Contribution Activity Metrics – An Intro

Yesterday was my 3rd anniversary of joining Mozilla as a paid contributor. We’ve come a long way over those 3 years, and especially on my domain (community building) we experimented, deployed and pioneered new ideas on how to build a global community.

For me, Mozilla Reps was the experimentation focus. Together with William Quiviger we created a program with a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events, recruit and mentor new contributors, document and share activities, and support their local communities better. Other parts of the organization also ramped up their contributor engagement efforts, namely Webmaker, SuMo, Addons, QA and Coding, explored new ways to interact and incentivize contributions for their areas.

Inherently with experimentation and growth, some needs are surfaced. The need to have visibility, have a deeper understanding of the inner workings of your community, have hard figures to look at while assessing the progress of a program in order to take informed decisions for the future of it. To meet those needs, each team tried to create their own metrics around their contribution systems (websites, tools, communities), having a narrow scope, only covering their immediate needs.

Starting late 2012, a meta team of community builders was formed across Mozilla (Community Building Team aka CBT), thanks to the efforts of David Boswell trying to get us all on the same page. It was easy to see early-on that we needed to standardize our language around contribution metrics, align and define a unified way forward. The advantages of a unified approach were obvious. For the first time, we would be able to track contributions across all Mozilla projects and cross compare activity metrics for each project. Establishing a common language and definition of a contribution would also be the key to unlock all communications between community builders in Mozilla. We would be speaking the same language and measure activity the same way. For sure interpretations, thresholds and actions after the metrics might differ for each project, but hey! we would have de-duplicated a lot of efforts after all!

Since late December 2013, (almost 2 months now) it is my honor to be part of a newly formed Community Building Team under David. In my new role, I am tasked to lead the Systems and Data working group, delivering these unified tools and language around contribution metrics in Mozilla. You can learn more about the Systems and Data working group reading this intro post. For over a year now, this (initially informal) Working Group has been conceptualizing and rethinking the way we measure contribution across Mozilla, and with this newly formed team the time has come to deliver those. We are well underway on building the first iteration of those tools and getting the first results published.

This post is just the first of many to come in a series of posts around Contribution Activity Metrics and our progress so far. If you love metrics and you are interested in community building, you can join us by being part of the Working Group.

People are doing awesome stuff in Mozilla. Let’s measure them :)