MoFo Update (and Board Slides)

July 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

A big priority for Mozilla in 2014 is growing our community: getting more people engaged in everything from bringing the web to mobile and teaching web literacy to millions of people around the world.  At our June Mozilla Foundation board meeting, I provided an update on the MoFo teams contribution to this effort during Q2 and on our plans for the next quarter. Here is a brief screen cast that summarizes the material fromt that meeting.

In addition to the screencast, I have posted the full board deck (40 slides) here. Much of the deck focuses on our progress towards the goal of 10k Webmaker contributors in 2014. If you want a quick overview of that piece of what we’re working on, here are some notes I wrote up to explain the Webmaker slides:

  • Our overall annual goal: grow Webmaker community to include 10k active contributors teaching web literacy by end of 2014.
  • The main focus of Q2 was to respin Webmaker as a platform for people who want to teach web literacy with Mozilla. Main things we achieved:
  • Over 250 partners secured and 100s of events created in advance for 2014 Maker Party (Q2 goal: Pre-launch Maker Party 2014 for partners and contributors)
  • A new version of released in June oriented towards the needs of instructors who want to contribute to Mozilla (Q2 goal: re-launch with new UX)
  • Related result: over 3000 people signed up to teach w/ Mozilla this summer as Party of Maker Party.
  • Developed and released comprehensive web literacy curriculum — as well as new platform of for people to publish and remix curriculum themselves (Q2 goal: Release web literacy ‘texbook’ at
  • In addition, we spun up a new joint MoCo / MoFo program in Q2 called the Mobile Opportunity Initiative.
  • This initiative will focus on local app and content creation in markets where FirefoxOS is launching, and will include development of easy app authoring tools as well as Webmaker training to go along with this. (Q2 goal: pilot Webmaker Mobile + local content program (includes FFos))
  • For Q3: the main goals are to a) run a successful Maker Party and b) grow the number of people we have contributing to Mozilla by teaching web literacy. Specific goal: Maker Party reach and impact builds on 2013.KPIs: 2400 events + 6500 contributors
  • We also want to use Q3 to grow Maker Party from a yearly campaign into a year round program — or network of ‘clubs’ — for people teaching with Mozilla.New features added to support year round ‘teach the web’ program. Specific goal: Add new features added to support year round ‘teach the web’ program
  • Finally, Q3 will include a getting meat on the bones for the Mobile Opportunity Initiative, including prototypes of what Appmaker could offer to users. Specific goal: Announce digital inclusion initiative w/ partners from mobile industry. KPIs: 3 carrier partners and 3 philanthropic partners aligned *and* three ‘appmaker’ user value concepts tested in field w/ at least 300 content creators

The slides also talk about our joint efforts with MoCo to grow the number of Mozilla contributors overall to 20,000 people in 2014. In addition to Webmaker, Mozilla’s Open News, Science Lab, Open Internet Policy and MozFest initiatives are all a part of growing our contributor community. There is also a financial summary. We are currently $12M towards our $17M revenue goal for the year.

For back ground and context, see Mozilla’s overall 2014 goals here and the quarterly goal tracker here. If you have questions or comments on any of this, please reach out to me directly or leave comments below.

MoFo 2014 plans

January 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

I’m excited about 2014 at Mozilla. Building on last fall’s Mozilla Summit, it feels like people across the project are re-energized by Mitchell’s reminder that we are a global community with a common cause. Right now, this community is sharply focused on making sure the web wins on mobile and on teaching the world how the web works. I’m optimistic that we’re going to make some breakthroughs in these areas in the year ahead.

Last month, I sat down with our board to talk about where we want to focus the Mozilla Foundation’s education and community program efforts in 2014. We agreed that two things should be our main priorities this year: 1. getting more people to use our learning tools and 2. growing our community of contributors. I’ve posted the board slides (pdf) and a screencast for people who want a detailed overview of our plans. Here is the screencast:

If you are just looking for a quick overview, here are some of the main points from the slides:

  • Over the past 5 years, MoFo has successfully built Webmaker, Open Badges and other community programs to compliment our work on Firefox, FirefoxOS and other products.
  • In 2013, MoFo generated $13M in revenue and gathered thousands of community members and contributors around these programs.
  • In 2014, MoFo’s goal is to improve and scale our education and community initiatives by:
  • a. Growing the number of contributors working on Mozilla initiatives like Webmaker, Open Badges, Open News, etc. to at least 10,000.
  • b. Driving adoption of Webmaker and Open Badges, with a particular focus on getting our tools into the hands of many more teachers and evangelists.
  • Our key strategy for doing these things is to identify and work with ‘lead users’ across all our programs in 2014. Lead users are people who are already enthusiastic about what we’re doing.
  • I talked alot about lead users for Webmaker in this post back in September. These people play a key role in testing, building and promoting our education and community programs alongside us.
  • In 2013, MoFo aims to generate at least $17M in revenue to support this work. We are projecting expenses of approximately $18M, over $1M of which are covered by grant revenue we received in 2013.

