The Evangelism Task Force in Mozilla India was formed with the initial goal of empowering existing community members to speak at conferences and successfully represent Mozilla at other community events. This task force has been heavily focused on quality from the very beginning. So, the first set of members were invited to the task force based on the training/evangelism efforts they had already shown and we count on them to train new enthusiasts and help them onboard on the crazy journey of community evangelism.

The task force team members had two meetings till date and we meet every third Thursday of a month at 10:30pm IST. In these meetings, we have discussed about how we can contribute to the goals of expanding the Mozilla community to 10x and reach out to regions where we do not have any presence yet. Based on those discussions, the task force is now planning to expand its scope and presence in the country.

Onboarding new members

When it comes to spreading the efforts of the core team, we have to welcome new members and help them learn along with us. Throughout the last couple of months, we have received over 20 requests from existing community members who want to join the Task Force. The good news is, these requests have come from (almost) all around the country. This aligns very well with our goal of reaching out to areas where we don’t have sufficient community presence.

We also need to ensure that we are building a tightly knit team as we expand. We want to keep a check on the growth, so that we onboard only a sufficient number of members whom we can help in learning evangelizing techniques. Scaling is necessary, but it is very important to have the resources and infrastructure in place before we scale. We had an initial agreement that new members will be onboarded only through recommendation of existing members. We needed a centralised channel where these recommendations can be put in transparently.

A signup form

In that spirit, we have decided to put up a form where interested community members can apply to be a part of the task force. This form will be on Mozilla India Bugzilla. The process for onboarding will be similar to how the Mozilla Reps application works. Creating a Google form and taking in responses may seem to be easier at the beginning, but tracking the responses, nominating them and getting proper notifications would have soon become a nightmare for existing members.

A brief outline of the process will be:

  • Interested community member fills up a form link provided.
  • The form creates a bug on Mozilla India Bugzilla under a component related to Evangelism Task Force, and automatically CC’s existing task force members responsible for handling new recruits.
  • At least one existing task force member adds a note of recommendation for the applicant as a comment on the bug and the bug gets assigned to one of the existing task force members.
  • Based on some discussions with the applicant, the assignee of the bug decides on onboarding the new member. In case the application does not fulfill some criteria, the assignee would provide some resources to the applicant to learn and improve and apply once again in the future.

Estimated timeline

We are currently working on the specifications for the form and a detailed SOP on how the entire process will be managed. Once the form is ready and the SOPs are in place on the Mozilla India wiki, we would open the application process. Our aim is to implement this by the first week of June, 2014.

A slight broadening of focus

There will be a lot of hype around Firefox OS soon in India and we will need to conduct a good number of training sessions to train new contributors on different pathways related to Firefox OS. The MozCamp Beta from June 20 to 22 in Bangalore is the starting point of that initiative. The Evangelism Task Force will play an important role in getting things moving after the MozCamp Beta training sessions.

This is not only about speaking in events about Firefox OS. It involves user support, developer relations, community engagement, localisation and training. From the task force perspective, it means we are not just looking at preparing a list of speakers who can travel across the country. We are broadening our scope to provide friendly support to anyone in the community who wants to get involved in any of these pathways.

We had anticipated this kind of scope expansion at the very beginning and that is why the task force today consists of members who are active in other contribution pathways, including localization, Webmaker, technical and documentation.

Planning is good. But let’s be patient

The crux of the story is, we may need to expand to a larger scale in the near future, but it is important to lay the groundwork for that from now.

On a sidenote, we are trying to build up a process to ensure smooth execution of our plans. But it is important to understand that everyone in the Evangelism Task Force is a volunteer and contribute in their spare time. So, there can be delays in responding to applications, or some gaps in between asking for help and getting it. Please be patient and while you wait for our response, keep on rockin’ the free web!