There’s a lot of info about Mozilla Drumbeat available, and I felt the need for an overview. Here is mine. Mark also posted a summary over the weekend.
Drumbeat is Mozilla’s nascent effort to find, energize and build a Mozilla community of people who are — or want to be — working with technology to build participation, understanding and control into Internet life. This is a complementary effort to building the core technologies themselves, as we do with the Firefox and Thunderbird.
Drumbeat will have tools for interested people to try ideas out — much as Spread Firefox, our product extension framework, and the Mozilla Labs efforts provides ways for interested people to try out ideas closely related to our products.
With Drumbeat we also expect to identify a few projects as an initial focus of the Drumbeat effort, much as we have identified a browser and communications client as the focus of our technology efforts. These Drumbeat projects are areas where the Mozilla Foundation will actively be working to build communities and create impact. Drumbeat projects may vary in their life-span; some may be quick and sprint-like, some may be longer projects.
Drumbeat will use many of the components we’re familiar with at Mozilla — a massive online presence, with work done in the open; lots of local and regional communities and gatherings. One difference is we’re thinking of an annual event as a very significant aspect. We’re thinking that this may be more important since the efforts aren’t likely to be as tightly coordinated as a product team, which becomes very tightly bound during the latter part of a product release.
More detailed thinking on Drumbeat can be found at the wiki, and of course there is an open invitation to get involved.