Drumbeat: people, ideas, action = better web

October 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

After much discussion, we have made the decision to move ahead with Mozilla Drumbeat. The approach remains much as we’ve discussed all along — growing a community of people who explain, protect and improve the internet as a public resource. And doing this with a mix of online and on-the-ground efforts, plus a big Drumbeat Festival each year.

Return of the killer funnel

There will be two small (and positive) shifts as we move ahead: a broader ‘creating a better internet’ theme and a much stronger emphasis on community-sourcing to surface good ideas and interesting collaborators.

On the theme front, we want to create an umbrella that covers a number of specific internet issues: from access and open networks to open mobile and personal control over your data to open online content. The idea isn’t to be open ended, but rather to create a space where people can gather around the eight or ten topics that matter most right now. I’ll blog separately on this soon, but you can get the basic idea if you look at this grid.

Of course, ‘making the internet better’ is still a super high level concept. Our aim is to quickly identify concrete examples that show what we mean. Who’s doing cool stuff with open source to increase access in Africa? What ideas are on the table help people understand and control their online identities? How can everyday internet users get involved stopping online malware?

This is where the community and crowdsourcing come in. We want internet users around the world to propose ideas, nominate people and articulate actions that they believe make the internet better. This is what brings Drumbeat to life. The most compelling (and highly voted) people, ideas and action get highlighted, giving members of the Drumbeat community a chance to get involved and support specific initiatives. Also, the best people and ideas funnel into the Drumbeat Festival, which will happen mid-2010, hopefully in Istanbul or Amsterdam.

We’re using the ‘people, ideas and action for a better internet’ tagline as a quick way to describe this approach and theme. We should have a prototype web site up in less than a month as a way to further illustrate our thinking (and open the gates for proposals). We’re also going to move quickly on a number of smaller events to build up the local community side of Drumbeat. I’ll be blogging more over the coming week to outline early details on all this.

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