Gone fishing, and looking for feedback

July 31, 2009 § 3 Comments

Today’s my last day at a computer before two weeks off the grid. No electricity. No phones. No computers. The best two weeks of the year.

Loraine Club, Britt, Ontario, Canada

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve written a bunch recently on how Mozilla can actively encourge large numbers of people to participate on making the web more open and awesome. I’ll be reading and doodling on this topic while I’m away. I am hoping that others (e.g. you!) will reflect and share thoughts as well over the next couple of weeks. In particular, I’m interested in getting feedback on:

  1. Is now the right time for Mozilla to start engaging large numbers of new people in stewarding the open web? I think it is, but am interested in diverse opinions.
  2. Are issues like security, freedom in the cloud and open mobile good places to start? Or are there other issues that you think large numbers of internet users need to know about and take action on?
  3. What other orgs and groups we should be supporting, building on and working with? We’re already committed to working w/ One Web Day. We also need to connect to orgs in the specific issue areas where we want to work.

The idea of engaging the next million Mozillians has been floating around for almost a year now. My belief is that it’s time to begin experimenting and taking action on this front ASAP, starting in September or October. This is something the Mozilla Foundation team will be prioritizing. In order to move quickly, we need your ideas, tough questions, critiques and offers of help over the coming weeks. Blog comments, pingbacks and private email are all good ways to share thoughts.

Talk to you in two weeks.

§ 3 Responses to Gone fishing, and looking for feedback

  • Steve Song says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’ve been giving some thought to how to translate the idea of the Open Web into something practical and digestible that can raise awareness with out raising the bar too high for participation.

    Curiously, the title of your post gave me an idea. There is a analogous challenge of “generativity” in our oceans with the struggle to save fish species from dying out. This challenge has led to a lot of creativity in building public awareness campaigns. Sites like Fishonline have list of fish that are safe or unsafe to eat. But more interesting from the web perspective is the even simpler campaign that the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative have put together with a simple red, orange, and green rating for fish species. They have bright simple guides that help people make decisions about buying fish. You can even send them an SMS with a fish name and get info back the same way. They also have schemes for participating restaurants. Very clever and a no-brainer for people to participate.

    So, thinking about that simple red, orange, green motif and then about the little encryption padlock icon on the bottom of the browser bar to indicate secure sites. What about a little red, orange, green ball at the bottom of the FF browser indicating the degree of openness of the website being browsed… according to an openly developed standard of course 🙂

    The openness standard might be a composite of things like open APIs, ability to export data, delete your profile, adjust your privacy settings, interoperability via Open Standards, etc.

    A plug-in like that might also contain suggested privacy settings for popular sites.

    Thinking out loud as usual… Steve

  • johnjbarton says:

    Mark, some concrete examples of security failings, lack of freedom in the cloud, and closed mobile, would go a long way to help us understand what action would encourage open web in each area.

  • […] Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation has been ruminating on: "how Mozilla can actively encourage large numbers of people to participate on making the web more ope…." […]

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