|From:||Mitchell Baker <mitchell-AT-mozilla.com>|
|Subject:||Introducing Mozilla Conductors -- Group Focused on Productivity in Mozilla Communications|
|Date:||Tue, 15 Nov 2011 20:04:25 -0800|
In the last couple of months I've be involved in a surprising number of conversations about how to make communication through Mozilla bugs and discussion threads more productive. This ranges from how to keep the discussion on point, how to keep the discussions about the substance and not the people, and what to do if one feels uncomfortable. The topic is raised by both long time contributors and new participants, and ranges from asking for help in how to deal with the topic, to noting how much poor communications makes it difficult to work effectively. We need to be able to speak honestly and directly to each other and remain civil. We do not want to move to a world where only "nice" comments are allowed. We need to have multiple differing viewpoints expressed with conviction. At the same time we need to be able to disagree and not get nasty with each other. This is true of all communications of course, but requires special tools for those of us who live and work in open, public settings such as our newsgroups and issue trackers. How do we improve our ability to disagree vehemently and simultaneously remain civil and productive? As in so many things, the answer is to empower people who are already doing some of this and to explicitly make this a valued contribution. The Mozilla community includes a number of people who have a great deal of experience in promoting healthy conversations in public fora. This includes activities such as: -- coaching people on who to respond to nasty settings; -- coaching people to think a little before they hit post/send/submit. -- coaching people on how to be direct and yet civil, notifying people they are at or past the boundary; -- redirecting conversations into a better place, -- building a culture of respect in how we communicate with difficult and contentious issues -- when necessary, letting people know they've gone beyond the boundaries. We're seeing this sort of guidance growing organically in parts of the Mozilla world. I believe we should acknowledge that the way we treat each other is important, and begin empowering people to lead us in this direction. As part of her work with developer engagement, Stormy Peters has offered to form a group to lead this effort. Stormy is a long-time open source participant, former ED of the GNOME Foundation, and currently leads Mozilla's developer evangelism efforts. She's talked to a few people and formed an initial set of peer-nominated mentors; they are using the name Mozilla Conductors. The primary function of the group will be to facilitate conversations that are both honest and civil. You can learn more about the group on its wiki page: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Conductors. Stormy and other conductors will post more on this shortly. Mitchell
Copyright © 2011, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds