Drumbeat notes #7: four good ideas
October 2, 2009 § 4 Comments
This is the seventh in a series of notes posts about Mozilla Drumbeat. This one lists out four notable ideas that have popped out of recent Drumbeat conversations. Still need to think about these more, and feed into the scenario process. But wanted to write some notes while fresh. Special thanks on these go to Atul Varma, Chris Messina and Chris Beard.
1. Build community around an ‘engagement ladder’.
People in the online campaigning world talk about engagement ladders — simple stuff / many people at the bottom (e.g. i❤ the web), bigger and deeper stuff for people w/ more passion and commitment further up (e.g. giving Mozilla talks at a local BarCamp). It’s been clear for a long time that Drumbeat needs something like this. However, conversations this week helped articulate a rough framework -> a) aware internet user (probably tied to Firefox brand); b) information seeker (connection to Mozilla brand); c) action taker (feels a sense of belonging to Mozilla community); d) organizer (brings others into community, creates campaigns and events). This will be helpful w/ the scenario building process.
2. Start w/ a simple newsletter, be a friend and advisor.
The bottom of the engagement ladder could centre around something as simple as an e-newsletter. This would serve ‘information seekers’ by sharing ideas, tips and insights from more experienced Mozilla community members. For example, if Drumbeat year one focused on ‘the open web as platform’, the newsletter could highlight cool new demos or tips on using new open web features on your blog. Or, if we were focusing on things like identity and data, we could do a newsletter that is more focused on trend spotting and where the internet is headed. In either case, newsletters would also include invitations to get more deeply involved (graduating up the engagement ladder).
3. Visualize the web, show that it’s something we’re all building together.
The root ideas we want to communicate with Drumbeat can be pretty abstract. Products, demos and concrete action campaigns are one way past this. Another could be data visualization. Imagine we want to people to feel like they are a part of creating the web — that they are the web, and they are making it better and stewarding it simply by posting content. Visualizations giving a near real time picture of different kinds of content being added to the internet could help make this idea more real for people. Similarly, visualizations of things like number of HTML5 videos or sites using embedded fonts could help us watch the use of open web technologies grow.
4. Use ‘magic ink’ contests and games explain the open web.
Atul Varma recently posted about the open web as ‘magic ink’ — a set of technologies that lets us shape and transform the digital world around us. While the concept is compelling, it’s hard to really understand unless you’ve actually created something yourself on the web. As a way to give many more people this experience, Atul created a simple quest game / tutorial based on using Firebug to change a set of web pages. If they were a little more complex and fun, these kinds of games could be a really good ‘explaining the open web’ tool. Especially if we wanted to target people in high school who are curious about technology and are just deciding what technologies to play with.