A Journey of Two Years, and Still Continuing.

Avasz

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Rewinding two years back Aug 26, 2012:
The first ever meeting for Mozilla was called out in Nepal. A new community was born on that day. A community devoted in Open Source & Open Web. A community whose sole purpose was to support, help and promote Mozilla and its missions in and from Nepal. The date “August 26” has been marked in calendar of Open Source & Tech Communities in Nepal as the Birthday of Mozilla Nepal Community.

To Present Aug 26, 2014:
A lot has happened in these two years. The community has grown a lot since then with many members dedicated towards the mission. Writing all that will need yet another couple of posts.

The planning of an event to mark the day started a couple of months back (mid-June). The first plan was to have a community meetup, but it didn’t work out well because the day was Tuesday, a working day, exams of lots of active members, less time for preparation etc. So, it was postponed for a later date. There were discussions on how to mark the day. Nothing productive and only celebration didn’t seem worth. So, a plan was drafted out to do an event where all the attendees would work together to achieve some goals.

Now the problem was to choose the area for the event. Focusing on a single area did not sound good as it would leave out other good contributors who work in other areas but not in the particular one. So, list of all the active areas in Nepal were made, and that list was again sorted out to find the most effective ones. Such areas were required which would make an effect not only during the event, but after event, inside Nepal and in the global Mozilla Community too. So, three areas were chosen based on their weightage/effectiveness.

1. Webmaker: Webmaker is one of the most focused project in Mozilla. Also, this was the season of Makerparties in the global Mozilla Community. So, webmaker should be an area of interest.

2. Localization: Nepalese contributors have been working on localization field since the start of the community, it’s progressing but not in the pace it needs to. So, including localization as an area would gather all the members who have been working on localization in a single place and all of them could work together to achieve some target and learn from one another.

3. App Development: One complain the Nepalese community members hear a lot is that the community hasn’t been working on development much, and the apps developed in Nepal are really few in numbers. It was not because there aren’t good developers in the community, but as always with the developers, they are mostly busy in their own works so they need to be called upon and given some environment to work on. So, App Development was chosen such that the community will at least have a number of apps to show to the people who ask for the development field.

Thus, preparation was done for these three fields. Goals were set for each areas such that the participants would know in what pace should they work on the day.
30 Webmaker makes, 1000 strings localized and at least 3 web apps were the goals set for the day.
Participants were selected and invited according to their contribution area, and almost all of the participants were the ones who had already been working on the respective fields so that they can work during the event without spending much time learning how to work and reach the assigned goals.

Finally, the day came. Almost all the invited attendees were present. Most of the people knew each other except for some, so no time was wasted with usual introduction of attendees, introduction of the community etc. stuff. The event started around 15-20 minutes late than planned time because of some technical problem. The attendees were already informed about the areas & goals set for the day via the invitation email, so they had come prepared. Everyone seemed excited. Without wasting time, everyone started to work on their areas.

The working hour started from 11:00am to 5:00pm. All the teams were working on their areas equally dedicated. The results of the event by the end of the day were, 8 applications developed, 1088 strings localized and ~10 makes. Seems, the event was productive after all as targeted goals were achieved except for webmaker, but it’s worth mentioning that there were only 3 members in the webmaker team (Expected to be around 10) and ~30 makes was really difficult for them to achieve looking at the final results of their makes. So, it’s a goal achieved too if seen proportionately. Also, github account for Mozilla Nepal was created on the day. Hence, a day well spent!

A celebration was required for such an event. To mark the day as well as to celebrate completion of a successful event. The day ended with a celebration dinner with all the attendees. Thanks to everyone who helped directly, indirectly, attended and made the event a successful one as planned. Let’s all make the upcoming years even more productive and awesome and carry on with wonderful events like this.

Snaps of the event: (flickr link to be added soon) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.518737868271645&type=1

Related blogs:

Surit Aryal: http://suritaryal.blogspot.com/2014/09/mozilla-nepal-iind-anniversary.html
Nootan Ghimire: http://cafecod.es/mozilla-nepal-second-anniversary/91
Manish Jung Thapa: http://mjt.com.np/moz-nepal-anniversary-day/
Bansaj Pradhan: http://www.bansaj.com.np/archives/moz-np-aniv2.html
Aman Routh: http://nimoz1.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/mozilla-nepal-2nd-anniversary/
Kuber Sodari: http://ksodari.blogspot.com/2014/08/mozilla-nepal-2nd-anniversary.html
HCOE Dev Circle (by Raju Dawadi): http://hcoedevcircle.blogspot.com/2014/08/happy-second-anniversary-mozilla-nepal.html
Nikesh Balami: http://www.neekes.com.np/mozilla-nepal-second-anniversary/
Prakash Neupane: http://prakashneupane.com.np/the-day-of-leaders-mozilla-nepal-anniversary/
Buddhi Raj Tuladhar: http://brtuladhar.blogspot.com/2014/09/brtula.html

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Namaste WoMoz – An event

Avasz

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March 30, Sunday.
The day we had been waiting for.
All the members from organizing team as well as the invited participants were looking forward for the day, not to mention the staffs from the venue (DECC).

The registration started from 8:30. Most of the participants arrived on time. After the registration and breakfast the event started with determined and curious face of the participants.
Shristi started the event with a warm welcome and brief outline of the event till lunch time.

For most of the participants it was their first Mozilla event, so it was necessary to give them an introduction to Mozilla and Mozilla Nepal. One of the oldest community member, Bansaj, stepped forward with his presentation and explained about Mozilla and its mission to the attendees. He also talked about the Mozilla community in Nepal and what it has been doing for past years.

Next was a short talk from Prakash Neupane, who has been working with different open communities in Nepal, mostly related to technology. He shared his experience about the status of females in ICT sector in Nepal. His talk was not only focused on IT sector, but all different areas in the country where male dominance can be seen clearly. His talk pointed out the bitter truth about how females are doing in Nepal. Later his talk started to focus on IT sector which had even less female participants than other sectors. He talked about different IT communities here where females aren’t seen often and how the communities feel about it.

After that Akriti continued with introduction to WoMoz. She informed the participants about how Mozilla has always tried to be a female friendly community. Surit’s presentation was on the different contribution areas where one could contribute to Mozilla. It was a pretty detailed one so we could see some of the participants getting confused because of too much details.

After these long talk sessions, the “Let Us Solve A Crossword” session was really refreshing and everyone was determined to complete the crossword. The crossword contained simple terms related to ICT, mostly Mozilla. Except for a couple, answer for each of the clues had already been covered in the previous talk sessions. So it was also a session to refresh the memory of the participants. Only a few were difficult, most of the participants had difficulty in solving those few. Well, without some difficulties it is not interesting, is it? The winners were given choice to choose among a few gifts that included a firefox flicks bag, firefox pen, couple of rare sticker, firefox badges. It was quite surprising to see that almost all of them chose the stickers.

Next, some of our current WoMozs shared their experience about their involvement with Mozilla. They started with their entry to Mozilla, various experience they have had, various new skills they learnt and many more. All the participants were interested in hearing their story. The community assured that all the new ones will also be treated in the same way. They will be supported in all the tasks they perform, help them in their difficulties and most of all they will be given a really friendly environment to work with.

After the lunc time, everyone sat for discussions. Grops were made according to the contribution area they were interested in and each group contained one or two people already working in that area. They informed the new members about what that area is. They started with how to get started and ended with different ideas and questions from the group members. It was a really fruitful session for the new participants as they got chance for almost one-to-one interaction to know more about the contribution area they were interested in. A demo on webmaker by Aman followed the session. All the participants were shown of three tools of webmaker, thinble, popcorn and x-ray goggles. Aman explained how these tools can help a beginner to learn about web by themselves or how someone already experienced can teach the new beginners to start making the web. It lasted for around 2 hours.

the “Treasure Hunt” session which followed the group discussion was another really interesting and fun session. Manish (MJT) with some other people had worked on creating a webapp which was hosted locally in one of the machines. All participants were asked to navigate to that machine in their browser where they were asked different questions in quite cryptic/riddle way. They had to solve the clues and enter the answers in the input box. To add more fun, MJT also had made a page where progress of all the participants with the treasure hunting was shown. As in the crosswords, the clues here were also related to Mozilla so that the participants could get many ideas of Mozilla with enjoyment instead of listening to presentations.

Finally, the event came to an end. We sat down for a tea/coffee session and discussed about how the event went, if the expectations of the participants was fulfilled and so on.

