Proposal: Knowledge Base Spring Cleaning at SUMO – June 2018

Hi everyone,

People say that spring is a good time to try new things and refresh one’s body and mind. While our site does not really have a body (unless you count the HTML tags…) and its collective mind is made up of all of us (including you, reading these words), it does need refreshing every now and then, mostly due to the nature of the open, living web we are all part of.

That said, let’s get to the details, some of which may sound like Rosana’s post from about 4 years ago.

What’s the proposal about?

The localization coordinators across Mozilla want to consolidate Mozillians and our resources around active locales. In the context of SUMO’s Knowledge Base, this means taking a closer look at the Knowledge Base, which at the moment is available for 76 locales (at least “on paper”).

The proposal is to redirect the mostly inactive locales of the SUMO Knowledge Base to English (or another best equivalent locale). You can find the proposed (draft) list of all the locales here.

  • 23 locales will remain active, with localizers providing good coverage both via Pontoon and SUMO’s Knowledge Base – and no action will be required for them.
  • In 30 cases, the existing (and historically active) localizers will be contacted to decide on reviving the localization effort for SUMO content. If there is enough interest, they will remain active (with a plan to update content). If there is not enough interest, they will be redirected at the end of June.
  • In 23 cases, the locales will be redirected at the end of June due to little or no localization activity over an extended period of time. These can also be reactivated at a later time, if need be.

It is important to note that no content created so far would be deleted.

Why do we want to do this?

There are several reasons behind this proposal:

  1. Fewer locales mean more administrator focus on actually active locales – more time for joint projects or experiments, more attention to the needs of localizers putting a lot of time and effort into making SUMO global on a continuous basis.
  2. Firefox and the main Mozilla pages have a higher priority than SUMO, so for many localizers it’s better to focus on these projects, rather than getting involved with Knowledge Base localization.
  3. The “long tail” locales on SUMO are accessed by a very small number of users each month, so there is little need for serving them at this point.
  4. Revisiting this initiative in 6 months will help us see progress made by local communities in building up their active localizer numbers.

What are the next steps?

The 23 locales counted as “no change” will keep functioning as usual, with more locally driven activities coming this year – check the last section of this L10n blog post for just one of the many possibilities.

During April and May, I will reach out to all the contributors listed in SUMO and Pontoon for the 30 locales that are listed as candidates for the clean up – using Private Messages on SUMO or emails listed in Pontoon. Depending on the answers received, we may be keeping some of these locales online, and coming up with a realistic (but ambitious) localization progress timeline for each of them.

At the end of June (after the All Hands), all the locales that are not active will be redirected to English (or another best equivalent locale).

After that, localization for the redirected locales will be focused on Firefox and other Mozilla properties. If there is interest in reactivating a locale, it will happen according to a “re/launch plan” – including creating or participating in a SUMO Knowledge Base sprint event aimed at localizing at least the 20 most popular articles in the Knowledge Base as the minimum requirement, and additional sprints to localize an additional 80 most popular articles.

Is anything else being cleaned up at this stage?

No, the Knowledge Base is a big enough project for now.

Still, this is just the start of this year’s clean up – we will also look into reviewing and reorganizing our contributor documentation, English Knowledge Base, and other properties containing content relevant to SUMO (for example our MozWiki pages).

Please let us know what you think about this in the comments or on our forums: SUMO / Discourse.

15 days in feedback at the group “Mozilla Social Support”

I had the pleasure of working with Christophe Villeneuve aka hellosct1in the beginning of February this year and he wrote a great review about his experience during the first two weeks in the Social Support Program. If you are on the fence about joining the Social Support program, check out this testimonial for what to expect in the first 15 days of the program. It can not only be rewarding it can be pretty easy to get started.

To get started check out the guidelines page to get started.

This is a good read for those of you that are interested in what the program is like.

From the desk of Christophe:

Since I joined the group “Mozilla Social Support” at the end of January 2018, I realized that I was already doing user support without really contributing to the support part. This was reflected mainly through my presence at events, media (press, radio…), answering questions after my talks or just just with my presence in some shows.

