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Janet Swisher

Identify Community

Q: Can you identify all of the contributors on your team (both paid-staff and volunteer-staff)?

A: Most of our most-active contributors are in, tagged with either "mdn" or "developer documentation". We also recognize "significant" recent contributions in a bi-weekly "State of Docs" post on

Define Contribution Opportunities

Q: Can you point someone interested in contributing to your project to a list of available contribution opportunities?

A: Yes. For example, we have a Documentation Wishlist on MDN. Also, we have a tool that tracks Firefox bugs with documentation impacts. And we tag articles that need help, such as NeedsTechnicalReview and NeedsEditorialReview.

Map Contribution Paths

Q: Are there clearly understood steps someone can follow to go from knowing nothing about your project to successfully contributing?


Note: If you're interested in contributing to end-user documentation for Firefox, look under the Support area.

  1. Create an account on MDN. Don't use a valuable password, because it will be emailed to you (platform limitation, sorry!).
  2. See How to help and Getting started for starting points.
  3. Edit articles that need help. Look for tags like NeedsTechnicalReview or NeedsExample. Once the page is fixed, remove the tag.
  4. Join the dev-mdc forum (as a mailing list, Usenet group or Google group) for news and announcements, and drop into the #devmo channel on for real-time help.

Establish Goals and Metrics

Q: Can you measure participation or contributors today? If so, what metrics can you track? What goal or metric would you like to achieve for Q1? Alternatively, what metrics would you like to get in place for Q1?


Possible metrics:

  • People who attempt to create an account on MDN
    • # of BrowserID confirmation emails sent for MDN
    • # of people who click confirmation link sent for MDN
    • # of BrowserID confirmations completed for MDN
    • # of new BrowserID logins on MDN (may be existing BrowserID users)
  •  % of new accounts who make an edit immediately (<2 hours)
  •  % of new account who make an edit soon (<7 days)
  •  % of new accounts who edit their profile page(s)
  • # of new MDN accounts who also subscribe to dev-mdc (correlated with BrowserID) or join #devmo (measure how??)
  • Of people who created accounts N months ago, look for patterns in contributions and drop-offs.