In addition to these slides, you can also find detailed workplans for Webmaker, Open Badges, Open News and other MoFo initiatives on the Mozilla Wiki.

At the Mozilla Summit, we imagined a bold future 10 years from now: one where the values of the web are built into all aspects of our connected lives and where the broad majority of people are literate in the ways of the web. In this world, Mozilla is a strong global movement with over a million active contributors.

We move towards this world by building real things: a widely used mobile operating system based on the web; new ways to store and protect personal information online; content and tools for teaching web literacy. I’m excited working on the education and community sides of all this in 2014 — I think we can make some breakthroughs.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on our plans and the year ahead, either as comments here or by email.

April Mozilla Board Slides: Q1 Review

April 22, 2013 § 2 Comments

At last week’s Mozilla Foundation board meeting, we looked at what we’ve done so far in 2013 and what we need to do next. Key messages from the discussion: We’re making good progress on Webmaker. We we shipped better Popcorn and Badges tools. We added a ‘teach’ section to We undertook experiments with new kinds of remixable content.

2013-04-21 20.54.38

However, we still need to roll all this into a Webmaker v2 that will excite and provide value to makers. Also, we need to recognize that we’re doing more than just Webmaker this year: Open Badges is growing even more rapidly than expected. I’ve posted slides from the board meeting here and summarized the content below

As a reminder: our overarching goal for 2013 is to turn Webmaker in a popular way to both make and learn on the web. We set these more specific goals:

  • Goal #1: make Webmaker into popular way to make and remix web content (target = 250k makers)
  • Goal #2: build better ways to level up skills, craft and code as you make (target = 1M badges)
  • Goal #3: grow our global community of mentors to power Webmaker (target = 10k mentors)

While we didn’t explicitly make it a top level goal, it’s clear that ‘make Open Badges successful’ and ‘respond to the demand we’re seeing for badges’ have also become major priorities for 2013.

We’ve made a solid start on all these goals in Q1: building the foundations for Webmaker v2 and growing the Open badges project significantly. Some highlights re: things we shipped and balls we moved:

  • PopcornMaker shipped ability to use multiple media files plus better social media sharing.
  • Open Badges / Badger shipped 1.0, now ready for Webmaker plus 700 other partner sites.
  • added a ‘teach’ section to house hacktivity kits and other resources for mentors.
  • Using Hive and ReMo as a base, we’ve built a core cadre of Webmaker ‘super mentors’.
  • Maker Party 2013 is teed up as a major platform for Mozilla and 40+ partner orgs.

While this is solid progress, it’s important to recognize that we still need to roll all of this into a Webmaker v2 that will truly excite and provide value to makers, mentors and learners. Challenges we face include:

  • We’ve had a tough time finding right mix of making (goal #1) and learning (goal #2) in the remixable content we’ve been developing for Webmaker v2. We need to get better at adding elements designed to teach specific webmaking skills..
  • We started the year with a fragmented technical infrastructure: we’ve had to invest a lot of time in underlying technology like single sign on and a shared publishing system for all Webmaker content.
  • We still don’t have an approach to localization: this hard to nail down given the fact that our tools and site are going through rapid changes.

Another challenge is that the scope of our goals is shifting: Open Badges and Open News continue to grow as major initiatives above an beyond what we’re doing with Webmaker. We need to accept the fact that we’re still a multi product / project org and find a way to better support this growth.

The good news: we have a clear plans in place that aim directly at these challenges. The top three priorities as we move through Q2 are:

  • Priority #1: ship a v2 of that attracts makers and bakes in learning. (Lead: Brett, w/ Paula)
  • Priority #2: drive momentum with mentors and Maker Party 2013, act like a movement. (Lead: Chris, w/ Erica)
  • Priority #3: strong Open Badges proof point via Chicago Summer of Learning. (Lead: Erin)

Work on all three of these priorities is well underway and we are making good progress. As we do this work, there a three questions we should be actively discussing:

  • Do we have the right making and learning balance as Webmaker v2 ships?
  • Are we providing value to makers and mentors? Are they using the site? Running events?
  • How can we support Open Badges to respond to growing demand? (June board meeting)

We should all be keeping these things in mind as we build out Webmaker v2, Maker Party and Chicago Summer of Learning, especially the question: are we providing value?

