Setting up Mozilla Louisville Community

One Month ago, I arrived in Louisville Kentucky with a 1 year student exchange program…
I am enjoying my time here so much. I especially enjoy the fact that there are lots of tech places where I can hang out.. (One of them: LVL1 Hackerspace).

I have also been actively involved with some communities since I came here. I helped the organizing team of louisville.startupweekend.org, I attend LVL1 Hackerspace meetings and I also got involved in KYOSS (Kentucky Open Source Society).

Some 2 weeks ago, I attended the KYOSS monthly meeting which was held at LVL1.
I was really impressed and very happy to see all those passionate wizened faces at LVL1 while thinking of myself, one day, tirelessly doing the same thing…
While everyone introduced themselves, I met a guy there called Alex (Alex Hagerman) who was also a Mozilla contributor, probably the only one in town.
Days before that, I was searching the Internet to see if there was a Mozilla community in Louisville, but couldn’t find anything.
While I was talking with Alex during the meeting, I stated that and suddenly we came up with the idea of starting Mozilla Louisville Community.

I am still a high school student here, it takes me so much effort, dedication and time; but nothing is stronger than my will and passion to contribute to Mozilla.
It is quite a big challenge starting something from the scratch while you don’t know anyone here. You are in a different culture, language and mentality. Alex is doing a very good job, and he is also very dedicated to this initiative, I think that together we can easily do that !

After a few meetings with Alex we decided to host the first Mozilla Louisville Community meeting. Our aim was to gather people who already were Mozilla contributors (in one way or another), those who wanted to contribute to a variety of Mozilla projects, those who wanted to get directly involved in Mozilla, and especially those who wanted to help us build a community here.

Thanks to John Hicks for helping us with the place and also my mentor Brian King who helped me with some tips on my presentation (built with HTML5).

Unfortunately there was no swag for attendees because my swag request got cancelled (There was no time to ship them and it would cost a lot to do that in such a short time) however, I had some stickers that I took from Kosovo and I gave them all out…

The meeting went very well, better than expected actually. We were 8 people (which is very good for the beginning) and all of the attendees were very impressed with what Mozilla is doing… A lot of their feedback was that they never knew Mozilla had so many projects, and is doing so much work. They also stated that they would be happy to start working on any project….
Most of the attendees were experienced programmers, C/C++ Gurus that worked for GOOGLE and UPS in the past; one of them even showed interest to work with XULRunner right away (He has been working with XUL for a while now).
We told them all to open persona accounts and we also emailed them with all the links and material that we had in our slides…. In the mean time, I will have to write some small guides for them and email them again.
Then hopefully we will do another event after 2 weeks or so.

These are some photos from the meeting here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozillalouisville/sets/72157631721431659/

We have a Facebook page, a twitter account, a flickr account, an IRC channel #louisville in irc.mozilla.org and also a temporary google groups mailing list.
We are still working on setting up our website and I think that we will launch it very soon.

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