What’s up w/ MoFo – December Board Report

December 15, 2008 § 3 Comments

Here’s a short report shared w/ the Mozilla Foundation board at last week’s meeting.

This past month was about trying things out, and continuing to move on planning and team building. Education ideas are getting more concrete. Conversations about ‘Mozilla as social movement’ continue, include one (aborted) attempt at a community workshop and renewed energy around the Mozilla Manifesto. Wewe’re involved in a couple of small efforts to help governments w/ participation and openness. And next step ideas on education got a bit more concrete. On the internal front, Mitchell posted about our 990 and financials. Highlights below.

Program Update

We dipped our toe in the water in a couple of potential Foundation program areas this month. We also continue to shape program experiments for Q1 2009. Areas to note include:

Concretized thinking on open source education experiments for early next year. The real priority should be find ways to play in education that are highly leveraged and have real reach. With this in mind, David Humphrey and others are scoping a ‘bug and feature pool’ project that would make it easier for students and professors anywhere to get involved in the Mozilla community. Pascal Chevrel and Paul Roget are planning an add-ons workshops and other modest Mozilla activities for the open source program at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. Next steps: feed these two leads plus other smaller experiments into into the Strawman Vision and Roadmap plan.

Continued to play with the Mozilla as social movement (aka open web evangelism) idea. David Boswell proposed an update to the Mozilla Manifesto page, including better links to localized versions. When he did this, new people realized localizing the Manifesto was an option. A bunch of new translations were produced in a matter of days. Innovation Protocol led useful a brainstorm making a better link between Mozilla’s values and it’s brand. There were also a good number of small email loops rumbling about ‘Mozilla as movement’ going on this month. Despite the fact that there is alot of interest in this area, producing concrete program ideas remains tough. Example: Zak planned to organize a ‘Net Literacy Workshop’ in Victoria at the end of November, but called it off because it was tough to scope the topic and audience. Responding to this, a number of people have started working on a template for ‘MozCamp+’ events aimed at a very specific audience: bloggers, students and people who are in Mozilla’s ‘community of values’. Next steps: finish MozCamp+ template and then organize test events in Europe for Q1 2009. gandalf thinks these would work well in Poland and Slovenia. Also, plan more simple ways to engage people around the Manifesto, including user generated video collage.

Started to explore the idea of Mozilla helping governments that want to embrace participation and openness. The main example of this was Mozilla’s involvement in the principles for an open transition initiative. This congratulated Obama team on open licensing content on change.gov and also encouraged them to go further. At a smaller, more informal level, Mark gave a talk at the City of Toronto’s internal Web 2.0 summit. The focus was on how municipal governments can learn from Mozilla’s experience solving huge problems using participation and openness. It seems like more governments are starting to think about building the principles behind the open internet. It’s not clear yet whether there is a reason for Mozilla to be thinking about programing in this area. Next steps: don’t spend alot of energy here yet, but do keep an eye out for what’s happening. Offer Mozilla’s support when governments ask for it.

As noted with last month’s program update: we need help on all of these fronts. If you know people who want to pitch in, send them our way.

Planning

Significant effort continued to go into Mozilla-wide and Foundation planning in the las month. Notable items include:

  • Discussions amongst Mitchell and the team led to the conclusion that we shouldn’t be looking for Foundation specific 2010 goals. Rather, we should be looking for ways that the Foundation team and programs can contribute to Mozilla-wide goals. Both Mitchell and Mark blogged on this.
  • The Foundation team worked on a Vision and Roadmap strawman slides (the wiki version simply got too long to be useful). These slides focus on two things: 1. clarifying roles and functions of Mozilla Foundation and 2. briefly describing potential Mozilla Foundation programs. These are intended to generate feedback from the board (Dec 10) and community (after that).
  • Mark and Jim Cook also worked on a 2009 operational plan and budget, with input from the team. This is basically a placeholder plan that will stay in place until the Vision and Roadmap process is done in Q2 2009.

All of these items — 2010 goals, the strawman and the 2009 plan — are up for discussion at the December 10 Mozilla Foundation board meeting.

Internal Operations

In addition to planning activities outlined above, a fair bit of time has been spent on operations and internal issues over the past month. This included

  • Meetings w/ David Ascher and the team at Mozilla Messaging, with the simple aim of opening up communication. Zak may soon start working from the Mozilla Messaging offices.
  • Completing and posting Mozilla Foundation’s annual Form 990 charitable filing.
  • Discussions w/ Max at Bugzilla about how we can help with publicity (congrats on the NASA news!) and future fundraising (David is helping w/ this).
  • Starting the process of Mozilla Foundation staff performance reviews and objective setting for 2009.
  • Discussions on ways to improve the presentation of Mozilla community projects on the web site, especially around encouraging people to contribute in different ways. This came out of conversations with the calendar project that Mark had in Barcelona.

Next Month’s Priorities

  • Post and gather feedback on early MoFo Vision and Roadmap strawman document.
  • Scope out and start work on research phase of Vision and Roadmap process.
  • Sign contract so we can proceed w/ http://www.mozilla.org design upgrade.
  • Finalize objectives for individual team members.
  • Scope out and start work on education experiments, especially bug and feature pool project.
  • Schedule and plan MozCamp+ events for Europe.

§ 3 Responses to What’s up w/ MoFo – December Board Report

  • […] on this after the last three months of personal and organizational soul-searching, I think that being a part of Mozilla has been uniquely humbling because we have a massive […]

  • […] Mozilla Foundation: December board report Mark Surman has posted the Mozilla Foundation December board report to his weblog. “This past month was about trying things out, and continuing to move on planning and team building. Education ideas are getting more concrete. Conversations about ‘Mozilla as a social movement’ continue, including one (aborted) attempt at a community workshop and renewed energy around the Mozilla Manifesto. We’re involved in a couple of small efforts to help governments w/ participation and openness. And next step ideas on education got a bit more concrete. On the internal front, Mitchell posted about our 990 and financials.” More details, including a list of next month’s priorities, are available at Mark’s weblog. […]

  • […] on this after the last three months of personal and organizational soul-searching, I think that the key reason being a part of Mozilla is uniquely humbling is that we have a massive […]

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