Openness and appearances

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Openness and appearances Majken Connor 3/4/12 9:21 AM
Hi all,

I want to bring up a touchy subject, but please know I'm not trying to
attack. The problem is I can think of 5 very recent to fairly recent
examples where engagement has asked for feedback, or received feedback and
then ignored it ("thanks for the feedback, but we're going to stick with
what we've got"). I'm assuming the problem is just how the feedback is
discussed and not that the feedback isn't actually being taken into
consideration.

Take the new name for Persona themes:
http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2012/03/01/personas-are-joining-the-themes-family

It looks really bad to have a poll then ignore the results of the poll. If
skins is bad, why was it included in the poll? Why weren't the reasons it
was bad shared? Not sharing the reasons makes it look like the poll was for
show, and engagement did what they were going to anyway. I am NOT
suggesting this is what happened (though that's a much bigger problem if it
is) just that it really _looks_ that way when there is no further dialogue.

I think maybe people are trying to avoid bikeshed arguments, and I know you
can't please everyone all the time, so you can't engage until everyone is
happy, but this is part of Mozilla, and part of being open. Put all the
information out there before moving on. If it was the right decision the
(vast?) majority of people will understand if you show them how you came to
the decision. There was a similar problem with renaming Identity to
Persona. Without knowing what suggestions were passed over and why, it's
_impossible_ for people to understand how Persona won given their
objections. The assumption from an onlooker is that you don't share the
other possibilities because people might like them better and then not
accept Persona. Though I know it's not necessarily traditional to consult
before naming a product, so that might need to be pointed out as well.

It's hard for me to understand that skin isn't the right word since this is
the industry word for the physical equivalent. You get a skin for your
iPhone, a gelaskin for your laptop. Given what I already know, it's not a
matter of not trusting engagement, it's that engagement is telling me
something that is the opposite of my current knowledge. I do think themes
works out so that's not quite the point here. It's just more the order of
things.

If you look at the comments from Amy's post, JanW suggests calling personas
"toolbar backgrounds" and IMO that hits the nail on the head. I think this
would be clear to users since they usually know what toolbars are and makes
a perfect distinction between the two types of themes. Even if it's not
chosen, hopefully it (and the other comments) can be taken into
consideration and/or addressed.

Thanks,
Lucy
Re: Openness and appearances Robin Monks 3/4/12 10:15 AM
I think the danger is; if I may be blunt. The words of those who are being
hired to think up this crud are being exhaulted over the will of the
community. Mozilla is a community first and foremost, and, if Mozilla the
company ignores Mozilla the community the community will just go and remake
what the heart of Mozilla is somewhere else. It happens a lot in open
source, I think folks just want to make Mozilla work really, really badly
and it's why we don't see more forking of what decentralized community is
left.

No one cares how many people you have hired to work on this stuff or how
many market studies are done or how much you paid for some new branding or
advert. If the community says it sucks; *it sucks*, trash it, learn from
it, and move on. Half of what Mozilla is doing this days wouldn't be done
if this approach was taken ;)

/Robin
> _______________________________________________
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> Guide: http://contribute.mozilla.org/Marketing
> mark...@lists.mozilla.org
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>



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Re: Openness and appearances Patrick Finch 3/5/12 3:30 AM
I'm not sure if we want to open up a thread specifically on the naming
of Persona or the  wider issue; starting a thread about both will likely
not lead us to much clarity on either.

While I think I agree with what I take to be the spirit of Robin's
comments I disagree that the instincts of those of us posting to this
list trump market data, where it has been properly collected, and I
think that the rather disrespectful characterisation of marketing
professionals undervalues the discipline.

I agree that many paid staff at Mozilla, also in the engagement and
marketing area, should work more in the open with the contributor
community (myself included) and that that this is especially important
in areas of verbiage and nomenclature.

I'd also encourage everyone to consider the following dimensions:

-the dichotomy isn't employees/contributors.  Many employees will feel
similarly excluded from decision processes, or disagree with the
outcomes (just as many contributors will agree with the outcomes)

-decisions have to be made and important ones often entail controversy.
  I think that the standard we should hold decision-makers to is being
responsible and accountable, rather than entirely subservient to the
community.  Even if we had a functioning democratic process here, I'd
suggest it would not be what we'd want to make decisions.

-we should have a conception of how our community can add value to a
marketing decision-maker's process

-decision-makers should all be aware of this value and seek it out

-we should form a conception of which decisions or briefs we would
expect consultation on

There are a number of initiatives in play to address some of these
problems, but I propose these items in any event.  I applaud Lucy's idea
of addressing this touchy subject in an open way and intend to
contribute in the same spirit.


Patrick
Patrick Finch
Mozilla
pat...@mozilla.com
Mobile: +46 768 444 833
Office: +1 650 903 0800 ext. 340
Twitter: @patrickf
IM: patric...@gmail.com
Re: Openness and appearances Gervase Markham 3/6/12 6:56 AM
On 04/03/12 17:21, Majken Connor wrote:
> It looks really bad to have a poll then ignore the results of the poll. If

I agree with this.

