ReMo Program Session – French Speaking Community Meetup

Photo: Achref Fouwed

Session recorded video

During the French Speaking community Meetup, that took place in June in Paris for two days, I made a session about the ReMo program. I had also the chance to talk with different reps and non-reps about the program. Many of them (contributors and employees mainly from Africa and France) exposed some ideas, thoughts and concerns. Those people are a bench of very old contributors and new one.

It was very interesting to hear from different sides and different views. You find in this blog post  a synthesis of these conversations and questions.

What I’ve noticed

  • Old contributors (more then 6 and 7 years of contribution) are the most reluctant.
  • Big mix between Mozilla Reps goals and Community Building goals.
  • Misunderstanding of ReMo program (Massive applications in some region especially Africa)
  • They appreciated a lot to have a council member being present in the meeting and talking about the program. For some the ReMo program was too much hierarchical and the council group was inaccessible.

What do you like about the ReMo program?

  • The portal (still we have some questions and proposals about that)
  • The funding aspect. This is REALLY helpful.
  • The amazing growth. It’s seen as one of the most successful program in Mozilla until now.

Why you don’t want to join the ReMo program?

Persons asked: Old french contributors (mainly very active in localization!)

  • ReMo = Marketing. For some, the Rep’s Mission is too much based on marketing for Mozilla. They gave me the example of what’s happening for Firefox OS and how rep were too much pushed to make events about Firefox OS (App Days, Hackthons…)
  • Very few areas where representatives can flourish: they just see too much Firefox OS and WebMaker.
  • For some contributors they don’t like the idea of making events! Some contributors are affraid to don’t be good reps because they don’t like making events.
  • Too much “Boy Scout” aspect for the program: tshirts, procedure, signing before to be a rep…

Concerns

  • It’s all about English! Many reps feel that they are not too involved because of the language (SOP, writing blogposts, exchanges on the mailing list)
  • Mozilla is pushing too much for ReMo program. Example: Some talked about a lobbying during the last Mozcamp in Warsaw about ReMo. Others are afraid to fall in the situation “If you’re not Rep you’re not a good Mozillian”.
  • Too much administrative/difficulties in remo application: The procedure is long and especially many are rejected because they don’t understand how to fill the application (it must be in english… )
  • Decision making: why the council group is the most concerned by that? one of the rep told me it’s not because you are sharing your meeting notes that mean you are including us in the decision making!!

Questions

  • I’m a not a Mozilla Rep and I need a budget and swag to make an event. What do I have to do? (This question was basically from African community members  because for European one, Mozilla Europe provided events funding -probably the reasons for the small number of reps in the region two years ago!)
  • When the SIG will be deployed -enough marketing for the rep program-?  Can I be in more then one SIG? Some want to be part of many groups and try many things in Mozilla (having the SIG is really interesting for them!)
  • What happens if I’m not active for a while? They want us to communicate clearly about that!
  • Our portal: why changes are getting slow since a period? Who to contact about change proposals ?

Tools

  • Mailing List:  Too much noise! I discovered that more then 80% of those I talked with (reps) are filtering email from reps-general! I was talking about the reps survey about mentors and no one did it in the room. Note: It is not the event annoucements or reports that bothers, they like those email to know what is happening in other region but it’s the one word email or the +1 and congrats emails
  • Reporting system: The question here: why do we need this strict reporting system? Is it used? those data are explored by mentors or remo leaders? I can say that for more then 90% of those I talked with (reps), the  report system is just a fail!! Many don’t do it, it’s too much and for some even the content and how to complete it is not consistent (Futur/planned activity for a month is the same then past activity for the next month)
  • SOP are not localized! This is many don’t read them. Also some feel it is not highlighted!

Confusion and questions related with Community Building (Builing new communities and identifing new contributors – Africa)

  • If a person in a country where we don’t have a Mozilla community contact me as a rep, am I obliged to ask him to join the ReMo program to build his community?
  • What’s the role and steps to do when you identify a potential future contributor?
  • Can we say that the ReMo program is a starting point for new communities?
Proposals
  • Have a reporting system when you do an event: participate or organize. Generated automatically or link to this report.
  • Having a comment section in events page to avoid noise in the mailing list.
  • Insist on mentors to talk -More- about the SOP in the first steps of a new rep mentoring.
  • Ease the application process and support more the new representatives (They feel that some mentors are overwhelmed)
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