Overall, the event went really well. We were able to see some activities from the participants after the event in fields like localization, artwork, blogging etc.
Let us hope we could get more female contributors in Mozilla from Nepal in future.

Let’s make ICT a friendly place for women.

Some other blogs related to event:
Bhumika’s Side of the Story

The Launch: Womoz” by Shristi

Subina’s experience in the event

Opening up” by Binita

Jasmin showing her happiness after winning the “Cute Stickers” for the crossword here.

The pre-event preparation here.

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Namaste WoMoz!!! [Pre Event]

Avasz

1

It all started from…..

March; The Month of Women.

2 days before Women’s day, March 6, greeted me with message from Shristi, our FSA, suggesting to do an event related to women on Women’s Day on March 8. Since it was only 2 days away, I dismissed the idea at first and told her she should have mentioned about it some weeks back then we could have done a proper preparation. But, she was not discouraged, she informed me that whole March is month of women so we can do one any day on March. Well, good point there! So we started to work on it.

We started to work on different plans. Kept meeting with different experienced event organizers/planners to discuss about effective way to conduct an event that is focused only to the girls. Initially only Shristi and I were working because other community members were quite busy at that time due to their exams and other stuffs, but they started to help us after they were free.

The first problem was finding the attendees. In our country finding a female participant in most of technical events is really difficult. So we were afraid if we will have any attendees or not. Anyways, with mixed feelings and doubts we opened an online registration form which got 10 registrations on the first day. WOW!! So much for our stupid thinking!! We were more excited and started to work even harder designing different event schedules and frameworks. Discussing on sessions and speakers and all those event management stuffs.

The second problem was time. We had planned for a whole day event. But if not planned perfectly, then whole day events turn out to be really boring and a failure. The only way to make an event fun is making it more interactive in whatever proper/related way we can. We started to think about introducing games that can actually give information about various Mozilla related stuffs and so on. We did not want to make the attendees feel bored by one sided talks and sessions. But still, we realized that the introductin sessions for first couple of hours could not be skipped no matter what. So, we thought about making them interactive too if possible.

Another good news hit us a week before the event. There will be participants from outside Kathmandu!!
3 females from Hetauda and 1 male from Birgunj. Good news!! But at the same time, we now had to work even more harder so that these participants who will be travelling from far away cities just to attend the event will not feel disappointed with the event. We started co-ordinating with the attendee from Birgunj, Aman Routh, about what may his expectations be and how he would like the event to be.

We were constantly in touch with members from global WoMoz as well as Mozilla team, asking for their suggestions to carry out the event. All of them were supportive for the event and provided us with really interesting and valuable suggestions.

Our registration form was open for a week. On the closing day, there were registrations of around 60 different people including 5 male participants.Even more exciting. But will we be able to have them all in the event? Sure we can. But still, other members suggested to have only females during the event, so we had to ignore the male registrations (extremely sorry for that).
We got moral support from various other Open communities in Nepal for the event. Communities like FOSS Nepal, KUOSC, RAN, OKFN, NOSK and many more helped spread the word about the event. Not to forget all those Firefox Clubs from various colleges who informed the students of their college about the event.
In the meantime, we also got a chance to speak about the event in a program called “Cybertime” which airs on Kantipur FM on Saturdays.

All in all, the pre Event preparations went really good with some fun and some tensed situations. Thanks to everyone who helped us for the preparation of the event.
Another post will be about the Event itself. Stay tuned!!

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[Article + Report] Mozilla Nepal Meetup – III

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Written by: Shristi Baral,
Edited by: Avash Mulmi,
Date: November 9, 2013
SAP Falchha, Kathmandu
Nepal

Today was one of the most awaited day for the Mozilla Nepal Community, The Mozilla Nepal Meetup – III kicked off today at planned time. First two meetups were mainly as introduction about Mozilla and Mozilla Nepal Community to the public. Now this time we are working for this meetup as an excuse to gather more contributors and dedicated volunteers for the community. We will be making a short report on the past activities of our community. And make a solid roadmap of our future plans.