Mozilla is not a democracy, it's a meritocracy. That means that people
are empowered to make decisions without consultation - there is no need
for the "sham consultations" done where one is pretending to be a
democracy but, in fact, isn't (like my local council's consultation on
whether to switch to fortnightly rubbish collection).

However, if there is consultation, it should be in a form which allows
people to make meaningful input, and that input should be given
significant weight.

I think the poll went wrong because all of the options were presented
equally, without any explanation of the current thinking of the
marketing team, and the people voting did not have an opportunity to put
across _their_ thinking - or even to suggest further options.

The obvious conclusion people took from that set-up is that the thing
that polled highest would be used. Given that it wasn't, people felt
(reasonably, I think) that they'd wasted their time.

Gerv
Re: Openness and appearances Gervase Markham 3/6/12 6:58 AM
On 04/03/12 18:15, Robin Monks wrote:
> I think the danger is; if I may be blunt. The words of those who are being
> hired to think up this crud are being exhaulted over the will of the
> community.

A bit yes, but mostly no. Mozilla is not a democracy. And I'm not sure
"the community" has a unified will, either.

Some things went wrong here, but the marketing team having the power to
take the final decision was not one of them.

> No one cares how many people you have hired to work on this stuff or how
> many market studies are done or how much you paid for some new branding or
> advert. If the community says it sucks; *it sucks*, trash it, learn from
> it, and move on. Half of what Mozilla is doing this days wouldn't be done
> if this approach was taken ;)

Yes; problem is, it wouldn't necessarily be the bad half.

Gerv

Re: Openness and appearances Majken Connor 3/6/12 8:30 PM
Regarding Bram, he's the one that made the post I was talking about, I know
he's working with others, I assume Crystal?  Anyway, it's still a good
example of taking an expert in one area, and working directly with the
community to come up with better solutions than simply leaving it up to the
"expert" or leaving the community to hack it without help.
Re: Openness and appearances Majken Connor 3/10/12 1:19 PM
Patrick said:

I'd also encourage everyone to consider the following dimensions:

-the dichotomy isn't employees/contributors.  Many employees will feel
similarly excluded from decision processes, or disagree with the outcomes
(just as many contributors will agree with the outcomes)

-decisions have to be made and important ones often entail controversy.  I
think that the standard we should hold decision-makers to is being
responsible and accountable, rather than entirely subservient to the
community.  Even if we had a functioning democratic process here, I'd
suggest it would not be what we'd want to make decisions.

-we should have a conception of how our community can add value to a
marketing decision-maker's process

-decision-makers should all be aware of this value and seek it out

-we should form a conception of which decisions or briefs we would expect
consultation on

There are a number of initiatives in play to address some of these
problems, but I propose these items in any event.

I agree and would love to discuss these initiatives and also help analyze
them to make sure they cover the right goals, without missing anything. I
was hoping more people from engagement would jump in, too.

In terms of consultation, I totally agree. I think Mozilla should always
say something openly, either put it out in the open or explain why it's not
open. I think this is an important sanity check both for contributors to
understand the process, but also to double check the reasoning, to make
sure things aren't being done because they're easier.

When you talk about how the community can add value, I think this is a good
start, but it's backwards. I think we need to remember that the point of
paid staff is to add value to the community, not the other way around.
Which isn't a judgment on how anyone is doing things, just that if we're
going to write it down in words, these are the words we should be using,
and of course I'd apply it to Mozilla as a whole. This relates to the
governance thread (and it was mentioned here) about expanding the module
owner system to cover all projects.

-Lucy
> On 3/4/2012 7:15 PM, Robin Monks wrote:
>
>> I think the danger is; if I may be blunt. The words of those who are being
>> hired to think up this crud are being exhaulted over the will of the
>> community. Mozilla is a community first and foremost, and, if Mozilla the
>> company ignores Mozilla the community the community will just go and
>> remake
>> what the heart of Mozilla is somewhere else. It happens a lot in open
>> source, I think folks just want to make Mozilla work really, really badly
>> and it's why we don't see more forking of what decentralized community is
>> left.
>>
>> No one cares how many people you have hired to work on this stuff or how
>> many market studies are done or how much you paid for some new branding or
>> advert. If the community says it sucks; *it sucks*, trash it, learn from
>>
>> it, and move on. Half of what Mozilla is doing this days wouldn't be done
>> if this approach was taken ;)
>>
>> /Robin
>>
>> On Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM, Majken Connor<maj...@gmail.com>  wrote:
>>
>>  Hi all,
>>>
>>> I want to bring up a touchy subject, but please know I'm not trying to
>>> attack. The problem is I can think of 5 very recent to fairly recent
>>> examples where engagement has asked for feedback, or received feedback
>>> and
>>> then ignored it ("thanks for the feedback, but we're going to stick with
>>> what we've got"). I'm assuming the problem is just how the feedback is
>>> discussed and not that the feedback isn't actually being taken into
>>> consideration.
>>>
>>> Take the new name for Persona themes:
>>>
>>> http://blog.mozilla.com/**addons/2012/03/01/personas-**
>>> are-joining-the-themes-family<http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2012/03/01/personas-are-joining-the-themes-family>
>>>
>>> It looks really bad to have a poll then ignore the results of the poll.
>>> If
>>> ______________________________**_________________
>>> Interested in promoting Mozilla? Check out the Mozilla Community
>>> Marketing
>>> Guide: http://contribute.mozilla.org/**Marketing<http://contribute.mozilla.org/Marketing>
>>> mark...@lists.mozilla.org
>>> https://lists.mozilla.org/**listinfo/marketing<https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/marketing>
Re: Openness and appearances Patrick Finch 3/12/12 3:09 AM

