I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend Community Leadership Summit ‘09, that happened past weekend in San Jose. As it was only just a few days away from OSCON ‘09, biggest open source convention in the world, the mix of participants was skewed towards open source projects. I’m really happy about this because it allowed me to how drastically different projects interact with their communities and better reflect on my own community work.
Being a Web 2.0 alpha invite geek, I was naturally attracted to discussions about tools and work-flows that are in use. While we all deal with communities on daily basis, we have vastly different metric and approaches toward them.
Taking a number of open source projects for example, there was a lot of talk about counting SVN commits, patch and bug triage and mailing list management (visualization, early flame-war thread detection, etc.). On top of that, having a clear roadmap and goals present an important value for community so that they know where the whole project is going. This is worlds apart from your classical Web 2.0 startup where you are worrying about signups, users engagement and the number of mentions on Twitter and blogs.
Yet this does not mean that we can’t learn from each other. While their values might be different, we all still need to define goals for our communities, listen to them and then work with them so that they can reach their goal together with you. It just means that we have to talk more in meta terms, so we can identify different patterns taking shapes and then we can learn from specific case studies.
Incidentally, it looks like that the tools we have access to today are way below the needs and requirements of most of communities. Tracking of interactions across different online mediums, aggregating bugs and feedback together or even simple things like mailing list management is something that lots of people found lacking. While most of them want their tools to be free and open, there is certainly a market for better tools to support a wide variety of communities that are starting to form online and offline.
Driven by intristic motivation, practice for interst and enjoyment. Gives you skills, knowledge, experience. But the goal is a personal fulfillment.
Volutneering – highest level onÂ Maslow’sÂ hiarachy of motivation.Â
Mozilla communites are organic. They are organic and part of Mozilla project from the day 0. They contribute to each and every element of the system. Create new elements and serve as whistle-blowers. Contribute their unique skills and knowledge and are united by the goals of manifesto.
The other example is Firefox Flicks, it’s a community made of clips that are promoting Firefox.
Example video clip:
With time, the development of Firefox/Mozilla code-base split 60% – of payed people vs. 40% of contributed code. Mozilla started hiring people, but the natural source of community, were former community members who just contributed to the level that made the project recognizable. Then they got hired to be able to spend even more time and effort in the project. This also means that Mozilla is representing American dream, if you enjoy what you do it is possible to get help to spend all of your time on the project you like and enjoy.
Mozilla is also doing Internships that are focused on “you” creating what you want, and focusing on things that you want to work on. It also means that organization is not employing people who are doing it just for money, but canÂ attractÂ great and passionate people. It also means that it can do more with a smaller team, and everyone is a community.
Mozilla is not only about Firefox, it’s something much bigger. A lot of great other things are being developed, after getting Firefox 3 out of door, the idea is to work on Thunderbird, more localization.
The idea for next major version of Thunderbird, by Mozilla Messaging, connect social network, online identities and such.
Working on new ways to interact with mobiles, how to use internet and new interaction paradigms.