The main reasons the event was organized are:

•   Within the community, need more inter-task force communication just to check where the blockers are and whether this task force is a hindrance with the others. Right now we are lagging in number of core contributors.
•  Assigning a complete and definite leadership to handle the contribution momentum.
•  Turning Mozilla Nepal into one of the most sophisticated local Mozilla Community,   regarding presence, planning, operations, contributions and recruiting contributors.

The program started when the clock struck 1 pm. Shashi Khanal, a FSA from HCOE, briefed the program outline.
After completing the Introduction session, Surit Aryal, ReMo, introduced the community in brief. Shashi gave a short report on the past activities of Mozilla Nepal.

Hempal Shrestha, Vice President of FOSS Nepal, elaborated on the need of Free and Open Source Software in the field of education referencing the theme of SFD 2013 and work that FOSS Nepal is doing to establish open source software for education.
Surit then explained the theme of Mozilla Nepal and started to explain how we can support Mozilla even if we are from a non-technical sector. He introduced everyone with SuMo (Support Mozilla). In this one can teach, support someone how to use any Mozilla project or products.
After that Avash elaborated the areas where one can contribute Mozilla. Sumo, Localization, Testing and QA, Coding, Marketing and Evangelism, Developer Documentation,
Visual Design, User Research
Accessibility, System Administration, Add-Ons, Education, Documentation: MDN:Mozilla Developers Network etc.
He focused on the point that it is not necessary for the contributor be purely technical, moreover there are more contribution fields in non-technical sector than technical. He briefly described about each acontributing areas of Mozilla encouraging everyone to contribute from their own field of interest.

Mozilla Nepal’s Theme for this year: “Open Web for Open Education” was highlighted by Mr. Subir Pradhanang, President of FOSS Nepal Community. With the story of history of open source, he explained how to use web to move-on on open education. He told Firefox is the leading example of free software movement. The necessity of open source in the field of software is, shared codes helps to enhance knowledge. Creativity is increased due to collaboration. Movement from desktop app to web app is a result of openness.

Subir Pradhanang elaborating the theme.

He also told us about the on-going web application (E-paath) for children from class 2-6 which has exercise and games along with educational materials based on the curriculum designed by CDC. Explaining the need of localization he told “60% people in Nepal don’t understand English and remote school teacher also fall in this category. Even if we have best application related to educating school children it’s not being used due to the language problem. Hence, localization is required for implementing the theme.
As an example of webmaker events, he highlighted Web maker party in Philippines by women and a Kitchen party in Birgunj Nepal by NIMOZ, a Firefox Club.

Dahdiram Nepal, a FOSS Nepal member, joined Subir Pradhanang & shared his experience about PAN localization. The main motive is to catch the local field but it is not being too fast because of the lack of the non-technical people in the field. According to him lack of translations is the reason the localization is not being successful.

Nootan Ghimire, another FSA from HCOE, then gave a short session about FSA, focusing on these points: Who they are? What they do? How to be FSA? What to do after being FSA?

He came up with this really catchy phrase “FSA does FSA”, [FSA does Fun Student Activities]. He explained how to engage and involve students for this. FSA can even train student and staffs about web using FSA as a platform which can be beneficial to all the students.
Dadhiran Nepal asked Nootan the negative impact of FSA, how to handle economical barrier that shall come; can open source be money generating for students?
The need of Hire and Fire rule among the FSA was discussed on the floor and concluded with the need of log system to keep track of what all FSA are doing. Avash and Dadhiram promised to help FSA when in need to create mutual relation among FSA, College and Mozilla.

At 3:00 pm 9th birthday of Firefox was celebrated and 6 T-shirts were distributed among the attendees via lucky draw method.
The cake was really big and we thought it will be too much for the participants on the hall, but to our delight and amazement, it ended quickly without a single trace.

After the birthday celebration, we had a special session in which all the participants were divided into six different groups and were given time to count strength, weakness and opportunities. The outputs from SWOT analysis can be found here:

[[ Link to be added ]]

Now it was time for one of the most important session, Session on “Women Empowerment in IT fields & WoMoz”, which was a great talk given by Shristi Baral, FSA from ASCOL. She gave short but really powerful speech on the lacking + necessity of female participations in IT field. She also gave short description and explanation on WoMoz. She hilighted the fact that the society itself is responsible for making females less inclined towards technical field because we always keep on thinking that technical field is mostly for males and medical + non-technical field is for females, which of course seems to be our mistake. It really was inspirational.
Kudos to Shristi fur such an awesome talk.

