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SUMO – organizing a localization marathon


Previously I have wrote an article about the first SUMO (Support Mozilla) marathon that we organized at VTŠ (College of Applied Sciences) in Subotica – the city where I live, and where most of SUMO localizers are from.

I’m going to share how we do these marathons, and hopefully this article will help you to organize the same in your community.


Well, this can be a problem sometimes.

Depending on how much people you expect and how many people have laptops, you can choose the following options:

  • in a classroom – best for bigger number of translators due to availability of dekstop’s
  • at your (someone’s) place – up to five people (depends on laptops availability)
  • Coworking space – depends on laptops and desktop PC availability

I would strongly recommend you to avoid paying for the venue, as you can find someone who will understand what you do and why you do it.

Personally, I had few rejections from high schools, but that was due to their closed minds, where they didn’t see the opportunity to involve their students into something that can be very useful in future.

That didn’t stop me, and I have found a university that offered us a classroom whenever we need it to translate or even organize events. I’m happy to say that half of our community are from this university.


When filling a budget request (if you are a Rep) you should try to follow the guideline in order to avoid any problems.

Depending on how many people are coming to marathon, you should plan on what you want to buy and that can be from pizzas, drinks, ice-creams, chocolates, coffees and etc.

Usually, this is how it looks like on ours end:

  • Pizza(s) family size
  • Refreshment drinks

Depending on how much people will attend, budget request can go from 20 to 60 $.  Also, pizzas can be changed for going out to some coffee shop where you can relax and chat – and you should mix that from time to time.


Make sure that all people who are attending had experience with translation, or you will lose time to explain them how to.

Depending on language you are translating SUMO articles, translation rate can differ.

In our example, we tend to localize and transcribe most of IT terms, and that can be tricky sometimes.

You should create a guideline for you community about how they should translate and on what they need to take a note.

When translating, try to understand that you are translating that article for someone who’s barely into IT, and you should try to translate in their language of understanding, otherwise your article won’t help them.

Remember, quality over quantity – at least for this.


Etherpad – you can use it to write down the notes for localization, track the articles and etc.

Doodle – helps you to decide the time by enabling people to vote for their best date and time option.

Google Translate – use it when you need it. Do NOT translate the whole article with it, because we wouldn’t need you to help us if GT was that good.

Glossary – very useful when you are translating and when you are having doubts on how to translate something.

Do you have something to add? Maybe your example on how you organize marathons?


Serbian community – the revival

Serbian community was founded back in 2009 and during these years it didn’t made much of a progress. Actually most of the time the project was stalled.

Miloš made a great job by founding Serbian Mozilla community, but due to his lack of time (his job) he didn’t had time to be involved with the community.

Two years ago, I joined Serbian community by following the code: think local, act global.

In the first year, nothing happened but in last nine moths things started to change.

At start, our community was consisted of few people, but by the time we started to grow due to event we held. After those events, people started to contact us in order to volunteer for Mozilla.

Two months ago we were a community of 6 people, but now that number is ~20. So we formed a team that split into groups: localization, marketing on social media, design, event planning etc.

Our work

Have you heard about Android Community Campaign Challenge? If you haven’t here is what it is about:

This is a new program that is intended to fund marketing campaigns to promote Firefox for Android locally in your region, country or area. If you have wanted to promote the Android Firefox locally, but have not had the resources to do so, this is your chance. The process is simple.  Develop your campaign idea, propose a reasonable budget, and consider how to measure the success of your campaign.

Our community started to work on this, and we did it in two ways:


Design 374382_10151374529077917_1406020200_n



A6_v2_fp_01 A6_v2_lp_wp04 Nastavite tamo gde ste stali


From previous post:

Open vs closed

Open spaces are cool, everyone can see it but there are few risks. People may rip up posters, or weather can ruin it (even on covered bus stop stations) humidity may damage them.

Closed spaces have less risk, actually only risk is that someone can rip them up.

But in closed spaces you have (probably) WiFi access so people who want to download Firefox don’t have to spend their megabytes.

Tracking QR codes

Every location has unique QR code that is being tracked. We shortened urls via Google Url Shortener which made QR codes easier to scan due to low density of image.  This will help us understand and learn from which locations people mostly scan QR codes, and based on that  next time we will decide where is worth to put posters and where not.

What to do?

Thinking about putting these posters or flyers in your country/city?  – awesome!

You should contact local caffee bars, universities or any other places you have in mind to get their approval for posting them like we did.

Post pictures on social media networks and promote those places in order to thank them.

Improve/redesign/localize these posters and flyers:

Flyer PSD

Poster PSD

What’s next?

As I said, we have formed into groups, and what we plan to do next is complete localization of SUMO because if we want to be active local community, we have to have a good support to average Joe, plus Firefox OS is coming to Serbian market this year, and we expect to have a lot of average Joe users who will buy Firefox OS phone, so we want to localize all articles on SUMO site that will help users in need.

We’re also planning Firefox OS App Days with people from Telenor, and beside those App Days, we plan to spread Firefox OS by doing some other events and marketing campaigns.

Our website is getting finished, and our presence on social media network is about to get serious. 🙂

This couldn’t be done and wont be done if there were no amazing contributors who are making our community better and larger everyday and richer with ideas that will push Mozilla project further in Serbia.

This year is going to be exciting and probably (hopefully) a successful year for Serbian Mozilla community as we tend to build local presence and spread the word (mission) of Mozilla.

Mobilizing Mozilla

Based on our content priorities the theme will be “Mobilize Mozilla” in order to both reinforce the strategic importance of our efforts in the mobile market as well as the ambitious goals we’ve set forth for our community to accomplish this year. – MozCamp Warsaw 2012.

If you don’t know yet (shame on you) Firefox for Android is available for some time, but recently it got an update that made it really fast, attractive by design and smart. Of course, even safer and more privacy caring software.

As a Mozillian, I wanted to do something for Mozilla that could push their mission. I read a post about Firefox for Android Community Campaign Challenge by Gen Kanai and Sam Mott and I made a move.

I came on idea about posting posters on public places where people pass by so they can see the poster and eventually download Firefox.

As I’m pretty much a noob at drawing or designing something, but I had this idea in my head and I didn’t knew how to put that idea in Photoshop.

So I talked to my friend Aleksandra, who is a long time Firefox user, and I remember that she had some experience in “PS stuff”. First, she thought that you have to be a C++ guru in order to contribute to Mozilla, but I proved her wrong. 🙂

So I told her about Firefox for Android campaign and she was willing to help out. In fact, she is now a Mozillian and Mozilla Serbia community member. 🙂

I passed her a mockup (idea from my head) done in Paint, and this is what it looked like:

Early mockup

Yes, laugh at my inability to use Paint too. 🙂

After few changes and suggestions from Aleksandra, Matej Novak, Sam Mott and Sean Martell, final design was this:

Final version in Serbian

Poster was localized in two languages Serbian and Hungarian (thanks to Kalman Kemenczy).

Since poster design was finished, we had to find attractive locations where a lot of people pass by, so we can put these posters.

We picked few open spaces, well actually bus stops. 🙂 We also picked few closed spaces; schools and universities.

Open vs closed

Open spaces are cool, everyone can see it but there are few risks. People may rip up posters, or weather can ruin it (even on covered bus stop stations) humidity may damage them.

Closed spaces have less risk, actually only risk is that someone can rip them up.

Tracking QR codes

Every location has unique QR code that is being tracked. We shortened urls via Google Url Shortener which made QR codes easier to scan due to low density of image.  This will help us understand and learn from which locations people mostly scan QR codes, and based on that  next time we will decide where is worth to put posters and where not.


We (Dejan, Aleksandra and I) have posted few posters on open spaces (bus stops) and one in closed space (College of Applied Sciences, we will place them in other high school after winter break). And we have few more places to visit. In fact, I think that we will be more oriented in closed spaces, rather than open.  But that decision will depend if those poster “survive” open spaces or not. We will check them every week or two to see in what shape are they.

Here are few pictures from current places where we posted them:

471560_4138343382238_1163247991_o SAM_7591 SAM_7595 SAM_7596


These are few locations,  but we plan to post them on more locations, see the map with current and planned locations:

Going further with campaign

If this idea is good or not, downloads will tell. But I wanted to go even further with this, so I made a contact with manager of  Kafe Priča (The Story Cafe) and we are going to put a flyer on every table in that cafe. Since this cafe is one of the most attractive and visited cafes in this city, we have good expectations about it. I’ll make another blog post on The Story Cafe next week.

I hope that this campaign is going to be successful and that other communites can do the same or even something better learned from this test pilot study.

If you want to do this with your community, PSD is available here. If you have critics, suggestions or anything that can help, please tell us! Thanks.


Occupy campus!

As we (Serbian Mozilla community) continue with our events, last Friday we attended to Campus Festival (Kampus fest) in Novi Sad.

Novi Sad is known as “students city) because of large number of universities and faculties.

Kampus fest took a place inside campus area and students village on 10th – 13th of October.

So we (Aleksa, Boris, Anita and me) went to Novi Sad, placed our Mozilla both there and welcomed people who came to our booth asking “what is this?” . 🙂

At first, people were confused with “what is Mozilla doing here?”, and one on frequent questions was “is swag for free?” .

As they were coming with questions, we gave them answers and swag! 🙂

We also got two potential volunteers who signed on Get Involved page. 🙂

more pictures can be found here (or here) and here.

We had flyers in plan to giveaway on event, but we didn’t had time to finish them. I believe that with flyers we could avoid hesitation to come over to our booth and ask questions and take swag. Which a lot of people did. Some of them passed few times before they stopped and asked. 🙂

Last minute swag

We had three days to choose on which one we should attend, but sadly we had to wait for customs to release our package (promotional merchandise yay!) and it was in last minute!

They released our package on Friday (13th of October) just an hour before we went to Novi Sad.

But it’s better that we got it, rather than cancelling event.

Bad weather

Problem with swag is not the only thing that tried to stop us, there was a possibility that it’s going to be a rainy day. Luckily it started to rain when it was our time to go home. 🙂

Still learning, baby steps

From this event, and the ones in past, we are learning what we should improve, what we should organize better and what we should do earlier (example is customs) . So I believe that next events can only get better, because we are learning from mistakes that we did before.

Occupy campus!

I must say, that organizers did a great job even if this is their first time. Kampus fest was a great idea, and I’m glad that we were a part of it.

There were a lot of people, but they said that Friday was actually day when most of students go home, and I regret that we couldn’t come on Wednesday, but it was still good.

For next year, they are going to move it for warmer period (somewhere around May), which is a great decision given to bad weather during October.

So yes, we’re ready to occupy campus next year – again! 🙂

Software Freedom Day – Serbia

Last year I read an article that criticized people from FLOSS communities because they haven’t organized Software Freedom Day in Serbia.

As I like critics, I started to think about organizing SFD event in Serbia. So as months have been passing, I dint do anything about (I guess I forgot about it), and just about 20 days before September 15th, I realized that nothing has been done for organization.

So I quickly wrote a post on Ubuntu Serbia forum, and invited all people (other communities) to participate in organization of event.

Response was great, we had about 10-12 communities and individuals (on some FLOSS projects) that wanted to participate.

So in those 20 days, we have organized an event, that turned out to be great a event. 🙂

Event was on Saturday, September 15th in  O3ONE (Ozon) gallery, Belgrade.

Even  if our marketing wasn’t that much aggressive about event, around 70~ people showed up, making Ozon gallery full. 🙂

More pictures can be found here, here, here and even video from event can be found here. 🙂

Participants were: LUGoNS, Slackware, Mint, Ubuntu – Serbia, Mozilla Serbia, LibreOffice Serbia, LiBRE team, Solaris project team and few others that even they didn’t had presentations, they were supporting our event.

We started at 1pm, and ended at 6pm, which was in my opinion too much. I think maximum should be around 3 hours, but it’s okay for the first time. 🙂

As for our community, Boris, Aleksa and me talked about Firefox OS, Persona, Thunderbird, Mozilla and Web challenges, and it seemed that Firefox OS was most interesting presentation, and people were really curious about it. Too bad that we didn’t had a device with Firefox OS to show it around. 😦 Dejan was also at event. 🙂

On the event, we had a small table where we placed our swag (others did too), and after event, there were about 30 (of 250) stickers, and about 20 bracelets (of 100) from our swag. Badges and lanyards were gone! 🙂

Photo by goldie021

On event, I met bunch of people, talked with them, shared ideas and had a good time.

One thing that was interesting to me was a girl who is working in a supermarket near Ozon gallery, she had Mozilla Firefox lanyard with keys. I wonder where  did she got that lanyard. 🙂

Also, interested and really amazing thing was a 7 years old kid, who talked about FLOSS at the beginning. 🙂

I’m happy that this event happened, and I promise that next year, we are going to have better, FLOSS information richer and more organized Software Freedom Day.

We had good things, and some mistakes – and we’re learning and like I said, I like critics, so I can make it better next time. 🙂