Drumbeat: what kind of people, ideas and action?

October 25, 2009 § 5 Comments

As I posted on Friday, Mozilla Drumbeat will take its first steps by seeking out people, ideas and actions that make the web better. In many cases, people, ideas and actions that few people have heard of before. This is something we’ll need a massive amount of help with (partly the point).


The obvious place to start is with examples that show what we’re looking for. With this in mind, we’ve created a grid that lists 10 ‘the web gets better when we …’ topics and then provides corresponding people / ideas / action examples. Here are three example clusters drawn from the grid:

1. The web gets better when we make the internet more accessible.

  • People: Suvi Linden, communications minister who made broadband a human right in Finland.
  • Ideas: Open source ‘village telco’ system for Africa, build from cheap commodity hardware.
  • Action: Setting up a community WiFi network in 3 simple steps.
  • Related: Digital divide, ubiquitous access, web a11y.

2. The web gets better when we give people more control over their data and identity online.

  • People: Jennifer Stoddart, Cdn privacy czar who got Facebook to improve terms of service.
  • Ideas: Simple set of icons that make it easy to understand terms of service offered by web sites.
  • Actions: Sharing smart: 5 things you can do today to take control of your online data.
  • Related: Weave+++, U-centric computing, people centric computing, privacy.

3. The web gets better when we tap into Internet DNA to create civic and value.

  • People: Paul Biondoch, building open source tools for community health clinics.
  • Ideas: P2PU -> people using the internet to teach and accredit each other without institutions
  • Actions: Teaching like the internet: simple hacking and remix projects for your classroom.
  • Related: Open -> education / government / healthcare / science / research.

Generating more examples — and then building stories and getting people involved with the most compelling people, ideas and actions — is something we need your help with. Soon, there will be a website for this (see: early notes and wireframe). But you can help right now by posting comments below or joining the Drumbeat discussion group.

Jump in and share: what people, ideas and actions do you know about that make the web better?

Ps. we also need a crisper ‘better internet’ definition. We’re working treating the material here and here as ‘good enough’ for now. But discussion and debate on this broad concept is definitely something that wants to be part of Drumbeat.

§ 5 Responses to Drumbeat: what kind of people, ideas and action?

  • NC says:

    I think the coffee cup in with all the drawings has been done enough now.

  • James Boston says:

    I don’t know if Mark has revealed this before, but it’s actually an espresso cup.

  • Anonymous says:

    PersonalTelco seems like a good fit here. They work towards universal wireless connectivity provided by communities for each other. To do this, they’ve provided support, infrastructure, software, and hardware for people to easily set up and maintain wireless access points for each other.

  • Anonymous says:

    How about the RouteBricks project, presented at the ACM SOSP this year? They designed a way to replace proprietary Internet routers with programmable general-purpose computers while managing high traffic levels.

  • James says:

    Just the introduction of an open source browser has already made things much better. However the improvements and additional features never cease to amaze me. There are certainly some very talented and passionate people in tbhis field.

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