The video to her talk:

[[Will be updated soon]]

 

At 5:00 pm Question Answer session started. In this session the floor asked questions.
Some questions and answers that came up are:

Q: Is Open source benefit or a problem?
Ans: The problem is lack of new trend. Increment in the num of users and decrement in the number of contributor may lead to the problem. Rest Open source is beneficial to all.

Q: What have you realized from the meetup today as a community??
Ans: Lack of publicity students don’t know about the community.
Solution to this may be College tour.
Awareness program among users and non users may be fruitful.

Q: Why are people not using Firefox OS in mobile?
Ans: It is in it’s early stage.
Ans: This is the incubation Period of Firefox OS. So it needs time to be popular among users.
Ans: Less price of the phones is attractive and ease and comfort of the phone will make it popular in future.

Q: How to bring localization and release side by side:
Ans: It always goes side by side:
At present we do localization of stuffs that will be released after two versions.

Q: What is the reason behind the lack of Media coverage in our program?
Ans: We let media cover it if they want to cover. But we don’t call media by personal basis.

Question for coders:
How to overcome negative motives in open source like coding of key-stroke?
Ans: Mozilla finalizes and blocks the untrusted or suspicious codes. So there is less chance of being victimized.

After solving the confusions the program wrapped up with the commitment to support open source and Mozilla with full grace.
The decisions and conclusion of this meetup has still to come because of lack in time for analyzing SWOT responses + it already was getting dark outside. So we headed to the dining hall where a great dinner was awaiting us.

Thanks to the Mozilla Nepal team for organizing such an wonderful event.

The snaps from the event can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozillanp/sets/72157637548400993/

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[Article] Introductory experiences with the Army of Awesome.

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This is an article written by one of our community members,Kshitiz Khanal, regarding his experiences with the Army of Awesome.

Introductory experiences with the Army of Awesome.

It all started strangely. I was dead bored by using the internet for too long. I opened the browser I had just closed. (No prizes for guessing my browser, but yes, Firefox!) I clicked the ‘Mozilla’ on top right corner and began clicking links after links haphazardly until this line caught my eye:

“Good things will come to those who tweet!”

Two words – ‘good’ and ‘tweet’ struck and it got interesting. It was not the first time I had heard or read about Mozilla’s Army of Awesome; but it was the first time I felt like joining them! And, join I did.

Here’s what the Army of Awesome does. Every tweet that uses the word ‘Firefox’ is collected and sorted by most recent at the top. The army, using their personal twitter ID, replies to those tweets as they deem fit keeping in mind that they are there to help the users of Firefox to serve the one true cause: Open Web.
Replies can be made by clicking available templates or personalized messages with twitter hash tag #fxhelp. Templates are categorized into:

  1. Welcome and Thanks,
  2. Using Firefox, Suppport, and
  3. Get Involved.

Top contributors are ranked by number of replies they made over the running week in the same page where all tweets were collected – the battleground of the Army of Awesome.
I gave myself a mission to get into the top contributors’ list. My mission began.
I tweeted like crazy. In my first day, I got into bottom ranks of the list. It felt awesome to see my name there. The better part was yet to come.

Awesomeness exploded when my replies got more replies and retweets. It was those reply backs that became incentives to continue the good work and not the ranking.
One interesting thing happened. Some tweets were too confusing to reply. They turned out to be about a Clint Eastwood movie – Firefox. Actually, most of those tweets were in favor of the movie. That movie’s on my list now.

As my number of tweets kept multiplying, I realized the templates were not enough. Initiator of Mozilla Nepal, Avash, also suggested the same to me. My later tweets are mostly a combination of links provided in those templates and tweaked messages relevant to the post.

Army of Awesome is an easy, effective, and empowering way to contribute to Mozilla. Everybody – coders, evangelists, localizers, should be involved in the Army of Awesome once in a while to get an idea of what the users feel like and what they want.

Mozilla foundation can provide open badges to contributors to provide more incentives.
The whole experience in the Army of Awesome is enriching. Good things, as promised, do come to those who tweet!

Kshitiz Khanal
twitter.com/kshitizkhanal7
http://www.kshitizkhanal.wordpress.com

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