ASSIGNMENT 1: Report on your experience contacting and explaining your intention to contribute to the community. Did you follow a 'script'? Was it a formal or informal process? Did you face any barriers to participation? Do you think your experience was personal or general? Please include in your post links to opening conversations with the open project. Include any relevant mailing list posts, wiki edits, and forum/issue tracker contributions.
My project of choice was Mozilla Open Badges. I was really fascinated by the idea of working with a group of people who were striving to create a fun and visual means of showing achievements. The visual design of the badges and the concept of a "backpack" for people to store their badges sounded really fun as well, and I wanted to jump in and help out in any way I could.
The first steps I took were to research the project much more thoroughly and explore their community pages. I then drafted an email that would voice my intentions and ask if there was any work I could help them out with, big or small. I also made sure to point out that this was for a class on open collaboration and peer production, something I thought would help my cause. I tried to keep the communications relatively casual but professional, so I made sure to choose my words carefully.
Unfortunately, Mozilla Open Badges has not reached back to me. So for the sake of time, I'm preparing to reach out to another organization (The GNOME project) and see what may come out of it. I imagine that this is a normal occurance, as they're probably making sure that everyone who helps out can output quality work and in my communications I didn't indicate what my area of expertise or what I would be able to help out with. Although the GNOME project is my second choice, I'm still just as interested in potentially helping them. My approach this time will be similar, with more emphasis on expressing my own abilities as a designer and possibly helping out on one or two of their listed tasks on the wiki page.