From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
this is an INCOMPLETE DRAFT - Dec 30 2009 

In early 2009, we developed a set of operational goals and priorities to guide the work of the Mozilla Foundation team. The top level goals included:

  1. Communications: Develop clearer messages and better systems to explain Mozilla's open web mission to a broad public.
  2. Community: Work with other Mozilla organizations to strengthen and grow the Mozilla community, especially in key geographies.
  3. Programs: Develop a small handful of programs that go beyond software as a way to promote Mozilla's mission (e.g. education).
  4. Organization:Consolidate and strengthen the Foundation team, and develop a long term vision that clarifies the Foundation's role within Mozilla.

The following is a detailed priority by priority review of achievements and learning related to these 2009 goals. For a more holistic picture, please see the Mozilla Foundation 2009 Year in Review Summary.

See also 2009 status reports: Jan | Feb | March | May | July | Sept | Nov


1. Develop clearer messages and better systems to explain Mozilla's open web mission to a broad public. (goal)

Overall reflections:

  • The whole community got better at telling the Mozilla story during 2009. You see this both in 'official' materials (e.g.revitalized, new boilerplate description of Mozilla) and in blog posts by community members (e.g. Atul Varma and Tristan Nitot).
  • The move to a more consistent use of the Mozilla brand (e.g. just saying 'Mozilla' rather than MoFo / MoCo / MoMo in public materials) also improved our story.
  • More importantly: more people became engaged in discussions around telling our story. This happened both online and at Mozilla face to face meetings.
  • One downside: all the conversation about Mozilla's mission and story have left some people confused. At a recent meeting someone asked: which version of our mission should I be using?
  • Our online presence doesn't help with this. There are still many confusing overlaps and inconsistencies between our web sites, especially and
  • During 2010, we need to loop back and refine. Mostly this is a matter of writing and reorganizing web content, and clarifying which messages are the main ones to use.

Review of specific priorities:

1a. Redesign to better communicate Mozilla's mission and provide an entry point into the Mozilla community.

  • Completed in xx, 2009. New design plus perception that 'something is happening' have put back on radar as community resource. Also, good foundation for future work on fundraising.
  • Redesign went beyond making the site look better -- we also made extensive efforts to remove much out of date and confusing content and added new content, most notably the Causes section that talks about our mission of building a better Internet.
  • Learning: Redesign alone was not enough to fully realize our 'better communicate Mozilla's mission' goal. Significant writing and elimination confusing overlaps w/ still needed.
  • 2010 focus: compelling new content on Mozilla mission, overlaps with eliminated and key pages localized into at least five languages.

1b. Update communications materials and web sites to better educate and excite the public about the Open Internet.

  • Defined a more unified approach to using Mozilla's brand across the community. Updated touchstone communication materials such as boilerplate blurb describing Mozilla.
  • Learning: 'fixing' the way we tell the Mozilla story is not possible -- or desirable. The diversity of the community means there will always be diverse expressions of this story. That said, we still need a key set of touchstones and assets to guide the story telling process.
  • 2010 focus: add stuff related to Chelsea's goals, also Mozilla style guide

1c. Explain and promote Mozilla's hybrid organizational model, making the link between our mission and how we are organized.

  • Achievements: Organized 'hybrid summit' in Mountain View plus wrote a series of blog postingson the topic. Establish Mozilla as a thought leader amongst other hybrid orgs.
  • Learning: while event was useful and well received, promoting the broader cause of hybrid orgs not critical to Mozilla's open web mandate.
  • 2010 focus: Nothing formal. Mark (and Mitchell?) may do some lightweight writing and speaking on the topic.

1d. Develop a fundraising and engagement program with an aim to getting more people involved in Mozilla.

  • Hired fundraising and engagement manager mid-summer. Small campaign experiments in fall with One Web Day and Mozilla Service Week. Mozilla Parks campaign plus extensive planning and infrastructure development in November and December.
  • Learning: first campaign experiments went poorly, especially from fundraising perspective. Also, getting web infrastructure in place is harder and slower than expected. Need strong plan, infrastructure and calls to action in order to succeed with future campaigns.
  • 2010 focus: roll out plan that systematically goes after 'low hanging fruit' general Mozilla fundraising while simultaneously building up new calls to action around Drumbeat projects.


2. Work with the Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Messaging to strengthen and grow the Mozilla community, especially in key geographies. (goal)

Overall reflections:

  • We spent the first half of the year struggling with this 'community support and growth' role. It was hard to determine what was most important and who could tackle what.
  • Things took a turn for the better mid-year when Gerv Markham returned to full time work at the foundation. He made progress both on community governance and Bugzilla innovation.
  • The key to doing well in this role in future will be effectively engaging the Mozilla community around the questions: where can we help most? and where can we add the most value?
  • For 2010, we've reframed this work -- plus some of our storytelling efforts above -- under that banner 'Mozilla Core'. Key objectives include growing the existing community, helping community members be more productive and further refining the Mozilla story.