 > When you talk about how the community can add value, I think this is a
 > good start, but it's backwards. I think we need to remember that the
 > point of paid staff is to add value to the community, not the other way
 > around.

this risks getting somewhat philosophical, but I'd put it a different
way: the community construct exists to add value to the individual's
work, be they paid to work on Mozilla full-time or not, and that work is
in advancement of the project and its mission.

In the end, it's people that do the work -but this assumes my first
point about the falseness of the employees/contributor dichotomy.  I
don't think we're far apart on this point.


Patrick
>         <mailto:maj...@gmail.com>>  wrote:
>
>             Hi all,
>
>             I want to bring up a touchy subject, but please know I'm not
>             trying to
>             attack. The problem is I can think of 5 very recent to
>             fairly recent
>             examples where engagement has asked for feedback, or
>             received feedback and
>             then ignored it ("thanks for the feedback, but we're going
>             to stick with
>             what we've got"). I'm assuming the problem is just how the
>             feedback is
>             discussed and not that the feedback isn't actually being
>             taken into
>             consideration.
>
>             Take the new name for Persona themes:
>
>             http://blog.mozilla.com/__addons/2012/03/01/personas-__are-joining-the-themes-family
>             _________________________________________________
>             Interested in promoting Mozilla? Check out the Mozilla
>             Community Marketing
>             Guide: http://contribute.mozilla.org/__Marketing
>             <http://contribute.mozilla.org/Marketing>
>             mark...@lists.mozilla.org <mailto:mark...@lists.mozilla.org>
>             https://lists.mozilla.org/__listinfo/marketing
>             <https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/marketing>
>
>
>
>
>
>     --
>     Patrick Finch
>     Mozilla
>     pat...@mozilla.com <mailto:pat...@mozilla.com>
>     Mobile: +46 768 444 833 <tel:%2B46%20768%20444%20833>
>     Office: +1 650 903 0800 ext. 340
>     <tel:%2B1%20650%20903%200800%20ext.%20340>
>     Twitter: @patrickf
>     IM: patric...@gmail.com <mailto:patric...@gmail.com>
Re: Openness and appearances Patrick Finch 3/12/12 3:09 AM
Re: Openness and appearances Majken Connor 3/12/12 12:17 PM
No, I think we agree, but perspective and how something is framed can make
a huge difference. You say work is in advancement of the project and its
mission, and I definitely agree there, but I would put project -> community
-> individual and ignore whether someone is paid or not. I think the only
difference pay makes from an individual's perspective is that it's an
official commitment to the project, so if we can ignore it to say what we
mean, lets do!
>>            http://blog.mozilla.com/__**addons/2012/03/01/personas-__**
>> are-joining-the-themes-family<http://blog.mozilla.com/__addons/2012/03/01/personas-__are-joining-the-themes-family>
>>
>>            <http://blog.mozilla.com/**addons/2012/03/01/personas-**
>> are-joining-the-themes-family<http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2012/03/01/personas-are-joining-the-themes-family>
>>            ______________________________**___________________
>>
>>            Interested in promoting Mozilla? Check out the Mozilla
>>            Community Marketing
>>            Guide: http://contribute.mozilla.org/**__Marketing<http://contribute.mozilla.org/__Marketing>
>>            <http://contribute.mozilla.**org/Marketing<http://contribute.mozilla.org/Marketing>
>> >
>>            mark...@lists.mozilla.org <mailto:mark...@lists.**
>> mozilla.org <mark...@lists.mozilla.org>>
>>            https://lists.mozilla.org/__**listinfo/marketing<https://lists.mozilla.org/__listinfo/marketing>
>>            <https://lists.mozilla.org/**listinfo/marketing<https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/marketing>
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>    --
>>    Patrick Finch
>>    Mozilla
>>    pat...@mozilla.com <mailto:pat...@mozilla.com>
>>    Mobile: +46 768 444 833 <tel:%2B46%20768%20444%20833>
>>
>>    Office: +1 650 903 0800 ext. 340
>>    <tel:%2B1%20650%20903%200800%**20ext.%20340>
>>    Twitter: @patrickf
>>    IM: patric...@gmail.com <mailto:patric...@gmail.**com<patric...@gmail.com>