Drumbeat notes #4: ground game and local events

September 1, 2009 § 5 Comments

This is the fourth in a series of notes posts about Mozilla Drumbeat. It summarizes ideas related to building a Drumbeat ground game and doing local events. Many of these ideas are now in the Drumbeat:Conga proposal. The notes are drawn from comments posted online and many many face to face conversations.


1. There is no question that Drumbeat needs a strong ground game: people working with each other locally to promote and steward the open web. This could take the form of local events or local Mozilla ‘clubs’.

2. Local, self-organized events, activities and clubs offer a) an approachable entry point for people who are new to the idea that the web is an important public asset and b) a scalable way for large numbers of people to participate as leaders and organizers.

3. There are many existing channels and events that we could work with to get people involved in Drumbeat. BarCamps and CCSalons seem like especially good partnership opportunities. We could encourage local Mozilla people to lead conversations or run skill shares at these events.

4. There are also a number of existing Mozilla channels that we could work through. These include SpreadFirefox.com, Campus Reps, MozCamps, localizers and community marketers. We should be engaging people in these communities to get feedback on Drumbeat.

5. Encouraging Drumbeat participation from these existing communities probably starts with a set of simple raw materials that people can use to do talks and run skill shares. These could be quickly built around Drumbeat topics like security, privacy, identity, open video, web standards, etc. The could also include some basic materials on why the web matters as a public asset.

6. Others have expressed interest in building out this sort of ground game together, working in collaboration to raise awareness and share skills related to the open web.

7. Creative Commons has expressed an especially strong desire to collaborate. Working together, Mozilla / Creative Commons have developed an idea tentatively called Conga based around the points above. One liner: P2P chautauquas and skill shares for the open web. It has been posted to the Drumbeat wiki for comment.

8. Update: Forgot to say in original post -> A number of people have said that Europe is a particularly good place to start with this kind of local event strategy. Interested to know if people agree.

§ 5 Responses to Drumbeat notes #4: ground game and local events

  • Extra bonus +50 points for using “chautauquas”!

  • Hi,

    I’m excited that CC is involved in the Drumbeat project. Here are my two cents, as a person who has organized in Warsaw several CC Salon meetings, which then shifted to a series of monthly meetings under a broader “culture 2.0” theme (sadly enough, a narrow CC-focus was unsustainable in Poland, there’s just too little going on that can be talked about, though this is slowly changing).

    I’d like to point out that from my experience my CC Salon events were ultimately very local. They used the brand (so they tied to a global chain of events) and were promoted globally through CC comm channels (though I doubt this brought in anyone who hasn’t heard about us through our own, local channels). But otherwise there was little “added value” from doing this in a global format.

    Of course, this is nevertheless very much worth doing for the sake of the global project – it’s good that we can show global involvement and interest. But locally, in my opinion, this does not mean a lot, other than some added reputation that flows down from the level of the global network to my local actions.

    So I think it’s worth thinking hard how the local parts of the Drumbeat can benefit from participating. Especially in countries – like Poland – where free cultural activity is relatively low (though there is for instance a strong – though untapped in my opinion – potential of the Mozilla community).

    Online materials available for re-use are always useful, though they require translation / localization. What else? Video call-ins are fun in principle, but in practice still don’t feel too real.

    So in my opinion what we need is some sort of formula for cooperation between events, some sort of a collective project to which everyone can chip in, maybe in a serial fashion, by adding to it chunks across the globe. For instance, maybe we could have pen-drives travelling globally (in the manner mail art did), with a basic set of mozilla-related content, including installation packs, and content added at every local step. Heck, the pendrives could be attached to little notebooks, where people would create, remix-like, an “open web booklet” (there were projects to create such globally travelling sketchpads / notebooks, but I can’t recall the URL).

  • Hi, so to sum up: that circular arrow between events, is not just a mark of the passage of time (as was my initial thought) – it’s a circulation, most probably of content (digital but also physical, packets arriving by mail ar fun in a slowly nostalgic way), but maybe also of people (ambassadors, storytellers, travelling shows).

  • msurman says:

    Alek: thanks for both posts. I totally agree re: circulation, and that is a key part of the plan. So, people who are taking a lead and coming up w/ great ideas at local events should be showing up and shaping ideas at the larger events. Your artifact idea adds to this. Hadn’t thought of that. Like it.

  • hello, one more thought. so maybe these circulating elements (this could be things, but maybe also people) could collect some sort of symbolic value – like an alternative currency / LETS. This could be controversial, as in principle open work is often seen as done without monetary reward, but this would be a quasi-monetary reward. So there should be ways of promoting good content passing through your place in relation to bad content; and giving value to better speakers and participants. In the case of people, value could maybe transform into scholarships to travel to global events? In the case of things / content, it would work like a recommendation system.

    I’m uncertain myself about this: all this voting, measuring, clicking, game-like and market-like behavior can destroy a community, or can be fully ignored by it. But it’s just a thought about drumbeat, which as an idea is quite thought-provoking.

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