I’m going to give you a little feedback on my 15 days of activities, impressions and the process that I have in place at home to answer all the messages.

Before 2018

Before, of incorporating the team, I have been busy since the launch of Firefox OS in France in 2013, I took care of answering technical messages to arrive little by little to contribute directly on the Twitter accounts of @mozilla_fr and @firefox_fr. In addition, I do the same thing with the Facebook account FrMozilla and the Mastodon account

I noticed that the majority of messages that arrive on these accounts were not tagged #fxhelp.


Tooling is important to answer easily, and it is not uncommon to have hundreds of tabs when we follow the news or make support. (On average I have 800 to 1,200 tabs).

That’s why, I pinned some tabs to avoid looking for them in my favorites or containers, like this I pinned Tweetdeck, the forums of mozfr (Mozilla fr), etc.

The point is to be able to quickly, and from time to time consult important pages to view new messages.

By the way, I installed alerts using IFTTT to retrieve the messages coming from these networks because I am not always connected with my computer. These alerts arrive directly on my Telegram account that I also use on my mobile phone, so I can react quickly, instead of waiting several hours (or days) for the person who is waiting for his answer.



Since my arrival, 2 weeks ago, I have already closed more than 220 messages. This happens as follows:

I continue to respond on twitter, which is the first resource of my habits and I answer through the official accounts (@mozilla_fr, @firefox_fr) with serious answers. I do the same thing for Facebook and Mastodon.

Then I go to the ‘army of awesome’ page to answer the tagged questions #fxhelp and here I use my nick @hellosct1.

I can note a small regret [in the Army of Awesome app] about the number of characters available for the answer because I find the input area quite small compared to a twitter account that accepts 280 characters.

Finally, I go to the site ‘Buffer reply’ to process messages that are in French, and answer the different Firefox questions – my answers are made with my @hellosct1. In addition, from this account, I can check if all the questions have been answered and thus close the conversation.

Note the Army of Awesome app is still planned to be removed, the development of this has been post boned. Currently further development has not been prioritized.


Sometimes the user answers a question I asked for more information, or to thank me or to rest another. During the exchanges, we lose the hashtag #fxhelp that I try to put back if I answer, but it is not always intuitive, which means that there is a point to improve on the follow-up.

One of the ideas would be to replace the #fxhelp with @fxhelp with the risk of having an increase in the traffic or the volume of the messages.

During the exchanges, it is necessary to test more thoroughly a problem or a question that has been raised, until declaring it in bugzilla if the problem could be reproduced and qualified.

In summary

The Firefox browser must be pre-configured with the pinned tabs, allowing quick access to the media interfaces, which are for me:

  • Tweetdeck
  • Army of Awesome
  • Buffer Reply
  • etc.

Of course, this is a first comeback because I have little perspective on this activity, it is always possible to question me or to have more details.

Christophe Villeneuve aka hellosct1

  • Mozilla Reps
  • Team WebExtensions / Addons
  • Team Mozilla Social Champion
  • Team community Communication French
  • Team MDN Web Docs
  • Team Mozilla Social Support

Already a social contributor? Leave your feedback here

An Update about Moderators, Administrators, and our new team member

Hey there, fellow Mozillians!

Throughout the years, we have been extremely lucky to have an amazing array of great people joining us and contributing in many various ways. There has been some spam here and there, we’ve had some people getting very emotional and unhappy about various aspects of SUMO or Mozilla, but so far we have had relatively few cases that needed Administrator investigation.

Obviously, all that luck does not mean that interpersonal conflicts on different levels do not happen right now or will not happen in the future. We acknowledge this fact and want to be prepared for such moments, as infrequent as they are. Staying a step ahead of potential problems will help us provide you with a SUMO community experience you all can enjoy and be a part of.

As a team of Administrators, we want to make sure everyone feels safe and empowered to contribute to Mozilla and talk openly about people who are not acting in agreement with the Mozilla-wide Community Participation Guidelines or the SUMO Community Participation Guidelines that are being finalized with your help.

