The week ahead 23 Feb 2015

First, I’ll note that even taking the time to write these short ‘note to self’ type blog posts each week takes time and is harder to do than I expected. Like so many priorities, the long term important things often battle with the short term urgent things. And that’s in a culture where working open is more than just acceptable, it’s encouraged. Anyway, I have some time this morning sitting in an airport to write this, and I have some time on a plane to catch up on some other reading and writing that hasn’t made it to the top of the todo list for a few weeks. I may even get to post a blog post or two in the near future. This week, I have face-to-face time with lots of colleagues in Toronto. Which means a combination of … Continue reading »

Weeknotes: 30 Jan 2015

I don’t want these weeknotes to be a complete ‘done list’, as we have enough of those internally. This just a quick reflection on the extra objectives set for the week. I moved outside into the MVP garden office (it’s still looking mostly like a shed). This was thanks to the magical powers of powerline adapters which I only recently heard about. I still do not understand the sorcery that is transferring a high speed network through the existing electrical circuit, but it’s working without me needing to run any cabling. I spent enough time chipping away at my processes and on ‘working open’ that I’m feeling good about it, and still enough time getting things done. I cleaned out my ‘mofo-metrics’ Bugzilla backlog from 2014, and killed lots of tickets that weren’t relevant any more. Setup my first Data Practices … Continue reading »

The week ahead: 26 Jan 2015

I should have started the week by writing this, but I’ll do it quickly now anyway. My current todo list. List status: Pretty good. Mostly organized near the top. Less so further down. Fine for now. Objectives to call out for this week. Bugzilla and Github clean-out / triage Move my home office out to the shed (depending on a few things) + some things that carry over from last week Write a daily working process Work out a plan for aligning metrics work with dev team heartbeats Don’t let the immediate todo list get in the way of planning long term processes Invest time in working open Wrestle with multiple todo list systems until they (or I) work together nicely

Weeknotes: 23 Jan 2015

I managed to complete roughly five of my eleven goals for the week. Made progress on (but have not cracked) daily task management for the newly evolving systems Caught up on some email from time off, but still a chunk left to work through Spent more time writing code than expected Illness this week slowed me down These aren’t very good weeknotes, but perhaps better than none.  

One month of Webmaker Growth Hacking

This post is an attempt to capture some of the things we’ve learned from a few busy and exciting weeks working on the Webmaker new user funnel. I will forget some things, there will be other stories to tell, and this will be biased towards my recurring message of “yay metrics”. How did this happen? As Dave pointed out in a recent email to Webmaker Dev list, “That’s a comma, not a decimal.” What happened to increase new user sign-ups by 1,024% compared the previous month? Is there one weird trick to…? No. Sorry, I know you’d like an easy answer… This growth is the result of a month of focused work and many many incremental improvements to the first-run experience for visitors arriving on from the promotion we’ve seen on the Firefox snippet. I’ll try to recount some … Continue reading »

When ‘less than the sum of our parts’ is a good thing

Here’s a happy update about our combined Mozilla Foundation (MoFo) and Mozilla Corporation (MoCo) contributor dashboards. TL;DR: There’s a demo All Mozilla Contributor Dashboard you can see at It’s a demo, but it’s also real, and to explain why this is exciting might need a little context. Since January, I’ve been working on MoFo specific metrics. Mostly because that’s my job, but also because this/these organisations/projects/communities take a little while to understand, and getting to know MoFo was enough to keep me busy. We also wanted to ship something quickly so we know where we stand against our MoFo goals, even if the data isn’t perfect. That’s what we’ve built in our *interim* dashboard. It’s a non de-duped aggregation of the numbers we could get out of our current systems without building a full integration database. It gives us … Continue reading »

New Google Sheets: publishing a single worksheet to the web as CSV

With the switch to the new version of Google Sheets, the option to publish a specific worksheet and then access that as a CSV file has disappeared (hopefully just temporarily). In the new Google Sheets, I managed to publish a worksheet as a CSV by piecing together answers from here and here. This is how to do it: Share the Google Doc so anyone with the link can view (sadly this loses the granularity of only sharing specific sheets that used to exist in the old version). Publish the document (File > Publish to the Web) and look for the document ID in the URL Add that document ID into this URL in place of KEY:<KEY>/export?format=csv&id=<KEY> While editing your Google Doc, open the worksheet you want to export and look in the URL for the GID parameter Copy this … Continue reading »

The immediate value of working in the open

I’m both excited and a tiny bit nervous about how “open” Mozilla are about the way they work. As I’m getting to know the Foundation, and the projects and priorities, and to make sense of what exactly I’ll be doing here I’ve been reading lots of Etherpads. If you don’t know what an Etherpad is, it’s a bit like a Google Doc (the ‘word doc’ variety) but less slick and more open. If you give someone a link to an Etherpad, the barrier to them contributing to the document is almost non-existent. Anyway, the value of this open working process somewhat blew my mind today. While lots of these docs have been useful in a general sense, today I read the documents from the initial planning around MoFo metrics that led to recruiting for my role (so it was pretty … Continue reading »

As ready as I’m going to be

Tomorrow is the first day in my new role at the Mozilla Foundation, and I’m getting the new job nerves and excitement now. Between wrapping up at WWF, preparing for Christmas, house hunting, and finishing off my next study assignment (a screenplay involving time-travel and a bus), I’ve been squeezing in a little bit of prep for the new job too. This post is basically a note about some of the things I’ve been looking at in the last couple of weeks. I thought it would be useful to jump through various bits of tech used in a number of MoFo projects, some of which I’d been wanting to play with anyway. This is not deep learning by any means, but it’s enough hands-on experience to speed up some things in the future. I setup a little node.js app locally … Continue reading »

My First #Mozfest

I have an hour free this morning, so wanted to quickly write up my thoughts on Mozfest before my memory fades too much. This will be a rough, but f*** it, ship it as they say at Mozfest. I bought a Mozfest ticket in July with next to no expectations and just a little hope that meeting some new people might trigger some new ideas. It’s fair to say that this was a massive under-prediction on my part. A couple of months later, with about a month to go until Mozfest, my boss (@ade) mentioned some sessions that might be interesting for WWF and my work in fundraising. A couple of introductory emails and a Skype call later and I’d put my name down for a yet-to-be-confirmed session called ‘Pass the App’. We were going to use a new tool … Continue reading »