November 2nd, 2009
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.
June 18th, 2009
So far we’ve used the word “participate” as in: “Mozilla promotes choice, innovation and participation on the Internet.” That’s good, but it’s not enough. Many of us participate in closed systems where the rules are set for us and we don’t see them, certainly can’t change them, and aren’t permitted to “participate” in building the rules. This is true of very popular web services. For example, I “participate” in Flickr and Facebook, but within the system and rules that those organizations set up to meet their own goals. That’s fine; there’s no reason for those sites to change.
Mozilla is trying to build a layer of the Internet that’s different, where “participation” extends to the very core of what we build. I’m still struggling to find a crisp way to describe this. If you’ve got thoughts about how to do this — in any language — I would love to hear them.
December 14th, 2008
One of the proposed 2010 goals is “Deepen Mozilla’s role as a centerpiece of the Internet.” I received feedback that this goal feels wrong: it seems to be about promoting Mozilla rather than a healthy Internet. Once this was pointed out, it’s obvious. I’ve edited the proposed goal to reflect this and capture ideas raised during the various discussions.
Goal: Make openness, participation and distributed decision-making more real in Internet life.
- More and stronger communities practicing these values
- Scope expands to include things such as the open web, hybrid social enterprises, organizational sustainability, shared decision-making, individual control, and portability in Internet life
- Innovations emerge from varied sources
- Projects and products based on these values become increasingly vibrant
- Leadership through excellence, technological and otherwise
- Creation of open content becomes easier
July 14th, 2008
One of the great things about Mozilla is that periodically I’ll be thinking about how to get something done and then I’ll look up and find someone else has already done it, and often gone further with the idea than I would have. Dave Eaves’ post today about “The challenge of Mozilla’s magnetism” is an example. I’ve been thinking about this all weekend, writing a post in my head. But now I don’t need to, Dave’s got just about everything I was thinking about already pulled into something coherent. The first three-quarters of the post are almost exactly what I was thinking — particularly the reasons for the pull of Mozilla to so many people and the need to balance that with what strengthens our current communities.
Personally, it’s much better to hear this from Dave than to see it written by me. That’s because once it’s clear that a set of people wanting Mozilla to do more also understand the precious nature of our current communities and how strengthening them must be central, then it’s much easier to be open and responsive to ideas for expanding.
The last paragraph — a suggestion about the minimum plan Mozilla should build and execute to work with others who care about the open Internet — is really helpful. It seems so obvious when written this way — of course Mozilla should do this. We may in fact be able to do more, but we don’t need to wait to figure out how much more to get started.
July 14th, 2008
In a post last week I talked about concentric circles of community, noting that I actually think of Mozilla as concentric spheres of community. That’s because each community (practice, action, interest, user) is made up of many different sub-groups.
For example, the Community of Practice is that set of people who are sharing resources and using a bunch of Mozilla practices together to achieve a result. Within this group we can find many different kinds of activities. We might think of subsets based on the project, such as the Firefox, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird, Camino, Bugzilla, or Calendar communities of practice. We might think of subsets based on activity — the localization, quality assurance, coding, website, design, UI, support, infrastructure communities or practice. We might think of subsets based on language or locale.
There are so many dimensions to Mozilla communities that I think we need (at least!) three dimensions to have a working model. To help with this, there is now a wiki page for discussion of the Mozilla community to see if something other than blog comments is better for a long term discussion.