Roll your own Service Week

August 24, 2009 § 10 Comments

I really want to help .orgs tap the power of the open web during Mozilla Service Week. The challenge: finding a fun and helpful task I can take on in just a few hours that also fits my skill set. I didn’t find a perfect match in the Idealist volunteer database, so I’ve decided to roll my own Service Week activity: a 2 hour Creative Commons licensing clinic, plus a screening of RIP: A Remix Manifesto.

My thinking process was simple: I asked ‘what have my .org friends asked me to help w/ in the past year?’ and ‘what questions have been most fun to answer?’. I quickly zoomed into the topic of open content, licensing and business models. Many non-profits want to get their content out there in the open, but they just don’t know how. I figured I could make the world — and the web — better by volunteering to help with this for a few hours.

The specific plan is to offer open content advice and inspiration to the 150 .orgs and social entrepreneurs at Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation. I will start with a lunch time screening of RIP: A Remix Manifesto (the inspiration part). Then I will run a Lucy-Van-Pelt-esque Creative Commons info booth in the lunch area for a couple of hours (the advice part). Four hours of my time. Simple to organize. Likely very fun.

A challenge to other Mozillians (and everyone else): if you can’t find a Service Week opportunity that compels, roll your own. In particular, I’d encourage:

  • … my MozYYZ colleagues to join at the Centre for Social Innovation to offer advice on the topic of their choice. Imagine an ad hoc open web advice fair!
  • … my compadres at Creative Commons to set up their own open content coaching sessions during service week (the open web isn’t just about tech, eh).
  • … Mozillians everywhere to leverage non-profit coworking spaces as a way to help many non-profits at once (I can suggest contacts in cities like Paris and Sao Paulo).

If you want to pitch in with the Toronto clinic or plan to take up my challenge, please post a comment below. And, of course, also sign up on the Mozilla Service Week site. Fun. A better world. And a better web. That’s what’s ahead for Service Week!

§ 10 Responses to Roll your own Service Week

  • Jane says:

    Love your idea! Would love to join forces with your event and put together a training day on CiviCRM that week at CSI.

  • Austin King says:

    I really like the idea of going to a non-profit heavy coworking space.

  • msurman says:

    Jane: love the idea of a CiviCRM event during Service Week. Alan has pinged me as well. Let’s talk.

    • Donald Lobo says:

      let us know if u’ll want any CiviCRM experts out there at CSI for the CiviCRM therapy session. We know of a few good CiviCRM folks in the toronto area šŸ™‚

      • msurman says:

        Will do, and I think some of the Toronto CiviCRM crowd in Toronto is already stepping up to the plate (e.g. Alan Dixon). Is there anything broader scale planned re: CiviCRM / Service Week links? I’d heard rumours of a sprint? Maybe Toronto could link in?

  • Ken Saunders says:

    A Creative Commons licensing clinic is a fantastic idea.

    Do you think that Lucy wrote prescriptions for psych meds off camera? That would explain the way that everyone danced.
    And if you see Linus, please tell him that I’d like my Van Halen (Women and Children First) 8 track back.

  • Donald Lobo says:

    Yeah, we are planning to do a few things during that week. Still figuring it out. I suspect we’ll keep it more user centric and help folks with deployment, installation and customization rather than a code sprint. I think lots of orgs out there do need help in how to effectively use and deploy the software (and probably how to document and simplify their business process)

    Any specific thoughts or ideas that you think should be done

    • Jane says:

      Hi Donald,

      We are thinking of doing a CiviCRM training session in the afternoon of the 16th for end users. Also, in the morning we are hoping for some sort of a “MsterMind” type session where we just have experts on hand to help orgs out with issues they may have.

      My contact info can be found here:

      Would love to chat about ways we can collaborate on the week.


  • […] Our pal Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Toronto-based Mozilla Foundation, is planning to offer a Creative Commons Advice Booth as part of the upcoming Mozilla Service Week. The 150 .orgs and social entrepreneurs at Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation will surely benefit from his counsel and you can too! If you want to help or attend, post a comment to Mark’s related blog post here. […]

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