We want to be open, fair and serious about keeping Mozilla diverse, inclusive, and watchful without breaking any of the mutual trust we hold for each other in our community.

For this purpose, we want to present you with a framework for Administrator and Moderator Responsibilities and discuss them with you all. You will find more details and the community discussion in this thread on Discourse.

We also want to inform you about the current list of Administrators and Moderators – and officially introduce (and explain) the addition of a new team member.

The current Moderators are listed on the Forum Moderators group page:

The current Administrators are (as listed on the “Meet the Team” page: Joni, Madalina, Michał, Patrick, Rachel, Roland

We also have a new team member – Foxy McSUMO (Maybe we should change the name? Do you have suggestions? Let us know!):

Who is Foxy McSUMO?

Foxy McSUMO is a persona that represents the whole SUMO Administrator team, without being a single person in particular. You can consider this profile a communication/action tool that each and every member of the SUMO Administrator team can use, after discussing the need to do so with the other Administrators.

Why do we have Foxy McSUMO?

We want to experiment with removing personal bias and communicate some (not all) team projects and decisions without making any one of the Administrators the “go to” person. If you see a post by (or receive any message from) Foxy, it means that we are addressing you as a whole team, not “just” one of us – this should help everyone avoid confusion and/or personal bias in communication.

Please, let us know what you think about the above – and do check the Discourse thread to see more details about Administrator and Moderator responsibilities in 2018.

Thank you for rocking the helpful web!

The Big SUMO Report: 2017

Hey there, SUMO Nation!


We are happy to see you reading these words at the beginning of 2018 – and curious to see what it brings… But before we dive deep into the intriguing future, let’s take a look back at 2017. It has been a year full of changes big and small, but we were all in it together and we could not have reached the end of the year as a team without you. There is quite a lot to talk about, so let’s get rolling with the numbers and details!

SUMO 2017 – the major facts

  • We had a fair share of “platform adventures”, switching the whole site over to a completely new front- and back-end experience for admins, contributors, and users – and then coming back to our previous (and current) setup – both for good reasons. It has been a rocky road, full of big challenges and unexpected plot twists. Thank you for staying with us through all the good winds and bad turbulence.
  • More on the platform side – Giorgos and Ben have been quietly moving things around to ensure a stable future for the site – the works are finishing only now, but the prep work happened all in 2017.
  • We proudly and loudly took part in the biggest event of 2017 for everyone at Mozilla – the release of Firefox Quantum! Remember – even if you never contributed a single line of code to Firefox, your contributions and participation in what Mozilla does is crucial to the future of an open web.
  • The “big one” aside, we also welcomed Firefox Rocket and Firefox for Fire TV to our family of “all the software for your burning browsing needs” ;-).
  • We met in San Francisco and Austin to talk about all things Mozilla and SUMO – and celebrate our diversity and achievements.
  • We also met in Berlin to talk about our community plans for 2018.
  • We were invited to join the kicking off of the Non-Coding Volunteers project and are really looking forward to more of it in 2018.
  • This humble blog took a dip in general activity and traffic (15 new posts vs 68 in 2016 and over 7,200 page views vs 9,200 in 2016). Still, some of the most read posts in its history appeared last year – and were written by you. We’re talking about community event reports, All Hands tales, and stories about bugs – quality over quantity!

SUMO 2017 in numbers – the highlights

Just like the year before, our activity and its results could be analysed from many perspectives, with dozens of data sources. Putting everything together, especially given our platform changes in 2018, is quite impossible – and the numbers have been affected by interruptions in tracking, as expected.

Capturing the potential, reach, and power of SUMO as a source of knowledge and help and as an example of community collaboration is something we definitely want to improve upon in 2018.

No amount of simple digits can tell the complete story of our joint voyage, but let’s try with the ones below.

