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.
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!”
- 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!