Also (need to integrate):

  • Ran a pilot effort to improve how we're bringing people in to the Mozilla community. The effort was initially focused on contributions to the site, but has recently started to expand to cover more projects across the community.
  • Resolved several long-standing governance issues, including moving to the new Committer's Agreement, commit access changes, dormant accounts policy.

Specific priorities:

2a. Work with others across Mozilla to pilot Mozilla Service Week as a method of creating new ways for people to be involved in Mozilla.

  • Service Week produced mixed results. 10,000 hours were 'donated', but only after significant organizing effort. Some community members were confused by the initiative.
  • Learning: asking people to use the web to help any and all social causes was the wrong call to action. Our 'cause' should be the open internet -> it's our mission and is more likely to galvanize participation.
  • 2010 focus: use Drumbeat to get new people involved in Mozilla. Focus on the open internet as our core 'cause'.

2b. Make it easier for community members to organize small local events like MozCamps that allow more people to find out about and get involved in Mozilla.

  • Ran a few small experiments, mostly in Europe. Some were dedicated Mozilla events (e.g. MozCamp Utrecht) while others were shared events with other groups (e.g. open source meetups in Munich).
  • Learning: getting Mozilla-specific events off the ground was hard, probably because we didn't have clear enough goals or content. In contrast, more organic events like the meetups were easier and more successful.
  • 2010 focus: efforts to build a ground game through small events has moved to Drumbeat, with a significant focus on 'piggybacking' on existing events like BarCamps and Ignites.

2c. Grow and connect the community of organizations involved in the Powered by Mozilla program.

  • Dropped this as a priority mid-year. No plans to pick up for 2010.

2d. Collaborate with others to develop a set of Mozilla community metrics, and find a way to regularly sample and draw insights from metrics data.

  • Dropped this priority mid-year. May pick up some aspects in relation to work in 2010, but not a major focus on its own.

2e. Help strengthen the Bugzilla community by aiding in the development of a sustainability plan, promoting innovation and contributing to useful features.

  • Focused on two activities: developing a Bugzilla API as a way to promote innovation and working with Bugzilla community leads to develop a fundraising plan. Both are near completion.
  • Learning: Bugzilla API well received and is resulting in people coming up with new Bugzilla hacks. However, not clear how much MoFo should focus on core community technology infrastructure of this nature. Fundraising plan hard to agree on but is now 90% complete.
  • 2010 focus: promote Bugzilla API use, and move on. Roll out fundraising plan. Assess whether it is working mid-year.


3. Develop a small handful of programs that go beyond software as a way to promote Mozilla's mission. (goal)

Overall reflections:

  • We started 2009 with a long list of program options: education; government; research; accessibility; movement building; and so on. Many of these were dropped early on -- they didn't even get to the experiment stage.
  • Our most significant experiment was with Mozilla Education: an effort to take the Seneca Mozilla course model global. This has been quite successful, albeit at a modest scale. While there isn't a 'big new program' here, we should continue to support and grow this work as a part of our efforts to grow the existing Mozilla community (above).
  • By mid-year, we decided to take a step back and take a more ambitious look at programs we could be doing beyond software. The result of this effort is Drumbeat, Mozilla's emerging effort to help people use to technology to better participate, understand and take control of their online lives. Drumbeat draws on community generated ideas (e.g. open web p2p courses) plus learning from many small experiments from 2009 (e.g. Open Video Alliance, MozCamps, Service Week).
  • Drumbeat is MoFo's main program focus in 2010. See: Drumbeat 2010 objectives and Drumbeat wiki.

Specific priorities:

3a. Develop a Mozilla Education program, including an effort to expand the impact of the Seneca / Mozilla course model.

  • Transformed Seneca course into generalized approach to 'teaching with Mozilla' at any college or university. Grew partnership with single institution (Seneca) into program that works with x universities and y students in z countries.
  • Learning: the Seneca teaching method is an effective way to both promote Mozilla's software development approach and attract new contributors to the project. While modest in scope, this is incredibly valuable. It does not, however, lend itself to being MoFo's 'big new program' as it is intimately tied into Mozilla's core software and technology development efforts. See also: Frank Hecker's detailed assessment of Mozilla Education in 2009.
  • 2010 focus: mainstream the expanded Mozilla Education program as a way to bring in new contributors to Mozilla. Operate either as part of Mozilla Core programs at the foundation or find way to support from MoCo. Also, leverage relationships and learning about working w/ universities in Drumbeat activities that focus on education.

Integrate following from Frank's notes:

3b. Refine Mozilla's accessibility strategy to focus on ubiquitous zero-cost accessibility for Firefox and Thunderbird, accessible innovation and design in Mozilla, integration of accessibility into standard web development tools.