General site stats

  • Number of total page views: 855,406,690 vs 806,225,837 (2016) – over 49 million more!
  • Number of users with at least one recorded session (= visit to the site): 296,322,215 vs 259,584,893 (2016) – over 36 million more!
  • Number of sessions (= periods of active user engagement on the site): 513,443,121 vs 446,537,566 (2016) – over 66 million more!
  • Percentage of people returning to the site: 44.1% vs 45% (2016)
  • Average time spent on site per session: 01:26 vs 01:39 (2016)
  • Average number of pages visited per session: 1.67 vs 1.81 (2016)
  • Percentage of single page visits: 39.7% vs 25% (2016)
  • 89.65% of users saw the website on desktop or laptop computers (90.9% in 2016). The remaining 10.35% visited us from a mobile device (9.1% in 2016).
  • Percentage of people who visited SUMO using Firefox: 85% vs 84% (2016)
  • Percentage of people who visited SUMO using Chrome: 5.8% / Safari: 5.8% / Internet Explorer: 1.6% vs Chrome: 7% / Safari: 4% / Internet Explorer: 3% (2016)
  • Number of people who contributed for the first time: 1,174 vs 1,153 (2016)

Language & Knowledge Base stats

  • Top visitor 10 languages (by percentage of sessions):
    1. English (no change)
    2. German (no change)
    3. Spanish (from 4th in 2016)
    4. French (from 3rd)
    5. Russian (from 6th)
    6. Japanese (from 5th)
    7. Portuguese (Brazil) (no change)
    8. Chinese (simplified) (from 10th)
    9. Polish (from 8th)
    10. Italian (from 9th)
  • Top 10 visitor countries (by percentage of sessions):
    1. United States
    2. Germany
    3. Japan
    4. France
    5. Brazil
    6. Russia
    7. India
    8. United Kingdom
    9. Poland
    10. Indonesia

(No change for the top 10 visitor countries from last year)

  • Number of all submitted article revisions in 2017 (important note: the numbers include only data from Kitsune – we do not have data from Lithium):
    • for English only: 1,588 (over 4 a day on average)
    • for the top 20 locales: 12,087 (over 33 a day on average)
    • for all locales: 16,707 (over 45 a day on average)
  • Here’s an alphabetical list of the most active contributors to the Knowledge Base across all 12 months of 2017. If your username is below, you have gone above and beyond in making Mozilla and SUMO useful to users around the world – we can’t thank you enough for your participation!


(For more general data please check this document)

Support Forum


Social Support

  • The Social Support kept going strong thanks to 20 core contributors and around 40 casual helpers.
  • We are still using Reply as the main tool and have added 4 new languages this year – we now support in Czech, Turkish, French, German, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Bengali, and Nepali.
  • We are still looking for more help in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese – so there’s a lot of opportunity to have your name listed below ;-)
  • Quantum was the highest participation we had in social all year, thank you everyone!
  • The Army of Awesome is still being sunsetted… We are just waiting for a few more pieces to fall into place.
  • Whew, now it’s finally time to meet the social superheroes! Each and every one of the great folks listed below is out there, making sure that no cry for help goes unanswered. Take a look here and also below:

Abbackar Diomande
Alex Mayorga
Andrei Petcu
Andrew Truong _feer56_
Benny Chandra
Cynthia Pereira
Daniela Albarrán
Dynisha Faust
Fabio Beneditto
Jhonatas Rodrigues
Josh Riley
João Paulo Polles
Kumaresan C S
Michal Stanke
Nildëala Dorffer
Noah Y
Robert Sayles
Stefan Costen
Swarnava Sengupta
Valentin Angeli
Wim B
Zach Kingston
Zilmar de Souza Junior

SUMO 2017 in your words

We’ve shared our notes and insights from the last year with you… Now it’s time to hear from you! Please use the comment section to share your best and not so good SUMO (or Mozilla) moments from the last calendar year.

We look forward to hearing from you – both now and later in 2018!


Berlin Admin Meetup – November 2017

Hey there, fellow helpful Mozillians :-)

Last week, three of the administrators and coordinators (Rachel, Madalina, Michał) met in Berlin to talk about our status and plans for 2018. We would like to share some of the most important points and decisions taken after five days of talks and invite you to ask questions or voice your opinions about the state & trajectory of Mozilla’s Support.

