#MozAcademy and Engagement
You know family is town if you would rather spend the holiday looking at analytics rather than aunties. Still the numbers, and the KPI’s that came out of Portland shine a light on why a global movement is needed if webmaker….sorry….Mozilla Learning Networks is to be successful.
I am not a click counter by trade so I apologize in advance for my ignorance.
The problem, unlike relatives, users of webmaker tools leave pretty quickly.
The legacy webmaker tools, empowered users to read, write, and participate on the open web. Yet the conversion and retention rates are awful. After sixty days just over a half of one percent are still active and after 90 days the number might as well be zero.
Empowering tools means nothing without community.
People of #TeachTheWeb
The primary goal of the Mozilla Academy has to be connecting people. This will be done through both the Learning Networks and the Products.
The number of people within the Learning Networks is growing. The club data is still blank as that is a new initiative and the click counters are still debating what constitutes and club and a city.
In many ways I am trying to understand the vision and role of the Learning Networks. I kind of see a hierarchy of involvement. Maker Party evolves to club, club morphs into Hives, Hives become relatively independent and self sustaining.
All four of these levels fit under Mozilla Academy. Yet where should we put our efforts when discussing this global classroom?
Maker Party, due to this new vision, and a shift in funding, now are year round affairs. I am seeing this being conflated with the Mozilla Web Clubs. I disagree. Year round Maker Parties should be more flash events, that can be done with limited support.
Club First Strategy
Mozilla Academy is a lofty goal but when I look at the metrics that matter I think it becomes clear that building club capacity has to come first. Marc talked about the literacy, skill, and craft involved in the Learning Networks but these are simply metaphors to how enculturated one is in the discourses of the Open Web.
In a people first strategy you recognize that social capital, especially when you rely on volunteer contributors such as myself, is your greatest asset. We need to have a feeder system to move folks from skill to craft. We need people to use and evangelize the webmaker products and the Manifesto Values if we want to reach the KPI’s. More importantly you need people living on the Open Web.
Community Centered Design
The first goal of the Learning Networks should be the cultivation of community. The success of the Mozilla Foundation in the last few years has been nothing short of amazing (the fundraising especially). This growth rate has required massive investments of time and treasure and has centralized much of the effort.
What I do not see is an uptick in social media impressions and sustained involvement as well. I think the metrics team needs to build (they probably do but its not in the public dashboard) and pay attention to the social media metrics as much as the tool use.
When you look at the #teachtheweb hashtag, the #mozacademy hashtag, discourse.webmaker.org, the IRC chat, and Google+ you see few interactions or the cultivation of relationships. Engagement is notoriously impossible to measure but I know when I see silence in Web spaces.
I have seen new clubs from India start telling their story on Twitter. There has been an uptick of individuals on Google+ seeking entrepreneurial help (microbusinesses and the Academy..hmmm?), but it is quiet.
Without people the KPI’s are meaningless