In the Mozilla world, people (mostly from the region I come from, Middle East and North Africa) often ask me “Do you have an idea why wasn’t I accepted to attend the event X ? This is frustrating, I’m an active contributor already and I do this and that..”. This is a very common problem and contributors often miss important chances to attend events or meet persons they think they will influence their entire lives (Yep. Mozillians are heroes in the eyes of other Mozillians) because their work was just.. unnoticed!
This post is more about how to be “visible” you and your contributions than about events. Let’s not forget that we join Mozilla for the mission, not the trips (though nobody hates them 😉 )
So after about two and a half years of being a Mozillian, I think it’s fairly the time to share some of what I’ve learned so far about how to be an active contributor and have your work noticed, because you know, sometimes if it doesn’t, it gets lost.
There are few little thingies actually that one might miss but they are key reasons that you’re work or you not being noticed.
Invisibility of contributions
You make the most successful events in town, you even recruit new Mozillians in your country but it never seems to be appreciated? You’re always a second choice? Well you need one little tiny detail in your life. A BLOG, In my opinion, a blog is an absolutely must-have for any Mozillian, Instead of throwing a picture there on Facebook and another on twitter, your blog is where you can document all your events pictures, your hackathons, and your personal opinions (like this one) and pretty much everything else in a very organized way so that anyone can check on.
So what you’re waiting for ? Go start a blog!
PS: Out of all the free blog services, I prefer blogger from Google.
another PS: DON’T FORGET TO LINK YOUR BLOG TO YOUR mozillians.org profile. 🙂
Have you heard of IRC? You did? But how many times you’ve joined in? If the answer is “rarely” or “never” then you should change that AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, IRC is the main, and I repeat, THE MAIN mean of communication for Mozillians, if you’re not there, trust me, you’re missing 90% of both the work and fun. IRC is basically a group of channels where every channel has a certain topic and those who join the channels most likely to be working on its topic. For example if a channel is called #remo, it has most of the Mozilla Representatives, mentors and council members.
There’s a pretty long list of channels, go ahead and join the ones you’re interested in; and here’s the complete list of channels that might be useful to you.
Here’s also how to join Mozilla IRC server and channels (same link for the channels).
PS: Don’t forget to join your community’s channel too, if your community doesn’t have one, make sure to talk to them and tell them how IRC is important for us and that they should have one, at least to welcome newcomers and people trying to invite your community to their events.
Social, the wrong way
So you’re social? Cool! That’s another way of showing what you do as a Mozillian, but the thing is.. You might be doing it the wrong way by posting your contribution results and pics on your Facebook profile with posts’ privacy set to “friends only”. Well, in a nutshell, most Mozillians use twitter when it comes to being social, I personally find it easier in terms of finding things, and this is why you should use it too, and post your blog posts and pics there, because you can just add hashtags to your tweets, and everyone who’s searching for that hashtag will find your tweet. Say you’ve had a local event about Firefox, tweeting with #Firefox as a hashtag will make it easier for people to find the content, read through it and share it.
Of course these are not the only solutions for such issue, there are also mailing lists and way others, but the bottom line is, nobody hates to feel secure, safe and surrounded by the big Mozilla family. Visibility of community members is just another way to feel encouraged to give more. 🙂