koeln_stairsI had the pleasure of attending the second Cologne Community Meetup last weekend. Two years after the first meetup (almost to the day!) Eighteen active Mozilla contributors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg converged in the beautiful city of Cologne (home of the famous Kölner Dom, of this year’s Gay Games and of course, of Summerjam!), to meet, share, present, brainstorm, discuss and agree on a common roadmap for the next 6 months.

The format of the meetup was very similar to the one used in previous regional meetups, where Mozillians began by giving a thorough update and presentation of particular projects they were involved with, namely Firefox, Thunderbird, SUMO, ScreenReader, Sunbird, SeaMonkey, and MDN. This was followed by discussion and debate over challenges and opportunities into the early evening, leading to a 3-hour goal-setting process (pioneered by my colleague Seth Bindernagel) the following morning. While we’re continuously fine-tuning it, I think we have found a regional community meetup format that is highly productive, with just the right balance of presentations, discussion, and interactive brainstorm.

For the goal-setting process, the 18 contributors broke up randomly into 3 smaller teams, each tasked to brainstorm and come up with 5 top goals for the next 6 months, based on the presentations and discussions of the previous day. Then, each team had to present to the group the goals they had identified and then everyone agreed on a final list of 5 goals.

Here are the goals the group came up with (in order of importance/urgency):

Goal (incl. Logo design): setting up the official community hub for german speaking Mozillians was identified as the single most pressing project that needed everyone’s attention and involvement.
Goal 2 – Community-driven PR: making a concerted effort to identify local PR opportunities and to assist Mozillians to be the “local” voice of Mozilla at the city/regional level, coordinating closely with the Mozilla PR team
Goal 3 – Overview of open tasks: with resources stretched thin, a thorough overview of open tasks needs to be conducted and priorities made based on overall 6 month goals
Goal 4 – Calendar/Overview of dates (Events/String-Freezes/Releases): setting up a detailed and regularly updated calendar of Mozilla events/releases/string-freezes etc…
Goal 5 – Regular regional meetings (regional events): leveraging the power of community to organize meetups, conferences, events at the local/regional level and supported by Mozilla Europe

For a more detailed review of the meetup, make sure to check out Kairo’s notes of day 1 and day 2 as well as Robert B’s recap here.For a more detailed review of the meetup, make sure to check out Kairo’s notes of day 1 and day 2 as well as Robert B’s recap here.

And of course, a beautiful set of photos can be found here.

Special thanks to Thomas Lendo and to Hagen Halbach for organizing such a productive, fun and high-quality event. You guys make it look so easy! 🙂