Let’s start from the beginning, the Mozilla Festival is an event that is now in its sixth edition and is dedicated to teamwork, how to improve it and how to create a better community, not necessarily Mozilla.
The event is organized every year in London and involves more than 1,700 people every year in all age in fact passed by sessions (workshops very interactive) for kids with lego to those dedicated programmers to those on work group experimenting with different techniques.
I had arranged to go to MozFest alone to August while the event was in November.
After a month I learned about the program Global Gathering of the Participation Team to find leaders to improve participation and recruitment in their community and global.
I made the request to enter the program so after a long form, which included a letter of recommendation from another volunteer in my case of Luigi Tedone, I waited.
After a few weeks I was contacted for an interview with voice chat to deepen my request by the Participation Team.
A few weeks later I received the communication that I entered the program and that I was waiting for a second online meeting to define what to do at MozFest.
I was then asked to take part in some discussions like this with the question Why Mozilla, Why Me, Why Now. Questions as to the first time I were unnecessary but on reflection served to deepen the path of sessions to follow the event via this discussion and I had to write what I expected from this event here.
In few words as Participation Leader I had to follow the sessions and participate in meetings to learn how to improve participation in community.
First day in London
It was my first time in London and I had also organized the program for the first day in the city, because I had arrived a day before the event.
I had participated in a survey by Mozilla as Firefox OS Contributor and final phase was a live interview request at Mozilla offices in London.
Useless to say how much the Mozilla office was a habitat for geeks.
Then i recognize the halls views during various meetings streamed on air.mozilla.org
I had the satisfaction of a selfie
In addition there are also things like
That put me in a good mood because I had a meeting theme from them in a few minutes.
This interview is an hour long and consisted of many questions about how I became a volunteer, the problems I encountered as neophyte with Firefox OS, how is the Italian community and how we can improve both Firefox OS that the Italian community.
Also my experience as a volunteer in which there have been many questions to understand what actually do in my community and the global community. It may seem silly but I never thought about my presence in Mozilla (they are three years as a volunteer) and other community (WordPress, LibreOffice, Industria Italiana del software libero, Italian Linux Society, KDE and Debian) in this way, indeed the only I remember the interview question has been: Why you participate in many community or projects?
My response was: When I see a project and I need something/I have an idea, and I can do it, I do it.
To the present such behavior reminds me of DoOcracy, applied in the Debian community, which brings meritocracy but mainly discusses not only the ideas but on the things made, where the roles official count for little.
As a final note on why I like to work in these projects, my response has been very clear, everything I do as my passion is useful in my work and as a person and these things are not learned by training course, so I take advantage by that with a single shot to improve myself.
After this interview I had many ideas on how to improve my relationship with others because it helped me to focus on some things about my experience as a volunteer I would be useful for recruiting or scouting (as I prefer to call it).
First day at MozFest
The first day of the event I was very curious because even if I had defined a program of sessions I did not know what to expect because it was the first mozfest for me.
The first day in fact did not have a program for everyone but only for Mozillian dedicated to group sessions. To let us know we were asked to do a group about the favourite ice cream taste but licorice is not very common so I went for the lemon.
Then the favourite social network but Facebook or Google + but not many were required so I opted for Twitter.
Then they make the paper airplanes with our name and we have launched, so we took the closest and we went to look for the person written on the sheet.
For me this kind of activities were completely new but it was interesting to find out that there are alternative ways to get to know people completely new, especially internationally.
After that there was a meeting just for us Participation Leaders about our role and we were asked to draw what is our vision of how Mozilla and encourage others in this.
This is my ugly design, the concept is very clear to make inroads in the non-believer view of open source to find a concrete example of the vision (as a project to be presented) and we become examples for the promotion of the project to others. This involve others for create a virtuous loop in which we ourselves can be included by others. My vision applies to the way to involve Italians in open source because they do not understand how anyone can spend some time in open source projects but the facts make the difference.
Also I hit the concept Know your garden means at better use your resources that is helping me to focus on the problems and the needs of my community and my activities as a volunteer.
In the afternoon so I could participate in a small meeting to prepare a session Getting down with GitHub where it is spoken of extensions for Firefox and the problems of GitHub interface for non-programmers.
In the evening there was a presentation of various projects regarding not only the web and privacy.
I could see in action a Firefox OS Smart TV from Panasonic
I leave an interview by Yofie
Also I could try Oculus Rift with Leap Motion from MozVR.com and I can tell you is spectacular. The only problem is that the Oculus Rift on Linux is no longer supported so if you have a lot hack to make it work.
Also I could see in live Chirimen!
I leave you with a video interview by Yofie
The second day at MozFest
At 10:45 there was a session on how to improve GitHub for non-developers.
The purpose of the session was to divide into groups and think about how to improve the interface for non-developers and then together we exchanged feedback on the sheets of paper on the wall with the various ideas realized.
The session has been very useful and has been produced many materials:
- http://etherpad.io/getting-down-with-github – Etherpad with all the material online
- https://github.com/phillipadsmith/awesome-github – List of tools, guides, sites to simplify GitHub
- https://github.com/phillipadsmith/getting-down-with-github/issues/7 – My idea
- http://phillipadsmith.com/2015/11/getting-down-with-github.html – Article explaining the session we did
- http://phillipadsmith.com/2015/11/help-us-bake-tasty-github-cupcakes-at-mozfest.html – Article post session
- http://openmatt.org/2015/11/09/gitdone/ – Extension made during the MozFest
I wanted to participate too in the development of the extension, but the weather was a tyrant, but I got to try the WebExtensions during the early stages of the project and can not wait to do some extension for Firefox using this new technology.
