This is not a post about how was the MozCamp Beta. This post is personal in nature. We wrapped up MozCamp Beta today at Bangalore. I think it was a bigger success than we had hoped for. People returned from the event with increased confidence and more willingness to contribute something meaningful to the community.
But, from what I see, a section of community members were not happy about the selection process for participants of the MozCamp Beta. I had written about the MozCamp Beta India selection criteria nearly a month back where I had mentioned the factors that drove the selection process. But that has failed to deliver the right the intended message. I received feedback that a significant portion of the community are under the impression that I was the main person behind randomly picking participants for MozCamp. Let me clarify this.
I was one of the two people invited from India to participate in the MozCamp Design Session in San Francisco in April, 2014. All planning related information information are now present in the MozCamps_2014/Planning wiki page.
The participants of the Design Session had the task of drawing up an entirely new event format, which was still a hypothesis when the planning began. The entire team worked hard over three days to come up with solid plans for a new event format for training existing community members, using methods of participatory learning.
I had primarily worked in coordinating content for the new format and in tracing the road ahead. Given the short timeline that we had for planning and execution of the beta run in India, I had also proposed to delay the MozCamp Beta by nearly a month so that we can get more time to execute it properly. But that idea got turned down because this event was tied strongly with the Firefox OS launch announcement in India.
As some community members currently believe, I was not one of the key decision makers behind the current selection process.
It was a common consensus of planning members who were part of the invitation criteria planning process. They had come up with two different invitation processes: one involving an application procedure and the other (now controversial) nomination-based procedure. The details of the both the processes are clearly written down in the Process section of the MozCamp Planning wiki page.
The nomination-based process was selected for the MozCamp Beta because we simply did not have enough time to announce a call for application and go through the entire review cycle. But to keep things as transparent as possible, the nomination was done using range voting where Indian community leads from all active contribution areas were present.
I was one of them. But I was not the sole decision maker.
This is my polite request to those unhappy community members to please go through the planning-related information on the wiki and also check the etherpads for the MozCamp planning. This may help in clarifying the doubts you have, mostly against me.
On a personal note
Overall, the community members in charge of the MozCamp Beta did an exceptional job to pull off such a show in so short time. They all deserve a round of applause.
But, on a personal note, I really missed talking to a lot of you who were so upset on me for reasons which were not probably justified.