It’s an interesting and intense time. Real traction on our big dreams is within sight: a Mozilla-backed movement where people champion creativity and making on the web; a new era of remixable, Legolike web content; a world of learning that works like the web. At the same time, we’re all heads down on the details of building tools, shipping web sites, making content, writing curriculum and recruiting partners. While it can be stressful, this its actually a very good, Mozilla-like place to be. Our hands are mucky shipping things while we are still aimed at and inspired by big dreams of making the web a better place.

Over the next few months, its going to be important to help each other keep this balance. Reach out to someone working on another part of the project to understand what they are working on. Pitch in as people test and irritate what they’re building. Offer advice to new community members as they show up for the first time (thats going to start happening slot). It may feel like we’re all working on different things: but everything we’re doing all points in the same direction of inspiring and empowering people using the web.

Getting practical on web makers

February 12, 2012 § 6 Comments

Big dreams need practical plans. Late last year, we agreed that ‘building a generation’ of web makers‘ should be one of Mozilla’s main goals for 2012. For the last six weeks, people across the Mozilla team and community have been digging into the question: where do we start? I’m writing this post to update people on the plans that are coming out of this.

Concrete ‘web maker’ planning started with the Mozilla Foundation board meeting in mid-December. At that meeting we agreed on the following broad goal for 2012:

Roll Mozilla’s best software and learning resources into a simple ‘kit’ for web makers.

The idea here is that we want to create a single offering — or at least a brand — for people who want to learn and make things with Mozilla. This should roll up things like Popcorn, Hackasuarus, etc. into something easy to comprehend and get involved in.

At the same board meeting, we agreed on five more specific 2012 goals that our web making initiative. They are:

  1. Grow our learning programs for teens, journalists, filmmakers.
  2. Ship great software that invites making + learning.
  3. Build badges and ‘recipes’ to teach web maker skills.
  4. Create web sites and events that drive participation.
  5. Tell the Mozilla story well, inspire people.

You can see a list of detailed objectives for each of these goals listed here on our 2012 goals wiki page. We will be reviewing and evolving these objectives throughout the year.

As noted above, the plan with all of these goals is to build on our strengths: Popcorn; Hackasaurus; Open Badges; Hive; OpenNews; Mozilla Festival; and so on. Mozilla team and community members have been working on roadmaps that lay our practical plans and tie projects back to our overall goals. Here are the most advanced of these roadmaps:

All of these projects are making great strides — but they all need help as well. We need to people to write, code, test and promote what we’re building. If you’re excited by our web maker vision and want to get involved, you should join one of our weekly open community calls. Or, track Matt Thompson’s weekly round ups of web maker activity and then dive in when you see something specific you are interested in.

 PS. Here are the slides from the December board meeting that I mention above. They also include a review of our work in 2011. If people are interested, I can do a screencast of these slides to give more details. Just let me know.

Ops update: news on Drumbeat projects

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

As usual, I’m posting slides from the June Mozilla Foundation board meeting. However, I’m doing it a little differently this time by breaking the slides up into three posts. This post provides an operational update on Mozilla Drumbeat. This will soon be followed by in-depth posts on the open badges and Hackasaurus projects.

The the slides here cover the core Mozilla Drumbeat projects that we’ve been focusing on since the beginning of 2011. Here is the webcast:

If you don’t want to watch the webcast, you can quickly flip through the PDF slides. I’ve also pulled out key highlights from each of our major projects:

  • MoJo: first innovation challenge complete. Over 300 entries plus lots of community and press buzz.
  • Web Made Movies: growing number of Popcorn.js productions in the wild, plus 3 new Popcorn versions and many plugins released in Q1 + Q2.
  • School of Webcraft: new web site plus study groups format launched. Hopefully removes major adoption barriers, leads to more courses and participants in Q3.
  • Universal Subtitles: added to Khan Academy 
(2100+ videos). Represents major new partnership.
  • Batucada: transforming Batucada into Mozilla-wide innovation site for Drumbeat, Research and Labs.
  • Events: Mozilla Media, Freedom and the Web Festival confirmed for London, Nov 4 – 6, 2011.

