Nourish your community, nourish yourself.

Food is vitally important to nourish the body you live in.    Recognition is how we help feed our communities and nourish them as they make us strong.  Recognition, like food, is for everyone to partake in, and to share.

Used with Creative Commons Liscense

The tools, processes, and systems we use to identify people making contributions in our project vary widely.  It’s a situation created by valuing freedom of systems over efficiency of systems, and that isn’t something that Mozillians are willing to give up.  It makes it very hard to know who to give access and recognition to.   The Community Building team is working long term on this problem.  I’m here to ask you to nourish your community members, on an ongoing basis, by using vouching as a quick and easy way to give meaningful recognition.

The Community Tools team  implemented Mozillians.org as a first step in allowing people to self identify as supporters or contributors to the Mozilla project.   The vouching system is one of the major ways we identify people who make actual contributions to the project. Read more about that here.

Being a vouched Mozillian means something.  It means you can be invited to large events like our Summit .  It means you can get access to internal calls .  It means you are visible to the project, as a Mozillian helping us move forward. It means we trust you.  Let’s make our words reflect that trust.

Since the vouching change was implemented we’ve seen some vouches like:

“ Karl has been around a long time.”

“Cindy makes things.”   

We can do better than that.  That is like skipping breakfast.  You get through it, but nothing nourishing happens.

For example, compare the vouches above, to this:

“Lindsey worked nights and weekends to help the Release Engineering team finish the release on time – it went out on time with much higher quality thanks to her extra effort!”  

Ask yourself:

  • Which one will make Lindsey feel valued?
  • Which one demonstrates the higher level of trust and access that being a vouched Mozillian gives her?

If you want to know more: go to the Vouching page on the wiki to see some additional examples.

We should all see vouching as a form of recognition.  Use it to tell people what they did was meaningful.  Help them understand that the additional access and trust we are giving them comes from the impact of their contribution.  Encourage them to keep contributing by saying thank you.

If that isn’t enough for you, do it because it helps us build the OSS community we need… a community where contribution is valued, regularly, in public.

So here is the request:

1) Create a Mozillians account if you don’t have one.  Talk to three people you know and trust in your regional community– ask them to vouch for your work.  You need to be vouched three times before you can vouch for others.

2) If you have an account and three vouches,  go vouch for others.  Yes, you, even you.  This is a change that our unpaid contributors should drive.  You know your regions, your groups, and your people best.  Take the leadership to recognize them for the impact they are making in their areas.  Take the time to make that mean something in our context.

3) Come back here, and share your story in the comments.

  • How did it feel to vouch?
  • How did it feel to receive a vouch that shared your impact, thanked you, or celebrated your contributions?

And always, keep being awesome!

6 responses

  1. jhalperin wrote on :

    I met Dietrich at the Community Builder’s meetup a few weeks ago and he vouched me in an extremely authentic and kind manner. His vouch, which included a statement about what we’ve taught each other and a nice comment about my personality really made me feel valued and helped me contextualize my impact on the project.

    I like vouching because it is not only a way to provide warm and fuzzies to your fellow contributors, but also a way to internalize and externalize impact as well as celebrate one another.

  2. David Boswell wrote on :

    Thanks for this reminder about how important recognition is. I just went and vouched several people and told a very short story for each about how much fun it was working with them to launch the Mozilla Antarctica community site. I’m glad to see how the vouching system has evolved to provide space for people to share stories like these on contributors’ profiles.

  3. Srikar wrote on :

    I met Community Building Team in last Meetup in MV, It was most awesome experience & learn how to drive community.

    Lyre Calliope vouched me in a beautiful way, I was able to correlate myself with vouch.This helped me analyze how I am performing in CBT Team, how my insights are helping team & this added lot of boost to perform well & much better which is encouraging 🙂 This kind of vouches really have impact on the contributors to perform their best !

    Michelle Marovich vouched me in pretty way, which pushed me to spend more time on projects with passion (Example: Attending meeting at 12 PM midnight IST 😛 ) and give inputs, feedbacks etc. I am very glad & happy that vouches are now integral part for contributors to responsible to drive them forward 🙂

  4. Monique wrote on :

    I agree with the new recognition system, it responds much better to the community spirit of Mozilla, and it helps to emphasize the commitment of Mozillians.
    I started vouching some of them I know well!
    (Note: there is an error in the link to the wiki)

  5. Rufai Mustapha wrote on :

    Its easy to say that we need people to vouch for us. I live in Nigeria where we only have one Mozilla rep and he lives very far away from I am. I can’t even imagine going to his own side of the country. Since only vouched Mozillians can vouch for me and I have none around me, does that mean I will never be vouched for. I need some to help vouch for me, I have created the biggest Mozilla event on my campus #webmaker here https://events.webmaker.org/events/6301 and planning to even host a bigger one later in the year. You can event visit #Ife-meets-tech on facebook or twitter to see how much social media presence I brought into organizing the event. But, sometimes I feel I can’t get across to other guys around the world. I want to be a Mozillian to and am trying to help out on fixing bugs though it seems pretty hard sometimes but am learning enough to help out in fixing the bugs. I hope this cry will get people to check out my page @ Rufai Musapha on mozilla.org and vouch for me. I have been a student ambassador since November 2013, and I hope to get enough support from the body to promote the organization here at my school Obafemi Awolowo University.

  6. geekonwork wrote on :

    i am new in this community,i am from nepal and we dnt have any other vouched mozillian in our area.There are some in capital city but we are far from the city and we dnt have any mozilla events or workshop over here.So i thought to create a account and starts to contribute and starts a communtiy over here.
    Is it possible to know the way to get vouched.