As part of the bigger Open Innovation strategy project on how openness can better drive Mozilla products and technologies, during the next few months we will be conducting research about our communities and contributors.
We want to take a detailed, data-driven look into our communities and contributors: who we are, what we’re doing, what our motivations are and how we’re connected.
Who: Understanding the people in our communities
- How many contributors are there in the Mozilla community.
- Who are we? (how diverse is our community?)
- Where are we? (geography, groups, projects)
What: Understanding what people are doing
- What are we doing? (contributing with)
- What are our skillsets?
- How much time we’re able to devote to the project.
- The tools we use.
- Why do people contribute? (motivations)
- What blocks people from contributing?
- What other projects do we contribute to?
- What other organisations are we connected to?
- How much do people want to get involved?
Why: Understanding why people contribute
- What are people’s’ motivations.
- What are the important factors in contributing for Mozilla (ethical, moral, technological etc).
- Is there anything Mozilla can do that will lead volunteers to contribute more?
- For people who have left the project:why do they no longer contribute?)
How & Where: Understanding the shape of our communities and our people’s networks
- What are the different groups and communities.
- Who’s inside each group (regional and functional).
- What is the overlap between people in groups?
- Which groups have the most overlap, which have the least? (not just a static view, but also over time)
- How contributors are connected to each other? (related with the “where”)
- How are our contributors connected to other projects, Mozilla etc
In order to answer all these questions, we have divided the work in three major areas.
Contributors and Contributions Data Analysis
Analyzing past quantitative data about contributions and contributors (from sources like Bugzilla, Github, Mailing Lists, and other sources) to identify patterns and draw conclusions about contributors, contributions and communities.
Communities and Contributors survey
Designing and administering a qualitative survey to as many active contributors as possible (also trying to survey people who have stopped contributing to Mozilla) to get a full view of our volunteers (demographics), motivations, which communities people identify with, and their experience with Mozilla. We’ll use this to identify patterns in motivations.
We’ll bring together the conclusions and data from both of the above components to articulate a set of insights and recommendations that can be a useful input to the Open Innovation Strategy project.
In particular, one aim that we have is to cross reference individuals from the Mozillians Survey and Data Analysis to better understand — on aggregate — how things like motivations and identity relate to contribution.
Additionally, we realize that we at Mozilla often ask for people’s time to provide feedback and you may have recently seen other surveys. Also, we have run research projects of this sort in the past without following up with a clear plan of action. This project is different. It’s more extensive than anything we’ve done, it is connected a much larger project to shape Mozilla’s strategy with respect to open practices, and we will be publishing the results and data.
We would like to know your feedback/input about this project, its scope and implementation:
- Are we missing any areas/topics we should get information about our communities?
- Which part do you feel it’s more relevant?
- Where do you think communities can engage to provide more value to the work we are going to do?
- Any other ideas we are not thinking about?