As we move into the second half of 2011, the main push will be on increasing participation on all these projects. We’ve got great ideas on the table and some early success. Getting more community and contributors is the critical next step.

PS. Side note: there was no April board slide posting as we used that meeting as a chance for the board to get to know new Mozilla Corp CEO Gary Kovacs.

Status update: MoJo plus Drumbeat 2011

February 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

As I noted in my last status update, Mozilla Drumbeat will continue to be a major priority for the foundation team in 2011. We plan to follow through on our three largest projects from year one, and also to launch three additional large projects.

At the February Mozilla Foundation board meeting, I led a discussion of Drumbeat plans and priorities for 2011. This included a fair bit of detail on the new Knight Mozilla journalism initiative as well as an overview of other major projects. I also provided a brief operational update. A slidecast (PDF) of this material is here:

As you’ll see in the slides, there is a great deal going on with Mozilla Drumbeat right now. If you don’t have it you watch the full 25+ minute slidecast, here is a summary of key points:

  • The Knight Mozilla News Technology Partnership is the first major new Drumbeat project for 2011, a three year effort to put web innovators into news organizations.
    This $2.5 million initiative has two main parts: 1) design challenges that bring in people and 2) fellowships for up to 15 challenge winners.
  • Other 2011 ideas we are the testing waters on: Batucada, Hackasaurus, citizen cyberscience, radio + hyperaudio experiments.
  • Projects continuing from 2010 include Universal Subtitles, Web Made Movies and the School of Webcraft.
    While these projects have had early victories, they all face challenges moving from prototype to product. This is a major focus across the board for 2011.
  • As we move into our second year for Drumbeat, we will be developing metrics that help us track progress in three areas: quality; participation; and adoption.
  • Drumbeat ops update: big January news was Universal Subtitles and Web Made Movies inclusion in PBS Newshour’s State of the Union coverage. Upcoming events in March include Hackasaurus design jams in New York and Chicago, ButterCamp in New York and our first Drumbeat web + science hackfest in Beijing.
  • Join Mozilla ops update: we still plan to launch a beta version of the project in late February, testing the idea / gathering feedback at CeBit in Hanover Germany in early March. Additional activities will take place around Firefox 4 launch.

If you’d like more detail but don’t have time to watch the whole slidecast, you can flip through this PDF version of the slides.

Status update: MoFo Plans for 2011

January 6, 2011 § 31 Comments

In 2010, the MoFo team had one big goal: grow Mozilla’s scope. The core of this was Drumbeat — an effort to move beyond software, getting all kinds of people doing things to help the web. We also applied our elbow grease getting more people to understand and contribute to Mozilla as a cause.

At our December board meeting, we agreed to double down on our efforts to expand Mozilla’s scope as we move into 2011. Our plan is to a) grow the reach and impact of Drumbeat and to b) launch a membership program that will connect 100,000s of new people to Mozilla. These slides provides an overview of the plan:

If you just want the quick summary, the top level plan looks something like this:

1. Grow Drumbeat. More projects and reach.

2. Launch Mozilla membership program.

  • Aim: connect people to Mozilla, build much broader understanding of our public benefit mission.
  • Basic offering: $5 to join Mozilla. Gives you bragging rights to say ‘I’m a Mozillian’ and an inside track on information about what’s happening in Mozilla and on the web.
  • Mozilla-wide effort, ideally kicking off just before Firefox 4. Culminates in large scale global event toward end of 2011.

Also: we will continue to play core community support and legal structure functions for the whole of the Mozilla community in 2011.

We’ll be blogging more on individual elements of this plan in coming weeks. Watch Planet Mozilla and Planet Drumbeat for these posts. Also, if you have feedback or want to get involved in any of this, please comment below or pop me an email.

Quick clarification (jan 7):

We’re still in the early stages of defining the membership program. There are many decisions yet to be made about how we describe it and how it works. Eg. what should we call people who sign up? Comments below suggest it should be something other than ‘Mozillian’.

There is one certainty however: this program it is not a replacement for the awesome community of 50,000 Mozillians who make, localize and promote Firefox everyday. These people are the life blood of what we do and will never be asked for money in order to belong to Mozilla. They are already giving something much more valuable. The ‘Join Mozilla’ program is for people who are not — and may never be — ready to contribute at this level.

More posts coming soon with details and questions for discussion on membership. The idea here was just to let people know it’s a priority for 2011.

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