differently, if you asked “Who do you see as leaders for you in the mozilla community? Whom are you asking for input and guidance?”, would you get similar information?

Might be valuable in particular if reps get more closely involved with functional areas compared to regional communities.

My point is, if you are a member of any community, you should at least know who your leaders (or considered leaders) are. They maybe people whom we can consider as point-persons for input and guidance.

Don’t know if that is something cultural in nature.

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@bobreyes I think that seems my understanding as well - knowing who to ask for help, or guidance is important.

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Let me share how the Mozilla Philippines Community (MozillaPH) is currently organized:

  • There are currently ten (10) Mozilla Reps in the Philippines [02 are currently on leave].
  • The leadership of MozillaPH is comprised of all the Mozilla Reps (based in the country) led by a duly elected Community Manager.
  • Based on the agreement during the last election, the Community Manager will have a term of three (03) years from date of assuming into position.
  • MozillaPH is planning to include the entire community in voting the next Community Manager (2++ years from now).

Now, how we basically operate:

  • Decisions affecting the community are drawn by majority vote amongst the leadership of MozillaPH.
  • If there are proposals, they are discussed (PROs and CONs are weighted) by all of the Reps (in the country; we have several communication channels: FB and Slack). A vote whether to accept the said proposal is the made – avoiding the smallest chance of having a dictatorship :smile:
  • There is a common email (info@mozillaphilippines.org) for all leaders of the community: all emails sent to this addy are received by all Reps based in the country. All are free to response to emails sent therein.
  • There is a shared calendar to avoid conflicts in events, meetings, etc.

Just my 0.02 worth :smiley:

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I’ve written about how Mozilla Hispano is organized in the past, here you have a series of blog posts:



  • Core contributors are elected (unlimited people) and have vote rights on decision making. You can be core contributor if you are active and you have been working in the community for at least 6 months.
  • Community is divided into functional areas with elected coordinators that have to be renewed each 6 months.