To set your expectations before you dig in – we are going to talk about many of the points made below during our upcoming All Hands, so outlining detailed and complete plans at this stage does not make sense, as after next week there could be many more factors “on the table” to consider and include in our 2018 planning. What you see on this page is rather a general outline of where we see Mozilla’s community (when talking about user support) in 2018.

That said, if you have any questions about the content of this post, please use the Discourse thread if you have something to share regarding the contents of this post.

We’re done with the introduction… Let’s dig into it!

The main focus of the agenda was community, and the organization of the discussion was (more or less) as follows:

  1. Current state of the community and challenges we face
  2. Tools and resources at our disposal
  3. Teams and people to talk to
  4. Defining “community”
  5. Community goals for different aspects of Support
  6. Defining “community health”
  7. Community building
  8. Delegating / sharing tasks & responsibilities with contributors
  9. Reporting
  10. Events
  11. Contributor paths
  12. Reviewing the Firefox Quantum release
  13. Goals for 2018

Let’s start at the end, shall we? ;-) Our main goals for 2018, in no particular order, are to be able to say that we:

  1. …have a way to segment contributors and identify personal profiles that will help us make strategic decisions. We want to have a better idea about who the people in our community are.
    • One of the ways we want to try to achieve this is conducting research with the help of Open Innovation/Participation and setting up a survey for new contributors.
  2. …can cooperate with and within a self-sufficient community or a set of self-sufficient communities.
  3. …have identified and implemented metrics that are accessible and relevant to both other project teams at Mozilla and to anyone outside Mozilla.
    • Talking to people about the numbers they need and crunching numbers is the name of the game here.
  4. …have identified community management tasks that we (as admins) cannot completely take care of and the people who can help us with that. Also, have successfully delegated some (all?) of such tasks to people interested in getting involved at a higher level.
    • We are working on a team list of tasks and we hope to share it with you soon enough. If you’re interested in this part already, let us know through the usual channels.
  5. …have identified neighbouring expert networks that contribute help us fulfil all the needs of our contributors and users.
    • This means investigating internal and external networks of specialists and experts in areas that enable support. We want to have more smart people out there working with us on making it better for everyone.
  6. …have identified and cleaned up all existing legacy content regarding user support at Mozilla.
    • Expect some centralisation and purging of content across several places. We keep producing too much noise and not enough signal in some areas of our activity as administrators – and we need to clear up our act in order to make it easier for Mozillians old and new to find their way.
  7. …have participated (together with contributors) in at least one large (and impactful) event every quarter (on average), representing Mozilla and our support efforts.
    • Mozilla’s support was presented at different events in the past, with varied degree of success. We want to take this up a notch and involve you, whenever it makes logistical sense.
  8. …have permeated the community with a “one Mozilla” attitude.

We have also identified several “big” issues that have an impact on our part of the project that we want to provide solutions (or a way forward) for – not necessarily before the next year ends. Here are the key ones:

  1. Kitsune is an old (if reliable) platform and it is unlikely we will be able to recruit full-time developers to fully support and develop it in the near future. We need to address this in order to provide continuous support options for users and a platform for contribution for Mozillians.
    • keywords: community developers, community dashboards, Discourse, Pontoon
  2. We do not have enough resources to run a staff only support model. We want to have a self-sufficient community that can function with minimum admin help in order to grow and scale beyond our current numbers, while keeping users supported and contributors engaged.
    • keywords: research, survey, community health, non-coding Mozillians
  3. Due to our team’s size limitations, we need to adopt a global approach to building and maintaining relationships with Mozillians supporting our users, based on the expertise and resources from teams we have historically not been continuously collaborating with.
    • keywords: non-coding Mozillians, one Mozilla, Community Participation Guidelines,
  4. Administrators cannot focus on community needs and projects as much as they should, as our main focus is (and will be) user support. Because of that, we will almost always prioritize user support tasks before community management and that will have a negative impact on our community relationships.
    • keywords: Bugzilla reports, escalations, task delegation
  5. We need to improve our communication channels within and outside of Mozilla to avoid bottlenecks and delays in daily and emergency situations.
    • keywords: universal “who is who”, more meet & greet, communication procedures
  6. We do not have enough participation in online discussions from all contributors – the forums feel dominated by a few voices. We need to encourage participation in community building through discussion and avoiding bias.
    • keywords: anonymous team persona, Discourse
  7. We need a central, scalable, and transparent way to track and engage contributors for each release across the functional areas.
    • keywords: release newsletter, readiness check-in, active contributor list, task delegation
  8. We do not feel fully aligned with other Mozilla project teams, especially those that could be directly relying on our performance.
    • keywords: conversations, metrics, expectations, reporting, positioning

