2010 Goals: Update on Mozilla Foundation Bits
November 24, 2008 § 7 Comments
As I’ve blogged before, Mozilla is in the midst of a project-wide conversation about goals for the next two years. This post provides an update on the Mozilla Foundation bits of the 2010 goals process.
The overall aim of this process is to set goals that strike a balance between aspirational (we want to reach far) and concrete (we want goals that guide our decisions). When first discussed at Whistler back in July, these were imagined primarily as products goals. Since then, the focus has expanded to cover the Mozilla Project as a whole, including the Foundation.
For the past two months, I’ve been asking: ‘Where specifically does Mozilla Foundation fit into these 2010 goals? Where do people want to see Foundation resources focused?‘ I’ve done a good deal of talking (Barcelona, Mtn View Brown Bag, personal chats), blogging (here, here, here, here and here) and reading (Whistler Foundation 2.0 notes, Mozilla identity notes from Whistler, Mitchell’s blog posts from the summer about community) as a way to dig into these questions. There has been alot of good conversation already, and enough ideas are on the table that some directions are emerging.
At the recent Mozilla Foundation team meeting, we compared emerging ideas about what the Foundation should be doing against the Mozilla 2010 goals that have already been proposed. Based on this review, there was little question that the Foundation should be focused on these items from the initial goal list:
1. Communities continue to expand and provide means for individual development.
2. Thought leadership expands to include things such as the open web, hybrid social enterprises, organizational sustainability, shared decision-making, individual control, and portability in Internet life.
3. Innovations emerge from the Mozilla world.
There is also a Foundation role to play explaining the link between an open, participatory web and Mozilla work on Firefox, mobile and data. But the proposed goals in these areas don’t seem like a direct fit for hands-on Foundation work. The team came up with this suggested goal in response:
4. More people understand and embrace the principles that underpin Mozilla.
… which ties back to why we make products like Firefox. Based on all the conversations I’ve had, explaining and activating people around Mozilla values feels pretty central to what people want the Foundation to be doing over the next few years. Others also need to be involved, for sure. But the Foundation should play a leading role.
Over the next month, we’ll be starting a conversation about what kinds of programs Mozilla Foundation should have (I’ll post on this soon). The goals listed above will be part of that, which means we need to keep giving them a real hard look. Some things I’m asking myself right now:
- Are the four goals proposed above right for the Foundation? If not, what’s missing?
- We’ve talked alot about open source education. Do we need a specific goal for this, or is it covered by ‘communities continue to expand’ goal?
- Same question about open web technology research. Do we need a goal for this, or is it covered by ‘innovation’?
- What about broader questions of keeping the Internet accessible to anyone anywhere. Do we need a goal on ‘access’ or is that already covered by our mission?
The goals above still aren’t final. Sometime in mid-December, we’ll start feeding them into the broader Mozilla Foundation planning process. We hope they’re in closer to final shape by then, which is why the team and I are mulling questions like the ones I’ve raised here. We’d love your help with this thinking process. Post thoughts below, on your own blog or feel free to send mail.
You could address a goal of making Mozilla Foundation more of a Open Philanthropy (\Open Social-Business) organization.
Making all those tiny business-like details transparent on the web, enabling other organizations learn from your success (\failures).
And maybe even develop information systems that will make it easy for organizations to be transparent and put their information and practices on the web.
I’d like to see some things that are in line with the Mozilla Manifesto’s focus on the open web. What are some things that prevent us from having a fully open web? Can we encroach on them, can we do something effective to promote and maintain a more open web? For example, would we like to have a beta of an effective, fully-open replacement for Flash and Silverlight by 2010 (or just have our standard open web technologies advance to where they are an effective replacement)? Would we like to see Ogg Theora really take over proprietary video formats on the web? Things like that.
@Max: from a technology standpoint, Mozilla pushes the Open Web standards to compete with Flash and Silverlight. in this regard, the video element is key (Silverlight 1.0 focuses on video, and in many cases Flash was irreplaceable for video until HTML 5 came).
I agree that open formats are *key* for our freedom as users of technology, and Ogg Theora is interesting in this regard.
I think that a specific goal about open source education is needed. Not all the people we think that belongs to our community feels the same.
And maybe it’s necessary a goal or some explanation about the role of the foundation with goverments. Your talk in Toronto’s city hall could be included in the second goal, but maybe it’s better if we have a goal for this kind of relationship with goverments.
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