MoFo 2014 plans

January 14, 2014 § 1 Comment

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 webmaker.org. 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.
  • Webmaker.org 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 webmaker.org 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 § 4 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 § 30 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.

Status update (and Drumbeat:Next)

September 24, 2010 § 3 Comments

This month’s status update is focused on the question: ‘where next for Drumbeat?‘ There has been good conversation on this topic over the last few weeks — first on my blog and in the Drumbeat newsgroup (thanks to everyone who commented!) and then in a recent MozFdn board meeting (slidecast below).

The general consensus seems to be: Drumbeat is finding a solid footing as it does projects like Web Made Movies and School of Webcraft. Keep going on this track, use it to show what Mozilla can be beyond the browser. On the flip side, we haven’t yet found big new ways to build participation. Drumbeat (and all of Mozilla) need to focus on this in 2011.

My status update slidecast focuses on these two themes of a) diverse and b) large scale participation:

Concretely, what does this mean in terms of goals for 2011? We are looking at two main areas to focused based on the conversations so far:

Goal 1: Diverse Mozilla community. Build on Drumbeat.

Show what Mozilla can be and do beyond the browser.
6+ big projects, open innovation program, major events.

Goal 2: Bigger community. Test ‘join Mozilla’ program.

Many people involved beyond just using Firefox.
Also: continue Drumbeat and Parks engagement.

There are a more details in the slides — but it’s all pretty high level. It’s also still very much open to debate and feedback. So, please share your comments here or in the Drumbeat newsgroup. We’re going to dig deeper into planning around these goals over the next two months, so your ideas and involvement help a ton.

PS. You can grab this PDF or video of the slides above if you want.

MozFdn July 2010 status update

August 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

As we pass the midway mark of 2010, we’re starting to see early results from our bootstrap Drumbeat projects. Universal Subtitles and Web Made Movies presented demos at Whistler. And Mozilla / P2PU School of Webcraft has 12+ courses scheduled for September. We also have a clear (and exciting) plan for the first Drumbeat Festival — a 300+ person event on ‘learning, freedom and the web‘ happening in Barcelona this November. Reflecting back on the last few months, it feels like we’ve turned a corner in terms of understanding and excitement around Drumbeat.

My July Mozilla Foundation status update (sorry it’s late!) provides a details on all of this, with a special focus on where each of the bootstrap projects are headed. It also includes some reflections from Whistler. Here it is:

There is alot of detail in this slidecast (17 minutes). For people who just want the highlights:

  • Mozilla Summit in Whistler provided a first chance to *show* Drumbeat to Mozillians via our main projects.
  • Core message: Drumbeat is innovation on the open web, powered by everybody. It brings new kinds of people to innovate *with us*. Many people got this.
  • Across Mozilla, there is a strong desire to scale our movement. Drumbeat can help by expanding the kind of people who participate.
  • All three major Drumbeat projects showed early outputs at Whistler: a Universal Subtitles Alpha; a Webmade Movies demo’d popcorn.js; and School of Webcraft announced fall courses.
  • These projects also shared roadmaps at Whistler. Based on these roadmaps, Mozilla Foundation has awarded its first major Drumbeat grants (total = $US200k).
  • We’re also opening a $1000/month grant program for the most promising emerging Drumbeat projects. This will build our pipeline of projects for next year.
  • The ‘learning, freedom and the web’ theme for the 2010 Drumbeat Festival have been locked down. It will take place in early November in Barcelona.
  • There will be a strong focus on how the web powers informal learning — P2PU, hackerspaces, libraries, YouTube tutorials, neighborhood tech centres.

The slidecast above offers slightly shorter version of info presented at our most recent board meeting. I’ll continue to provide these updates every two months, following the board meeting schedule. Comments welcomed here on my blog or by email.

MozFdn May 2010 status update

May 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Almost five months into 2010, key Drumbeat projects and the Drumbeat local event series are picking up speed. Web Made Movies, Universal Subtitles and P2PU Open Web Career Track have all released new material and gotten more people involved. And additional events have taken place in Toronto, Berlin, Sao Carlos and Florianapolis. We’re also making progress on our overall fundraising and engagement efforts — albeit slower than hoped.

One things that has been particularly good to see: our first efforts to push community support and donations to a Drumbeat project have started to show (modest) results. By actively promoting Universal Subtitles in late April, Drumbeat helped to surface 600 beta testers as well as other offers of support. We generated over 100 comments like this one:

“Hi, I don’t have any talent in computer. I’m just a common people who can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Malay, and little Japanese. And maybe very little Spanish. Is there anything 
I can do to help?”

Of course, support like this isn’t an end itself — the real goal is to make sure Universal Subtitles succeeds in bringing open video translation to the web. But it’s still good to see that the Drumbeat concept of bringing new people to participate in projects that improve the web has at least some early traction.

As we go into the summer, we’ll need to make some decisions about where to push hardest on Drumbeat for the rest of the year. The current plan is to focus on a few key projects build up strong participation and impact — the ones mentioned above plus a few more based in Europe or Brasil. We also want to pick a handful of cities to really invest in where we can get a vibrant community going. Sao Paulo is one of these. Berlin may be another. Finally, we need to pick a theme for the 2010 Drumbeat Festival. The current thinking is something around education (‘learning, freedom and the web’).

My May Mozilla Foundation status update provides a detailed overview on all of this, with a special focus on where and how we should focus our resources for the rest of the year. Here it is:

You can also view this in open video (ogg theora) or download the slide deck (PDF).

This slidecast offers slightly shorter version of info presented at our most recent board meeting. I’ll continue to provide these updates every two months, following the board meeting schedule. Comments welcomed here on my blog or by email.

MozFdn March 2010 status update

March 29, 2010 § 5 Comments

As we near the end of Q1 2010, we are starting to see good early results from Drumbeat and other Mozilla engagement efforts. For example, the first P2PU Open Web course has started and our first Drumbeat local events have took place in Rio and Sao Paulo with a bang. This is in large part due to amazing community members who have already stepped forward to share ideas, lead projects and organize events, especially in Europe and Brasil.

Of course, we’re still at the seedling stage. We now need to move to a place where large numbers of people can participate in Drumbeat, and where it’s easy and obvious for almost anyone on the web to ‘support Mozilla’ with their  to time or donation. While these next steps will require even more work, I’m increasingly confident that we can succeed if we continue to push and grow the community as we have over the past three months.

My March Mozilla Foundation status update provides a detailed overview on all of this, both progress to date and challenges ahead. It uses the same slidecast format that I started with my January update. Here it is:

You can also view this in open video (ogg theora) or download the slide deck (PDF).

This slidecast offers slightly shorter version of info presented at our most recent board meeting. I’ll continue to provide these updates every two months, following the board meeting schedule. Comments welcomed here on my blog or by email.

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