Integrate from Frank's notes:

  • We now have a clearly defined accessibility strategyby which to judge future grant requests.
  • However our overall level of accessibility-related activities at the Foundation has fallen off in 2009. This is due at least partly to our having achieved many of the original goals of the program, and also due to many accessibility-related activities being brought "in-house" as a result of the hiring of an accessibility team at the Mozilla Corporation.

3c. Pilot a small scale research program that builds networks of researchers who want to work on specific issues of broad interest to Mozilla and the Open Internet (e.g. security).

  • Scoping and visioning efforts started in early 2009, but put on hold as it was difficult to find right approach.
  • Learning: Mozilla Research is a worthy idea, but likely requires a dedicated leader from the outset to build the vision and momentum. In order to have impact, would probably need to be its own program on the scale of Drumbeat or even larger.
  • 2010 focus: nothing planned.


4. Consolidate and strengthen the Foundation team and develop a long-term vision that clarifies the Foundation's role within Mozilla. (goal)

Overall reflections:

  • Developed a clear plan for moving Mozilla Foundation forward: carry Mozilla flag as leading public benefit organization promoting an open internet; provide a governance and support structure for existing community efforts; find new ways for everyday internet users to productively participate as part of the Mozilla community. Plan in place for major new MoFo effort in coming years (Drumbeat).
  • Started 2009 with with loose group of individuals working on separate projects, ended with an effective team focused on clear and common shared goals.
  • Also: build strong bridges to other Mozilla organizations. We're now regularly collaborating on topics of joint interest with people in MoCo and MoMo. This wasn't the case at the start of 2009.
  • Biggest challenge has been learning how to work effectively with Mozilla IT, in part because the technical skills on our own team are so limited. We may want to add a tech / web person in 2010 to help address this.
  • Also, streamlined finances and found cost savings. Did much more in 2009 than in 2008 while at the same time lower operating and program expenses by 15% ($1.8m in 2008 vs. $1.5m in 2009)

Specific priorities:

4a. Develop a long term vision and roadmap that clarifies the role of the Foundation within Mozilla.

  • Primary Mozilla Foundation roles now clear: carry Mozilla flag as leading public benefit organization promoting an open internet; provide a governance and support structure for existing community efforts; find new ways for everyday internet users to productively participate as part of the Mozilla community. Plan in place for major new MoFo effort in coming years (Drumbeat).
  • Learning: while the primary place we can create impact is bringing the Mozilla story and community to more people, there is also a need to continue to play a role as steward and support system for Mozilla's traditional community. Balancing these two roles is hard, but essential. Finding out how to best strike this balance is one of our big challenges for 2010.
  • 2010 focus: from a vision and planning perspective, the focus will be -> explain, execute and refine. Also, will participate in Mozilla-wide 2012 goals process.

4b. Build nimble, effective Mozilla Foundation team, by clarifying roles and engaging in team building throughout 2009.

  • Demonstrably more effective and focused team by end of 2009, with 50% new people. Poised to double size of team in 2010 in order to roll out Drumbeat.
  • Learning: Mozilla Core roles remain hardest to define and carry out, in part because the boundaries of this work are fuzzy and overlap with other parts of Mozilla.
  • 2010 focus: finalize Mozilla Core roles and expand team for Drumbeat.

4c. Improve Mozilla's grant making process through better guidelines, coordination and information sharing.

  • Established coordinated grant review and documentation system to support all Mozilla organizations. Added section of that publicly documents all grants that Mozilla has given.
  • Learning: shared documentation function incredibly valuable. For the first time, the public can get an overview of the work Mozilla is doing through grants. Need more time before we can assess the coordinated grant review process.
  • 2010 focus: refine and assess the process established in 2009?

Integrate these notes from Frank:

  • We now have a Mozilla-internal process established to coordinate evaluation of and decisions about particular grant requests and to process and track approved grants, with participation from the Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corporation, and (to a more limited extent) Mozilla Europe and Mozilla Messaging.
  • The 2008 Form 990 for the Mozilla Foundation will contain a complete and accurate accounting of Foundation grants for 2008 (albeit in a somewhat confusing IRS-dictated format).
  • We are still working on adding a comprehensive grants section to, including summary and detail reports on all Mozilla grants (beyond just the Foundation) and information intended for potential grant applicants.

4d. Consolidate and improve organizational systems, especially related to grant tracking, fundraising, and internal communications.

  • Developed new fundraising database and grant tracking method (as above).
  • Learning: fundraising database has been harder to implement than we thought, in part because we're still learning how to work well with Mozilla IT team. Need to improve this in 2010.
  • 2010 focus: final roll out of fundraising database is top priority for Q1 2010. Developing better approach to working with Mozilla IT also a priority. May hire webmaster / tech coordinator to improve this situation.