- As part of my agressive community building campaign in Utah, on November 5th, the local Mozilla community in Utah hosted a free and public screening of the user privacy documentary, "Terms and Conditions May Apply". Following the screening, Stacy Martin, from the Privacy team, led a question and answer forum. The event was a massive success, in spite of the fact that November 5th was election day.
Preparing the eventIn my last blog post, I talked about the linguistic diversity within Utah and why I've aimed community building through localization and translation. Utah is also a politically libertarian and conservative state, meaning that the majority of Utahns believe in small government and non-intervention from the government in the lives of in individual citizens. As a consequence of the excessive invasions of digital privacy from the US government, user privacy has become a hot topic throughout the state. This set the stage for us to target a user privacy event at Utahns who care deeply about this issue in the hope to inspire them to get involved in Mozilla.
Arranging the screening was a difficult process, but made easier by tugg.com, who managed the theater booking and ticket purchasing. In order to make the event as attractive as possible, I requested a budget to buy all of the theater's available seats for the screening. This made the barrier to entry very small. All an interested Utahn had to do was reserve their seat on an eventbrite page (below).
- For each seat that was reserved, I bought a ticket through the official tugg.com site for the event. Tugg took care of making arrangements with the theater and ensuring that the event would run smoothly once there.
- To promote the event, I first organized a private Mozilla Utah community screening of the documentary at my home. We watched the movie and discussed how to fill the theater. Bobby, one of the Privacy contributors in Mozilla Utah, took the lead and outlined a three level approach to marketing this virally:
"Who do you know..." game. Essentially, we got Mozilla Utah members to reserve their seats and then ask themselves, "Who do I know that cares about their privacy online?" as well as other questions that are related to privacy. After asking themselves these questions, they had a list of people they could personally contact about reserving their seats.
"Who do you know..." game 2.0. Those friends of current Utah Mozillians were asked to play the same game, create their own lists, and invite those people on their lists.
Shotgun approach. For those unfamiliar with shotguns, a shotgun shell contains beads. When a shotgun shell is fired, the beads spread into a wide pattern that allows the shooter to cover a wider area within a single shot. We equated this to our viral marketing campaign that consisted of sharing links on social media to our entire networks, essentially spreading a single message to a wide audience.
This campaign was super successful! We were very concerned that no one would come due to the scheduling conflict with election day, but because of our strategy, we sold out completely!
Day of the eventThe day of the event was very exciting! All Utah Mozillians were dressed in Firefox OS shirts, in order to set them apart from everyone in attendence.
- We had a table set up with small pieces of gear for everyone in attendence. We also had a sign-up sheet to gather the contact info of everyone who was interested in joining the local and global Mozilla community.
- As attendees came to the event, Mozilla Utah was there to greet them, direct them to the gear table, and talk with them about Mozilla, why they got involved, and how each attendee could get involved.
- We were delighted to have about 65% of the people who reserved seats attend the event. Of those, about 90% stayed after the screening for the Q&A session. Stacy did a fantastic job answering questions that were legal, policy, and technical in nature.
- Of all who attended the event, about 20% signed up to get involved in Mozilla.
After the event
After the event, I followed up with everyone who provided their contact information in the following email, outlining some very simple steps to get involved.
Thank you so very much for attending last night's Mozilla Utah event and for signing up to get involved in the Mozilla community! I want to keep this email short and sweet, so we'll just dive right in to some next steps:
Pick an area of interest from mozilla.org/contribute and get more information on how to contribute to that particular area.
If you have an idea of what you'd like to do and it's not on that list, or if you're mostly interested in helping with local Mozilla events in Utah, reply to me and I can tell you more :-) Plug into global Mozilla communication channels. In Mozilla, we mostly communicate via mailing lists and chat. Here's a list of the mailing lists you can join and introduce yourself in. Here are instructions on how to join the Mozilla chat rooms. Here's where you can create your Mozillian contributor profile. Once you've done this, let me know and I'll happily vouch it. Having a vouched profile ensures that you get info about the major Mozilla events throughout the world that you can be invited to participate in. Plug into local Mozilla Utah communication channels.So far, that's simply our facebook page. Join the group and introduce yourself! If you don't have a facebook account, let me know and we can work something else out.
I'm very excited to continue building a Mozilla community with you in Utah! I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about Mozilla, the local community, or anything mentioned above.
PS, here are some of the other links that were talked about at last night's event.
California Do Not Track law
Mozilla's Do Not Track Initiative
We've seen massive growth in members of Mozilla Utah on our Facebook group (adding about 30 people) and much more activity. I've had a couple of meetings with a local coder dojo about adding contribution to Mozilla to their curriculum and partnering with them to get Webmaker into the local school districts.
- The challenge now is keeping up the momentum from this event. Since many of the people who signed up were mostly interested in user privacy and many are new, it's up to the existing community to arrange another privacy-oriented event to get them involved and learning how to do things on their own. Some ideas have been to set up Mozilla tables at local malls or even within city halls to educate people about user privacy and Do Not Track using Lightbeam, the aim being to educate the public and continue to raise awareness of the issue.