Once again – if any of the above sounds terribly cryptic, the Discourse discussion is your best place to ask for clarification.

Finally, we also discussed the Firefox Quantum release from the support perspective, and here are the observations we want to share with you:

“The good”:

  • We have 12 Mozilla staff members active in social support!
  • We had good communication channels with Product, Marketing & other teams involved in the release – no bottlenecks or confusion, no feeling of “going solo” through it.
  • We had great community participation, especially in the first days after the release. The number of contributions grew exponentially with the number of incoming user questions.
  • Our legacy platform performed well, despite the huge increase in traffic.
  • Several new contributors appeared, helped out, and remained very active.
  • The volume was our main challenge; we had no unexpected emergency or reasons to panic – preparation was key here.

“Could have been better”: 

  • Contribution levels matched incoming user traffic – when incoming user traffic dropped, you could see contributions dropping as well. We’d love to keep contributors engaged for longer.
  • The forum structure encouraged multiple contributor replies to questions that have already been replied to. This could be more streamlined in order to improve coverage and decrease frustration.
  • Fringe top 20 (and beyond) locales in some cases did not rally for Quantum (this is a long-standing issue that requires addressing outside of just the support project).
  • We did not have a clear process for managing internal requests, so some team members faced disproportionate workloads and communication overload – we want to address this through smart delegation of tasks for the next release. It was also a challenge to deliver all the data or feedback requested in a timely manner. If we have a defined release requirement list before the next release, we can deliver the requested data more consistently.
  • It was not always easy to clearly understand what was the best solution for a popular issue and address user feedback or set best practices for community contributors to follow (e.g. with chrome.css edits). A point of contact in the Product team or Marketing who could offer a final decision or solution for issues is a necessity – we can’t ignore tough questions only if we lack clear answers; we can’t have clear answers without a confirmation from subject matter experts.
  • We noticed cases of people being on PTO/AFK, who were still working during that period – this should not be happening for obvious reasons – “on call” work has legal/work implications.
  • Emergency internal messaging during the release period was not organized enough and may have caused additional confusion or tension within and around the team.

“Still an issue”:

  • Following up on reported bugs – we could do better through having a clear hand-off procedure with clear expectations from the team we file bug against. We can’t let open bugs stew longer than necessary (e.g. as with a malware issue during previous releases). A clear process with the Product team in which we push for an answer or resolution that can later be taken back to people affected and contributors is definitely necessary. It is still better for us to hear “I don’t know” or “This is not a priority at this moment” from the right people, than to hear nothing and second-guess what is going to happen or what the best response could be.

A final reminder here: use the Discourse thread to discuss any of the above and let us know there if you need any more information. We are happy to provide as much of it as we have at this moment.

(And if you think that this summary is a lot to digest, imagine how many pages of notes we produced over five days…) (Probably more than you’d like to read ;D)

Thank you for getting through this post all the way to the bottom… and thank you for being there for other Mozillians and users around the world! You make Mozilla happen! Keep rocking the helpful web :-)

P.S. On a slightly less serious note, Madalina tried to keep us in Berlin a bit longer, using an escape room as an excuse… but we have successfully escaped thanks to concerted team work!