For the past couple of weeks, on various community calls and IRC chats, I've been talking about a new project I've embarked on called "ReMo" (/rɪ'mo̞). The project is so large in scope, is tied to so many areas of the Mozilla project and requires so much input from the community that this is the first of a long series of blog posts that I'll be writing in the next weeks with my new partner in crime on the project, Pierros Papadeas (whom I'll introduce in a seperare blog post). These ReMo blog posts will aim to explain just what ReMo is and aim to gather as much feedback as we can.

Some background...

Since I joined Mozilla as a community manager in the summer of 2008, one of the central themes working with Mozillians is the power of community and how to leverage it as best we can to push the Mozilla project forward. Yes, I sound like a broken but I cannot stress how important this is: community is the backbone of the Mozilla project. Mozilla is a small tiny organisation that produces high quality software for more than 400 million users around the world and educates the public about the importance of openness and innovation on the web. This would not be possible without the help and support of thousands of passionate volunteers who believe in our mission and actively participate in the development and promotion of our products and mission. As successfull as the Mozilla Project has been (almost a third of the world's internet population use our products!) we still have so much more to do and so many new challenges and opportunities on the horizon. One challenge we're encountering has to do with scale: as vibrant as our community of volunteer contributors to the project, it is not scaling as fast as our ever-expanding user base, which means that the community is stretched thinner thinner when contributing to the project, whether it's localizing documentation, organizing events, providing user support, designing marketing campaigns, testing websites, evangelizing open web technologies etc... To address this challenge, Mozilla needs to have a much more systematic and structured approach to strengthening, empowering and expanding its contributor base. Mozilla needs to create a framework that pushes responsibility to the edges, leverages the power of its passionate contributor community.

Introducing ReMo

ReMo (https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo) is a program designed specifically to address this challenge and help Mozilla empower, strengthen and expand its contributor base. ReMo is the code name for "Mozilla Representatives",  a program designed to help Mozillians become official representatives of Mozilla in their region. ReMo is about providing the:

  • tools
  • assistance
  • support
  • resources

to enable volunteers to take on more responsibility within the Mozilla Project, more easily and effectively, and be the eyes, ears and voice of Mozilla in their region to inspire more people to get involved in the project.

ReMo = empowering community further

And to be sure, I work directly with hundreds of volunteers who are the eyes, ears and voice of Mozilla and already consider themselves Mozilla representatives. ReMo will help "officialise" this role, and make that role so much easier to take on and ultimately much more impactful. For example, ReMo will make it infinitely easier and faster to:

    •    obtain a budget for a specific event or equipment for your community
    •    obtain reimbursement for travel and expenses
    •    order and customize locale-specific swag
    •    identify and attend relevant events to represent Mozilla at
    •    customize and order official Mozilla business cards
    •    find project-specific slides, templates, videos etc...
    •    produce locale specific materials (posters, flyers, etc...)
    •    touch base and collaborate with project teams at Mozilla

ReMo = community driven

One of the most critical and important features of ReMo is that when the program will reach mature stage (hopefully by the end of the year), it will be entirely community-driven, whereby Mozilla Representatives themselves will be driving and steering the program in coordination with Mozilla paid staff, maintaining and managing the platform, mentoring new Reps, managing and approving specific budgets, updating and producing new materials, leading training workshops etc..

Next steps...

As I mentioned at the beginning of this introductory blog post, ReMo is so important, so large in scope and most importantly, so dependent on feedback from the community that Pierros and I will be writing a lot of blog posts about it in the next weeks in order to shed light on so many different aspects of the program and of course, to answer all the many questions that will naturally surface. In an effort to maximise participation, discussion and the sharing of ideas during the design/planning phase of ReMo, we'll be holding weekly update calls and IRC meetings in the early morning, afternoon and late evening so as to encourage as many people as possible to participate.

So stay tuned, this is just the beginning... :)

ps: also, please make sure to frequently visit the ReMo project wiki for latest updates (https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo)