Announcing Mozilla Service Week

Austin King

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We are excited to announce the release of Mozilla Service Week. It is a new website for our community that aims to:

  • Promote technology related volunteering between Mozillians and their local communities
  • Promote idealist.org and other existing websites that make it easier to connect and change your world
  • Inspire your participation during Sept 14-21 through pledges and stories

Screenshot of Mozilla Service Week

Start today

Check it out and pledge some hours. You can refine your pledge over time. Be sure to tag your various items with mozservice09.

Mozillians have many “hi-tech” skills that they may not realize are valuable outside of our community. You don’t have to be a Firefox code contributor to do tech volunteering. You can help configuring routers, helping people setup a WordPress blog, or teach a workshop on using social networks to promote causes. Anything from writing copy, doing data entry, or simply helping groups organize their information can make for a valuable service contribution.

There is a real spirit of service growing and it’s fun to chip in and Be The Difference. Cynicism is out and Participation is in!

Help Us Build

We’re launching early (and releasing often) to get this site into the community for early feedback. Most importantly we hope to prime the pump for volunteering opportunities. We are launching in English, but have built out i18n support and coordinated with the L10n-drivers team. Post Firefox 3.5, where our localizers are pouring their energy right now, we are excited to launch many locale specific versions of Mozilla Service Week. Our first non-english site will probably be mitmachwoche.de (German). Many other localizers have shown excitement for mozservice09 and localizing the site.

Of, for, and by the Web

We’ve partnered with Idealist.org for the English site to make it easy to find ways to help or to register your needs. With the mozservice09 site, we have taken a very de-centralized strategy, hoping to take advantage of the strengths of the web itself. Outside of Idealist.org’s framework, if you want to organize a project through your blog or website for a type of service that we haven’t begun to imagine, that’s great! Mozilla Service Week introduces no heavy-weight process or centralized control.

Just be sure to pledge, Tell Your Story and spread the word. We will feature many of these stories to inspire others to get involved.

Show us the code!

From a technology perspective, one interesting aspect of the site is that when you write a story, you can provide an image or video from another website. Examples include your blog, Flickr, Youtube or Vimeo. The entire website is of course open sourced and available now, but this JavaScript widget/PHP backend is available as a stand-alone library. I’m looking forward to your contributions to make it smarter about finding photos and videos from your favorite websites. An example would be support for dailymotion.com which will be added to the site shortly.

Credits:

It’s been a wild and fun ride building the site with the core team:

  • Mary Colvig (Marketing)
  • Jane Finette (Marketing)
  • Stephen Donner (WebDev QA)
  • Krupa Raj (WebDev QA)
  • Jeremy Orem (IT)
  • Peter Deitz (Social Actions)
  • Austin King aka ozten (WebDev).

Many People have been involved with the project so far (and I hope I don’t forget any shout-outs): In roughly chronological order, Michael Morgan provided guidance and support. Axel Hecht, Pascal Chevrel provided l10n guidance with code review from Ryan Doherty and Fredrick Wenzel. Throughout the project Mark Surman and David Boswell from the Mozilla Foundation have helped us shape the vision. John Slater and The Royal Order of Design (Aaron Shimer, Tim Hogan, and Stephanie Bankhead) helped design the site and Craig Cook did an amazing job with the HTML and CSS. Ladonna Willems pitched in on the copy. Again on the L10n front Seth Bindernagel and Wil Clouser gave input. Stas Malolepszy contributed code for rewriting our gettext strings. Les Orchard wrote the Activity Feeder module. Alex Buchanan and Reed Loden prepared the promotional Badges. Our new intern Raymond Agbeame did a great job testing the site. and Jeff Balogh filed some good bugs. The rest of the webdev team also gave input and support. Additionally thanks to our partners idealist.org (Juan Cruz Mones Cazon, Ami Dar), betterplace.org (Tim Benke, Matthias Pries), and of course, the SocialActions team.

As we add more locales and partners, I look forward to volunteering with you, watching the hours pledged ticker go up, and reading your stories.

One response

  1. morgamic wrote on ::

    Nice work everyone — let’s all pitch in to help people in our communities with technology.