This session has been helpful for me to understand how to improve GitHub for non-developers, but also how the feedback as Italian community we need about events or projects by outsiders.
The scheme is used for the feedback I liked and I think I’ll make a WordPress plugin to use it online.
This is my idea with the feedback left by others.
Also since the Participation Team was located in the library I noticed this thing:
Simply put all the books available in the library of the palace where from the event were also available in ebook format on the computers. It was sponsored by the concept about the search for terms in the books digitally is much easier than the paper, things never seen by us in Italy.
In the afternoon I took another session named Building Federated Learning with Open Source Tools me has been very helpful to speak of many aspects of how to teach.
I’m a programmer and I talk very often as a coach instead I need to simplify my talk when I talk to an audience like this. Type remove unnecessary text, simplify the concepts and put pictures that focus attention.
He struck me as the speaker did not use slides but rather a gallery of Flickr choice on the moment about the term hive. As a metaphor for the Beehive is a symbol of teamwork, ordered following precise patterns and reliable over time all together for the same purpose.
Also the phrase Good Leaders = Good Teacher has entered me in the head because in my role not only of Participation Leader but also Mozilla Representative I have to improve my teaching skills to engage other people.
Also the talk it confirmed that the project passopasso.mte90.net (in italian) is a good idea because they give users the tools to make them self-help to get busy and engage in the project. The same session made me think of new features to this portal.
The initial part of this session was streamed live so you can retrieve it by play!
The Saturday night after the event instead I passed along with the other participants of the event into a game room that had bowling alleys, billiard and table tennis.
Hagen where I took this photo he needed to become a meme to emphasize the fact that I can have a teetotaler faces drunken trouble-free after 3 Pepsi.
The third and last day
Let us begin by saying that I want one of these chairs to work!
The first session of the day I followed the eagerly awaited because it was dedicated to the addon for Firefox OS.
I must admit are very simple to make but may require a knowledge of Gaia and its source code to make a few things but the result is rewarding.
In the afternoon I attended the session about the Tech Speakers program that allowed me to learn a lot in less than an hour.
The purpose of the session was very easy, divide into groups and say in 90 seconds its experience as a Mozilla volunteer.
In addition to the problem of English I learned a few things like talk more slowly, watching the audience, talked about explaining how I became a volunteer and what I do today to set an example and keep always time for questions.
Taking advantage of the large space of the central hall were taken several group photo of all the participants!
To simplify I preferred to do a classic I’m here.
Sunday also had the time of selfie group
Obviously there have been the official photos
You may have noticed my expression about the list of things to do.
The Mozfest after
What I decided to do to improve myself, my community and participation?
Internationally, the first thing is to improve my English pronunciation and try to learn another language (perhaps Spanish).
To start I created a board staff on Trello on things to do for track and realize the times.
Improve my talk after you have learned what I did last week for talk Join Mozilla we have cookies, Firefox OS for users and developers (in italian), Firefox (OS/For Android) and the Open Web App, Firefox OS development for newbie and Demolish the Web with the Firefox Dev Tools!.
As well as improve my page with all my talk: http://mte90.github.io.
Then I made a video in Italian about the FoxFooding program and on the new device with Firefox OS in my possession the Sony Z3C but for more information you leave the video link at the top right.
One of the problems in the know so many people, especially foreign in my case is to remember the names. For this reason I made a simple web page that shows where the various Participation Leader living and references that you can find here (this page is under construction there are still missing many names).
I also started to retrieve the Firefox OS devices sent free by Mozilla and not used on our forum and on various social. Even on social I’m increasing my presence to better promote Mozilla.
Internationally, the first thing is to improve my English pronunciation and try to learn another language (perhaps Spanish).
Better organizing the volunteers presence and give us goal for our activty to work better will be difficult but we will succeed!
Improve the project PassoPasso, improving from the participants the post-event feedback system, setting up an Italian YouTube channel regarding the development and promotion of Mozilla and improve the materials for new volunteers and non-experts are among the things I want to do in the next months.
In short I came back full of ideas of things to do to improve the Italian Mozilla community, starting with the events to make them more exciting and I hope that the event this later this month in Udine turn out well thanks to all these notions and materials found at MozFest (we will have a booth and 6 talks).
What do I think of MozFest
First to be redone next year and involve more italian volunteers to learn and grow together.
The various sessions that were more but I wanted to follow the program with the times has changed compared to when I defined my agenda making me lose some sessions. Also navigate through the 9th floors confused me to find rooms.
The organization has been spectacular, see the halls filled with colorful posters made on the spot that you invited to participate in the various sessions was really motivating than the usual events that go on here you have a specific program.
My reflection is based instead on the fact that six years is being done in London instead of other European cities (the are Mozilla Festivals organized in other parts of the world). This will be avoided as the effect on the people who can have an event of this type, especially in countries like Italy where they still do not have a broadband connection, open data are something little-known and where digital literacy stops at Whatsapp.
The maker faire in Italy has been very successful so that now in many cities there are events dedicated to the culture and the maker has changed a lot while that with respect to the web is very limited.
I hope to organize an event the next year in Mozilla in Rome but maybe I anticipated my idea.
For those who want to see more photos of the Mozilla Festival 2015 can be found here.
I greet you and I’ll see you at the next event and do not forget to contact me if you are interested in the Mozilla world!