Drumbeat Roadmap: Build Projects, Make Noise

March 5, 2010 § 2 Comments

After reading Glyn Moody’s post yesterday, I realized I haven’t done a good enough job of explaining our Drumbeat roll out strategy. The basic idea: build up Drumbeat projects and events in the open and with a small community for a few months, and then make alot of noise once we’ve got great content in place. As Glyn said: fine strategy, but you need to tell people about it. So that’s what I am doing with this post.

Picture of a roadmap

The Drumbeat ‘build it in the open’ roadmap for the first half of 2010 has been clear for a while now. The problem: it’s been partly buried in our planning wiki and partly just rolling around in my head. I updated and tweeted the roadmap wiki page yesterday. Here are the main elements at a high level:

1. February – Get Developer Site Up (done). The aim here was to get a basic drumbeat.org site up so that people can develop their projects and improve the site itself. We met this goal last week. We didn’t make too much noise about it as we don’t yet have either the content or opportunities to participate necessary to excite and engage large number of people. Of course, that’s what we’re building towards.

2. March – Flesh Out Projects and Event Framework. This is where we take a deep dive into the projects we’re using to bootstrap Drumbeat — e.g. Web Made Movies, P2PU Open Web Skills, Universal Subtitles. By the end of March we want brilliant web content and clear opportunities for people to participate in place for these projects. During March, we also plan to flesh out and book dates for our first round of local events. We want to see new people participating in Drumbeat in meaningful ways at this stage — volunteering for projects, critiquing and fixing the site, stepping up to organize local events and so on. However, we’re intentionally aiming for modest numbers (100s?) as we are still building up the content and frameworks needed for massive participation.

3. April – Make a Little Noise + Do First Events. Assuming we get key bootstrap projects where we need them to be in March, we’ll move on to slowly but aggressively making noise about Drumbeat. The aim will be to get more people (1000s?) signed up and participating in a few key projects, and to further test our thinking and site improvements. We’ll work w/ project leads, sympathetic bloggers and journalists plus cause oriented social networks like Care2 to get the ‘insider story’ about Drumbeat out at this point. We’ll also start moving with local events late in March and into April. These events will build buzz and, more importantly, help us find local community leaders who want to help grow Drumbeat.

4. May – Make Tons of Noise. By May — possibly earlier — we’ll be in a position to make a ton of noise about Drumbeat like Glyn was calling for. The site will be solid and intuitive by then, making it easy for anyone who shows up to find a way to get involved. That’s the key thing, really. The number of projects and events will also be growing by this point. In addition to more blogging and social networks, we’ll actively go out to the press at this point. In addition, it’s likely we’ll be doing ‘open web month’ in May, working closely w/ Creative Commons and Wikipedia. This will give us a chance to make the Drumbeat louder as well.

5. June – Turn Buzz in Action. If things go as planned in April and May, we’ll have lots of buzz and lots of people interested. June will be about turning even more of this interest into active participation in Drumbeat projects. Many people will find ways to participate right off the bat. Others will need help and encouragement to figure out how to get involved. We’ll start using e-newsletters and online events in June to help this second group of people get more involved. Also, my hope is that the site features will be stable enough by June (or earlier) that we can start localizing.

Of course, we’ve got plans well beyond June, and beyond 2010. Some of this is in the road map wiki already. Most of it is in our heads and needs to get written down. We also need to get more of the Drumbeat projects to add their own milestones into the roadmap as that’s a significant part of the story. These are things we’ll try to get done soon. But the main focus for the time being is making sure the first key projects moving.

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