Sharing stories

About a month back, I received an email from Christine Prefontaine, who works with Mozilla Foundation on StoryEngine.

Story Engine is a project that gathers, analyzes, and shares stories from leaders in our network — like you! Through listening and systematic analysis, we aim to create a feedback loop, accelerate learning, and improve the way Mozilla works.

As any Mozillian, I was really excited. I’ve always strongly believed in the power of sharing stories. Be it recruiting new volunteers for a project or getting people to help organize an event, stories have always been something that has got people interested.


 

At Mozilla, story-telling plays a really important role. It’s a circle – You attend an event and listen to the story of a Mozillian. You are inspired by him/her and start contributing. Months/years later, you take the stage at an event and inspire another contributor. The chain is now complete.

I was going through some really old emails and I found some emails about an initiative I started long ago. Most of the Mozillians would probably agree that whenever we did an “Introduction to Mozilla event”, we get that familiar statement- “This is for coders and CS students. I’d like to contribute but I don’t think I can.” Having heard this way too many times, I started Community Speaks. This was an initiative to break the stereotype that Mozilla is all about coding and only programmers can contribute. It was to show the diversity in background of the contributors we had. I interviewed these three amazing people:

  1. Doug Belshaw: A History teacher at High school turned Web literacy lead at Mozilla.
  2. Rebecca Billings: A certified homeopath and Senior QA Engineer on Mozilla’s Web QA team
  3. Konstantina Papadea: A Geology student to Mozilla Reps Bug wrangler

Although I wrote them, I personally felt really nice reading their stories after a long time. Hopefully, if someone else reading this blog-post has some time in their schedule to share such stories, that’d form a great collection in the coming years.

In case you’re wondering, story -telling is sometimes a part of my non-Mozilla work, as well!

If I had to pick one story about Mozilla that I’m really proud of, the one that’s at the top of my head is about Mozilla Antarctica.

mozilla_mcmurdo_station-4f32c36-intro

 

Even Arstechnica, picked it up! Thanks to David Boswell and team for setting up this community. 


 

I did share my story. I talked about my work, what I do to teach the web and the connection between my Mozilla volunteer work and my job. I spoke about the happy times when I felt a sense of success with Mozilla and also the difficult times where Mozilla acknowledged that it failed.

I look forward to hearing your story.